The Dish: Chef Brandon Boudet

Chef Brandon Boudet fell into cooking in the most naturally food-centric place in America: New Orleans.

Born and raised in the Crescent City of French, Sicilian and German ancestry, he was cooking by the age of eight. Hugely influenced by both his grandmothers, he also learned much from two of New Orleans' favorite sons, Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse.

He later moved west, and is now executive chef and co-owner of the Los Angeles cult favorites Little Dom's, 101 Coffee Shop and Minibar, which opened last year.

Here are some of Boudet's signature recipes: Spaghetti and meatballs, rice balls, cauliflower "risotto," fried potatoes, waffle brownie sundae and The Bernard cocktail

Spaghetti & Meatballs

Meatball ingredients

2 ½ lb ground pork

2 ½ lb ground beef

1 ½ cups soffritto (see Tomato Sauce recipe below), sautéed for 3 minutes

1 tbs ground fennel seeds

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tbs porcini mushroom powder

1 cup mushrooms, sautéed for 5 minutes

4 cups bread crumbs

2 eggs

1 tsb salt

Directions

Mix all ingredients in a kitchen mixer or by hand. Using a 2 ½ oz ice cream scoop, scoop meat mixture into balls to form meatballs. Bake on sheet pan lined with parchment paper for 15 minutes at 375°F.

Tomato sauce ingredients

6 28-oz cans of tomatoes, passed through food mill

4 cups soffritto (3 ribs of celery, 1 large yellow onion, 3 cloves garlic, ¼ bunch parsley), chopped

1 bunch each of basil and oregano, wrapped in cheese cloth

1 tsp sugar

3 tbs tomato paste

3 tsp salt

1 tsp red pepper flakes ¼ cup olive oil

Directions

Add olive oil to pot. Add soffritto and sauté for 3 minutes. Add salt, sugar, pepper flakes and tomato paste and sauté for 2 minutes. Add canned tomatoes and simmer for 3 hours. Add basil and oregano and leave in sauce until completely cooled to infuse flavor.

Serve tomato sauce and meatballs over cooked spaghetti. Enjoy.

Rice Balls

Ingredients

16 oz risotto

3 each shallots, chopped

1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup white wine

4 cups vegetable or beef broth

1/4 cup cream

2 tablespoons basil, chopped

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

4 cups porcini mushrooms

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups parmesan cheese

1 cup provolone, grated

1 cup fresh mozzarella, diced

Salt

Red pepper

2 cups flour

Egg wash (6 eggs & 2 cups of milk mixed well)

2 cups breadcrumbs

6 cups canola oil

Directions

1. Sauté shallots in olive oil high heat in an 8 qt non reactive pot.

2. Add the risotto and sauté 1 -2 minutes until the oil is absorbed and risotto is pearly white.

3. Add the white wine and reduce until absorbed.

4. add the broth, one cup at a time and reduce down to almost dry, repeating until all the broth has been used.

5. Add the cream and fresh herbs, stirring well for 5 minutes.

6. In a separate pan, heat 1 tablespoon butter and sauté the mushrooms until soft. Wait for them to cool, and then chop. Add to risotto.

6. Finish the risotto with butter, parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

7. Spread the risotto onto a sheet pan and cool.

8. Once cooled, mix in the provolone and mozzarella, forming into 2 1/2 oz balls.

9. In three separate dishes, place the flour, egg wash and bread crumbs. Roll each ball in the flour, then egg wash and then the breadcrumbs.

10. Heat six cups of canola oil in a Dutch oven to 360˚.

11. Carefully place balls into hot oil for 4 minutes then turn rice balls over and cook other side for 4 minutes more (do not cook more then 4-5 at a time .

12. Keep rice balls warm in a low oven until all are finished then serve warm topped with parmesan cheese.

Cauliflower "risotto"

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower

4 green onions, finely chopped

3 oz butter

2 oz olive oil

4 oz of grated Reggiano Parmesan

Salt

Crushed red pepper

Directions

1. Use the large holes on a box grater or the shredder on a food processor to grate the cauliflower.

2. Sauté green onions, crushed red pepper and salt with olive oil and butter. Do not brown.

3. Add cauliflower and continue to sauté, stirring constantly. Again, do not brown. Add a few tablespoons of water and continue cooking until gated cauliflower is just tender.

4. Finish by folding in grated Parmesan.

Fried potatoes

Ingredients

Small red potatoes

Chopped raw garlic

Lemon juice

Salt Crushed red pepper

Italian parsley leaves

Directions

1. Bring salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and boil until tender.

2. Once potatoes have cooled, smash in palm of hand to flatten. They should fall apart slightly.

3. Heat olive oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit in fryer. Fry potatoes until golden brown and crispy.

4. While still hot, toss with garlic, lemon, salt, pepper and parsley. Serve on brown paper.

Waffle Brownie Sundae

Ingredients

1 stick butter

7 x 1 oz. squares of semisweet chocolate

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

3 eggs

1¾ cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup flour

1 14 oz can condensed milk

¼ cup bittersweet chocolate

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon butter

Directions for the waffle brownie

1. Preheat Belgian waffle iron.

2. Melt together 1 stick butter and semisweet chocolate squares, stirring until smooth.

3. Whisk in 3 tablespoons cocoa powder.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until a golden yellow color. Whisk in sugar, vanilla and salt.

5. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.

6. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour until combined.

7. Scoop batter into butter waffle iron.

8. Top with vanilla ice cream and homemade hot fudge.

Directions for the hot fudge

1. Slowly melt together condensed milk, bittersweet chocolate, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon butter. Whisk occasionally.

2. Drizzle over waffle brownie sundae.

The Bernard

In chilled mixing glass:

1 oz Dolin dry vermouth

2 oz City of London 94 proof dry gin

Stir until frost appears on outside of glass, and then strain into 7-8 oz martini coupe. Garnished with one pickled mushroom, one salt-cured olive and a lemon twist.