This Central City cafe offers at-risk kids an opportunity to learn the restaurant business. Café Reconcile is "a nonprofit restaurant that uses innovative strategies to provide life skills and job training to youth from at-risk communities in the New Orleans area. Since the restaurant opened in 2000, more than 500 young people (ages 16-22) have successfully completed the program and moved into permanent jobs in New Orleans’ food service industry." Many New Orleans chefs lecture and otherwise participate in teaching the students on a regular basis. Café Reconcile, located at 1631 Oretha Castle Boulevard, serves creole classics cafeteria style at lunch only. I've eaten there countless times and always enjoyed the food and the laid back ambience. One of my favorite meals there is their white beans & shrimp served on Thursdays.
A friend cooked Café Reconcile's white beans & shrimp last night. C'est si bon! The beans were creamy (thanks to heavy cream!) and popping with flavor. The shrimp add a wonderful texture and essence to this classic dish. Try this at home!
2 pounds White Northern Beans
4 cups Chopped Onion
2 cups Chopped Celery
2 cups Chopped Bell Peppers
½ cup Chopped Parsley
3-4 cloves, Chopped Garlic
1 tablespoon Thyme
Black Pepper, to Taste
dash Cayenne Pepper
dash White Pepper
Salt, to Taste
Chicken Stock or water, enough to cover beans
1 ½ pounds Shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cups Heavy Cream
Steamed White (or brown) Rice
Soak beans, in enough water to cover, in the refrigerator overnight.
In a large pot, combine beans, veggies, seasoning and stock or water.
Simmer covered for 2-3 hours until beans are tender. Add shrimp and cream and simmer until shrimp are cooked (approximately 5 minutes). Serve over rice. Serves 10-12.