On Saturday, March 13, at noon, part-time French Quarter president and popular Instagram cooking and entertaining personality, Brian Theis, will sign copies of his fantastic new book and entertaining guide “The Infinite Feast: How to Host the Ones You Love” (Pelican Publishing) at Estella’s Home Décor, 601 Frisco Ave., in Metairie. The book has a fun mid-century flair thanks to loads of vintage-style illustrations and photos and lends guidance on gatherings from a Mardi Gras Jamboree and a Polynesian Luau to a Goblin Feast and it is flushed out with interviews with chefs and restaurateurs.
Starting at 3 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day, Rosie’s on the Roof Bar & Grill atop the fabulous Higgins Hotel will explore the question “Is Rosie Irish?” Guests are encouraged to dress as their favorite Irish Rosie for a costume contest while partaking of green beer, Jamison Whiskey, corned beef and cabbage, and live Irish music.
Also, on St. Patrick’s Day from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the courtyard, for every glass of Spicy Paws Punch (a refreshing take on a classic rum punch—all fresh ingredients with a hint of natural spice) sold Gris Gris will donate $1 to Take Paws Rescue. The rescue group will also have adoptable puppies and dogs on hand.
St. Joseph’s Day is March 19. If you are planning to erect an altar (perhaps in gratitude for the passing of 2020 and the new, relative ease in acquiring a vaccination), Brian Theis features St. Joseph’s Lily bread (Pane di San Guiseppe) in his new book “The Infinite Feast: How to Host the Ones You Love.”
Saint Joseph’s Lily
“The Feast of Saint Joseph is a cherished Italian holiday in New Orleans. Altars with decorative breads and zeppole (pastries) are put out all over town to celebrate the saint’s feast day, March 19.
The “carpenter of Nazareth” is commemorated with hammers and other tools crafted from bread. He also, according to lore, had a staff that blossomed into a lily to signify he was special among men. Unlike a Saint Joseph’s sculpture that is meant to be on display for several days, this pane (bread) is made to be enjoyed right out of the oven. It is tender in texture and delicately sweet.”
- 1 cup very warm water (103°F to 105°F)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 package (1/4-ounce) active dry yeast
- 2 large eggs, divided
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon anise extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/4 cups unbleached flour, divided
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
To a small bowl add the warm water and sugar. Add yeast, stir vigorously, and cover with dark towel for 5 to 7 minutes till foamy.
To a large mixing bowl add yeast mixture,1 lightly beaten egg, honey, anise extract, salt, and 1 cup flour. With a large spoon mix vigorously until fully blended, 2 minutes. Add butter, mashing against side of bowl to help incorporate fully. Add another 2 cups flour, stir, forming soft sticky dough. On lightly floured surface knead dough till stretchy and smooth, about 5 minutes. It will still be sticky. If too sticky, add 1 or 2 tablespoons more flour.
Wipe out mixing bowl and coat with oil. Place dough in bowl, turning to coat all sides with oil. Cover with dark towel and set to rise in a warm place till dough doubles in volume, 1 to 2 hours.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Shape dough into a large lily (fleur de lis) with stem and leaves. Cover lily with a towel and let rest another 30 minutes. Dough will increase again in size. Now refine and sculpt the petals and leaves a bit more to your vision.
Heat oven to 400°F. Brush top of lily all over with 1 lightly beaten egg and evenly cover with sesame seeds. Bake for 25 minutes till golden brown. Cool on rack.
From The Infinite Feast: How to Host the Ones You Love by Brain Theis. ©Brian Theis and used by permission of the publisher Pelican Publishing, an imprint of Arcadia Publishing.