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Fischer Of Menu 

Bombay Club Chef Brian Fischer recommends a spring dinner party menu of grilled shrimp atop a torn-bread salad, dry-rub brisket sandwiches and a chocolate martini that has become the signature drink of the French Quarter club.

In a tranquil niche next to the Prince Conti Hotel, the Bombay Club is one of those priceless havens just off the beaten Bourbon Street path in the French Quarter. During seven years at its current location, the club has grown popular for its selection of 115 different martinis. Contrary to the extensive leather-bound listing, however, Bombay Club is about more than gin and olives these days. Chef Brian Fischer makes sure of that.

Owner Richard Fisk handed Fischer the keys to the kitchen a year ago. With an already food-packed 14 years under his professional toque, the young chef was well equipped for the swank club. The nightly menu's moules frites, tuna au poivre and braised veal shank Provencal show evidence of his cooking experiences in France, while herbed baked oysters, barbecue shrimp and seafood specials illustrate that the Connecticut-born chef also gets the Gulf South. In fact, throughout the meat-slender days of Lent -- dubbed Fin Fest at the Bombay Club -- Fischer is preparing four to five nightly fish specials, like seared redfish with lemon butter sauce and grilled American snapper with sweet potato gratin. "I cook with whatever I can get my hands on that's fresh," he says.

That philosophy seems to extend to the late-night menu. Forget the frozen and fried genre of most post-midnight food. Fischer busts out with brisket sandwiches on toasted French bread, gourmet topped pizzas and a variety of omelets that might pair nicely with the spicy vodka Bloody Martini.

You can share a touch of his culinary magic at your own dinner party this spring with a menu of some of Fischer's (and his patrons') favorite dishes. Add to the elegance and good taste presented with a special martini that will leave your guests breathless.

Chef Brian Fischer's Torn Bread Salad with Grilled Louisiana Shrimp and Chevre

This recipe earned Fischer fourth place in the Great American Salad Toss in January .

Serves: 6

1 day-old French baguette

1 oz. fresh thyme, chopped

1 oz. fresh basil,

sliced lengthwise

1/2 c. olive oil

2 Tbsp. cracked black pepper

salt to taste Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place thyme, basil, oil, pepper and salt in a large mixing bowl. Tear bread into bite-size pieces and add to bowl. Toss until all pieces are coated with oil and herbs. Spread croutons evenly onto a cookie sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until croutons are golden brown and crispy.Balsamic Vinaigrette

6 oz. vegetable oil

6 oz. olive oil

3 oz. balsamic vinegar

1 shallot, minced

2 large cloves garlic, minced

In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Adjust seasoning. Because oil and vinegar will separate, whisk the vinaigrette again before dressing the salad.

Salad

1 recipe torn bread croutons

6 oz. mixed greens (or your

favorite lettuces)

3 small bunches (about 3 oz.)

fresh basil, sliced thinly

lengthwise

18 Louisiana jumbo shrimp,

grilled with head on and kept warm

12 oz. chevre, crumbled

1 recipe (2 c.) balsamic vinaigrette

salt and pepper to taste

Wash greens. Place croutons in large mixing bowl, followed by greens and crumbled chevre. Place grilled shrimp on top of chevre to warm cheese slightly. Add basil, 1 1/2 c. vinaigrette, salt and pepper. Toss lightly; add more vinaigrette and seasoning if needed. Divide salad evenly between six plates, placing three shrimp on top of each salad.

Brisket Dry Rub

Stored away from heat and light, this rub will keep for several months.

Yield: 2 1/2 c.

2/3 c. light brown sugar

2/3 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. paprika

1/4 c. onion salt

1/4 c. celery salt

2 Tbsp. fresh cracked black

pepper

2 Tbsp. chili powder

2 Tbsp. cayenne pepper

2 tsp. mustard powder

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground allspice

Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Transfer to a glass jar and cover.

Braised Beef Brisket

Fischer pulls the brisket meat and offers it as a warm sandwich on grilled French bread with horseradish sour cream sauce.

Yield: Six to 12 sandwiches (8 oz. brisket each)

1 beef brisket (3-5 lbs.)

1 c. brisket dry rub

Rinse brisket with cold water and pat dry. Coat entire brisket with dry rub. With fatty side up, let meat stand at room temperature for at least four hours. Or, if time allows, marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours. To cook, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Set brisket fatty side-up in a roasting pan. Place pan in the center of the oven and roast 45 minutes. Lower temperature to 325 degrees and roast an additional four to six hours, or until meat pulls away from the whole brisket easily.

Breathless Martini

Yield: 1 martini (6 oz.)

3 Tbsp. cocoa powder

3 Tbsp. sugar

3 oz. Ketel One vodka

3/4 oz. creme de cocoa

3/4 oz. Godiva chocolate liqueur

3 ice cubes Chill a martini glass. In a small bowl, stir together cocoa powder and sugar. Sprinkle cocoa mixture onto a small plate. Invert the glass onto cocoa mixture and twist, coating the glass rim with cocoa. Combine vodka, creme de cocoa, Godiva liqueur and ice cubes in a mixing glass or shaker and stir. Strain into the martini glass.

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