Café au lait: The authentic New Orleans recipe
© 2013 Roy Benaroch, MD
Get yourself some good coffee with chicory, like Cafe du Monde or Community. It’s got to be fresh. If you don’t use up a can within a month, you need to drink more coffee.
Add six measured tablespoons to a drip coffee maker, plus 18 oz of cold water. Brew. Do not use less coffee– that would be an abomination.
Meanwhile, scald your milk. Add 2 cups of whole milk to a pot and place on medium heat. If you don’t have whole milk, you can mix skim and half-and-half, but don’t use skim alone– that would be an abomination. Leave the pot alone until little bubbles form along the edges, then turn off the heat.
Add the brewed coffee to the milk in the pot, but don’t stir. You don’t want to scrape up the milk stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add 3 heaping tablespoons of sugar and just swirl it a little. Don’t use Splenda or Nutrawhatever– that would be (you guessed it) an abomination.
Pour the milk/coffee, which is now cafe au lait, back into the coffee carafe to keep warm. But don’t wait too long. The hot plate kills the yum. Just drink it. Makes enough for 4 normal people, or one caffeine-obsessed pediatrician.
Go to New Orleans. Take the street car to Canal Street, then walk towards the river. Make a left on Decatur street, walk about 6 blocks. On your left is Jackson Square (the guy on the horse is Andrew Jackson), and on your right (past Jax Brewery) is Cafe du Monde. Go there and order a Cafe au lait and some beignets. Gaze at the art across the street and enjoy!