Hurricane Katrina Loses To Taste Buds

Dec 18, 2008

Times-Picayune culinary sleuths Marcelle Bienvenu and Judy Walker are helping local foodies rebuild post-Katrina — one recipe at a time. They stopped by the WWNO studios to talk to our Diane Mack about their latest project: Cooking Up a Storm.

Recipes from Cooking Up A Storm, reprinted with permission from editors Marcelle Bienvenu and Judy Walker

[Makes 1 dozen large or 3 dozen miniature patties]
4 dozen oysters with their liquor
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 medium onion, coarsely grated
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
cup chopped canned mushrooms with their juice [optional]
Black pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 dozen large or 3 dozen miniature pastry shells
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Cook the oysters in their liquor by bringing the liquor to a boil
in a medium saucepan, and then simmering the oysters for
10 minutes. [If you are using miniature pastry shells, finely chop
the oysters before cooking.]

Melt the butter in another medium saucepan over medium heat
and saute the onion until soft. Blend in the flour, stirring until the
mixture is smooth. Add the mushrooms and their juice [if using],
salt and black pepper to taste, cayenne, parsley, lemon juice and
the oysters. Cook for 5 minutes. Spoon the mixture into the pastry
shells and bake for 5 to 8 minutes until lightly browned. Serve warm.

[Makes about 12 servings]
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
6 medium sweet potatoes [about 5 pounds], peeled
And cut into 1-inch cubes
8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 to 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded,
and finely chopped
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon kosher salt
teaspoon cayenne pepper
teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Finely chopped green onions [green part only] for garnish

Heat the oil for about 1 minute in a 6-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add the onion and garlic, and saute until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and stock, and bring the
moisture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat, and use an immersion blender to puree the mixture in the pot, or puree
the soup in batches in a food processor and return the mixture to the pan. Add the jalapenos, corn, and
molasses, stirring well. Season with the salt, cayenne and black pepper, and add the cinnamon. Bring the soup
to a simmer and serve immediately, garnished with green onions.

[Makes 2 to 4 servings]
2 dozen large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley [fresh basil is a nice summer substitute]
3 cloves garlic, minced
teaspoon red pepper flakes
cup fresh bread crumbs
cup Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Put the shrimp in a shallow baking dish and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients except the butter. Cover the shrimp with the bread crumb mixture, then drizzle with the melted butter. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.