Merry Christmas! In a rare moment of commercial restraint, our regions farmers markets are closed for two successive Saturdays. Christmas Day and New Year's Day. This allows for farming families to spend time at home together like everybody else. Needless to say, weekday farmers markets remain open.
The holiday season is my favorite time to be in the French Quarter. The Old World architecture and the narrow streets seem especially evocative. Strings of lights curl around wrought iron balconies like ivy, carriageways are framed in green flocking and some gas lanterns even wear red Christmas bows as their orange flames flicker away against brick and reflect on flagstone paving.
6 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and grated 2 eggs 2 Tablespoons flour 1 teaspoon salt Pepper to taste 1 small onion, grated 1 carrot, peeled and grated teaspoon baking powder Oil for frying
Drain potatoes thoroughly. Mix all ingredients together. Drop by the tablespoon full into inch of hot oil in a frying pan. Fry until browned on both sides, turning only once so potatoes do not get soggy.
After most of the meat has been stripped from the bones, add the carcass to a stock pot with the carrot, onion and celery. (For a darker stock, you can roast the seasoning vegetables in advance and leave the peel on the onion).
1 small cheese pumpkin (or other dense variety) 6 cups sugar 8 cups water
Peel the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds and the stringy membrane that holds them in. Cut into 1 inch sized cubes. In a large, heavy pot add 1 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water for each 4 cups of pumpkin. When the sugar is dissolved, add the pumpkin, bring to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer. Cook uncovered until the liquid has dissolved and the pumpkin is reduced to jam.
4 mirliton or choyote squash 1 stick of butter 1 onion, finely chopped 1 Pound of peeled shrimp, chopped 1 Pound of claw crabmeat 2 tablespoons diced ham 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs 1 bunch thinly sliced green onions Salt and pepper to taste Additional bread crumbs and butter for topping