New Orleans, La. – One of the stereotypes we endure as New Orlenanians is our dogged resistance to change. Somehow, this is supposed to be a bad thing. But when you have such rich traditions and cultural touchstones that are so particular to a place, well, why would anyone be in big rush to change them?
1 pound red beans 1 pound smoked ham hock 1 onion, chopped 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped Salt and pepper to taste 2 cloves garlic 1/2 stick margarine
Pick through the beans to remove any rocks. Wash beans and cover with water. Add onion, bell pepper, ham hock and garlic. Cook on slow fire until done, about 2 hours. Add salt, pepper, margarine and cook 5 minutes. Serve on rice with Louisiana hot sauce, French bread and butter.
New Orleans, LA – Did you know that today is composer Peter Tchaikovsky's birthday? He would have been 171 years old. If here were still here, I have a hunch that he'd be requesting his favorite Russian fish pie for dinner. Have you ever had Kulebiaka? Brought to Russia by French chefs after the War of 1812, this creamy pie features hard-boiled eggs, fish, mushrooms, and brioche or puff pastry. With wild catfish running, eggs laying, and mushrooms popping, why not celebrate Tchaikovsky's birthday with a Gulf Coast version of Kulebiaka?
With crab in one hand and kitchen shears in the other begin by removing the face about 1/2 inch, including the eye sockets and the mouth. Next turn the crab over and remove the apron.
Finally, remove the feathery gills from both sides of the crab by lifting up the pointed ends of the soft shell, pulling them away from the body and snipping them off. Make sure you cut through the fluid-filled sac right behind the face to prevent the popping that happens as they cook.
New Orleans, LA – Sweden may boast about its red lingonberries; and Michigan has its red cranberries. But, here in the Gulf Coast, soggy bottom forests produce a most unusual red berry called the Mayhaw. Its name corresponds with the time of year its trees bear fruit: May. Closely related to the Hawthorn, this prickly member of the rose family produces a red berry coveted by jelly makers and sauciers from Houston to Mobile. Pirogue is often the vehicle of choice for mayhaw expeditions to these compact shrubby trees that often reside in swamp terrain.
Fish Fillet 1 lb. can of tomatoes 1 Onion, chopped 1 Bellpepper, chopped 3 Celery stalks, chopped 1/2 cup bacon grease or oil 1/2 cup flour 2 Garlic cloves 2 1/2 cups fish stock or water 2 Tsp. Thyme 2 Bay Leaves 1 Tsp. Pepper Sauce Salt to taste
New Orleans, LA – With Easter upon us, I'd like to talk about eggs. Back in the 20th Century, we were led to believe that eggs should be white. Today, at nearly every farmers market, you'll find brown, white, green and blue eggs. The green and blue are hatched by Chilean Araconda chickens. They're the cute hens with fluffy legs. Recently, we've also learned to love French Black Copper Marans eggs. Their shells are like their name - a deep brown copper color. The variety was popularized in the French Atlantic town of La Rochelle. Here in the US, they've acquired a certain je ne sais quoi.