How to make tamale pie like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK   

New in NOLA’s Carlie collects Louisiana cooking info to pass along to me for this column. This week, she hit the jackpot with the September/October edition of Louisiana Kitchen & Culture magazine. The magazine is for sale at Whole Foods.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

From muffulettas to grilled oysters on the half-shell, it is jammed packed with sensational recipes.

I’m going to make a few for this column, so get ready for some exciting, tasty eating.

This week, I’ll start with tamale pie because I am too lazy to make tamales. The town of Zwolle hosts an annual tamale fiesta the second weekend in October. That’s next weekend, y’all. Wish I could be there. FYI – it’s about a 4.5 hour drive from New Orleans.

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How to make vegetarian lasagna like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK   

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

Once I found out you didn’t have to cook the noodles ahead of time, I became a big fan of homemade lasagna.

It’s true, if you have a juicy enough sauce, the noodles cook along with the rest of the casserole. What a liberating moment.

Usually, I make the “red” lasagna with lots of mushrooms and turkey instead of beef. (I’ll pass that along soon.) But today’s recipe comes from an event for which I needed to make a vegetarian version. I doubled the recipe to make two large aluminum-pan entrees, but the recipe below serves 6. This version is an adaptation from Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa).

I love making lasagna for a a pre-Thanksgiving meal as my family arrives for the holiday. Spinach/mushroom or red-sauce/turkey, it’s a great go-to with a green salad and French bread. It’s also great because you can make it ahead of time, even freeze it. Just take it out with enough time for it to “warm up” to nearly room temperature or you’ll be baking much longer than you’d like.

Enjoy!

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How to make Southern spoon bread like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK   

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

New in Nola’s leader, Carlie, reported her first taste of Southern spoon bread recently and was curious about how it’s made.

Carlie, you are in luck! I’ve discovered my great-grandmother’s recipe amongst my collection from my mother and grandmother. It looks pretty easy, and I’m going to test it out for everybody. I could use a hand-mixer for this, but I suspect “Mummy” did not, so I’m going old-school with a wooden mixing spoon.

This is a great Southern alternative to potatoes or rice. It tops well with gravy or a dab of butter or nothing at all.

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How to cook shrimp and grits like a New Orleans native

Shrimp & grits is a dish that’s gone from the mundane to haute cuisine in just a decade or so. My rendition is a bow to the famed version at City Grocery on Mr. Faulkner’s fabled Square in Oxford, Miss., although I’ve always thought City Grocery’s was too pepper-hot. I’ve adjusted this one accordingly.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

The recipe is a perfect entree for 4, plus french bread and a tasty salad.

Header image is shrimp and grits from Wishbone in Chicago. Image via flickr user Discopalace.

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How to make meatloaf like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK   

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook


I love meatloaf. I didn’t realize for many years that it should be more than shaping a pound of ground meat into a loaf and cooking it for an hour with a little bacon and catsup on top.

Praise the cooking gods that I know better now.

This easy recipe makes two large or four small loaves. It’s great for company and, especially, for leftovers to reheat or make meatloaf sandwiches, a family favorite.

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How to cook cornbread like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK   

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

Good “table” cornbread has eluded me, until now.

Sorry, Mama – your recipe works great for Thanksgiving dressing, but I’ve always wanted something lighter so I took the easy way out and used a boxed mix. Frankly, that was cheating and it had the no-no sugar in it.

Thanks to cooking guru, Alton Brown, I’ve found what I’ve been seeking. Also, I substituted buttermilk for regular milk. Use what you’ve got.

Sorry anti-glutenites, this one is not for you. But for everybody else, it’s easy and it’s delicious. I’m so glad to bring it to you.

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How to make baked rosemary chicken like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK   

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

I like to spend a lazy weekend cooking up a few things I can have for dinner during the week without having to rush home and start from scratch.

This is one of those recipes – chicken baked in the oven with fresh tomatoes and herbs out of the garden or farmers’ market. It’s also easy to make for company and won’t keep you in the kitchen very long. I’ve dubbed this dish “Chicken Margaret” after my daughter AKA New in NOLA Margaret.

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How to make dill pickles like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK   

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

Summertime is about fresh vegetables, especially from the garden or farmers’ market.

My daughter loves dill pickles and I love growing cucumbers in my little garden. But for at least a couple of seasons, I couldn’t find a recipe with the right sour/garlic/dill balance that kept the cucumbers crisp. Finally, success!

It’s easy and fun. You also can pickle other veggies like carrots, green tomatoes, green onions, green beans, okra and asparagus. That’s certainly not the only list, so use your imagination. My experience, though, calls for a little extra par-boiling for tough veggies, like green beans and especially the okra to soften up the tough exteriors.

I highly recommend prepping in your kitchen, but taking the pickle process outside onto your patio or porch. Several years ago, I acquired a really neat one-burner, gas stove at the usual big-box store in the camping section. This burner is perfect for boiling up the pickle juice outside, otherwise your house will smell like pickles for a very long time – maybe years. No kidding.

Usually, I double the pickle-juice recipe and then store what’s left over in the fridge until I need to heat it up again or add to another batch.

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How to make a grilled green tomato BLT like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK  

If you’ve never tried green tomatoes, it’s time. Including them in a BLT is delicious.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

Of course, fried green tomatoes are iconic Southern food and we’ll go into those another week, but I like to grill them for side dishes and especially for these sandwiches. I think  you’ll agree.

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