Heroes, Villains & Hamantaschen

Heroes, Villains & Hamantaschen

Another Carnival season is behind us, but the Jewish festival of Purim is right around the corner. First, we learn all about Purim with the help of Benay Bernstein. She provides an introduction to this joyful day – one unlike any other on the Jewish calendar.

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Holiday 2014: When Hanukkah & Christmas Collide

Holiday 2014: When Hanukkah & Christmas Collide

 Scholar Michael Twitty says that during the holidays, "everybody's stuff is all mixed up." He speaks from experience: Michael's connected to Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa celebrations that keep him busy this time of year. He's one of the many guests who'll sit at our table to discuss how their holiday traditions are kept alive and why food is often at the center of those traditions. 

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A Festive Chanukah Celebration

We're celebrating Chanukah on this week's Louisiana Eats! First, we'll hear from Michael Twitty about the overlapping food customs between his African-American heritage and his Jewish faith. Then, Joan Nathan returns to the program to talk about Jewish culinary influences across the South. Plus, Andrew Zimmern recounts stories from around the world.

Since they're prepared in hot oil, latkes are often thought of as a perfect way to commemorate the miracle of Chanukah.

Since they're prepared in hot oil, latkes are often thought of as a perfect way to commemorate the miracle of Chanukah.

Michael Twitty's Southern Latkes

2 cups peeled and shredded Yukon gold or Russet potatoes

1 tablespoon grated onion

1 tablespoon of chopped celery

2 tablespoons of green onion

1 small minced garlic clove

1 pinch of thyme

1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper –powder or flakes

3 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, matzoh meal or potato starch

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup peanut oil for frying–canola or vegetable oil if you have allergies…

Directions

Wring the potato shreddings in a cheesecloth, and repeat several times to extract as much moisture as you can. Then, in a medium bowl stir the ingredients together.

In a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot. Most recipes call for between 350-375 degrees.  Place a heaping tablespoon and a half of the potato mixture into the hot oil, pressing down on them to form 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick patties. Brown on one side, turn and brown on the other. Let drain on paper towels. Serve hot with an extra dusting of hot pepper and a few slices of green onion.  

These latkes can also be served with a dip like applesauce, sour cream, or sweet chili sauce.

From the Big Apple to the Big Easy

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Culinary historian Michael Twitty harvests rice in South Carolina. Twitty talks about exploring his ancestry on The Southern Discomfort Tour.   CREDIT MICHAEL TWITTY

Culinary historian Michael Twitty harvests rice in South Carolina. Twitty talks about exploring his ancestry on The Southern Discomfort Tour.

CREDIT MICHAEL TWITTY

On this week's Louisiana Eats!, Poppy hears expert advice from a bartender, a culinary historian, and a doctor. First, New York City bartender Don Lee discusses the science of mixing drinks in the Big Apple. Then, Michael Twittytalks about his travels along the Southern Discomfort tour. Finally, Dr. Gourmet returns with advice about keeping healthy in the new year.

Deviled Eggs (Serves 6 - 12)

6 hardboiled eggs

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon Creole mustard

1 tablespoon finely diced tasso or ham

1 green onion, finely minced

Salt and hot sauce to taste

Paprika

Peel eggs and cut in half through the middle of the egg instead of the usual length of the egg.  (This way the deviled eggs will fit into egg cartons for easy transportation.)  Remove yolk and mash together with softened butter and Creole mustard. Mix in tasso and green onion. Then, season with salt and hot sauce to taste. 

Put stuffing in a pastry bag or a plastic zip lock bag with the tip cut off.  Pipe filling into egg halves and place back into egg carton.  Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika.  Refrigerate eggs but allow them to cool to room temperature when serving.

You’ll want to collect some washed, empty egg cartons to bring dozens of these delicious eggs with you to any celebration.  Also, stick a toothpick in each carton to help lift them out of the carton when serving.