From Denny: Chef Poppy Tooker is a New Orleans icon, much loved and respected as she is interesting. She is like a walking trivia foodie encyclopedia and she sure does relish telling the tall tales of Louisiana food and history.
Check out some of her latest trivia offerings and appearances to tantalize your mind as much as your tastebuds:
* Louisiana's Crystal Hot Sauce was used in WWI Army field rations. I'm a bigger fan of Louisiana Hot Sauce. It's milder than Tabasco and less vinegar. Goes great on eggs in the morning.
* Camellia red beans are the finest grade of red beans. Camellia buys up all the Hayward (finest top grade) beans, leaving grades A and B for the rest of the country. Hayward grade beans are named for the family that founded Camellia in New Orleans back in 1923. They still own it today.
Can we ever imagine the Monday wash day without Camellia red beans? Life might never have been the same in New Orleans. Even Louis Armstrong might not have been known for his endearing signature statement, "Red beans and ricely yours."
* Her radio show is "Louisiana Eats"
* Hosted Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin
* Hosted Alice Waters of Chez Panisse fame
* Celebrates the food of many religions like the feast day of Purim, a Jewish festival to Saint Joseph's Day and Saint Patrick's Day for the Catholics.
* Got UNESCO to recognize New Orleans as an International City of Gastronomy
Poppy Tooker is energetic, upbeat, enthusiastic and forever entertaining as she teaches you a new dish to cook. Sure works for me! :) Check out her latest offering.
Crab Calas with Remoulade Sauce
From: New Orleans Chef Poppy Tooker
Yields 18 calas
2 cups cooked rice
6 tbsp. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 lb. claw crabmeat
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. hot sauce
Oil for frying
Directions: Mix the rice and dry ingredients together thoroughly. Add the crabmeat and green onions. Add the eggs and hot sauce. Mix thoroughly into a tight batter. Drop by tablespoonfuls into hot oil (360 degrees) and fry until brown. Drain on paper towel. Serve hot with remoulade sauce for dipping.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
1 cup Creole mustard
6 green onions
1 celery heart with tops
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, (leaves only)
1/2 cup olive oil
4 tbsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. salt Juice of one lemon
Directions: Combine green onions, celery and parsley in food processor. Process together until finely minced. Add the remainder of the ingredients and process until smooth. Serve as dipping sauce for the savory calas.
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