Saturday, August 29, 2009

Laissez le bon temps rouler

Today is the four year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. I don't like referencing it as an anniversary because I believe anniversaries should be reserved for remembering and celebrating happy occasions. I wasn't going to talk about the significance of August 29, 2005 on this blog because I didn't want to focus on the negative memories associated with that day. But as I read through my email this morning I came across a newsletter from a T-Shirt company in New Orleans called Dirty Coast Press. They started their company after the storm and have made it their goal to "create designs that speak to the New Orleans & Gulf Coast experience, state-of-mind, memory and sense of humor." If you aren't from New Orleans or haven't lived there before then you probably won't find much humor in their designs - if you are, you will probably go broke ordering their shirts and stickers because the relatability is so extreme.

One of their most famous designs is one that reads, "Be a New Orleanian, Wherever You Are". Since my husband and I no longer live in New Orleans, this is a phrase that we love and have become very fond of. We have tons of stickers from Dirty Coast with this catch phrase and we have them proudly displayed on several of our possessions. It means something to me. Actually, it means a lot to me. No matter where I live I will always be a New Orleanian. That is the culture I was born and raised in and the culture that still flows through my blood no matter which state I lay my head at night. I love the Crescent City! I love their food, I love that my family lives there, I love the French Quarter, I love the Garden District, I love Lakeview, I love Midcity, I love that I went to school there, I love that every time I visit I run into someone I know in the the most random of places, I love that it rains everyday in the summer around 3pm, I love that it never gets colder than 50 degrees, I love that school kids get a whole week off for Mardi Gras, I love that people have adored the Saints even when it was embarrassing to support them, I love crawfish boils, I love Audubon Park, I love street cars, I love that I have never stopped wanting to live there and I love that I know one day I will return. New Orleans is where I belong.

When I read the last line of the Dirty Coast newsletter this morning I knew I couldn't let today go by without talking about New Orleans and what it means to me. I have mentioned before the hardships that my family and I endured because of the infamous hurricane and that is not what I want to focus on today. I want to heed the advice of Dirty Coast press and "And on this day of all days, remember to be a New Orleanian, wherever you are."

Andouille SpoonBread
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

10 Servings

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound andouille or other pork sausage, finely diced
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup seeded and finely chopped green bell peppers
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions, green parts only
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the oil in a medium-size saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the onions, bell peppers, salt and cayenne and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of the parsley and green onions. Cool the mixture for 10 minutes.

Add the butter to a large cast iron skillet. Place in the oven and melt the butter.

Whisk the egg yolks, milk and cream together in a large mixing bowl. Add the cornmeal and whisk until the batter is smooth.

Fold the sausage mixture into the batter.

In another mixing bowl, whip the egg whites with an electric mixer until very stiff and peaks form, then fold into the sausage batter.

Pour the batter into the skillet

and sprinkle the top with 1/4 cup of the cheese.

Bake until is sets, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Spoon onto a serving plate and serve. Garnish with remaining cheese and parsley.


bluang3lbby said...

nothing can ever change once you lived in new orleans. i had left years before katrina hit but all my family was still there. i will never forget that day as long as i live either.

that looks so good...may have to try that one day.

Ms. Aliza said...

As someone from DC who now lives in Nola I couldn't agree more. Nola is truly an amazing place.

Kerstin said...

What a lovely tribute post to NOLA - I hope you're able to move back at some point. I'm in Boston now and completely miss Chicago, and I've been here several years now, but it's just not the same.

Woody said...

This was so good. I have eaten it for breakfast the last 3 days.

Stacey T said...

Great post Biz!