On Louisiana Eats! NOLA food icon Poppy Tooker takes us into Louisiana's wide open fields, deep waters, bustling markets, and busy kitchens. Poppy's people are carrying on the traditions of Louisiana's wholly local but universally celebrated food, from farm to table, and sometimes barroom! Poppy roams the State to find the folks whose inspiration and innovation are taking the abundant wealth of Louisiana's food culture into the future. Let's eat!
On this week’s show, we’re looking at the role fishing plays in the lives of some of the greatest chefs in the South.
We begin with Susan Schadt, author of Reel Masters. Susan went fishing and caught portraits of eight renowned chefs who treasure the sport.
Next, we send you a postcard from Susan’s book launch event, where chefs and guests gathered together to enjoy incredible seafood dishes. We speak to several of the chefs at the book launch, including John Besh, John Currence, and Kelly English.
Finally, we meet Peter Kaminsky, who authored the foreword to Susan’s book. Peter is a writer, food critic, and film producer whose first love is fly fishing. Peter's interest in fishing has over the years become something of an accidental triumph, propelling him to the vanguard of gourmet food criticism.
We’ve gone fishing on this week’s Louisiana Eats! For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.
This recipe requires high-quality wild shrimp. Of course, I prefer wild Louisiana shrimp from the water.
I know. It's better to find the best shrimp than to worry about whether they've been frozen or not. Unless the shrimp come straight from the net to your kitchen, sometimes the highest quality options are frozen. This is where a trusty fishmonger makes all the difference.
You can mix up your vegetables with the shrimp, using whatevers fresh and local. I love to add cauliflower, carrots, daikon, beans, onions, militon, and/or okra.
For the Brine:
2 cups rice wine vinegar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Zest and juice of 1 orange
½ cup sugar
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
2 bay leaves
Pinch of kosher salt
COMBINE all the ingredients in a large saucepan. Add 2½ cups water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
For the Brine:
12 baby carrots
12 baby beans
12 pearl onions, peeled
12 okra pods
2 pounds boiled wild American shrimp, peeled and deveined
Pack all of the vegetables and shrimp into a very large glass jar, alternating layers. Pour the hot brine into the jar to cover. Cover the jar and let cool. Refrigerate overnight. Serve right from the jar when you're ready.
Photograph © Maura McEvoy
Recipe from My Family Table (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2011)