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!
What turns an ordinary woman into a legend? On this week's Louisiana Eats!, we attempt to answer that question by taking an in-depth look at four inspiring women who have conquered life's challenges and become legends in their own time.
We begin with a conversation with media darling Terry Flettrich Rohe, a pioneer of New Orleans radio and television. Those who grew up in the Crescent City in the 1950s may remember Terry as "Miss Muffin" on a WDSU-TV daily children's program that she hosted for almost a decade. She was also the producer and host of "Midday," one of the network's most popular programs. With her centennial approaching, Terry remembers a life well spent and relates some previously untold tales about her behind-the-scenes influence on the culinary world.
Another New Orleans nonagenarian, Leah Chase, is a culinary giant and winner of the 2016 James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award. Leah takes us back to her childhood growing up on a strawberry farm in Madisonville, Louisiana, where she developed her amazing character and strong work ethic. She shares her wisdom and expounds on the power of women.
Then, we look outside of Louisiana to learn how Anne Willan achieved legendary success on both sides of the pond. Founder of the prestigious La Varenne Cooking School, which operated in Burgundy, France from 1991 until 2007, Anne's also a celebrated author who has received two James Beard cookbook awards.
Finally, we speak with Ella Brennan, the doyenne of New Orleans dining and matriarch of the Brennan dynasty. Ella reminisces about her brother, Owen, founder of the original Brennan's restaurant and discusses her life in restaurants, helping launch the careers of superstar chefs in the Commander's Palace kitchen, including Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse.
It's all woman and all winners on this week's Louisiana Eats!
Leah Chase's Crab Soup
1 lb. gumbo crabs cleaned (4-6 crabs)
¼ cup vegetable oil
1/8 cup flour
¾ cup chopped onions
¼ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped bell pepper
1 ½ qt. water
1 clove garlic, mined
1 tsp. thyme
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 tbs. chopped parsley
2 tsp. salt
1 lb. white crab meat
Clean crabs and cut in halves. Heat oil in a heavy soup pot. Add crabs and fry in hot oil for 10 minutes. Lower heat, remove crabs and set aside. Add the flour and stir together constantly until the flour is a light brown. Add the onions and cook together another five minutes before adding the celery and bell pepper. Slowly pour in the water, stirring constantly. Return the crabs to the pot and then add the garlic, thyme, cayenne, parsley and salt. Simmer for 30-40 minutes. When ready to serve, add the crab meat and return to a simmer before serving.