Fun Funky and Almost Famous – Louisiana Eats – It’s New Orleans

It’s a fact of life that there’s more to people than meets the eye. You may know New Orleans artist Thomas Mann for his jewelry and metal sculptures, but you may be unfamiliar with his interest in food. An accomplished cook and self-styled ovo-lacto-piscean vegetarian, Thomas gets to show off his food chops on Food Network’s new competitive cooking show “All-Star Academy” and on this edition of Louisiana Eats.

Louisiana Eats roving reporter Jyl Benson is more than just a longtime contributor to our show. She’s also a prolific food writer and, most recently, author of a new cookbook: “Fun, Funky and Fabulous: New Orleans’ Casual Restaurant Recipes.” Jyl and collaborator Sam Hanna discuss how the book came together and offer an in depth look at their approach to food photography.

Fun, Funky & Fabulous cover

Chris Boucher, industrial hemp advocate, explains the benefits of Cannabis sativa, the plant better known as Marijuana and hemp. Hemp contains no THC, the active chemical that gets marijuana users high. Chris explains why attitudes toward hemp turned sour by the 1930s and why he believes, with new research and growing interest in the product, hemp cultivation will soon become a giant industry in the U.S.

We’re taking a long look on both sides of the fence on this week’s Louisiana Eats!

Chicken Liver Mousse for all Seasons

Chef Isaac Toups, Toups Meatery

Makes about 6 cups

This versatile recipe can be adapted with other spirits and spice blends to suit the seasons: The clove and nutmeg called for here are good choices for winter. Substitute 1/4 cup Lillet Blanc for the port and the zest of one lemon for the spices for summer.

2 pounds, chicken livers, rinsed

3 sticks butter cut into 1-inch cubes, at room temperature

12 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes, at room temperature           

1/4 cup port

2 tablespoons Bourbon

2 tablespoons sugar

pinch of clove

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

salt and white pepper to taste

hearty bread

cornichons  (optional)

Cook the livers  in a medium-sized pan set over high heat until they are medium rare, about 1 minute per side. Add the port, Bourbon, sugar, clove, nutmeg, and salt. Remove the pan from the heat immediately when livers are cooked through, about 4 more minutes. Scrape mixture into a bowl; chill.

Add livers, liquid, butter, cream cheese, port, Bourbon, sugar , clove and nutmeg to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until completely smooth. Correct seasoning with salt and white pepper.

Scrape mixture into one large or several small porcelain ramekins. Chill. Serve with bread rounds, cornichons, and sliced radishes.