Thanksgiving Eats – Louisiana Eats – It’s New Orleans

This week on Louisiana Eats!, we gather around the table to delve into Thanksgiving traditions old and new. We hear about an unlikely culinary partnership between cookbook author Brandon Schultz and his cat, Lucy Schultz-Osenlund, who collaborated on a cookbook called Cooking for Two: Your Cat & You, a collection of recipes that will appeal to both man and man’s best feline friend.Brandon tells us how he and Lucy celebrate something we’re calling Catsgiving.

Then, we speak with Mark Latter, owner of Tujague’s Restaurant, to learn about the Thanksgiving Day traditions of New Orleans’ second-oldest restaurant. Serving roughly 600 diners at their Thanksgiving dinner for decades, Tujague’s has become a staple of the New Orleans holiday season.

Next, we visit with Sarah Roahen, author of Gumbo Tales, who endeavored to make the late, great Paul Prudhomme’s legendary turducken recipe in her home kitchen.

We also hear the origin story of Spinach Madeleine from its creator, Madeleine Wright. A recipe originally published in the Junior League of Baton Rouge’s cookbook, River Road Recipes, Madeleine’s dish has been a sensation across the country since 1959.

Marielle Dupre of Windowsill Pies plates four pie selections for wine pairings at Swirl Wine Bar in Mid-City.

And we join Windowsill Pies owners Marielle Dupré and Nicole Eiden as they serve up their finest with Thanksgiving wine pairings at Swirl Wine Bar in New Orleans.

We’ve got a veritable cornucopia of Thanksgiving stories to share on this week’s Louisiana Eats!

Crab and Sweet Potato Bisque
Serves 10 – 12

This lovely soup is a favorite at Tujague’s holiday celebrations. It’s always on the Thanksgiving and Christmas menus.

4 tablespoons butter

1 onion, finely chopped

1/3 red bell pepper, finely chopped

1/3 green bell pepper, finely chopped

1/3 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped

3 stalks celery, finely chopped

1 1/2 quarts Shrimp Stock

3 1-pound cans sweet potatoes, drained

1-cup heavy cream

1 pound lump Gulf crabmeat


Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a heavy 5-quart saucepot. Add the onion, bell peppers and celery. Sauté the vegetables until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the Shrimp Stock and the sweet potatoes.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, 25 to 30 minutes.

Using a blender, food processor or immersion blender, puree all ingredients until smooth. Just before serving, stir in the heavy cream and the crabmeat and cook until heated through, no more than 5 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and serve immediately.

Spinach Madeleine
Serves 6

2 packages frozen chopped spinach

3/4 teaspoon celery salt

4 tablespoons butter

3/4 teaspoon garlic salt

2 tablespoons flour

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons chopped onion

6 ounces Kraft Velveeta

1/2 cup evaporated milk

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh jalapeno peppers

1/2 cup vegetable liquor

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Red pepper to taste

Cook spinach according to directions on package. Drain and reserve liquor. Melt butter in saucepan over low heat.

Add flour, stirring until blended and smooth, but not brown. Add onion and cook until soft but not brown. Add liquid slowly, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.

Cook until smooth and thick; continue stirring. Add seasonings, peppers and cheese which has been cut into small pieces. Stir until melted. Combine with cooked spinach.

This may be served immediately or put into a casserole and topped with buttered bread crumbs. The flavor is improved if the latter is done and kept in refrigerator overnight. This may also be frozen.