Fun Food For Any Occasion, But Geaux Saints!

Mary Ann Fitzmorris September 28, 2019 12:26 Eat This Now

Even if you are not having a Game Day party tomorrow, all three of these recipes will please any guest on any occasion. All of these recipes are from the cookbook Tom Fitzmorris’s New Orleans Food, and

Pasta Salad Allegro  for 8-12

This pasta salad has a distinctly Creole Flavor, along with a clear Italian accent. It was created by Chef Ron Wileman, who’s turned up in a number of great restaurants around town before starting his own, Allegro Bistro in the Entergy Building. I tried this at a charity event twenty-five years ago and flipped over it. It is the gold standard, to me. We have updated it.

2 lbs. Cheese tortellini, preferably tri-colored

2 Tbsp.  Creole mustard

½ cup red wine vinegar

1 cup olive oil

1 lb. Savoie’s andouille sausage (if you want a kick to it) or smoked sausage cut into small pieces

1 pkg. grape tomatoes halved

16 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in water a few minutes and julienned

3 cans artichoke hearts rinsed well and chopped

20-30 fresh basil leaves chopped

1 each red, yellow, and green bell pepper, chopped

I green onion sliced thin

⅔ cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

2 tsp. Dried oregano

1  Cook the tortellini in rapidly boiling water until still firm to the bite. Drain and refrigerate.

2  Whisk mustard and vinegar together in a large bowl. Add about a third of the oil, whisking until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of cold water, then gradually add the rest of the oil whisking constantly.

3  Add the remaining ingredients together, then toss in tortellini very carefully to avoid breaking the pasta. Let sit 15 minutes before serving. 

Natchitoches Meat Pies.

It is best to buy these in Natchitoches and just eat them, but it is possible to make a credible replica at home.

For the filling:

1 lb. ground round

½ green bell pepper, ½ yellow onion, 1 stalk celery, chopped into the “holy trinity”

1 8 oz pkg grated pepper jack cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except cheese and cook in a skillet (preferably cast iron) on medium heat, searing meat. When the meat is cooked drain on paper towels. Put it all back into a cast iron skillet and add cheese. When cheese is melted remove from heat and let cool. Fill pastry with meat mixture and seal.

For the crust  (from the Joy of Cooking)

5 cups all-purpose flour

2 ½ tsp. Salt

1 ½ cups chilled lard or shortening

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

1 egg

Cut half the shortening into the flour mixture with a pastry blender until it has the consistency of cornmeal. Cut the remaining half into the dough. Sprinkle the dough with 6 tablespoons ice water. Blend the water gently into the dough until it holds together.. If necessary to hold the dough together, add another tablespoon of ice water. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate two hours.

On a cutting board dusted with flour, roll out with a flour-dusted rolling pin. Cut into circles or rectangles. Fill each piece of dough with filling. Fold over and seal with egg wash. Bake at 350 until golden brown.

Spinach Dip  

This has never shown up anywhere without many requests for the recipe. I can’t claim credit for it, because the late great Steve Stonebreaker was kind enough to share it with me one night at his eponymous and excellent casual restaurant back in the early Nineties. I have tweaked it a bit.

½ stick butter

¾ whole pod of garlic chopped fine

1 whole bunch green onions chopped

4 cans artichoke hearts, rinsed well and drained, then chopped

4 pkgs chopped frozen spinach. Chop the frozen block into 1” square cubes

2 8 oz pkgs cream cheese

8 oz sour cream

⅔ container of Kraft grated Romano cheese in the plastic jar

1 8 oz pkg grated mozzarella cheese

1 lb sharp pepper jack cheese

2 T dill

1 T Tabasco

2 T Worcestershire Sauce

1  Party Size bag of Saints-emblazoned Tostitos

1 Put green onions and garlic in a Dutch oven on medium with butter and soften. Stir often with a wooden spoon to keep the garlic from overcooking.

2 Add artichoke hearts, spinach, cream cheese, sour cream, and mix well. Add Romano and mozzarella.

3 Stir in dill, Tabasco, and Worcestershire

4 Pour it all into an 11x9x4” aluminum foil pan or glass dish and cover completely with grated pepper jack.

5  Bake in the oven till cheese is bubbling and brown.