New Orleans Cooking

By Barbara Huber

Chef and restaurateur Susan Spicer shows off her flair for mixing myriad styles of cuisine in Crescent City Cooking (Knopf, 2007). Here are a few teaser recipes from her cookbook debut to whet your appetite.

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Smoked Salmon Beignets with Brandied Tomato Sauce
Chris Granger

Smoked Salmon Beignets with Brandied Tomato Sauce

Makes 24 Beignets
Prep Time: About 35 Minutes

Vegetable oil, for frying
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups soda water
1/2 pound smoked salmon (or crayfish tails), coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper or poblano, diced
1 bunch scallions, chopped fine
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (about 1 medium lemon)
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives (or minced scallions)
Hot sauce

Sift the flour and baking powder together and whisk in the soda water to make a smooth, thick paste. Stir in the salmon, peppers, scallions, garlic, lemon zest, and chives. Add salt and hot sauce to taste. Let the batter rest 10 minutes.

Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a medium -sized deep skillet over medium-high heat. Drop batter by spoonfuls into the preheated oil and cook, turning frequently, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Drain the beignets on paper towels and serve with Brandied Tomato Sauce.

Brandied Tomato Sauce
1 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade
2 tablespoons cream
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon brandy
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or basil

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve immediately with hot beignets, or cover and chill until needed. This sauce will keep 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

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