Anyone who loves the sound of Chef Emeril's voice as much as he does is going to enjoy Every Day's a Party. Yet it is something of a "big hat, no cattle" kind of book. The 125 recipes seem like reheats, like afterthoughts, flavorful and evocative though they may be. But the editorial copy is rich and thick, like a wicked cake frosting that begs for a finger swipe or two. Lagasse walks the reader through the 12 months of the year, selecting holidays and occasions out of each month on which to hang a celebration and several recipes. So you have the Sugar Bowl and Twelfth Night in January, Mother's Day and the Crawfish Festival in May, The Sugar Cane Festival and Pirogie Festival in September, and in November, let us not miss the Omelette Festival. (Does Dave Barry know about this?) The history and the tradition of Louisiana are about as exotic as anything in the U.S. is ever going to get, and the writers exploit this to great advantage. In this sense, Every Day's a Party is really more of a travel book that happens to have recipes and Lagasse's high-proof enthusiasm leaking off of every page. A sense of place and purpose come through, as well as the opportunity to taste a little bit of what the author is aiming at. You'll find Salt-and-Herb-Crusted Red Snapper and Bananas Foster Ice Cream Pie, Crawfish and Sausage Jambalaya and Emeril's Martini with Chocolate Grapes, Cold Cucumber Soup and Pecan Florentines. This doesn't sound a bit like a New England Boiled Dinner, now, does it? For which we can thank God and Emeril Lagasse for small favors. --Schuyler Ingle
From Publishers Weekly
With restaurants in New Orleans, Orlando, Fla., and Las Vegas, Nev., two shows on the Food Network and five cookbooks, Lagasse is a multimedia phenomenon. This manic, in-your-face cookbook collects Louisiana-style recipes for holidays and events, some familiar (Thanksgiving is to be celebrated with Emeril's Fried Turkey), some local (the New Iberia Gumbo Cook-Off, featuring Gumbo Ya-Ya with sausage) and some purely personal (Lagasse's parents' anniversary with his-and-hers entr?es: Mr. John's Veal Chops with Smoked Gouda Cheese Macaroni and Hilda's Mahi Mahi with Seasonal Vegetables). There is no shortage of the heavy foods for which Lagasse has become famous: Andouille Corn Dogs and a Roasted Pork and French Fry Poorboy. Lagasse (who admits to being a native of Fall River, Mass.) also includes plenty of Louisiana shellfish, such as Crawfish Pies, My Way, and Marinated Crab Claws. There are nods to the trendy (Goat Cheese-Stuffed Soft-Shell Crabs with a Pecan-Pesto Butter Sauce) and the trashy (Frito PieAbasically chili poured into a bag of corn chipsAand Sugared Popcorn). Desserts tend toward the goopy and cavity aching, such as his Chocolate Bundt Cakes with Peanut Butter Filling and Chocolate Glaze.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
From popular Food Channel staple Lagasse comes a new collection that offers a reason to celebrate at least twice a month. For the expected Christmas, Easter, and anniversary partiesAas well as the uniquely Louisianian events of the Shrimp Festival, Jazz Fest, and the Sugar BowlALagasse, Bienvenu, and Willett (Emerils's TV Dinners) offer menus, plain and fancy. Recipes vary from simple to complex, but precise instructions enable an experienced cook in a home kitchen to produce delicious results; dishes are well seasoned but not incendiary. Photos of family and friends add to the party atmosphere but don't illustrate the recipes. Personable notes on the events and recipes will inspire the reader to throw a party of his or her own. An attractive, cohesive collection; expect demand from fans, but even those who don't go for Emeril's television style will find his fourth cookbook worthwhile.ADevon Thomas, Highland Twp. Lib., MI
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Emeril Lagasse is a chef, restaurateur, and author of fifteen bestselling cookbooks including his most recent book, Farm to Fork: Cooking Local, Cooking Fresh, and Emerils New New Orleans Cooking, which introduced his creative take on Creole cuisine. He is the proprietor of twelve award-winning restaurants across the country. He is the host of The Originals with Emeril and his popular series Emeril Live, both appearing on the Cooking Channel. His latest program, Emerils Table, airs exclusively on the Hallmark Channel. In 2002, Emeril established the Emeril Lagasse Foundation to support childrens educational programs that inspire and mentor young people through the culinary arts and promote nutrition and healthy eating. www.Emerils.com
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Hot-Sauced Fried Chicken
Makes 6 to 8 servings A picnic in louisiana wouldn't be a picnic without crispy fried chicken. This rendition will knock your socks off. The chicken is soaked in a Hot Sauce
and buttermilk mixture overnight before it's fried. Don't be uneasy about the amount of Hot Sauce. I promise a lot of the heat is cooked off during frying and the flavor is great. Ingredients 1 fryer (about 4 1/2 pounds), cut into 10 pieces
1/2 cup Hot Sauce
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning Preparation Put the chicken in a Large Mixing Bowl, add the Hot Sauce, buttermilk, salt, and pepper, and stir to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours, turning the chicken pieces several times. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. In a deep cast-iron skillet, heat the vegetable oil to 360 F. Combine the flour and 2 teaspoons of the Creole seasoning in a Large Mixing Bowl. Dredge several pieces of chicken at a time in the flour, coating evenly and shaking off any excess. Fry the chicken, 4 to 5 pieces at a time, in the hot oil until golden brown, about 6 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning. Serve hot or at room temperature. ----------------------------------------- Sweet Potato Chocolate Bars
Makes 2 Dozen Bars As if you need a dessert for a halloween party, what with all the trick-or-treat candy that ends up at the house. Mr. Lou, the pastry chef at Emeril's, says these chocolate and sweet potato Bars are a must. Ingredients 1 1/2 pounds medium-size sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3 cups milk
2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups pecan pieces
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
8 ounces semisweet chocolate morsels Preparation
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Rub the sweet potatoes with the vegetable oil and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until fork-tender, 1 to 1 1/2hours. Remove from the oven and let cool, then peel and mash in a large bowl. Add to the mashed potatoes the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, vanilla, eggs, and 2 1/2 cups of the milk and mix well. Set aside. Lower the oven temperature to 350 F. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and pecan pieces in a food processor and process for about 1 minute, to make a fine meal. With the motor running, gradually pour the melted butter through the feed tube and process for 1 minute. Transfer the crumb mixture to a 13 X 18-inch baking pan and, using your fingers, firmly press the crumbs evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Pour the Sweet Potato Mixture
into the crust and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Put the chocolate morsels and the remaining 1/2 cup milk in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Spoon the chocolate in three rows, about 2 inches apart, lengthwise over the Sweet Potato Mixture. Then, with a knife, make a zigzag pattern to marbleize the chocolate and the Sweet Potato Mixture
. Bake until the edges are browned and the filling is set, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. To serve, cut into bars.