Letter from Judy Jurisich, whose cooking school, The New Orleans Cooking Experience, is in an old and welcoming refurbished house on Bayou Road - home to marvelous tastes, lots of good company and convivial gatherings. (The New Orleans Cooking Experience, 2275 Bayou Road | New Orleans, LA 70119, 504-945-9104 For reservations: 504-430-5274 or send an e-mail to  judy@neworleanscookingexperience.com).

“Hello Friends of the New Orleans Cooking Experience,

“We’re almost at mid-summer now, and we’re finally getting our normal daily afternoon thunderstorms boiling up out of the Gulf. They are keeping us a little cooler, but our famous humidity is still with us, as always, in the summer. But in New Orleans everyone and everything tends to be a little slower and quieter in the subtropical heat.

The banana trees are very happy these days. We have a lot of crabs and shrimp on the menus, and we’re starting to see Louisiana blueberries and the famous Ruston peaches coming in….”

And then she proceeds to give the following recipes: 

From Gerard Maras

PEACH AND BLUEBERRY COBBLER

2 cups fresh peaches, peeled, sliced ...5.peaches
1/2 pint fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 egg
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons flour
1 recipe pastry dough*
 
In a 2 qt. mixing bowl add peaches, blueberries, lemon juice and sugar.  Mix well with a spoon and let set for 5 minutes.  Blend flour into fruiit to dissolve.  
For individual cobblers, use a shallow oval ramekin, 3/4" Deep x 4" long. Roll out pastry dough 1/8" thick. Cut to shape of ramekin so when it is set in the ramekin it overlaps 1".   Fill each pastry with filling, just above the rim..  Fold pastry over to the center.
You will have a space with exposed fruit in the center.  Mix egg with water and brush the pastry with the egg wash.  Sprinkle with sugar and place in a 400 degree overn for 10 minutes.  Lower temperature of oven to 325 degrees and bake approx. another 10-12 minutes until nicely browned and filling is bubbling. Remove from oven to cool slightly, top with Vanilla ice cream and serve.
Pastry Dough
3 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 whole egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound unsalted butter...cut into small pieces...frozen
1/4 cup ice water
 
In a food processor, add flour, salt and cold butter.  Process on "Pulse", to blend the cold butter and flour quickly, resulting in a mixture resembling coarse cornmeal.  
Remove flour mixture from processor to a work bowl.  Add eggs and incorporate with a fork.  Add cold water, a splash at a time, and work dough briefly until it comes together. Gather dough together,and wrap in food film.  Refrigerate for 1 hour before using.
 
From Chiqui Collier
 
CORN MACQUE CHOUX
If you’re wondering what corn macque choux means, we’ve not found anyone who knows.  It is a Cajun dish and it might be an originally aural Cajun French translation of a Native American name.   If anyone out there knows more, please send a note.
 
8-10 ears fresh Corn, shucked
4 slices smoked bacon
1 Onion, finely minced
1/2 stick unsalted Butter
4 Tablespoons finely chopped Bell Pepper (red and green)
1 cup Heavy Cream
Salt, Black Pepper and Crystal hot sauce to taste
 
Cut kernels from the cob and then scrape cob with the back of the knife to extract the “milk” and pulp.
 
Fry bacon in a heavy skillet until crisp; drain on paper towels.  In the bacon drippings, melt butter and sauté the onions on a medium heat until translucent; add corn kernels and the bell peppers and “fry” for about 5 minutes until the corn gets some color and the onions begin to caramelize.  Reduce heat, add corn pulp and “milk” and cover.  Cook for about 3-5 minutes   Add the cream and cook, stirring frequently for about 5-7 minutes.  Season the corn with *salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.  Just before serving, crumble in the reserved bacon.
 
*NOTE:   Taste the mixture after adding the bacon to see if you need to add salt.  If mixture appears too thick, add enough milk to desired consistency.
 
Yields: 6 - 8 servings
 
Lagniappe (translation: tip):
To turn this dish into Corn Cakes simply cool the prepared Macque Choux mixture.  Stir in 2 cups of Bisquick (or any favorite buttermilk biscuit mix) and two large eggs, beaten.  The mixture should have the same consistency as a thick pancake batter.  Heat a heavy skillet that has been filled ¼” deep with vegetable oil or a combination of oil and 3 tablespoons of bacon drippings.
 
Carefully slide a heaping tablespoon of the batter into the hot oil.  Cook until the bottom of the “cake” is well browned.  Carefully turn the corn cake over and brown on the other side.  Drain on paper towels.  Serve immediately
 
These can be served with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar and a drizzle of your favorite maple syrup as a side dish for brunch or topped with a tablespoon of your favorite homemade salsa as a vegetable or an appetizer.

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