"It is good! It is good (voice cracking)! It is good! Pigs have flown! Hell has frozen over! The Saints are on their way to the Super Bowl." Those words spoken by Jim Henderson, voice of the New Orleans Saints, sparked the beginning of an amazing - long-awaited - feeling for Saints fans.
Chef Eric Wingerter, former owner of the Louisiana Deli, is one of those very proud fans. Talking with him made me catch the "who dat?" fever - I couldn't stop smiling!
He said that other than the day his kids were born, Super Bowl Sunday 2010, "will be the best day of my entire life!"
Saints fans have waited 42 years for this day, every year true fans would say, "There's always next year!" And, it is happening - Who dat? Mardi Gras came early!!
Chef Wingerter said that he talks to his friends back in New Orleans and throughout Louisiana and the incredible warmth and pride that he feels has swelled to fill the hearts of all Saints fans. His friends told him that the night after the game - you couldn't move, but everyone got out of their cars and was hugging in all parts of New Orleans. The next morning it was reported that there were no incidents of violence in the city.
He said it is hard to describe how he feels, but it is incredible. "I know I won't be able to sleep tonight," and tomorrow Chef Wingerter plans to watch the game at home with his family. "I want to be able to say where I was when I watched the Saints play in the Super Bowl."
One of the menu items Chef Wingerter will be making for his family is Natchitoches Meat Pies. He uses the recipe from Chef John Folse.
According to his website, "Natchitoches, La., is known for its meat pies, which are turnovers filled with ground meat and seasonings. The original Louisiana version is believed to have been developed by the Natchitoches Indians and improved upon by the Spanish."
Natchitoches Meat Pies
• ½ pound ground meat
• ½ pound ground pork
• ½ cup cooking oil
• ½ cup chopped onions
• ½ cup chopped celery
• ¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
• ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
• 1 tbsp diced garlic
• 2 cups beef stock (see recipe)
• 2 9-inch pie shells
• 1 egg
• ½ cup water
• salt and cracked black pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In a heavy-bottomed sauté pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Sauté beef and pork until golden brown, stirring constantly, until all liquid has evaporated. Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté three to five minutes or until vegetables are wilted. This should cook slowly for about one hour, adding beef stock to mixture to prevent sticking. Season to taste using salt and pepper. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
3. Roll pie dough into circles and cut into halves. Spoon a generous portion of the cooked meat mixture into the pie shells. Brush a little egg-wash around the edge of the shell, fold over and press the edges with a fork similar to apple turnover.
4. Place on a greased cookie sheet or pan. Make small slits in dough to vent steam, egg-wash entire pie and bake thirty minutes at 400 degrees. Pie may also be deep-fried. NOTE: Chef Wingerter deep fries his for about 3-4 minutes.
Thanks for your time Chef and for sharing that great feeling! Enjoy these next couple of days….WHO DAT?!