Emeril Lagasse showed "Good Morning America" viewers how to prepare three of his favorite comfort foods. Lagasse, who lives in New Orleans and has three restaurants there, says the country needs some comforting after Hurricane Katrina. He says he knows many people who were hit hard by the storm, including many of those who work for him. He said he's looking forward to returning to New Orleans, but that it's too early to go back.
"I want to give people jobs, believe me," Lagasse said. "I want to get back there and rebuild and be a part of the community."
"My heart is with my staff. I have 400 employees in New Orleans that are just, you know, they are everywhere," he added, referring to his staff seeking refuge all over the country. "Sixty-five percent of them have lost everything: their homes, their clothes, their automobiles, everything. I want to make it happen."
Lagasse has set up a foundation to help his employees, most of whom have been located, although a few are still missing.
Lagasse said he has been called about contributing to future New Orleans festivals.
"You can't break the spirit, that's why I live there. That's why I call it home," Lagasse said.
Lagasse demonstrated how to make Alden's Grandmother's Meat and Potato Casserole, Smothered Pork Chops and Creole Breakfast Bread Pudding.
You can find all three recipes below. To print the recipes, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the "Print This Article" icon.
Alden's Grandmother's Meat and Potato Casserole
(All recipes are courtesy of Emeril Lagasse)
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds ground beef
2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
One 16-ounce can whole tomatoes, crushed with the juice
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
Add the green beans and cook until tender, about 6 minutes.
Drain the beans and put them in a large bowl filled with ice and water to cool.
Drain again and reserve.
Meanwhile, combine the potatoes and 1 teaspoon salt with water to cover in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil.
Lower to a simmer and cook until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Drain the potatoes and return to the pan.
Add the butter, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 cup milk.
Mash the potatoes until smooth but slightly lumpy and reserve.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the ground beef, season with the remaining 2 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons black pepper, and cook, stirring, until well browned, about 6 minutes.
Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the green beans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
Add the remaining 1/2 cup milk and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes.
Remove from the heat and reserve for later use.
Spread half of the potatoes in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.