Emeril's Favorite Comfort Food Recipes

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)

Ingredients

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)

Directions

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.

Pour in the meat mixture, then top with the remaining mashed potatoes.
Sprinkle with the cheese and bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 1 hour.

Remove from the oven and serve hot.

Creole Breakfast Bread Pudding

Ingredients

1/2 pound Linguisa sausage, removed from the casing and chopped

1/2 cup minced yellow onions

1/4 cup minced green bell pepper

1/3 cup sliced green onions

1/3 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup melted butter

8 cups day-old French bread, torn into 1-inch cubes

2 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 c. melted unsalted butter

8 large eggs, beaten

1/2 pound Pepper Jack Cheese, grated

1/2 pound Monterey Jack Cheese, grated

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

3/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat.

Add the sausage and cook until golden brown and the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes.

Add the onions and bell peppers, and sauté until soft, 3 minutes.

Add the green onions and stir well.

Add the white wine and reduce slightly, stirring, about 1 minute over high heat. Remove from the heat.

Place the bread in a large mixing bowl.
Add the milk and cream and stir well.

Let sit for 5 minutes.

Pour the melted butter into a 10- by 13-inch casserole dish, and coat the sides and bottom evenly. Pour any extra butter into the bread mixture.

Add the sausage mixture to the bread mixture.

Add the eggs, grated cheeses, salt, black pepper and cayenne, and quickly fold mixture together.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour.

Uncover and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the casserole from the oven and increase the temperature to 375ºF.

Spread the sour cream evenly over the top and cover with grated Parmesan.

Bake uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the casserole is lightly browned on top.

Smothered Pork Chops

Ingredients

8 thinly cut (about 1/2 inch thick) pork chops (about 3 pounds total)

2 teaspoons Emeril's Original Essence

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 cups thinly sliced onions

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

4 bay leaves

Two 14 1/2-ounce cans low-sodium chicken broth, or 3 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 cans water (measured in the chicken broth cans)

1 pound smoked sausage or andouille, cut crosswise into 1-inch slices

1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

Steamed white rice or rice pilaf, for serving

Directions

Season both sides of the chops with the Essence.

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over high heat.

Add the pork chops, 3 or 4 at a time, and lightly brown, about 2 minutes per side.

Remove the pork chops and transfer to a platter. Set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium.

Add the flour and stir constantly until the roux is the color of peanut butter, about 4 minutes.

Add the onions, salt, and black pepper.

Cook, stirring, until the onions are slightly soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, bay leaves, chicken broth, and water and bring to a boil.

Return the pork chops to the pot.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.

Add the smoked sausage and the potatoes.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves.

Remove from the heat.

Serve with either steamed white rice or rice pilaf.

Makes 4 servings (2 chops each) or 8 servings