Boudin Sausage Balls

Makes about 21/2 dozen. Recipe is courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, copyright MSLO, Inc., all rights reserved.

11/4 lbs. pork butt, cut into 1-inch cubes

1/2 lb. pork liver, rinsed in cool water

1 qt. water

1/2 cup chopped yellow onions

1/4 cup chopped green bell peppers

1/4 cup chopped celery

1 tsp. chopped garlic

2 tsps. salt, divided

1 tsp. cayenne, divided

3/4 tsp. ground black pepper, divided

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley leaves, plus extra for garnish

1/2 cup chopped green onion tops (green part only)

3 cups cooked medium-grain rice

6 cups vegetable oil, for frying

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tbls. plus 1 teaspoon Essence, plus more for dusting (see recipe)

2 large eggs

2 tbls. water

1 cup fine dry bread crumbs

Creole Tartar Sauce (see recipe)

1. To make the boudin sausage, in a large saucepan, combine the pork butt, pork liver, water, onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the pork and liver are tender, 11/4 to 11/2 hours.

Remove from heat and drain, reserving the broth.

2. Using a meat grinder with a 1/4-inch die or in a food processor, grind the pork mixture, 1/2 cup parsley and 1/2 cup green onions. Turn the mixture into a mixing bowl. Stir in the rice and the remaining salt, cayenne and black pepper. Add the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, to make a smooth, firm paste, and mix thoroughly. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Let sit until cool enough to handle.

3. In a large pot, preheat the vegetable oil to 360 degrees.

4. In a shallow bowl, combine the flour with 1 tablespoon of Essence. In another bowl, beat the eggs with the water and 1 teaspoon of Essence to make an egg wash. In a third bowl, season the bread crumbs with the remaining tablespoon of Essence.

5. Shape the pork and rice mixture into balls the size of walnuts. Dredge the pork balls first in the flour, then dip in the egg wash, letting the excess drip off. Dredge the balls in the seasoned bread crumbs, turning to coat evenly.

6. Using a slotted spoon, slide the balls in batches into the oil and fry, turning, until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from the oil and drain on a paper-lined plate. Season lightly with Essence.

7. To serve, place several boudin balls on a plate and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with Creole Tartar Sauce on the side.

Emeril’s Essence Creole Seasoning

Makes about 2?3 cup. Recipe is courtesy Emeril Lagasse, copyright MSLO, Inc., all rights reserved. Mix up a batch of this seasoning and keep it on hand for giving just about any savory dish a “kicked-up” flavor.

21/2 tbls. paprika

2 tbls. salt

2 tbls. garlic powder

1 tbl. black pepper

1 tbl. onion powder

1 tbl. cayenne pepper

1 tbl. dried leaf oregano

1 tbl. dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

Creole Tartar Sauce

Makes 11?3 cups. Recipe is courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, adapted from “Louisiana Real and Rustic,” William Morrow Publisher, New York, 1996, copyright MSLO, Inc., all rights reserved.

1 egg (see note)

1 tbl. minced garlic

2 tbls. fresh lemon juice

1 tbl. chopped parsley

2 tbls. chopped green onions

1 cup olive oil

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tbl. Creole or whole-grain mustard

1 tsp. salt

1. Put the egg, garlic, lemon juice, parsley and green onions in a food processor and puree for 15 seconds. With the processor running, pour the oil through the feed tube in a steady stream. Add the cayenne, mustard and salt, and pulse once or twice to blend.

2. Cover and let sit for 1 hour in the refrigerator before using. Best if used within 24 hours.

Note: The American Egg Board states: “There have been warnings against consuming raw or lightly cooked eggs on the grounds that the egg may be contaminated with salmonella, a bacteria responsible for a type of foodborne illness. Healthy people need to remember that there is a very small risk and treat eggs and other raw animal foods accordingly. Use only properly refrigerated, clean, sound-shelled, fresh, grade AA or A eggs. Avoid mixing yolks and whites with the shell. …”