NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Television chef Emeril Lagasse is going green in his new cooking show, teaching viewers how to shop and cook healthy meals.
The 51-year-old chef teaches how to enhance flavors with herbs and fresh, seasonal ingredients, rather than the generous helpings of cream and butter used in his classic interpretations of Southern cuisine he is known for.
The laid-back style of the show entitled “Emeril Green” contrasts with his previous high-voltage television show in which he used catch-phrases such “Bam” and “Kick it up a notch.”
He spoke to Reuters about the show and healthy living.
Q: What can viewers expect from your new show?
A: “It teaches you how to shop and how to have a food plan. The educational aspects come out. We run into an organic farmer, a chicken grower or a dietitian. Then we go into the kitchen and I teach you how to cook.”
Q: How are the food/recipes on your show different? Are they intended to be lighter and have less “bam”?
A: “I’ve always been inspired by using fresh and seasonal ingredients. With the new show, there is an emphasis on how we can all try a little harder every day to think greener and be respectful of our environment and our resources. And a lot of people have questions about organic foods when it comes to quality, cost, taste and what it means to be organic or a sustainable food.”
Q: Any advice on how to be more green?
A: “I think the recycling thing is very important. We need to conserve more. As a country, we are very wasteful.”
Q: How are your restaurants doing, especially the ones in New Orleans?
A: “I’m still cooking at the restaurants. My focus is getting better and tighter. We are trying to do a better job in today’s economy. We are still overcoming the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans where business is still running at 65 percent. Come and see us!”
Q: What do you cook for your family?
A; “A roast chicken, a lot of fish, chicken noodle soup or a pasta dinner like pasta Bolognese. We eat a lot of fish, simply prepared with a lot of vegetables. My kids eat everything.”
SHRIMP CEVICHE (6 appetizer portions)
1/4 cup kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 lemons, juiced
2 limes, juiced
2 oranges, juiced
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced into 1/4-inch
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
2 Serrano chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup seeded and diced tomatoes
1 Hass avocado, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1/2-inch
1 tablespoon roughly chopped cilantro leaves, plus leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Tostones, flattened plantains, for serving, optional
1. Place a 1-gallon stockpot over high heat and fill with 2 quarts of water. Season the water with 1/4 cup of salt and bring to a boil. Once the water comes to a boil, add the shrimp to the pot and immediately turn off the heat. Let the shrimp sit until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the water and place on a sheet pan to cool.
2. Once the shrimp are completely cooled, chop into 1/2-inch pieces and place in a medium-sized stainless steel bowl. Add the lemon, lime and orange juices and stir in the cucumber, red onion and chilies. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Stir the tomato, avocado, chopped cilantro, and olive oil into the shrimp mixture. Allow it to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
4. Serve in small bowls, with tostones, if desired.
Reporting by Richard Leong; editing by Patricia Reaney