Chef Alon Shaya is joining TODAY to share dishes from his restaurants Saba and Miss River. The two eateries are his love letters to Middle Eastern and Louisianan cuisine, respectively — and these recipes really capture that love. He shows us how to make a smoky eggplant and pepper spread, garlicky baba ganoush, fluffy buttermilk biscuits and a whole, crispy, deep-fried chicken.
This is a real showstopper for your dinner party. It's one of those dishes that exemplifies why I love New Orleans food so much.
This recipe is the product of years spent in pursuit of the perfect biscuit, a goal I chased through conversations and cooking with various biscuit pros throughout the South. Everyone has their own unique method to get their biscuit as flaky and rich as possible, and this biscuit combines tips and tricks from several chefs I've encountered.
I can trace all of my food memories back to one moment. I was in first grade, still the new kid in Philadelphia, still trying to learn English and forget Hebrew. I opened the front door of my house one day, after school, and the scent of roasting eggplants and sweet peppers hit me. I knew immediately what that smell meant. It meant my grandparents were visiting from Israel, and my safta, my grandmother, Matilda, was cooking. For the next month anyway, I would get the feeling of family and closeness that, at that moment in my life, I didn't have.
Eggplant that's been charred to the point of no return, in so many ways, that's the aroma I associate with first falling in love with food, when Safta roasted vegetables for lutenitsa directly on the stovetop. It makes a repeat performance here, but this time, eggplant gets to be the headliner.
If you like those recipes from Alon Shaya, you should also try these: