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By Tory McPhail

Chef Tory McPhail of the famed Commander's Palace restaurant in New Orleans joins TODAY Food to share some of his classic NOLA recipes on Hoda Kotb's birthday.

As a big fan of the Big Easy, Hoda was treated to some of her favorite foods like crispy, spicy shrimp and ham with five-pepper jelly and sweet fluffy beignets.

This was one of the first things I learned to make 25 years ago when I first got to Commander's Palace. It's sweet, sour, salty, peppery and a touch bitter all at the same time.

Beignets

Beignets

Tory McPhail

These pillowy beignets are a signature New Orleans dessert that everybody loves and are surprisingly easy to make.

If you like those Southern recipes, you should also try these:

Southern-Style Fish Fry