Thumbs horizontal

Thumbs horizontal

The word was out that Natchitoches was known for more than
Northwestern State football. The film "Steel Magnolias" was filmed
around town, which is evident in Lasyone’s restaurant. The joint has
pictures of Darryl Hannah, not to mention Lorne Greene and other sorted
celebs.

Lasyone’s is famous for its Natchitoches meat pie. So the
traveling party from Fargo had to check it out. Seven of us ordered the
same thing and the review: thumbs horizontal. Nothing great, but
nothing bad. If anybody in the Midwest wants to try it, here’s the
recipe.

Natchitoches Meat Pies
Lasyone’s Meat Pie Kitchen – Natchitoches, LA
Gourmet January 1996

6 ounces ground beef
6 ounces ground pork
1/4 cup chopped scallions
2 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
4 cups plus 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1 cup milk
Vegetable oil for deep-frying

In a large heavy skillet combine beef, pork, scallions, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and spices and cook over moderate heat, stirring and breaking up lumps, until meat is just cooked through (do not overcook).
Sift 2 1/2 tablespoons flour over meat mixture and stir well. Remove skillet from heat and cool filling to room temperature. Drain off any fat.
Into a bowl sift together remaining 4 cups flour, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and baking powder. With a pastry blender or your fingertips blend in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg and milk and toss until incorporated. Form dough into a ball.
On a floured surface with a floured rolling pin roll one third of dough into a 14-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. With a 5 1/2-inch round cutter cut out 4 rounds and stack between sheets of wax paper. (My friend Mrs. Cloutier says she uses the top of an old coffee pot as a cutter.) Roll and cut out 8 more rounds in same manner with remaining dough, stacking rounds between sheets of wax paper.
Put a heaping tablespoon of filling slightly off-center on each pastry round.
With fingertips dipped in water dampen edge of pastries and fold over to form a half circle, enclosing filling.
With a fork dipped in water crimp edges of pastries and prick tops of pies once or twice.
In a deep heavy kettle (10 inches in diameter) heat 1 1/2 inches oil to 350 degrees F. on a deep-fat thermometer and fry pies, 3 at a time, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 2 minutes.
Transfer pies as fried with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Makes 12 pies (cocktail-size meat pies can be made by cutting smaller rounds and using less filling per pie).

Personally, I much prefered the Bayou catfish at Mama’s grill.

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