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Best Patti Labelle Recipes

Best Patti Labelle Recipes

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Patti Labelle Shopping Tips

Choose raw fruits, vegetables, and meats, and unprocessed foods.

Patti Labelle Cooking Tips

Substitute butter for olive oil, and bake, broil, or grill instead of fry.


Patti LaBelle can cook! And we're not talking about her turbocharged, heart-stopping vocal gift.

LaBelle cooks in the kitchen as well as onstage. And she loves doing it.

People who know her well crave her soulful, spicy dishes. Oprah Winfrey, Luther Vandross, Bill Cosby and Elton John -- who loves her macaroni and cheese -- are just a few of the many people who regularly look forward to sitting down at her table.

And a lot of them have asked, pleaded really, for her recipes. Finally, LaBelle decided to put them down. The result is "LaBelle Cuisine: Recipes To Sing About" (Broadway, $25, 288 pp.), published in April.

LaBelle learned to cook the old-fashioned way. She watched her mother, grandmother, father and aunts in the kitchen.

"Every single one of them could cook like Picasso could paint, and that's no exaggeration," LaBelle says. "To my ancestors, cooking was an art, not a chore, and just the smell of their meals was enough to make you start speaking in tongues!"

Believe it or not, LaBelle was a shy child. She hated playing outside with other kids, so she stayed in the kitchen and soaked up secrets.

She got so good, she couldn't stand bad food.

And bad food is what made her start cooking for herself when she's on tour.

"Not only do I take my pans out on the road with me, (but) they're the first thing I pack," she says. "If you look in my suitcase, you'll see at least three of them right next to my gowns. I've been taking my pans on the road with me for as long as I can remember, ever since the day I ordered some eggs from room service that tasted like wet cardboard and cost me 25 bucks."

But cooking on the road isn't just to avoid bland, overpriced food.

"It's really a labor of love because after I perform, cooking is the only way I can come down from the high I'm on," she says.

To accommodate her culinary bent, LaBelle stays mostly in hotels with kitchenettes.

She describes "LaBelle Cuisine" as soul food.

"By that, I don't mean greens and grits and gravy, although they're in there, too. I mean food that soothes the soul, food that nurtures the spirit as much as it nourishes the stomach. 'LaBelle Cuisine' is feel-good food. Sit-down-at-the-table-kick-off-your-shoes-and-stay-a-while food."

LaBelle likes to use fresh herbs, hot peppers and hot sauce. She's working on developing her own hot sauce. It will be called Patti's Pepper Sauce.

"It's going to be so tangy and so well-seasoned, it's going to put all those pretenders out there to shame," she says.

The most challenging part of selecting 100-plus of her favorite dishes was keeping her sampling and tasting under control. That's especially important for LaBelle because she has diabetes. Her mother died from the disease, and LaBelle is a spokeswoman for the African American Diabetes Action Project, a national effort to educate people about diabetes and ways to control it.

She acknowledges that some of her recipes are high in fat. The key, she says, is to use common sense and avoid daily indulgence in rich foods.

Just as LaBelle gives more than a recitation of her songs at her concerts, she gives more than a collection of recipes with her cookbook. She spices it up with humorous and touching stories.

Even some of the recipe titles are fun: Geechee Geechee Ya Ya Gumbo, Make-You-Wanna Holler Maryland Crab Cakes, Say-My-Name Smothered Chicken and Gravy.

LaBelle tells how a caterer botched her potato salad recipe, which the caterer had been asked to have ready so LaBelle could talk about it on Winfrey's show.

"I didn't get a chance to warn her about the potato salad before we went on the air," LaBelle writes. "As she was giving out the recipe, I watched in horror as Oprah helped herself to a nice big spoonful. I know she wanted to choke, but to Oprah's credit, she just kept smiling and chewing the nasty potato salad as if it was the best thing in the world."

She later explained to Oprah that the caterer didn't get it right, and before LaBelle left Chicago, she made Winfrey some of the real stuff -- easy to do because LaBelle had the pots and pans back at the hotel.

LaBelle isn't the only soul diva who cooks in the kitchen as well as onstage.

Detroit's own Aretha Franklin is known to burn up the burners, too.

"I'd love to get my hands on some of her secret recipes," LaBelle says. "I've heard stories about the magic Girlfriend makes in the kitchen, and all I can say is, if it's anything like the magic she makes onstage, I want to be the first one at the table."


-1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsps. vegetable oil, divided

1 lb. andouille sausage, smoked hot links or kielbasa, cut into -1/2-inch pieces

2 large onions, peeled, chopped

2 medium green bell peppers, seeded and chopped

4 medium celery ribs, washed, chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled, minced

1 lb. fresh okra, washed, trimmed, cut into -1/4-inch-thick rounds

1 can (28 ozs.) crushed tomatoes

2 tsps. dried thyme leaves

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1 lb. boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, washed, patted dry, cut into bite-size cubes

2 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels

Optional ingredients (see note):

1 lb. crab meat, picked over to remove cartilage

1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 cups shucked oysters (about 18 oysters)

Hot cooked rice, for serving

In a large soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the sausage, onions, green pepper, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a bowl set aside.

Add the remaining -1/2 cup vegetable oil to the soup pot. Gradually stir or whisk in the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture turns light brown and smells toasty, about 5 minutes. Don't let it burn. If it does, start over with new oil and flour.

Gradually stir or whisk in the water until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the reserved vegetables and sausage and the okra, crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, thyme, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, for 1 hour. Stir occasionally to prevent the mixture from sticking and burning at the bottom of the pot. Add the chicken and corn and cook for 20 minutes. If using, add the crab meat, shrimp and oysters. Continue cooking until the shrimp are pink and firm, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the file powder, if desired. Let gumbo stand 5 minutes, remove the bay leaves and adjust seasonings if necessary.

To serve, spoon the rice into bowls. Ladle the gumbo over the rice, serve hot.

Cook's note: You may use all or just a few of the optional seafood ingredients. We tested the recipe using shrimp. File (FEE-lay) powder is a spice made from ground, dried leaves of the sassafras tree. It's used as a flavoring and thickener. Be sure to stir in the file after the gumbo is removed from the heat cooking it will give the gumbo a stringy or gummy texture.

Makes 16 cups Analysis per 1-cup serving without optional ingredients over -1/2 cup rice is 365 calories (36% from fat), 15 grams fat (3 grams sat. fat), 43 grams carbohydrate, 15 grams protein, 532 mg sodium, 31 mg cholesterol, 64 mg calcium, 3 grams fiber.

3 lbs. red-skinned potatoes, well scrubbed

6 large hard-cooked eggs, divided

1 medium red onion, peeled, finely chopped

1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

2 medium celery ribs, washed, finely chopped

2 tsps. celery seeds or more to taste

3 Tbsps. sweet pickle relish

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced, optional

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the potatoes in a large pot. Add enough salted water to cover them by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the potatoes until tender, but not mushy, about 20 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Pour out most of the water and place the pot in the sink. Run cold water over the potatoes for about 2 minutes or until they are cool enough to handle. Drain well.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into -1/2-inch cubes. Place in a large bowl. Chop four of the hard-cooked eggs and add the potatoes along with the red onion, green pepper and celery. Sprinkle with celery seeds. Gradually stir in the mayonnaise, mustard, relish and, if desired, minced jalapeno, being careful not to smash the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer to a large serving bowl. Slice the remaining 2 hard-cooked eggs and arrange on top of the salad. Sprinkle the top with paprika. Serve immediately, or chill, tightly covered, in the refrigerator, about 2 hours.

Makes about 10 cups analysis per 1-cup serving is 292 calories (50% from fat), 16 grams fat (3 grams sat. fat), 29 grams carbohydrate, 9 grams protein, 201 mg sodium, 198 mg cholesterol, 61 mg calcium, 3 grams fiber.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon hot red pepper sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

5 pounds chicken drumsticks and thighs
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the sauce: Heat the oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir in the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, hot pepper sauce, lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Bring to a simmer, stirring. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer, stirring often to avoid scorching, for 15 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the liquid smoke. Use immediately or cool completely, cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

For oven-baked chicken: Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in a large roasting pan. Brush the chicken with the oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Skim the fat from the pan juices. Spread all of the sauce over the chicken, return the pan to the oven and bake, uncovered, until the chicken is glazed and shows no sign of pink when pierced at the bone, about 15 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a large platter. Stir the sauce and juices that have accumulated in the pan and pour them over the chicken. Serve hot.

For grilled chicken: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the chicken for 45 minutes in the preheated oven.

In the meantime, build a charcoal fire in an outdoor grill and let the coals burn down until covered with white ash and medium-hot (you should be able to hold your hand over the coals for about 3 seconds). If using a gas grill, preheat on high, then adjust the temperature to medium. Remove the chicken from the oven, transfer it to the grill and cook, basting often with the barbecue sauce, until glazed, about 15 minutes.

Patti LaBelle Shows Off Her Family Kitchen Where She Created Her Famous Sweet Potato Pie

Besides her singing (perhaps you've heard some of her casual hits?), iconic artist Patti LaBelle is best known for her cooking. The singer-songwriter makes a mean sweet potato pie and has written four cookbooks that share some of her favorite homemade dishes. The kitchen that she developed all of her recipes in now belongs to her son, but she feels nostalgia whenever she walks through the renovated space.

Although changes have been made to her former home, she remembers working on her popular recipes (like her peach cobbler and buttermilk pie, to name a few) in that very space. Now, the fridge and freezer are full of some meals from her frozen food line Patti's Good Life. In his fridge, there are donut bites and banana pudding from the line, and in the freezer, there are some full meals.

"Yeah, that's right, rocking with his mother's greens, mac & cheese, black eyed peas, chicken and biscuits, beef stew, brisket stew, all of these things I created right here in this kitchen," she said.

Besides cooking for family during the recipe writing process, Patti also has fond memories in her former kitchen of cooking for other stars like Jill Scott, Andy Cohen, and Questlove.

She explained: "This kitchen brings back so many memories because whenever entertainers would come to my house, politicians or whoever, so many wonderful people. I would cook for them."

Although we may not all have the honor of getting an invite to Patti's house for a fresh meal, we can recreate that magic at home with her Patti's Good Life meals and desserts, which is the next best thing.

2. F*ck, That’s Delicious: An Annotated Guide to Eating Well

Even though the book description says it is not technically a cookbook, Action Bronson’s beautifully-photographed and annotated ode to food does include more than 40 recipes inspired by the hip-hop star’s own life. Interspersed with the full-color recipes are stories about Bronson’s fondest foodie memories, and tales from life as one of music’s most outspoken — and up-for-anything — artists.

The whole thing is a wild ride, but a useful one, that puts easy-to-learn recipes into the context of Bronson’s life and possibly yours as well.

Patti LaBelle&rsquos Sweet Potato Pie

Patti’s Favorite Pie Dough (recipe below)
All-purpose flour, for dusting
2½ lbs. sweet potatoes, scrubbed
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup evaporated milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, and preheat oven to 375°. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, and roll it out into a 13-inch round. Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan and trim the excess around the edges. Press the dough into the pan, and prick the bottom about a dozen times with a fork. Freeze 20 minutes.

2. Line the inside of the piecrust with aluminum foil and top with pie weights or dried beans. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes. Remove foil and pie weights and return to the oven for 10 more minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

3. Meanwhile, pierce the sweet potatoes all over with a fork, and place them in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until tender, about 10 minutes, turning halfway through. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Slice them in half lengthwise, scoop out the flesh and mash with a fork.

4. Beat mashed sweet potato (about 2 cups total), butter, sugar, evaporated milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Spread filling evenly in cooled piecrust.

5. Return pie to oven and bake until filling is set, about 45 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

6. Beat cream, powdered sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Serve with whipped cream.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit

Lightly oil a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients with your hands. Mix well, but don't overhandle the mixture or the meat loaf will turn out heavy. Spread evenly in the prepared pan and place on a baking sheet.

Bake until a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 165F, about 1 1/2hours.

Cool for 5 minutes before serving. Drain off the pan and unmold onto a serving platter. Slice and serve hot, with more of the salsa on the side.

Use your favorite salsa, as long as it's thick.

If you want a milder meat loaf, leave out the salsa.

On the other hand, if you want a real kick-in-the-pants loaf, add 1 tablespoon chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon ground hot red pepper to the mix.

But if you want my real secret to what makes this meat loaf a killer, I think it's using three different kinds of onions.


Step 1

preheat oven to 350. lightly grease an 8 inch square nonstick baking pan, and line it with criss crossed sheets of aluminum foil or parchment paper so that 2 inches hang over each side to create "handles". lightly grease foil, and coat with dusting of flour. turn pan upside down and tap to remove excess flour.

prepare the crust whisk together 1 cup flour, powdered sugar and salt in a large bowl. add butter, and stir to combine. knead until a smooth dough forms. crumble dough forms. crumble dough into prepared baking sheet, and press gently into and even layer. freeze 15mins.

bake crust in the center rack of the preheated oven until golden, 15 to 20mins. remove from oven and set aside.

prepare the filling: whisk together remaining 1/3 cup flour, sugar, lemon zest, juice and eggs in a large bowl until smooth. pour mixture over hot crust. return to oven, and bake until filling is lightly browned, 20 to 25mins

run a small sharp knife around the inside edges of the pan to loosen pastry. cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30mins.

lift the foil handles to remove pastry from pan. place on rack to cool completely about 30mins. cut pastry into 9 equal squares. peel off and disgard foil. just before serving, sift powdered sugar over bars.

Patti LaBelle's Chili

2 tablespoons vegetable oil *1 1/4 pound ground chuck 2 medium onions, chopped 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 tablespoons chili powder 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper *20 oz. beef broth 1 14 1/2 can diced tomatoes, with juice 1 15 oz. fire roasted crushed tomatoes *1 15 oz. can red kidney beans, drained 1 teaspoon Kosher salt freshly ground black pepper 1. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, onions, green pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef loses its pink color, about 7-8 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, oregano, and cayenne pepper and cook for 1 minute. 2. Add the beef broth, diced tomatoes with their juice, crushed tomatoes, and red kidney beans, stirring well. Bring to a simmer. 3. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.


For the crust: Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl. Add the shortening. Using a fork or a pastry blender, cut the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few pea-sized bits. Stirring with the fork, gradually add enough of the water until the mixture clumps together (you may need more or less water). Gather up the dough and press into a thick disk. If desired, wrap the dough in wax paper and refrigerate for up to 1 hour.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 13-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Fold the dough in half. Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan, and gently unfold the dough to fit into the pan. Using scissors or a sharp knife, trim the dough to a 1-inch overhang. Fold the dough under itself so the edge of the fold is flush with the edge of the pan. Flute the dough around the edge of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while making the filling.

For the filling: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the sweet potatoes and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes. Drain and run under cold water until cool enough to handle. Peel the sweet potatoes and place in a medium bowl.

Mash with an electric mixer on medium speed until very smooth. Measure 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes, keeping any extra for another use, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Uncover the pie shell and brush the interior with some of the melted butter. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the brown sugar over the bottom of the pie shell. Bake until the pie dough is set and just beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. If the pie shell puffs, do not prick it.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, mix the mashed sweet potatoes, the remaining melted butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar, the granulated sugar, eggs, half-and-half, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spread into the partially baked pie shell, smoothing the top.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until a knife inserted in the center of the filling comes out clean, about 1 ½ hours. Cool completely on a wire cake rack. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with whipped cream.

Reprinted from "LaBelle Cuisine." Copyright © 1999 by Patti LaBelle with Laura B. Randolph. Published by Broadway Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

Watch the video: Patti Labelle 2020 - Quick Meals. Happy Mothers Day! (May 2022).