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Marti cooks Cajun with Musical Neuroscientist and OHSU Professor Dr. Larry Sherman: Marti's Music Kitchen Season 2 Episode 3

By MARTI MENDENHALL // Dr. Larry Sherman applies his scientific knowledge of the brain to the creative art of cooking and music. We’re making Cornbread, Cajun Crab-stuffed Mushrooms, Shrimp Jambalaya, and Bread Pudding with Bourbon Cream Sauce!

On this episode of Marti’s Music Kitchen, The FUN Music and Food Podcast, Where Anything Can Happen, we delve into the mysterious brain with Musical Neuroscientist and OHSU Professor Dr. Larry Sherman.

 “Learning and instrument has these amazing physical effects on the brain.  Like generating new cells, generating more connections in between cells, and generating more of this “myelan” substance.” (Which keeps the brain young.)

 With over 80 publications, numerous television appearances discussing topics such as the science of pleasure and love, music and the brain, he is recognized as one of the

“People who are changing our world.” In the kitchen, he applies his scientific knowledge of the brain to the creative art of cooking. We’re making Cornbread, Cajun Crab-stuffed Mushrooms, Shrimp Jambalaya, and Bread Pudding with Bourbon Cream Sauce!

 Is there anything this charmingly intelligent scientist and family man can’t do? Come with me into this former hunting lodge and let’s find out!


Dr. Sherman on TEDx Portland:











 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

⅔ cup cornmeal

1/2 cup corn flour

2/3 cup sugar

5 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt                   

1.5 cups milk

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 whole egg, beaten

 Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, corn flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; mix well, breaking up any lumps. In a separate bowl combine the milk, butter and egg and add to the dry ingredients; blend just until mixed and large lumps are dissolved. Do not overbeat. Pour mixture into a lightly oiled baking pan and bake at 350°F until golden brown, about 40-55 minutes. Remove from pan, cool and break into crumbs (not too fine, leave some coarser chunks for texture).

 Cajun Crab-stuffed Mushrooms

 1 cup crabmeat

1/2 cup cream cheese

1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

4 tablespoons Parmesan

Seasoning (see recipe below)

10 white mushroom caps

1/2 cup bread crumbs

Olive oil



1/2 cup salt

2 Tbs black pepper

2 Tbs cup garlic powder

1 tsp cayenne

 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the crabmeat, cream cheese, parsley, green onions and Parmesan. Add seasoning, to taste. Stuff the mushroom caps with the mixture and top with bread crumbs. Rub mushrooms with olive oil and dribble a little on top of mushrooms. Transfer to oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the filling is hot and melted.


Shrimp Jambalaya

 Olive oil

½ cup of chopped onions

2 cups uncooked rice

½ cup chopped green peppers

2 tsp chopped garlic

2 tsp chopped celery

4 cups water

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp chopped parsley

1 tsp paprika

16 large raw shrimp (peeled and deveined)

 Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a pot on medium heat. Sauté onions until clear. Add remaining ingredients except shrimp, stir well and cook for 1 minute, then add shrimp.  Reduce heat and cover, cooking for 35 minutes. Toss rice, cover again, cooking until rice is done.


Bread Pudding

 1 baguette

2 12 oz cans evaporated milk

1 cup water

6 eggs (beaten)

8 oz crushed pineapple

1 large apple, grated

1 ½ cups of sugar

5 Tbsp of vanilla

¼ lb of butter, softened

Tear bread into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Pour the milk and water evenly over the bread. Add the eggs, stirring. Add pineapple and apple, stir well. Add the sugar and stir. Add the vanilla and butter, stir, then pour contents into a 9” x 10” baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes.


Bourbon Sauce


3 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp flour

½ cup sugar

1 cup cream

1 Tbsp vanilla

1 tsp nutmeg

1 oz. bourbon


In a small pan on medium, melt the butter and add flour, stirring for 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar; add cream. Cook for 3 minutes. Add vanilla, nutmeg and bourbon. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Pour over bread pudding then serve.


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