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Cajun & Creole Cooking


Down South: Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything

Down South: Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything Lowest new price: $21.27
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Author: Donald Link

Perhaps best known as the James Beard Award-winning chef behind some of New Orleans’s most beloved restaurants, including Cochon and Herbsaint, Donald Link also has a knack for sniffing out a backyard barbecue wherever he travels and scoring an invitation to sample some of the best food around. In Down South he combines his talents to unearth true down home Southern cooking so everyone can pull up a seat at the table and sample some of the region’s finest flavors.
     Link rejoices in the slow-cooked pork barbecue of Memphis, fresh seafood all along the Gulf coast, peas and shell beans from the farmlands in Mississippi and Alabama, Kentucky single barrel bourbon, and other regional standouts in 110 recipes and 100 color photographs. Along the way, he introduces all sorts of characters and places, including pitmaster Nick Pihakis of Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ, Louisiana goat farmer Bill Ryal, beloved Southern writer Julia Reed, a true Tupelo honey apiary in Florida, and a Texas lamb ranch with a llama named Fritz.
     Join Link Down South, where tall tales are told, drinks are slung back, great food is made to be shared, and too many desserts, it turns out, is just the right amount.

Interview with Donald Link

Q. Your last cookbook, Real Cajun, was a celebration of the culture in which you grew up. With Down South, what made you decide to get out of your comfort zone, so to speak?

Growing up I had a strong influence from my Mother's father who grew up in Alabama. When it comes right down to it, I probably ate more Southern-style food growing up than Cajun food. We didn't take a lot of trips anywhere to speak of growing up except for to the Redneck Riviera. My aunt Cynthia had a house (trailer actually) on the waterfront in Gulf Shores, Alabama, so we would eat with her and at other funky restaurants on the Gulf Coast. I've also met a lot of other Southern chefs and have been able to see very distinct subcultures of southern food.

Q. I know you routinely go to France and Italy, where you rent houses, shop the markets, and cook. And before you opened your fabulous new seafood restaurant Pêche, you and your crew went to Spain and to Uruguay for inspiration. Tell us about how those experiences translate into the cooking you do in your restaurants and books.

My favorite thing to do when I travel anywhere is to cook in those locations with their regional ingredients. People think I'm crazy to cook on vacation but I tell them that cooking is why I got into this business in the first place. It is actually one of my favorite things to do. There is no way to replicate the cooking from my house or even my restaurant. The ingredients, terroir, dairy, meats, etc., are all unique in different parts of the world with very unique flavors. Taste the butter in France or the meat in Uruguay and you'll immediately see what I mean.

Q. You also travel a little closer to home--as in the places showcased in the new book. Tell us about the trips and the influences that inspired Down South.

The Southern coast was probably the most inspiring of the trip. It's very difficult to find the old-school places that I remember growing up, but there are still a few. Most of the area has been taken over by some sort of crab-trap, generic-named restaurant serving frozen crab from Alaska. Just like the food overseas, the real finds on the Gulf Coast are the markets and the fresh seafood and making my own food with those ingredients. Burris Farm Market and Joe Patti's are great examples of this.

Q. The subtitle of the new book references pork, shrimp, and bourbon, but there is clearly a whole lot more inside. What made you decided to pull those three ingredients out?

When I first set out on this book, it occurred to me that most of my forays through the South involved some sort of pork and almost always ended up with bourbon, and on a few occasions the day started with bourbon. The shrimp part came after the great Gulf Coast trip. Whereas a lot of Southerners hunt religiously, my dad and I did a lot of fishing and shrimping.

Q. This is a gorgeous book with stunning photographs. Why did you feel like it was important to shoot each chapter on location rather than in a studio?

I've never been comfortable with studio shots. I don't feel it really represents the soul of the food I cook. Shooting on location with natural light always brings about a real and authentic sense of place to the food. The book is really telling a story about food. I think it would be hard to write about one's time in Spain if you've never been there. I feel the same about food and the photos that go with it.

Q. It really feels like "Down South," to borrow your title, is really at the forefront (or maybe it's the engine) of the current national food scene--a trend driven in large part by remarkable chefs such as yourself. One of my favorite new restaurants in Manhattan, Maysville, is named for the town in Kentucky where bourbon was invented, and it has some of the best little grits cakes I've ever put in my mouth. The chef isn't Southern but his influence clearly is. First, do you agree that Southern cooking has moved to the front of the culinary pack? And if so, why do you think that is?

For a long time, I think Southern food was considered a type of peasant fattening food. I think chefs now are seeing it's not all chitlins and cornbread. Southern food is, in my opinion, the most distinct food culture the United States has. It has a real history and a solid technique. I find the real trend going on right now is what is considered real. Early in my career at Herbsaint, I had moved back from a three-year stint cooking French California food in San Francisco and was hell bent on doing the same in New Orleans. I felt like the food I grew up with would never be received in an upscale dining situation. Then I came around and realized that cooking Southern and Cajun style was my God-given birthright, and there was no reason that I shouldn't let that come to the forefront of my cooking style.

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Miss Kay's Duck Commander Kitchen: Faith, Family, and Food--Bringing Our Home to Your Table

Miss Kay's Duck Commander Kitchen: Faith, Family, and Food--Bringing Our Home to Your Table Lowest new price: $7.19
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Author: Kay Robertson
Brand: Duck Dynasty

Writing a cookbook for people who love good food has been a lifelong dream for me—and I’m so happy to be sharing some of our family’s favorite recipes with you! In this book you’ll find everything from Jase’s Favorite Sweet Potato Pie to Phil’s own special recipes, like his scrumptious Crawfish Fettuccine. There’s “girly” food for a gathering of your best girlfriends, like Aunt Judy’s Cranberry Salad, as well as dishes straight from the hunt like Boiled Squirrel and Dumplings.

In addition to more than one hundred specially chosen recipes, I’ve included old family snapshots of the days before the Duck Dynasty® series on A&E® and stories of our family and how we live. The dinner table has long been one of our favorite places for telling stories, and there’s always competition to see who can dish out the wildest story. We believe that food and cooking bring people together—it’s brought our family together for generations, and it can do the same for yours. Gather your family around the table and serve up delicious home-cooked meals with recipes like . . .

• Willie’s Famous Chicken Strips
• Melt-in-Your-Mouth Biscuits
• Cheesy Corn Casserole
• Fresh Strawberry Pie
• Best Brisket Ever
• Crawfish Balls
• Creamy Green Grape Salad
• Papaw Phil’s Homemade Ice Cream

Join with our family as we create lasting family traditions that will warm the hearts and bellies of those you love. Let’s do it together.

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Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link's Louisiana

Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link's Louisiana Lowest new price: $19.09
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Author: Donald Link

An untamed region teeming with snakes, alligators, and snapping turtles, with sausage and cracklins sold at every gas station, Cajun Country is a world unto itself. The heart of this area—the Acadiana region of Louisiana—is a tough land that funnels its spirit into the local cuisine. You can’t find more delicious, rustic, and satisfying country cooking than the dirty rice, spicy sausage, and fresh crawfish that this area is known for. It takes a homegrown guide to show us around the back roads of this particularly unique region, and in Real Cajun, James Beard Award–winning chef Donald Link shares his own rough-and-tumble stories of living, cooking, and eating in Cajun Country.

Link takes us on an expedition to the swamps and smokehouses and the music festivals, funerals, and holiday celebrations, but, more important, reveals the fish fries, étouffées, and pots of Granny’s seafood gumbo that always accompany them. The food now famous at Link’s New Orleans–based restaurants, Cochon and Herbsaint, has roots in the family dishes and traditions that he shares in this book. You’ll find recipes for Seafood Gumbo, Smothered Pork Roast over Rice, Baked Oysters with Herbsaint Hollandaise, Louisiana Crawfish Boudin, quick and easy Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits with Fig-Ginger Preserves, Bourbon-Soaked Bread Pudding with White and Dark Chocolate, and Blueberry Ice Cream made with fresh summer berries. Link throws in a few lagniappes to give you an idea of life in the bayou, such as strategies for a great trip to Jazz Fest, a what-not-to-do instructional on catching turtles, and all you ever (or never) wanted to know about boudin sausage. Colorful personal essays enrich every recipe and introduce his grandfather and friends as they fish, shrimp, hunt, and dance.

From the backyards where crawfish boils reign as the greatest of outdoor events to the white tablecloths of Link’s famed restaurants, Real Cajun takes you on a rollicking and inspiring tour of this wild part of America and shares the soulful recipes that capture its irrepressible spirit.

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In a While, Crocodile: New Orleans Slow Cooker Recipes

In a While, Crocodile: New Orleans Slow Cooker Recipes Lowest new price: $14.36
Lowest used price: $64.85
List price: $21.95
Author: Patrice Kononchek

Many never seem to have the time to make good-quality meals for their families. A slow cooker is a great solution. In this convenient cookbook, favorite New Orleans recipes have been adapted for cooking in this popular appliance.

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My New Orleans: The Cookbook

My New Orleans: The Cookbook Lowest new price: $23.74
Lowest used price: $21.39
List price: $45.00
Author: John Besh
Brand: Andrews McMeel Publishing

My New Orleans will change the way you look at New Orleans cooking and the way you see World-famous chef John Besh. It's 16 chapters of culture, history, essay and insight, and pure goodness. Besh tells us the story of his New Orleans by the season and by the dish. Archival, four-color, location photography along with ingredient information make the Big Easy easy to tackle in home kitchens. Cooks will salivate over the 200 recipes that honor and celebrate everything New Orleans. Bite by bite John Besh brings us New Orleans cooking like we've never tasted before. It's the perfect blend of contemporary French techniques with indigenous Southern Louisiana products and know-how. His amazing new offering is exclusively brought to fans and foodies everywhere by Andrews McMeel. From Mardi Gras, to the shrimp season, to the urban garden, to gumbo weather, boucherie (the season of the pig), and everything tasty in between, Besh gives a sampling of New Orleans that will have us all craving for more. The boy from the Bayou isn't just an acclaimed chef with an exceptional pallet. Besh is a chef with a heart. The ex-marine's passion for the Crescent City, its people, and its livelihood are main courses making him a leader of the city's culinary recovery and resilience after the wrath of Hurricane Katrina.

Product Description

My New Orleans will change the way you look at New Orleans cooking and the way you see World-famous chef John Besh. It's 16 chapters of culture, history, essay and insight, and pure goodness. Besh tells us the story of his New Orleans by the season and by the dish. Archival, four-color, location photography along with ingredient information make the Big Easy easy to tackle in home kitchens. Cooks will salivate over the 200 recipes that honor and celebrate everything New Orleans.

Bite by bite John Besh brings us New Orleans cooking like we've never tasted before. It's the perfect blend of contemporary French techniques with indigenous Southern Louisiana products and know-how. His amazing new offering is exclusively brought to fans and foodies everywhere by Andrews McMeel.

From Mardi Gras, to the shrimp season, to the urban garden, to gumbo weather, boucherie (the season of the pig), and everything tasty in between, Besh gives a sampling of New Orleans that will have us all craving for more.

The boy from the Bayou isn't just an acclaimed chef with an exceptional palate. Besh is a chef with a heart. The ex-marine's passion for the Crescent City, its people, and its livelihood are main courses making him a leader of the city's culinary recovery and resilience after the wrath of Hurricane Katrina.

An Introduction to My New Orleans from John Besh

Dear Friends,

This book is the story of a dreamy, starry-eyed boy brought up in the shadows of New Orleans, surrounded by cypress knees and tupelo trees, good dinners and great friends. My life has been dramatically shaped by our multicultural heritage. Everything that I cook and eat, see and smell, reminds me of where I come from and more or less dictates where I’m going.

I grew up in Slidell, Louisiana, across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans. My childhood revolved around the lake, and I spent many hours shrimping in its waters and fishing along its shores. I learned to cook from my mom and my grandmother, and from the men I hunted with, who held that if you hunt it and kill it, a boy like me had better know how to clean it and cook it. Ours was a house of great food--we celebrated everything from births to deaths around great food. My ideas of New Orleans's cooking come directly from the New Orleans table. My cooking draws on decades of learning and mastering cooking techniques that I felt certain would help me years down the road. I restlessly search my mind's catalog of everything I've ever tasted or cooked, so that when I see a tomato at its ripest state, my mind runs through literally thousands of preparations that could work for this here tomato. Some people may look up in the sky and notice a mallard duck, but I see a slow-roasted duckling with lots of hearty herbs, cooked down in a gravy and served over rice.

My goal in launching Restaurant August in 2001 was to have a world-class place that could compete with the great restaurants of New Orleans. But Katrina, of course, changed everything. When the aftermath of that devastating storm threatened our fishermen and farmers, our shrimpers and oystermen, it seemed urgent to help preserve and protect our unique culinary heritage, its local ingredients, and its authentic culture.

After Katrina, being from New Orleans became the focus of my identity. The truth is I am from here and I cook from here--our ingredients and our traditions. I believe our city is a true national treasure: We have one of the few native urban cultures--and cuisines—that still thrives in this country. I cook New Orleans food my way, revering each ingredient as it reaches the ripeness of its season, which is how My New Orleans: The Cookbook unfolds, from Crawfish to Reveillon. No other place on earth is like New Orleans. Welcome to the flavors of my home.

John Besh



From My New Orleans: Drew's Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo

Throughout this book, I've had a great deal to say about making the roux that's the base of our gumbo--and the other steps as well--but I'll recap it here so that it can be useful every time you start to make our signature dish. Yes, there are other thickeners besides flour that folks use for making their roux, but to my palate, only a flour-based roux yields that traditional flavor. As for the fats in a roux, just about anything works. I love rendered duck fat, chicken fat, or lard, but canola oil works nearly as well.

I always heat the oil first and whisk the flour into the hot oil. Not only does this speed up the process; it yields that deep, dark chocolate-colored gumbo I love. I always add the onions first to the dark roux, holding back the rest of the vegetables until the onion caramelizes. Otherwise, the water in the vegetables will keep the onion from browning and releasing its sweet juices. I like to add file powder to the gumbo, then pass it at the table, too. Serve the gumbo hot with Louisiana rice; serve potato salad on the side, if you like. --John Besh

Ingredients
(Serves 10-12)

  • 1 cup rendered chicken fat or canola oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1 large chicken, cut into 12 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Creole Spices
  • 2 pounds spicy smoked sausage, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 quarts chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 ounces andouille sausage, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced fresh okra
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Filé powder
  • Tabasco
  • 4–6 cups cooked white rice

Directions

1. Make a roux by heating the chicken fat or oil in a large cast-iron or heavy bottomed pot over high heat. Whisk the flour into the hot oil. It will immediately begin to sizzle. Reduce the heat to moderate and continue whisking until the roux takes on a deep brown color, about 15 minutes. Add the onions, stirring them into the roux with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue stirring until the roux is a glossy dark brown, about 10 minutes.

2. Season the chicken with Creole Spices. Add the chicken to the pot, raise heat to moderate, and cook, turning the pieces until browned, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the smoked sausage and stir for a minute before adding the celery, bell peppers, tomatoes, and garlic. Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Add the thyme, Chicken Stock, and bay leaves. Bring the gumbo to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and skim off the fat from the surface of the gumbo every so often.

4. Add the andouille, okra, and Worcestershire and season with salt and pepper, several dashes of filé powder, and Tabasco. Simmer for another 45 minutes, continuing to skim the fat off the surface of the gumbo. Remove the bay leaves and serve in bowls over rice. Pass more filé at the table.


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Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen

Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen Lowest new price: $8.18
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Author: Paul Prudhomme

Here for the first time the famous food of Louisiana is presented in a cookbook written by a great creative chef who is himself world-famous. The extraordinary Cajun and Creole cooking of South Louisiana has roots going back over two hundred years, and today it is the one really vital, growing regional cuisine in America. No one is more responsible than Paul Prudhomme for preserving and expanding the Louisiana tradition, which he inherited from his own Cajun background.

Chef Prudhomme's incredibly good food has brought people from all over America and the world to his restaurant, K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, in New Orleans. To set down his recipes for home cooks, however, he did not work in the restaurant. In a small test kitchen, equipped with a home-size stove and utensils normal for a home kitchen, he retested every recipe two and three times to get exactly the results he wanted. Logical though this is, it was an unprecedented way for a chef to write a cookbook. But Paul Prudhomme started cooking in his mother's kitchen when he was a youngster. To him, the difference between home and restaurant procedures is obvious and had to be taken into account.

So here, in explicit detail, are recipes for the great traditional dishes--gumbos and jambalayas, Shrimp Creole, Turtle Soup, Cajun "Popcorn," Crawfish Etouffee, Pecan Pie, and dozens more--each refined by the skill and genius of Chef Prudhomme so that they are at once authentic and modern in their methods.

Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen is also full of surprises, for he is unique in the way he has enlarged the repertoire of Cajun and Creole food, creating new dishes and variations within the old traditions. Seafood Stuffed Zucchini with Seafood Cream Sauce, Panted Chicken and Fettucini, Veal and Oyster Crepes, Artichoke Prudhomme--these and many others are newly conceived recipes, but they could have been created only by a Louisiana cook. The most famous of Paul Prudhomme's original recipes is Blackened Redfish, a daringly simple dish of fiery Cajun flavor that is often singled out by food writers as an example of the best of new American regional cooking.

For Louisianians and for cooks everywhere in the country, this is the most exciting cookbook to be published in many years.

There was once a time when words like étouffée, tasso, and jambalaya were hardly known outside of the Cajun and Creole communities of Louisiana. Then along came Chef Paul Prudhomme, and all of that changed. Big enough to be his own force of nature, Prudhomme all but single-handedly turned Cajun cooking into a national food trend, changing forever the way many a cook thinks about spicing food. And Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen was the book that made it happen. But guess what? It's still happening, and so is the book!

Anyone looking for a primer on Cajun cooking need look no farther. Chef Paul takes the reader by the hand and opens up a world that includes four kinds of roux, Jalapeno and Cheese Rolls, Shrimp Étouffée, and the to-die-for Cajun Meatloaf. Good old-fashioned Red Beans and Rice and Sweet Potato Pecan Pie are not forgotten either.

Chef Paul tested all of his recipes in a home kitchen using common culinary tools--no professional equipment needed here. These are recipes that are high in spice, so remember to have a large vat of water on hand! --Schuyler Ingle

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River Road Recipes: The Textbook of Louisiana Cuisine

River Road Recipes: The Textbook of Louisiana Cuisine Lowest new price: $13.16
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Author: Junior League of Baton Rouge
Brand: Brand: The Cookbook Marketplace

River Road Recipes is the nation's #1 best-selling community cookbook series. This cookbook features classic creole and cajun cuisine. These 650 recipes include the basics like How to Make a Roux. This is the Textbook of Louisiana cooking.

Features:

  • Used Book in Good Condition

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Treme: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans

Treme: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans Lowest new price: $14.49
Lowest used price: $11.68
List price: $29.95
Author: Lolis Eric Elie

Inspired by David Simon's award-winning HBO series Treme, this celebration of the culinary spirit of post-Katrina New Orleans features recipes and tributes from the characters, real and fictional, who highlight the Crescent City's rich foodways. From chef Janette Desautel's own Crawfish Ravioli and LaDonna Batiste-Williams's Smothered Turnip Soup to the city's finest Sazerac, New Orleans' cuisine is a mélange of influences from Creole to Vietnamese, at once new and old, genteel and down-home, and, in the words of Toni Bernette, "seasoned with delicious nostalgia." As visually rich as the series itself, the book includes 100 heritage and contemporary recipes from the city's heralded restaurants such as Upperline, Bayona, Restaurant August, and Herbsaint, plus original recipes from renowned chefs Eric Ripert, David Chang, and other Treme guest stars. For the 6 million who come to New Orleans each year for its food and music, this is the ultimate homage to the traditions that make it one of the world's greatest cities.

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Cooking from the Heart: My Favorite Lessons Learned Along the Way

Cooking from the Heart: My Favorite Lessons Learned Along the Way Lowest new price: $14.49
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Author: John Besh

James Beard Award-winning chef John Besh shares the lessons he learned from his mentors through 140 accessible recipes and cooking lessons. Featuring lush photography, inspiring personal stories, and a rich expanse of culinary knowledge, Cooking from the Heart is the next best thing to having an apprenticeship with Chef Besh.

Cooking from the Heart, Chef John Besh’s third cookbook, revisits the locations, lessons, and mentors that shaped his culinary journey. From Germany’s Black Forest to the mountains of Provence, each chapter highlights heartfelt memories and delicious recipes—the framework for his love of food.

The all-new, easy-to-follow recipes, complete with regional substitution suggestions, make creating upscale farm-to-table dishes accessible for any at-home chef. The rich production values and personal narrative make this cookbook an equally engaging read.

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The New Orleans Cookbook

The New Orleans Cookbook Lowest new price: $10.55
Lowest used price: $2.03
List price: $19.95
Author: Rima Collin

Two hundred eighty-eight delicious recipes carefully worked out so that you can reproduce, in your own kitchen, the true flavors of Cajun and Creole dishes. The New Orleans cookbook whose authenticity dependability, and wealth of information have made it a classic.

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