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Creole or cajun cookbook recommendations?

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  • rds Nov 17, 2004 10:34 PM

...but please not Emeril.

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  1. In my opinion 'Paul Prudhomme's Louisianna Kitchen' is the definitive Cajun/Creole cookbook. I believe he has released 8 or 9 books now, but this was his first. Another favorite of mine is a Time Life book from the late 60's/early 70's entitled 'Foods Of The World: American Cooking, Creole and Acadian'. It is packed with history as well as recipes. (by the way all the books in the series are great!) Another recommendation i can make is 'Patout's Cajun Home Cooking" by Alex Patout. Enjoy!

    1. "Who's Your Mama, Are You Catholic, and Can You Make a Roux?" by Marcelle Bienvenu.

      "River Road Recipes" by the Junior League of Baton Rouge.

      "Talk About Good," by the Junior League of Lafayette.

      "Picayune's Creole Cookbook" - New Orleans Times Picayune, old time recipes, might be tough for beginners.

      "New Orleans Cookbook" by Richard and Rima Collin. Out of print, but excellent.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ilaine

        I second all those, and third/fourth/whatever Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen. I'd also suggest the Plantation Cookbook (Junior League of New Orleans). There was a good thread on it last year on the New Orleans board (linked below).

        Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      2. "Cajun-Creole Cooking" by Terry Thompson-Anderson is my favorite. Also really like Paul Prudhomme's "Louisiana Kitchen".

        1. I have always preferred Justin Wilson's books. He always provided clear directions with some of the reasoning behind the techniques.

          1. Here's an interesting one I just got, and it benefits the United Way:

            In my understanding, back in the day, the New Orleans energy company (NOPSI) used to include recipes with their bills. They also put recipe leaflets on public transportation, etc. They've collected these in the cookbook linked below. There are a lot of very standard, simple, new orleans recipes. Not long on explanation, though, "make a roux" is as detailed as you get. Caveat: some of the recipes include canned stuff; this is cooking from the 1950s.

            I do like the River Road cookbooks, too; basically look for cookbooks put out by the Junior Leagues scattered around LA. The Commander's Palace cookbook is fun to look through, and Marcelle Bienvenu is great-- and honestly, Emeril isn't bad, either.

            Link: http://www.unitedwaynola.org/be_a_lea...

            1. I heartily agree with others in recommending Paul Prudhomme's original cookbook: "Louisiana Kitchen".
              His recipe for "sticky chicken", oyster stew, potatoes brabant, etc are all just terrific. It's not just my favorite Creole cookbook, it's my favorite cookbook overall. (And the one I go to when having guests for dinner.)

              1. I second the recommendation for Paul Prudhomme's "Louisiana Kitchen". My copy has food stains all over it, always a good sign that I've used it a lot. Just be careful putting too much cayenne in his Cajun seasoning blend.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Scagnetti

                  I will "sixth" Prudhomme's "Louisiana Kitchen" but we usually cut the salt by HALF (or more) and often reduce the butter. I really learned to cook from his book- he give detailed instructions and doesn't leave one hanging in the breeze. Excellent work.

                  1. re: Tom Hall

                    I love this book, too, and use it all the time. I also cut the salt, but my tolerance for salt is clearly lower than most people's, so I don't know if everyone would have that problem. I cut the butter down when I'm feeling guilty. I've also found that I can use a fraction of the sausage or ham, for example, and still have a very flavorful dish - once I double a recipe and realized that I had only 1/8 of the sausage it called for, and it was still meaty and delicious. Of course, the full amount would be even better, but some of those dishes are so good to make in large quantities and freeze, eat as leftovers, etc., that it makes sense to make them a little more healthful. As a treat, the recipes are perfect as they stand, but they're pretty heavy for a dietary staple.

                2. Honestly, one of the best cookbooks for easy preparation and excellent Louisiana food is River Roads Cookbook. There are two volumes and honestly, the Baton Rouge Junior League must have had 25 testers per recipe because the recipes ALWAYS work. It is the most foolproof cookbook I have ever used.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Mikey

                    I second this recommendation and the one from Iliane (below).