What's your favorite Paul Prudhomme recipe, and why?
What's your favorite Paul Proudomme recipe, and why?
Was thumbing through some of his books and was just curious about your thoughts.
I was a big fan of his tv cooking shows as a teen and had the honor of meeting him a few years back- too cool!
Cajun Seafood Gumbo with Andouille Smoked Sausage.
I was friends with Paul Prudhomme's editor and had a copy of his first book in galley proofs, probably six or eight months before it was published. This gumbo was the first recipe I tried. I've made it at least twice a year since then--1983. It's simply a great recipe. One friend asked me to prepare it for her wedding rehearsal dinner and just a few months ago another friend asked me to make it for a dinner party while I was visiting in Guatemala. I must have served it to at least 200 people and I don't recall one of them not loving it.
Don't have to paraphrase. I found it online.
The person who posted the recipe says she uses clam juice instead of stock. I usually make a stock from the shrimp shells. Also, she say she uses crawfish instead of crabmeat. I used to use crabmeat, but--truth to tell--in the past however many years I've used surimi. No one has ever been able to tell the difference.
Once again, I can't seem to get the prompt to reply to the O.P. to work...
You would love Paul Prudhomme's first book, "Louisiana Kitchen" - I bought it years ago and in it he explains his sophisticated flavoring and spicing "layering" ideas. You could get it used inexpensively on amazon.com.
Basically, you can make an etouffe or gumbo his way pretty easily. I do it all the time. Cajun folk improvised with the proteins they had to work with but have some basic important rules to develop the flavors.
You're going to make a roux with fat and flour 2:1 and stir on a medium flame until it is the color of light caramel (a blonde roux) to a dark coffee color. The roux is your thickener. The darker it gets the less it will thicken, but the more complex the flavor will be. Deglaze with a good chicken broth. I don't like Swanson, I do like Better than Bullion jam/base.
Herbs and other flavoring: the basic herb is thyme - fresh is nice. Too much thyme is awful - so watch out. A good pinch of red pepper flakes helps, unless you are using a lot of hot andouille sausage. I also like a little oregano and I like to add a little tamari soy sauce for richness myself. Add nice bright green parsely right before serving.
Smoked turkey is nice - needs to simmer an hour and a half, as do ham hocks. Add all other protein at the last 20 minutes and shrimp only to cook through - 3 min. If you add all your meat, like ham and chicken chunks at the beginning and cook it for an hour, the way Emeril does - it will lose all it's individuality.
The trinity. Minced red and green bell pep., celery, onion and a little garlic too. Fry until translucent and add for the last half hour. If added sooner - you will lose all the flavor. I like to use a lot more veg. than most orthodox cajun recipes. I will routinely add 3 times as much. Good for you, delicious...what's not to like? Tomatoes, to me, make it gumbo. If you want file (sassafras powder) add it at table. Serve over white rice. Basmati is Too fragrant - clashes.
I guess that's all I want to say about working with Paul Prudhomme's recipes right now...
Before my cholesterol shot through the roof, my favorite PP recipe was veal medallions with czarina sauce and julienned zuccini. Oh, and the barbecued shrimp. wow.
I haven't made anything out of it in years, and I don't recall making anything but desserts for some reason, but the Chocolate Cake with Mocha Icing was to die for, as was the Rice Pudding with Chantilly Cream.
Perhaps I should revisit my book, trying something other than desserts this time?
The chicken and andouille jambalaya recipe in his first book has become our classic, and we've made it many times over the years. I believe the recipe also calls for oysters, but we omit those. It is crucial to use good andouille and tasso ham (mail order if it's not available locally), as well as converted rice. When making it for people with tender palates (including New Orleanians when we lived there), we have decreased the cayenne, but otherwise we don't mess with the recipe -- except that it says to bake it in an 8 x 8 pan, and it actually needs a pan about twice that size. Well, maybe that's because we don't specifically measure as we're chopping ingredients, but we use the suggested amounts as more of a rule of thumb.
The barbecued shrimp, swoon. Although I now make a version with more broth and much, much, much less butter. I just can't take that much butter anymore (and I'm sure my arteries and waistline thank me as well).
His Poor Man's Jambalaya - which I make about eight to ten times a year. I love it because it's simple and quick to make, and it really fixes me up when I have a Cajun cravin'. We also love a chicken recipe called, if I remember correctly, Fried Chicken Big Mamou (I don't have to remember the names - the cookbook opens itself to the proper page), although this takes longer to make - but wow! I love all of Paul's recipes. As the back of a cooking class tape of his says, in reference to Cajun food: "When it's in my belly I feel like flyin'. When it leaves my belly, I feel like dyin'."
re: Jim Washburn
I second the recommendation for the Shepard's Pie. It is a unique variation of a standard recipe. A word of caution about the "heat". I've found that a number of his recipes in his Louisiana Kitchen cookbook can be extremely hot. I always back off on the amount of cayenne that he calls for.
I agree with the others that his first cookbook, Louisiana Kitchen, is great. However, many of the recipes are soooooo full of butter/margarine/oil that I don't make them too often. Partly for that reason, the recipes I make the most are the ones with less fat (not necessarily a small amount of fat, but rather a normal amount): Crawfish Etouffee, Red Beans and Rice, Poorman's Jambalaya, Chicken and Seafood Jambalaya, Chicken and Tasso Jambalaya. Once I made the Shrimp Diane - OMG, it was great! - but so rich I can't bring myself to make it again. I also made the Cajun Bubble and Squeak and Eggs Paulette once, and they were fabulous, but LOTS of work. The Sweet Potato Pecan Pie is excellent too.
re: Anya L
I love Louisiana Kitchen. My absolute favorite recipe is the Crawfish Magnifique in Mirliton Pirogues, truly a platonic dish. Sauteed Crawfish runs a close second, though. Shrimp Diane, Sweet Potato Pecan Pie, Roasted Pork, and Etouffee are also wonderful. I haven't yet tried the meatloaf -- I'll give it a whirl next time.
I also use homemade versions of the Prudhomme Magic spices mixes fairly frequently. On the advice of another chowhounder, I started adapting the combos used in the LA Kitchen pork recipes as a substitute for the Pork Magic. Very nice, and much less expensive.
It just means that this specific dish captures the essence of what "Crawfish Magnifique in Mirliton Pirogues" truly is.
[If you're interested in the source of the phrase... Its a reference Plato's writings regarding the idea of things, versus their physical realization.
The gist of it is that every physical thing on earth has a corresponding ideal. The ideal, natch, is always superior, truer, more authentic than the physical thing itself. But if a physical thing matches up to the ideal well enough, we might (ironically) refer to it as the platonic ideal of itself. Or just a "platonic xyz" for shorthand.]
Has anyone tried the half chicken with fig gravy. Oh my, that's good eating. To add to my cajun meatloaf post--there are usually alot of left overs for absolutely delicious meat loaf sandwiches.
I really only like the first cook book. I bought others but was never inspired to cook from them.
Could you email me please? I'd like to discuss a portion of your post-"I also use homemade versions of the Prudhomme Magic spices mixes fairly frequently."
I'm curious: what was in the butterbeans? Tasso? Ham? Smoked sausage? Please describe the texture, if you can recall. I really really really like butterbeans, baby green limas, and related legumes...my personal favorite is baby green limas w/garlic & onion cooked in a roux (over rice).
I'd also have to go with the czarina sauce with shrimp but we have always eaten it over spaghetti. It is just a wonderful creamy mix of flavors with a nice level of spiciness and is relatively easy to make. It's only on the menu every few years because my husband has a cholesterol probem and says he can hear his arteries hardening. This is one of those times when it's worth it!
I love the chef, K-Pauls in N.O. and his books, but the spice mix recipes in the books and the botteled versions have way too much salt. I reduce the amount of salt in his published recipes by about 60-75%.
this post reminds me of the time i ate at K-Pauls in about 2000 or 2001 (forgot when) one of the best meals of my entire life. I should pick up his cookbooks.
the breads were outstanding.
the fried green tomatoes.
The Hoppin' John in Seasoned America is the best I've had.
The Cajun Meatloaf is the "best"
Check the slow roasted pork roast in Chef Paul's Louisiana Kitchen
I like the Roast Duck with Eggplant and Sweetpotato gravy from his original cookbook. First because I was very proud of having made such a long and unusual recipe. Second, because it was killer good, just amazing. Wow flavors jumping out everywhere.
That also has a very good Muffin Biscuit or Biscuit Muffin, whichever.
In Prudhomme's Seasoned America there is a receipe for Texas Red I believe it is called, chili. Amazing. Best chili ever. I have not made it in a few years. Many ingredients, and time consuming and loaded with fat. Too much fat, and I think some can be omitted without losing the integrity. I have long been thinking of reducing the fat, or allowing the fat to harden over nite. Something.
I assume that you did not follow the directions to the letter. I did, and the chili was burned so badly that it could not be eaten. The eight minutes of high heat at the end was absurd. It resulted in some of the beef having a thick black burned layer on one side. The nutmeg was still very strong and detectable when finished. Any suggestions how to make it better?
Do you have the pecan cake and pecan frosting recipe? The one where you chop and roast pecans then pour into the batter? I just finished reading Julie and Julia, and am inspired to try that recipe. Your name was the only connection to that recipe. I would appreciate if you could email me the recipe...thanks
Sorry,I haven't been on chowhounds for awhile,if you still want the recipe here it is;
Spiced Pecan Cakw w/Pecan Frosting
2 c coarsley chopped pecans
1/2 c packed,light brown sugar
2 T ground cinnamon
1 t. ground nutmeg
4 T. unsalted butter,softened
2 T. plus 2 t. vanilla extract,in all
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter 2 c sugar
3 c sifted all-purpose flour
2 T. baking powder
1 c plus 2 T. milk
3 egg whites
Place the pecans in a ungreased roasting pan roast at 425 deg for 10 mins,stirring occasionally.In a bowl,combine brown suga and spices.Mix in 4 T. butter.Add the pecans to the butter mixture and coat.Return to pan and roast 10 mins more stirring once or twice.Stir in 2 T.vanilla and roast 5 mins more.Remove from oven and set aside.
In a larg.bowl of electric mixer cream 1 1/2 sticks butter and 1 1/2 c sugar on high speed until very light and fluffy,about 6 mins.
In a sperate bowl,sift flour and baking powder.In a 3rd bowl combine milk and 2 t. vanilla.Add the flour mixture and milk alternately to the butter mixture beating on high speed until well blended and scraping the bowl sides between additions.Stir in pecans.
In a seperate bowl whip egg whites on high speed on hgh till frothy.Add remaining 1/2 c sugar and continue beating until stiff and holds peak.Gently fold into batter a third at a time.
Spoon batter into 3 greased and lightly floured 8-inch round cake pans.Spread batter so it is slightly lower in the center.Bake 350 deg.aout 40 mns.Test with toothpick.Let cool 10 mins remove cake onto a wire rack cook throughly.Glaze,then spread generously with frosting between layers,top and sides.
1 c water
1/2 c sugar
1 t. Vanilla
Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan,bring to a boil.Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.Immediately brush glaze over the top of each cake
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
3/4 c water
8 egg yolks
3 sticks margarine(best to use margarine rather than butter in this frosting because butter tends to melt out of the frosting as the cake sits awhile)
2 1/2 c powdered sugar
4 1/2 t. Vanilla
2 1/2 c coarsely chopped pecans,dry roasted until dark in color ,then cooled
combine granulated sugar and water.Cook over med heat to 230 deg on a candy thermometer about 15 mins do not stir
Ina large bowl of an electric mixer beat egg yolks on high speed about 5 secs.Gradually add the hot sugar-water mixture and beat until throughly cooled,thick ,shiny and very pale,abt 10 mins.Gradually add the margarine and mix on medium speed til throughly blended and very smooth,abt 5 mins,blend in powdered sugar and vanilla on low speed til smooth,then add pecans and beat on high speed till throughly mixed and very thick.If too thick thin with a little cream milk or water
I was recently at the fl restaurent show and sat 3 feet from chef paul as he bronzed filet minon for me to eat. It was a treat to be served by him.
I have one of his cookbooks and sadly have made only one recipe. But it's enough to make me keep the book in my collection - shrimp or crayfish etouffe. My late father adored it! Have to get it back out after reading these posts.
I was looking for Paul's recipes for shrimp since I'm stuck away from home without my Louisiana Kitchen book....which is in pieces...and found your great website. If you haven't tried it, the Green Onion Potato Salad is AWESOME and makes a great addition to a full-on meal of Po'boys, Red Beans, etc.
Tonight I'm after his BBQ Shrimp!
His meatloaf is awesome. The roasted pecan butter pecan pie is my go-to for holidays: not too sweet and very nutty. And Poor Man's Jambalaya is a weeknight favorite.
But in terms of all-time favorites, it would have to be the seafood-stuffed zucchini with seafood cream sauce from Louisiana Kitchen. Extremely decadent and fabulous.
I bought the "Louisiana Kitchen" 20 years ago and have always been partial to his jambalayas. In January of this year, I finally got to try the real thing at K-Paul's -- and of course it was much more complex and delicious than any of my efforts. When I saw Chef Paul at the bar looking like he was in the mood to meet his public, I approached him and introduced myself. He could not have been more welcoming and delightful. He asked where I was from, if I'd been to NO before, etc.
When I asked him why his jambalaya was so much better than mine, he looked me in the eye without hesitation and said "You're not caramelizing the vegetables enough!" He proceeded to deliver an eloquent ode to the virtues of the truly caramelized onion, and assured me that he starts with onions that are "sharp and bitter" and cooks them until the natural sugars dominate.
Back home, I tried it out...and of course he was right. Carmelize those chopped onions, peppers, and celeries far longer than you might think, far longer than the recipe suggests. And be SURE to accompany your jambalaya with Chef's creole sauce!
I cooked the Shrimp and Okra Bisque from his Louisiana Kitchen book tonight. It was the first recipe of his I've used and it was really good. Next time I'm going to cut down on the cayenne and double the amount of okra, it was too spicy and a little watery to me. The flavours were layered together wonderfuly though.
His recipe for "Shrimp Diane" is one of the tastiest dishes I've ever eaten. No, it IS the tastiest dish I've ever eaten! But then again, anything in his Louisiana Kitchen cookbook is first rate. And if you like his cookbooks, consider buying Chef John Folse's "Encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole Cooking." Wow...what a book!
LOUISIANA KITCHEN is a classic, of course, and if that were the only Prudhomme book you ever used you'd be eating well for as long as it took you to die from a heart attack, but for anyone who hasn't been inspired to cook from Chef Paul's other books, may I recommend FIERY FOODS THAT I LOVE, the basis for the mid-nineties TV series CHEF PAUL PRUDHOMME'S FIERY FOODS, and which might be my favorite cookbook ever (terrible title notwithstanding). My copy is bristling with varicolored post-it notes, the pages warped from my drool.
An inspired Prudhomme predicted in the book's introduction that within a decade, chile peppers would be as common an ingredient in daily cooking as salt and pepper. Hyperbolic? Yes. Incorrect? Yes. But Prudhomme's excitability is part of his charm. From the introduction: "[Chile peppers] give a wonderful, romantic jolt to the recipes they're used in; they should be used so that instead of overpowering a dish's flavor, they add an underlying taste that is simply awesome. Different kinds of chiles create their own distinctive kinds of taste. If you've not used them before, then you're about to discover the incredible depth of flavor and amazing taste combinations that can be achieved with chiles."
Yes, '94 found Paul Prudhomme in love with dried chile peppers, and yes, some of these recipes are spicy, but Prudhomme means the word "fiery" in the title to refer to the emotional highs to be attained by excellent food, excellently cooked.
FIERY FOODS contains some of the best soups you've ever eaten: fire-roasted garlic; elixir of portobello; BLT (yes, bacon, lettuce, and tomato). A section devoted to bread: loaves stuffed with black beans, with mushrooms, with fire-roasted garlic, onions, or peppers. Skillet breads with seasoned butter. There's a recipe in here called "The Best Damned Grilled Chicken I Ever Ate!" - the exclamation point is his - and though it's been months since I cooked it I can smell the cinnamon and nutmeg and ginger even as I type.
I'm starting to feel like a salesman. The point was to pick a favorite recipe. I'm not sure I could, but I'll say the fire-roasted garlic soup, just because it's the one I cooked most recently. Believe it or not, the recipe is vegan (it uses coconut milk!) and relatively low-fat.
FIRE-ROASTED GARLIC SOUP
Makes about 8 cups
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 onions, roasted (instructions follow) and chopped
3 heads garlic, roasted (instructions follow) and chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup couscous
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup tamari
5 cups vegetable stock, in all
1/4 cup honey
2 (13.5-oz) cans unsweetened coconut milk
Combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl.
To roast the onions and garlic, if you have a gas range, simply place them right on the burner, in a high flame, and roast, turning with tongs, until the outer skin is charred all the way around. If your range is electric, you can roast in a a preheated 500-degree oven. Plunge the roasted vegetables into ice water to stop the cooking, then rub off the black, charred skin under running water. It should slip right off, but if there are stubborn spots, just remove them with a sharp knife.
When roasting garlic, first remove the loose outer papery skin. After roasting, gently remove the cloves by pulling off the burned outer husk, which will be fairly hard and can be removed like a shell. The cloves inside will be a rich brown color and fairly soft. Removing the cloves is easy if you work from the bottom of the garlic head, gently prying the head open with your fingers and removing the cloves one at a time.
Heat the olive oil in a 5-quart pot over high heat just until it begins to smoke, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the couscous and flour. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add the seasoning mix, onions, garlic, vinegar, and tamari and continue to cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot constantly for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the stock and cook, stirring constantly, for 4 minutes. Add 2 cups stock and cook, stirring frequently, for 8 minutes, then remove from the heat.
Puree the mixture in a blender or food processor, then return the mixture to the pot and stir in 1 cup stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the remaining stock, the honey, and the coconut milk and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir gently and serve.
The ham and sausage jambalaya from Louisiana Kitchen. It is delicious and feeds an army (or 2 people several times - you can freeze portions and reheat). The spices and vegetables combine with the meats to make a wonderfully savory whole taht is greater than its parts.
Two stand out, both from "Louisiana Kitchen."
Jalapeno Cheese Rolls. I have made this every year or so ever since I first got the book. Gotta love a bread recipe with a flour to shredded cheddar ratio of 7:5. Outstanding, and a good "keeper". For a treat, microwave one of the rolls for about 30 seconds, then slip in a pat of cream cheese and a dollop of hot pepper jelly.
Paulette's Wonderful Meat Pie. A delightful amalgam of pork, beef (only 2/3 pound of each), shredded potatoes, holy trinity, and seasonings in a deep-dish sweet crust topped with a creamy herb mixture. Simply outstanding.
A nod also to the butternut bisque in "Seasoned America"; an outstanding Thanksgiving first course.
My first edition copy of Louisiana Kitchen is dog-eared and stained. The pages for Shrimp Creole have had to be unstuck many times - definite food porn haha It is a perfect recipe.
Here's a good page on that recipe - the tips and comments on the blog page are worth the slight mod the page author did....from http://casualkitchen.blogspot.com/201...
Modified from Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen
2 pounds medium to large shrimp, with shells on
2 1/2 cups, in all, of seafood or shrimp stock
1/4 cup chicken fat, pork lard, bacon fat or Crisco
2 1/2 cups, in all, chopped onions
2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne (hot) pepper
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 Tablespoon dried thyme leaves
3 cups peeled tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cups canned tomato sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
Plenty of cooked rice
1) Peel and rinse shrimp, refrigerate until needed, saving the shells to use in your shrimp stock. Chop onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Also, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil, briefly blanch tomatoes, peel, and set aside for later.
2) Heat the chicken fat or other fat over high heat in a large pot. Add one cup of the onions and cook over high heat for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Lower the heat to medium and keep stirring, until the onions have caramelized* (see below) into a rich brown color, but not burned, another 3-5 minutes.
3) Add the rest of the onions, celery, green peppers and butter. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until celery and pepper become tender, roughly 5 minutes.
4) Add: garlic, bay leaf, all spices, Tabasco, and just 1/2 cup of the stock (basically add everything but the tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar and the rest of the stock). Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring and scraping the pan bottom well.
5) Add the tomatoes and simmer for another 10 minutes. Then add the tomato sauce, sugar and remaining 2 cups stock and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6) Cool and refrigerate if making the sauce the day before (and do not add the shrimp yet!). If serving immediately, turn the heat off and add the shrimp. Cover and let sit for 5-10 minutes, or until the shrimp are just plump and pink and not overcooked. Serve immediately by placing a mound of rice in the center of a plate and ladling a generous portion of shrimp creole sauce around the rice.