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Jul 20, 2006 03:27 AM

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!

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  1. 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.

    3 Replies
    1. re: JoanN

      Would love it if you could paraphrase the recipe. I have some Andouille in the freezer I've been trying to come w/ ideas for.

      1. re: bryan

        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.

        1. re: bryan

          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

          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...

      2. 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.

          1. 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?

            1. I still adore the Cajun Meatloaf with hot sauce from his first cookbook, although I haven't made it in quit a while. It is very good and spicy.

              3 Replies
                1. re: celeste

                  Cajun Meatloaf is my favorite, too. Although the chocolate cake with mocha icing is one my family demands at every birthday.

                  1. re: Kirk

                    yup, the cajun meatloaf is wonderful. we polished off the last of it thursday night and i want more.