HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


New Orleans cookbook

Can someone recommend a good cookbook with recipes for traditional New Orleans dishes? I've been thinking about purchasing Ugelisch's cookbook. I never had an opportunity to eat there, but their recipes really appeal to me. I'm most interested in seafood.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Check out Tom Fitzmorris' cookbook "New Orleans Food." It is composed of recipes from the some of the city's best restaurants (both pre and post Katrina) tailored for home cooking. Have lived in NO some years ago and a native Louisianian; trust me, this is the real deal. The recipes are relatively easy and it may encourage you to make stock of all kinds to keep in the freezer as they form an integral part of many recipes. A nice touch is that a portion of the proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity.

    8 Replies
    1. re: stitchwitch

      His roux amounts are way off. In many instances the amount in the recipe produces at least 4x the amount required for liquid amount. Each time I've decided to try a different version (rather than my own version) I wished I hadn't. Reads better than it cooks. The New Orleans Cookbook by Richard and Rima Collin is a far better choice. Recipes you can trust.

      1. re: JazzyB

        When I started reading this thread, I immediately thought of Rima and Richard Collins' "The New Orleans Cookbook." Wonderful recipes, especially the chicken pontalba. These are cooks who are not afraid of spices. In fact, at times, I have been a little apprehensive about putting in as much as they have called for, but the recipes have always turned out wonderfully.

        I also recommend highly their recipe for blender-made bearnaise sauce--the best I have ever had.

        My hardback cookbook is from the 1970's, but I bought a couple softback versions as gifts for others in the early 1990's. 'The hardback had been discontinued by that point. If the cookbook is out of print, I am sure that a used bookseller on Amazon could supply a copy.

        This is well worth it--one of my top ten favorite cookbooks.

        1. re: gfr1111

          I recommend this one as well. (We lived in NOLA for six years.) Many so-called New Orleans or Louisiana cookbooks use shortcuts such as cream-of-whatever soups and mixes, but the Collins' book is "real" and the recipes are not overly complicated. Our most used recipe from this book is for barbecued shrimp, although we substitute some beer and shrimp stock for part of the butter.

          The other one I use consistently is the first Paul Prudhomme book, "Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen." We always turn to this one for jambalaya, and the red beans & rice recipe is a classic. A word of wisdom on the making of jambalaya, though: you must use the authentic and good quality ingredients, such as the andouille and tasso. You can order those from Jacob's in La Place, LA : http://www.cajunsausage.com/ .

          1. re: kittyfood

            +1 to you kittyfood about Chef PP's book.
            It's one I often go to for good reading and great recipes.
            Although some recipes I don't use, it's ok just to be able to read things by such an [in my opinion] icon.

            1. re: iL Divo

              He certainly deserves all the acclaim he gets; he has done so much to awaken interest in New Orleans and indeed all of Louisiana. Someone told me KPauls is open for lunch but I haven't been in the quarter so long I can't verify that. I still do his Black Muffins from time to time. I wish some other places would do cookbooks-in particular Two Sisters Kitchen on Derbigny street and Roosevelt's Black Pearl, St. Peter and N. Claiborne. Real cooking from the neighborhood is spectacular but recipes are rare. I don't think a lot of those places even use recipes. I'm compiling my file from the neighbors-I'm learning-you should taste my smothered turkey wings!:)

          2. re: gfr1111

            I second the Collin book. Even if you don't use it for anything but the Shrimp Creole recipe, it's worth the money. I make their sauce in quantity and freeze it ahead of time when I expect guests so I can just quickly add the shrimp at the last minute to save time.

          3. re: JazzyB

            My friend AJ bought two copies of this book while he was in grad school at UNO. He kept one and gave the other to his parents. Upon the death of his parents he gave me their copy which I love. Oh the Oysters Green Mansions! The Smothered Chicken! The Blender Hollandaise!

            Don't forget http://www.jfolse.com/ and http://www.gumbopages.com/

          4. re: stitchwitch

            New Orleans Food by Tom Fitzmorris is a clearly written more recently published, cookbook that has easy to follow recipes. You can preview some of the Fitzmorris recipes at: http://www.nomenu.com/
            Be careful of the salt ammounts given in the The New Orleans Cookbook.

            1. re: mrsfury


              I have a plethora of NOLA cookbooks and come back with more on every trip.

              I'll agree on the Collins' book. Very stable (my copy is from the '70s) and thorough.

              I own the Uglesich book, but an not a fan. It just doesn't inspire me. I too, never ate there as we always visited in the summer, during their vacation.

              On the "low" end, you might want to consider some of the Junior League cookbooks, like the River Road series. I REALLY like the two books from the Bayou Civic Club in LaRose - http://www.bayoucivicclub.org/recipeb...

              The book I'm currently working out of is Chef John Folse's "The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine"...Be warned..It's spendy, heavy and coffee-table book sized. But it is wonderful. About 1/3 history and 2/3 recipes.

              I've been making Chef John's andouille recipe for years and finally broke down and bought it.

              If you'd like to order books from a wonderful source, I'd recommend seeking out the Historic New Orleans Collection. www.hnoc.org

              They maintain the Kemper-Williams house in the French Quarter and have a bookstore, that specializes in cookbooks, to help support the upkeep of the house/museum.

              Good luck.

            2. Leon E. Soniat, Jr.'s cookbook, "La Bouche Creole" is a wonderful cookbook for old New Orleans recipes. Leon was a French Creole, born and raised in the heart of New Orleans. He lived with his parents and grandparents, as was the custom back then, in a typical New Orleans shotgun house and was taught the love of cooking from the two women in the kitchen. His book is dedicated "To Memere, my grandmother, and Mamete, my mother, two incomparable Creole cooks whose cooking was an expression of their love. You'll get to know them in the pages that follow". His book is filled with stories of the Creole life when he was young and all the wonderful recipes that came out of that kitchen where he lived. This book truly has the heart of traditional New Orleans dishes.

              1 Reply
              1. re: AnaGrey

                Excellent call, Ana.

                When I asked for advice, from the wonderful ladies at HNOC, they pointed me to the Soniat book. It looked so good I bought both editions.

                For a hoot, also bought "Creole Cookery" published in (I think 1872)...fun stuff.

                With those three books in hand, I barely looked up on the flight home!

              2. Second all recommending the Collins book and the Foley encyclopedia (worth the weight and cost.) Older books are quirky but give you lots of ideas--Creole Feast by Nathaniel Burton, Phil Johnson's compilation, New Orleans Chefs Cookbook and Tom Cowman, Secrets of a New Orleans Chef. From the 1980s, Great Chefs series: New Orleans New Garde...

                1. Find a copy of River Road Recipes. Or you could just go on food network's website and use emeril's recipes. His stuff is spot-on most times, and you don't have to buy a book.

                  1. Ditto on the River Road Recipes cookbook. Real food by real people. YUM!

                    1. times-picayune cookbook
                      richard collins' cookbook
                      river road cookbook
                      dooky chase cookbook
                      austin leslie's creole-soul cookbook
                      ditto all others mentioned here(esp john folse's book)
                      for nouveau new orleans:
                      susan spicer's cookbook
                      ALL of the brennan restaurant cookbook's(tho the actual "brennan's" cookbook is weak): palace cafe cookbook, mr b's cookbook, ralph brennan's seafood cookbook
                      if you can get your hands on buster holmes' cook book or warren leruth's small cookbook you have scored in a way beyond your imagination.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: bataille2

                        Those are all good suggestions although I've never been a big Collins fan. The Junior League plantation cookbook is good and has the classic shrimp creole and a great grillades. The newer Galatoire book is fun but I have not cooked out of it yet although I've made many of the recipes before. The Commander's Cookbook will give you a good turtle soup. Frank Davis' stuff is good and I echo the Leon Soniat recs...we all miss Leon, he was a lot of fun but at least we have the books.

                        1. re: bataille2

                          Great list!
                          I agree, add in the Commanders Palace and any Dooku Chase book.
                          Sheana D.

                          1. re: bataille2

                            I second the Times-Picayune New Orleans Cookbook, although I don't believe they're printing them anymore. If you check eBay, though, I think you can find a copy for sale. That's where I got my second copy (the first one I had was stolen, along with 85-90% of the rest of my stuff, from storage). The recipies and descriptions are from way "back in the day" but are fun and just as good today as they were then. Enjoy!!

                          2. Is Paul Prudhomme not considered a traditional style NOL cook?
                            I've relied on 'Louisiana Kitchen' for a long time, not sure if it's out of print.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: DiveFan

                              I think it would be safe to say that very few native New Orleans or Louisiana cooks use Prudhomme's cookbooks.
                              As you can see, they aren't among the ones that are recommended by the "locals" on this thread on others when this question is asked.

                              1. Diamonds in a Pawnshop. Diiiiamonds in a Pawn Shop! Ask a New Orleanian for a cookbook? Oh, goodness that IS Rich! Hahahaha...LOVE IT!

                                No one has mentioned Coop's Cookbook, (on Decatur) which beeleeve it or not, my mother loves and she has about 20! You can probably find it online if not coming to town. I know it ain't hoyte'coyte, but hey, I've eaten there often and Never walked away hungry ~~aaaand if you really wanna know...well, ya'know.

                                Bingoes on Tom Fitzmorris: Food God

                                There is also a cookbook at Deville Books that I saw and will not name, in the hopes that someone tries to get to it first. I will give directions though:

                                Hahaha...cookbooks in New Orleans...
                                love Y'all,
                                Editilla~New Orleans News Ladder

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: New Orleans News Ladder

                                  My copy of the Plantation Cookbook is about to fall apart from heavy usage.
                                  Paul Prudhomme for an adventure in spices.
                                  The early Emeril New New Orleans Cuisine
                                  Folse's books.

                                  And I've got about fifteen that I use single recipes from. When my cookbooks get passed on, someone may chuckle at the comments in the margins, like where's the basil and the chef left out ingredients between his kitchen and the page.

                                  1. re: New Orleans News Ladder

                                    coop's cookbook is wonderful. I understand they're getting another volume together. Wonderful place and people as well.

                                    On another level there is one that nobody has: Secrets of a New Orleans Chef, by Gregg Cowman. It's his uncle, Tom Cowman's recipes he used both at (the now defunct) Jonathan's and the Upperline. This is a tribute book. Gregg and Jerry Curtis (chef tom's right hand man) worked on getting this right for about two years. The food is incredible-some from the Upperline's annual Garlic Festival. Tom was one of the city's great mentors of young chefs.

                                    1. re: cfortner

                                      I remember Restaurant Jonathan. A lovely, upscale spot on Rampart.

                                      1. re: JazzyB

                                        Sad that it's not around anymore isn't it? It was in a pretty sketchy neighborhood. chef Tom told me one night they had three people with guns come in through the back door and rob the place. So many places are no longer open: Sbisa's, Mandich, They all made their contribution I suppose. The upperline still offer's chef Tom's duck and a lot of people on the net still say it's the best ever anywhere.

                                  2. Here are my two favourite books on Cocktails of New Orleans.

                                    Phillip Collier's Mixing New Orleans. published 2007 hard to find even in New Orleans.I bought mine at the Historic New Orleans collection. www.hnoc.org Also try:http://www.louisianamusicfactory.com/...

                                    Big Easy Cocktails by Jimmy Bannos and John Demers has drink receipes as well as a few snack receipes. Available from Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Big-Easy-Cockta...

                                    1. I have many of those listed here, but can't wait for John Besh's:


                                        1. Depends upon what kind of New Orleans recipes you want. Cajun or Creole, Traditional or Nouvelle.

                                          I love Leah Chase's books, and I also love "The 100 Best Dishes in Louisiana History." can't remember the author's name offhand, but he used to own Antoine's or Arnaud's. The recipes are oftentimes complicated, but the results are fabulous. ;) And I've been cooking from Paul Prud'homme's first book for years. I just cut the salt waaaaay back.

                                          1. Anyone have opinions on a New Orleans cookbook called Recipes From Miss Louise by Elaine Jones from 1978. I saw a used one for sale and it was a bit pricey - is it worth the money?

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Nata Tariko

                                              I know one called Cooking with Marie Louise...never heard of "Miss Louise"

                                              1. re: Nata Tariko

                                                That book contains recipes from Louise McGehee, who founded the girls school that bears her name, located in New Orleans' Garden District, in 1912. It is a lovely small private school with high academic standards. http://www.mcgeheeschool.com/content/... Very much Old New Orleans.

                                                1. re: MakingSense


                                                  "If you can get your hands on "Recipes & Remembrances of New Orleans" published by the parents' club at Ursuline Academy, buy it (hard to find)."

                                                  1. re: speyerer

                                                    Got it. Also have Volume II, "Our Cultural Heritage," that even includes Yugoslavian, Greek, and Jewish recipes. What a melting pot that city is!
                                                    Some great German, Irish, and Italian stuff in there.

                                                    Ursuline is the oldest school for girls in the US, founded in 1727, in New Orleans.

                                              2. Cooking Up a Storm is an amazing book, highy recommended.The Times-Picayune instituted a kind of recipe swap for people whose family and collected recipes were lost in Katrina, and they published a book of what they found. The recipes are fabulous, and the stories are so incredible and moving.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: chitodc

                                                  I just got this Cooking Up a Storm book today-- I'd love any favorites that people have tried from it!! It'll give me a way to start-- looks great.

                                                2. Go with what the locals cherish most. The Times-Picayune tracked the three most purchased cookbooks when the people of New Orleans needed to rebuild and replenish their kitchens after Katrina. They were: The New Orleans Cookbook by Rima and Richard Collin, The River Road Cookbook by the Junior League of Baton Rouge, and The Plantation Cookbook by the Junior League of New Orleans. And I myself, all the way up in Chicago, have owned and used the Collins' book ever since its first print run nearly 35 years ago. It is, along with Julia Child's French cookery books, the cook book I treasure and use the most. 'Nuff said.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: lindygal

                                                    I too have loved and used the Collin book since it came out - mine shows a lot of wear and tear (love); also have their seafood cookbook. Theirs is the only recipe i use for shrimp creole. Own the other two N.O. cookbooks as well, they're staples. Have John Besh new cookbook and am loving it (My New Orleans).

                                                  2. Here I am answering a years old post again.

                                                    River Road Recipes http://product.half.ebay.com/River-Ro...

                                                    Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen http://www.amazon.com/Chef-Paul-Prudh...



                                                    1. Hope you've gotten one by now!
                                                      But I have to agree w/everyone else who has suggested the Collin New Orleans Cookbook for classic New Orleans recipes. I do use Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen for some things, but that is not really a New Orleans, rather a "Cajun" one. I also like John Besh's new-ish My New Orleans although I've only tried a few recipes, but it's very large and unwieldy and probably not the best for a first (or only) NO cookbook.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                        As cheap as they are on Half.com, you could get all three. I wonder if Frank Brigtsen of Brigtsens restaurant ever wrote a book.

                                                        Looks like he may have gone in with Emeril on a charity benefit cookbook.

                                                      2. This one is on my list, my neighbor has it and uses it all the time:


                                                        1. This is my favorite....simple authentic time tested recipes. Shrimp Saki is one of my favorites. Enjoy!


                                                          1. Prudhomme's as one of the first cookbooks I ever owned.

                                                            My favorite, (while not New Orleans specifically) is called Talk About Good, and was published by The Junior League of Lafayette, Louisiana in the late 60's. It's just fun to read.

                                                            Amazon has it.

                                                            1. There are lots of great New Orleans cookbooks on bookshelves. And, they all have some pretty amazing creole/Cajun recipes you can attempt to make at home. One book in particular captures the spirit of old New Orleans, The Buster Holmes Restaurant Cookbook.

                                                              This book is loaded with fantastic simple recipes that are pretty easy to make. Some of them have some pretty exotic ingredients. You may not be able to find squirrel or Nutria in your local market. But, if you could, Buster has a recipe for you.

                                                              This book contains the recipe for his World Famous Red Beans and Rice. He served the very same dish at his restaurant for years. Locals and visitors ate it up.

                                                              Here's a review of the book:

                                                              It's a book that any respectable cookbook collection should have in it.

                                                              1. My cookbook "bible" for New Orleans food is "The New Orleans Cookbook", by Richard and Rima Collin. Richard Collin used to be the food critic for the Times Picayune many years ago and he and his wife put this cookbook together.
                                                                I love it....and still use it to this day for things like my red beans and rice and the Oyster dishes. The Oysters Bienville are to die for.
                                                                Get this book...you won't be sorry.

                                                                1. By traditional i am assuming you mean heyday recipes from many decades ago. You never know, some people's idea of traditional stretches back to yesterday . . .
                                                                  With that said,
                                                                  brennan's new orleans cookbook(rooster on front), 1961
                                                                  The commander's palace new orleans cookbook, 1984
                                                                  The new orleans restaurant cookbook, 1967
                                                                  Arnaude's creole, 1988
                                                                  antoines handwritten secrets, 1949
                                                                  Vincent prices treasury of great recipes, ampersand
                                                                  Plantation junior league, as mentioned

                                                                  1. "Mama's Kitchen" "Three Generations of Italian-Creole Home Cookin' in New Orleans"
                                                                    web: mamaskitchencookbook.com