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Jul 10, 2008 09:21 PM

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.

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  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 : .

          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 and

          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:
            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 -

              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.

              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) 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.