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**February 2010 COTM: Louisiana Kitchen**

And the winner is: Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen!

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  1. Great chef, great book. Cajun meat loaf, paneed veal, shrimp and grits and so on.
    Yum.

    1. Got this out of the library today. I'm excited to start cooking from it. I'm going to start by making a stock this weekend, since almost every dish in the book involves a stock! I'm a little concerned about my ability to find/replace tasso, since I have never heard of it here in upstate NY until today! But it should be an interesting and tasty month:)

      17 Replies
      1. re: sunflwrsdh

        Canadian bacon and smoked ham can be substituted for Tasso... or so I'm told.

        1. re: Gio

          or you can try making your own. This is just a sample recipe, I haven't checked more than one.
          http://www.gumbopages.com/food/tasso....

          1. re: smtucker

            Thanks for the recipe. My husband does have a smoker, maybe I will be able to get him to try making tasso for me!

            1. re: sunflwrsdh

              Oh! Ruhlman's Charcuterie has a Tasso recipe. I suspect that if you can get your hands on his book, this would be both successful and delicious.

          2. re: Gio

            Covering my head preparing for things being thrown at me: how about a non-pork eater? I got some soy chorizo yesterday. Do you think that would work, or maybe spicy turkey sausages? Never having had tasso, I don't know which would be the better sub.

            1. re: LulusMom

              Oh LLM... no need to run for cover. I'd sub with the spicy trukey sausages. I think the main focus is the smoky flavor, tho. In rereading the recipes I'm committed to reducing the the salt drastically and the fat too. There are enough spices to compensate. We'll see.

              1. re: Gio

                Thanks a million Gio. Having never eaten andoille, I'm not really sure which flavor I'm trying to get. Your advice helps a lot.

                1. re: LulusMom

                  .... just as long as you get spicy turkey and not trukey you'll be fine. LOL

                  1. re: LulusMom

                    Andouille sausage tastes of garlic, paprika, hot peppers and smoke. The casing is generally fairly firm, though when I had some in Shreveport, the casing was softer. I have seen Andouille sausage made with chicken and turkey. Perhaps one of your markets offers these variations?

                    1. re: smtucker

                      Most of those that I've seen have pork casings. I'm ok with pulling those off, but sometimes they still *taste* porky to me. I know it is hard for pork eaters to understand, but to me this is a big ewwwww. I live in absolutely the WORST place in the US (North Carolina - bbq pork country) for my situation.

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        Hmmmm..... well then. That does get complicated and as a former NC-resident, I know exactly what you mean. Let me look around. I just feel I have seen what you need somewhere. I love the flavor of Andouille, and it isn't due to the pork. I love that smokey garlic thing....

                  2. re: LulusMom

                    I've never tried the Chicken Andouille..Nor the Turkey Tasso but it is available here........http://www.cajunsausage.com/

                    Photo is pork tasso and andouille I picked up on Friday afternoon in LaPlace ~~~

                    1 Link of Andouille usually runs 1lb + ......

                    Enjoy!!

                     
                    1. re: Uncle Bob

                      For a while our local WFs carried the ones with lamb casings, and then they stopped. I'll go in and ask if I can special order them. Great idea and reminder - thanks.

                      1. re: Uncle Bob

                        Costco carries a Chicken Andouille that i've found to be quite good.

                  3. re: sunflwrsdh

                    I think Prudhomme himself recommends Hormel Cure 81 ham as a substitute for tasso.

                  4. Just got my copy in the mail today. I showed E some of the pictures, and he's already picked out BBQ shrimp (of course), Shrimp Diane, and Paneed Veal with Fettucini. The Cajun Meatloaf is already a favorite, so that will definitely be in the cooking line-up also next month.

                    Lost 8 pounds cooking from Sally Schneider's "New Way to Cook" last month, something tells me that I'll be gaining this month! Ah well, delicious food is always worth it.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Rubee

                      Wow. Now I suddenly want to take another crack at "New Way to Cook"

                      (P.S. I hope my work schedule eases up so I can participate in Lousiana Kitchen this month.)

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        I've had "New Way To Cook" for a couple of months and haven't read it yet. Just got it off the shelf to delve into while I'm watching the playoffs. It won two awards and the New York Times calls it "'The Silver Palate for the new generation'". Wow. It looks really interesting!

                        But looking very forward to La. Kitchen - one of my fave and most used books.

                        1. re: bayoucook

                          "New Way To Cook" is such a huge book that I think it's a bit intimidating with its lack of pictures. It was a COTM for 2/09 but I was surprised by how many Chowhounds went through it and decided it didn't appeal to them without really trying anything. But if you get a chance to go through and read her tips and techniques, it's really a wonderful cookbook with so many great ideas.

                          February 2009 COTM with recipe reports:
                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/592560

                          I had ArizonaGirl and her husband over one night last week and made an impromptu appetizer platter with a bunch of recipes I had made for lunches during the week. In fact, she was so impressed with such a healthy but delicious veggie spread, she bought the book this week. All appetizers except for the zaalouk (Moroccan eggplant salad from Roden's "Arabesque") were from "New Way to Cook":

                          (picture) Peppers Roasted with Garlic and Anchovies; zaalouk; Slow Roasted Tomatoes with basil; Farro Salad with Green Apples, Toasted Spices and Pine Nuts; Hummus with ground cumin, coriander, and sesame seeds:
                          http://www.chow.com/photos/420950

                          Looking forward to Louisiana Kitchen too!

                          1. re: Rubee

                            That looks beautiful and delicious! Makes my mouth water - hey, isn't it lunchtime?

                            1. re: bayoucook

                              Rubee: That certainly DOES look gorgeous.

                        2. re: The Dairy Queen

                          Please help a newbie get up to speed here. What is COTM? How do you "participate" in Louisiana Kitchen?

                          1. re: elegraph

                            Hi there! Welcome. COTM=Cookbook of the Month. Every month, a bunch of us (anyone who is interested) vote on a book we'd like to cook from for the month. For February, we've voted to cook from Louisiana Kitchen. On February 1, the COTM organizer will post the "Louisiana Kitchen" threads. Throughout February (and even beyond), whenever anyone cooks from Louisiana Kitchen, they can post about it in those threads.

                            I hope you'll join us! It's a lot of fun. Anyone can participate.

                            THere's a link to more detailed instructions that I'll go grab and post here. I'll be right back.

                            ~TDQ

                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              Whoops! I can see my edit to add in the link to the COTM archive with links to all of the previous COTM thread and the guidelines for participating didn't "take", so, here it is:

                              http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

                              I also wanted to say that there's no sign up or anything like that in order to participate. Just get a copy of the book (the library is great for this sort of thing if you don't own the book and don't know whether you want to buy it yet), pick a recipe that appeals to you, and starting cooking (and photographing if you wish) and posting. Participate as much or as little as you want. The more the merrier. I hope you join us!

                              If you're itching to get started right away, Patricia Wells Bistro Cooking and Trattoria are the current (January) COTMs (yeah, sometimes we choose two related books). Here's the "master" thread for Wells: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6777...

                              ~TDQ

                      2. Are any recipes available on line?

                        8 Replies
                          1. re: Gio

                            That link takes me to a site with recipes for all different kinds of food. Is there a place where I could find recipes from this particular book?

                              1. re: NYCkaren

                                Gosh... that's weird. I apologize. Try this one:
                                http://www.chef2chef.net/articles/fea...

                                On second thought try this one instead:
                                http://www.chefpaul.com/site300.php

                                1. re: Gio

                                  I too was searching for online recipes and found the chefpaul site but all recipes seem to feature (hawk?) his magic seasoning blends.

                                  1. re: bizkat

                                    Each recipe in the book lists the spices needed. You don't have to buy the jar. Perhaps you could look in a bookstore or library.

                                    1. re: bizkat

                                      Copy Cat Poultry MagicĀ®

                                      Ingredients

                                      1 1/2 teaspoons salt
                                      1/4 teaspoon cayenne
                                      1/2 teaspoon onion powder
                                      1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
                                      1/2 teaspoon paprika
                                      1/4 teaspoon black pepper
                                      1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
                                      1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
                                      1/4 teaspoon oregano
                                      1/8 teaspoon cumin

                                      Directions

                                      1. Mix all ingredients together and store in an air tight container.
                                      2. Use as a seasoning for chicken, turkey, or any other poultry.

                                      1. re: speyerer

                                        Thanks for that; I always make the blends instead of buying them since I have the herbs and spices anyway.

                            1. I know it's not Februaray yet, but I got, "Louisiana Kitchen" from the library on Thursday or Friday, and decided to go ahead and start this weekend, with Chicken Etoufee, and Cajun rice today. ( I mostly only have time to cook on weekends, and we have other stuff going on a couple of weekends in Feb.) So....the chicken etoufee is awesome, as it the rice.. The flavor is amazing, and it's one of those dishes that makes you wonder just what happened to make those simple and inexpensive ingredients combine into such a "magic" dish. That being said, it is extremely labor intensive. My husband cut up the two whole chickens for me and started the stock with the necks and backs this morning. ( I guess if you are one of those people who "always" has home made stock on hand it would be easier.) So the stock simmered until around 3, and that's when I started the rest of the prep. I didn't leave the kitchen until we ate at a little after 7. The rice was really simple....chop up some peppers, onions and celery and mix some seasonings, stock and rice and put in a loaf pan for an hour and 10 minutes. Very good. The chicken had to be rubbed with salt and seasonings, and allowed to set at room temp for 30 minutes, then shaken with flour and more seasonings, (mostly cayenne, garlic powder and white and black pepper) and fried in a cast iron skillet in batches. I have a pretty large cast iron skillelt and still had to do about 4 batches...5-8 minutes per side to get all the chicken cooked. The Etoufee sauce was also very labor intensive, but worth it! Great flavor...I had never made a "red-brown to black roux" before, and was a little nervous about how it would come out, but I think I did it. The book says it should be like a thick dark gravy, and mine was. And it tasted amazing....spicy, with a good kick, but not overwhelmingly hot. I actually didn't smother the chicken with the sauce, although I know that's what was supposed to happen ( and is sort of the definition of etoufee) because my daughter is a very picky eater, and I wanted her to at least try the chicken and was afraid if I served it with the sauce on it, she wouldn't. As it turned out, she loved the chicken and dipped it in the sauce and liked that too! Served it with a tossed salad and warm French bread. Really good dinner.
                              Wednesday, I'm going to make the meatloaf.... with the Hot Cajun sauce. Did the beef stock and chopped the vegetables today in preparation. I'll post on how it turns out:)

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                Wow! That's really impressive, sunflwrsdh. The roux alone is a semi-chore. You made a total "from scratch" meal right out of the starting box. Well, close to the starting box, at least. Brava!

                                1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                  That sounds delicious! The meatloaf with very hot cajun sauce is a long-time favorite at our house. The hot sauce is really hot - we like it that way, but I cut down on the cayenne some when I have guests. Also serve the hot sauce with the Shepherd's pie (so so good). I've had the book since 4/84 and it is tattered and re-bound. Since I hadn't read through it since '84, I read every page yesterday and marked a LOT more pages for use.
                                  The bread pudding with lemon sauce and Chantilly cream is a family favorite, too.
                                  Happy cooking - can't wait for February!

                                  1. re: bayoucook

                                    I liked the sound of the bread pudding too, and may try that if I get some more time on an upcoming weekend. Thanks for the tip about the hot sauce; I may cut the cayenne a little bit for us as well. I agree, this is a great book,. I'm especially impressed with how wonderful and complex the layers of flavor were in the etoufee, based on the ingredients that went into it..When cooking other recipes, I've often gone the "extra mile" so to speak to get fresh herbs, and vegetables,, etc, and the indgredients that went into this were just so simple and humble....chicken, water, onions peppers, scallionscelery, salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder and butter (lots of butter, which I , , would reduce next time) the final product really amazed me.

                                  2. re: sunflwrsdh

                                    I'm starting to get very intimidated about this book. Are all of the recipes as labor intensive as the ones sunflwrsdh tried? Are their some good "newbie" type recipes?

                                    ~TDQ

                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      No, but most call for stock. If you can pre-make this and have it on hand, it cuts down considerably on the recipe difficulty.

                                      Shrimp Diane is easy-peasy--and delicious. Yes, it calls for shrimp stock, but you could, in a pinch, sub a combination of bottled clam juice and canned chicken broth. But simply simmering the shells from the shrimp for 20-30 minutes will produce a stock that works well. Ditto for Garlic Shrimp and Oysters over Pasta. Paneed Veal (or sub chicken breast) is also very simple. So is Louisiana Roast Beef. Barbecue Shrimp requires just a few minutes if you have some stock on hand. Fish w/Pecan Butter Sauce and Meuniere Sauce is also not very difficult--and you don't really need both sauces (although they're delicious). Gumbo, if you pre-make stock, is really not that hard. (You chop vegetables. You make roux. ) If I'm making chicken or duck gumbo, I use leftover roast chicken or duck.
                                      Like recipes for Indian food, in lots of these recipes, you'll see what seems like a long list of ingredients, but usually it's just a bunch of spices for the "spice mix," requiring nothing more than measuring them and dumping into a mix.
                                      (Also, Chef Paul, imo, often over-complicates things like boiling pasta.)

                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                        The stirring and holding up strands of spaghetti thing? Also struck me as weird (enough so that I remember it every time I cook spaghetti. haha).

                                        1. re: buttertart

                                          Yes, I'm not sure what's up with that!

                                        2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                          Thanks for the tips on some of the less labor intensive recipes. The shrimp Diane is one I'm considering...I'll just make soemthing else for my picky eater daughter. I agree that some of his stuff did seem over-com[licated, like the pasta thing.

                                        3. re: The Dairy Queen

                                          There were some that sounded less labor intensive, but I was looking at them from a perspective of what could I make from this book that my daughter would at least try, and she eats no seafood and no pork. I also wanted the experience of making the roux, which is not something I've done before. There were a couple of pasta type dishes that appeared less intimidating and labor intensive,and there was a roast beef recipe too that sounded good and easy. The meatloaf looks fairly simple too. I already made the stock for the hot sauce for the meat loaf I"m planning to make on Wednesday. I agree that making stock ahead of time (stockpiling, if you will...sorry for the terrible pun!) is the way to go with tPrudhomme's recipes. But making the stock is really not at all labor intensive.....basiclally simmering bones/meat/shells from whatever you will be making for several hours. I'm thinking I might do a large batch of several stocks the next weekend I have some spare time, and freeze them to have on hand.