New Orleans Cuisine

My Creole & Cajun Recipe Page

This is my blog dedicated to New Orleans & Louisiana cooking! I'll give links to great Creole & Cajun recipes and sites, as well as some of my own recipes. I love talkin' New Orleans, food and otherwise! Incidentally, I'm from Detroit. Go Figure. Lets just say I figured out "what it means, to miss New Orleans" and this site helps ease the pain.

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"Leaving New Orleans also frightened me considerably. Outside of the city limits the heart of darkness, the true wasteland begins."
-Ignatius J. Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces

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Saturday, December 18, 2004

Natchitoches Meat Pies

I made Natchitoches (prounounced nak-uh-dish) Meat Pies for dinner last night, my wife and I loved them! I've never made them before, but I think I'm going to make some for our annual Christmas party! They're meat filled turnovers, that are deep-fried. Here are a few links to different recipes I picked from. I usually find a few recipes, then take what I like from each one.

I used the crust from this one Emeril's Natchitoches Meat Pies.
Here is one from Recipe Goldmine that I kind of based my filling on Natchitoches Meat Pies RG.

I added celery to my filling, along with a touch of hot sauce, and my Homemade Worcestershire Sauce.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Red Beans and Rice

Where do I start on this topic? How about Louis Armstrong! This was his comfort food, his "birthmark" as he once said. He actually signed his name Red Beans and Ricely Yours. I've been a huge Louis Armstrong fan since I discovered him in high school. I've actually tracked down two different red beans recipes from Louis Armstrong. Everyone has their own recipe, most of which change a little with each cooking. This traditional Monday lunch in New Orleans, stems from lean times, and a good cook's sense of how to make something, out of nothing! It's my absolute favorite thing to cook! I usually make it once a week, usually on Monday, or whatever my day off happens to be. Sometimes I make it for staff meal at the restaurant. I never follow a recipe, but you can always find nine, or so, cookbooks open on my table when I'm cooking it. I always search for a new technique, they almost always turn out good, but once in awhile, there's magic in the pot. I'll share some techniques later, if anyone is interested, or if no one is interested, because like most blogs, this is written for me. Red Beans & Ricely Yours - Danno be continued...

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Recipe Gold Mine Regional Louisiana

Check out this great site! Lots of New Orleans Cuisine & Louisiana recipes! This is my kind of site! I'm going to make Natchitoches Meat Pies tonight, I'll post on how they turned out and the recipe(s) I used.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen

I just wanted to share my favorite cookbook. I have a lot of favorites but this is the number one! If you haven't heard of it check it out:

Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen.

The reason I love this cookbook is the man's knowledge of cooking. Chef Paul will tell you everything that should be happening while you're cooking, smell, look, taste, etc.. at certain stages. I've really learned a ton about cooking from this book! The Chicken and Tasso Jambalaya recipe is one of my favorites. I cook all of my Jambalayas this way now, which is, after sauteeing ingredients, add rice and liquid, finish in the oven, similar to a Paella. Most recipes finish Jambalaya on the stove top, I think it comes out far better from the oven. I've never made a bad recipe from this book, and most are phenomenal! The Crawfish Etouffee I had from K-Paul's during Mardi Gras was one of the best things I've ever eaten, and certainly the best Etouffee. Speaking of which, if your going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, K-Paul's usually opens their window at night and serves a variety of different items to-go for about $6 or $7 bucks a-pop! Last year they had Crawfish Etouffee, Chicken etouffee, Blackened Drum, as well as a few others, including my favorite heart stopper, Deep-Fried Ham Po Boy! That's right folks bread and all, battered and fried! Atkins be damned! Pure heaven!
Anyway, if you've never checked out this ground breaking book, do so! It's very popular, so you should be able to find it anywhere, including the local library!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

A word about Rice

The kind of rice I enjoy with Gumbos, Red Beans, Etouffee, etc., a lot of New Orleans Cuisine dishes, is a boilied rice. I like it because the grains stay seperate from one another, essentially, they let the main dish be the dish. Not that the rice is second fiddle, I just don't like an accompaniment rice where the grains are like glue. We're not making Sushi Rice, we don't want sticky rice. I have a pot of Red Beans on the stove (even though it's not Monday), and my rice is as important as my beans, which means, Very important! I take Red Beans & Rice very seriously. Not too seriously, nothing should be too serious, but I hold them in high esteem! more on Red Beans later. But this rice, which was inspired by the Commander's Palace cookbook, Commander's Kitchen (more on Commander's Palace later), is a great, simple, accompaniment rice. Not great because it's simple, just great! Real easy... 1 quart of Boiling water, to 1 cup of Rice. The goal here is not to absorb all of the liquid into the rice. The goal is to make the rice tender, and drain the rice! I use Uncle Ben's original rice, you know, converted long grain, parboiled. I just think it's a great product. I'll put this in recipe format. I don't believe in hoarding recipes. Share man!

Creole Boiled Rice

1 quart of Boiling Water
1 Cup Uncle Ben's Rice
4 Fresh Bay Leaves (If you have to use dried, do so, but damn..... the fresh are so much better!)
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter (Optional)

Bring the water to a boil with the bay leaves. Add the salt. Add the rice, stir to make sure the rice doesn't stick! Do Not Stir again! If you agitate the rice too much, it gets sticky! So give it a good stir, when it comes back to a boil, partially cover it. Cook for about 11 minutes, but taste it, don't trust me! It should have some bite, but a crunch is bad! When finished, drain it, pluck out the bay leaves, if desired place it into a 400 degree oven with the butter patted on top of it; this helps dry the rice out. ( I don't always do this, it's up to you)

I love this rice, I love the fragrance the bay leaves give the finished dish! It's simple and it's a great accompaniment rice! I use this for my Gumbos, Etouffees, Red Beans, etc, etc.. I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Creole and Cajun Cookbooks

Welcome to my New Orleans Cuisine blog! I'm excited about this; a place to share what I've learned about the great food of Louisiana, and hopefully learn some things from others! Speaking of which, I like to collect Creole and Cajun cookbooks, so when I found this link I was pretty happy. It's from Tulane University and it's a very thorough Bibliography of New Orleans cookbooks. Check it out.


What I wouldn't give to be standing at the bar at Felix's with a cold Dixie and a couple dozen oysters. Oysters aren't super easy to come by in the Detroit area, and they're on the pricey side. At the last two restaurants I've cooked, we served a few different varieties, it was nice to have that connection. So when I get to New Orleans I eat my fill! My buddy Tom and I always say, Oysters save our lives during Mardi Gras! I love 'em all ways: Fried, fried on a Po' Boy, baked, in soup, skewered, and on and on. But the best way is raw on the half-shell, with a couple of drops of Tabasco. I'll surely have more posts about oysters, as well as some great recipes on New Orleans Cuisine.