Customer Reviews for

Ralph Brennan's New Orleans Seafood Cookbook

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2008

    Terrific seafood cookbook

    I can often tell how good a cookbook is by seeing how many small bookmarks my wife places among the recipes. Between bits of newspaper coupons and paper napkins, or whatever else was at hand, the top of my review copy of Ralph Brennan's New Orleans Seafood Cookbook has become a veritable forest. The recipes actually come from Brennan's restaurants. Given the extended family into which he was born - New Orleans restaurant royalty, with members owning a number of major names in that city's eating establishments - there is little surprise that he went into the business. The beginning of the book has a 'manual' for how to select, store, and handle various types of fish and seafood. I would have liked to see a bit more - for example, not just filleting a whole fish, but also gutting and cleaning it. However, even in the section on fin fish, there was a tip I had never heard for telling if a fish is done. Insert the tip of a knife into the thickest part of a fillet. Then put the tip against the inside of your wrist. If it feels hot, then it's done. And there's plenty of other useful information, like an explanation of the difference among different types of crab meat and crabs. The recipes look fabulous: crab cakes with ravigote sauce, chilled smoked scallops with tomato-and-onion marmalade (making your own stove top smoker is in a tips appendix), oyster and artichoke bisque, baked catfish with sweet potato scales and andouille sauce, shrimp and spinach cannelloni with champagne butter sauce. This is upscale fish cookery. Oddly enough, my eyebrows frowned when I came upon the dessert, side dish, and drinks sections. Heaven knows I love dessert, and there are some terrific recipes in here, and I've also been known to tuck into side dishes and even take the occasional drink (including a rum-based milk punch during a 'Breakfast at Brennan's' at the famous restaurant owned by some of his kin). But there are so many general and even restaurant cookbooks, I found myself wishing that they had just concentrated on the fish alone, expanding those sections even more (not that they are skimpy by any means). But that's just me my wife happily bookmarked through the rest of the pages as well. It's a hefty $45, but you get a hefty amount of hardback for the money. It could make a great gift, whether for someone else or yourself.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2008

    A reviewer

    Okay, so I¿m not a cook¿ I admit. However, I love Ralph Brennan¿s New Orleans restaurants and since this book is supposed to work for even novice chefs I figured that I would give it a go. On first glance the recipes seemed complex, but as I tested the book in the kitchen I realized that some of the recipes are long because each step is laid out for you. Ralph Brennan and his culinary team have triple-tested each recipe and give you everything you need to be a success. From detailed step-by-step recipes, sourcing guide for spices, a photograph guide to filleting fish, cracking crabs and shucking oysters. It¿s all here. I have tested a few other cookbooks, but none were as successful in the kitchen or kept my interest like this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2008

    Ralph Brennan's New Orleans Seafood Cookbook

    Foodies everywhere will be delighted by this insider look into New Orleans seafood secrets. Ralph Brennan has assembled the crème de la crème team to write, photograph, edit and triple test the recipes in this book to create a complete guide to the nation¿s favorite seafood. It¿s no wonder New Orleans has become a culinary mecca with recipes like these. From the classic to the contemporary, Ralph Brennan serves up all the favorites. This book is a perfect opportunity to super-style your seafood!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2012

    Highly recommended

    This cookbook has become my favorite. I love all the recipes in it. I have eaten at the Brennans restaurant and I have not been disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2008

    The Aromas, the Flavors and the Honest Good Food from New Orleans

    Ralph Brennan writes about his passion for cooking and for preparing seafood a la New Orleans style so well that the recipes seem a bonus. Filling the pages of this well designed, beautifully photographed (by Kerri McCaffety) cookbook are not only some of the finest recipes for seafood in print, but there are also bits of wisdom and humor that spice the presentation, making this one of the classiest cookbooks to come out in a long time. Brennan is careful to give the background of each of the many dishes he shares, starting with the idiosyncrasies of the ingredients and types of seafood he uses, but also the 'how to' aspect of preparation before cooking, step by illustrated step of the preparation , and elegant photographs of the presentation of his works of culinary art. The book is divided into 1( A Seafood Cook's Manual, 2) Appetizers, 3) Gumbos, Soups and Bisques, 4) Salads, 5) Main Courses, 6) Desserts and their sauces, with additional chapters on accompaniments, sauces, dressings, stocks, spirits, and seasonings. From these pages rise such spectacular foods as Crab Bisque with Cauliflower and Brie, Seared Tuna with Shrimp and Capers and Balsamic Vinegar Brown Butter Sauce, and even Fried Oyster Poor Boy sandwiches (the recipe is as much a tale of history as it is a useful guide to preparation). Ralph Brennan not only gives precise and easy to follow directions, but he also makes it sound like such fun to prepare his suggestions that the book is readable as literature. This is a must for lovers of seafood, especially those who have enjoyed the author's restaurant in New Orleans. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2008

    I¿ve been waiting for this cookbook for a long time!

    Seafood is New Orleans specialty. Yet despite the regional popularity of the dish, no one has had the confidence to tackle this subject until now¿ very surprising in a city of competitive chefs and foodies! Ralph Brennan and his talented team have truly captured the essence of Southern Seafood in this beautiful cookbook. In triple-testing each recipe, providing tips for ingredient sourcing and illustrating a complete guide to handling raw seafood this book provides everything you need to make seafood recipes work in your kitchen. Kudos to Ralph Brennan for being brave enough to master seafood recipes and congratulations to his team for creating a cookbook that is certain to become a classic! William S., New Orleans

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2008

    Ralph Brennan's New Orleans Seafood Cookbook

    Ralph Brennan¿s New Orleans Seafood Cookbook is destined to reach ¿Bible¿ status among professional chefs and enthusiastic home cooks who are lucky enough to own a copy. Brennan¿s 430-page book gives the reader detailed explanations of each recipe and technique and holds back no secrets. For the thoughtful chef, there is every reason to succeed! Despite the cookbook¿s claim to be the definitive book on New Orleans seafood 'a region known for incredible delicacies from the Gulf of Mexico, lakes and bayous', the book has something for every chef, from Montana to Maine. Brennan substitutes comparable regional fish for every Louisiana recommendation. No redfish in Rhode Island? No problem! Halibut, John Dory, Walleye or other locally caught fish could be an amazing alternative for dinner tonight. Photographer Kerri McCaffety¿s colorful images of techniques-to-table provide mouth-watering photographs that inspire the culinary wizards in each of us. Brennan¿s New Orleans Seafood Cookbook will have a place of honor in my cookbook collection, next to Julia Child¿s The Way to Cook and Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I look forward to many great meals to come!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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