Chef Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchenby Paul Prudhomme, Tom Jimison
Here for the first time the famous food of Louisiana is presented in a cookbook written by a great creative chef who is himself world-famous. The extraordinary Cajun and Creole cooking of South Louisiana has roots going back over two hundred years, and today it is the one really vital, growing regional cuisine in America. No one is more responsible than Paul… See more details below
Here for the first time the famous food of Louisiana is presented in a cookbook written by a great creative chef who is himself world-famous. The extraordinary Cajun and Creole cooking of South Louisiana has roots going back over two hundred years, and today it is the one really vital, growing regional cuisine in America. No one is more responsible than Paul Prudhomme for preserving and expanding the Louisiana tradition, which he inherited from his own Cajun background.
Chef Prudhomme's incredibly good food has brought people from all over America and the world to his restaurant, K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, in New Orleans. To set down his recipes for home cooks, however, he did not work in the restaurant. In a small test kitchen, equipped with a home-size stove and utensils normal for a home kitchen, he retested every recipe two and three times to get exactly the results he wanted. Logical though this is, it was an unprecedented way for a chef to write a cookbook. But Paul Prudhomme started cooking in his mother's kitchen when he was a youngster. To him, the difference between home and restaurant procedures is obvious and had to be taken into account.
So here, in explicit detail, are recipes for the great traditional dishes--gumbos and jambalayas, Shrimp Creole, Turtle Soup, Cajun "Popcorn," Crawfish Etouffee, Pecan Pie, and dozens more--each refined by the skill and genius of Chef Prudhomme so that they are at once authentic and modern in their methods.
Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen is also full of surprises, for he is unique in the way he has enlarged the repertoire of Cajun and Creole food, creating new dishes and variations within the old traditions. Seafood Stuffed Zucchini with Seafood Cream Sauce, Panted Chicken and Fettucini, Veal and Oyster Crepes, Artichoke Prudhomme--these and many others are newly conceived recipes, but they could have been created only by a Louisiana cook. The most famous of Paul Prudhomme's original recipes is Blackened Redfish, a daringly simple dish of fiery Cajun flavor that is often singled out by food writers as an example of the best of new American regional cooking.
For Louisianians and for cooks everywhere in the country, this is the most exciting cookbook to be published in many years.
Read an Excerpt
Makes 8 servings
This dish is excellent served with potato salad on the side.
2 (3-pound) chickens, each cut in 8 pieces
Ground red pepper (preferably cayenne)
About 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil for deep frying
1/2 cup finely chopped onions, in all
1/2 cup finely chopped celery, in all
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell peppers, in all
About 3 1/2 cups, in all, Chicken Stock
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground red pepper (preferably cayenne)
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, in all
3/4 cup very finely chopped green onions
4 cups hot Basic Cooked Rice
Remove excess fat from the chicken pieces. Rub a generous amount of salt, garlic powder and red pepper on both sides of each piece, making sure each is evenly covered. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a paper or plastic bag combine the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper. Add the chicken pieces and shake until pieces are well coated. Reserve any excess flour.
In a large heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) heat 1 1/2 inches of oil to 375 F. Fry the chicken pieces until both sides are browned and the meat is cooked, about 5 to 8 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Carefully pour the hot oil into a large glass measuring cup, leaving as many of the browned particles in the skillet as possible.Scrape the skillet bottom with a metal whisk to loosen any stuck particles, then return 1/2 cup of the oil to the skillet.
Heat the oil in the skillet over high heat until it starts to smoke, about 5 minutes. (It may take longer if skillet is not cast iron.) Meanwhile, measure out 3/4 cup flour (use the reserved flour from chicken coating and as much additional flour as needed to make 3/4 cup). In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup each of the onions, celery and bell peppers.
When the oil is hot, remove the skillet from the heat and add the flour. Using a long-handled metal whisk, stir until all the flour is blended into the oil. Return the skillet to a medium-high heat and whisk constantly until the roux is dark red-brown to black, about 3 to 4 minutes (being careful not to let it scorch or splash on your skin). Immediately remove roux from heat and whisk in the vegetable mixture. Continue whisking until the roux stops turning darker, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.
Bring 3 1/2 cups of the stock to a rolling boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Add the roux mixture by spoonfuls to the boiling stock, stirring until dissolved between each addition. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil again and simmer uncovered over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring fairly constantly. (The etouffee sauce should be the consistency of very thick gravy.) Set aside.
Combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl; mix well and set aside.
Melt 5 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet. Add the remaining 1/4 cup each of onions, celery and bell peppers. Saute over very low heat until the vegetables are completely wilted, about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the reserved etouffee sauce and the seasoning mix. Simmer 15 minutes longer, stirring frequently.
Heat-the serving plates in a 250 F. oven.
Melt the remaining butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat; add the green onions and saute about 2 minutes. Add the chicken and etouffee sauce and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove pan from heat and let sit 15 minutes. Skim off surface oil. Reheat the sauce just until well heated. You may need to thin the sauce with additional stock (preferred) or water. (The end result should bea thick brown gravy.) Serve immediately.
To serve, place 1/2 cup of rice and 2 pieces of chicken on each heated serving plate. Top rice with 1/3 cup sauce.
Cajun Seafood Gumbo with Andouille Smoked Sausage
Makes 10 main-dish or 20 appetizer servings
2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cups chopped green bell peppers
1 cup chopped celery
2 whole bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (preferably cayenne)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 1/2 cups Basic Seafood Stock
1 pound andouille smoked sausage (preferred) or any other good pure smoked pork sausage such as Polish sausage (kielbasa), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound peeled medium shrimp
1 dozen medium to large oysters in their liquor, about 9 ounces
3/4 pound crabmeat (picked over)
2 1/2 cups hot Basic Cooked Rice
Combine the onions, bell peppers and celery in a medium-size bowl and set aside. In a small bowl combine the seasoning mix ingredients; mix well and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat until it begins to smoke, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the flour, whisking constantly with a long-handled metal whisk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until roux is dark red-brown to black, about 2 to 4 minutes, being careful not to let it scorch or splash on your skin. Immediately add half the vegetables and stir well (switch to a spoon if necessary). Continue stirring and cooking about 1 minute. Then add the remaining vegetables and cook and stir about 2 minutes. Stir in the seasoning mix and continue cooking about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic; stir well, then cook and stir about 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, place the stock in a 5 1/2-quart saucepan or large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Add roux mixture by spoonfuls to the boiling stock, stirring until dissolved between each addition. Bring mixture to a boil. Add the andouille and return to a boil; continue boiling 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes more. Add the shrimp, undrained oysters and crabmeat. Return to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and skim any oil from the surface. Serve immediately.
To serve as a main course, mound 1/4 cup rice in the middle of each serving bowl. Spoon 1 cup gumbo over the top, making sure each person gets an assortment of the seafood and andouille. Serve half this amount in a cup as an appetizer.
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