Gulf Coast Kitchens: Flavors of the Gulf of Mexico

Gulf Coast Kitchens: Flavors of the Gulf of Mexico

by Constance Snow
     
 

Pinpoint the major settlements around the Gulf of Mexico and you’ve got a road map to good times and great food. Start light in the Floribbean cafés of Key West, then it’s on to Tampa Bay for the Cuban nightlife of Ybor City and the Greek tavernas of Tarpon Springs. Old South fish fries and porch suppers fill lazy days from the Florida Panhandle

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Overview

Pinpoint the major settlements around the Gulf of Mexico and you’ve got a road map to good times and great food. Start light in the Floribbean cafés of Key West, then it’s on to Tampa Bay for the Cuban nightlife of Ybor City and the Greek tavernas of Tarpon Springs. Old South fish fries and porch suppers fill lazy days from the Florida Panhandle through Alabama and Mississippi. A few miles and a world away, Louisiana is famous for its Creole and Cajun cuisines and pagan work ethic. Tex-Mex goes uptown in the cosmopolitan restaurants of Houston, while covering the waterfront in freewheeling cantinas and crab shacks from Galveston to South Padre Island. Go even deeper and you’ll taste its sophisticated tropical roots along the Mexican coast.

Gulf Coast Kitchens is your culinary guide to these incredible places. Here is true fusion cooking—French, Cajun, Spanish, Mexican, Asian, African, Italian—centuries in the making, where jambes and paellas morphed into jambalayas. Author Constance Snow gathers together the vast array of flavors this wide-reaching landscape offers, making for a collection of recipes so fresh, exciting, and diverse that your taste buds will be aquiver as you turn the pages, which are filled with all the Ya Ya energy and Creole color you would expect from such a melting pot of people and cultures.

Never before has the Gulf Coast received this kind of attention as a distinct culinary region. Like Southwestern cuisine and California style, the Gulf Coast’s blend of earthy seasonings, indigenous produce, and eclectic mix of flavors put it at the forefront of cooking trends. But forget trends—this food simply tastes great.

Gulf Coast Kitchens offers more than 200 recipes, including Pensacola Gaspachee Salad, Chilled Avocado and Crabmeat Soup, Calabaza con Pollo (Mexican Squash with Chicken), bayou standards like Creole Filé Gumbo and Jambalaya, and even drinks like the Blue Margarita and Louisiana Strawberry Lemonade. There are tips and tricks as well—from “Oyster Shucking 101” to “A Guide to Chiles” to “The Ins and Outs of Beer Tasting”—and beautiful photographs.

Snow’s writing is fresh and engaging and this book marks the appearance of a major new voice on the culinary scene. Join her tour in Gulf Coast Kitchens, one of the most interesting, lively, and tasty places on the planet.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Snow, a New Orleans-based journalist, serves up spicy, fun fare in this lively tour of strong immigrant communities and deep-fried Southern roots. While there are sections for meats and vegetables, this is largely a seafood feast, with 11 different crab recipes from Artichoke and Crabmeat Balls to Little Crabcakes with Papaya Salsa to Vietnamese-Style Stuffed Crabs. Shrimp cocktails and salads also abound, as do seafood stews (Cajun Shrimp Stew), fries and paellas. More unusual dishes, like African-Style Smoked Turkey and Okra Gumbo, Florida Spiny Lobster with Cuban Garlic Sauce, and the Mexican-influenced Beef Tenderloin with Cocoa-Chile Rub, join standard Southern dishes such as Pecan-Encrusted Grouper and Fried Okra Salad. Recipes are flexible; for example, grits can be either cornmeal or stone ground grits, and the book, in generous Gulf Coast style, offers such favorites as Huevos Rancheros, Yuca Pancakes and Mayan Dude Ranch Margarita Pie. Recipes come with helpful explanations (how to slice a yuca) as well as history and local flavor, with sections on tupelo honey, a soft-shell crab farming venture in Louisiana and the use of pumpkins. While a bit uneven-there are fewer Caribbean recipes than Mexican and Cajun, and styles zigzag from traditional to fusion to overwrought (Gulf Seafood Lasagna)-this cookbook is a crowd pleaser with something for everyone. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal - Library Journal
Snow, a New Orleans journalist and travel writer, offers an entertaining, thoroughly researched, and mouth-watering exploration of the many cuisines that make up the food of the Gulf Coast, from the tip of Florida to the Mexican coastal states. Chapter titles such as "Creole Meets Floribbean" and "Third Coast Antipasti and Tapas" reflect the myriad cultures that have defined coastal cooking, while "Deconstructing Bouillabaisse," for example, introduces recipes for the Gulf Coast interpretation of the French classic, a Mexican Fish Soup, and a Vietnamese Sweet-and-Sour Seafood Soup. "Gumbo Ya-Ya" showcases Creole Gumbo, a Louisiana Bayou gumbo, and Nsouki-Loppa, African-Style Smoked Turkey Gumbo. Here, as throughout the book, the readable headnotes elaborate on both the differences and the connections among the related dishes that show up along the 3000-mile coast, and sidebars delve into topics such as the history of Mexican beer ("Longnecks and Lime Wedges") and "The Great American Pumpkin." The more than 200 recipes are vibrant and flavorful, and Snow's informative text is a delight to read. Highly recommended. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780609610114
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/01/2003
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
7.64(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author

CONSTANCE SNOW has been a journalist for more than fifteen years, writing for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and many other publications, including the Los Angeles Times and National Geographic Traveler. She is also the author of New Orleans Access, Caribbean Access, and Romantic Days and Nights in New Orleans. She lives in New Orleans.

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