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johung

Paul Prudhomme's cookbooks qus?

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Hi all,

Does anyone have actual experience with preparing recipes out of Prudhomme's books? I have been pondering about buying his books Louisiana Tastes and Louisiana Kitchen but am afraid 90% of the recipes would call for buying his merchandise before proceeding in the style of "4 teaspoons of Chef Paul Prudhomme's Poultry Magic" or "buy crab boil - it should be available everywhere", which because I'm from overseas, neither are available in NZ.

Do the 2 books advise methods to make spice mixtures from scratch? That will make things a lot easier for us overseas readers.

Thanks

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All the seasoning mixtures in Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen are made from scratch with all ingredients listed. I don't have the other book so am not sure about that.

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The blackening spice recipe in Louisiana Kitchen is much better than the stuff that anybody sells. It does not have anti caking ingredients. It can also be doubled or even timed ten if you want to make a big batch. And there are not really any exotic ingredients. The recipes are very user friendly, at least for me.

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I don't have any of Paul's cookbooks but I do remember using one in the 80s: Louisiana Kitchen - it was very good, as I recall. I'm from Louisiana and I'd recommend his books. Like Emeril, his recipes are good but "involved," that is to say, lots of ingredients.

Do not be put off by the "specialty" ingredients. Most items, even if a recipe isn't included in the book, can be found online.

Example: Recipe: Chef Paul Prudhomme's Poultry Magic a mixture of salt, paprika, cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder, ground black pepper, dried thyme, dried oregano, rubbed sage, dash cumin.

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Coincidentally, I made the "Poor Man's Jambalaya" from Louisiana Kitchen for dinner tonight.....it was fabulous, as has been every other recipe I've made from this book for about 20 years now.

The book was written before Prudhomme hit the media. Cajun/Creole food had *just* become trendy when it was published. His spice/seasoning line hadn't been launched yet. So all of his seasoning mixes are blends of common herbs/spices that any decent cook already has in the pantry.

For the jambalaya I mentioned above, the seasoning mix was salt, white, black and cayenne peppers, dried thyme, dried mustard, cumin powder, bay leaves and file powder. That was probably the most *exotic* ingredient in the dish. Add the trinity, some garlic, rice, stock and ham and smoked sausage and you have a great, one-dish dinner in under an hour.

Now, granted the recipe does specify tasso ham and andouile sausage, but in the preface to the book, Prudhomme gives you alternatives to these ingredients if you can't find them.

None of the recipes in the book require his branded products, and all of them have alternatives (if workable) to ingredients that may be hard to source outside of NOLA, or outside of metropolitan areas.

"Louisiana Kitchen" is the one cookbook I use most, and the ONLY one I would rescue if the house was on fire. I have never made a bad dish using it.

Buy it. You will not regret it.

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Thanks everyone. It is reassuring the spice mixes compositions are written down in Louisiana Kitchen instead of asking people to buy processed product lines. I wouldn't mind about the specialty products like tasso ham etc, because you obviously can't make it at home and it is akin to asking me to use serraro ham. (although for the sake of educating readers, he could include the recipes of making them). I think I will buy Louisiana Kitchen.

How about Louisiana Tastes? It was written in 2000 so I would like to check if the recipes tell you to make sauces from scratch or buy processed ones, thanks.

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Another vote or Louisiana Kitchen -- one of my very favorite cookbooks.

I wouldn't mind about the specialty products like tasso ham etc, because you obviously can't make it at home and it is akin to asking me to use serraro ham.  (although for the sake of educating readers, he could include the recipes of making them). 

Who says you can't make tasso at home? It's one of the easiest cured meats you can make, and -- in this case, anyway -- serrano can't hold a candle to it. Find yourself a copy of Kinsella's Professional Charcuterie, Emeril's Real and Rustic or Polcyn's Charcuterie. All have respectable recipes.

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Thanks everyone.  It is reassuring the spice mixes compositions are written down in Louisiana Kitchen instead of asking people to buy processed product lines.  I wouldn't mind about the specialty products like tasso ham etc, because you obviously can't make it at home and it is akin to asking me to use serraro ham.  (although for the sake of educating readers, he could include the recipes of making them).  I think I will buy Louisiana Kitchen. 

How about Louisiana Tastes?  It was written in 2000 so I would like to check if the recipes tell you to make sauces from scratch or buy processed ones, thanks.

From the excerpt on Amazon, it looks like he gives all the ingredients again.

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I have 2 Paul Prudhomme books.

The first is a marketing adjunct to his "Magic" line: "Chef Paul Prudnomme's Pure Magic". No recipe in this book doesn't use his product.

The other one: "Chef Paul Prudhommes's Fiery Foods That I Love" on the other hand has none of his products at all and each recipe has a total ingredient list.

In Australia we used to be able to buy the "magic" line of products from Essential Ingredient. Don't know if they still stock it - I haven't used any for a long time. Not sure why - maybe I just forgot about it. In general the result was pretty good and even healthy as very little oil/fat is needed to get a result.

Cheers,

Peter.

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In Australia we used to be able to buy the "magic" line of products from Essential Ingredient.  Don't know if they still stock it - I haven't used any for a long time.

As it's just a few kilometers away, I'm there quite regularly and I haven't seen them there Peter.

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I love a few of Chef Paul's books. Louisiana Kitchen, Louisiana Tastes is good also (the Corn and Andouille Soup Recipe is worth the purchase of the book alone), and don't forget the Prudhomme Family Cookbook which contains recipes from all of his brothers and sisters as well as him and his late wife K, a really good cookbook. The best in my humble opinion is his first one Louisiana Kitchen, everything that I've made from this cookbook has been spectacular (I love the Cajun Shephard's Pie. Cook the meatloaf, drain the fat, use the fat to saute the vegetables. :-) Good stuff )

I've learned a ton from reading and trying Chef Paul's recipes over the years. They are very involved but you really learn about the intricacies of real cooking, he describes the smells, and sounds of the pot as it's cooking. The layers of flavor, adding seasonings in stages, tasting and smelling as you go. This isn't the 30 minute meals crap that is popular these days, this is real cooking, for folks that enjoy being in the kitchen.

Louisiana Kitchen is a must, if you like that one, pick through the other's to see what suits you.

By the way, in all of the cookbooks that I've described above he gives recipes for all of the seasoning mixes for each recipe, admirable in my opinion. In Emeril's latest, he hocks his products in almost every recipe, and his products aren't near the quality of Chef Paul's.

Danno

http://www.nolacuisine.com


Edited by Danno (log)

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