Favorite Cajun or Spicy Cookbook?


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Favorite Cajun or Spicy Cookbook?

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Mar 19, 2007, 2:39pm

Does anybody have a great cajun or pepper-filled cookbook they could recommend? My boyfriend absolutely loves hot, spicy food and i'm looking for something great and spicy that i could use day-in and day-out to cook for him. i'm thinking Bobby Flay meets The Barefoot Contessa . . .

Any suggestions? :-)

Mar 19, 2007, 11:12pm

I enjoyed The Prudhomme Family Cookbook by Paul Prudhomme and his brothers and sisters. It has anecdotes from or about each recipe, and is somewhat of a memoir as well as a cookbook. Some people don't care for that, but I do. Many of the recipes looked doable, but easier if you live near a place to get fresh seafood and fish. I don't. Also, there are some which are more complicated than I ever intend to get. The basic processes are in there of blackening and seasoning though, and I think they are described very well.

Crazy for Chipotle is certainly full of spicy recipes, which are good, but they have a Mexican flair to them.

Modificato: Mar 20, 2007, 2:40pm

I love Prudhomme.

There is also the always-reliable Justin Wilson. I happen to have his Gourmet and Gourmand Cookbook, but he has others as well. They are pretty simple.

I also have a little easel type spiral-bound book of 3x5 index cards that I got in Barnes & Noble. It is by Theresa Millang who also wrote Roux, Roux, Roux which is Cajun.

Both of these authors are natives of Louisiana.

Modificato: Mar 27, 2007, 5:16am

NativeRoses: here are several by jessica b. Harris :

a wonderful, accurate and literate cookbook writer who has traveled to these places and learned from the locals:

Hot stuff A cookbook in praise ofthe piquant, containing hot recipes from all over;

and not primarily hot, but containing interesting hot stuff and also by Jessica B. Harris are:

iron pots and wooden spoons: Africa's gifts to New World Cooking,

Sky Juice and Flying Fish: Traditional Caribbean Cooking

Tasting Brazil: Regional Recipes and Reminiscences

Beyond Gumbo : Creole Fusion Food from the Atlantic Rim

and by lots of authors
( anything Szechuan)

Modificato: Apr 2, 2007, 3:21am

I'm not that fond of hot-at-the-expense-of-flavor food so I've never really been drawn to specialty cookbooks of this kind. I do own (it was a gift) Jane Butel's book Hotter than Hell. I've skimmed it a few times and it looks pretty competent. Never cooked from it.

I love well-prepared spicy food. I would always recommend the books on Mexican regional cooking by Diana Kennedy and I, too, have all of Jessica B. Harris's books.

Apr 6, 2007, 7:52am

Thanks for the suggestions!

My boyfriend loves spicy food even more than me (which is saying a lot), so i'm looking for good recipes to work into my daily routine.

i always enjoy watching what Bobby Flay does on Iron Chef -- preparing chili sauces, etc. that are one component of his dish so that flavor isn't sacrificed for hotness. But the recipes in his boos are much simpler.

i'll definitely check out the cookbooks mentioned so far. i'm also looking for creative ways to incorporate more spice/flavor/heat into traditional American cuisines (appetizers, main dishes, and deserts), so, please let me know if anyone thinks of any other good recipe sources.

Modificato: Apr 6, 2007, 9:27am

here is one that incorporates herbs and spices into traditional american cuisine. High-flavor Low Fat Cooking by Steven Raichlen who is a Miami cooking teacher recommended by Maida Heatter, the baking guru. It was published in 1992 so I don't know if it is still around. Here is a sample:

Spicy Cabbage Salad

1 small head nappa (about 4 cups shredded)
3 scallions minced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tb minced fresh ginger
1 or 2 hot chilies, preferably red, seeded and minced (optional)
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar
2 tb fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tb sesame oil
1 1/2 tb sugar
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced

Cut the nappa widthwise into the thinnest poosible strips. Combine the scallions, garlic, ginger, chilies (if using), vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil, salt, white pepper and sugar in a large bowl. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet.

Add the nappa aand red pepper to the vinegar mixture and mix thoroughly.Sprinkle the salad with toasted sesame seeds. Let it stand for 15-20 minutes to let the flavors blend. Toss and correct the seasoning just before serving.

if you would like an appetizer, main dish or dessert
example, just holler and I'll copy another.

Set 18, 2007, 8:16am

Resurrecting this thread, as I'd like some advice.
My first real foray into cooking Cajun food is coming this weekend through "Cajun Cuisine: Authentic Cajun Recipes from Louisiana's Bayou Country"
Though obviously it can vary from dish to dish, I'm wondering if anyone out there has some ideas on what drinks will go well with Cajun?
(touchstones not loading, could be a speed issue)

Modificato: Nov 14, 2007, 12:14am

Folks, you want to get yourself a copy of Don's Secrets.

Nov 24, 2007, 8:13pm

#8 it depends on what kind of drinking you mean.

If you want to go with a more southern theme, you can go sweet tea, but I suspect this isn't so much about a gentle drink? :D

Spicy food and Gewertzaminer is always a standby, but it can be very sweet. Don't put down sparkling wines - a dry Italian sparkling wine (NOT AUSTI!) will be very good with spicy foods (sparkling wines aren't just for special occassions!). I'd even go for a Chenin Blanc since it's such a good sipping wine anyway.

Beer is really my big choice for cajun food - there's something really good about a cold beer and gumbo.

If you want hard liquor, serve Hurricanes! You can't get away from them in New Orleans.

Modificato: Dic 7, 2007, 2:40am

Living in Lafayette, LA I'm in the truest heart of cajun country. If you're looking for heat, this isn't exactly the right place; you're looking for maybe Thailand or India......here they call it 'seasoned'. Nice spice that accentuates the dish without overpowering it. 'Cajun' and 'Hot' are by no means the same...
You're gonna have to look up web sites, but I can recommend the Prejeans Cookbook (a local favorite, and a must eat when visiting south-central Louisiana), John Folse's newest 'After The Hunt' (a BEAUTIFUL tome) and Encyclopedia of Creole and Cajun Cookery (absolutley a must-have if you are any kind of fan of the cusine), Jude W.Theriot's 100 Greatest Cajun Recipes, of course all that is Prudhomme or Wilson, or Karl Breaux's (Kajun Karl's) Cook'n Adventures. There are dozens of locally published cookbooks here, and the truest way to get an idea of what Cajun food really is, is to spend at least a few days here - cookbooks are produced by the local newspaper and every organization imaginable and available at every book store, the airport, all the tourist hangout, the local's hangouts and everywhere anyone might go (including gas stations).
There are many ingredients available here that you can't get elsewhere...for those try cajungrocer.com - I really don't dig endorsing anyone here, but they'll have your boudin, andouille, filet and such when you get the proper cookbooks. Do yourself a favor and stock up on rice now.
As for the drinks, Hurricane's are great (not really cajun though), Dixie or Abita beers, Canadian Whiskies (I don't know why) and quantity is important! Come on down and see the drive-thru Daquairi stands!

Set 4, 2008, 7:38pm

Have you tried The Heaven on Seven Cookbook? There's a restaurant in Chicago by the same name.

Set 5, 2008, 9:48am

I missed the start of this thread, sorry. I love my Red Hot! A Cook's Encyclopedia of Fire and Spice. It's not all chilli for the sake of blowing your head off and has some really great, hot, recipes that let the flavour of the rest of the food come through.

Modificato: Dic 17, 2011, 4:36pm

Questo messaggio è stato cancellato dall'autore.

Nov 30, 2011, 3:14pm

I realize this is an old thread, but a new cookbook on the subject is worth mentioning. Sriracha contains both a recipe for the eponymous Thai sauce as well as a nice collection of recipes that employ it.

Dic 16, 2011, 1:25pm

I have had great success with Hot, Hotter, Hottest by Janet Hazen. The recipes are easy to follow and are easy to adjust to heat. I even found out I like horseradish due to these recipes.

Dic 16, 2011, 3:17pm

I got this today and thought of this thread. http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1102712568504-99/Pepper+Exh...
It is not exactly cooking but I am going to try to get to the reception. I trust Hardy will see to it that peppers are used liberally in the dishes served. Dr. Eshbaugh was a customer of mine in Oxford Ohio and is well known for working to create shorter season peppers that still have heat.

Dic 16, 2011, 4:11pm

#16: She seems to have several similar books. I own Turn it up!, and she also has Hot!: 150 Fiery and Spicy Recipes and a vegetarian one Red, Hot and Green. I do quite like Turn it up, but my children are still to young to cook any real spicy food, so it is reserved for the days when they eat somewhere else.

Dic 18, 2011, 2:01pm

#18 ... which raises an interesting thought. I suspect that kids in the Indian community here (Durban, South Africa) start taking fiery spices in with their mothers' milk; anyway they eat the stuff from earliest youth with evident relish. (Which reminds me of a conference I attended at Uni. Durban-Westville when it was "the Indian college"; what completely finished off the Cape Town delegation was one morning when they found the breakfast eggs had been cooked with garam masala ...)

Dic 18, 2011, 5:27pm

Mmmmm, eggs with garam masala. I'll have to try that. When I'm alone, husband couldn't handle it.

Dic 19, 2011, 4:02am

#19: And garam masala is such innocent stuff. Not sharp or anything, mainly cinnamon and cumin.

That said, I do recall disliking cumin as a child. Possibly because the only way I encountered it was in cumin cheese, and that definitely is an acquired taste. Do they have cumin cheese in any other countries than the Netherlands?

And thank you for reminding me! There was an egg curry with garam masala that I used to make whenever I needed to to cook for a crowd. Must make it again some time (Makes mental note and personal recipe note on Eat Your Books).

Dic 19, 2011, 1:38pm

#21 Leidsekaas is one of the commonest imported cheeses here -- evidently because it sells well! (I love it!)