At twelve years old, Kid Chef Eliana has had an impressive career in the kitchen. She published her first book in 2010, launched a radio show that has hosted celebrity chefs, including Paul Prudhomme and Andrew Zimmern, and has shared live cooking stages with the likes of New Orleans chef John Besh. Eliana’s newest book Cool Kids Cook Louisiana (Pelican, 2013) focuses on her love of Cajun and Creole cooking.

The book presents Bayou State recipes in an easy-to-follow format with tips, historical notes, and cultural references sprinkled liberally throughout. “I want kids to taste this food and say ‘wow, this is great!’” says Eliana. “If they see another kid

[like me] cooking, they’re more likely to try new ingredients.”

Eliana isn’t doing it on her own, though. She has a lot of help from her family. Her mother, Dianne de Las Casas is the award-winning author of the delightful picture book The Cajun Cornbread Boy (Pelican, 2008), and her big sister Soleil Lisette teamed up with Eliana to illustrate Cool Kids Cook Louisiana. With classic Cajun and Creole recipes like Shrimp Étoufée, Jambalaya, and White Chocolate Bread Pudding, this book will be a hit with budding chefs and seasoned eaters alike.

Pastalaya
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons butter
  2. 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  3. 1 pound andouille or smoked sausage, cut into ½-inch rounds
  4. 2 cups Trinity, recipe follows
  5. 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  6. 1 cup chicken broth
  7. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  8. 2 tablespoons Creole Seasoning, recipe follows
  9. 1 pound linguine, cooked and kept warm
  10. ¼ cup chopped green onion
Instructions
  1. In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sausage; cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  2. Add Trinity to pot and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, 6 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add chicken and sausage, tomatoes, chicken broth, garlic, and Creole Seasoning to pan. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in cooked pasta and green onion.
Adapted from Cool Kids Cook Louisiana by Kid Chef Eliana with Dianne de Las Casas (Pelican, 2013)
Louisiana Cookin http://www.louisianacookin.com/
Trinity
Yields 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large yellow onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  2. 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)
  3. 2 stalks celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine onion, bell pepper, and celery. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.
Louisiana Cookin http://www.louisianacookin.com/
Creole Seasoning
Yields 1
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Ingredients
  1. 5 tablespoons sweet paprika
  2. 2 tablespoons salt
  3. 2 tablespoons onion powder
  4. 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  5. 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  6. 2 tablespoons dried basil
  7. 1 tablespoon ground white pepper
  8. 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  9. 1 tablespoon celery seeds
  10. 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  11. 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine paprika, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil, white pepper, thyme, celery seeds, cayenne, and black pepper. Store in an airtight container.
Louisiana Cookin http://www.louisianacookin.com/