The holiday season is here, and if you’re like us, there are probably more than a few folks on your list who love Cajun and Creole cookbooks. For those who plan to give cookbooks as gifts, we’ve taken the legwork out of your search. Here are some of the Cajun and Creole cookbooks we’ve been talking about this year. From the history buff to the gourmet cook, these titles have something for everyone.
The cuisine of Southeast Louisiana has a worldwide reputation for being as unique as it is delicious. In Southeast Louisiana Food (American Palate, 2014), authors Addie K. and Jeremy Martin explore the history behind the enchanting culinary traditions that define Cajun cooking. With a wealth of facts and stories and a solid collection of classic recipes from Seafood and Sausage Gumbo to Shrimp Fricassee, this informational goldmine will delight any connoisseur of Louisiana culture.
Cast iron might be the most sacred of all Southern cookware, but cooks around the world have been preparing their most cherished recipes in it for centuries. Southern Cast Iron (Hoffman Media, 2014) is a collection of more than 65 recipes will inspire meals that connect family and friends. Whip up an Old-Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie for supper one night, then a Country Ham and Gruyére Dutch Baby the next. The kids will love Patty Melts with Secret Sauce, and Pecan Sticky Rolls will soon become your Sunday go-to. The possibilities truly are endless with the Southern Cast Iron book from Taste of the South.
For the Busy Mom
When It Comes to Convenience, nothing beats the ease and practicality of the slow cooker. The desire for cherished New Orleans meals prepared in a quick and stress-free manner was the inspiration behind In a While, Crocodile (Pelican Publishing Company, 2014), a collection of low-maintenance Creole recipes (and lagniappe) that can all be prepared ahead of time in a slow cooker. The end result is an arsenal of favorites such as Flambeaux Gumbo, Mid-City Meatballs, and Broadway Bread Pudding, all prepared with minimal effort for maximum flavor.
In Down South (Clarkson Potter, 2014), James Beard Award-winning New Orleans Chef Donald Link takes readers on a culinary tour of the South and paints a vivid picture of the locales he’s visited and the dishes he encountered along the way. The book features an array of recipes, including cocktails, seafood, barbecue, and sweets. There are even ideas for the often-ignored, but wildly flavorful, “lesser cuts” of fish and livestock. Down South is peppered with helpful tips and tricks to get the most out of an experience, whether during the process of cooking or entertaining guests.
Chef John Besh’s newest project, Cooking from the Heart (Andrew McMeel, 2013) is chockfull of his characteristic skill and charming whit. More than a collection of recipes, Cooking from the Heart tells the story of John’s travels through Europe and the great lessons—culinary and otherwise—that he picked up from mentors along the way. Along with 140 mouthwatering dishes, the book features extensively photographed step-by-step lessons to help home cooks master different culinary techniques.
And there is still time to give your favorite cook the tastiest gift of all: a subscription to Louisiana Cookin’.