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Crescent City Cooking: Unforgettable Recipes from Susan Spicer's New Orleans Hardcover – October 23, 2007


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Crescent City Cooking: Unforgettable Recipes from Susan Spicer's New Orleans + My New Orleans: The Cookbook + Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link's Louisiana
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (October 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400043891
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400043897
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In this mouthwatering debut cookbook, Spicer, noted chef and proprietor of New Orleans's Bayona and Herb-saint, offers a vibrant look at the diversity and breadth of her local cuisine. With more than 170 recipes ranging from Cajun-spiced Pecans and Classic N'Awlins Shrimp Boil to Spicy Thai Salad with Shrimp, Pork, and Crispy Rice Noodles, Spicer highlights the range of the region's cuisine. Shellfish appear in several recipes such as Poached Oysters with Leeks and Bacon, and Shrimp and Tomato Bisque. Sandwiches, gumbos and desserts are also given ample attention. Throughout, Spicer provides brief but helpful descriptions of unusual ingredients such as file powder and less common techniques like cold smoking. The must-try Killer Cocktails section (to-go cup not included) and Spicer Pantry list of important tools and ingredients will make any cook happy. This comprehensive guide to New Orleans cuisine will whet the appetite and please the palate. 86 color photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
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Review

“This is a great cookbook, full of accessible recipes that people can cook from everyday.  Susan Spicer is a master at marrying exotic flavors with great Southern food.  She is a New Orleans treasure and one of the most talented chefs at work in America today.”

–Suzanne Goin


“Susan Spicer is a chef who dazzles the palate with flavors rooted in her beloved New Orleans.  Her long-awaited debut, Crescent City Cooking, is full of mouth-watering recipes and show-stealing sides, and her chapter on killer cocktails from Bourbon Street is simply not to be missed.  This book is one big party.  Congratulations, Susan.”

–Lidia Bastianich


“Susan Spicer is one of my favorite chefs in my favorite dining city in the world. Her sense of place and tradition is as romantic as it is alluring, and her recipes, basted with an incredible depth of flavor, are disarmingly simple to prepare. Susan's cooking celebrates the vibrant key of the French quarter, and the food in this book is tasty, delicious and exciting to make.”

–Mario Batali


"Susan's cuisine is a true journey around the world, blending soulful ingredients into exciting and original recipes.  Her love for New Orleans' tradition shines through her innovative cooking."

–Daniel Boulud, Chef/Restaurateur


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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 32 customer reviews
The photographs are beautiful, the writing approachable.
R. King
One thing that I would like to point out is that these recipes are in my opinion guidelines.
clifford
This is one of my favorite gift for the newly married couple.
Nathalie Jorge

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By R. King on March 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I received this book about three weeks ago, and have cooked almost exclusively from it since it arrived. Not one thing has disappointed. I sent my daughter a copy, since she spent most of a visit copying recipes from mine. We did the shrimp boil while she was here (delicious) with the epiphany lemon tart for dessert. Since then, my husband and I have enjoyed the shrimp with green chile cheese grits, and the Madeira mushrooms over goat cheese croutons. I've been reading it like a novel in bed at night, anxiously awaiting the next meal I can make from it. The photographs are beautiful, the writing approachable. Buy it.
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44 of 52 people found the following review helpful By clifford on November 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I had the pleasure of working for Susan Spicer many years ago, so I might not be the best judge of `crescent city cooking'. However, and on the other hand, I know that she is a one hundred percent perfectionist. Spicer will not let one plate out of her kitchen that does not pass her absolute hard-core standards. And I think that `Crescent City Cooking' is one of those cook-books that anyone who has spent even a little time in the kitchen will appreciate due to both its simplicity and shrewd advice.

One thing that I would like to point out is that these recipes are in my opinion guidelines. Maybe you try a dish one time exactly the way it is spelled out here, but then half the fun is in playing slightly with the ingredients the next time. What is talked about here is how to get the most out of a dish... how to go about it the right way.

In my mind, Spicer is a culinary god. I always compare every single restaurant to Bayona. Some have come close, but ultimately none match the quality over-all of dining experience. Lastly, if you have never eaten at bayona, if they still seat out on the patio, and you are in New Orleans in the spring or fall, book a table.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Chicago foodie on December 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Bayona's has always been my favorite New Orleans restaurant since I discovered it about 10 years ago. And it is my favorite because of Susan Spicer. Her recipes evoke happy memories, and are easy to follow. I need another cookbook like I need a hole in the head, but I am really glad I added this one to my collection.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By a reader on May 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Love Susan Spicer, love Bayona.

My husband and I have made some of the best dishes in our life by following this no-nonsense, easy to understand cookbook - I know the Goat Cheese Croutons with Wild Mushrooms in Madeira Cream is the best thing I have ever made in my life. My husband has made the Oyster, Eggplant, and Tasso Gratin, which was absolutely divine, the Shrimp and Tomato Bisque, which was so phenomenal words can't describe it, and the Herb-roasted Lamb Loin with Goat Cheese and Zinfandel Sauce, which was also 100% delicious. All of these dishes blew me away; most recently, however, we made the Shrimp Clemenceau, and we were both unimpressed - while it was certainly GOOD, it was in no way as amazing as the other dishes we had made from the cookbook. It makes me sad because the other recipes from here are so good, and I do want to try more of them....I just wish we hadn't been tainted by the lackluster Clemenceau recipe (and maybe I just don't like the dish?)....

Anyways, we are extraordinarily harsh judges on food, but I highly, highly recommend this cookbook to anyone who likes food and likes cooking (especially cooking of the southern persuasion, though Spicer is by no means just cooking Southern food).....just don't cook the Clemenceau (and next time you are in New Orleans, go to Bayona!)....
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Beba Fanta on January 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been hankering for this since 1996, when I first ate at Susan Spicer's enchanting Bayona. I love everything about it--the close-up, evocative photos, the author's candid, informative text and her inspiring, accessible recipes for the home cook. Over the years, I've told anyone visiting Nawlins not to miss a smoked duck PBJ with cashew butter, pepper jelly and apple-celery salad for lunch, and now, thanks to pages 166-167, I can replicate former sous chef Scott Freer's work of genius, which Ms. Spicer is honest and generous enough to credit. I also admire her international background, starting with her Danish mother, and the melange of cultures represented in her ingredients, recreations and inventions. Throughout are my favorite fare--creatures who live in the sea, bay, river and creek, once abundant, now farmed. Give a copy to every foodie on your list.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nathalie Jorge on September 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I grew up in New Orleans but never had the pleasure of eating at any of Susan Spicer's restaurants. How unfortunate that is! I can only imagine what that dining experience must be like now that I've been using this cookbook regularly. My husband and I cook a lot..out of Food & Wine, Cook's Illustrated, Bon Appetit. We've both been duly impressed by the meals and desserts we've prepared from Crescent City Cooking and look forward to cooking our way through the entire book. Did I mention that the book is as beautiful as the food is delicious? This is one of my favorite gift for the newly married couple. Well done!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Jarreau on May 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The recipe for bisque is perfection. I used sauce instead canned whole tomatoes and even threw in a few left over bloody mary aspics so they wouldn't go to waste in the restaurant I work in. As a chef I look to other chefs for inspiration and I highly recommend this book. The rosemary dijon dressing is also fantastic! I still have many recipes left to try!
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