New Orleans is all about food, and for centuries it has been dominated by two distinct styles, Cajun and Creole. For the uninitiated, Cajun food came out of the bayou and off the farms of southern Louisiana. Creole developed in the city with a healthy dose of European influence. Étoufées, crawfish bisque, gumbos, red beans and rice, shrimp rémoulade, bananas foster--the list is long, familiar, appetizing, and heavy.
According to Emeril Lagasse, this is the classic sauced, smothered, and rouxed Old New Orleans (ONO) cooking that made the city, and Emeril, famous. But even great chefs grow bored, and when Emeril opened up his own restaurant in the Big Easy he began to experiment with ONO cooking, infusing it with new cultural influences and fresh ingredients. The result, and apt title for his debut cookbook, is Emeril's New New Orleans Cooking. The food, as you might guess, is magnificent, and the cookbook is a masterpiece. Since Emeril is an immigrant to the Big Easy (from Fall River, Massachusetts), he doesn't fear messing with local tradition and overhauling the hallowed Oysters Rockefeller into Oysters in Pernod Cream with Fried Spinach. In fact, his genius lies in his willingness to experiment and a no-holds-barred approach to flavor combinations. Sautéed Scallops with Saffron Corn Sauce or Stir-Fry of Sesame Ginger Crawfish over Fried Pasta are just a few of the examples. Along with more than 200 other recipes, it is easy to see why Emeril has become the chef of the '90s, and why New New Orleans Cooking is here to stay. --Mark O. Howerton
From Library Journal
Lagasse opened Emeril's Restaurant to raves in 1990 after several years as chef at The Commander's Palace, a New Orleans institution. His food, which he refers to as New New Orleans, or NNO, is a reinterpretation of Creole cookery, strongly influenced by Oriental, Portuguese, and Southwestern cuisines. The result is gutsy, flavorful dishes, though the juxtaposition of ingredients is sometimes startling: Crawfish Egg Rolls with Sesame Drizzle, or Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad with Andouille Dressing. There are lots of appetizing recipes here. For most collections.
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