70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 1999
Before getting this book, I was a big fan of Honeybaked Hams .. toss it in the oven to warm it up, and be done with it. BUT .. the recipe for Baked Ham with Spicy Sugar Glaze on page 191 of this book is FANTASTIC. Well worth the work to make it happen. I also recommend Emeril's pecan pie, (using his pecan crust from foodtv.com). And be sure to try the Skillet Corn Bread, Southern Greens, and Chicken Smothered in Onions! Yeah, Baby! Good Stuff!
Like Emeril says .. it's NOT rocket science here... if you don't like Catfish .. use some other fish of similar consistency. If you don't like Quail, I don't know, try chicken. No big deal.
Whether you like his TV show or not ... regardless of what you might think of Emeril (right ... as if you know him) .. the recipes really are good. Have fun in the kitchen, if you know what you like to begin with, you can make anything in this book, (or any other cookbook), work for you.
Lastly, if you're on a diet ... fuhgeddaboutit!
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2003
I had to laugh when I read some of the reviews for this book. People in Wisconsin saying that the food isn't authentic Cajun, a vegetarian Jew lambasting the cuisine of my culture for being "insensitive." Emeril sure can stir folks up.
Listen, cher, my family has lived in Louisiana since before there was a Louisiana. Part Creole, part "river-road", part Cajun, I've eaten it all. Most cooks down here don't cook from a recipe--they cook the way their mamas taught them and use whatever they have handy at the time. The food in this cookbook isn't New Orleans cuisine, by and large.....it's exactly what the title says--rustic country food that's about as close to the taste of the bayou as you can get.
A couple of these recipes are bad, I'll admit. The rice dressing recipe is a dud, and I don't know where he got the idea that we "cedar plank" anything in South Louisiana. But for the most part, the recipes look like they way I was taught to cook by my grandmere, MiMi. When I get sick of fusion food, low-fat, fast food, no-carb, wasabi crusted everything topped with a port wine reduction, I get out those old cast-iron pots and get busy.
This is by far the least "Emerilized" of any of his books, and in my opinion, by far the best.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2001
"Louisiana - Real and Rustic" is probably the best book on authentic cajun cooking available to date. Being half authentic cajun - I'm descended from a long line of Southwest Louisana rice farmers - I can honestly state that a number of the recipes in the book, or variations thereof, could be found on my grandmother's table at any given time.
In order to fully appreciate the style, one needs to understand a little history of the region in order to grasp the development of the cuisine. When the British expatriated the french settlers from Nova Scotia in the 1700's, many of them found their way to Louisiana. They were peasant farmers, not aristocats, and arrived with little more than what they where wearing. As soon as they arrived, they began doing the only thing thay knew - farming.
Being simple country people, they lived off the land...what they grew, and what the land provided. Now, combine 17th century french peasant cookery with native Louisiana crops and animals and viola! Acadienne (cajun) cooking. What Emeril has done in this book is to capture the spirit and flavor(s) on the region, without the white tableclothes and imported wine lists found in New Orleans. In fact, to truly enjoy many of the dishes, try eating them outside on a wooden picnic table, while drinking a cold beer and enjoying the shade of a pecan tree.
Chef Lagasse has his distractors, but what successful person doesn't? Many of the less than favorable reviews of his material question his 'authenticity'. One of the things that the critics don't take into account is an old cajun expression which simply states that "every cook knows his own pot best". In other words, no two cajuns are going to cook anything exactly as his neighbor does. Chef Lagasse provides the basics...learn them. Then start adding your own touches. That's the way the style evolved.
Lezze lais bon temps rouler (Let the good times roll!)
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 1999
I'm from New Orleans and have been a weekend chef for years. This book rapidly became my favorite along with the cookbook from Antoine's. This book represents real Louisiana cooking, from all parts of the state. It is not a book of fancy, trendy, glamour food, but real Louisiana cooking at its finest. Emeril really has a true Louisiana soul. I had the pleasure of dining at Emeril's in the New Orleans warehouse district while he was behind the chef's bar with two of his chefs. They cut up, made jokes, drank shots, passed out food and drink samples. We all had a great time. He works hard and plays hard. That is the real Louisiana spirit. This book captures a lot of that spirit. Try the chicken and sausage gumbo, the red beans and rice, or shrimp and okra gumbo to start. You'll be hooked too!
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 1998
I've tried 20 or more recipes in this book and each one was a huge success, due to Emeril's painstaking care to include detailed instructions. I knew nothing about cajun or creole cooking prior to watching "Emeril Live" on the Food TV network, then visited Emeril's Restaurant in New Orleans ... we were fortunate to be able to sit at the "Chef's Bar" and Emeril personally cooked our dinners while we observed. THIS is an experience we will never forget. The entire dinner was absolutely SUPERB ... definitely a five-star dinner. That was when I decided to buy Emeril's book, Louisiana Real & Rustic. It was the beginning of a wonderful culinary adventure for me, a person who "didn't like spicy food" ... hah! I've changed my mind! Be sure to try Emeril's recipe for "Smashing Smashed Potatoes" from Louisiana Real & Rustic ... it will forever change your opinion of mashed potatoes ... guaranteed!
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 1997
The newest Food Network superstar could become the next Paul Prudhomme
and has put a lot of "BAM" into his recipes. Emeril Lagasse's Louisiana
Real & Rustic is his second book and whereas the layout of the book
itself does not view well for the eyes, the recipes themselves are
outstanding. Emeril Lagasse, a former executive chef at Commander's
Palace in New Orleans doesn't use fancy names for his dishes or give
every detail in the cooking directions. However, for the person who has
more than just a little knowledge in the culinary arts the final
products created are mouth watering delicacies: Oyster and Spinach Soup,
Duck and Wild Mushroom Gumbo, Shrimp Pernod, Catfish Pecan Meuni(re,
Pepper-Stuffed Turkey, Crusted Tenderloin of Rabbit and Creole Cream
Cheese Ice Cream. Louisiana Real & Rustic may be a bit primitive yet has
the personality that really does make you want to say "BAM".
Louisiana Real & Rustic by Emeril Lagasse is published by Morrow
Recipes are written somewhat crudely but the products are of premiere
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2000
I got this book from a friend who recently visited New Orleans for a conference and ate in one of Emeril's restaurants. She knows that I'm an avid cook who likes to try new things and has never been to Lousiana. This book is excellent for many reasons. First and foremost the recipes are great. They are well-selected and straight-forward to follow. Very often the secret to a special twist in the local or ethnic cuisine lies in the basics of being able to make the right kind of broth or sauce base. Emeril provides a wealth of information in this regard. He also shows once again that often the simple, traditional recipes are the best. All of the recipes he provides come from Louisiana locals and he gives us the stories of how he found these recipes. These are very interesting and entertaining. One of my favorites is the seafood gumbo and he describes how he learned to make it from an old fisherman as they were riding on his boat. The book also gets high marks for pleasing the eye: the photography throughout is outstanding. The pictures have nothing to do at all with the recipes most of the time, though, so if you do need visuals as a guide, this is not the book for you. However: his cooking instructions are so clear that in my opinion instructive pictures are superfluous anyway. Get it, read it, cook, and enjoy!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 1999
This is an excellent book with simple easy to follow recipies from Emeril's own restaurants...I highly recommend the BBQ shrimp and the Banana Cream Pie
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2002
It seems nobody takes Emeril seriously just because he is famous, wildly successful and did have a failed attempt at a horrible tv show. But that aside, Emeril Lagasse is an excellent chef. He's where he is for a reason. I was a skeptic, scoffing at him, but now I amoung the "Emeril cult". This book is great. I use it all the time. I served the crawfish etouffee for a dinner party and got rave reviews. I served the candied yams for Thanksgiving and again had people talking. Trust me, this book is a keeper. Don't listen to those who are just jealous and resentful of his success.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 1997
The newest Food Network superstar could become the next Paul Prudhomme and has put a lot of "BAM" into his recipes. Emeril Lagasse's Louisiana Real & Rustic is his second book and whereas the layout of the book itself does not view well for the eyes, the recipes themselves are outstanding. Emeril Lagasse, a former executive chef at Commander's Palace in New Orleans doesn't use fancy names for his dishes or give every detail in the cooking directions. However, for the person who has more than just a little knowledge in the culinary arts the final products created are mouth watering delicacies: Oyster and Spinach Soup, Duck and Wild Mushroom Gumbo, Shrimp Pernod, Catfish Pecan Meuni(re, Pepper-Stuffed Turkey, Crusted Tenderloin of Rabbit and Creole Cream Cheese Ice Cream. Louisiana Real & Rustic may be a bit primitive yet has the personality that really does make you want to say "BAM".
Louisiana Real & Rustic by Emeril Lagasse is published by Morrow Publishing.
Recipes are written somewhat crudely but the products are of premiere quality