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The Little Gumbo Book: Twenty-seven Carefully Created Recipes That Will Enable Everyone to Enjoy the Special Experience of Gumbo Hardcover – September 1, 1986


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The Little Gumbo Book: Twenty-seven Carefully Created Recipes That Will Enable Everyone to Enjoy the Special Experience of Gumbo + The Little New Orleans Cookbook: Fifty-Seven Classic Creole Recipes That Will Enable Everyone to Enjoy the Special Cuisine of New Orleans + The Top 100 Cajun Recipes of All Time
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Quail Ridge Pr (September 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0937552178
  • ISBN-13: 978-0937552179
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 4.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #613,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gwen McKee was born, raised, and educated (LSU) in Baton Rouge, and was exposed at an early age to the wonderful cuisine of South Louisiana. As director of her own publishing company, Gwen personally edits all cookbooks published by Quail Ridge Press. She enjoys testing and refining the recipes as well as traveling to promote and market the books. Her acute interest in Louisiana cooking led to the development of this book devoted entirely to one of her favorite dishes...gumbo

More About the Author

Gwen McKee is a publisher with a mission. As the co-founder (with her husband, Barney) and the editor-in-chief of Quail Ridge Press, she has dedicated the past two decades to preserving America's food heritage. Through Quail Ridge Press, Gwen has now accomplished much of this task by creating the 50-volume Best of the Best State Cookbook Series that includes over 20,000 classic recipes. Today Quail Ridge Press is one of the most successful regional publishers, and certainly one of the most thriving publishing houses owned by a woman.

Gwen's interest in preserving "real" American food came naturally. Like most native Southerners, she was influenced by a family immersed in the traditions of Southern cooking and entertaining. Over a period of many years, Gwen collected recipes that were handed down through her family for traditional holidays and reunions.

Gwen McKee's first venture in publishing came after she and Barney moved to Jackson, Mississippi, when he became Director of the University Press of Mississippi. She was approached by two ladies, Ruth Moorman and Lalla Williams, with a small 80-page manuscript called The Twelve Days of Christmas Cookbook. Risking her family's meager savings, Gwen published the book, which sold out in three weeks. She knew that she had tapped into a market seeking something different. For the next few years, she slowly expanded, publishing four additional theme cookbooks.

Four years later Barney had joined Gwen, and they now had a full-blown publishing company named after the street where they lived, Quail Ridge Drive. They also had a unique idea--a cookbook that celebrated the best recipes from all the best cookbooks in Mississippi. After extensive research throughout the state, and lots of recipe testing, Best of the Best from Mississippi Cookbook was published. Thus Gwen McKee began her quest to preserve the best recipes of America. Now, 28 years later, 48 volumes in the Best of the Best State Cookbook Series are currently in print, each featuring favorite recipes from the leading cookbooks found throughout every state in the country.

In 1997 Quail Ridge Press and Gwen reached an entirely new plateau when the QVC selected Best of the Best from Mississippi Cookbook as the winner of its "Quest for America's Best--QVC's 50 in 50 Tour" contest. The book sold out within two minutes during its first appearance, and remained a favorite that sold out many times afterward in subsequent showings. This initiated a series of QVC presentations in which over 175,000 Best of the Best cookbooks were sold over the next three years.

In 1999 Gwen McKee took another important step in reaching her goal by creating the Recipe Hall of Fame Collection. The Recipe Hall of Fame Cookbook, featuring 450 winning recipes from all the Best of the Best state books, was an instant hit, selling 65,000 copies within the first few months of publication. With over 700,000 copies in print, the collection now includes Recipe Hall of Fame Dessert Cookbook, Recipe Hall of Fame Quick & Easy Cookbook, and Recipe Hall of Fame Cookbook II in addition to the original Recipe Hall of Fame Cookbook.

Gwen McKee is also the editor of Beyond Grits & Gravy and Best of the Best from America Cookbook. She is the author The Little Gumbo Book and The Little New Orleans Cookbook, the latter of which has been translated into French. These two gift cookbooks were a natural progression, as Gwen was born and reared in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She was educated at Louisiana State University where her major studies and interests were journalism, English, Delta Gamma and Barney.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I've got to say, this is the best Gumbo Cook book ever!
Donna F.
A coworker gave me a copy of this book back in 1988 and I've completely worn out my copy.
Marion
The recipes, instructions and comments are easy to understand and follow.
roger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 18, 1996
Format: Hardcover
The first time I ever made gumbo from this book, it was a raving success. I didn;t think I was ever going to try this marvelous New Orleans recipe when I tasted it there. The opening chapter called step-by-step to great gumbo is exactly that and led me through it. Now I feel comfortable trying all sorts of gumbos and dazzling my guests. Great book
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Maura on October 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Anyone can complile a list of ingredients and a set of sterile directions. Gwen McKee does so much more! Her step-by-step section not only tells the reader how to make gumbo, but what to expect the dish to look and smell like during various stages. Get your cast iron skillet, a glass of wine and start stirring!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Prather on March 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've lived near New Orleans but have moved away. This book is authentic. Make gumbo by these recipes and you can't go wrong. I have used it many times and sent a few as gifts. Gives a lot more than basic recipes. A real "how to" cook book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Marion VINE VOICE on February 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've lived in Louisiana all of my life and learned how to make a roux when I was knee high to a grasshopper by watching my Aunt Mace stir and stir and stir it in her big black cast iron skillet or pot. Almost every recipe my Mama and Aunt Mace made started out with the words, "First you make a roux..."

I'm very happy to report that this book has the most wonderful recipes for roux and gumbo that I've ever read. My youngest daughter recently moved from Louisiana to Tennessee and was looking for a jar of roux in the grocery store. The store manager had no idea what she was talking about and had never even heard of gumbo. I immediately thought to buy her this book for Valentine's Day. I taught her to make a roux during the holiday season, so she's halfway to gumbo already.

A coworker gave me a copy of this book back in 1988 and I've completely worn out my copy. It's a one-of-a-kind treasure that should be in every kitchen, especially if you enjoy true Southern cooking.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Donna F. on October 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've got to say, this is the best Gumbo Cook book ever! I've missplaced mine and am so glad to see it is available to order another one. I have a friend who wants to learn how to make gumbo and this book immediately came to mind. this will be a present to her.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul & Sally Cline on August 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had borrowed an original of this fabulous Gumbo book from a good friend. Wouldn't you know she'd want it back. I'd copied a bunch but wanted the book myself and thought it would surely be out of print. May that never happen for Gumbo lovers world wide. This book gives Gumbo cooking in detail. McKee encourages you straight through to try it yourself. She gives her recipes but lets you know your additions will be just as good. Besides Gumbo recipes she tell you step by step how to make the roux, that 'gravy' that 'makes' the gumbo. She give seasoning recipes to make in bulk to have on hand for Gumbo as well as other cajun dishes. 'The Little Gumbo Book:..' may be little, but if you want to try cajun cookin' it's dynamite. Get it!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The Little Gumbo Book is a cookbook featuring twenty-seven gumbo recipes for anyone seeking to create and experience the unique flavors and varieties of this distinctive Cajun dish. Tips, tricks, and techniques for everything gumbo-related, from different ways for preparing roux (the browning of flour, crucial to the richness of gumbo) to using microwaves and crock pots, to low-calorie gumbo for the health conscious, and much more. A superb giftbook written with passion as well as practical advice, recommended for any Cajun food lover.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Hebert on October 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've had this book for over five years and I have the necessary qualifications to recommend this book. I'm pure Cajun. I was born and raised in Louisiana Cajun country and I know what real Cajun gumbo tastes like. What a lot of people don't understand though is that real Cajun gumbo also has unique textures and smells as well as a specific taste. In addition, most people don't realize that Gumbo really tastes better the next day.

Well back to the book. I bought this book in New Orleans soon after it was published. I already know how to cook Gumbo, so I really didn't need the book. But I was intrigued by the recipe for Ham Gumbo in the book. That was something I had never tried, or for that matter, heard of. So I got the book and I have to say that this has become one of my favorite Gumbo recipe books. Yes, I cooked the Ham Gumbo for my family and it was excellent. I've tried every other recipe in the book and I can vouch for all of them. If you FOLLOW the directions - you will enjoy the best Gumbo in the world!

An excellent feature of this book is that it contains an additional section on the importance of creating a good roux and how to make roux in the microwave. Another important ingredient to Gumbo is the rice. The book also stresses this fact and gives tips on how to use the right rice. Another thing - many people are fooled into believing that Cajun food equates to extremely peppered food. That is just not true. Real Cajun food is not overly peppered. Cajun food is high fat + high cholesterol, not highly-seasoned. Those who cook Cajun food should simply season to taste. Buy the book! You will enjoy it for life!
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