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Louisiana Real and Rustic Hardcover – September 5, 1996

4.1 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Emeril Lagasse is in love with Louisiana. His first book, the masterful New New Orleans Cooking, began the relationship. In Louisiana Real and Rustic, Emeril has turned it into a full-blown affair. Along with coauthor Marcelle Bienvenu, Emeril set out across the state in search of that "culinary state of grace" Lousianans seemed to be naturally blessed with. The result is 150 recipes that serve at once as cultural history, geography lesson, and some mighty fine eating. This is a roots cookbook through and through, and the first lesson to learn is that in Louisiana, the roots run deep. Acadian, Creole, north Louisiana, south Louisiana, Bayou, country, city--each figures into the mix, and Emeril explores them all. He shows you gumbos that can be made with a French roux, African okra, or a filé from the indigenous Indians. There are famous Meat Pies from Natchitoches, Louisiana; Creole dishes like Catfish Pecan Meuniere; and classic étouffées, jambalayas, and fricassees--the one-pot meals that are the heart of Acadian (a.k.a. Cajun) cooking. The opening sections on the "Garde Manger" (food safe) and "Sauces" (try the recipe for homemade Worcestershire sauce) are indispensable for anybody even remotely interested in the food of Louisiana. More importantly, Emeril understands that food is another part of history, the people, and their culture--and in Louisiana, they eat well. --Mark O. Howerton

From Publishers Weekly

Even before his hit show on the TV Food Network and his New Orleans facsimile in Las Vegas (Emeril's New Orleans Fish House), the chef/owner of Emeril's and NOLA's in the Big Easy was a personality. His warm enthusiasm is present in the pages of his latest friendly, punchy book. Quickly covering some standard Louisiana ingredients like roux and Emeril's Worcestershire Sauce, he then moves on to classics like Crawfish Bisque (complete with stuffed crawfish heads) and Chicken and Dumplings. Notes to the recipes explain the origins of food?such as the native American roots of Natchitoches Meat Pies?and are exuberantly spiked with comments like, "Mon cher, c'est bon, oui." Not for the fat-phobic are such dishes as Praline Cream Pie (a stick of butter in the graham-cracker crust, five egg yolks in the filling, a cup of heavy cream in the topping and crumbled pralines in all three layers) and the Peacemaker sandwich (a baguette split down the middle, slathered with butter and filled with fried oysters and tartar sauce). But this is authentic fare, delivered with irresistible conviction.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; 1 edition (September 5, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688127215
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688127213
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #531,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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!
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
"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!)
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Format: Hardcover
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!
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By A Customer on October 18, 1998
Format: Hardcover
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!
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