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Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link's Louisiana: A Cookbook Hardcover – April 21, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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“Donald Link’s childhood in Cajun Country taught him that cooking is all about family, local ingredients, and, most important, taste. There's no blackened redfish here, just delicious recipes (think Crispy Softshell Crab with Chili Glaze or Satsuma Buttermilk Pie) and great memories, informed by his wry sense of humor and passion for food and place. Real Cajun is the real deal and proves, once again, that Link is not only the soul of New Orleans but also one of the most talented chefs in the country.”
“Donald Link is rediscovering traditional Cajun food in all of its diversity and simplicity. His flavors come from backyard organic vegetables, local fish, and heritage breed pork. The essence of Cochon’s cooking is beautifully revealed in this inviting book.”
"Donald Link's cooking embodies the very best–the heart and soul–of New Orleans cuisine; there's no one in the business with more credibility. Real Cajun captures the straight-up, un-cut, raw, and wonderful rustic classics in all their unvarnished, unprettified glory."
“Real Cajun tells Donald Link’s captivating story of growing up in southwest Louisiana and shares with us the incredible no-holds-barred type of cooking and eating that Cajuns live for. With great traditions, vivid tales, and passionate cooking from a real Cajun chef, this cookbook will be a treasure for all who turn its pages.”
“Real Cajun is honest, gutsy, and proudly provincial. Read this book and you'll want to mainline shrimp and crab gumbo. Cook from this book and you'll rationalize an all boudin diet.”
—John T. Edge, general editor of Cornbread Nation
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But the heart of any cookbook are the recipes. And there are some good ones here! So far I haven't found a bad one in the bunch. I've made the Vietnamese marinated shrimp. (Delicious, but I did have to get used to pulling off their heads....hey I'm a Yankee...and I just couldn't bring myself to suck the fat out of them). The crab cakes with jalapeno remoulade (mine fell apart despite using almost double the bread crumbs recommended but it was still out of this world....and using fresh crabmeat as Mr. Link suggests DOES make a difference). Lake Charles dirty rice, German Festival Ham and White Bean Stew (great in the winter), Post K meatloaf, smothered collard greens, cast iron hush puppies (a little bland but still good...I'll tweak it next time). The Jambalaya was very tastey but I found the rice did not cook evenly. I'll use instant rice next time. Still on my list is the Baked Oysters with Herbsaint Hollandaise, Billy Boy's Crawfish Etouffee, Chicken Sauce piquant, Spicy Shrimp Creole, grilled oysters with garlic chili butter, chicken and bacon hash to name a few. I've also made his spice mix that he uses for the Vietnamese shrimp. This is a great all purpose spice mixture you can use in many dishes. Seafood, poultry, pork are all represented (there are surprisingly few beef recipes) He also gives recipes for cocktails and desserts but I'm not a big sweet fan so I haven't made any of those.
If your looking for good "home cooking" type recipes (like his Link Family Crawfish Boil recipe), this book will more than meet your expectations.
Not that great: Sausage with Chiles, southern fried shrimp, shrimp stock, hot pepper jelly, tomato and bacon pie, roasted chicken with lemon and basil, post K meatloaf, black eyes peas, german chocolate cake, apple upside down cake, buttermilk ice-cream.
I know my "not that great" list is longer but I am REALLY picky. I plan on trying more recipes in this cookbook and it is definitely a staple in my cooking library.
Top international reviews
I bought the book secondhand and it's like new and arrived really quickly, so it saved me a packet, will happily be using these people again, great service.