Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen, Chef Paul’s 1984 groundbreaking book, brought the flavors and cooking styles of his native south Louisiana to the attention of the nation and started a trend that continues today.
Chef Paul Prudhomme’s first cookbook has been called the best Louisiana regional American cookbook ever published. Chef Paul shares his secrets for the very best cooking from old favorites like Seafood Gumbo with Andouille Smoked Sausage, Shrimp Creole, Turtle Soup, Chicken and Tasso Jambalaya, Cajun “Popcorn” Crawfish Etouffée, Blackened Prime Rib and Sweet Potato Pecan Pie.
People often ask me what’s the difference between Cajun and Creole cooking. Cajun and Creole cuisines share many similarities. Both are Louisiana born, with French roots. But Cajun is very old, French cooking. Cajun food began in Southern France, moved on to Nova Scotia and then came to Louisiana. The Acadians adapted their dishes to use ingredients that grew wild in the area – bay leaves from the laurel tree, filé powder from the sassafras tree and an abundance of different peppers such as cayenne, Tabasco peppers, banana peppers and bird’s-eye peppers that grow wild in South Louisiana – learning their uses from the native Indians.
The evolution of Creole cooking, just like Cajun, has depended heavily on whatever foods have been available. But Creole food, unlike Cajun, began in New Orleans and is a mixture of the traditions of French, Spanish, Italian, American Indian, African and other ethnic groups. Seven flags flew over New Orleans in the early days, and each time a new nation took over, many members of the deposed government would leave the city; most of the cooks and other servants stayed behind. The position of cook was highly esteemed and the best paid position in the household. Those cooks, most of whom were black, would be hired by other families, often of a different nationality. Of course the cooks would have to change their style of cooking. Over a period of time, they learned how to cook for a variety of nationalities, and they incorporated their own spicy, home-style way of cooking into the different cuisines of their employers. This is the way Creole food was created. Creole cooking is more sophisticated and complex than Cajun cooking – it’s city cooking.
Today in homes, there is still a distinction between Cajun and Creole cooking; in restaurants, little distinction remains. That’s why I refer to the two together as one – Louisiana cooking.
Chef Paul Prudhomme
To use Magic Seasoning Blends® in recipes found in Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen cookbook, simply add up the amount of dry herbs and spices called for in the recipe’s “Seasoning Mix”. Substitute approximately the same amount of the appropriate blend (for example, if you were doing a chicken dish, you’d substitute Poultry Magic®) for the herbs and spices in the cookbook.
If a recipe calls for a sweet spice or an unusual ingredient subtract the amount of sweet or unusual spice prior to adding up the dry herb seasoning mix, then add back the subtracted ingredient(s) to the Magic Seasoning Blends® amount required for the conversion.
Dozens of spice combinations, coffee, and authentic smoked sausages; like Andouille, are the bread and butter of this Cajun cooks enterprise.
Patrick cahill –
I call this my cajun cooking bible. I\’ve used this book since the 80s and it is priceless to me. It may need a rubber band soon to keep it together but mty notes and comments in it I hope to pass to my children. This cookbook has made me a celebrity with friends when time to cook. Thanks paul!
Ann Roseberry –
I received this book in 1987 as a gift and it has been a staple in my repertoire ever since…it is my “go to” cookbook for the best banana bread recipe I’ve ever tasted! (Made it once again today as a matter of fact!)
I purchased this book when it first came out and it has been an inspiring and entertaining event for my whole family this past 25 years. Each of my children get a copy for themselves on their 21st Birthday and they have all appreciated and used this wonderful example of traditional home cooking
Doctor Steve –
Chef Paul is so generous to give us his secrets to perfect Louisiana Cuisine! This is the best cookbook on my shelf.
Tim from Long Island, NY –
The date in my well used edition says 1984. I have made many of the recipes several times, and have several that I make in mass quantity and then keep stocked in a freezer. The techniques for layering flavors and textures which I learned form these pages, I now use in modifying other foods. If you want to impress someone who thinks they know how to eat well, make them Seafood File\’ Gumbo, Chicken and Tasso Jambalaya, or even Cajun Meatloaf!
I bought this book in Houston Texas in 1984 after visiting the restaurant in 1982. Never forgot how great the food was. This is with out a doubt one of the best if not the best cook book for the amature chef who loves to cook for frinds and family. Since I am not a pro chef I can’t speak on those terms but I would think that this book is owned by alot of pro chefs.
This is a wonderful cookbook. Every recipe I’ve tried has been spectacular and the instructions are so well written. I love this cookbook especially the Barbeque Shrimp recipe!!! Thanks so much………
My wifr and I bought this book after having dinner at Kay Pauls about twentyfive years ago. It is the Holy Grail of Cajun Cooking.We purchased two other of his books but always return to this one. The recipes and blends take a little effort but the end result is pure Cajun. Love It!!
I hail from Mobile, AL on the Gulf Coast. My wife and I moved to Japan and, while they do eat a lot of seafood, I knew I wouldn\’t be able to get the delicious dishes that the Gulf Coast has to offer. So I knew I\’d better pick this up along with a few other Cajun, Creole, and Southern-style cookbooks. Of all the ones I purchased, this is the one that I refer to the most. It\’s my kitchen bible. As a not-so-experienced cook, this book was also useful as a book to refer to for cooking education. Thank you Chef Paul!
I have enjoyed eating at your restaurant so much…can’t wait to replicate some of the recipes in my home!! Thank you.
This is the greatest cookbook of Cajun food ever! Not only did it spark an interest and an unknown passion for cooking, but it also brought me back in time to the amazing summers that I spent with my grandparents in Louisiana. This book alows you to bring the woundedful dishes that I once believed you could only find in south Louisiana, to your table anywhere in the world.
I received this cookbook as a wedding gift in 1986 and I still only use Chef Paul\’s recipe for banana bread that is found in this book. Almost 23 years of Good Living, Good Loving and Good Cooking! Thanks, Chef!
I received this cookbook as a wedding gift in 1986 and I still only use Chef Paul’s recipe for banana bread that is found in this book. Almost 23 years of Good Living, Good Loving and Good Cooking! Thanks, Chef!
This is absolutely the best cookbook EVER!!!! My cookbook has fallen completely apart because I have used it soooooo much! I love how the flavor in each bite changes as you chew your food. Add a little spice to your life and cook just one of his recipes and you’ll be hooked!
This is the best cookbook I have ever read. It teaches a person not only the recipies, but the techniques of this style of cooking. The multi stage seasoning of the dishes gives them a depth of flavor I have never experienced before. A must have for the Cajun or Creole food lover. Thank you Paul!!!!
Keep it hot!
This is the best cook book I own. I received this back in 1985 and it is well worn. Chef’s recipes have become a staple in my familys favorite meals. Thank you Chef Paul for all the love we taste in your food. No kitchen or chef is complete without this ground breaking fabulous cook book.
This is makes up the core of my cooking library.
This may be one of the greatest cookbooks ever. Every dish is a taste treat. You can learn how to cook by useing this wonderful book. I given this book as a gift for years and everyone always comes back to say what a fantastic cook book this is. Chef Paul you\’r the BEST!
A great addition to any kitchen library! The book not only adds “Louisiana Cooking” to your table, it lends the techniques learned in this book to better the rest of your culinary creations. This book is a must for any cook. I couldn’t be without iy!