Cooking Louisiana - Newsletter - Nov. 2006

Bonjour my fellow home chefs! The Holiday cooking season is upon us... good luck with your meals!


Ballard Cornbread Mix is Back

I received a few emails stating that Ballard Cornbread Mix is making a comeback. I checked with Martha White and they have confirmed the re-introduction because of consumer demand. Contact your local grocer and request that they carry it. I am also working on finding an online store that will carry it.


Cooking Wild Duck

Duck season is now upon us and the fun of the hunt is followed by the cooking of the game. I've put together some simple cooking methods for wild duck and here they are... Click



We're coming up on the time when oysters begin to appear in dishes and sacks of raw oysters are under the carport. Many of us old-timers know what to do with oysters from years of experience. How to buy, store and cook them are important for a great oyster dish. If you are new to oysters in the kitchen you will gain some insight from the following new article. Click here...


Fun with French Bread

Here in South Louisiana French Bread is a big deal. We use it for poor boys, dipping and covered with gobs of goodies as an appetizer. 

With the appetizers (opened faced bread), the variations are many. One thing I've learned is that the bread needs a good flavor base. That base is usually going to be butter or a good margarine, and, a little Cajun seasoning or salt and pepper. Olive oil is a great adder along with a cheese of your choice. Next are chopped onions, bell pepper, green onions, parsley, etc. Don't forget fresh diced tomato. Sauces to complement the main ingredient used sparingly (could be diluted) can add a nice flare. Finally comes the taste objective. This could be sausages, julienned beef or pork and seafood. 

Look at my Andouille bread recipe to get an idea of what you want to do. Click here...

Think is this sort of like making a pizza; it's about being creative.

Here's a few things to keep in mind:
Cook all raw meats.
Watch the seasoning, you can always add after it's done and tasted.
Don't overload with cheese, you'll smother the other flavors.
Use different cheeses on sections of the bread to change it up a little.

Preparation is the key if you're doing a big party. Play with recipes and have your guests at small events as taste testers. If you ask their honest opinion they may actually give it to you. Remember that everybody doesn't like the same thing so variety may be a key to success. 

Have fun with it! 

According to freelance restaurant critic Kevin R. Roberts the best French bread in New Orleans is La Louisiane Bakery in Elmwood. Check out Kevin's site for New Orleans Guides and Photo's.



It's coming upon Gumbo season (or weather) and we all love a good gumbo. If you've never tried a gumbo don't be afraid. Do believe you can do it and start with a small one to practice. If a roux scares you there are instant rouxs out there that you can use and they work just fine. Actually, after the roux, the rest is simple. Remember this; roux (browned flour and oil) give flavor, but also color and viscosity (thickness) to the water. If you're a first timer you can read more on gumbo here. Click...



Besides gumbo, soup of any kind can be a light and warming dish on a cold day. Vegetable Beef and Vegetable Chicken are my favorites and we can't forget Corn Soup - all can be found Here. There are some other good soups out there like Big Ed's Cajun Shrimp Soup and Cajun Crab Soup.  As you saw, the Crab Soup is a creamy soup also known as a chowder. Most creamy soups down here are associated with corn and a choice of seafood like crawfish, crab, shrimp and oyster. Don't stay away from the creamy soups because of preparation time. Just buy any of the canned creamy soups and add your stuff like I did here with the Corn & Crawfish Soup. You don't really need a lot of vegetables; onion and green onion will usually be enough. Add salt, pepper and cayenne and you're done. Simplicity is usually the trick to a good creamy soup.



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Louisiana Cookin’ magazine is available now on newsstands

November/December 2006

The November/December issue of Louisiana Cookin’ celebrates Historic Holidays at Louisiana Plantations!

Flip through the pages of our holiday issue for homemade gift ideas and fantastic recipes for the season. Holly Clegg has given us healthy sweet treats and Sarah Liberta offers ways to spice up your holiday menu. Before you get started in the kitchen, read up on “A Well-Stocked Louisiana Pantry” to be sure you have all the necessary ingredients.

Check out the fabulous holiday food offerings of local hotels or visit one of the many plantations across the state for dinner and a candlelight tour. Take a look into the famous desserts of New Orleans that are the perfect end to any meal, especially when accompanied by Louisiana coffee. And, Marcelle Bienvenu invites you to celebrate the New Year with bubbly!

Plus, food news and gossip, light and easy recipes, traditional Louisiana recipes, garden herbs, book reviews and more! And if that’s not enough, enjoy our columns featured in each issue. For more information, visit or call 888.884.4114.

Food news and gossip, light and easy recipes, authentic Louisiana recipes, garden herbs, book reviews and more are in every issue of Louisiana Cookin’ magazine.

Louisiana Cookin' Magazine is not affiliated with this site..


Holiday Cooking

The Holiday's are upon us and it's time to pull those old favorite recipes out. It's also time to take inventory of those spices. For your dishes to be their best fresh spices are a must. 

McCormick spices are extremely popular and adorn my spice cabinet as well they may do yours. How can you tell when the spice was manufactured? You won't find a date on the container, but, if you look on the bottom of the container you'll see a code. Now, look on the label itself and you'll see an address... make note of the city. Next, go to the McCormick website and follow the instructions on the right. You might be surprised! I was...I actually had a spice that was 10 years old... ha...(shame on me)  Click here for the McCormick Site page...  
McCormick's newer products will have a "best by" date on them.

As usual please follow all the safety rules for food. If you are new here you can read this to become familiar with some of the rules and find outside sources. It only takes one slip up to send someone to the hospital.


Cooking Louisiana wishes the best to the men and women of the military and to their families. We thank you for your service to the people of the United States. 



You can contribute

If you've go a subject you'd like me to research, or, you've done a little fact finding yourself, don't hesitate to contact me... this is about us, not me!  Cooking is fun, and, that's what we do here... have fun cooking! 


Till next time... eat well.

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