Publishers Weekly, 1999-06-21 Jaeger and DeMers have created a primer to get cooks who don't know an étouffée from a gumbo on the road to Creole bliss. Chef Jaeger, whose family has been in the New Orleans seafood business for decades, and veteran cookbook scribe DeMers spare not an ounce of Southern hospitality while instructing how to peel shrimp, open an oyster and suck the spice out of the head of a crawfish. Missing and needed, however, are suggestions on just how to acquire, say, some fresh Channel Catfish or the obscure Southern fruit known as a mirliton. Meanwhile there is no shortage of Jaeger family history, New Orleans small talk and tips on living the good life (cranked-up music, Louisiana shrimp and a cold beer). Recipes run the gamut from the simple (Fried Shrimp, Blackened Tuna) to the sublime (Crawfish Ravioli in a Hot Brandy Cream Sauce, Oysters Rockefeller) and the ridiculous (a Bread Pudding that absorbs a can of fruit cocktail, a Jambalaya that calls for a quarter pound of margarine). Preambles to each of the recipes often prove amusingly disarming: the directions for a questionable concoction called Asparagus-Lemon-Cream Trout begin by stating, "Sometimes you try a combination and just get lucky." Such logic makes this collection a worthwhile gamble for easy-does-it cooks or die-hard Yankees in search of a different cuisine. (July) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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