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Old 02-16-2009, 12:23 PM   #1
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Question about Louisiana Cooking

Looking for something different to cook, I pulled out a copy of Justin Wilson's Homegrown Louisiana Cookin. Upon reading several of his seafood recipes I started wondering, Do you really cook shrimp or other seafood for 1 to 2 hours?? Wouldn't the fish fall apart and the shell fish become rubbery?
Could some enlighten this poor Marylander on the fine art of Louisiana cooking. Thanks

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Old 02-16-2009, 01:17 PM   #2
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Cooking in Louisiana is not that different than cooking in Maryland or Mississippi for that matter....IMO Shrimp should not be cooked for hours regardless of what State it's cooked in...It will, as you say become rubbery, tough, chewy etc.
As for fish falling apart....Generally that's not a good thing...However there are some dishes where it's not really that bad...Fish in a sauce that will be served over rice for example...As a general rule -- IMO fish shoudn't be cooked for hours either....Justin Wilson was a great humorist, A great American, and a prince of a fellow to talk with -- Not a trained Chef!!
HTH ....You may try following the recipe up to the point of cooking the shellfish/fin fish for hours..Add it in during the last few minutes before service....

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Old 02-16-2009, 06:25 PM   #3
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Uncle Bob would be my authority to go to on this, and I agree with him 100%.
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:22 PM   #4
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As most of y'all know, my first husband was a Cajun and we lived way down on the bayou. No one I knew let the shrimp cook for hours...that was the last thing added. But the dish might have cooked for hours before the seafood went in.
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:36 PM   #5
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I lived in Lousiana in Lafayette for 8 years.......I never added my shrimp until the last few minutes and the crab meat was last for about a minute........then into the fridge to overnight and a day to let all the flavors meld........I never allowed shrimp or any seafood to cook for hours........Justin (who I just loved) also would hold a gallon container of wine under his arm and teasingly say and now we adda a bit of wine to da recpie..........and you'd hear the gallon wine bottle resounding with gunk..gunk.gunk.........and then he'd take some for himself..........he was really pure entertainment...........but I have to admit I did enjoy his shows not that I followed any of them........
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Old 02-17-2009, 04:49 PM   #6
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It is just as I thought, his cookbooks should be shelved under F for fiction. or C for comedy. I loved his show, but never paid attention to his cookbooks till last Saturday, then I started scratching my head and wondering if I was missing some thing. Thanks for the sanity check.
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Old 02-17-2009, 06:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elf View Post
It is just as I thought, his cookbooks should be shelved under F for fiction. or C for comedy. I loved his show, but never paid attention to his cookbooks till last Saturday, then I started scratching my head and wondering if I was missing some thing. Thanks for the sanity check.
Well, Elf, now you know.........and you were smart enough to question his recipes....now I do have one of his microwave cookbooks and it's not too bad......but it was published in the 70's when microwaves were such a novelty........I have a Cajun friend from Lousiiana who can make gumbo in the microwave........I can't and won't even attempt it........roux can burn on you in a heartbeat.......I'm not that great of a microwaver.....I just make mine in an old deep skillet and stand there with a wooden spoon and a book and stir for the rest of my life.......I like mine to have a rich chocolate color for my gumbos..........you can not stop stirring........
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:09 PM   #8
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Making a seafood gumbo takes hours, even thought you don't cook the seafood for hours. There's a lotta cookin' goes on before the seafood goes in.
I'll never forget my first husband's uncle's wife saying, "Chop it fine, fine," and how her husband said, "Season it until it's got a little bite in it."

I've seen them make a lot of good things in Louisiana besides jambalaya, crawfish pie and file gumbo. There's dirty rice, sweet potato pie, greens and cornbread, red beans and rice, stewed okra and tomatoes. But I have never saw anyone using hot red pepper flakes, green chilies or jalapenos, as I see in some of these modern recipes.
I was a southern Illinois girl, raised under a bushel, my husband says, and I wouldn't have liked anything that burned my mouth. While the Cajun cooking I tasted was spicy and full of flavor, it was never hot (although they did provide Louisiana hot sauce on the side, if a person wanted it)
I guess hot is the new thing, but I'll take the old Cajun cooking over any of this new stuff.
Here is my opinion, for what it is worth...those who are unable to create the warm spicy flavor of the original Cajun cooking, try to make up for it by burning the taste buds to the point where they can't taste anything else.
IMHO.

Sure wish I could be down on the bayou again, with Kay and Silas. As I look back, I realize how kind they were to me.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:13 PM   #9
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now while I add 2 shakes of Tabasco to my gumbo you'd never taste it........and yes, I do shake in more for myself personally once it's done and in my bowl but I would never subject others to such spiciness.....gumbos are meant to be shared..........and not everyone can take the heat nor want to.........
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