Kevin Belton’s Cookin’ Louisiana: Flavors from the Parishes of the Pelican State

Kevin Belton. Gibbs Smith, $28 (208p) ISBN 978-1-4236-5838-2
Cajun cooking gets a worthy celebration in the inviting latest from Belton (Kevin Belton’s New Orleans Celebrations), host of PBS’s New Orleans Cooking with Kevin Belton. He groups his recipes by the city, parish (Louisiana’s version of a county), or region each is influenced by and provides historical and cultural context for each section; for instance, he explains how Canary Islanders brought along mirliton squash when they settled in St. Bernard Parish in the late 1700s, then follows with a recipe for mirliton stuffed with shrimp and ham. Other missives are anecdotal: before sharing a recipe for fried catfish with dipping sauce, he recalls fishing with his dad along the Mississippi River and meeting a fisherman who caught an 80-pound catfish. Additional highlights include crawfish burgers from Breaux Bridge in St. Martin Parish, “the Crawfish Capital of the World”; smoked meat gumbo from Avoyelles Parish, where there are annual Cajun pig roast festivals; and a shrimp boil inspired by the abundance of rice grown in Acadia Parish. Readers who aren’t acquainted with Louisiana’s rich and varied cuisine will enjoy the straightforward instructions and a glossary to “understanding Louisiana,” which explains, for instance, the region’s Creole-influenced terms, such as cher, “the Cajun word for dear.” This is an excellent introduction to recreating dishes from Cajun Country. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/03/2021
Release date: 08/01/2021
Genre: Lifestyle
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