Bayou Plantation Country Cookbook
Butler, author of Louisiana Life magazine's 2004 cookbook of the year, Audubon Plantation Country Cookbook, returns with an engaging look at the cuisine of southern Louisiana. Butler takes the reader on a guided tour of the area, highlighting plantations as well as mom-and-pop restauranteurs such as Spuddy Faucheux, a former computer programmer who gave it up to open Spuddy's Cajun Foods. It's cooks like Spuddy who give the book its warmth, with anecdotes and recipes for dishes like Smothered Cabbage and Crawfish Stew, as well as more exotic fare like Smoked Coon Gumbo and Alligator Chili. Even if readers don't have access to fresh alligator, they'll still find plenty of interesting takes on traditional dishes that exploit a bounty of fresh, local ingredients. Chef John Folse's Catfish Paella, a heady mix of catfish, andouille sausage and vegetables, and Aline Forest's Creole Oysters Rockefeller are just two of the bold, spicy recipes that will unearth readers' inner Southerner. Butler's essays on the region, its economics and culture, make the book a treasure for those with a soft spot for Cajun cooking.