Hoppin’ into the New Year

December 28, 2013

Hoppin John

Hoppin’ John is one of my favorite dishes, and it’s something that really shouldn’t be confined just to the first day of the year. For those of you who have never heard of Hoppin’ John, it’s a traditional Southern dish made with rice and black eyed peas, and when eaten on New Year’s Day, it is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity for the year. It is generally served with greens. The black eyed peas are supposed to resemble coins, and the greens add to the year’s prosperity and wealth due to their green color (you know, the color of money). Sometimes cornbread also gets into the action, given its golden color (again, the color of a different kind of money). While I’m not sure about all that, I am sure that creamy black eyed peas mixed with the saltiness of bacon and spiced up with some andouille and pepper makes taste buds happy and fills up bellies. (more…)

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Cookbook Review: Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen

November 14, 2010

Crawfish Etouffe

Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen was the cookbook I learned to cook from. Don’t get me wrong – I learned how to cook from my family, but this was one of the first cookbooks I ever used, which explains why I don’t think taking two hours to make dinner is a bad thing. The recipes in this book are delicious; I’ve never had a bad meal from Chef Paul. However, the first time I made the Cajun Shepherd’s Pie from this book, it took four hours. That wasn’t because I was in middle school, just honing my knife skills. It still takes me quite a bit of time (it might have been because I had an aversion to vegetables, and I minced the heck out of the ones that went into the meal). But as anyone who has ever had a slice of this pie can attest, it is completely and totally worth it. (more…)

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