January 24, 2020


I turned to cookbooks for this week's recipe selection-- including one that's been in my collection since 1997. My mother was a great cook, but she wasnt' an adventurous cook. I left home knowing how to make biscuits and cornbread, fry catfish and shrimp, make a great roast beef with gravy and potatoes, an outstanding pot of vegetable beef soup, decent chile, and, in retrospect, avery pedestrian spaghetti sauce, but that was about as far as my cooking strayed from the basics.

When I decided it was time to learn to cook, Classic American Food without Fuss was the cookbook I picked up. And that's what it delivered- basic, regional American classics. But the recipes are all spot-on, and it's educational; I still flip through it when I'm looking for inspiration, but most of my cooking is much more nuanced now. 

America's Test Kitchen sent me their latest, Big Flavors from Italian America; it is full of Italian American favorites from all over the country, some of them new to me. I picked up a copy of Seeking the South-- it's theme is regional favorites from the different regions of the South. It's very well written and researched, and the recipes are diverse.

Drop me a note if you have a new favorite cookbook, or one that you've held onto for years; I'd love to hear about it.

Enjoy this week's recipes, share them with family and friends, and, as always, let me know what's on your mind. Have a great weekend.

Best regards,


Susan Ford, Publisher and Editorial Director

Louisiana Kitchen & Culture

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BBQ Gulf Snapper

BBQ Gulf Snapper

This easy recipe is from the cookbook Seeking the South by Rob Newton. The recipe intro from the chef notes that the rich sauce that is tradition in the famous New Orleans BBQ Shrimp is too good to keep just for that dish; I heartily agree. If you don't have access to snapper, sub in any firm, mild white fish.

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Classic American Beef Stew

Classic American Beef Stew

From Classic American Food Without Fuss, this is a 2-day recipe, but it doesn't actually require that much hands-on time. First you slow-braise the meat, then refrigerate it overnight and defat the broth--you can skip this step if you want, but as with many braises, it'll taste better the second day, so might as well take the extra time. Make it on a Sunday then finish it later in the week for an easy, delicious meal.

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Shrimp Piccata Pasta

Shrimp Piccata Pasta

Cook's Country sent us an advance copy of their upcoming cookbook  Big Flavors from Italian America and it's a lot of fun. If you like Italian food (purportedly America's favorite cuisine) you'll enjoy this cookbook.

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Redfish Tacos

Redfish Tacos

These light, delicious seafood tacos are perfect if you're looking to lighten up your diet this winter. My Louisiana Kitchen & Culture subscribers will January / February 2020 edition; subscribe today and get your own copy. We're offering 1-, 2-, and 3-year subscriptions starting at $25.

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