Louisiana

Book Review: Cooking Up a Storm 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Cooking up a storm cover

After Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans in 2005, Cooking Up a Storm was published to tell the story—recipe by recipe—of one of the great food cities of the world and the determination of its citizens to preserve and safeguard their culinary legacy.

In a town obsessed with food, that meant discovering years of collected recipes—many ripped from the newspaper and tucked into cookbooks—were gone. As residents started to rebuild their lives in the aftermath, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans became a post-hurricane swapping place for old recipes that were washed away in the storm.

Marcelle Bienvenu and Judy Walker have compiled 250 of these delicious, authentic recipes along with the stories of how they came to be and what they mean to those who have searched so hard to find them again. (more…)

Try this

Chipotle Tabasco Sauce is great for barbecue season. Its smoky flavour provides just the perfect amount of hotness. Check out this recipe for chipotle BBQ pulled pork. I got my bottle at the Ottawa Bagel Shop on Wellington Street for about $5.

According to its website, Tabasco Sauce has been produced since 1868 in Louisiana and is in its fifth generation as a family business. All shareholders inherited their stock or were given it by a living member of the McIlhenny family. Tabasco Sauce is made from tabasco peppers (Capsicum frutescens var. tabasco), vinegar and salt.

Capsicum frutescens var. tabasco – Photo by chilifoorumi.fi

The peppers are mashed the same day they are picked and placed in white oak barrels to age for up to three years. Once the barrels are closed, a thick layer of salt is spread on top, creating an air-tight seal. This keeps out oxygen and allows fermentation gases to escape. The barrels are stacked to the ceilings in the Louisiana warehouses. They are kept there for up to three years until they have fully aged. A member of the McIlhenny family personally inspects each barrel of pepper mash and deems the aging process complete. The fully aged mash is then cleaned, drained and mixed with high quality, distilled, vinegar for up to 28 days in 1,800-gallon vats. The resulting sauce is sent to the plant’s floor to be bottled and distributed to over 160 countries and territories around the world.

Photo courtesy of brewer_doug