Sunday, November 19, 2017

NOLA- Cooking Class

A great way to experience
 a bit of New Orleans?
Enroll in a cooking class.
We went with Crescent City Cooks.
It was a cooking class, local history lesson,
 and lunch- all in one.
A lovely shop at the entrance.
And a really cool wall of old windows.
We signed up for the 2 hour session 
that includes getting to
 eat the wonderful food.
Our chef and host was Lynn.
 We learned that Creole means- "from New Orleans." 
It is a Haitian, French and Spanish term
 that means- this spot of dirt.
 The wealthy French imported butter and flour.
Cows didn't last long in the swamps and bayous.
They became "trapped" 
and looked like lunch on a platter.
 Locals had to invent ways to cook 
without the expensive flour and butter
 of the wealthy.
 The Cajuns were the salt farmers in 
France who went to Nova Scotia
 and became the Acadians- 150 years ago.
Some later settled in the New Orleans area.
The Cajun people had simple values ~ 
God, family, really good food, and whiskey.
Here is the Chicken and Andouille Gumbo.
British called Okra- lady fingers.
Gumba is West African and means okra,
and was used instead of the scarce flour
 for adding depth, 
and thickening to soups.
When it simmers for a long time.
it cooks the okra sliminess away.
Creole foods will generally have a Red Sauce.
Cajun foods will have a brown sauce.
 The "Holy Trinity" in NOLA cooking
 is onions, peppers and celery. 
Key to this cooking is a good roux
 for gumbo that becomes a Nutella color.
Don't use light-weight aluminum or Teflon pans. 
You need a heavy bottom pot- cast iron is great/
Save garlic for last.
Add stock a bit at a time.
File- Ground Sassafras leaves
also works to add body to gumbo.
                                                                            Pat Maier
We also had Shrimp etoufee.
In French, the word "étouffée
means "smothered".
A good étouffée roux is spent butter color.
 Étouffée can be made
 using different shellfish, 
the most popular version of the dish
 being Crawfish Étouffée, 
although shrimp is also used. 
Originally étouffée was a popular dish
 in the Acadian area 
surrounding Breaux Bridge. 
 In the late twentieth century 
a waiter at the popular Bourbon Street
 restaurant Galatoire's
 brought the dish in to his employer to try. 
It is now a New Orleans main stay.
                                                                             Pat Maier
Banana's Foster- 
made famous by Brennan's Restaurant.
Bananas Foster worked as a NOLA dessert:
1) no oven necessary- it's too hot already!
2) the alcohol goes in...and stays in!
3) NOLA is all about entertaining- 
and when people see it flame you hear,

We also enjoyed some slow-stirred pralines.
 A wonderful BIG EASY experience.
14 wives of the Council of Presidents 
enjoyed this event together!

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