Cooking Louisiana - Newsletter - July 2003

Bonjour my fellow home chefs... 

The hot summer days are here...but... the cookin' goes on!

In Cajun land you don't see many gumbo's cooking during the hot months... in fact (for some) it becomes a "mental block" when it comes to summertime gumbo. Hot weather = no gumbo! Kick the fan on and let's cook! Here's some gumbo facts.

It takes just about as long to cook a 1/2 gallon gumbo as it does to cook a 3 gallon gumbo. With that in mind when you cook a gumbo cook a big one and  put it up in zipper lock bags in the freezer. In fact you can do other time saving things that will help you manage that "tight schedule", and, enjoy some good home cooking... check it out.

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Beans, beans the magical fruit...! The use of lentils (beans) has been traced back as far as 6750 BC in parts of the present day Middle East. Chickpeas, lentils and Fava Beans have been found in Egyptian tombs that date back at least 4000 years. About the same time, (around 1500 BC) parts of present day Asia were growing and using soybeans. And Cajuns only been around a few hundred years and it just  took us a little while to figure out what to do with them beans!

Do you know what the "Three Sisters" are? Beans, corn and squash. Why? I haven't a clue...! But, it's a Native American source.

Beans and grains (rice) have a relationship in which the amino acids of each complement one another in such a way as to form a complete protein. I'm sure that's not what the Cajuns had in mind when they put them were cooking Red Beans and Rice!

Beans help to reduce cholesterol while providing excellent nutrition. When combined with nuts, seeds or grains, they form a complete high-fiber vegetable protein. So when you cook beans ask some of your crazy friends over!

Most beans contain only 2-3% fat. Beans are the perfect food for a fat-restricted diet.
You may never have to count calories again, in South Louisiana,... yea right!

Beans contain no cholesterol, and they can help lower your cholesterol level because they are one of the richest sources of fiber!  Most beans contain at least 20% protein and are high in carbohydrates which provides long lasting energy. In addition, beans provide essential B Vitamins and Iron.

They also provide you with sound effects and immediate changes in the "air about you" which can be both advantageous or disastrous depending on the situation! 

Now that we're finished with the science, laughs, and history let's get to cooking these bad boys!

The most popular beans in South Louisiana are White Beans and Red (Kidney) Beans. Lima beans come in third and field peas (I guess it could be considered a bean) take a fourth. Snap beans (Green Beans) rank in there too so let's not forget them! Here are a few basic "Bean Rules".

Following are a few Bean Recipes You May Want to Try.....

Cajun White Beans
Red Beans
White Bean Soup
Snap Beans 
Bev's Spicy Snap Beans
Field Peas 
Peas and Eggs

Ever see snap beans like these?....[Click Here]

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Do you like eggplant? This time of year eggplant is plentiful, especially in South Louisiana. You'll mostly see the purple variety but the green is also grown. 

How about fried eggplant?... Here's my "Eggplant Chips"

And.... an old "Cajun Favorite" is Eggplant Fritters.

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Louisiana Cookin' is a fun-filled magazine with stories and recipes from the people who make Louisiana’s cuisine so famous. Each of the 6 issues during the year includes articles on food-related topics from the home cook to famous restaurants; Cajun, Creole and all in between … all with simple recipes. Also, articles on traveling throughout Louisiana and beyond brings our readers ideas on the best places to stay, dine and festivals to attend, with recipes included. Along with the tasty articles and recipes appearing in each issue, regular features included in this unique magazine are a calendar of food-related events, Gumbo Crossword Puzzle, quick and easy and low fat recipes.

Louisiana Cookin Magazine
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You'll really like this Magazine.... Jack

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New and featured recipes.....
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Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers
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Grandma Crochet's Bread Pudding
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Paul's Crayfish Bisque Casserole
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Braised Brisket
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As a reminder, and for you " new" visitors, the Cooking Louisiana web site is not about me, it's about "us" and our swiftly fading Cajun/Creole heritage. Cooking is but one part of that heritage and my goal is to help preserve this single part of what we are on this web site. It's all about love of our Acadian ancestors. And of course we share what we have with everyone!

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Be sure to visit the "What's New" page to see all of the site's new additions.
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Did you knowIn 2001, according to the United States Department of Commerce, for the first time ever, Americans ate more shrimp than canned tuna. They ate a record 3.4 pounds of shrimp per person.
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As usual your privacy remains secure and your identity will not be sold or distributed to anyone.

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The Cooking Louisiana Newsletter is freely published every four to six weeks.

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