Friday, November 6, 2015

Recipe Weekend: Tujague's Cookbook: Creole Recipes and Lore in the New Orleans Grand Tradition by Poppy Tooker

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge,from Pelican Publishing, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

And now for a great new book about one of my fav NOLA restaurants:


From brunch to dessert, these kitchen madams serve up history New Orleans style!
Author and culinary historian Poppy Tooker masterfully combines all the myriad strands that fill the rooms of Tujague’s beautifully restored establishment into a whole cloth of foodie lore. As the second oldest restaurant in New Orleans, Tujague’s boasts more than a century of fresh Creole cuisine served in the heart of the French Quarter. More than a cookbook, this foray into history combines memorabilia from the restaurant’s archives with stunning modern images from New Orleans photographers Sam Hanna and Louis Sahuc. The dramatic story of the successful effort to save the restaurant is included, along with tales of ghostly guests and authentic dishes and drinks celebrating the oldest standup bar in America and the restaurant that created the international tradition of brunch.


This is a superb historical look at Tujague's, as well as being a great NOLA style cookbook! A few years ago it seemed like Tjague's was being sold to outside interests who were going to shut it down, after over 150 years in buisness (established in 1857). The public outcry was HUGE. NOLA loves it's traditions, and there are a handful of restaurants that are as cherished as the family silver saved from those "*&* Yankes" in the Civil War. The thought of lossing Tujague's sent many into fits. Luckily the owner decided to sell to his nephew, the current owner, and keep Tujague's alive and breathing. 

New owner Mark Latter accepted the history and ghosts (yes, there are multiple ones in the building-see this fun interview with Poppy, about the latest showing), and decided to make some minor changes, like lightening up the dining room, to modernize the restaurant and a little bit of the menu. Yet he has kept what makes Tujague's unique. This book, from one of our favorite authors (and BF's cousin) showcases all that is wonderful, unique and amazing from Tujague's. All the classics you know and love from the menu, like Eggs Sardou, Oysters a la Governor Noe,Seared Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes  (my fav), Crawfish Bisque a la Begue (my second fav), Miss Brenda's Red Beans and Rice, Crawfish Florentine, and Creole Seafood Courtbuillion, are combined with unique anecdotes and the history of the restaurant and owners. It is both an amazing cookbook, showcasing NOLA's French traditions combined with Creole cooking, and a great memoir of New Orleans history and traditions. It is NOT to be missed!

This is a CLASSIC Tujague's dish. From the beginning, the menu was fixed, with only a couple of choices. All of the meals however started off with a small plate of this Boiled Beef Brisket with horseradish sauce, with a side of Shrimp Remoulade, and a chunk of French bread. That tradition is still available, but new owner Matt Latter now has a la carte choices as well. The restaurant still makes over 700 pounds of it per week!

Courtesy of Tujague's

Boiled Brisket of Beef with Spicy Horse Radish Sauce
Makes 6 to 8 servings
4 pounds beef brisket, trimmed
1 gallon water
1/4 cup salt
12 black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 turnips, peeled, quartered
2 carrots, peeled, sliced
2 onions, sliced
1/2 head small cabbage, chopped
2 leeks, thoroughly washed, sliced (white and pale-green parts)
2 large tomatoes, preferably Creole, quartered
Creole mustard
Horseradish Sauce (recipe follows)
1. Put the brisket and water in a very large Dutch oven or deep pot, and add salt, peppercorns and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Add celery, turnips, carrots, onions, cabbage, leeks and tomatoes. Let pot return to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook until beef is tender, about 2-1/2 hours. As it cooks, skim frequently to remove scum that may accumulate.
3. Remove brisket. Reserve cooking liquid and vegetables for other uses. Serve brisket with Creole mustard and Horseradish Sauce.
Horseradish Sauce
Makes 2 cups
1/2 cup creamed horseradish
1/2 cup Creole mustard
1 cup ketchupCouple dashes Worcestershire sauce

1. Combine all ingredients. 
2. Chill 6 to 8 hours or overnight to marry the flavors.(this is key- and needs to be done)


About the Author:

A native New Orleanian, Poppy Tooker is passionate about food and the people who make it. She hosts the popular weekly radio show Louisiana Eats! A writer for publications such as Fine Cooking, Tooker informs readers on the importance of reviving foods pivotal to Louisiana and New Orleans culture. Her support of New Orleans cuisine has been recognized globally by the International Association of Cooking Professionals. Southern Living magazine named her a Hero of the New South. Her previous book, Louisiana Eats!: The People, the Food, and Their Stories, received the Literary Award of the Year in 2014 from the Louisiana Library Association. Tooker is just as talented in the kitchen and holds the distinct honor of having beaten Bobby Flay with her delicious seafood gumbo when she competed on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She also contributed updated recipes and history for a new edition of the historic Mme. Bégué’s Recipes of Old New Orleans Creole Cookery. Tooker lives and, more importantly, cooks in the city of New Orleans.

About the Photographer
Raised in London, Sam Hanna began his career as a photo editor for Entertainment Publications in Detroit, where he remained until relocating to New Orleans. Through his company, Hanna Foto, he specializes in culinary styling and photography. His work can also be seen in Pelican’s Fun, Funky and Fabulous: New Orleans’ Casual Restaurant Recipes.

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