Sunday, 6 December 2009

Rewriting Paul Prudhomme

I've been meaning to post about Paul Prudhomme for forever. Tonight I made seafood gumbo again (it's one of my favorites) and I'm reminded how I "rewrite" his recipes. First, let me say it's a lot of fun to cook out of his books. The spicing is interesting and the taste is delicious. But, let's face it, this stuff can be unhealthy! For example, in said gumbo recipe, he calls for 3/4 of a cup of oil for the roux. I cut that to 1/4 (along with the accompanying flour). Sure, that means less stock but who cares?!? Then, he calls for the roux to be added to the boiling stock! Say what? This reminds me of chem lab: it's acid into water and not vice versa --- likewise, it's liquid into roux, not vice versa. Otherwise, you can't control the thickness and you might get lumps! So, what's with that anyway? Of course, I add the stock to the roux and keep going. Also, a missing note from this particular recipe: I use the shrimp shells (I only buy wild gulf shrimp these days) to make a very simple stock. One of his pasta recipes literally calls for a stick of butter. That's just horrific. Might be tasty but I just don't cook like that. A final note: I use andouille sausage from my local sausage provider: Parma Sausage. Sure wish they made tasso!

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