My brother-in-law and sister-in-law gave Chip and me John Besh's My New Orleans for Christmas. John Besh has many restaurants in the New Orleans area. We've been to Restaurant August two or three times, and we never miss brunch at Luke on our weekend visits to New Orleans.
Chip read My New Orleans cover to cover first, and I almost stole it away from him before he finished. As Chip was reading the cookbook, he read many of the stories and recipes from the cookbook aloud to me and would have my mouth watering every night right before bed. I probably dreamed of creole cooking for a week straight! I knew that this was going to be a cookbook I actually cooked from... unlike The French Laundry cookbook that I've ogled but have yet to try a darn recipe.
I made Besh's the Chicken and Sausage Gumbo for the NFC Championship, and it was mighty good! I left out the okra, though, because I just don’t love okra. For Chip's birthday back in October, I made Emeril's Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, and it was neat to compare the two batches. I cheated on the Besh batch because I pulled the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken. For the Emeril batch, I used only thigh meat. The thigh meat was better, I think, but the recipes were really similar.
For the Super Bowl, I decided to make the Shrimp, Chicken, and Andouille Jambalaya and the Mardi Gras King Cake recipes from My New Orleans. The jambalaya was really good. It was a celebration of pork: bacon, andouille, ground pork sausage, and sliced smoked sausage. We don't eat much pork in our house, so it was definitely a treat. I used crawfish tails instead of shrimp, and that added a yummy twist.
I forgot to take photos until I had already mixed the dough, kneaded for 15 minutes (!), and let it take its first rise. And from there...
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