Monday, February 3, 2014

A Brief History of Creole Cooking in New Orleans - Part 4

Blogger's Note: While reading this article about New Orleans written in the 1930s, it becomes quickly apparent that Creole food and Louisiana seafood, spoken of here in luxurious poetic phrases, is king.  With none of the health conscience or politically correct restrictions of today, this article offers a window in to the origins of food in New Orleans' Creole community, built on a tradition of simple ingredients; well-prepared and well-seasoned.  Filled with charming details of day-to-day New Orleans of the recent past, this collection studies the character and historical resonance of the traditional Creole way of life.  Enjoy!

From the Louisiana Works Progress Administration article A Brief History of Creole Cooking in New  Orleans, 1930s:
"Below are some Creole Recipes:

Veal rounds                                           flour
1 can of tomatoes (or 6 fresh ones)          lard
1 onion, green pepper                            parsley
a clove of garlic
              Salt and pepper to taste.
A deep iron pot or skillet with a tight cover has to be used for making this dish.  Cut the rounds in size appropriate for individual serving.  Two rounds will make four ample servings.  Make a roux by browning a tablespoon of flour in a tablespoon of lard.  Add the finely cut onion, pepper and garlic, and the meat which has been seasoned with salt and pepper.  Let this cook on a slow fire until the meat is brown, and enough juice extracted from the meat to make a little gravy.  Add the tomatoes and simmer on a slow fire until done (about two hours).

After this has cooked an hour add a teacup of hot water.

Jambalaya a'la Creole
1 lb. Chaurices (pork sausage)                 2 pods garlic
1 slice ham                                           1 onion (chopped)
1 1/2 cups rice                                     2 sprigs parsley, thyme and bay leaf (finely chopped)
1 can of tomatoes (small)                  
             Salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.
Wash rice thoroughly.  In the meantime, brown the ham, cut in small pieces, and fry the chaurices in a little lard.  Drain off the lard which accumulates from frying the meat, leaving only a tablespoon.  Brown onion and other seasonings; add tomatoes.  Let cook a few minutes.  Pour over the rice and mix thoroughly.  Place in a heavy pot, cover and cook until gravy is absorbed and rice is soft and dry.

The meat my be omitted, the jambalaya made with shrimp or oysters, the basis recipe being the same. 

Callas Tout Chaud
1 cup of boiled rice (left over)                1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 eggs                                                      1 cup of flour
1/2 cup sugar                                           3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Beat the eggs until thick; add sugar and other ingredients.  Beat vigorously until thoroughly blended.  Drop by teaspoon in deep hot fat.  Fry until golden brown.  Drain on heavy paper and sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve hot.

These cakes are delicious and when properly made they puff up and are extremely light."