There's something about Southern cooking. Maybe it's the traditions, the recipes, or maybe it's the love. I confess I don't really know. All I know is that it's really hard to beat.
I'll be adding recipes along so stop back by and peek in to see what's new.
Many historians of the region have written that brunch was most likely inspired by the European idea of "second breakfasts" and was brought to New Orleans by the aristocratic settlers of the area. Brunch evolved to it's modern form in 19th century New Orleans. The addition of Jazz came about in the mid 1900's and evolved to today's Sunday Jazz Brunches which exist all over the city of New Orleans and have spread to being a fixture of Sunday dining all over the world.
Now you can recapture the essence of this tradition. Start your brunch with an 'eye-opener' that will awaken you and your appetite. Follow with an unhurried brunch with a wine of your choice. And, for the finale have one of New Orleans' famous desserts and chicory coffee.
Sunday Brunch is meant to be enjoyed with conversation and fellowship among friends and family. Take your time. Create something that our society seldom does in these days. ...make a Sunday an event to remember.
"New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin." -- Mark Twain, 1884
The Creoles were much more cosmopolitan. They were the European born aristocrats, wooed by the Spanish to establish New Orleans in the 1690's. Second born sons, who could not own land or titles in their native countries, were offered the opportunity to live and prosper in their family traditions here in the New World. They brought with them not only their wealth and education, but their chefs and cooks. With these chefs came the knowledge of the grand cuisines of Europe. The influences of classical and regional French, Spanish, German and Italian cooking are readily apparent in Creole cuisine. The terminologies, precepts, sauces, and major dishes carried over, some with more evolution than others, and provided a solid base or foundation for Creole cooking. The French Quarter became the Creole sector, while the Americans built their homes and businesses on the other side of Canal Street, the main thoroughfare and dividing line between the French Quarter and the rest of the city.
Bouillabaisse, a soup that came from the Provence region of France in and around Marseilles, played a part in the creation of gumbo. The Spanish gave Creole food its spices, and the paella, which was the forefather of Louisiana's jambalaya. On the coastline, seafoods were often substituted for meats in the jambalaya creating many variations, according to the local ingredients available at different times of the year. The Germans who arrived in Louisiana in 1690 were knowledgeable in all forms of charcuterie and from them came the andouille and other sausages. Mirlitons (or chayote squash), sauce piquantes from south and central America and the use of tomato rounded out the emerging Creole cuisine.The African slave brought with them the "gumbo" or okra plant from their native soil, which not only gave name to that premier soup, but introduced a new vegetable to South Louisiana.
Creole cuisine, then, is a blending of artistry and talent of cooking, developed and made possible by the people of various nations and cultures who settled in and around New Orleans, and is kept alive by Louisiana sharing it with the rest of the world.
The Cajuns, on the other hand, were isolated for most of their history. The Cajuns are descendants of the French-speaking Acadians who were banished from Nova Scotia in the early 1700s. They settled in southwest Louisiana and lived in isolation until modern times. Until the oil boom came, they had to fight to survive. The Cajun farmers, fishermen, and hunters sold the best of their gatherings and subsisted on the worst. That necessity inspired Cajun cooking, which can make a great meal out of poor ingredients.
The cuisine of the Cajuns is a mirror image of their unique history. It is a cooking style which reflects their ingenuity, creativity, adaptability and survival. The Cajuns cooked with joy and love as their most precious ingredients, a joy brought about by reunion, in spite of the tragedy that befell them. To cook Cajun is to discover the love and experience the joy of the most unique American cuisine ever developed.
The Acadians subsidized their diet with game and seafood. The Cajun cooks were blessed with an abundance of crab, river shrimp, lake shrimp, oysters, crawfish, freshwater and saltwater fish, plus squirrels, wild turkeys, ducks, frogs, turtles, pork, homemade sausages, beans of all kinds, tomatoes, okra, yams, pecans, oranges, etc.
They ate maple syrup and molasses for sweets. They grew apples, peaches, pears, etc and gathered wild blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries. In Louisiana, wheat was scarce and expensive so corn flour and cornmeal were substituted, and rice was the main staple at the Cajun table.
The Acadians made friends with the Spanish and Germans that preceded them as well. From the Spanish they were introduced to paella (the predecessor of jambalaya), grillades, stews, fricassees, soups, gumbos, sauce piquantes and a host of stuffed vegetable dishes, such as Mirlitons, are all characteristic of these new Cajun "one pot meals". And from the Germans, the Cajuns were reintroduced to charcuterie and today make andouille, smoked sausage, boudin, chaudin, tasso and chaurice, unparalleled in the world of sausage making. Their dishes were often pungent, peppery and very practical since it was also all cooked in a single pot.
There are hundreds of different recipes for gumbo, jambalaya, turtle soup and they are all right because no one is wrong.
My tastes are varied and eclectic. I love foods from many cultures and nationalities and that love is reflected in my cooking. Soul Food does not just mean dishes from the South or from African-American culture, soul food is whatever food feeds your soul as well as your stomach. I've found some serious soul food from Mexico, Japan, China, Russia, etc., and it makes my heart as well as my stomach sing.
So, Hizzoner's customers could look forward to many different kinds of lunch specials, and I had a great time preparing them. You'll find the dishes I did for lunch specials in the Lunch Specials section of Recipes.
The recipes listed here in this section are just some of my random favorites things.
I hope you have as good a time making these as I do.
Eat food that has been prepared with love. Don't eat poison.