I had a rushing "Oh my. What have I done?" moment last night while reading all the reviews of the book on Amazaon. I flipped back through the previewed Index and my chest got a tinsy bit tight - kinda like now - when I realized I must prepare escargot.
The envelope was calling my name, I opened it slowly, as will most likely be the pace of this journey, and started reading out loud.
As I read the Introduction, I had a sense of comfort which is exactly why this is the only suitable book to have selected. I love the Brennan family. Don't know them and probably won't ever meet them; however, these are my favorite kind of folks. Well-rounded, self-educated, hard-working, down-to-earth, Southernly good people. Here's my favorite part of the Introduction -
"The ambience we try to create at Commander's is one of causal elegance on an intimate scale. Visitors receive all the courtesies they would in our home. This is part of the Southern tradition of hospitality, and the way we were brought up to entertain." - Ella Brennan & Dick Brennan (brother & sister)
(Insert disclaimer here to all authentic Creole & Cajuns, as I may have interpreted something incorrectly)
Commander's has implemented "Haute Creole" on their menu, and a majority of the recipes we will experience are categorized as such. I just had my second educational conversation of history and differences of Creole and Cajun (The first was by Nick Speyrer, true LA man/husband of Abby, one of my best friends/Kate's, one of the most beautiful baby girls, dad.). How amazing is it that Cajun and Creole cooking has influences from France, Spain, West Indies, Cuba, Mexico, Louisiana region, and Choctaw Indians! It's half the world mixed in one cuisine.
Now, there is one final decision to make before announcing my culinary manifesto - How should I go about it? Should I cook one chapter at a time? Or should I skip around? There are a few things I must research that will dictate some recipes such as oyster season, finding good duck in Memphis (if this is possible), turtle and escargot. All four readers, including Brad who has yet to realize I am serious, that I think are out following, tell me what you think. Darn, that means we need a fifth reader to vote as tie breaker.
To make an educated decision, here is the breakdown of chapters -
- 14 Cocktails
- 36 Appetizers & Soups (fyi - 8 oyster and 2 escargot)
- 17 Salads
- 14 Egg Dishes
- 32 Seafood (fyi - lots of crab, redfish, 2 oyster, and 2 crawfish)
- 14 Chicken & Game (fyi - 5 duck, 1 quail, and 1 Pigeon...really!)
- 17 Beef & Veal
- 31 Desserts & Coffees
- 17 Stocks & Sauces
- Total of 192 recipes