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Sunday, September 04, 2005 

La Bouche Creole

Whether you are a native New Orleanian, a newcomer, or a visitor to the Crescent City, satisfy your craving for "la bouche Creole" (the Creole taste) in your own kitchen with the help of well-known Creole chef Leon Soniat, Jr.

In La Bouche Creole, Soniat gives the recipes for the most popular Creole dishes -- the ones most frequently found in restaurants -- and also shares the secrets for the classic Creole dishes found on his family table.

There are more than 200 recipes in La Bouche Creole, including: Okra Seafood Gumbo, Creole Bouillabaisse, Crabmeat Mornay, Chicken Jambalaya, and Coush Coush. From familiar New Orleans dishes to unique adaptations of traditional recipes, this cookbook is a truly comprehensive sampling of Creole cooking.

Interspersed among the recipes is Soniat's colorful running monologue of Creole life in old New Orleans -- steps being scrubbed with red brick dust, trips to the bustling French Market, and crabbing and shrimping excursions on the train "Smokey Mary" to Lake Pontchartrain. Soniat, who credited his mother and grandmother as his cooking teachers, wrote a weekly column for New Orleans' newspaper, The Times-Picayune/States-Item, and hosted a local radio cooking show.

Rice Pudding

1 cup uncooked rice
1 quart milk
8 tbsp butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup raisins
5 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 tsp. cinnamon
(salt to taste)

Combine rice and milk. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook over low heatuntil rice is tender.

Add the butter, sugar, vanilla, lemon rind,raisins, and eggs.

Pour into a buttered 2-quart casserole dish.

Sprinkle with the cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees F for about 25minutes.

This will serve between six and eight.

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