"Gulf seafood is as safe to eat now as it was before the spill."
Some two years after the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico oil spill, language such as this reflects the prevailing sentiments of experts like Michael R. Taylor, J.D., Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the Food and Drug Administration (www.fda.gov/food/foodsafety/product-specificinformation/seafood/ucm210970.htm).
These kinds of reassuring updates makes diving headfirst into Gretna, Louisiana-based Pelican Publishing Company's newly released "Broussard's Restaurant & Courtyard Cookbook," by food historian Ann Benoit and the Preuss Family, and "New Orleans Classic Brunches: Recipes from Favorite Restaurants," by award-winning writer, photographer and artist Kit Wohl, joyful -- not just for those of us who enjoy eating Gulf seafood, but also for the folks who create recipes and for the fishing industry who supplies it.
If you are not a stranger to New Orleans, chances are you've eaten in several of the restaurant greats featured in the 96-page "New Orleans Classic Brunches," among them Arnaud's, Brennan's, Commander's Place and, of course, the legendary Dooky Chase, owned by the Queen of Creole Cuisine herself, Chef Leah Chase.
Included within the 50 recipes to appear in Wohl's book, is Chef Leah's "Breakfast Shrimp & Baked Cheese Grits," a dish that was enjoyed by then President George Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon while visiting Dookey Chase's during the North American Leaders' Summit, in April of 2008.
Broussard's Restaurant & Courtyard has also seen its share of famous visitors, perhaps none more so than Pope John II, who dined on restaurant chef-owner Gunter Preuss' "Crawfish Broussard," in September of 1987.
Besides Preuss' crawfish recipe, Benoit's coffee table worthy cookbook also contains many other original recipes, 70 in all, for signature dishes like Crabmeat Broussard (served with Spinach Herbsaint), Salmon Jean Lafitte, Duckling Andreas Preuss and Poached Pears Madame Preuss, named by Chef Preuss for his wife, Evelyn.
For further information about these titles, their authors and how to purchase, visit the Pelican Publishing Company website at www.pelicanpub.com, or call 1-800-843-1724.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at email@example.com.