My favorite gumbo at a recent cookoff was a variation of a Chef Paul Prudhumme recipe. Today I found hardback copy of Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen when shopping neighborhood garage sales. I offered a dollar, but the seller refused. She wanted $2.
I hesitated and flipped through the book. I found an entire chapter labeled Gumbos, Soups & Stews. It includes a few wild gumbo recipes like seven-steak and okra along with traditional seafood gumbos. When I saw his recipe for Turtle Soup, I bought the book for full price. My grandmother used to make Turtle Soup with turtle eggs floating around in the broth. I never ate her soup, and I’m not going to make it, but that recipe tugged at my heart strings and released my purse strings.
The original sticker reads $19.95 and it’s valued online between $12 and $20. But most of all, my online research shows that Paul Prudhomme is still kicking and still cooking.
His 200-seat restaurant, K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen on Chartres Street in the French Quarter in New Orleans, posts its menu online daily. Today for lunch it’s chicken and andouille gumbo. I could try turtle soup for dinner, then dine on eggplant shrimp pirogue, and end with sweet potato pecan pie.
From now on when I turn on my computer in the morning, I’m checking the menu. If I leave my house around 7:30 a.m., I can make it to K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen for lunch and stay for dinner.
In between bowls of gumbo I can run over to the Maple Street Bookshop and see if they have a copy of The Little Gumbo Cookbook. It has 27 gumbo recipes!