Staff Favorite-Eula Mae’s Cajun Kitchen

26 Jul

Eula Mae Dore worked for the McIlhenny family of Tabasco sauce fame.  She cooked first in the company commissary, then later for the family, preparing food the way her grandmother had taught her. They say she was very reluctant to put together a cookbook, because she never used written recipes, or even measuring cups and spoons. After a lot of persuading, she and food writer Marcelle Bienvenu captured her delicious dishes and passed them on to us. Eula Mae’s Cajun Kitchen (LA 641.597 D695e)  is arranged according to the season and special events, and there are stories of her life on the island. Mrs. Dore’s kindness and generosity come through on the page, and the recipes are easy to use. Don’t worry that they will be too spicy either, because she uses Tabasco sauce in moderation. I like using her recipe for cooking butter beans. They are very good without using any salt meat.-Dianne L.

Garden Butter Beans

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup chopped yellow onions

1 tablespoon chopped celery

1/4 cup seeded and chopped green bell peppers

1/4 seeded and chopped red bell peppers (skip and just use green if you don’t have a red pepper)

1/4 cup seeded and chopped fresh tomatoes (I don’t always do this, skip if you want to)

1 pound baby limas, fresh or frozen

1 garlic clove, peeled

1 ½ cups water

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon Tabasco brand pepper sauce (or what’s to your taste)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 large egg yolk and 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour (I skip this and mash a few beans for thickener)

Heat the oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly golden, about 5 minutes.  Add the bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, limas, and garlic, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the water, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

(Garlic clove should be tender by now so just mash it against the side of the pot and stir in.)

Add the salt, sugar, Tabasco, and black pepper, and stir to mix. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

(If using the egg yolk:)

Take the egg yolk, and with the tips of your fingers, grab the white nodule that is located around it, slip the pocket off, and let the yolk fall into a small bowl.  Beat the yolk, then add the flour and beat again to blend.  Add 1 tablespoon of liquid from the bean pot and whisk to blend.  Slowly add the mixture to the pot and stir.  Cook for 1 minute, then remove from heat and serve.

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