Cookbook Keepers: Page 6

Cookbook buys seldom travel. Two fates await a cookbook.
It reposes on a collector's shelf, or, it becomes part of an estate and handed down to next-of-kin.

Keeper Henry Butcher
Practitioner: Louisiana Creole Cuisine

Owner and chef: Creole Kitchen
Columbus, Ohio

Henry Butcher, nearing retirement age in Ohio after decades in busy restaurant kitchens, is finally keeping a promise to himself. He's putting his Creole recipes on paper in a northern city seriously in need of such. Of course, his favorite is his own personal approach to crawfish etouffee. Publication date is an unknown factor in his busy life, but close friends are putting on pressure to get his collection into the ink-on-paper stage. Butcher detests cell phones and all the accouterments related, so you know he will not permit any of his culinary creations to be disturbed by something called an e-book.

Born in Bayou country to a family that wanted to escape the south's pervasive proverty, his father headed north to a better post-WW2 life in 1959. That was then Detroit. A quick stop to visit an old friend in Columbus, Ohio, was as far north as the father had to travel. That friend pointed the father to a possible job in the Ohio capital city. The dad retired at age 75 and 30-plus years with the city sewer department. His son the line cook, the fry cook, the evolving fine dining chef in top Italian restaurants, always knew he would own his own eatery. Today he owns and commands a pure Creole kitchen with his family over key cooking stations.

In his constant endeavor to keep to authentic Creole, his favorite cookbook is his culinary bible...

Wouldn't you know:
Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen
by Paul Prudhomme
William Morrow Cookbooks
c 1984

This was the first cookbook by the chef who enhanced the tastes for Cajun and Creole cooking in this country. He gave new meaning and appreciation for a cuisine that dates back some 200 years. Chef Butcher's food in a northern state is a close country cousin. Chef Butcher has made pilgramages to NOLA's K-Paul's Kitchen.

Foodie followers say there has never been a negative newspaper review about Prudhomme's restaurant, The same can be said about Butcher's cooking in Central Ohio.

His second choice for history:
The Escoffier Cook Book
A Guide to the Fine Art of Cookery
by Auguste Escoffier
c 1941

Chef Butcher favors Chef Escoffier for his total French in the original. Butcher sees a kinship in Cajun country with french influences. His edition, of course, is the English translation.

Tease: This is one of the recipes to appear in Chef Butcher's forthcoming cookbook now under the working title of Creole In Columbus. Chef Butcher has concerns about country of origin when it comes to product such as his preferred mudbugs, aka Louisiana crawfish. Once published in hard cover, the chef intends to offer a source guide on the restaurant website.

Crawfish Etoufee'
Serves 4 people

For a good etoufee' you need a good rich stock. Chicken stock and Shrimp stock should be infused together and reduce for a good rich flavor.

Black Roux
Creole Vegetables
Tomato Puree
Crawfish Tailmeat
Chicken Stock
Shrimp Stock

1/2 cup black roux
6 Tbsp creole vegetables ( finely diced celery, onions, peppers )
3 Tbsp tomato puree
1 lb crawfish tailmeat
11/2 qt in fuse stock plus 1 cup
Bring stock to a hot simmer, add black roux whip until smooth.
Add tomato puree, keep whipping and then add the creole vegetables and simmer for 3 minutes. Add crawfish tailmeat and 1 to 1/2 Tbsp of Chef Butcher's creole seasoning.
Salt to taste - serve over white rice or grits.

Black Roux, Infuse stock and Creole seasoning can all be purchased at Chef Butcher's Creole Kitchen.


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