Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cookbook Thursday: Relive 'Tremé' with new cookbook by Elie of New Orleans

            HBO captured the true essence of New Orleans and life after “da storm” with its hit series “Tremé.” The show was created by David Simon of “The Wire” fame and stars Wendell Pierce, Melissa Leo, Khandi Alexander and Janette Desautel, among many others, including several actors hailing from the Crescent City (my husband had a small part in seven three!).
            “Tremé” finished its third season last year and there’s been a long, silent lapse. I’d begun to wonder if the rumors about more filming in New Orleans actually happened. I heard this week that the final five episodes, season four, will air in December. You can learn more at
            But you don’t have to wait that long. Lolis Eric Elie of New Orleans and story editor-staff writer for the show — in addition to other books and impressive food writing — has penned a gorgeous new cookbook titled “Tremé: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans.” The cookbook offers delectable recipes to create at home along with photos and character descriptions from the series. Many of the actors offer their perspectives on the New Orleans culinary scene and Elie explains the city’s unique offerings, from poboys to the conflicting origin of gumbo. Most of all, the book’s a culinary love poem to the city.
            Anthony Bourdain, who also wrote for “Tremé,” writes the foreword and there’s a preface by Simon. Recipe photographs were snapped by Ed Anderson but many of the book’s recipes were penned by a variety of the city’s best, such as Dooky Chase’s gumbo z’herbes, a Thanksgiving dinner by Commander’s Palace and Brigtsen’s banana bread pudding.

Pasta with Shrimp, Garlic, and Parsley
From “Tremé: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans.”
1/2 pound dried angel hair pasta or linguine
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons dry white wine
            Directions: Bring a pot three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, stir once or twice, and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes for angel hair or according to package directions. Drain the pasta and set aside.
            In a skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
            Add the shrimp, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes and sauté until the shrimp are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the pasta, parsley, and wine and sauté for 1 more minute to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve at once.

            Makes 2 servings.

Cheré Coen is a Lafayette freelance travel and food writer. She is the author of “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Tour of Historic Acadiana,” both from The History Press. Write her at