I was contacted by the publicity manager of Gumbo Love recently, and was asked if I would like to receive a copy of the cookbook to review. Y'all know me well enough by now to know that if it has anything to do with food, cooking or a cookbook, I am ALL in. Add in the fact that the author is none other than Lucy Buffett, Jimmy Buffet's sister, and I was prepared for it to be 5 o'clock somewhere and ready to get cooking in the kitchen.
Although I received a copy of the book for review, all opinions expressed are that of my own.
I was immediately drawn in by the cover of this gorgeous cookbook.
|Image Credit: Angie Mosier|
A brief description of the book.
A delicious love letter to the Gulf Coast's vibrant food culture, by Jimmy Buffett's sister and owner of two beloved destination restaurants in Alabama and Florida.
Incorporating Caribbean, Cajun, Cuban, Mexican, Old Florida, and Creole influences, Lucy proves through her collection of recipes that the Gulf Coast has its own distinct flavors and traditions that make it a destination year after year. Surviving hurricanes, the Gulf Coast—beyond just New Orleans—has a vibrant food and culture that's gone largely unnoticed. Lucy wants to change that by sharing her food and stories with GUMBO LOVE readers.
Like her brother, Jimmy, Lucy celebrates freedom, relaxation, and seaside decadence in her own art--cooking, and has now written the cookbook her fans have been asking her for; one that offers the recipes she's famous for, along with Gulf Coast classics and stories of growing up in Mobile, Alabama, working in New Orleans, and her philosophy of relaxation, gratitude, and enjoyment.
Lucy combines over one hundred new recipes with old favorites. Her fans will find recipes for their social occasions including gumbos, main dishes, deep fried favorites (with her easy frying tutorial), salads, seasonings, libations, and desserts. They will also learn how Lucy navigates the kitchen, her business, and her family and readers will come away with the basic ingredients of an inspiring life philosophy.
|Image Credit: Chandler Williams of Modus Photography|
Lucy "LuLu" Buffett cooked her way from coast to coast before returning home to Alabama to open a modest little bayside gumbo and burger joint that doubled as a bait shop. Now, she is the successful restaurateur of two locations of LuLu's in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and Destin, Florida, where she serves over a million guests a year. Her adventures-culinary and otherwise-inspired her to write LuLu's Kitchen (formerly self-published as Crazy Sista Cooking), and now Gumbo Love.
Moments spent at LuLu's keep me connected to where I came from. I can drop my anchor in a booth by the water and savor a bowl of gumbo; for me there is more than fresh crabmeat, oysters, okra, shrimp, and filé powder in that bowl. It contains the faces and memories of friends, family, and events that remind me of the child of the coast that I was and hope to always be. In this book, LuLu has gotten it all down on paper, with great recipes for food that comes with history.
If this book wasn't any good, I'd have to lie about it because Lucy Buffett is my sister-in-law. But I am spared that pain by the glories Lucy brings to kitchen and table and, between the lines, a vision of the good life with all its highs and lows and more than occasional joys. If Woody Allen says life is about showing up, Lucy Buffett says hurl yourself into it. This book is a road map to good times.
My #2 saw the cookbook sitting on the counter after it arrived and exclaimed, "I've eaten at her restaurant in Alabama" and just raved about the shrimp tacos! Turns out she and her girlfriends ate there while taking a break from grad school. Now she was ALL in too.
I was given the recipe for a scrumptious Classic Southern Poundcake to share with my readers, but in the end due to our dietary restrictions we decided to make another scrumptious dish from the cookbook to share with you all. I know many shy away from cookbooks due to dietary restrictions, but as I have shown you all in the past and again with this recipe, most can be easily adapted to suit your needs. The only substitution we had to make was using vegan butter.
Easy-Breezy Island Shrimp Curry~It's What's for Dinner
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (we use vegan)
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
2 teaspoons finely chopped seeded jalapéno (or leave the seeds in for more heat)
1 tablespoon red or green curry paste (we used red)
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
2 1/2 pounds, medium wild-caught Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 limes, halved or cut into wedges, for serving
Suggested sides: Cuban Yellow Rice (recipe available in the cookbook) or spinach. We chose spinach, as my #2 has a sensitivity to tumeric, commonly found in Spanish rice.
1. In a small stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and jalapéno and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
2. Stir in the curry paste and fish sauce.
3. Add the broth and coconut milk. Stir to combine and bring the ingredients to a simmer.
4. Add the shrimp to the stockpot. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
5. Once the shrimp are cooked through, remove the pot from the heat. Add the cilantro, salt, and pepper to taste. Squeeze the juice from the limes over the shrimp.
6. Serve over yellow rice or spinach, if desired, with a side of crusty bread to soak up the yummy curry sauce.
To cook the spinach, I just added a bit of olive oil to a large frying pan with a bit of minced garlic. Add the spinach, and cook stirring frequently until it is wilted. Spinach cooks down quite a bit, so keep that in mind when determining the amount needed for portion sizes.
The shrimp cooking in the yummy curry sauce.
And the finished dish.
If you are looking for a quick and easy summertime dish, this can't be beat! It was delicious.
The cookbook is a wonderful combination of Lucy's amazing recipes (the girl starts off with dessert, what's not to love?) and her stories of her adventures throughout the years.
I highly recommend picking up a copy of your own. I have already purchased a few as gifts for friends.
Enjoy my friends!