Southwest Louisiana is an area naturally conducive to tales of mystery and romance. A maze of moss-shadowed bayous, lush with vegetation, vines and the ghostlike knees of bald cypress roots; of sinuous rivers and windswept marshes, it exudes mystery and the promise of hidden riches. Whether it be the legendary Lost Mine, or the fabled gold and jewels of pirate booty, tales of buried treasure abound in Calcasieu Parish. For more than a hundred years Lake Charles area residents have dreamed of finding Napoleon's jewels, riches purportedly buried along the shores of Calcasieu River or on the bottom of Contraband Bayou by the pirate-captain, Jean Lafitte, a frequent guest at the dinner tables of Lake Charles' wealthy creole planters. Inaccessible in many places, except by boat, the wetlands of southwest Louisiana seem to inscrutably guard the secret of Lafitte's treasure trove. However, the residents are inveterate "treasure" hunters. Skilled with the pushpole and the pirogue, they harvest a rich bounty of gastronomical delights. The waters and marshes abound in the most succulent seafoods and wildlife ever to grace a table. Perhaps it was these natural riches, coupled with the superb creole cooking skills, which brought Lafitte back to the area time and again to savor the plump oysters, the rich shrimp creoles, and the crab gumbos, seasoned with spices and hot with pepper; and to relish the aroma of wild duck roasting over the coals. We have drawn from a rich heritage of French, Spanish, and native cookery for our Pirate's Pantry, a treasury of family recipes, many of which have come down through the generations from Lafitte to the present. We invite you, as our guest, to visit southwest Louisiana - one page at a time. First, browse through the sketches and legends to steep youself in her past. Then set sail for a culinary adventure through time - from the swashbuckling days of the pirate ships to the modern day mammoth cargo ships now harbored in the Port of Lake Charles. You have only to open our Pirate's Pantry to share the treasures within! Sink your teeth into some creole jambalaya or trout au gratin. Sample mouthwatering crab meat quiche and shrimp thermidor. Delight in a delicious charbroiled venison roast or grillades and grits. Wonderful recipes such as these will greet you throughout the pages of Pirate's Pantry, and bring the distinctive flavor of southwest Louisiana to your table. Bon Voyage!
ISBN: 0882898655; Author: Junior League of Lake Charles; Publisher: Pelican Publishing; Format: Hardcover
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