To say that Nita Duhe lives and breathes New Orleans would be an understatement. Nita exudes what it means to be a New Orleanian by sharing her passion for local food, music, and culture with everyone she meets. The one way she educates and inspires people on the unique and beautiful charm of New Orleans is through what she does best: cooking.
Having grown up in New Orleans all of her life, and stemming from a long line of Louisiana ancestry, Nita shows no other place to call home. “Being from Nola means good food, good music and good times. That’s what we are all about here and that is soaked up in me and that is what exudes from my soul,” says Nita. Her grandmother was a large influence on her love for New Orleans, taking her to eat at Camellia Grill, grabbing beignets at Café Du Monde, or feeing pigeons in Jackson Square.
Nita started The Crescent City Cooking School a few years after Hurricane Katrina with the encouragement of her friends and family. She admits that she never had the opportunity to be classically trained in cooking like many local “celebrity chefs”, but her experience cooking with her family has given her enough to last a lifetime. “I was classically trained on the streets on Nola, where just about everyone is friendly and loves to talk about food, music and fun,” says Nita.
While her friends wonder how she manages to still provide great meals for her family with such a busy schedule, Nita states it’s because cooking is her passion and a big priority for her and her family. “After Katrina, when everything and everybody was just hanging on, I realized life is too short and I want to do what I love and I love to cook.”
2 tsp Pecan or olive oil
2 med onions (2.5 cups)
2 med bell peppers (2 cups)
4 stalks celery (1 cup)
6 toes garlic
2 whole Gumbo crabs, break in 4 pieces
2 diced tomatoes or 1 can diced tomatoes
Shrimp or seafood stock 3 quarts
Oil less roux (see below)
Shrimp 2-3 lbs, peeled and marinated in hot sauce and your favorite Creole seasoning.
Crab claw meat
3 tbl fresh Parsley
3 stalks Green onion, diced
Salt and pepper to taste.
Put oil in pot. When it’s heated move around until the bottom is coated. Put in the onion, bell pepper, celery. Cook till the trinity starts to caramelize, add gumbo crabs and cook until trinity is browned. Add diced tomatoes and garlic. Cook about 1 minute. Add stock and bring to a boil. Whisk in the dry roux and simmer for 45-60 minutes with lid on. Add the shrimp, crab claw meat, parsley and green onion. Salt and pepper to taste.Serve.
Oil less roux
Preheat oven to 375 ( Sometimes, I do this in my toaster oven)
Put in flour, I’ll make 2-3 cups at a time.
Bake, stirring every 7-10 minutes until desired darkness. At least 45 minutes.
Can keep in jar until needed.
April 30th, 2012 rings in the state’s 200th birthday! And the Louisiana Bicentennial Commission is pulling all the strings to make the celebration worthy of two centuries of candles.
Louisiana was officially admitted to the Union on April 30, 1812 as the 18th state.
From the very beginning, Louisiana differed from the rest because of the Catholic French and Spanish-speaking populations brought between 1699 and 1803. Today, our beautiful state is still known for being a little bit different. Our music, food, history and outdoor adventures make us unlike any other state in the country.
How many wonderful memories and friends have we made there in that beautiful State? Thank you for all of the good memories, happy times, delicious food, drink, and wonderful people!
Our motto is “Laissez les bons temps rouler” which means, “Let the good times roll!”
You can learn more about the Louisiana bicentennial and find a calendar of bicentennial events with a list of 200 free things to do around the state at www.LouisianaBicentennial2012.com.