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Sunday, February 13, 2011

INTERVIEW: Lou Pappas - Cookbook Author

An interview with Lou Seibert Pappas, cookbook author

For Christmas, my mother found a slow cooker cook book first published in 1975, entitled Extra-Special Crockery Pot Recipes: time saving meals for the gourmet appetite. I had a wonderful time flipping through the recipes, a book filled with Classics! Small in size, but BIG with information, and written so well. I thought I'd do a little more research about the author. I was pleased to stumble across Lou's website and even more pleased that she was quick to respond to an interview request.

Lou has written over 50 cookbooks covering a wide variety of food types and cooking techniques (including several books with William Sonoma) She currently resides in California and enjoys tending to her prolific garden and cooking light. I had a chance to bounce a few questions off of Lou... here is what she had to say.

KoC: What are the biggest changes you have seen in Crock Pot over the past 35 years?
LP: Then the pots were smaller than the big ones today.

KoC: How about the recipes? What were the recipes like in 1975 and how have they changed over the years?
LP: When I did the book the recipes were actually quite worldly for that time. Today I think Indian and Asian styles are popular in the cooker books as they are newer.

KoC: Describe for me your favorite meal.
LP: Salad with fruit like grapes or pears, goat cheese and caramelized pecans with balsamic dressing. miso grilled salmon, quinoa or brown rice, sugar snap peas, and always homemade ice cream (made with no eggs but honey and sugar, milk, cream, and either Triple sec, coffee, or chocolate or pecan flavors. Then I love a nut souffle cake with a little grated chocolate in it. and wine of course--red for me. I have a garden--a city one--with 20 fruit trees, veggies, and herbs.

KoC: What is the biggest benefit of Slow Cooking?
LP: The cooker is ideal for entertaining and people who work and want to cook on the weekend and have some left for a second meal during the week. Those with families and who love meat are also good candidates.

KoC: Lastly, which recipe in your 1975 Slow Cooker cookbook is the most timeless.
LP: My favorite from that book, which is a gem, is the BEEF EN DAUBE (recipe to follow).

Thank you to Lou Seibert Pappas for her time answering these questions. Our correspondence was delightful.

RECIPE: BEEF EN DAUBE

2 lbs. stew beef
2 slices of bacon (diced)
2 doz. tiny boiling onions
1 tbs. brown sugar
1 tbs. red wine vinegar
1.5 cups red wine
1.5 tsp. salt
.5 tsp. pepper
.5 tsp. thyme
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 tsp. beef stock base
2 strips orange peel
2 tbs. cornstarch
2 tbs. chopped parsley
  • fry bacon until crisp, remove from pan
  • brown meat and onions in drippings
  • transfer bacon, meat, and onions into slow cooker
  • add vinegar and brown sugar to pan drippings, heat 1 minute
  • add wine and bring to a boil
  • pour pan mixture over meat
  • season with salt, pepper, thyme, garlic, stock base, and orange peel
  • Cook on LOW for 8 hrs.
  • turn to high, allow juices to bubble, add cornstarch until thickened
  • garnish with parsley
  • ENJOY!

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