If you can’t stand the heat…

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I’m kind of excited, y’all.  A relatively new Twitter friend of mine, @medinalite or Robert “Bob” Medina, is a retired firefighter from New Orleans and is giving one of you something you will definitely love (if you love food).  I saw his cookbook on Twitter and approached him about giving me one and you one.  Bold, right?  He agreed and I feel like doing split leaps.  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

One for me and one for you.
The Background

Bob was a firefighter for 24 years but was forced to retire after he “sustained an injury that couldn’t be repaired”.  He was 48 years old at the time.  Since he was the firehouse cook, he decided to put all of his hit recipes together in a cookbook titled “If you can’t stand the heat: A New Orleans firefighter’s cookbook”.  (This cookbook is AWESOME.) Besides his background as the firehouse cook, he has a long history of eating really good food both with his family and, of course, in New Orleans.

Hi, Bob!  Be careful with that knife!

The reason I am excited is three-fold: 1) New Orleans, 2) It’s an awesome cookbook, as I’ve already hinted, and 3) I might get a movie deal.

New Orleans

St. Louis Cathedral, 1720

I love New Orleans.

There haven’t been too many places I’ve traveled outside of the United States, but one of those places was Paris back in 1999. The closest thing to Paris in the United States, to me anyway, is New Orleans.  For our 11th anniversary, we went to New Orleans.  Once in the French Quarter, I felt like I was stepping back in time in many parts, especially since all the buildings are still only two to three stories high.  Besides having fun exploring the sights of the city and listening to jazz, we ate good, good, good, goooood food.

I feel like I can eat that good, good, good food again, only without having to travel all the way to New Orleans.  And the reason?  Mr. Medina’s cookbook.

The Cookbook

This cookbook reminds me of another cookbook that I have that, until now, was my favorite.  That one was “Southern Basics: Traditional Southern Food for Today” by Martha Phelps Stamps. I bought that one at a plantation near Nashville.  The reason I love both of these cookbooks is because they’re conversational.  The books are easy to read and the cooks toss in lots of details that help you make the dish like they would.  There are personal stories in there, too.

When I received Mr. Medina’s cookbook, I devoured the pages just about.  I want to cook just about every one of the recipes in there.  He has the traditional New Orleans fare, like shrimp creole and crawfish etouffee, but also has recipes for shrimp and crab martini, pot stickers, cheese grits (with shrimp?  mmmmm…), mandarin chicken, fish tacos and a famous New Orleans firefighter recipe known as “Urky Lurky”. 

At the back of the book, I love, love, love that he has a glossary that explains lots of cooking terms like “au gratin”, “Cajun cooking” and “bracciole” in a way that makes you feel like he is sitting across from you to explain it in his terms.  And doesn’t make you feel dumb.

(This is the type of cookbook that I might read from cover to cover first, like a novel or something.  Love it.)

I have had the book less than one week and have already made:

Flashover Seasoning
(his own personal seasoning)
Take a hike, Tony Chachere!
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Get lost, Wishbone!

 Smothered Okra & Tomatoes with Shrimp
Who’s Paula Deen??

and I plan on making Chili Squash tonight and tons of other stuff in the weeks ahead.

The Movie Deal

Maybe if I make all of the recipes in this book and document it on this blog, someone from Paramount Pictures will call me and ask to make a “Julie & Julia” sequel, only it will be named “Kelley & Bob” and the movie will take place in Southern Louisiana.  I guess our movie title doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it?  Yeah, you’re right.  They won’t call.  Excuse  me while I bawl my eyes out. 

*Sniffle.* I’m better now.  Anyway, you want this cookbook now, don’t you?  How could you not?  Even if you aren’t a cook, you will want it to give to someone else OR keep it for yourself.  It may inspire you to get back in the kitchen!  The book has been signed by Mr. Medina even!

To buy it for $29.99? Go HERE.

To get it for free? Just comment.  Just leave a comment below and I will pick one person that will receive it for free using random.org.  You can enter until Sunday, January 15th, at 10 p.m. 

Let’s help get this man his own cooking show!

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