Learn to cook like a Cajun and develop your own style with help from south Louisiana cook and humorist, Jacques Gaspard, who's been cooking great Cajun foods for nearly 50 years. Learn how to prepare the best gumbos, seafood, jambalaya, stews, salads and deserts – the way they were originally prepared – pure and simple. Besides great original recipes you will discover a hodgepodge of stories, recordings, music, videos and humorous anecdotes to entertain. So enjoy! ... Ahheee!!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Fried Catfish Nuggets

These spicy fried catfish nuggets are absolutely delicious! There's no doubt your friends will beg you for this recipe, but don't give it to 'em. Just send them over to Real Cajun Cooking - Pure and Simple so they can discover how to make this and other tasty dishes, too.


Ingredients

  • 12 catfish fillets cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 Tbs. Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 4 oz. fresh beer
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 quart peanut oil

In a bowl add the egg whites, Tony Chachere’s seasoning, cayenne pepper, lemon pepper, salt, Tabasco sauce, baking powder and beer together and thoroughly mix. Next, dissolve 2 tsp. of cornstarch in a small amount of cold water and add it to the solution. Again, blend all of the ingredients together then add a handful of nuggets at a time to the batter and coat them well.

In a separate bowl, with a lid,  mix 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of yellow corn meal together. Add the fish nuggets, close the lid, and shake until they are well coated on all sides.

Heat peanut oil to 365°F. and fry the fish nuggets for about 7 minutes or until they float to the top. Don’t attempt to fry too many nuggets at one time.

Peanut oil can be used several times before it is discarded. Bon Appetite! ... Ahheee!!
KT
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Monday, April 06, 2015

Braised Beef Short Ribs and Mushrooms

Braised Beef Short Ribs and MushroomsYouTube Video
Background music entitled "Jole Blon" by Harry Choates 1946 -- Rayne, Louisiana.

When it came to cooking (during my growing-up years on the farm) my grandma kept everything fairly simple. Since we raised all of our own foods, including beef, mutton, pork, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese and loads of fresh vegetables from the garden, everything she needed to prepare some mighty fine meals was at hand.

She knew exactly what to do to get the tougher cuts of meat tender. I especially enjoyed the taste of the braised beef short ribs which she cooked to perfection -- without all the exotic add-ins which you might find in today's recipes.

After browning the ribs on all sides she would then slow cook them in a cast iron Dutch oven pot on medium heat for a couple hours or so. The dark gravy it produced was great over long grain white rice. This recipe makes 6 - 8 servings. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs. beef short ribs, boneless
  • 2 Tbs. peanut oil
  • 8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cups of beef broth
  • 1 packet Lipton's Beefy Onion soup mix
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. generously salt and pepper the beef short ribs
  2. add the oil in a skillet
  3. brown the ribs on medium-high heat on all sides then remove from skillet and set aside
  4. next, add 2 cups of broth, vegetables, Worcestershire sauce and boil until reduced to half
  5. strain the liquid through a colander, discard the vegetables then return the liquid to the skillet
  6. add one packet of Lipton's Beefy Onion soup mix and stir in well
  7. reintroduce the ribs to the skillet
  8. cover and slow cook on medium heat until the ribs become tender
  9. add the sliced mushrooms and continue cooking for about 10 - 15 minutes
  10. serve over cooked long grain white rice
Note: Add the remaining third cup of beef broth 1/4 cup at the time as needed to replace the liquid which will evaporate during the cooking process. Enjoy!
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    Saturday, March 28, 2015

    Cajun-fried Bullfrog Legs

    North American Bullfrog
    Once a year one will find nearly the entire population of Rayne, Louisiana practically jumping out of their skins with anticipation of attending the Rayne Frog Festival, which this year is held on May 6-9 [2015].

    The City of Rayne, Louisiana is officially designated the Frog Capital of the world. The small southern town, with a population approaching 9,000, is located about 15 minutes west of Lafayette, Louisiana and roughly 7 miles north of a small parish community named Indian Bayou -- a hop, skip and jump from where I grew up.

    Some people claim bullfrog legs taste like chicken (don't everything?). I prefer the taste of fried bullfrog legs more than chicken, and they are easier to cook, as well.

    Bullfrogs are part of nature’s bounty and can be found in many areas of North America around shallow waters, like bayous, ponds, ditches, swamps and reservoirs.

    Hundreds were harvested from among the ponds during my family's crawfish farming operations back in 1960s and 70s.

    Bullfrogs are predators with voracious appetites and can consume their weight in crawfish every few days. Imagine 40 acres of crawfish ponds 3 to 4 feet deep. It was home to thousands of them. They were considered pests – like insects feeding on garden plants.

    Luckily, just about everyone in my family enjoyed eating bullfrogs.

    So, it was a trade-off of sorts, although I think the frogs got the jump on us in the long-run. [intended] Nevertheless, our family had a constant supply of both crawfish and bullfrog when we wanted them.

    There is a common misconception about bullfrogs. Many folks think the males are the large ones, when in fact, the females are larger -- and that‘s no bull.

    Female bullfrogs can stretch-out to nearly a foot long and can weigh up to 3 lbs. About a third of its weight is used for consumption -- around a pound per animal when the four legs and back are utilized.

    Many Cajuns love to include bullfrog meat in their diet. IMHO they are much cleaner than chicken.

    Bullfrogs can be prepared several ways. The delicate tasting white meat can be used in making gumbo, sauce piquant, etouffee and they can be served Cajun-fried (a more popular way to enjoy them).

    Bullfrog meat can also be baked, boiled, broiled, added to stews… the list continues.

    Are you a newbie at cooking frog legs?

    You can fry them up just like chicken, except it does not take as long as frying chicken. Use your favorite batter. Here is one recipe you can try,  seafood batter , or follow the recipe shown here:

    Cajun-fried Bullfrog Legs

    These crispy fried bullfrog legs are absolutely delicious! There's no doubt your friends will ask for this recipe, but don't give it to them. Just send them over to Real Cajun Cooking - Pure and Simple so they can discover how to make this and other tasty dishes, as well.

    Ingredients

    • 12 pairs of bullfrog legs
    • Fried Bullfrog Legs
      2 egg whites
    • 1 Tbs. DIY Cajun seasoning
    • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1 tsp lemon pepper
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 2 tsp. cornstarch
    • 4 oz. fresh beer
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup yellow corn meal
    • 1 quart peanut oil

    Instructions

    In a bowl, add the egg whites, your favorite Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, lemon pepper, salt, Tabasco sauce, baking powder and beer together and thoroughly mix. Next, dissolve 2 tsp. of cornstarch in a small amount of cold water and add it to the mixture. Again, blend all of the ingredients together. This will be used to coat the frog legs.

    In a separate bowl, with a lid, mix 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of yellow cornmeal together. After dredging the frog legs in the beer batter, add them to the bowl of flour and cornmeal, close the lid, and shake until they are well coated on all sides. (A large Ziploc-type bag can also be used for this.)

    Heat peanut oil (or vegetable oil) to 365°F. and fry the legs for about 3 - 4 minutes on each side (turning once), or until they have turned golden-brown. Do not attempt to fry too many at one time because it will bring down the oil temperature. This will make them greasy. We are looking for crispy legs, remember? This is why it is important to maintain an even temperature throughout the process.

    Note: Peanut oil can be used several times before it has to be discarded and it imparts a better flavor.

    Want a good laugh? Here is a frog joke: "Boudreaux and the Frog -- With Age Comes Wisdom"

    Bon Appetite! ... Ahheee!!
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    Sunday, March 22, 2015

    Cajun Fish Patties

    Cajun Fish Patties
    Cajun fish patties include a medley of familiar ingredients and herbs which are common in many foods prepared by the Acadians of South Louisiana. Some of the fish which I have personally used to make these delicious fish patties, besides catfish, include buffalo fish, (I've posted a 3-part instructional video on another site which shows what a buffalo fish looks like and how to go about processing one.)

    In addition to buffalo fish, I have also used other kinds of white flesh fish, like garfish, to make my fish patties. Here's a garfish info link if you want to see what they look like in their natural habitat.

    I've also used fillets of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white perch and other kinds of fish to make these fish patties... the list goes on.

    Once, several years ago when I lived in the Atchafalaya swamp basin in south Louisiana, I made enough of these delicious fish patties to satisfy 8 hungry grown men and a couple puppies. It only took a couple fish, which I had caught earlier that day, to do produce the dinner. Each fish weighed around 10 lbs.

    Everyone loved it, too! What was the fish, you ask?

    We call the fish 'choupique' (pronounced shoe pick) down south where I was raised, but in other areas of the country it is known by different names... including mudfish, mud pike, dogfish, Grinnell, cypress trout and bowfin.

    Did you know that the roe of the bowfin fish produces quality caviar? Yep! Last I heard the roe from this fish was fetching nearly $120 for 16 oz . You can see a picture of it here.

    Most folk that I know up here in NE Texas consider some of the above species of fish, like buffalo fish and garfish, as "trash" fish, and find enjoyment in hunting them using fancy bows with tethered arrows designed for bow fishing ... just for the sport of it. Most of the fish which are killed are left behind to decompose.

    I bet if they knew how tasty these fish are when prepared the way we Cajuns do it, they would think twice about not including a few for the dinner table.

    Hope this helps. Bon appetite!



    Ingredients

    • 3 lbs. of deboned fish (most kinds of white flesh fish may be used)
    • 2 eggs
    • 3 cups onions, chopped
    • 2 cups celery, chopped
    • 6 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 lbs. boiled potatoes, crumbled and slightly mashed
    • 3 cups bread crumbs
    • 1/2 cup oil
    • 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
    • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
    • salt
    • black, white and/or red pepper to taste
    • a few dashes of Tabascos sauce
    • enough oil for frying
    Instructions
      1. cut fish in small pieces
      2. season with salt and ground peppers
      3. place fish in pot with 1/2 cup cooking oil
      4. cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes at 350°F. 
      5. add onion, celery and garlic
      6. cook until vegetables are wilted then remove from heat
      7. add crumbled mashed potatoes and half the bread crumbs
      8. next, add eggs, chopped green onions and parsley
      9. mix well.
      10. use a large tablespoon to scoop mixture and flatten into round patties
      11. coat the fish patties with remaining bread crumbs
      12. fry patties in oil at 365 degrees F. for 2 1/2 minutes on each side (or until golden brown)

      Serves 8.

      Bon jour!
      KT
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      Saturday, March 21, 2015

      Cajun Broiled Catfish Fillets

      Cajun broiled catfish fillets are quick and simple to prepare. My family and friends have always preferred the smaller catfish which are between 12 to 16 inches long because they are more tender and tasty than the larger ones, plus they cook more quickly.

      Ingredients
      Broiled Catfish Fillets
      • 12 small catfish fillets, patted dry
      • 3/4 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
      • 1 Tbs. mustard 
      • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
      • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
      • 1/2 cup butter
      • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
      • Salt and pepper to taste


      Instructions


      1. place the catfish fillets in a well-oiled baking pan or cookie sheet
      2. rub a small amount of mustard on top of each fish fillet 
      3. combine the remaining wet ingredients to make a basting sauce
      4. lightly brush sauce over the fillets 
      5. lightly sprinkle Italian-style breadcrumbs on each fillet
      6. broil on high until golden brown (around 6 to 7 minutes).


      The heat source should be about 5 to 6 inches from the fillets. Do not flip the tender fillets because it may cause them to fall apart. Serve over fried rice.

      Bon Appetite!
      KT
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