Real Cajun Cooking lets you choose from hundreds of authentic Cajun recipes. Learn to easily prepare and cook original Cajun-style family meals with help from south Louisiana's Cajun cook and connoisseur, Jacques Gaspard, who's been preparing great Cajun meals for several decades. Create the best gumbos, seafood, jambalaya, stews,, salads and deserts – the way they were originally prepared. Besides great original recipes, you will discover a hodgepodge of stories, recordings, music, videos and humorous anecdotes to entertain. So enjoy! Don't forget to tell all of your family and friends about Real Cajun Cooking. They will thank you for it.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Real Beef Onion Soup Mix

Real Beef Onion Soup Mix that you can make at home. So easy!

Ingredients: 
  • 1 crushed (granulated) beef bouillon cube
  • 2 Tbsp dried minced onions
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
There are times when I like to use soup mixes to liven-up the tastes of the meals I prepare and I'm particularly fond of a well-known mix with the highlighted words 'Beefy Onion' on the package (Lipton). But the fact is that one cannot find a single hint of beef products in the mix. Hmmm?

Semantics! I think that's when advertising companies slightly bend the meaning of words to represent something totally different. It sometimes confuses consumers, like me, into thinking they are buying something which they are not. I hate to say it but it happens to me all the time.

In this example, their use of the descriptive word 'beefy' means something which tastes similar to beef,  (not the real thing), thus allowing the imitation beef flavor to stand out from the rest of the average onion soup mixes on your supermarket shelf. And, they charge a premium price for it.

While it's true that well-placed words on product packages can increase sales, it's also true when consumers don't take the time to analyze all the ingredients on labels they may not discover the differences between the imitation flavors and the real McCoys.

If you read the box labels on the most popular brands of onion soup mixes, for example,  you will discover that each packet contains roughly 4 tablespoons of well-mixed ingredients. Much of this is salt which may be gratifying for instant soup lovers and good for quick gravies, but not useful for many types of cooking.

When salt is added at the beginning of the cooking process it usually toughens that which is being cooked, unless it is done on low heat for longer periods of time. Slow-cooking crock pots make excellent vessels for that particular cooking technique.

In the old days, meats which were preserved with rock salt in large 20-gallon ceramic containers would retain the salinity. The salty meats, therefore,  had to be soaked in fresh water for dilution prior to cooking. Then the process of cooking for prolonged periods with low heat was utilized to achieve tenderness.

Moving on.  All you have to do is break down the onion soup mix formulas into their integral parts and play around with different combos until you discover that magic taste and VIOLA! ... you just saved yourself a ton of money over the coming years.

Creating your own brand of 'beefy' onion soup mix at home will save you about 75% of the cost of buying it in the store. Plus, you come out with the real deal, a better deal and a better blend, too. It feels good to know you can make it fast, at a moment's notice, right from your own pantry and spice rack. You don't have all the preservatives and stuff that are in the packaged brands, either. 'Nuff said.
    Mix together thoroughly and you are ready to go. Use your mix as you would with any store-bought variety.

    Hint: If you want to make your mix "Extra Beefy", you can always add another crushed bouillon cube. You can also add about a half-teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper to 'Cajunize" your mix. This reminds me. Check out my  DIY Cajun Seasoning mix and you will discover yet another pure and simple way to save money and end up with a superior product.

    Save and Enjoy! Ahheee!!


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    Tuesday, March 14, 2017

    Bacon-flavored Ol' Time Homemade Cathead Biscuits

    Cathead Biscuits made with hog lard was a very tasty treat at breakfast time when I was a kid growing up on the farm and had a very distinct taste which separated it from today's traditional methods of making biscuits.

    Hog lard was the most used cooking fat in our home at that time. There were also occasions when we used the rendered fat of other animals (chicken and beef) in which to prepare specific meals which were associated with the cut of meat being cooked.

    If you have never experienced the taste of an omelet or scrambled eggs using a couple teaspoons of chicken oil, then you have missed out on some wonderful taste. To learn how to render oil from chicken skins see an earlier post entitled "Cacklin Cracklins".

    Retail hog lard has begun to slowly disappear from the marketplace (even in the deep south) as it is steadily being replaced with processed industrial oils like soy and Canola--the same stuff used in lubricating machinery, running diesel engines, in the formulation of toxic pesticides, as well as for cooking. You can learn more about the toxic effects of soy and Canola oil as a food substance by visiting here.

    Today we are going to bake-up a batch of Ol' Time Homemade Cat Head Biscuits made with bacon drippings. I suppose the reason they might be called "Cat Head" biscuits might be because someone  fashioned the biscuits by hand a little larger than usual and they wound-up looking similar to, and as big as, a cat's head when they were done baking. That sounds like a plausible story to me, so I'm sticking with it. I do remember when one of 'em could just about fill me up back in the old days when I was a boy.

    I don't fashion the biscuit dough with my hands, however. Instead, I use the opened end of a clean empty food can as my biscuit cutter. It gives me more biscuits of normal size (6 - 8 servings).

    This recipe will add a slight bacon flavor to your batch of cat heads. When using bacon drippings keep in mind that it already contains salt from the curing process. Therefore, in this recipe there is no need to add salt when converting the all-purpose flour into self-rising flour.

    Note: To make 1 cup of self-rising flour add 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder, a small pinch of baking soda and 1/4 tsp. salt to 1 cup of all-purpose flour and mix thoroughly.

    As mentioned previously, there is no need to add salt to make your self-rising flour in this recipe because the bacon drippings already contain enough to create the chemical reaction with the baking powder and baking soda that is needed to make the biscuits rise.

    Tip: Liquified bacon drippings can be put in the freezer for a few minutes and it will solidify enough to be cut-in with your flour mix.

    Ingredients

    • 2 cup self-rising flour
    • 3 Tbs. solid and cold hog lard (bacon drippings)
    • 1 cup milk

    Instructions

    1. preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
    2. add self-rising flour into a food blender
    3. using the "Pulse" feature add 1/3 of the cold hog lard at the time until it mixes-in well with the flour
    4. slowly add and pulse the 1 cup of milk into the blender until a soft dough is made
    5. roll out the biscuit dough on a slightly floured cutting board to about 1/2 inch thick
    6. cut your biscuits into circles (the size of a soup can)
    7. place the biscuits onto a slightly oiled pan (touching)
    8. bake at 450 degrees F. for 10 - 12 minutes

    Serves 6 - 8
    Bon Appetit!
    KT
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    Saturday, March 11, 2017

    Shrimp Etouffee (A-2-Fay)

    Shrimp Etouffee (A-2-Fay) is just a fancy Cajun French expression for 'smothered' shrimp. The gulf shrimp are slow-cooked in a thick and rich garlic butter sauce. We begin by sautéing the Cajun trinity of vegetables--chopped onions, celery and bell pepper--to bring out the traditional and unmistakable flavors of Cajun-style cuisine.

    The meal is simple to prepare and rates highly among the more popular Cajun entrées.

    Ingredients

      Shrimp Etouffee (A-2-Fay)
    • 2 lbs. fresh medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup onions, chopped
    • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
    • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 small can tomato juice
    • 1 1/2 cups water
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions
      1. melt butter and stir-in flour, onions, celery and bell pepper, mixing well
      2. cook on medium heat until the vegetables become translucent
      3. blend-in the tomato juice, water, garlic and seasonings
      4. simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes, stirring frequently
      5. add the fresh medium shrimp and cook for an additional 20 minutes
      6. serve over cooked long grain rice
       Yields 4 to 6 servings.

      Question: How do you smother chicken?
      Answer: Use tiny pillows and sneak-up on 'em while they are sleeping.

      Ahheee!! C'est bon!
      KT
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      Sunday, February 26, 2017

      Shrimp Au Gratin

      • 2 lbs. shrimp
      • 1 large onion, chopped
      • 3 ribs celery, chopped
      • 1/2 lb.butter
      • 4 Tbs. flour
      • 1 large can milk (12 oz.)
      • 2 egg yolks
      • 10 oz. mild cheddar cheese

      Peel uncooked shrimp. Sauté onions and celery in butter. Add milk and blend. Remove from heat then add egg yolks and blend. Now add shrimp and cook for 5 minutes. Next, add cheese, salt, and pepper. Pour mixture into a casserole and top it with more cheese. Bake long enough to melt cheese. Serves 6 to 8.

      This can be served over cooked rice or toasted bread.
      KT

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      Thursday, February 16, 2017

      Mardi Gras Party Food

      "Lasser les bon temps rouler" in Cajun speak means "let the good times roll!". Let it roll this Mardi Gras season with these tasty Cajun foods:

      Seafood Gumbo
      Seafood gumbo recipes abound. There are many variations to this popular dish - some with other meats besides seafood. Here is one of my favorites - Chicken, Shrimp and Okra Gumbo ... read more

      Jambalaya
      In a heavy pot add oil, onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Cook uncovered over medium heat until onions are tender. ... read more

      Red Beans over Rice
      Try to acquire dried red beans which are less than 6 months old. You can either soak the red kidney beans over night for absorption, or you can bring them to a quick boil on the stove for a few short minutes. ... read more

      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 ... read more

      Oysters Shantal
      Wash oysters in cold water. Open oysters and remove top shell leaving mussel intact in lower shell. Place oysters in a baking dish and pour a little sauce over each one. Broil for 7 minutes. ... read more

      Blue-Point Crab Dip
      Cook onions, bell pepper and celery for about 5 minutes. Add mushroom soup, Worcestershire sauce, white pepper, hot sauce and crab meat. ... read more

      Boudin Balls
      This recipe is a slight departure from my original boudain recipe. I omitted the pork kidneys, pork heart and pork liver (because I couldn't purchase those particular items locally). So, without greatly compromising the original, I used the following ingredients ... read more

      Pork Cracklings 
      After trimming a pork tenderloin roast I cut up the fat (which had a small amount of meat attached to it) into 3/4 inch cubes and fried them in a #10 cast-iron skillet for about 30 minutes or so. ... read more

      Peño Puppies
      Thoroughly mix all of the ingredients except for the buttermilk. Slowly add buttermilk and stir until a thick batter is formed. ... read more

      Zesty Cajun Onion Rings
      For this recipe I always try to use someone else's beer for my batter so I don't have to use mine. And, I try to get it before she takes the first drink - if I can. No beer? Not to worry. You can use about 1/4  teaspoon of ... read more

      King Cake
      I must confess. I have never baked a King Cake, but I do eat them and they are delicious. My friend Danno at NolaCuisine.com has graciously allowed me to post his King Cake recipe here for your enjoyment. ... read more

      These are only a few ideas you can use for your Mardi Gras party. Visit our site at http://realcajuncooking.com for many more examples of Cajun foods that you can serve at your next party.

      Bon Appetit!  Ahheee!!
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