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 over 50 years. 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.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe

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. Thanks for sharing, Dan! BTW, visit his site when you get the chance. There you will find an awesome display of great New Orleans style dishes to soothe the soul.

King Cake Recipe

For the Brioche:

  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp warm water (115 degree F)
  • 1 tsp iodized salt
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tsp orange zest, minced
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into very small dice
  • 1 egg beaten and 2 Tbsp water, for the egg wash
  • 1 plastic baby trinket

Dissolve the yeast in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, let stand until frothy. Dissolve the salt, sugar, orange zest and milk in a small bowl. When dissolved combine the milk mixture with the yeast mixture. Mix the cinnamon with the flour.

With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, then gradually add the flour, until all is incorporated. Knead on low speed for 10 minutes, or until a smooth elastic dough is formed. A little more flour may be necessary. With the motor running, incorporate the butter into the dough, a little at a time but rather quickly so that it doesn’t heat up and melt.

Turn the dough into an oiled bowl, loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour in a warm spot. When the dough has doubled in bulk punch it down, cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll the dough out to a 6 x 18 inch rectangle. Spread the Pecan filling (recipe below) out in the middle of the rectangle along the whole length, leaving about 1 1/2 inch on each side. Place the baby trinket somewhere with the filling. Fold the length of the dough over the filling and roll up tightly, leaving the seam side down. Turn the roll into a circle, seam side down and put one end inside of the other to hide the seam, and seal the circle. Place the cake on a baking sheet and let rise, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Brush all over with the egg wash, then place the king cake into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

When the cake cools, brush with some of the glaze (recipe below) thinned out with more cold water. This will help the sugars adhere. Decorate the cake with the colored sugars and drizzle some of the thicker glaze onto the cake.

Place on a large round serving plate and decorate with Mardi Gras beads, doubloons and whatever else that you like.

For the Pecan filling:

  • 1 cup pecan halves, broken up slightly and roasted until fragrant
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 4 Tbsp Steen’s Cane Syrup

Combine all of the ingredients together.

For the glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp bourbon
water (enough to make a paste that can be drizzled)

Combine the sugar and bourbon, whisk in enough water to make a glaze that can be drizzled.

Happy Mardi Gras ! ... Ahheee!!
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Monday, December 26, 2016

Cajun Black-Eyed Peas, Cabbage and Pork Chops - A New Year's Tradition

Black-Eyed Peas


      Ingredients

  • 1 lb. dried black-eyed peas
  • 2 slices of hickory smoked bacon
  • 2 Tbsp onions, minced
  • 2 Tbsp bell pepper, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Colgin liquid smoke
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

As is the case with thousands of other families across America, I also take part in the annual tradition of cooking-up a mess of black-eyed peas and cabbage in an effort to increase my luck for the coming New Year. Heaven knows we are gonna need all we can muster-up.

Contrary to popular belief, black-eyed peas don't have to be soaked over night or for any significant period of time because the peas have a thin skin and are relatively easy to cook.

Over medium (or lower) heat, black-eyed peas can be done in just a few minutes. It's the pot liquor that makes all the difference in how your peas will taste, however.

Think 'minced' and not 'chopped' when it comes to your vegetables. A couple tablespoons of minced onions and bell pepper - and about 1 teaspoon of minced garlic sautéed in the fat from a couple slices of smoked bacon creates a wonderful flavor and delicious taste. And, you can salt and pepper to your own liking.

Using a 2 quart pot begin by adding just enough water to cover the peas and sautéed vegetables by about an inch,  (or by a finger and a half as we say in Cajun speak),  and begin the slow process of cooking them to perfection, while stirring occasionally (around 1 - 1 1/2 hrs.). Keep an eye on the peas because you may have to add a little more water occasionally as they absorb and cook.You will know when they become tender enough by taste-testing.

Set them aside until the boiled cabbage is done.

A pound of dried black-eyed peas, when cooked, should yield between 5 and 6 cups.


Cabbage

Ingredients


  • 1 head of cabbage, leaves separated
  • 3 or 4 pork chops
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 Tbsp Colgin liquid smoke (hickory)
  • 1 measure DIY Cajun Seasoning
  • Additional salt and pepper (if desired) 

Cooking cabbage (boiled) is also easy to do and the way I prepare my cabbage, by popular demand I might add, is to include 3 or 4 pork chops with it. This is how I prepare my boiled cabbage.

The first thing I do is to season the heck out of the pork chops with one measure of DIY Cajun Seasoning (easy to make - check it out), and fry them up in my cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat in a couple tablespoons of oil.

I fry the chops for a couple minutes on both sides until they are well browned, but I don't cook them all the way because they will finish cooking with the slow-boiling cabbage.

The next thing I do is get my kitchen shears and cut-up the chops into bite size pieces and add this to the boiling cabbage.

If you are using a heavy cast-iron skillet, chances are in your favor that a crust will form at the bottom of the skillet (it usually does when you cook meat fast on high heat).This is a good thing.

We Cajuns call this crusty material the 'gratin' - which is commonly used to compliment and enhance the flavor of various meat gravies.

Here's a little secret: keep the skillet hot but add in about 2 or 3 ice cubes and stir them around the skillet and they will magically loosen the crust (or 'gratin') and will produce a savory bouillon that you can add to the cabbage mixture to enhance the overall flavor.

Once you have liquefied the crust and added it to the stock pot along with the cabbage leaves and cut-up pork chops, you just go about your business of boiling cabbage like you always have (low and slow).  Adding a little salt and black pepper always helps.

I like to also include a tablespoon of Colgin liquid smoke (hickory flavor) and not that other brand. Keep mixing and tumbling the cabbage leaves in the pot occasionally so they don't burn. The only difference with cooking cabbage this way instead of the traditional way is that you now have a delicious pot liquor and a few bites of meat to go with your good luck food.

See there! Your luck is already changing. Enjoy! Happy New Year! Ahheee!!
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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast

Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast is an easy meal to prepare and very delicious, too. You can also wrap the stuffed chicken breast with your favorite hickory smoked bacon.

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken cutlets, split
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
  • Chives

Coating Mix
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. lay the 4 cutlets (8 pieces) flattened on wax paper
  2. divide cream cheese into 8 slices
  3. place a slice on each chicken cutlet
  4. sprinkle with chives
  5. roll up and secure with toothpick
  6. roll in coating mix
  7. place in slightly greased baking dish
  8. drizzle with melted butter
  9. shake on Parmesan cheese
  10. bake at 375 degrees F. for 40-50 minutes

Bon Appetite!
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Friday, November 11, 2016

Beefy Cabbage Rolls

This recipe is unlike traditional cabbage rolls recipes because it demonstrates how to prepare them sans les tomate,  (without tomatoes), except toward the end when spaghetti sauce is poured on top.



Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cabbage, large
  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain rice
  • 5 cups beef stock
  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 measure of DIY Cajun Seasoning
  • 1 measure of DIY Real Beef Onion Soup Mix
  • 1 can spaghetti sauce

I began preparing this meal with a large head of cabbage, cored and trimmed. I like to trim the cabbage down to the 2nd or 3rd leaf layer because this usually illiminates those leaves which are damaged or blemished.

Next, I steamed the intact head of cabbage in a programmable 20 qt. portable oven for 20 minutes at 300 degrees F. until all its leaves were wilted. I would rather steam than boil because of taste.

Before using the portable oven I added about a pint of water to create the steam I needed to wilt the cabbage head. After 20 minutes of steaming I removed the cover and allowed the cabbage to cool.

In a heavy cast iron skillet the vegetables were sautéed in butter until a translucent texture was reached then they were set aside in a bowl for later use.

With the same skillet, the ground beef was fully cooked on medium heat with the DIY Cajun Seasoning.

Next, the previously cooked vegetables, 2 cups of beef stock and the DIY Real Beef Onion Soup Mix were added after which I continued to simmer and stir for about 10 minutes. The cooked meat and vegetables were set aside and allowed to cool, also.

I boiled 1 1/2 cups of uncooked long-grain white rice with 3 cups of beef stock for 20 minutes (on low simmer) and then thoroughly mixed the beef and cooked rice together. I placed a lid on the pot, this time, to keep the mixture warm.

Notice that no tomato products were included in the stuffing. I didn't want to compromise the desired heavy beef flavor I was aiming for.

The leaves were then stuffed with the beef/rice mixture. One large spoonful of mixture (about a cup) was used in each leaf. The cabbage leaf was then tucked-in at the sides and rolled; (for safety reasons I don't use toothpicks).

I layered the rolls starting at the bottom of the slow cooker and while working my way up I positioned each roll with the leaf flap down. At serving time I was careful to remove each roll from the cooker without spilling its contents.

Finally,  much to my chagrin, I poured some spaghetti sauce on top of the rolls. The red color of the sauce was pleasing to the eye and looked similar to traditional cabbage rolls but without interfering with the beefy taste of the filling inside. This is the only time a tomato product is used in this recipe. You don't get as many complaints from the traditionalist this way.

Since the beef/rice mixture was already cooked I confidently set my slow cooker dial on low heat for several hours until my guests arrived. One large head of cabbage yielded around a dozen rolls.

This method takes a little more time to prepare than traditional cabbage rolls. But, if you are a beef lover like I am then you will discover it is well worth the extra effort.

Bon Appetite! ... Enjoy!

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Chicken and Shrimp with Broccoli and Cheese Casserole

Chicken and Shrimp with Broccoli and Cheese Casserole wasn't the first name for this recipe. It was originally named "Broccoli and Rice Supreme with Shrimp" and first published on November 17, 2009.

Linda Masters of Hooks, TX. first prepared and served this meal to her husband and me over 20 years ago. It is very delicious and easy to prepare. This recipe should not have been gathering dust in my recipe archives with only 29 views in 3 years. It's so good, it doesn't deserve to be hidden away. So, I have decided to change the title to create more interest.

I asked her if it was alright to share her recipe with the NEW title and she didn't mind. Hope you enjoy it!

Thanks again Linda!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of cooked long-grain rice
  • 2 cups of broccoli, chopped
  • 2 boneless chicken breast, boiled and chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked shrimp, chopped
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 (15 oz.) jars of  Cheez Whiz
  • 1 can sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Boil the 2 chicken breast until tender (using just enough water to cover them), then chop into small bite-size pieces and set aside, but reserve the broth for later use.

In a pan, sauté the broccoli and onions in the butter until they are translucent then slowly stir-in the cream of chicken soup and the Cheez Whiz. Blend together thoroughly on low-to-medium heat for a couple minutes then add the chopped uncooked shrimp and chopped already cooked chicken. Stir and mix well.

In a large bowl add the above mixture and 3 cups of cooked long-grain rice. Mix together thoroughly until well blended. If the mixture seems too dry at this point you can resolve the problem by adding a small amount of the reserved chicken broth to moisten it.

Next, pour the entire contents in a large casserole or baking dish (9 ½ x 12 inch) and bake at 350° F. for 1 hour.

6 servings
KT
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