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.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Oyster Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 pt. oysters, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 2 medium onions, chopped or finely sliced
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Cracker crumbs
  • Salt, white pepper and Tabasco to taste

Cook onions and celery in one Tbs. butter until tender. Add oyster juice and bread crumbs, oysters, lemon juice and seasonings. Cook a couple minutes over a low fire. Remove from heat and stir in eggs. Pour into small casserole dish and top with cracker crumbs or bread crumbs. Bake 20 to 30 minutes at 350°F.

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Oysters Shantal (Broiled Oysters in Shells)

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs. butter, melted
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of white pepper

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. Oysters cook very fast. Serve in shell.

"I first tried this recipe during my second year in college. My wife was pregnant for our daughter at the time. We were visiting some close friends who had moved out of the college dorms to a quaint small house which was situated next to a railroad track in the north section of Lafayette, Louisiana. Seafood was readily available at a moments notice.

Alvin Toups, a friend, and I shucked a few dozen oysters and decided to smoke them on a small grill. We added a small amount of butter, liquid smoke and freshly minced garlic to each oyster on the half-shell. It turned out great. Later, I tweaked the recipe a bit.

Shantal, my daughter, was not yet born. In 1986 I acquired a small interest in a restaurant in Texarkana, Arkansas. I made up a batch for everyone to try and it consequently became a big hit with our customers. That is how the name Oysters Shantal came into being."
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Smothered Crawfish

Ingredients

  • 3 large onions, chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Rotel tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley, minced
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 lb. crawfish tails with fat
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onions, pepper, tomatoes, green onions and parsley in butter for 10 minutes.

Add crawfish and crawfish fat, cover tightly and cook for 15 minutes. Add seasoning to taste. (Do not add water. Crawfish contains enough liquid.) Serve over hot long grain rice. Serves 4.

Bon Appetite! Ahheee!!


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Crawfish Jambalaya

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. crawfish tails
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked long grain rice
  • Season to taste

Mix all above. Pour in a pot and cover. Let cook until rice is tender. (A rice pot cooker is excellent for this.)

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The First Crayfish Farm (a/k/a Crawfish)

It was the smell of my grandmother's seafood gumbo which I loved the most about Friday evenings, as if the preparation for that event meant setting the weekly stress of running the family farm aside, and like a litter of hungry puppies, it seemed like no one in my family could wait until dinner. Grandma was constantly swatting us taste-testers on the hands with a ladle or large wooden spoon to keep us away from her stove.

I could feel my senses reaching out to embrace the hypnotic aromas of her gumbos. It was like music to the soul. The sweet and nutty flavors of the hot roux flooded the whole house. Excess whiffs which vented through the open windows invited anyone walking nearby to come in for a sample (except us kids, of course).

No one could out perform granny when it came to teasing the nose. This was especially true the moment she added the sweet onions, celery and bell peppers to the thick sizzling hot gumbo roux. The aroma of the saute was indescribable. In an instant it acted like a hidden magnet that would attract anyone to the source – to the very pot in which the magic elixir was busy brewing.

It was the closest thing to heaven I could imagine.

The community of Indian Bayou, Louisiana (where I grew up) had a predominantly Catholic population. Eating seafood on Wednesdays and Fridays during Lent kept the parishioners in excellent standing with the Catholic church's meat abstinence laws.

There was something sacred about our church doctrine, alright. In my mind, eating seafood was God's way of rewarding us for not eating meat. One could not wish for more. I was in favor of doing it several times a week. Lent was my favorite time of the year because we would double-dip and eat seafood at least twice a week.

One memorable moment for me, at age seven, was when my grandfather announced to the family that we were going into the crawfish farming operation in a BIG way.

No one had heard of such a thing. No one had a crawfish farm in the area, and arguably, in the entire State of Louisiana, as far as that goes, in which to gauge ours after. Like barn yard hens searching for food, we had to start from scratch.

We had always been inundated with those ubiquitous claw-pinching shell fish. They grew everywhere -- even in people's yards.

Hardly any consideration was given to crawfish back then, except maybe to use them as fish bait for trot lines, but my grandpa had a grand vision and saw something more. As it turned out, he was right. Today more than forty thousand tons of crawfish are harvested annually in Louisiana alone.

Every June grandpa would begin the process of gradually releasing the water from the irrigated rice fields in preparation for the July harvest. The ground had to dry out and harden for a few days to allow the large and cumbersome harvesters to operate at maximum productivity without getting bogged down in the mud.

This was also the time my grandfather would reap hundreds of pounds of crawfish. Through the eyes of a seven year old, the bounty looked like thousands of tiny lobsters.

The announcement to establish a crawfish farm came one Friday afternoon. My grandfather returned from the rice fields in his dark green 1953 Chevrolet pick-up truck loaded with two dozen burlap sacks of crawfish.
The contents of each sack weighed around fifty pounds. He and his farm hands had harvested them beneath the run-off from one forty-acre rice patch.

As it turned out, his desire to operate a crawfish farm, in hindsight, could not have come at a more convenient and advantageous, although devastating, time because Hurricane Audrey, a category four storm, wiped out all the crops in the area, as well as crops in several adjacent parishes, before they could be harvested.
If grandpa's crawfish farm plan worked, it would mean that he could defray some of the loses from the rice crop created by the storm. It worked! It worked beyond his wildest dreams.
Grandpa did not have to tap underground water to flood a forty-acre farm three feet deep.
There were significant costs involved in doing this. The flood waters of Hurricane Audrey solved that problem. He merely reinforced the levee system in his field and captured, from nature, the prime ingredient to produce crayfish -- water.
The storm hit land on the Texas/Louisiana coast on June 27, 1957. An estimated 500 to 600 people perished in that storm. We were fortunate enough to be located on the eastern outer-periphery of its path. Even so, most of the sustained damage in the area came from the flood waters and not from a direct frontal assault.
Grandfather managed to turn a difficult situation into an asset. The cost of tapping underground water in those days would consume nearly 20 percent of the profits. As it turned out, the flood was a blessing from heaven which further enhanced my grandpa's prospects of establishing and operating a successful crawfish farm.

The rice crop, flattened and twisted by the storm, was impossible to harvest. As a result, grandpa left it in the field and held the flood waters over it for several months.

Everything was now under water. He was unaware at the time, however, that the rice and the rice stalks not only gave the newly hatched crawfish sanctuary from fish, frogs, snakes and other predators, it also nourished them. The millions of grains of rice underwater in the lake became their food.
In the years following the first harvest, we learned that dotting the forty-acre ponds with broken bales of rice straw would produce the same effect of protecting and providing food for future crawfish seedlings.
The levee system in the ponds meandered and crisscrossed each other throughout. Almost four miles of levees and walking area became available for customers to catch crawfish.
When I turned eight years old, grandpa began teaching me all about the correct ways to cultivate the little creatures. The growing season synchronized perfectly with the growing of the rice crops. Neither growing season interfered with the other; in fact, they complimented each other.
Crawfish reproduce in the spring and grow through the summer and fall toward maturity.
Some are ready to harvest by November. This gave us at least four months out of each year to produce and harvest the crawfish before slowly releasing the waters once more in preparation for the following year's rice crop.
We allowed the public to enter the ponds to fish. It was fun and economical for them, as well as time-saving and profitable for us.
We rented nets and bamboo poles to the customers, as well as small plastic boats in which to hold their catch. We also sold bait, soft drinks and sandwiches.

The use of personal equipment was not allowed. Food and beverages also were not allowed. Applying these rules prevented folks from polluting the ponds.
I earned a lot of cash (for a kid) during my growing up years on grandpa's crawfish farm. I fished early in the mornings before school and in the late afternoons after school. I fished when it was raining and sometimes when the wind blew fiercely. I even fished once through ice. I also fished on some days that were so splendid -- so perfect -- that the sun would pipe down just the right amount of heat which made it exceptionally comfortable on a nearly cold day.
At age fifteen, I purchased my first new car with the money I earned and saved from catching crawfish.

I remember the year we stopped public fishing for insurance reasons. We harvested all of the crawfish on the farm in-house. We used wire traps, made from 3/4" chickens mesh, and cut fish for bait. Subsequently, we were able to quadruple the yields and profits.

It was truly a family business. Anyone in the immediate family who needed a little extra spending money was able to enter the pond and catch as much as he or she wanted (fishing on half) to sell.
The price back in those days was twenty cents per pound. Imagine that!

There are moments when I would like to go back in time to re-experience the feelings of happiness and joy while fishing with my grandfather on the very first commercial crawfish farm in America.
 


In loving memory of the family patriarch: Henri Gaspard 1899 -1975.

Copyright © 2008





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Crawfish Maque Chou

  • 12 ears tender fresh corn (Or 1 lb. frozen whole corn and 1 can cream corn)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 lb. cleaned crawfish tails
  • Season to taste

Cut corn and scrape cob to remove all the juice. In a Dutch oven add butter, onions, pepper, garlic and cook until tender. Add corn (fresh or frozen) and cook for approximately 1 hour, stirring constantly. Add seasoning and cleaned crawfish tails and cook for 15 minutes. Serve over cooked rice. Serves 5 or 6.

Note: To make Crab Macque Chou, substitute the crawfish with 1 lb. crab meat.

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Ricefield Crawfish Recipe | Rich Cheddar Cheese Squash with Crawfish Tails

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. frozen yellow squash
  • 1/4 lb.butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb. cleaned crawfish tails
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
    1. in a Dutch oven melt butter and sauté onions and bell peppers 
    2. add squash and seasonings to the sauté
    3. cook for approximately 1/2 hour or until squash is tender 
    4. add crawfish and cheese
    5. cook for approximately 10 minutes or until cheese is melted
     Serves 6.

    Note: This can also be served over cooked long grain rice as a side dish.
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    Turtle and Brown Gravy | Slow-cooked with Onions, Bell Pepper, Celery and Garlic

    Ingredients

    • 5 lbs. turtle meat
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
    • 1/4 cup celery, chopped
    • 5 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/4 cup steak sauce
    • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
    • all-purpose flour (for coating turtle meat)
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/2 cup cooking oil
    Instructions
      Using a Dutch oven or cast iron pot add flour coated meat to cooking oil and cook until well browned. Add vegetables and cook until tender. Add water, steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce and seasoning. Cover and let simmer for about 2 hours or until meat is tender. More water may have to be added as it cooks down. This dish should be well seasoned. There will be very little gravy.

      "It is so good you may have to close the doors and let the dogs bark!"
      Ahheee!!
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      Turtle Sauce Picquante | Slow-cooked Turtle Meat in a Spicy Tomato Based Roux

      Ingredients

      • 4 lbs. turtle meat
      • 1/2 cup flour
      • 1/2 cup butter
      • 1 large onion, chopped fine
      • 1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped fine
      • 2 ribs celery, chopped fine
      • 1 large can of tomato juice
      • 1 can Rotel tomatoes
      • 2 cups water
      • Salt and pepper to taste
      Instructions
        Make roux with butter and flour until it is golden brown. Add onions, bell pepper and celery. Cook until tender. Add tomato juice, Rotel tomatoes, seasoning and water. Add turtle meat, then lower heat and let cook until meat is tender. This dish should be highly seasoned. Serve over rice.
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        Crab Meat Au Gratin | Delicous and Rich Crab Meat Casserole

        Crab meat au gratin is one Cajun dish that I just about can't get enough of. It is so rich and tasty, yet so simple to make.


        Ingredients


        • 2 lbs. crab meat
        • 10 oz. mild cheddar cheese
        • 1 pint of canned milk
        • 2 sticks of butter
        • 1 large onion, chopped
        • 2 ribs celery, chopped
        • 4 Tbs. of all-purpose flour
        • 2 egg yolks
        Instructions
          Sauté onions and celery in butter until tender then add the all-purpose flour and milk, blend well and remove from heat. Next, add the egg yolks, crab meat, salt, pepper and 8 oz. of cheddar cheese and mix together thoroughly.

          Pour in casserole dish and top with remaining 2 oz. of cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F. just long enough to melt the cheese. Serves 6 to 8.

          Suggestion: Compliment this rich meal with a fresh green garden salad and buttered garlic toast.

          Mais c'est bon! ... Ahheee!!
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          Thursday, June 29, 2006

          Crab Cakes

           



          Ingredients

          • 1 lb. crab meat
          • 1 cup mayonnaise
          • 3 Tbs. flour
          • 1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
          • 1/4 cup celery, chopped
          • 1/4 cup onions, chopped
          • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
          • Dash of Tabasco
          • Bread crumbs
          Instructions

          Mix first 8 ingredients together. Form into patties and roll each patty in bread crumbs. Fry slowly in oil at 350°F. until golden brown.

          Links: Cajun Romaulade Sauce
                        Rum Sauce
                         Cajun Red Sauce
          KT



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          Baked Flounder with Crab Stuffing

          Ingredients

          • 2 one pound flounders
          • 1 large onion, chopped
          • 2 Tbs. margarine
          • 2 cloves garlic, minced
          • 2 Tbs. bell pepper, chopped
          • 1 cup crab meat
          • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
          • 1 Tbs. salt
          • 1/8 tsp pepper
          • 1 tsp parsley, chopped
          • 1 egg
          Instructions
            Sauté onions, garlic and bell pepper in butter or margarine until tender. Add crab meat and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool for 10 minutes. Add bread crumbs, salt, pepper, parsley and egg. Mix well. Stuff into cavity of flounder. Place in baking dish and bake 30 minutes at 375°F. Mmmm--c'est bon!
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            Seafood Mold | Delicious Cajun Seafood Dips

            Ingredients

            • 1 can mushroom soup
            • 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
            • 3 Tbs. cold water
            • 1 cup mayonnaise
            • 1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese
            • 1 cup green onions, chopped
            • 1 lb. cooked seafood of your choice
            • (Crab meat, shrimp or crawfish)
            Instructions
              Heat mushroom soup and cream cheese until melted. Mix gelatin in water and add to soup. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into mold and refrigerate overnight. Serve with crackers.
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              Crawfish Dip | Delicous Cajun Crawfish Dips

              Delicious Cajun Crawfish Dip Recipe

              Ingredients

              • 1 cup onions, chopped
              • 1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
              • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
              • 1/2 lb.butter
              • 1-3 lbs. crawfish tails
              • 4 cans cream of mushroom soup
              • Garlic powder, red pepper, Tabasco
              • sauce and parsley to taste
              Instructions
                Sauté onions, celery, bell pepper in butter until tender. Add mushroom soup, crawfish and seasonings. Cook for 5 minutes. If not seasoned enough add to suit your taste. Garlic powder gives it a very good taste.
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                Crab Dip | Delicous Cajun Seafood Dips

                Ingredients

                • 1/4 lb.butter
                • 2 stalks celery, chopped
                • 1 cup onions, chopped
                • 1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
                • 3 cans cream of mushroom soup
                • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
                • 1/2 tsp white pepper
                • 5 to 6 drops hot pepper sauce
                • 1 lb. crab meat
                Instructions
                  Cook onions, bell pepper and celery with butter for about 5 minutes. Add mushroom soup, Worcestershire sauce, white pepper, hot sauce and crab meat. Cook 10 minutes. Serve with crackers and chips.
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                  Creamed Shrimp | Delicous Cajun Shrimp Dips

                  Ingredients

                  • 3 small cans shrimp
                  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
                  • 1/2 cup water
                  • 2 - 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
                  • 1 cup mayonnaise
                  • 1/4 lb.butter
                  • 1 medium onion, chopped
                  • 1/2 lemon
                  • Salt and pepper to taste
                  Instructions
                    Boil raw shrimp in 1/2 cup water, onion, lemon and seasonings for 5 minutes. Drain. Add to all ingredients and mix well. If too thick add some shrimp water. Must not be too thin. Serve with crackers. More pepper may be added if a really hot taste is desired.
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                    Shrimp Mold | Delicous Cajun Shrimp Dips

                    Ingredients

                    • 1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
                    • 1 can condensed tomato soup
                    • 8 oz. package cream cheese
                    • 1 cup onions, chopped
                    • 1 cup celery, chopped
                    • 1 cup mayonnaise
                    • 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
                    • 1 cup hot water (use shrimp water)
                    • Dash Worcestershire sauce
                    • Salt and pepper to taste
                    Instructions
                      Boil shrimp in 1 cup water. Dissolve gelatin in 3/4 cup cold water. Heat tomato soup and cream cheese until well melted. Add all ingredients and mix well. Pour into mold and refrigerate overnight. Serve with crackers.
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                      Cajun Chicken Jambalaya Plus I Rice, Giblets and Ground Beef Added

                      Ingredients

                      • 2 lbs. raw ground chicken giblets
                      • 1 lb. ground beef
                      • 2 cups onion, chopped
                      • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
                      • 1 cup cold water
                      • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
                      • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
                      • 2 tsp salt
                      • 1/2 tsp white or black pepper
                      • 1/3 tsp red pepper
                      • 1/2 cup cooking oil
                      • 3 cups rice, cooked
                      Instructions
                        In a heavy iron pot combine cooking oil, ground meats, onions and celery. Cook over medium heat until meat begins to brown. Stir well while cooking. Add 1 cup water. Cook for 30 minutes over medium heat stirring constantly. Add green onions, parsley and seasonings. Simmer over low heat in uncovered pot for 10 minutes. Add cooked rice and serve. Serves 8 to 10.
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                        Chicken Jambalaya | Rice with Chicken, Onions, Bell Peppers and Garlic

                        Ingredients

                        • 1 large fryer, quartered
                        • 1/2 cup oil
                        • 2 large onions, chopped
                        • 1 bell pepper, chopped
                        • 2 cloves garlic, mashed
                        • 6 shallots, chopped
                        • 1/4 tsp black pepper
                        • 2 Tbs. salt
                        • 1 small can Rotel tomatoes
                        • 1 cup rice, uncooked
                        • 2 cups water
                        • 1 medium can mushrooms
                        • 1/4 tsp red pepper
                        Instructions
                          Brown chicken in oil then remove chicken and set aside. Sauté onions, bell peppers, garlic and shallots in same oil (add more oil if needed)

                          Cook for approximately 5 minutes, add salt, pepper and tomatoes. Continue coking for about 7 minutes. Add browned chicken, rice and water when bring to a boil. Add mushroom and remove from heat. Pour mixture in casserole dish, cover and place in a preheated oven. Cook at 400°F. for approximately 45 minutes. Serves 4.
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                          Wednesday, June 28, 2006

                          Pork Jambalaya | Cajun Spicy Rice and Pork Recipe

                          Ingredients

                          • 1 lb. pork meat (any type) cut into pieces
                          • 1/2 cup cooking oil
                          • 2 medium onions, chopped
                          • 1 small bell pepper, chopped
                          • 2 cloves garlic, minced
                          • 1 1/2 cup uncooked rice
                          • Salt and pepper to taste
                          Instructions
                            Brown pieces of pork in oil. Add onions, bell pepper and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes then add 3 cups water and cook until meat is tender. Have at least 2 cups of gravy in pot. Add rice. Cover and slow boil until rice is tender, stirring occasionally.
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                            Boudain (aka Boudin)

                            Boudain is also spelled "boudin". The first part of the video series begins at the bottom of the play list: Part 1 of How to Make Boudain. I hope you learn something. Enjoy!





                            Note: For a meatier boudain sausage reduce the cooked rice content.



                            Ingredients (old original boudin recipe)

                            • 2 pork hearts
                            • 4 pork kidneys
                            • 1 lb. pork liver
                            • 5 lbs. pork meat
                            • 1 bell pepper, chopped
                            • 3 onions, chopped
                            • 4 cups cooked rice
                            • 2 bunches green onions, chopped
                            • 1 cup parsley, chopped
                            • Salt and pepper to taste
                            Instructions
                              Boil the first 6 ingredients until tender then grind. Reserve some of the broth. Add rice, salt, pepper, green onions and parsley. Add enough broth to make a moist dressing. Stuff dressing into casing using a sausage stuffer. You can find a world of useful information at Ask the Meatman. Check them out to learn about natural casings for stuffing sausages and boudain. They are a reputable company who has been around since 1949.

                              Boudain can be served as a breakfast sausage or as an appetizer. It can be boiled, fried, steamed or heated in the microwave oven.

                              Often times the ingredients needed to make the old fashioned type of boudain is not readily available at your local market. You can find an alternative recipe under Boudain (boudin) Balls which you can use .

                                      A Cajun Boucherie
                              In Cajun country it seemed that thirteen represented that magical age during which the attainment of certain rites of passage on the way to man-hood was inexplicably thrust upon me like a beast of burden. It was time for me to venture away from the bird nest, so to speak, amble over to the end of the limb, spread my wings and flap them a few times while standing in place just to get the hang of it for when it came time to take flight (or, in my case, when grandpa decided that it was time).
                              -->
                              Entry level positions on our farm, at age thirteen, weren't hard to find. They cropped up everywhere (especially during the rice harvest). The most exciting job I had was driving a large tractor and pulling a rice cart around the fields, without an official driver's license, to drain the harvesters of their payloads and transfer the grain into the transport vehicles. Shucks! That wasn't work. That was fun!
                              It was the other entry-level projects which I wasn't that fond of ... like feeding and watering the stock everyday, cleaning up their stalls, milking cows, shearing sheep, walking miles with a shovel on my shoulders repairing holes in our rice field and crayfish pond levee system caused by over-zealous rats who loved the sound of water escaping ... and a host of other mundane tasks that no kid should have to go through just to prove that he's a man. But, I got her done.

                              The final act of the virilité accomplie (manhood accomplished) phase was to slaughter and process my first hog (under the tutelage of my grandfather, of course). I had already become accustomed to bagging and processing smaller game like ducks, geese, rabbit, and quail, but killing and processing a large animal like a full-grown hog was unnerving for me to say the least, and kind of up-front and personal. But again, I got her done.

                              This was a time when I learned to make cracklins and boudin (boudin). We used a 30 gallon three-legged cast-iron outdoor pot filled half-full with water. It weighed several hundred pounds but the thick iron was an excellent heat distributor. The fire-watcher was responsible for adding firewood to keep everything continuously cooking. We would all take turns stirring the cracklins in the hot cauldron with a long wooden paddle.

                              After dressing the hog (it was more like undressing the poor thing) we had to prepare the animal for bristle-hair removal. Hogs, especially mature ones, have tough bristles. The best method to remove the tough hair was to douse small areas at the time with boiling water from the hot crackling pot. We used a metal ladle for the boiling water and a dull knife to scrape off the hair from the treated area. Once that job was complete (from head to toe) the entire hog was as smooth as a baby's behind.

                              The next step was to remove the hog's skin while leaving a significant amount of fat attached to it. Then that would be further cut down into 1 ½ inch cubes and dumped into the large cooking pot of boiling water.

                              After several hours of slow cooking, the water would eventually evaporate leaving behind the melted fat which would then be processed into cooking lard. A two-hundred-pound farm-raised hog could yield several gallons of cooking fat. And the by-product was “cracklins” of course. Treated with a little salt and cayenne pepper, this Cajun favorite was always a big hit at our home. It was great with boudin and baked sweet potatoes, too. Ahhheee! Lache pas la patate!
                              KT
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                              Pork Fricassee

                              Ingredients

                              • 3 lbs. pork steaks cut into pieces
                              • 5 Tbs. roux
                              • 3 large onions, chopped
                              • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
                              • Salt and pepper to taste
                              Instructions
                                Add enough water to roux to make a thick gravy. Add pork, onions and seasonings. Simmer until pork is tender. Add green onions and serve over rice.
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                                Cajun Hog’s Head Cheese

                                Ingredients

                                • 1 fresh pork ham with skin
                                • 4 medium onions, chopped
                                • 8 fresh pork hocks or pig’s feet
                                • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
                                • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
                                • Salt and pepper to taste
                                Instructions
                                  Simmer all ingredients in a large pot with enough water to cover meat. Cook until tender (until the meat falls off the bone or pulls apart easily). Remove from broth and let cool.

                                  Chop meat and skin into small pieces (discard all fat). Return meat to broth and simmer until thick. Add 1/2 cup chopped green onions and cook for 1 minute. Pour into flat rectangular casserole dishes and let cool in refrigerator. Cut into serviceable portions (usually 3" x 3" squares).
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                                  Rolled Steak


                                  Ingredients

                                  • 6 strips steak (about ½ inch thick)
                                  • mustard
                                  • salt, pepper and garlic
                                  • 6 bacon strips
                                  • 1 large onion, sliced
                                  • 1 Tbs. oil
                                  • 2 1/2 cups water
                                  • 2 Tbs. flour
                                  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
                                  Instructions
                                    Lay steaks lengthwise, spread mustard then sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. Lay bacon strips lengthwise on each steak strip and add a slice of onion. Roll each steak and secure ends with toothpicks. Brown meat in oil using a frying pan. Chop remaining onion and add to meat. Cook until onions are brown. Add Water then simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

                                    When meat is tender remove from cooking pot and thicken gravy by adding flour and beef bouillon cubes. Simmer for 5 minutes.
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                                    Squirrel Sauce Piquante

                                    Ingredients

                                    • 2 squirrels, cut up
                                    • 2 large onions, chopped
                                    • 1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
                                    • 1/2 cup oil
                                    • 1 Tbs. flour
                                    • 1 small can tomato sauce
                                    • 1 small can Rotel tomatoes
                                    • water
                                    • salt and pepper
                                    Instructions
                                      Season squirrel with salt and pepper. Using a Dutch oven, add oil and squirrel. Brown pieces of meat well on both sides. Remove meat. Lower heat to medium and sauté onions, bell pepper and flour in same pan until brown. Return squirrel to pan and add tomato sauce, Rotel tomatoes and enough water to cover meat. Cover pot with a tight fitting lid and simmer for at least 1 hour, or until meat is tender. Add onion tops and parsley just before serving. Serve over rice.

                                      Note: You can also use this recipe for Rabbit Sauce Piquante.
                                      KT


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                                      Wild Game Sauce Piquante

                                      Ingredients

                                      • 1 cup oil
                                      • 1 cup all-purpose flour
                                      • 1/2 stick butter
                                      • 2 large onions, chopped
                                      • 1 stalk celery, chopped
                                      • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
                                      • 1 cup green onions, chopped
                                      • 1 can mushrooms (optional)
                                      Instructions
                                        In a heavy skillet make a golden-brown roux with the oil and flour (or you can substitute 6 - 8 Tbs. of powdered gumbo roux and set aside.

                                        In another skillet cook the trinity of onions, bell pepper and celery in the butter until tender. Next, add any wild game of your choice (rabbit, squirrel, duck, goose, alligator or venison) and continue to cook for approximately 10 more minutes. Finally, add the roux, 1 small can tomato sauce, 1 small can Rotel tomatoes, 3 cups water, salt and pepper.

                                        Continue cooking on medium heat while stirring occasionally until the meats are tender. More water may be added if required. Optionally you can add one can of drained mushrooms and cook for 5 more minutes. Serve over cooked long grain white rice.
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                                        Cajun Romaulade Sauce

                                        Ingredients

                                        • 1 1/2 cups tartar sauce
                                        • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
                                        • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
                                        • 1/4 cup celery, chopped
                                        • 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
                                        • 1/2 cup olive oil
                                        • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
                                        Instructions
                                          Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend well.
                                          KT Signature Icon

                                          Salad Dressing

                                          Ingredients

                                          • 2 cups mayonnaise
                                          • 2 Tbs. sweet relish
                                          • 1 Tbs. catchup
                                          • 1 Tbs. Tony’s Chachere’s seasoning
                                          • 1 tsp onion powder
                                          • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
                                          • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
                                          • 1/2 tsp Tabasco
                                          • 1 boiled egg
                                          • 1/2 tsp sugar
                                          • 1 Tbs. mustard
                                          Instructions
                                            Combine all ingredients in blender and blend well.
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                                            Remoulade Sauce

                                            Ingredients

                                            • 1 pt. mayonnaise
                                            • 1 pt. Creole style mustard
                                            • 1 cup salad oil
                                            • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
                                            • 1/2 cup onions, chopped
                                            • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
                                            • 1/2 tsp paprika
                                            Instructions
                                              Combine all ingredients in blender and blend well.
                                              KT


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                                              How to Cook Long Grain Rice

                                              Ingredients

                                              • 1 cup long grain rice
                                              • 2 cups water
                                              • 1 Tbs. oil or butter
                                              • 1 tsp white vinegar
                                              • 1 tsp salt
                                              Instructions
                                                Combine all ingredients in a heavy metal two quart sauce pan and bring to a boil. Boil rapidly for 3 minutes while constantly stirring. Place cover on top of pan. Turn heat off but leave pan on burner. Do not lift the lid and peek for at least 20 minutes. Perfect rice every time.

                                                Note: For every cup of long grain rice that is cooked always add double the water.
                                                KT


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                                                Cajun Fried Rice

                                                Ingredients

                                                • 1  1/2 cups long grain rice (do not wash)
                                                • 3  1/4 cups water
                                                • 2 tsp salt
                                                • 1/4 tsp pepper
                                                • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
                                                • 1/3 cup oil
                                                • 1 large onion, chopped
                                                • 1/3 cup bell pepper, chopped
                                                • 3 Tbs. tomato sauce
                                                Instructions
                                                  Pour water in pot. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cover tightly and bring to a boil. In a frying pan heat oil then add rice and stir until brown. Next add onions, bell pepper and tomatoes. Stir well then add mixture to boiling water. Stir for 10 seconds, place lid on tight, lower heat and simmer 20 minutes

                                                  Do not remove lid until ready to serve.


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                                                  Tuesday, June 27, 2006

                                                  Corn Casserole

                                                  Ingredients

                                                  • 1 can whole kernel corn
                                                  • 1 can cream style corn
                                                  • 4 eggs
                                                  • 1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
                                                  • 1 pimento, chopped
                                                  • 1 cup green onions, chopped
                                                  • 1 tsp flour
                                                  • 1 tsp sugar
                                                  • 1 medium onion, chopped
                                                  • salt and pepper to taste
                                                  Instructions
                                                    Beat eggs and add to all ingredients. Season to taste. Bake in greased baking dish at 350°F. for 1 hour.


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                                                    Baked Beans

                                                    Ingredients

                                                    • 3 large onions, chopped
                                                    • 2 lbs. ground meat (pork or beef)
                                                    • 1 gallon pork and beans
                                                    • 1 cup catchup
                                                    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
                                                    • 1/4 cup maple syrup
                                                    • 3 Tbs. mustard
                                                    • red and black pepper to taste
                                                    Instructions
                                                      Cook meat and onions for 20 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bake for 1 hour at 375°F. This recipe is designed to feed several folks at a time. We used it in restaurants, for re-unions, parties, fund-raisers, etc.  

                                                      Tip: if you want to give these beans a smokey flavor, add a couple tablespoons of Colgin liquid smoke. Enjoy!


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                                                      Baked Zucchini

                                                      Ingredients

                                                      • 3 cups sliced zucchini
                                                      • 1 large onion, chopped
                                                      • 1 cup canned tomatoes, pureed
                                                      • 1 can Rotel tomatoes, pureed
                                                      • 1/2 cup water
                                                      • 3 Tbs bread crumbs
                                                      • 2 lbs. Provolone cheese, chopped
                                                      • 1 tsp garlic
                                                      • salt and pepper to taste
                                                      Instructions
                                                        Layer ingredients in greased baking pan. Top with bread crumbs. Bake at 350°F. for 25 to 30 minutes. Signature Icon

                                                        Monday, June 26, 2006

                                                        Country Spoon Bread

                                                        Ingredients

                                                        • 2 cups warm water
                                                        • 1 Tbs. sugar
                                                        • 1 package yeast
                                                        • 1/2 cup cooking oil
                                                        • 1 egg, well beaten
                                                        • 4 cups self rising flour
                                                        Instructions

                                                          Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Cover and let the dough set in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Spoon into a greased muffin pan. Bake at 450°F. until golden brown. Signature Icon

                                                          Hush Puppies

                                                          Ingredients

                                                          • 1 1/2 cups corn meal
                                                          • 1/4 cup sugar
                                                          • 1 cup flour
                                                          • 1/2 tsp pepper
                                                          • 1 tsp salt
                                                          • 3 tsp baking powder
                                                          • 2 eggs, beaten
                                                          • 1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
                                                          • milk

                                                          Combine all dry ingredients. Add eggs, onions and enough milk to make a thick batter. Drop teaspoons full in 5 inch deep hot oil. Fry until golden brown.


                                                          Legend has it that the origin of name Hush Puppies (corn fritters) came into existence somewhat by accident. The story goes that many years ago, when both sides of a Cajun family would get together once a year for a family reunion, the men would venture off into the woods and along the bayous to procure wild game and fish. Before leaving they would butcher a few domestic animals for the women to process and prepare meals while they were away.

                                                          Upon their return, the men would clean and fry the fish first because fish had a tendency to spoil quickly. Refrigerators and freezers back in the old days were a little scarce.

                                                          The hunting dogs were tied a few feet away from camp and were always barking because they were hungry, too. So the men, after frying the fish, would add some milk and baking powder to the cornmeal and flour batter and make corn fritters. To quiet the dogs they would toss them a few bite-size morsels of the fried fritters while saying ..."hush puppy".
                                                          That's our story and we are sticking to it.
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                                                          Carrot Fritters

                                                          Ingredients

                                                          • 2 bunches carrots (10 medium)
                                                          • 1 cup all-purpose flour
                                                          • 1 tsp baking powder
                                                          • 3 eggs, beaten
                                                          • 1/4 Tbs. salt
                                                          • 1 Tbs. sugar
                                                          • 1/2 tsp vanilla
                                                          • 1 small can crushed pineapple

                                                          Boil raw carrots in 1 quart water until tender. Drain and mash well. Mix flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Blend with beaten eggs and pineapple. Add the carrots and mix well. Drop spoonfuls of mixture in deep fat and fry until golden brown. 350°F.


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                                                          Ma's Bread Pudding

                                                          Ingredients

                                                          • 4 cups milk
                                                          • 8 slices stale bread
                                                          • 4 eggs, separated
                                                          • 1 can evaporated milk
                                                          • 1 1/2 cups sugar
                                                          • 1 tsp vanilla
                                                          • 4 Tbs. sugar (to be added later)

                                                          Heat milk, pour over bread and mash. Add evaporated milk, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and mix well. Bake uncovered in buttered pan at 375°F. for approx. 1 hour.

                                                          Beat egg whites until very stiff. Add 4 Tbs. sugar and beat until dissolved. Pour over pudding. Return to oven and brown at 350°F.


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                                                          Old South Carrot Cake

                                                          Ingredients

                                                          • 2 cups all-purpose flour
                                                          • 2 cups sugar
                                                          • 1 tsp. baking powder
                                                          • 1/4 tsp. soda
                                                          • 1/4 tsp. salt
                                                          • 1 tsp. cinnamon
                                                          • 4 eggs
                                                          • 1 cup vegetable oil
                                                          • 2 cups grated carrots

                                                          Combine eggs and oil and beat well. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix well. Pour into a well greased pan. Bake at 350°F. until done (when inserted toothpick comes out clean).


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                                                          Sunday, June 25, 2006

                                                          Cream Cheese Frosting

                                                          Ingredients

                                                          • 1/2 cup butter
                                                          • 1 eight ounce package cream cheese

                                                          Mix well and use as a topping.


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                                                          Rum Sauce

                                                          This rum sauce recipe is easy to make and goes well with our Simple Cajun Bread Pudding | When Grandma Ruled the Kitchen. Try it--you will love it.

                                                          Ingredients

                                                          • 1 cup evaporated milk
                                                          • 1 cup milk
                                                          • 1 cup sugar
                                                          • 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
                                                          • 3 Tbs.butter
                                                          • 2 oz. rum
                                                          • 3 or 4 drops food coloring

                                                          Instructions

                                                            1. in a double boiler add milk, butter, sugar and heat to almost boiling
                                                            2. dissolve cornstarch in a small amount of cold water and add to the hot mixture
                                                            3. continue cooking until mixture thickens, then remove from fire
                                                            4. add rum and food coloring
                                                            5. stir together well

                                                            Enjoy! Bon Appetit!
                                                            KT


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