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.

Monday, December 28, 2009

2 More Bottles of Wine

I was surprised at what a couple more bottles of wine could do.

A superb rendition by the original singer-songwriter-musician,  Delbert McClinton, and his co-host Martina McBride. (Hey! Those are Irish sir names, huh?)

Oh well. They make good music together. Have a listen and enjoy Two More Bottles of Wine.




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Friday, December 25, 2009

10 Most Viewed Real Cajun Cooking Recipes of 2009

Since last year at this time Real Cajun Cooking - Pure and Simple has experienced a 57.77 per cent visitor increase - visitors who have collectively dropped by for an average of nearly 3 minutes - visitors who viewed 75,000 pages of content.

That is like 30,000 folks dropping-by long enough to count 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi ... all the way to 158 Mississippi's. Not bad. Not bad a'tall. (And, I don't even advertise.)

That is because more and more people are discovering this site for what it is: an excellent source for original Cajun recipes. And they keep coming back. The stats prove it. So, I want to thank all of you for stopping by (you can do it anytime), and a special thanks for those of you who keep coming back for more.


The following 10 recipes, in order of importance, have the distinction of being the ones most viewed. I would like to briefly share them with you:

1. Boudain (boudin)
The spelling of this popular pork and rice sausage may vary slightly, but the ingredients in great traditional boudin hardly ever changes. Our recipe calls for popular top-quality cuts of pork easily found in local supermarkets.

The other basic ingredients, like rice, onions, herbs and special Cajun spices come together, with the cooked and prepared pork, to form a moist and delicious alternative to the hum-drum sausages we see everyday. We show you how to make fresh boudain with or without casing. This popular entre' captured the top spot on our list of most viewed Real Cajun Cooking recipes.

2. How to Make a Gumbo Roux
Cajuns are proud, and rightly so, of the gumbo rouxs they prepare. At times I think gumbo rouxs are similar to fingerprints – there are no two which are exactly alike. Here at Real Cajun Cooking we show you how easy it is to customize gumbo roux according to your own tastes and specifications. We have included time-saving short-cuts to preparing your own great roux - just to surprise you. So, what is NOT surprising is that How to Make a Gumbo Roux burned through to the number 2 spot as the hottest Real Cajun Cooking Recipes for 2009.

3. Shrimp and Eggplant Casserole
Old-time casseroles are making a comeback. With the advent of canned soups, dried herbs and spices, one can use 2-day old bread and transform it, with a few fresh shrimp and a couple medium eggplants, into a  rich buttery meal definitely worth writing home about. I have added a video on how to prepare an easy, yet delicious, Shrimp and Eggplant Casserole ... which comes in at a solid number 3 of the most viewed recipes here in 2009.

4. Easy Microwave Gumbo Roux
I developed this process of making good gumbo roux several years ago after hours of unsuccessful experimentation. Now perfected, I have made available my techniques in an easy to understand written version and video format. A must see. Easy Microwave Gumbo Roux climbs to the number 4 position of our most viewed recipes.

5. Cajun Hog's Head Cheese
One can have a little fun with the name of this popular Cajun-style souse. Hardly anyone uses the head of a hog to make this old-time favorite anymore, nor is it a cheese. Other cuts of pork meat and just the right amount of spicy seasoning can produce a top-notch souse. Hitting the charts mid-way and coming in at a solid number 5 of the most viewed Real Cajun Cooking recipes of 2009 is Cajun Hog's Head Cheese.
6. Wild Duck Gumbo
I just love the unique and savory taste of wild duck gumbo (especially with fresh oysters). The secret to this great favorite, and the reason I believe it came in at a strong number 6 in the most viewed Real Cajun Cooking recipes of 2009, is in the roux.

Come in and visit awhile and we will show you how it is done. You begin with a dark chocolate-color roux and generous portions of the traditional Cajun trinity of vegetables (onions, bell peppers and celery), with a medley of other spices, and along the way to the finish line the magnificent aroma it produces will put you and your dinner guests in a wonderful trance. Guaranteed! Wild Duck Gumbo - flying-in low under the radar and landing on number 6.

7. Chicken Stew
Although this dish is easy to prepare, it is just too good to be compared to your regular run-of-the-meal chicken stews.

Why? Because in this Chicken Stew recipe we use baking hens instead of a young fryers - along with a couple heaping tablespoons of your favorite medium chocolate-colored roux, and just the right touch of herbs and spices - that's why. Low heat and prolonged cooking time makes this popular dish a dead ringer for the number 7 spot.

8. Shrimp Mold
This tasty hors d'oeuvres sounds like something which may be fungus, but I assure you the word 'mold' used here is to mean a fancy container, like a bundt cake mold,  which sculpts the end product into a tempting and eye-pleasing dish. Served with your choice of crackers this seafood special Shrimp Mold  has wiggled up to the number 8 position of the most viewed Real Cajun Cooking recipes of 2009.

9. Chicken-Shrimp-Okra Gumbo
You have not lived right until you have prepared and served this meal to your family and friends. Coming in at number 9 on the list of most viewed recipes on our site, Chicken-Shrimp-Okra gumbo should be closer to the very top because the flavor will outright spoil you.
Served over a bed of white rice this gumbo is one of those kinds that should not qualify as tasting better the next day because it taste so darn good from the get-go (but it does). Chicken-Shrimp-Okra Gumbo ... pouring in at number 9.

10. Crawfish Étouffée
An all-time favorite of mine and a surprisingly simple meal to cook. This popular Cajun food, which can be introduced as a complete stand alone meal served over a bed of white rice, can also compliment a host of other Cajun seafood platters and dishes. Crawfish Étouffée - crawling back to the number 10 spot.

So, there you have it. The 10 most viewed Real Cajun Cooking recipes for 2009. If you get a chance look around some more and please leave a comment or ask a question about your favorite Cajun foods. I would be happy to read them or answer any questions you ask (about Cajun cooking - that is).

Let's see? Where was I? Oh, yes ... 159 Mississippi ... 160 Mississippi ... 161 Mississippi ...

Bon Appetite! Ahheee!!
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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Someday Never Comes



John Forgerty - Songwriter

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Lyrics:

First thing I remember was askin' papa, "Why?",
For there were many things I didn't know.
And Daddy always smiled; took me by the hand,
Sayin', "Someday you'll understand."


Well, I'm here to tell you now each and ev'ry mother's son
You better learn it fast; you better learn it young,
'Cause "Someday" Never Comes.


Well, time and tears went by and I collected dust,
For there were many things I didn't know.
When Daddy went away, he said, "Try to be a man,
And, Someday you'll understand."


Well, I'm here to tell you now each and ev'ry mother's son
You better learn it fast; you better learn it young,
'Cause "Someday" Never Comes.

And then, one day in April, I wasn't even there,
For there were many things I didn't know.
A son was born to me; Mama held his hand,
Sayin' "Someday you'll understand."
 
Well, I'm here to tell you now each and ev'ry mother's son
You better learn it fast; you better learn it young,
'Cause, "Someday" Never Comes.
Oooo ... "Someday" Never Comes.


Think it was September, the year I went away,
For there were many things I didn't know.
And I still see him standing, try'n' to be a man;
I said, "Someday you'll understand."


 Well, I'm here to tell you now each and ev'ry mother's son
You better learn it fast; you better learn it young,
'Cause "Someday" Never Comes.

Oooo ... "Someday" Never Comes.


Mmmm-mmmm-mmmm....


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Secrets Worth Keeping

 There are times when individuals are better off not knowing.




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Friday, November 20, 2009

Fig and Red Wine Preserves

Many years ago, when I was a kid growing-up along the bayous of south Louisiana, my great grandfather, Francois Gaspard,  owned a fig orchard - around a dozen trees or so.

Some of the trees were huge and grew to 20 or more feet tall and produced an abundance of fruit. Every year our families would come together to harvest the fruit and make preserves for the winter.


Grandma had a way of transforming figs into just about any fruit taste you wanted. Strawberry fig preserves was my favorite. You could not tell the difference from the real McCoy when my grandma finished working her magic.

This evening I wanted to experiment with making fig preserves using an unlikely companion - red wine. Merlot in particular. And, I must say, it turned out pretty good. It's so easy to make, too.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. of ripe figs
  • 1 cup of red wine, (or pure grape juice)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
I quartered the figs and soaked them in the red wine over night in the refrigerator.

Using a medium sauce pan I added the figs, wine and sugar and cooked everything on medium-heat for approximately 30 minutes until all of the alcohol was burned off and the sugar had converted into a thick syrup. I stirred occasionally to prevent burning.

The preserves were cooled down at room temperature before refrigeration.

Fig preserve sandwiches with sliced American cheese are great!

It's a good and sweet snack for anyone who is constantly on the go. These turned out great.

Try it. You will like it.

Bon Appetit!


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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fig Leaf Politics

I may have already discussed with my co-contributors to this publication that inserting personal political opinions is probably not a great idea, and I think I may have agreed not to make a habit of it and keep writing stories about Cajun life and the good ol' days.

But, just this once, I would like to give you my take on how national politics is beginning to take shape in the 21st century.

It is certainly NOT my intention to stray too far from the subject of great Cajun cooking, nor is it my intention to offend anyone personally. Politics affects all aspects of life - including cooking. These are merely my views and historical observations.

So, with that in mind, I shall begin my story:

It all began with Genesis 3: “... the woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So, she took some of the fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate it … and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.”

Fast forward 2,000 years:


Mark 11: “… Seeing from a distance a fig tree in leaf, he went over to see if he could find anything on it. When he reached in he found nothing but leaves; it was not time for figs … and Jesus said, “May no one ever eat of your fruit again!” The fig tree became withered and his disciples witnessed it.

Fast forward another 2,000 years:


U.S. Congress Bill: H.R. 3200
: “…Congress received a health care plan, a voluminous 2,074-pages document, which makes it next to impossible for average American voters to read and comprehend. Democrats are eager to pass this Senate bill before Americans become enlightened about its potentially  harmful side-effects. [my words]

It’s amazing to me how history repeats itself in similar ways.

The U.S. House has skillfully managed to pluck and eat some forbidden fruit and is now trying to make the Senate eat it as well. There are over 2,074-pages (like fig leaves on a tree) hiding something important that is suppose to be there, but is not.

And, I'll bet that you can probably count all the U.S. Senators, on two  hands, who have personally read and reviewed the "Americas Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009" plan in its entirety - and that is very shameful!

So, it seems like fig leaves have been used throughout history as a pejorative symbol for covering-up  something which is shameful, or hiding something which is suppose to be there, but is not. The fig leaves hiding the details of this national health plan is no exception.

"Sometimes rushing into something head-first will cause you to loose it" as my old grandpa use to say. I think he may have been right.

In Genesis 3, fig leaves were used by the first man and woman to hide their ‘nakedness’, and in Mark 11 the fig leaves were hiding something that was suppose to be there, (fruit), but was not.

And now,  6,000 years later, it ends with H.R. 3200 and two thousand seventy-four leaves that are hiding something which isn't there.

If I were a U.S. Senator (especially a Democrat) I would seek to wither that tree before it is too late, so that no one will ever have to eat its fruit.

That's my 7 cents worth (inflation) and I'm sticking to it.

Have a nice day. Catch you later. Ahheee!!

Resources: ‘‘America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009’’.


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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Skinning and Fileting a Catfish

The reason I filet my catfish this way is because I use the remainder of the fish, after fileting, to make a 'Courtbouillon'.



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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A Global Paradigm Shift - Who Would Have Known?

It seems like it was not that long ago when I watched my grandfather sitting on the edge of his old oak rocking chair with his chin steadfastly perched in the open palms of both hands -- elbows affixed firmly on both knees, listening intently,  about a foot away from an old Zenith,  to the latest top-billing prize-fight to ever hit the air waves. (I'm talking radio here.)  This was in the early 1950s.

I just can't imagine how things have changed so much on this planet during these last few decades.

I discovered this vid on YouTube and wanted to share it with you. I'm 60 years old right now, but if I get to live to 77.6 years,  (the average life-span of a male in the U.S.),  I can expect to see a lot more changes coming this way from over the horizon (according to the trends in this clip) than I've experienced in the last 6 decades put together.

Are we living in the best of times? ... or what?

(I wonder if folks will still be eating seafood gumbo then?)

Well, what can I say except, "shift" happens!





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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Plastic Bottles and Light Bulbs

Did you know the U.S. trashes over 2 billion plastic bottles every year and that number is growing? And, did you know that less than 12 percent of all the plastic in North America is recycled?

This stuff has been around for a century (literally), and it is not biodegradable. So, that means it could stick around for many more centuries - we just don't know, yet?

Landfills are 'filling-up' and closing in record numbers. We are constantly looking for new places to dump our trash, yet we certainly do not want to live near those nasty dumps, do we?

Did you know that the energy saved by using recycled plastic to shape and manufacture another plastic bottle, instead of making a new one from scratch, can run a 60-watt light bulb for 6 hours. Imagine that!

And imagine how much more light you could harvest if you used those new-fangled compact fluorescent bulbs.

I accidentally stumbled on this informative website last night that I bookmarked for my own future reference which I want to share with you. It is chock-full of informative articles and practical advice about family living, whether it's managing a garden, raising kids, or going through a painstaking divorce, The Professor's House is definitely worth a visit.

You can also find out more information, as I did, about the environmental impact of plastics on our planet.

Hmmm? Let's see? One plastic bottle and a 60-watt light bulb for 6 hours, eh? There are 12 light sockets in my apartment so that means ... I would need? Wait a second! ... I would need? ... let me think. I think I would need around a truck-load to run all the lights in my apartment for about a month.

Catch ya later! Have a great weekend.

PS. Speaking of trash, I thought you might find the following video a little amusing.







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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hickory Smoke Brine Formula

Want to make your next barbecue a huge success? Here is a simple formula you can use to do just that. You will have your dinner guests complimenting you on the wonderful hickory taste of your meal and it is sooo easy to do ... (did I mention that we love 'pure and simple' ways to prepare foods?)

Brine Formula: (for beef, pork or chicken)

  • distilled water, tepid
  • sea salt, (or salt without iodine)
  • 1 lb. dark brown sugar
  • 4 oz. Colgin liquid smoke, (natural hickory)
  • 1 fresh uncooked egg, in shell 

You will want to combine all of the above ingredients in a non-reactive vessel (glass, plastic, porcelain or stainless steel). I've used the bottom pan of my refrigerator for this from time-to-time and it works well.

In whatever soaking vessel you choose, you will add your meats and enough water to cover it by a couple inches.

Next, remove the meat and set aside a few minutes until you have found out how much salt to add to the brining solution.

You do this by testing it with an uncooked egg. After stirring and dissolving enough salt into the tepid water the raw egg will float to the top. When that happens, remove the egg and put it back in its carton (its job is done), and dissolve the sugar and liquid smoke into solution and re-immerse the meats.

Remember, the longer you let meat soak in the brine solution, the saltier and more smoke-flavored it will become. My aqua-smoke formula, (that's what I like to call it),  was used recently to pre-flavor 2 hind-quarters of a feral hog which I slow roasted in an outdoor cooker. I soaked the meat (around 25 lbs.) for about 24 hours to get the required flavor and it came out great.

Be careful not to over do it by soaking the meats (especially chicken) for too long and with too much salt because you can ruin it. The first time I brined 10 lbs. of chicken quarters over night it turned out to be too salty and smoky and had to be tossed.

So,  use your own good judgment when it comes to brining your meats. The above formula will produce a taste similar to a smoked store-bought ham - without all the fuss.

Here is a guide which you can personally tweak to suit your own taste:

  • 5 - 10 1bs. of chicken quarters -  soak 1 hour
  • 5+  lbs. beef  -  soak overnight in the refrigerator
  • 5+  lbs. pork  -  soak 6 - 12 hours or more in the refrigerator

After removing the meat from the brine solution lightly rinse your cuts with regular tap water and pat dry with paper towels before placing them on the barbecue grill. You can proceed grilling your meat in the usual fashion knowing that you are going to enjoy a savory hickory-smoked meal when you are finished (saves you money on buying expensive and special charcoal, too).


Reminder: The number one rule for chicken is less salt and less soaking time. The flesh of chicken is less dense and more stringy (my words) than the flesh of beef or pork and is able to absorb the solution more quickly. Nothing is more embarrassing than having to tell your guests that you screwed-up their meal, right? (I humbly speak from personal experience.)


Enjoy! ... Couchon! Lache pas la pomme! ... Ahheee!

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Cast Iron Blackened Catfish Filets

Ingredients

2 (7 - 12 oz) catfish fillets (8" - 10" in length)
1 measure of DIY Cajun Seasoning  
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp thyme
2 Tbs peanut oil
1/4 lb. butter
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Melt the butter, mix it with half of the dry ingredients and the lemon juice and pour it into a casserole dish. Coat the fillets on both sides well and set aside until you are ready to blacken them.

This recipe calls for a seasoned #10 cast-iron skillet. You can buy 'em for $15 - $20 at your nearest discount department store and they should last several life times if maintained correctly.

In fact, you can find out how to 'season' your own cast iron skillets and pots, similar to the way the Cajuns did it in the old days, by visiting a site I discovered recently called What's Cooking America. Here is an excerpt from one of their informative articles about cast iron cookware:
  
"The first most common mistake of why people do not like cast iron is that they say everything sticks. If food sticks to your cast iron pan, your pan is NOT seasoned right and you need to re-season it. Cast iron is a natural non-stick surface and if your pan is seasoned correctly it WILL NOT stick!" 

Now, I know that some folks will find that hard to believe, but they are telling you the truth. There are a few rules you may have to learn along the way when caring for your cast iron cookware, like not using harsh detergents or chemicals to clean them. Doing that can take the seasoning right off and start the iron to oxidizing and then you find yourself with a rusty pot.

Cast iron cookware users find different methods to keeping their irons in tip-top shape. I've used heat, ice and even salt on occasions to clean my cast iron pots and pans.

Enough of that. What you want to do is to spoon in the 2 Tbsp of peanut oil and let the metal pot get very hot. Peanut oil has a higher flash point than the other oils, like canola and seed oils, so it can take higher temperatures,  plus it coats the bottom of the hot skillet better than traditional oils to form a barrier between the iron and the fish.

You will notice when your cast iron skillet gets hot enough to add the fillets by watching for when the peanut oil begins to smoke. When that happens the buttered and seasoned fillets are ready for the pan.

With one hand remove a fillet from the buttered dish and, on both sides,  lightly sprinkle half of the remaining dry seasoning with the other hand. Gently lay the catfish fillets onto the hot skillet, leaving room enough for the second fillet and then repeat the process. It's a snap to do when you get the hang of it (kinda like poetry in motion).

Cook on both sides for about 3 to 4 minutes (you only get to flip them once). After that take the cast- iron skillet away from the heat source and allow it to cool for a couple minutes before moving the blackened fillets to the serving dishes.

This meal goes well with a chilled Gulf of Mexico (wild) shrimp salad with Italian croûtons and a light and creamy buttermilk dressing ... and, perhaps to top it off,  ... a bottle of fine Beaujolais just for contrast.

"Red wine with fish",  you ask?

Well, yes. I've always maintained that if we can blacken a perfectly normal fish,  then we can certainly drink red wine to toast the occasion.


Bon Appetit!  Ahheee!!

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Homemade Habanero Flavored Potato Chips



Are you tired of paying high-prices for specialty potato chips? Here is a simple way to make you own, on the cheap, by transforming an ordinary russet potato (Fig. 1) into a batch of tasty homemade custom chips (Fig. 2)

This is what you will need:

  • 1 large russet potato, sliced into 1/8" slices
  • 8 ripe habanero peppers, finely chopped
  • 1/2 quart of water
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice, from concentrate
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • deep-fat fryer
  • peanut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Begin by dissolving the salt and lemon juice in the half-quart of water, add the chopped habanero peppers,  stir and mix thoroughly. Next, slice the potato and add the slices to the solution and soak for 30 minutes.

Set your deep fryer at 375 degrees F., allow to heat-up, then add your potato slices. Keep an eye on your chips closely. When they have floated to the top and turned into a golden-brown color they are done.

Remove them to a paper towel to soak-up any excess oil. Lightly sprinkle your chips with your choice of seasonings. I like to add finely ground onion powder and cayenne pepper to mine.

Peanut oil makes a much tastier chip, but you can fry them in other oils as well.

Note: You can substitute a less volatile kind of pepper, like jalapeños, if habaneros are too intimidating to the taste buds and palate.

À votre santé! ... (to your health!)  Ahheee!!


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Monday, October 19, 2009

Lemony Fried Catfish Nuggets

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs. fresh catfish fillets
  • 1/2 gallon of distilled water
  • 1 pint of lemon juice, from concentrate
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • seasoning
  • peanut or canola oil


Instructions:

Dissolve the lemon juice and sea salt in the distilled water using a non-reactive container and soak the catfish fillets for no more than 1 hour.

Test the lemon flavor by using part of one fillet. Cut a few nuggets and dredge the wet morsels in your seasoned flour/cornbread mixture then deep fry at 350 degrees F. until golden brown. By testing the first few nuggets for tartness, you will be able to gauge the strength of the lemon flavor in your fish and make the necessary adjustments.

If the first 'test' batch is a little too tart for your particular taste, you can lightly rinse the rest of the fillets off in clear running tap water for a few seconds to further dilute the lemony flavor. (Don't over rinse.)

The amount of oil you use to cook your nuggets will depend on you. You will need at least enough oil to fry one side of the nuggets at the time -- which also means you will have to turn them over at the proper time to equally fry them on the other side (around 3 to 4 minutes per side).

I personally like the taste of peanut oil so I use it when I can. During a recent event I used an electric 2 gallon deep-fryer and cooked the catfish nuggets at the stated temperature until they floated to the top. That is when I know they are thoroughly cooked.

Last weekend my friends and I cooked up about 40 lbs. of fresh catfish fillets using a couple of different methods and techniques, including this one.

The lemon-flavored nuggets were the most popular. By preparing the nuggets this way I didn't have to use 'lemon-pepper' to season the fish -- just lemon flavor without the pepper. It is especially convenient for those folks who are spice intolerant. And those who do love spices can add their own after the nuggets are fried. Everyone at the dinner table becomes a winner.

You should try this simple way of preparing your next batch of fish. These Lemony Fried Catfish Nuggets will certainly become a big hit at your next party.

Bon Appetit! Ahheee!!


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Cajun Song from the Movie 'Southern Comfort'



Please Read this First

Southern Comfort, the movie, was released in 1981. It became a very popular movie among the Cajuns because it manage to capture and harness that mystical sense of cultural pride and the common bonds shared by the Acadians who live along the swamps and bayous of southern Louisiana. That centuries-old neighborliness does still flourish there today. The bad guys in the movie were eventually defeated in the end and that is something which plays well in my book.

This film clip shows a typical Cajun fais do-do, (pronounced FAY-DOE-DOE), which usually includes the serving of foods like gumbo, bar-b-que, pig roasts, beans, potato salad, ... cold beer ... the list gets larger ... and of course,  a boucherie where fresh pork sausage and boudin is made right there on the spot.

In the old days fais do-do celebrations marked special occasions, like anniversaries, milestone birthdays, and extended family reunions. It is not unusual for hundreds of people to attend such events -- all from one common family tree.

The places which were selected for the events usually included a dance hall of some sort ... possibly an old barn or vacant cabin, ... or under large tents ... and often times near water channels like bayous and edges of the swamp, many of 'em could be similar to the backdrop seen through the eyes of Corporal Harding as he gazes out from inside the dance barn.

In my search for decent Cajun themes in modern movies, I found that this one may have presented a slight overkill about the way Cajuns take care of things, but it didn't lack for good scenery. It was as close to the real thing that I could find, except maybe for this one low-budget film called "Little Chenier" written, produced and directed by Bethany Ashton Wolf and released in 2006.

In my mind it's kind of a toss-up between the two, as far as natural landscape scenery goes, and probably deserves more side-by-side comparisons before a final determination is made.

"Little Chenier" was slightly predictable. The creators of that film used a mildly retarded character, skillfully portrayed by actor Frederick Koehler, as a focal point for their good vs. evil story plot. It was done simply and on the cheap, yet it simply managed to invoke a bit of nostalgia in me which I enjoyed.

The photographers in that piece did an exceptional job with what they had on hand  --  a cornucopia of natural swamp scenes which painted the landscape in the area of their filming and to which no artist, if it were a canvas, other than God Himself, could re-create.

It's such a pity there aren't more movies made in Cajun country. Good ones!

All of the graphics and scenes grow freely and naturally in full glory. Everything a movie producer would need is already there like an open book -- just fill in the blanks with good script, actors and cameras and voila! ...  you've got another movie. Don't forget the mosquito repellent, tho.

The clip shown here marks a turning point in the movie for the characters of its top billing actors, Keith Caradine and Powers Booth.

After certain members of their squad played a childish prank on the locals it caused all hell to break loose in the Louisiana swamps.

Commanded by a paranoid Corporal Hardin, played by Booth, (and in this scene with a devil-may-care Pfc. Simms), portrayed by Caradine, the military guys suddenly find themselves in the middle of a Cajun hoedown, in hot pursuit by angry men who want to kill them, and the question eventually comes down to how can they escape the threat of immediate danger by pushing forward and forging through an equally dangerous swamp -- will they make it?

As the guards try to find a way out of their unexpected predicament, the story pits a fierce clan of deep-swamp Cajun men against an entire dispatch of weekend warriors carrying only blank cartridges in their weapons. I'll let you guess who wins?

But, it's the ambiance, especially during this particular scene, which I wanted to share with you anyway, because it correctly depicts the festive get-together which were so typical of the ones I grew-up around when I was a kid, and not so much the story's content. I hope you enjoy the fais do-do part and the Cajun French song (please don't ask me what the words mean).

A WORD OF CAUTION: For those of you with queasy stomachs, you may want to look away during the final seconds of the clip when a hog is put down for the boucherie.

Written and directed by Michael Kane, David Giler and Walter Hill, along with a cast of talented actors, (Autry, Ward, Coyote, Seales, Smith),  this movie strongly accents the message that one should not mess around with Cajuns and their way of life.

Although a bit presumptuous, the movie's timing was alright as it created wonderful fodder for the locals to talk about for generations to come. It evolved into a true Cajun cult classic.

I can almost hear a typical conversation now,  ... "there was a movie that was made 'bout us. Yep, it's true! ... just a couple miles south of here ... look over there ... from here you can see that part of the bayou where they did the filming. See the bend by that crooked oak tree over there ... look to the left ...".

But, in the overall grand scheme of things,  this film managed to create an image of Acadiana which became a little more noticeable and a tiny bit larger on the world scene than she had prior to its release. So, that was a plus.

At the same time it gave us yet another rare peek into the everyday lives of Cajuns living along the bayous and swamps of south Louisiana. (Did I mention the mosquito spray?)

CYL (catch you later)  Ahheee!!

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cacklin Cracklins

In a microwavable bowl add the following:

  • chicken skin of 1 med. fryer
  • salt and pepper to taste

On high, microwave the chicken skin until most of the oil is rendered out.

I usually cook mine for about 10 minutes, drain off the fat,  and continue on for another 3 to 5 minutes. Use you own judgment because each oven is different. If you cook the skin for too long it will burn. If you don't cook it long enough it will remain pliable and not crispy as cracklings should be.

If you are preparing a gumbo using powdered gumbo roux you may add the chicken oil (fat) to the gumbo for flavoring and cook it along with the other meats and vegetables, stirring occasionally.

When the gumbo is finished, the oil from the chicken skin will rise to the top. Take a few clean paper towels and soak-up the oil and discard the towels. The roux in the gumbo will have absorbed the wonderful chicken flavor and you can still get rid of the fat.

If you have rendered the chicken skin correctly, without burning it,  it will turn into delicious craklings for you and your guests to snack on while your gumbo is brewing. Break it apart and pass it around. It goes great with a couple cold brewskeys. Try it! I bet you will like it.

(I like to add a little cayenne pepper to my cacklin' cracklins.)

Ahheee!!  C'est bonne!

KT
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Frog Sauce Piquante

  • 6 whole bull frogs cut into pieces or 8 bull frog legs
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 8 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 large can tomato juice
  • 1 small can Rotel tomatoes
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Make roux, (light color), with all-purpose flour and oil. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomato juice, Rotel tomatoes, garlic powder, all seasonings and water and bring to a boil. If too thick add more water. Cook for approximately 1 hour. Add frogs and cook until tender. This dish should be lightly seasoned. Serve over cooked long grain rice.


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Monday, September 28, 2009

Spicy Cajun Meatloaf (audio)


download audio file. Here is your link to the text version of this recipe.



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Spicy Cajun Meatloaf

Audio

Background Music: "Hop Skip And Jump" by Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band on Big Rooster

 Meatloaf

This recipe is a slight departure from my regular Cajun meatloaf because it lacks a few of the basic ingredients you would ordinarily find in a typical south Louisiana meatloaf recipe - like fresh onions, bell pepper, celery and tomato sauce. That is because I wanted to keep it simple, yet without sacrificing flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 measure of DIY Cajun Seasoning
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 dashes Tabasco sauce

Mix the above ingredients together thoroughly, mold the meat mixture into a small casserole dish and cook in the oven at 350 degrees F. for 50 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle shredded mozzerella cheese on top and microwave until melted (about 1 minute). Finally, top the meatloaf with the sliced mushroom gravy. Makes 4 servings.

Mushroom Gravy


Mix the dry ingredients together in a sauce pan, add the melted butter and water then cook on medium heat for approximately 10 minutes. Next, add the sliced mushrooms and continue to cook on medium-low heat for an additional 15 minutes.

This is a simple recipe. You can also cut the meatloaf into thin slices and make sandwiches with it.

I hope you like it.  Bon Appetite!

Audio Note

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Alaskan Crab Legs - Cajun Style

I kinda just made this up, but it tasted good and was fun to eat.  I used my Dad's How to Boil Shrimp, Crabs or Crawfish recipe to boil some new potatoes, corn on the cob, and shrimp. In addition, I added some steamed Alaskan Crab legs.  It was easy, and took only 20 minutes from start to finish, and cleanup was a snap.

Here are the ingredients, and how to made it.

  • Alaskan Crab Legs
  • fresh shucked and halved corn
  • new potatoes
  • Bay Seasoning
  • Liquid Shrimp Boil
  • lemon, halved
  • 16-20 count shrimp
  • Sea Salt


Start with a large pot of boiling water.  To this add 2 caps of liquid shrimp boil, 2 tsp of bay seasoning, 2 lemon halves, 2 Tbsp sea salt.  Next add the new potatoes.  Let this boil for 10 minutes before adding the corn, then for another 5 minutes before turning off the heat.  Finally, add the large shrimp.  Let this steep for 5 minutes, then remove the shrimp to a large bowl of ice cubes.  Carefully toss the shrimp with the ice cubes to stop the cooking process.  Remove the corn, placing it into a glass bowl with a pat of butter.  Lastly, remove the potatoes, placing into another glass bowl.  Generously coat the corn and potatoes with sea salt.

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Beginning at the same time as the boil, place the semi-frozen crab legs onto a large cookie sheet, adding a small amount of water to the pan.  Cooked this for 10 minutes.  Serve the crab, corn, potatoes, and shrimp in a glass pie-dish sprinkled with bay seasoning, with crab crackers and a ramequin of Cajun Red Sauce.  Having a large glass bowl for shrimp peels, crab shells, and corn cobs is a good idea.  It's also a good idea to have lots of paper towels close at hand.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Crab Cake Recipe (audio)


download audio file.

In this audio podcast, listen to Jacques describe how to make Crab Cakes. Link to Crab Cakes to read the text version of this delicious recipe.
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Oignons Grillé (toasted onions)

It will take roughly one hour to prepare the toasted onions but the savory results is well worth the effort.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 tsp salt

After dicing the onion I sprinkle a teaspoon of salt over it and sweat them on medium heat in a heavy cast iron skillet for 30 minutes before transferring it to the oven. Do not stir the onions but once or twice making sure that you evenly cover the bottom of the pan for even heat distribution.

While on the stove-top you will want to toast the chopped onions as much as possible without burning it before transferring it to the oven for dehydration.

To dehydrate the onions preheat your oven at 250 degrees F. Place the skillet on the top rack of the oven and do not disturb for at least a half-hour. This process will further reduce the moisture content without actually burning them.

Remove the onions from the oven and set aside for when you are ready to use them in preparing your meals.

That's it! You have just learned how to make your own onignon grillé Cajun style.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

DIY Cajun Seasoning

Audio

Background Music: "Johnny Can't Dance" by BeauSoleil on Allon A Lafayette & More Avec Canray Fontenot

Listen to Jacques' tip on a fast and easy way to prepare your own custom-made Cajun seasoning. Link to the text version.


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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Country Style Pork Ribs with Toasted Onions

I'm hoping this spicy recipe becomes a favorite of mine as well as a refreshing change from all the traditional ways of cooking country style pork ribs with bar-b-que sauces and endless marinades.

The simple fact is that I love to eat onions and I also love the smell of cooked onions. In fact,  I like them in every way, sauteed, fried, steamed, boiled ... you name it. I could eat onions at every meal. But strangely enough, I sometimes like the taste and aroma of toasted onions.

Were it not for the bitter taste which accompanies toasted onions, I truly believe it could become a great ingredient in a variety of prepared meals, like jambalaya and stews.

The French call toasted onions oignons grillé.

The onions are almost burnt. "Pert near, but not plumb" as my dear mother use to say. And, I know it's rather odd that I should explore the realm of extreme-flavors, like toasted onions, but someone had to do it. Besides, I'm an explorer at heart.

I think the thing which is the most unpopular with toasted onions, as I mentioned, is the accompanying bitter taste associated with overcooking (kinda like gumbo roux). That is why I am attempting to diminish or totally remove the bitterness without loosing the savory flavor of the toasted onions by adding just a tad of salt during the cooking process.

The ribs are slowly cooking as we speak. As I sit here typing in my bedroom office I must say that the aroma coming from my kitchen is awesome!

I placed the ribs in a casserole dish at 275 degrees F. for 2 hours. Glancing at the timer on the oven I see that only 37 minutes remain before they are done.

If this experiment is a success I will post a comment at the end of this post. If not, I will humbly acknowledge my failure and eventually remove this entry.

So, wish me luck! 

Ingredients:

  • 5 country style pork ribs
  • 2 Tbs toasted onions (recipe forthcoming)
  • 1 measure of DIY Cajun Seasoning

I thoroughly mixed together the toasted onions and the Cajun seasoning then generously applied the rub on top of the ribs. That way if the rub imparts too much of a bitter taste all I have to do, like nearly burnt toast, is scrape off the top side without losing the entire entrée.

If you want to know the results of this experiment you may subscribe by clicking on the Subscribe button at the top left hand corner of this page, or bookmark our site for later viewing.

Catch you later. Ahheee!!

Jacques Gaspard
KT
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Matagorda Paella - coming soon


I'm kicking around the idea of creating a Matagorda Paella.  My Mom and I made more of a traditional paella last Spring, and I think we did pretty good on our first try.  Here is a picture of the results.  It tasted really good, and I have since improved upon the recipe.  In fact, I served it to some initially reluctant friends.  These same friends left few remains by the end of the evening, so I would consider it a success.  With this, I have the basics down at least to my own satisfaction.  I think that I could pull it off.  My idea is to create a paella with a coastal Texas flare, using mostly local ingredients.  Here in Matagorda, we have oysters, clams, mussels, shrimp, crab, and fish.  Perhaps I'll use ingredients such as smoked oysters, blackened redfish, and blue crab.  I'll let y'all know when I give it a go.


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Monday, September 14, 2009

Roasted Corn Off the Cob


This corn recipe is a wonderful accoutrement to any grilled meal.  Take a couple of fresh whole corn-on-the-cobs, and shuck them.  Grill the corn over high heat for about 10 minutes, turning it every couple of minutes.  Try to get an even distribution of browned kernels on all sides of the corn.

When the corn is done (don't over-cook it), cut the kernels from the corn.  Also chop some red onion, and red bell pepper.  Sweat the onion and bell pepper in a pat of butter with a little olive oil, plus a pinch of sea salt.  Once the onions start to become translucent, add the corn.  Saute the mix for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

This would taste good with fish, steak, chicken, pork, or anything grilled.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Jambalaya (the song)



The song "Jambalaya" was co-written by a Polk County, Texas singer/songwriter, Moon Mullican,  and a young Alabama boy who went by the stage name "Hank Williams". It was released in 1952.

The popular folklore song has since been passed around over the years from one singer to the next in similar fashion to a pot of real jambalaya being passed around a Cajun dinner table.

In a recent post we presented a version of the song "Jambalaya" by the then 4 year-old Hunter Hayes (now 17) in a special guest appearance with Hank Williams, Jr. The YouTube clip has received nearly 10 million hits over the years.

But, did you know that John Fogerty also recorded and published the song "Jambalaya" in his new album entitled "The Blue Ridge Rangers" (Fantasy Records) back in 1973?

In a solo attempt to distance himself from his old group, Credence Clearwater Revival (CCR), he pluralized the title of his new album (and the cover) and called it "The Blue Ridge Rangers". As you listen to his rendition you will recognize Forgerty's unique voice and song pitch. Please enjoy!



Resources: You can checkout Floyd's Record Shop online and there you will discover a large collection of old and popular Cajun songs.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Real Beef Onion Soup Mix

  • 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. But the fact is: 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 taste 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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    Thursday, August 27, 2009

    Flounder - Shrimp Combo



    Hey Scott,

    Instead of rolling the fillets around the shrimp, I laid them out flat in the baking dish and painted a generous amount of lemon-butter on them after which I lightly sprinkled some black and red pepper, garlic salt and dried parsley flakes. Next, I topped the fillets with several large butterflied white gulf shrimp and painted more lemon-butter. Finally, I lightly coated the entire combo with a few shakes of Italian bread crumbs.

    In mid-oven I baked the combo at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. Without disturbing the dish, I switched the oven setting to broil and re-directed the heat from overhead onto the shrimp and continued to cook for another 8 - 10 minutes.

    Included in the dish was half of a 5-herb biscuit which I baked earlier that morning. I topped it off with a swirl of tartar sauce. You will also see a slice of onion and a sprig of fresh mint from my garden just to make the pic I'm sending you look nicer.

    It turned out awesome! Thanks for the help.

    Have a great day.

    Dad

    Ahheee!!

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    Sunday, August 23, 2009

    Boudreaux the Weather Man - Audio (Cajun humor)

    Audio


    At 4:45 a.m the phone rings:

    (ring! ... ring!)

    Boudreaux answers the phone: "Hallo!" (pause a couple seconds) "Mais, I don't know, me! The damn ting is about a hundred miles from here!" ... (slam!)

    Boudreaux's wife: "Who was it that called?"

    Boudreaux: "Some idiot who thought 'dis was da weather station. Wanted to know if da coast was clear."

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    Sunday, August 16, 2009

    Crock Pot Beef Rump Roast


    Over the weekend I prepared a rather tough 4.5 lb. beef rump roast, but I came out ahead because the price I paid for it was great, plus I know how to cook the tough ones until they are tender and juicy.

    I began the evening before by stuffing my roast with a duo of finely chopped yellow onions and fresh garlic together with 1 measure of DIY Cajun Seasoning.

    With a sharp knife I cut six 1 1/2" wide and deep pockets along the broadest part of the roast. The pockets run nearly the entire depth of the rump without cutting through. I locate the pockets equal distance from each other so that later, when I carve my roast on a diagonal slant, everyone in my party will get to enjoy some of the fantastic tasting stuffing.

    I mixed together another measure of DIY Cajun Seasoning, one can of beef broth and a package of Beefy Onion Soup Mix in a 1 gallon Ziploc bag (you can substitute a package of regular onion soup-mix and a couple of dissolved beef bouillon cubes) and let the roast marinate in the refrigerator over night.

    The following morning, at 6 AM, I added the roast, the marinade liquid, some fresh button mushrooms, 1 onion quartered and chopped, 'bout 2 stalks of celery, a bell-pepper, some fresh basil and rosemary from my garden and just enough water to cover the roast ... all into my 5-quart crock pot. I cranked her up on high and everything was ready to eat by 3 PM. (Oh, I almost forgot. I added a handful of sliced carrots, too, to give it some color.)

    Served over a bed of long grain white rice or freshly-made garlic mashed potatoes with buttered corn on the cob and a small salad, et mes amis ... you have a feast fit for Cajun royalty.

    As a close friend of mind frequently reminds me, " this is living idinit? ... it don't get no better than this ... that's why I love America ... where everyday is a holiday and every meal is a feast!" Ahheee!!!

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    Tuesday, August 04, 2009

    Capt. Morgan's Spicy Freedom Fries


    • 4 med. russet potatoes, cut into fries
    • 1 measure of DIY Cajun Spice
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • oil (peanut or vegetable)
    • 1 gallon-size Ziploc bag.

    After peeling and rinsing the cut fries (do not dry), put them in the Ziploc bag along with one measure of the DIY Cajun Spice then zip the bag. Toss them around until thoroughly coated. Next, add the all-purpose flour to the bag and repeat the process.

    Fry them up in a heavy metal skillet, or pot, one batch at a time in just enough oil to do the trick (no more than the half-way mark on the skillet or pot). When the fries float to the top continue to cook until a golden-brown color is reached. Let cool, drain and serve. NOTE: For extra-crispy freedom fries please read the comment below.

    The average serving size is around one medium potato per person. Let's see? ... one potato, two potatoes, three potatoes, FOUR ... five potatoes, six potatoes, seven potatoes, MORE? ... then all you've got to do is add another measure of Cajun spice seasoning to the bag and a little more flour, and repeat. Pretty simple, huh?

    We were fraternity brothers at the American Legion Post 488, New Boston, TX and we lived just three houses from each other on the same side of the street in Hooks, TX, which was located a few miles east of the lodge.

    Jim was a couple years older than I, (in redneck terminology that means more than two), and had served in the Vietnam War in the late 60s as a Navy SEAL. My friend went to meet his Maker a few years ago after fighting a major battle from a rare form of cancer - most likely attributed to agent orange and/or other combat-related chemical exposures. But, while still maintaining his true form, he didn't go down without a fight.

    He retired from the Red River Army Depot Security Division, near Hooks, Texas, in the mid-90s.

    Like clockwork, Jim would show-up at my place every other afternoon to 'visit' awhile and drink a few beers. He also knew my cooking habits because I was always cooking-up something 'Cajun' to eat. He particularly liked it when I fried-up some freshly caught catfish and served them up with a generous portion of French ...hmmmm...excuse me, Freedom fries.

    Very outspoken and loyal to the 'corps', Jim Morgan had taken a stance in the name of freedom when France refused to join allegiance with the U.S. against the tyrannical leadership of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. He, from that point forward, refused to call my fried potatoes "French" anymore. And, he claimed that my newly coined 'Freedom Fries' tasted better than the fried catfish, anyways.

    So, Jim Morgan, if you can somehow know and see what's going-on over on this side of space and time, this recipe is in memory of you. We miss you and as you always said to others, "have a nice day". Probably see you soon.
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    Sunday, August 02, 2009

    Simple Pie Shell

    • 1 eight ounce package of cream cheese
    • 1 lb. butter or margarine
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • sifted bread flour

    Combine cream cheese, butter and eggs (these should be at room temperature). Mix well. Add milk and flour until it makes a soft ball (until the batter is no longer sticky). Roll out to the desired pie size. Bake at 350°F.
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    Fig Cake

    • 2 cups flour
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1 cup cooking oil
    • 1 cup sour milk
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 cup figs
    • 1 tsp. soda
    • 1 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
    • 1 tsp. salt

    Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour in a 15 inch by 10 inch pan and bake at 300 - 325 F. for 1 hour.

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    Sunday, July 12, 2009

    Buttered Corn on the Cob


    TIP: The next time you prepare corn on the cob try this out for convenience:

    In a tall glass of hot water stir-in and dissolve about 1/2 tsp of salt. Next, add melted butter to the glass of water. Butter always floats on top of water so when you immerse each cob of corn into the glass and remove it, all the kernels will be buttered evenly, salted and ready to eat.

    Now that was pure and simple. Wasn't it?

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    Thursday, July 09, 2009

    The 10 Best Recipe Comments


    Someone asked me to post the 10 best recipes from this site. I told her I liked all of the recipes on this blog and that it would be a difficult thing for me to do. However, I did agree to post a few items from the Real Cajun Cooking archives with the nicest comments. So, I present this list with a heartfelt gratitude. And here they are:


    Introduction
    Cappy and Pegody said..."Mr. Gaspard, I just stumbled across your blog and must say it looks very good. I would like to share your blog with" ... read more

    What Makes A Gumbo A Gumbo?
    Roux-B-Doo said..."Oh Jacques, I made one tonight. Oh man it was so good, it'd bring your tongue to its knees"... read more

    Boudain (aka Boudin)
    val61sf said..."I LOVE Boudain! Will eat it most any way, scramble with eggs, plain, boudain balls but my favorite snack is"... read more

    Chicken Stew
    Sharee said..."Thank you so much for posting this. Maybe now I can have it more often."... read more

    The First Crayfish Farm
    Jane said..."Thanks for sharing this with us. I could almost feel the heat and smell the crayfish."... read more

    A Cajun Boucherie
    Elissa Benoit said..."My husband is Cajun and we love boudain ... and a lot of the other recipes that you have on here"... read more

    Petite Shrimp-Pies
    Kitty said..."I feel like I have hit the jackpot! My husband and I love Cajun cuisine."... read more

    Cajun Red Sauce
    Anonymous said..."I have been looking for this. I grew up eating seafood and it was served with "red sauce" which to my surprise, not many restaurants" ... read more

    Chicken Fricassee
    Broussard at heart said..."This website is a real find! My dad is Cajun, but my mom is from the north, so she doesn't know how to make" ... read more

    Cajun-French Toast (Pain Perdu)
    Texasmama2boys said..."These are delicious - we had them prepared by no other than the author himself!! My boys loved them so much" ... read more


    In conclusion, I think the one comment that said it all consisted of three little words under the recipe "Gumbo" which came from my oldest son: "I love gumbo", he said. This is not surprising because I think gumbo flows through our veins.

    If you have something nice to say about any of these recipes, podcasts or short stories, please leave a comment, okay? We would love to hear from you.

    Thanks you so much. Ahheee!!

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    Monday, July 06, 2009

    Petite Shrimp-Pies

    I learned through the grapevine that some folks like to use Pillsbury Crescent rolls laid-out in muffin tins and filled with goodies (mostly fruit fillings) to make fantastic tasting mini-snacks, so I decided to try my hand at it, too ... but with something a little different like using fresh gulf shrimp in a light etouffee sauce as the filling. Here is a list of what you will need to prepare your Petite Shrimp-Pies:

    • Large heavy skillet
    • 12 cup Muffin pan, oiled (8 tins)
    • 1 lb. shrimp, cleaned & deveined
    • 1 tube Pillsbury Crescent Dinner Rolls (garlic-butter flavor)
    • 1 cup onions, finely chopped
    • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
    • 1/2 cup bell pepper, finely chopped
    • 3 heaping Tbs all-purpose flour
    • 3 cups stock or water
    • salt, cayenne & black pepper

    I peeled and deveined 1 lb. of Gulf of Mexico white shrimp (21-25 count), that means there are 21 to 25 shrimp per pound, and cooked them in much the same way I do my regular shrimp etouffee, except I did not cook the shrimp all of the way knowing that they will finish cooking with the dinner rolls inside the oven.

    It's really simple. All that I do is scoop some of the mixture, along with 2-3 shrimp, into each muffin tin on top of the laid-out dough. Then I close the dough-flap, tuck it into the side, cook them in a pre-heated 350 degree F. oven for 20 minutes, let cool, and serve.

    Visit http://realcajuncooking.com for the video version of this recipe.

    KT
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    Sunday, July 05, 2009

    Petite Shrimp-Pies (video)



    You can also read the text version of this recipe in the next post or by visiting http://realcajuncooking.com and clicking on to Petite Shrimp-Pies.

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