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.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Palacios Crab Stew

Ingredients:

  • 12 medium crabs with claws, cleaned
  • 2  lbs. shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 2 qts shrimp stock, (from shells and heads)
  • 2 qts crab stock
  • 8 Tbs powdered gumbo roux
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • season to taste


My son Scott and I, over the years, worked on and perfected this mid-south Texas coast seafood specialty which is absolutely and unequivocally (without a doubt) one of the best meals we have ever conjured-up together.

For the past several years Palacios Crab Stew has become the centerpiece and main entrée during our annual Thanksgiving celebrations. We would like to share it with you.

We use what Cajuns refer to as "Gumbo" crabs (medium-size). After cleaning the crabs ('cept this year we purchased them already cleaned) we boiled them in an 8 - 10 quart stockpot for about 20 minutes (adding  just enough water to cover them).

The crabs were then removed from the hot liquid and set aside to cool. We kept the liquid to use as stock which we later mixed with the shrimp shells stock (in a word, this is the secret to making a great tasting crab stew - the crab and shrimp stocks).

At this juncture we already had our shrimp cleaned and deveined. This year for T-Day we decided to use 2 lbs. of  (9 - 12 ct.) wild Gulf of Mexico white heads-on shrimp (whew! ... that was more than a mouth full). In a separate pot, with a dash of salt, we boiled the shells and shrimp heads for about 20 minutes also, using just enough water to cover.

Next, using a colander, we separated and discarded the shrimp shells from the stock and retained the liquid to mix-in with the crab stock.

We ended up with about a gallon of combined stock (4 quarts), so I added-in 8 heaping tablespoons of dark powdered gumbo roux. You can find out how easy it is to make your own powdered gumbo roux in your microwave oven (without any oil) in about half the time it takes to do it the old fashioned way by following this link: Easy Microwave Gumbo Roux.

In another pot I sautéed all the vegetables in the 4 Tbsp of butter until they were translucent.

After mixing together the stocks and powdered gumbo roux, we added the sautéed vegetables, the salt and seasonings, then we let that simmer for 30 more minutes.

Next, we broke-up the crabs into smaller parts and added them to the pot to boil with the vegetables for another 20 minutes.

Finally, we added the fresh shrimp to the pot and cooked the stew for another 10 minutes until the shrimp were cooked but still tender.

Served over a bed of white rice this south Texas mid-coastal dish is truly fit for royalty and should win some kind of grand prize or award for its heavenly taste - even if it did take awhile to prepare. Serves 8 - 12.

Ahheee!!  C'est bonne!

Bon Appetit!

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Petit Pois (Baby Garden Peas)

Ingredients

  • 1 can baby green peas (15 oz)
  • 1/2 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a small pot bring the peas to a medium boil (just a couple minutes).  Drain then empty the peas in a bowl. Mix-in the chopped hard-boiled eggs and the half-cups of mayonnaise and chopped onions. Using a fork or spoon blend all of the ingredients together thoroughly without bruising the peas. Set in the refrigerator until cooled. Can be served with a variety of dishes. Put a scoop of the salad on a piece of green lettuce leaf for eye appeal. Serves 4.

Marc East, a dear friend of mine who lived in Atlanta, GA. and who has recently passed, shared this recipe with me many years ago when we both lived in the area of the Atchafalaya Swamp,  near Butte LaRose, Louisiana. With this recipe he showed me a way to put new life into an otherwise drab vegetable, sweet peas, and it turned out quite tasty. Try it! It is quick and easy to make.


Ahheee!!

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Amy Smith on Fire

Amy Smith is on fire! Find out 'how in the world' she and others like her are burning a place in history. [école de charbon]



Footnote: How many people of my generation, from the area where I grew-up (in the heart of rice country), would have imagined that simple rice straw could be used, in one way, as feed for live stock and other animals, and in another way, compressed into safe briquettes to become an ecologically practical way to cook food - especially for the poverty-stricken people living in distressed areas of the world where the infant mortality rates are high and attributable to toxic fuel materials?

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Potatoes and Onions with Cheese Casserole

Ingredients

  • 4 - 5 Russet potatoes, sliced
  • 3 - 4 medium onions, sliced
  • 4 oz. Colby and Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
In keeping with our theme of preparing simple and delicious foods, this dish has got to be one of the easiest and tastiest we have published thus far.

Slice the potatoes and onions about 1/8th inches thick. In a skillet melt the butter and add the sliced onions. Cook the onions on medium heat for about 10 - 12 minutes until they are lucid and start to caramelize.

In an 8" x 11" casserole dish add a layer of sliced potatoes (enough to cover the bottom of the casserole dish) then sprinkle generously with your favorite Cajun seasoning.

Add the shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheeses over the seasoned potatoes then pour the skillet-cooked onions on top of the bottom layer of sliced potatoes.

Add another layer of sliced potatoes and evenly sprinkle another round of seasoning. Top it off with a generous amount of shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Bake in the oven at 300 degrees F. for about an hour or until the potatoes are done.


Bon Appetit!

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