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, December 30, 2011

20 Most Viewed Real Cajun Cooking Recipes of 2011

Back in 2009 Real Cajun Cooking--Pure and Simple published a list of the 10 most viewed recipes on its site. [Link]

It has been a couple years since the list has been updated.

In those last couple years Real Cajun Cooking has nearly doubled its content, recipe selection and  readership, so this year we've decided to expand the list to the top 20 most viewed recipes.

We sincerely hope you will keep coming back for more tantalizing Cajun recipes as we continue to expand our list in the coming new year. Don't forget to tell your friends about us.

Updated List for 2011

  1. How to Make a Gumbo Roux
  2. How to Cook Garfish
  3. How to Make Boudain
  4. Cajun Hog's Head Cheese
  5. Boudain (boudin) Balls
  6. Chicken Stew
  7. Shrimp and Eggplant Casserole
  8. Easy Microwave Gumbo Roux
  9. Fried Catfish Nuggets
  10. Alligator Stew
  11. Courtbouillon (fish soup)
  12. Chicken Fricassee
  13. DIY Cajun Seasoning
  14. Chicken-Shrimp-Okra Gumbo
  15. Shrimp Mold
  16. Fish Patties
  17. Shrimp Etouffee (A-2-Fay)
  18. Chicken Gumbo
  19. Cajun Jambalaya
  20. Cajun Black-eyed Peas and Cabbage

Of course, there are many more delicious and original Cajun recipes than merely the 20 most popular. Check 'em out.

From all of us here at Real Cajun Cooking--Pure and Simple, we would like to wish you and yours a great and wonderful 2012 New Year!

Bon appetite!
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Batter Fried Boiled Oysters

Batter Fried Boiled Oysters can become tricky to prepare if you don't know what to do with them first. That's because boiled oysters from a can are already fully cooked and tend to break apart easily when mishandled. Here's a hint: freeze the canned oysters before frying them. I will show you how. They handle much better and won't fall apart.

If you are wanting to prepare a Cajun-style oyster po-boy sandwich, there are usually enough of them in an 8 oz. can to make one up. Just substitute them for the large fresh one's which are called for in our Lafayette Oysters PO-Boy recipe. You will be surprised to discover how similar the 2 types of sandwiches rate in tastes and texture.

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 oz.) can Polar oysters, drained (reserve liquid) 
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal 
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 
  • pinch of baking soda 
  • oil 
  • season to taste

    Preparing the wet batter for dipping 

      1. combine oyster liquid, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, seasonings, baking powder, salt and baking soda 
      2. whisk together well until all the lumps are removed 
      3. the batter should have a smooth pouring consistency (a small amount of water can be added if needed) 
      PREPARING THE DRY INGREDIENTS FOR DREDGING
      1. combine the yellow cornmeal and 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour 
      2. mix the two well to allow for an even distribution around the coated oysters
      Instructions
        1. drain oysters and reserve liquid for the batter 
        2. spread oysters out on a non-stick cookie sheet 
        3. make sure the oysters do not touch each other 
        4. freeze them for 30 minutes 
        5. thoroughly coat the frozen oysters in the liquid batter 
        6. next, dredge the oysters in the dry cornmeal and flour mixture 
        7. skillet fry at 365 degrees for about a minute on each side 
        8. remove oysters from hot oil when they reach a golden brown color 
        9. spread fried oysters on a paper towel to absorb excess oil 

        Makes 2 - 4 servings

        Note

        As previously mentioned, these bite-size morsels are already fully cooked and they tend to easily break apart when not handled properly. By using a little care, we can gently spread them out on a non-stick cookie sheet before freezing.

        It doesn't take much oil to fry them up either-about 1/2 inch in a medium size skillet. Remember, at this point we are mainly concerned with frying the batter that coats the oysters.

        I like to season my fried oysters with a teaspoon of Tony Chacheres's Original Creole seasoning and a half teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning which is added to the liquid batter (Bowl 1).

        The seasonings come together to bring about the familiar and unmistakable flavors and ambiance of Cajun and Creole cuisine.

        Another choice you may want to consider when it comes to seasoning is our popular DIY Cajun Seasoning recipe, which we also have posted on this site. It's easy to make and you probably already have most of the ingredients in your spice rack.

        Like most other folks who I know that love oysters, I would like to have fresh 'out of the shell' oysters rather than boiled ones out of a can. But, when they are hard to find, we sometimes have to improvise a little. Try these Batter Fried Boiled Oysters when you get an opportunity. I bet you will love 'em as much as I do.

        Bon appetit!
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        Tuesday, December 27, 2011

        Maque Choux

        Ingredients

        • 1 stick butter
        • 15 ears tender fresh corn
        • 1 large onion, chopped
        • 1 bell pepper, chopped
        • 1 can whole tomatoes
        • (or 2 fresh tomatoes diced)
        • 1 clove garlic, minced
        • 1 cup milk
        • salt and pepper to taste

          Instructions

            1. cut corn off cob and scrape cob to remove all the juice
            2. in a Dutch oven combine 1 stick butter, onion, bell pepper and garlic
            3. sauté until tender
            4. add corn and tomatoes
            5. season to taste
            6. cook over medium heat for 1 hour, stirring constantly
            7. add a little milk from time to time
            8. keep mixture soft to avoid sticking
            9. serves 5 to 6

            Note: To make chicken Maque Choux, cut chicken into bite size pieces and fry until brown and add to the Maque Choux. Cook 10 minutes.


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            Saturday, December 24, 2011

            Cajun Cook | Top 10 Herbs and Spices in My Cajun Kitchen | Keeping it Simple

            Like me, the Cajun cooks that I personally know have their own repertoire of herbs and spices to compliment their particular style of cooking. Thus, the use of some of the more popular herbs and spices will differ slightly from one cook to the next, while the unique and distinctive flavors and tastes of Cajun and Creole cuisine steadfastly remains.

            For example, the well known trinity of Cajun vegetables which have become the hallmark ingredients of many southern meals--especially throughout the Acadiana Parishes and around New Orleans--are onions, celery and bell pepper. These three top the list.

            The following is a list of the 10 most used herbs and spices in my kitchen. I use them to cook anything and everything Cajun--from Alligator Stew to Zesty Cajun Onion Rings.


            Top 10 Herbs and Spices in My Cajun Kitchen

            Cajun Trinity, Etc.
            1. onions
            2. bell pepper
            3. celery
            4. garlic
            5. basil
            6. parsley
            7. oregano
            8. bay leaves
            9. ground red pepper
            10. ground black pepper
              As mentioned earlier, the use of many of these popular herbs and spices will differ slightly from one Cajun cook to the next. And there are a few other herbs I've left off of my list because I either don't like the taste, or I have found other ways to achieve like results.

              To give you an example, some Cajun and Creole cooks like to sprinkle a powder called file' in gumbo. It is made from the dried leaves of the sassafras tree and is used mainly as a thickening agent. I personally don't care much for the taste.

              I prefer to use other plants products to thicken my gumbos and stews. A couple which come to mind are okra and all-purpose wheat flour which I use to make my roux. See: Easy Microwave Gumbo Roux | No Oil. No Fuss. No Mess

              File', I've noticed, is used more by Creoles than by Cajuns. Word has it that this ancient culinary tip (using ground-up sassafras leaves to thicken stews) was passed down to the early settlers by indigenous natives--the Choctaw I think?

              Please look around our site. You will discover tons of original Cajun recipes which use many of the above 10 herbs and spices.

              Enjoy! Please come back and visit us soon.


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              Thursday, December 22, 2011

              Coffee and Chicory | Café du Monde | Flavors of New Orleans

              Chicory

              Chicory is not a native North American herb. It is a native of Europe. It was brought to the United States from the European colonists who settled here. It is safe to assume the original Acadian settlers of Nova Scotia, one of the three Canadian Maritime Provinces, had brought some with them from Europe, too.

              Consequently, after the French Acadians were dispersed by the British Empire (Le Grande Derangement~1755–1763), it is very likely the prized 'chicory' herb followed them as well during resettlement in south Louisiana.

              Every time I visit Jackson Square in New Orleans, (after taking a tour of the outdoor artist's displays around the square), I'll amble across the way to 800 Decatur Street and patronize one of the world's most famous coffee houses, Café du Monde, for a cup of hot and bold chicory coffee, along with a trio of French beignets heavily sprinkled with powdered sugar on top. The combination comes together like a marriage made in heaven which brings about an almost forbidden pleasure. One that seems to give me an extra burst of energy and a new zest for life. It could be the caffeine, sugar and chicory that's performing their magic?  

              Chicory Coffee & Beignets
              I had a serving this morning, which I had to prepare myself since I now live about 500 miles away from the Mississippi River banks of downtown New Orleans.

              Chicory has not only become a great coffee additive and substitute, it rings true as a natural home remedy for an impressive list of ailments. It is used as an anti-inflammatory, mild diuretic, stomach tonic, for liver complaints, and rheumatism (to name just a few).

              Ranchers in New Zealand plant chicory as feedstock for their animals.

              The active ingredient in chicory acts as a natural deterrent to many internal parasites in cattle and sheep. Letting the animals graze on chicory keeps them healthy and helps to defray some of the expenses involved in treating infestation of the animals manually. So, as you can see, chicory has many more benefits than merely embellishing our morning cups of java.

              Café du Monde

              Oh how sweet it is! To operate one of the most successful food establishments in the world, that is... and whose main trademark is to serve chicory coffee and Louisiana doughnuts without the holes (beignets)... and to do so right smack dab in the middle of the busiest tourist spot in New Orleans--the French Quarter. I suppose location has something to do with their success also, but it is such a solid business that not even the most disastrous hurricane in U.S. history could manage to uproot it.

              Politicians could learn a valuable lesson about economics by following the business model for this coffee shop, I think.

              Café du Monde opened its doors back in 1861 during the American Civil War. The shop stays open year-round 24/7, taking only Christmas Day off.

              Hurricane Katrina compelled the managers of Cafe du Monde to close shop for a few days. It closed at midnight on August 27, 2005 and reopened on October 19, 2005, suffering only minor damages.

              Below is a night time pic of the famous N'awlins coffee house and a map of its location below it.

              Café du Monde at Night

              If you would like to experience the taste of coffee with chicory (New Orleans style), you can order direct from New Orleans's Famous French Market. The French Roast blend is bold, and the 'Chicory and Coffee' is the boldest. Either one will bring pleasure to your palate if you are a serious coffee drinker. Take advantage of their 2 - 3 day air shipping and you will have your order delivered at your front door before you can say "ahheee--très bon !"

              Brewing Directions

              Coffee and Chicory (boldest)


              Use 1/2 to 3/4 level tablespoon of Coffee and Chicory for each 6 oz. of water. Adjust the amount of Coffee and Chicory to your preferred strength.










              French Roast (bold)




              Use 1 1/2 level tablespoons for each 6 oz. of water. Adjust the amount of coffee to your preferred strength.










              The Flavor of New Orleans

              I would also like to commend French Market Coffee and thank them for their generous donations and charitable partnership with renowned local artist Terrance Osborne. 

              Terrance created a special piece called “The Flavor of New Orleans" and is selling prints of the piece to benefit the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts. Order Here.

              NOCCA helps students pursue many diverse passions of the arts, and they are helping NOCCA continue its mission.

              Have a nice day and I hope you enjoy your coffee and chicory as much as I do. Ahheee!!
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              Monday, December 05, 2011

              What's Lurking In Your Olive Oil? | Fox News

              The United States recently became the third largest olive-oil consuming nation in the world, and just overtook Greece -- a country where the people of Crete alone consume 26 gallons of olive oil per person per year, says Tom Mueller, author of the investigative olive oil missive five years in the making Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil (W.W. Norton, Dec. 2011).

              “When producers try to make olive oil at a low cost with a high profit, everybody loses,” says Mueller. “People expect to get healthy stuff, and in fact they might be getting rancid, old oil. It’s not only not good—it’s bad.”
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              Saturday, December 03, 2011

              Homemade Cajun Chicken Pot Pie

              This delicious chicken pot pie is a big hit in my house, especially on cold winter nights.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!


              Ingredients
              • 1 box pre-made refrigerated pie crust (2 pieces)
              • 1/2 stick butter
              • 1/2 cup chopped onion
              • 2 cloves chopped garlic
              • 1/2 cup chopped celery
              • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
              • 1 large yellow potato, peeled and cubed
              • 1/2 cup green peas
              • 1/2 cup corn
              • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
              • 1/2 tsp black pepper
              • 1/2 tsp salt
              • 2 cups chicken broth
              • 2 1/2 cups chicken breast, chopped into bite-size pieces
                  
                Instructions

                Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. The pre-made refrigerated pie crust should come in two pieces, one for the bottom of the pie, and one for the top. Drape one of the crust pieces over a nine-inch pie pan and gently press into the pan, making sure the entire pan is covered. Use a paring knife to trim any crust that extends beyond the lip of the pan.

                Microwave cubed potato for 3 minutes on high, and set aside.

                In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and sauté until onions are translucent. Add the chicken and stir-fry until browned. Add the flour, continuing to stir-fry until all of the chicken and vegetables are well-coated and the flour is beginning to brown. Stir in the chicken broth a little at a time making sure all of the flour gets dissolved into the broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Add the salt, pepper, potato, peas, and corn. Simmer for a few minutes to reduce the liquid. The mixture should be quite thick, and not soupy.

                Spoon the mixture into the pie.  Do not over-fill.

                Drape the other half of the pie crust over the pie. Using a dinner fork, press the tines into the edge of the pie, going all around the pan until the top crust is sealed to the bottom crust. Using your paring knife, trim off any crust that extends beyond the lip of the pan. Cut a couple of slits into the top of the pie.

                Bake for about 40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. About halfway through baking, you can cover the crust edge with foil to keep it from over-browning.

                Let the pie rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

                Note: If you have extra material after filling the pie crust, don't despair! You can easily freeze it for later use in a delicious chowder. Just re-heat, and add chicken broth until you get the right consistency, then add chopped green onion just before serving.

                Enjoy!

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