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 several decades. 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, April 30, 2012

Spicy Chicken and Dumplings - Cajun Style

Ingredients
Spicy Chicken & Dumplings
  • 2 1/2 lbs. chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. red pepper
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • ½ medium white onion
  • ½ green bell pepper
  • 2 – 3 stalks celery

    Instructions

    Part I - Preparing the Chicken

    Remove the skins from the chicken thighs and set aside for later use. Add the thighs and 8 cups of water into a large pot.  On medium-high heat bring to a  boil before adding the dry seasoning and processed vegetables (onions, green bell pepper and celery). Continue boiling for 30 minutes on medium heat then remove the thighs from the  boiling liquid and set aside to cool down. Continue cooking on medium heat while stirring occasionally. Debone the thighs and put the meat back into the pot. Continue boiling on medium heat.


    Part II - Processing the Chicken Skin

    Season the chicken skins with salt and ground red pepper and using a microwavable bowl nuke the skins for 10 minutes on the high setting in your microwave oven. (I use a 700 watt microwave oven. Larger models may take less time to render the oil out of the skins.) After extracting the oil set it aside for later use.


    Part III - Canned Biscuits Dumplings

    On a glass or porcelain plate paint some of the chicken oil on the surface then lay the biscuit dough on top. Season the individual biscuits to taste before applying more oil. I like to use black pepper and Old Bay seasoning. Note: The seasoning you add to the dumplings is to your taste and is in addition to the list of seasonings above which are added to the boiling liquid.

    Next, knead the biscuit dough into a ball and pinch off 3 equal dumplings from each biscuit. Add the dumplings to the pot and continue cooking for another 20 minutes on medium heat.

    Serve and enjoy!

    Related:
    Cacklin Cracklins
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      Thursday, April 26, 2012

      Easy Homemade Baking Powder Biscuits Recipe

      This Easy Homemade Baking Powder Biscuits Recipe was handed down to me by a dear friend and fellow restaurateur who has since retired to the scenic landscapes and beautiful sunsets of the Louisiana Gulf Coast.


      Remembering "Miss Mary" (Mary Richard, Kaplan, LA.) Her baking powder biscuits taste great with morning breakfast and bold N'awlin's style coffee.


      Ingredients
      Baking Powder Biscuits
      • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
      • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
      • 1/2 tsp salt
      • pinch of baking soda
      • 4 Tbs shortening (chilled unsalted butter is fine)
      • 1 cup milk
        Instructions
          1. sift flour once 
          2. measure and add baking powder and salt 
          3. cut in shortening (butter) and gradually add milk until soft dough is formed 
          4. roll out on slightly floured cutting board and knead about 4 times
          5. cut out 2 1/2" diameter biscuits
          6. bake in pre-heated oven at 450°F. for 12 to 15 minutes.
          Enjoy!
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          Wednesday, April 25, 2012

          Cajun Chicken Stew Recipe

          This savory Cajun Chicken Stew Recipe is easy to prepare, but the one common mistake folks make is trying to prepare a chicken stew with young fryers. A mature hen makes a better stew. The reason why? The meat on a young chicken will fall apart quickly during the cooking process. It takes longer to cook a hen and therefore all of the herbs and spices have more time to come together to create the savory taste.

          Ingredients

          • 1 four to five pound hen cut into pieces (never use fryer)
          • 1/2 cup oil
          • 1/2 cup all-purpose four
          • 2 cups onions, chopped
          • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
          • 1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
          • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
          • 2 cups water
          • salt and pepper to taste

          Instructions
            1. prepare roux with flour and oil until brown in color
            2. add onions, celery and chicken
            3. cook 2 to 3 minutes before adding water, garlic, bell pepper and seasoning
            4. simmer in covered pot until hen is tender (around 1 1/2 hours)
            5. add more water if needed

            Serve over cooked rice. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

            Note: You may substitute the wet roux with 1/2 cup of powdered gumbo roux.
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            Sunday, April 22, 2012

            Spicy Cinnamon Brownies--Cajun Style

            The one ingredient in this recipe which justifies the title, Spicy Cinnamon Brownies--Cajun Style, is the 1/4 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper which is added to the mix. But, don't fret! That part is completely optional. We can omit the ground red pepper and still create a spicy and rich brownie mix which will have your family and friends coming back to you and asking for another serving. Guaranteed!

            Ingredients

            Spicy Cinnamon Brownies-Cajun Style
            • 1 (19.8 oz) box Best Choice Walnut Brownie Mix (Ultra Moist)
            • 4 oz. Nestle' Toll House Semi-Sweet Morsels
            • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
            • 2 eggs
            • 3 Tbs. water
            • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
            • 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper (optional)
            • 4 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature

            Instructions

            1. in a bowl add together the chocolate morsels, oil, eggs, water, cinnamon and pepper, mix well
            2. slowly add and thoroughly mix-in the Best Choice Walnut Brownie Mix
            3. add the room temperature cream cheese and swirl-mix the cheese throughout the wet mixture
            4. poor in a well buttered (or oiled) 13" x 9" x 2" glass or metal pan
            5. bake for 21 - 24 minutes at 350 degrees F. (do not over-bake or brownies will turn out dry)
            Note: You will know when the brownies are done by inserting a dry toothpick in the center. If you pull it out and the toothpick is wet with mix on it, then you will need to bake your brownies for a couple more minutes. If the toothpick comes out dry it means they are done.

            Give your brownies time to cool down before cutting them into squares.

            So, the next time you want to create some spice in your life (and your desert), try this Spicy Cinnamon Brownies--Cajun Style recipe out for size. You will be glad you did.

            I would love to hear your comments. Thanks and have a great day!

            Bon Appetite!
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            Friday, April 20, 2012

            Live Crawfish for Sale - Audio (Cajun humor)

            Audio



            It was about a decade, or so, ago when I trucked-in a couple dozen sacks of live crawfish from south Louisiana to Texarkana, Arkansas for re-sale. I would do this to pay for the cost of my 700 mile round-trip to my home town when I visited family and friends. I also made a fair profit for my efforts, too.

            Nick, my partner, was helping me as we sold the mud bugs out of the back of my old pick-up truck on the west side of Hwy 71 South (south of the city limits) under a huge oak tree which, luckily for us, was strategically situated just a couple hundred feet from the only convenient store in the neighborhood. E-Z Mart - lots of traffic.

            It was also next to a cut-off road (a short-cut of sorts) which led in the direction of the river bottoms to a gypsy settlement. That was the day when I discovered that gypsies, like us Cajuns, love to eat crawfish, too.

            In fact, the bulk of our live crawfish was sold to them - mostly during their commute back home from work.

            With a few magic markers and a poster I had printed the words "Live Crawfish for Sale" in large letters and affixed it to the tail-gate of my truck so everyone could see it. But, I'm getting a little off-track here.

            Particularly, I wanted to recount how on that day, before the mad rush of sales began, this attractive pre-middle aged woman approached our vending area in a brand new cream-colored Cadillac convertible (top down). I especially noticed how long it took her to get out of her car.

            When I focused on and through the dark-tinted windshield I could barely make-out that she was applying lipstick, adjusting her white oversize plastic-rim sunshades and ever-so-slightly tilting her rose-colored sun hat before making her way out of the vehicle.

            I thought to myself, WOW! Big sale! ... on it's way! Then, almost simultaneously, I asked myself, "Why would she want to load a sack of mud bugs in that fancy brand new car?" Something wasn't quite right?

            As she approached us I said something like, "howdy mam ... I do appreciate you stopping by ... today we are running a 50 lb. special for only twenty-five dollars", when she graciously and politely interrupted my sales spiel and said in a demur-sounding voice, "No, no ... I don't need to buy 50 lbs."

            Then she asked, "how sturdy are they?"

            I flinched and said, "beg your pardon, mam?

            She repeated, "how sturdy are they?"

            "I guarantee you mam that a couple of these craw dads tied together and tethered to the front bumper of your new car could probably pull you out of the ditch if you ever got stuck ... that's how sturdy they are", I bragged. (That was me trying to be funny.)

            Then I continued on, "I assure you mam that they were swimming in water only yesterday and they are sturdy enough to keep alive at least 2 or 3 more days until you are ready to cook 'em up. All you gotta do is keep 'em dampened, cooled and tightly packed together in the sack. (That was me trying to be smart.)

            Then she anchored those few words into my memory bank which have lasted to this day and will probably hang-on for many many more. "Oh no", she said. "I don't want to boil it or eat it ... I want it for my fish aquarium to help clean it out."

            "She wants 'IT', I thought? ..."IT" ... as in ONE? ... as in SINGULAR? ... UNO?

            Then she asked, "Is it okay if I pick-out the one I like?"

            I looked-up at my partner and friend who was now grinning from ear-to-ear and then I looked back at her. Hell, I couldn't even make out what color eyes she had through those dark over-grown sunglasses. But, I did look into her shades and with one of those 'don't you feel like a total idiot smiles' I politely said, "Yes mam ... you betcha."

            I then dumped-out a couple dozen into one of the empty buckets. These particular craw dads were at full maturity and were the 'red swamp' variety with the strong red pincers like the one in the photo above. One pinch could draw blood.

            She gazed-down at the quarry and said, "Oh my! Which one should I choose?"

            We ended-up giving her the one she picked-out (no charge), plus another one for good measure. We call it lagniappe.

            Ahheee!! Those were the good 'ol days!
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            Tuesday, April 17, 2012

            A Universal Recipe for All Life on Earth?

            A Fascinatingly Disturbing Thought

            Dr. DeGrasse Tyson talked about Alien Life in a simple but informative way. And makes many good points and leaves you with something to think about.



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            Thursday, April 12, 2012

            Mad Man Butter Beans (with smoked ham hocks)

            This Mad Man Butter Beans (with smoked ham hocks) recipe is apparently worth fighting for (as you will find out when you read the short story below). Easy to cook and down right larapin -- as 20 out of 20 White Tail deer hunters would agree. Try it sometime, but be sure you make enough for everyone, or you may find yourself in a heap of trouble.

            Ingredients

            • 2 smoked ham hocks
            • 2 quarts water
            • 1/2 tsp salt
            • 1 tsp onion powder
            • 1 tsp garlic powder
            • 1/4 tsp black pepper
            • 4 shakes of Colgin liquid smoke
            • 2 1/2 cups large dried Lima beans

            Instructions

              In a 4 quart stock pot place all of the above ingredients (except for the large dried Lima beans) and boil for about 30-45 minutes. Make sure that the hocks are covered by a half-inch of water at all times (it may take more than a couple quarts depending on the size of your hocks). Then place all ingredients in a 5 quart crock-pot and slow-cook for several hours until the hocks have fallen apart and the beans are tender. Stir occasionally and carefully so as not to bruise the beans. May be served with cornbread, rice...or eaten alone. Serves six.

              Note: it is the liquid smoke that gives this recipe its delicious taste.

              This is a Cajun dish which I named after a deer hunter who was late for supper one evening. I was the camp cook that year for a hunting club of about three dozen members. His deer stand was located on the far outer-periphery of a large hunting lease containing several hundred acres--mostly forest. Although he had a fancy and fast 4-wheeler, when it came time to head back to the camp galley for supper, it always took him longer than the other hunters. This particular day it seemed his pals liked my smoked ham hocks and butter beans so much they couldn't wait for him to arrive at the supper table ... and didn't bother to leave the poor lad any.

              He was one angry cuss! I don't think any amount of levity would have tamed this cave man's growling stomach and his in-your-face verbal assaults (directed at me, of course). My grandpa use to say that intelligent people don't have to use profanity to drive home a point. Apparently this deer hunter had not heard that saying.

              I don't blame him because I would be mad, too, if I had missed-out on that delicious meal.

              Not to fret, mon ami--here is the recipe I promised, and I have dedicated it to you and all the cavemen of the world (and cave women) who are always late for supper.
              Bon appetite!
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              Wednesday, April 11, 2012

              Boudreaux and the Frog -- With Age Comes Wisdom

              Audio


              Kiss Me!
              Boudreaux was a 72 year old widower and an avid fisherman. One day while fishing in his pirogue along the bayou near his home he heard the sound of someone's voice. He thought he may have been dreaming because there was no one around. 

              As he listened carefully he heard it again.

              "Pick me up", the voice said.

              Boudreaux looked around and saw that it was a frog sitting on a lily pad about a foot away from his boat.

              The old Cajun man asked the frog, 'Are you talking to me?'.

              The frog said, "Yes, I'm talking to you. Pick me up and kiss me then I will turn into the most beautiful woman you have ever seen in your life and I will make sure all your friends are envious and jealous because I will become your bride".

              The old fisherman looked at the frog for a short time. He then reached over and gently picked-up the frog and carefully put the creature in his front shirt pocket.

              The frog said to Boudreaux, "Hey! Are you crazy? Didn't you just hear what I told you? I said to kiss me and I will turn into your beautiful bride."

              The old man opened his pocket and looked at the frog and said, 'Nah. At my age I would rather have a talking frog.'

              With age comes wisdom.

              Ahheee!!


              If this story inspires you to try frog legs, check out Jacques' recipe, Frog Sauce Piquante Signature Icon

              Tuesday, April 10, 2012

              Cajun Baked Fillet of Largemouth Bass

              Cajun Baked Fillet of Largemouth Bass is simple to prepare and can become a very delicious alternative to the same old humdrum way of preparing fresh water fish -- like frying.

              Baked foods are healthier than fried foods and that's a fact. Plus, we have more control over our spices when we bake--especially fish like largemouth bass which produces a white, flaky, and slightly sweet and succulent taste.

              If you are getting tired of the same old way of preparing largemouth bass, then why not try this recipe out as a slightly spicy but very tasty alternative.

              Ingredients

              Largemouth Bass
              • 1 fillet of largemouth bass
              • 2 Tbs. melted butter
              • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
              • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
              • 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper                         
              • 1/4 tsp. sea salt

              Instructions

              1. combined the last 5 ingredients and mixed together well
              2. brush the mixture on both sides of the bass fillet
              3. place fillet in a baking dish (rough side up)
              4. bake for 45 minutes at 275 F.
              Serving 1 - 2. Goes well with Cajun Tartar Sauce and fine white wine. Enjoy!
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              Friday, April 06, 2012

              Spicy (2-Alarm) Cajun Style Deviled Eggs

              These Spicy (2-Alarm) Cajun Style Deviled Eggs have always been a favorite at Easter and my Fourth of July parties. But, you don't need a holiday to prepare these spicy appetizers. Easy to prepare in just minutes, this timeless treat will produce an extra bite if you substitute ground red and black pepper in place of paprika.

              Ingredients

              Spicy Deviled Eggs
              • 12 boiled eggs
              • 2 Tbs. mayonnaise
              • 1 tsp. prepared mustard                                                  
              • 1 tsp. salt
              • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
              • 1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper

              Instructions

              1. Slice boiled eggs in half lengthwise
              2. Place boiled egg yolks in a medium bowl
              3. Set aside egg whites
              4. Use a fork to thoroughly mash the yolks
              5. Mix in mayo, mustard, salt and black pepper
              6. Fill the egg white halves with the mixture
              7. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper
              8. Cover and chill before serving
              Enjoy!
              KT
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