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.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Popular Cajun Family Recipes

In the Gaspard Recipes Collection you will discover many Popular Cajun Family Recipes that may be slightly different from the hundreds of other Cajun style recipes which are published on the NET. That is because these are the real deal. These recipes are originals.


  1. Gumbo - Easy Microwave Gumbo Roux (video); Wild Duck Gumbo; Chicken-  Shrimp-Okra Gumbo (video); Chicken Gumbo; Shrimp and Okra Gumbo.
  2. Boudain (boudin) - Boudain (aka Boudin); Boudain (Boudin) Balls.
  3. Jambalaya - Cajun Chicken Jambalaya I; Chicken Jambalaya II; Crawfish Jambalaya; Shrimp Jambalaya; Pork Jambalaya.
  4. Etouffee - Crawfish Étouffée; Shrimp Étouffée (A-2-Fay)
  5. Crawfish Boil - How to Boil Shrimp, Crabs or Crawfish.
  6. Cajun Rice - Rice Dressing (aka Dirty Rice); Cajun Fried Rice.
  7. Chicken Stew - Chicken Stew; Chicken Fricassee.
  8. Fried Catfish - Fried Catfish Nuggets; Lemony Fried Catfish Nuggets; Cast-iron Blackened Catfish Filets (video)
  9. Red Beans and Rice Slow-cooked Red Beans over Rice; Cajun-style Pinto Beans.
  10. Cracklins - Cacklin Cracklins (chicken skin); Homemade Pork Cracklings.

These are just a fraction of the Gaspard Family Recipes. Explore our website for more delicious original Cajun family meals.

Bon Appetite! Ahheee!!
KT
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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Cajun Tartar Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs sweet pickle relish
  • 1 Tbs dill pickle relish
  • 2 Tbs chopped white onion
  • 1 Tbs chopped capers
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp chopped dill weed (optional)
  • dash of Tabasco

All the ingredients are 'to-taste', but this is a good starting point. Mix all of the ingredients in a glass bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours. It can be used immediately, but its best if kept refrigerated over night.

Hint: Use lemon juice to adjust the consistency to your taste.

When I was growing up, I prided myself for being the family 'Saucier'. I was in charge of preparing all of the sauces. I could 'eye-ball' the measurements, and I never needed a measuring spoon.

Making a good tartar sauce is an art. The ingredients are simple, but knowing how to get just the right consistency takes a little time and practice. Sometimes I would make it thick, if it was going to be used to dip fried oysters, for example. Other times I would thin it out a bit, if it was going to be used on a flounder po-poy. I think you'll find that this simple recipe tastes as good, or better than most store-bought tartar sauces.

Enjoy!
KT

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Cajun Fried Choupique Fish Cakes

Choupique [source: Wikipedia]
The choupique (pronounced shoe-pick) is a living fossil like the garfish and exhibits many of the same characteristics of garfish. It, too, has developed natural skills as a predator fish and has the ability to quickly adapt to harsh environmental conditions without evolving (see How to Cook Garfish).

Other names for this fish include bowfin, grinnel, beaver fish, mudfish and dogfish.

Choupique can be found throughout the North American southern states in canals, sloughs, ponds, creeks, bayous, oxbow lakes and slow-moving backwaters. Like the garfish, it comes equipped with an inner air bladder and can stay alive, out of the water, longer than most other types of fish. Even in low-oxygen conditions the choupique fish will come up to the surface for air. Fossil remains of this ancient predator fish date back to 180 million years.

[Source]
Choupique Caviar

Unlike garfish, however, its eggs (roe) are not poisonous to humans and other mammals. In fact, choupique caviar retails for around $100, or more, per lb. It has a sweet and mild taste. Like shrimp, it will turn to a dark pink or red color when heated. The eggs are oblong shaped--not round like sturgeon or salmon roe.

Cajun Fried Choupique Cakes

Ingredients

  • 2 - 3 lbs. choupique fillets
  • 2 - 3 lbs. baked Russet potatoes, crumbled
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 cup of chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 measures of DIY Cajun Seasoning (or your favorite Cajun spice combo)
  • Old Bay Original seasoning (for poaching)
  • 2 cups seasoned Italian bread crumbs
  • water (for poaching)
  • peanut oil (or regular vegetable oil)


Instructions

  1. lightly sprinkle both sides of the fillets with Old Bay Original seasoning
  2. in a medium pan, add the seasoned fillets and enough water to barely cover the fish
  3. on medium heat, bring the water to a slow simmer, then lower the heat (do not boil)
  4. cover and poach the fillets until flaky, (about 10 minutes), then remove with a slotted spatula
  5. set the poached fillets aside a few minutes to drain and cool before breaking apart
  6. in a separate bowl wisp together the eggs, chopped green onions, parsley, onion powder and Cajun seasonings
  7. to this mixture add the crumbled baked potatoes and fish
  8. mix everything together thoroughly and form fish patties (about 4" in diameter)
  9. coat the patties with Italian bread crumbs
  10. add about 2 inches of peanut oil in a cast-iron skillet (or other heavy skillet)
  11. fry at 365 degrees F. for about 4 minutes on each side (until golden brown)
  12. cut lemons into several wedges to serve with the fish patties


Note: These fish cakes are wonderful when served with French fries, Peño Puppies and your favorite Cajun Tartar Sauce. Makes 8 - 12 servings.

More choupique recipes. Bon Appetit!

KT
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Thursday, August 09, 2012

5 Health Foods Which May be Getting You Sick

5 Health Foods Which May be Getting You Sick are listed below to help us make informed decisions about foodstuff which are so-called "healthy".

There are many of us who are dieting and trying to live a healthy lifestyle. We exercise and go out of our way to eat the best foods we can.

Most of us already know that trans-fats, white sugar and white flour are not the best health choices, especially if we want to keep our weight down.

Unfortunately some of the very foods that we think are healthy are ones that can cause a lot of trouble for our bodies, and even make us ill. Below is a list of some surprisingly unhealthy “health foods.”

Artificial Sweeteners
Many people who are dieting, whether it is low calorie or low carb diets, will opt for beverages with artificial sweeteners instead of sugar. Admittedly sugar is certainly a troublemaker and should be avoided, but artificial sweeteners are actually worse for you and could even be dangerous to your health.

All the artificial sweeteners are bad, but one of the worst sweeteners for us is NutraSweet (Equal, aspartame). There are over 92 different health related side effects associated with aspartame consumption, including brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders and epilepsy/seizures.

There are more adverse reactions to NutraSweet reported to the FDA than all other foods and additives combined.

A much better alternative to chemically derived sweeteners is stevia, which comes from a plant. It has been used for centuries with no known side effects. It can be purchased in most health food stores in the United States.

Sports Drinks

Although marketers would have us believe that sports drinks are what the body needs when exercising heavily, the truth is that sports drinks are filled with sugar (sucrose, glucose, and fructose) and salt (potassium and sodium) as well as artificial flavorings and colorings. Add a little salt to Cool-Aid and you have about the same thing. You would be much better off drinking spring water or diluted freshly squeezed juices while exercising.

Most Energy and Sports Bars
Most energy and sports bars are also filled with things that are not the best for our bodies, and are little better than candy bars. Many of them contain sugar or artificial sweeteners, chemicals, preservatives, and synthetic nutrients. Check the ingredients before you buy an energy bar. Try to find one that is made with whole foods, such as oats and flax seeds, fruits, and natural sweeteners.

Soy Products

This is one of the most surprising ones of all. Soy has been used for countless generations in Asia. But, the way we now use soy is very different than the way the Asians have traditionally been using it.

The ancient Asians knew that the soybean was hard to digest, so they had extensive fermenting processes that broke down most of the indigestible components, making it much healthier to eat.

Examples of this would be products like soy sauce, tempeh, and miso. These were used in small amounts as condiments and flavorings, not as a meat replacement.

The way we use soy as a meat alternative, (texturized vegetable protein or TVP), can be very unhealthy since soy contains large amounts of toxins or anti-nutrients. Some of the problems the anti-nutrients in soybeans can cause are conditions of the pancreas, as well as cancer and thyroid problems.

Soybeans also can block the body’s absorption of essential minerals.

Granola (and Other Unprepared Grains)
For the last 30-40 years granola has been synonymous with heath food. But eating unprepared grains, or grains that have not been soaked, fermented or sprouted, has only come about in the last 50-100 years. People who lived before our time understood that unprepared grains could cause dietary distress.

There are anti-nutrients in grains, (like there are in soybeans), such as phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that make them harder to digest. These anti-nutrients can cause serious problems like Crohn's disease, colitis and even mental disorders. Our failure to prepare our grains properly is one of the reasons that celactic disease is so prevalent now.

So, stay away from the granola. Oatmeal is an excellent addition to our diets if we use whole rolled oats (not instant) and soak them overnight before boiling them for breakfast.

Good breads to eat are those that have properly prepared grains, including whole grain sourdough and sprouted grain breads. You can usually find these in specialty grocery stores and health food stores.

If you are trying to lose weight and eat healthier, remember that just because a company markets a “healthy” product well, or a health food store sells it, it doesn’t mean that it is really healthy for you.

Do some research before you grab that sports bar, or better yet, reach for an organic apple, cherries, or some other natural (not processed) food. Your body will thank you and reward you for it.

Keep these 5 "health" foods in mind when you want to help eliminate the risks of illness along your path to a healthy lifestyle.

Bon Appetite!

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