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.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Cajun Garlic Bread

This is a simple non-fat garlic bread recipe for diabetics.
Cajun Garlic Bread

  • 1 French bread, whole wheat
  • 1 cup Italian dressing, oil free
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • parsley flakes; optional

Using a blender, blend the dressing, paprika and garlic well. Brush mixture on the bread and sprinkle parsley on top.  You can heat the garlic bread in the oven at about 250 F. for a few minutes to serve it piping hot.

Bon Appetite!
KT
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cheesy Deep-fried Buttermilk Jalapeño Hush Puppies Recipe

Cheesy you say?

Cheesy Jalapeno Hush Puppies
Yes, but not that kind of cheesy. The bites on these puppies are much stronger than their bark. By adding mild shredded cheddar cheese to the mix, however, it promotes a smooth and savory transition for the taste buds as they also take in the robust and spicy flavors of the chili peppers and onions.

Indescribably delicious! Bon appetite!

Ingredients

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 (10 oz.) jar pickled jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
buttermilk (or half and half)
cooking oil

Instructions

  1. in a small deep-fry pot add about 4" of cooking oil (enough so the puppies can float to the top)
  2. bring the heat up to about 365 degrees (between medium and high)
  3. drain and finely chop the pickled jalapeno peppers and medium onion (I use a food chopper)
  4. add all of the remaining ingredients (except the buttermilk) together and mix well
  5. next, slowly and continuously add a little buttermilk (while stirring) until a smooth and barely liquid consistency is attained
  6. drop 1 Tbsp. at the time, in groups of four, into the boiling oil (a small fry pot will suffice)
  7. when the puppies float to the top, turn them over every few seconds and let them fry evenly on both sides 
  8. when the puppies have reached a golden brown, remove and place onto a paper towel to absorb any excess oil 
Note: The secret to getting the batter just right is this: when you load a tablespoon full of the thick batter, and turn it upside down, it doesn't fall into the hot oil. However, if you turn the same spoonful of batter sideways, and it slowly pours out into the fry pot, then you have got it at the right consistency.

If your oil is sufficiently hot, it shouldn't take more than 3 or 4 minutes to fry each batch of 4.

Another variation of this recipe can be found here: Peño Puppies.

Bon Appetite!

KT
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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Simple Buttermilk Cornbread Recipe

This simple buttermilk cornbread recipe can become a base for all of the variations mentioned below once you get the hang of it.

The world is full of cornbread recipes like Mexican cornbread, Cajun cornbread with onions and creamed corn, cornbread with cheese, cornbread with cooked ground beef and cheese... the list goes on, but when you want an easy method check out this simple buttermilk cornbread recipe.

Remember, the more moisture in the cornbread batter, the longer it's going to take to cook. That just makes sense.

Some folks like to turn up the heat to around 450 degrees F. to get the job done more quickly. This method is fine and it does save time, especially when you have to serve a bunch of people in a hurry--like deer hunters at a campsite.

When the high heat method of baking cornbread is used, the cook must be more vigilant and pay close attention to the process.

If you want your cornbread to taste a little better, on the other hand, try baking at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. 

When baking, check the cornbread occasionally and keep your eye on the crust. When the crust begins to turn a golden brown it's an indication that most of the moisture has cooked out of the bread. 

Remove the finished cornbread from the hot oven and set aside to cool before serving.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda 

    Instructions
    1. mix well all of the above ingredients together, except the buttermilk
    2. while stirring, slowly add enough buttermilk (about a cup or more) to the mix until a thick batter is attained
    3. pour the batter in your favorite vessel and bake at 350 degrees F. for about 1 hour or until the crust begins to turn a golden-brown
    4. cut cornbread into 6 - 8 equal size servings.
    Note: I don't usually measure how much buttermilk I add to my cornbread. It's a little different for me each time.I merely add a small amount at the time while stirring briskly until it reaches the right consistency. Think of a volcano and how the thick melted lava slowly flows downhill. That is the consistency that I look for. Also, when I make cornbread in a cast iron skillet I will preheat it to about 350 degrees in the oven before I pour the batter.

    Another example of the right consistency is when you load a tablespoon full of the cornbread batter and turn it upside down it will not drop, but if you tilt the spoonful on its side, it will slowly pour out.

    Tip: If you don't have buttermilk on hand go HERE to find a few substitutes.

    Bon appetite! Enjoy.

    KT
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    Monday, February 23, 2015

    The Power of Antioxidants

    Free radicals are the culprits which work to diminish our health, say the medical experts who profess the power of antioxidants and the many benefits we receive by consuming foods on a daily basis which are high in antioxidants..

    Apart from comparing "free radicals” to the ones who are unfortunately in control of the highest offices in our government, who I think are also working to diminish our health, the ones I speak of here are the kinds which invade our bodies and stresses the oxidation process in our cells.

    That, the experts say, is the reason why we don’t live as long as we could live, and the reason for a long list of illnesses and diseases which are driving us to an early grave.

    Not to fret. We can certainly do something about these menacing malefactors.

    First, we can vote out the political free radicals in the next election; secondly, we can destroy the ones which are causing havoc to our bodies by simply eating the right kinds of foods.

    However, the question is how much of the right foods do we need to eat to get the biggest antioxidant bang for our buck?

    USDA Releases List of Top Antioxidant Foods

    Here is a list of common foods which are high in antioxidants:



    List of 20 Best Foods High in Antioxidants (In the list below, the foods antioxidant power is given as per their serving sizes.)

    Scientists at the USDA have developed a rating scale that measures the antioxidant content of various natural plant foods. The scale is called ORAC, which stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity.

     1.   Beans/Legumes, Red Beans (dried) - Half cup = 13,727
     2.   Fruit, Wild Blueberry - 1 cup = 13,427
     3.   Beans, Red Kidney Beans (dried) - Half cup = 13,259
     4.   Beans/Legumes, Pinto Beans - Half cup = 11,864
     5.   Fruit, Blueberry  - 1 cup = 9,019
     6.   Fruit, Cranberry - 1 cup (whole) = 8,983
     7.   Vegetable, Artichoke (cooked) - 1 cup (hearts) = 7,904
     8.   Fruit, Blackberry - 1 cup = 7,701
     9.   Fruit, Prune - Half cup = 7,291
    10.  Fruit, Raspberry - 1 cup = 6,058
    11.  Fruit, Strawberry - 1 cup = 5,938
    12.  Fruit, Red Delicious Apple - One = 5,900
    13.  Fruit, Granny Smith Apple - One = 5,381
    14.  Nut, Pecan - 1 ounce = 5,095
    15.  Fruit, Sweet Cherry - 1 cup = 4,873
    16.  Fruit, Black Plum - One = 4,844
    17. Vegetable, Russet Potato (cooked) - One = 4,649
    18.  Beans/Legumes, Black Beans (dried) - Half cup = 4,181
    19.  Fruit, Plum - One = 4,118
    20.  Fruit, Gala Apple - One = 3,903
    * USDA recommends consuming foods containing at least 3,000 ORAC units a day.

    Bon Appetite!
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    Thursday, February 19, 2015

    Cast-iron Cooked, Hickory-Smoked Flavored Purple Hull Peas and Hamburger

    Garden fresh purple hull peas cooked in a cast-iron skillet with a couple slices of hickory-smoked bacon (drippings included) makes the best pot liquor imaginable--especially when about 1/2 lb. of fresh ground beef and your favorite Cajun seasonings are added to the pot.


    Ingredients

    • 3 cups fresh purple hull peas, culled and rinsed
    • 2 slices hickory-smoked bacon, fried and crumbled (save drippings)
    • water, (enough to cover peas)
    • 1/2 lb. ground beef, browned
    • 1 Tbsp. Colgin liquid smoke
    • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
    • 1 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp. dried dill weed
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

    1. In a large cast iron skillet, crispy-fry 2 strips of hickory-smoked bacon
    2. Remove bacon strips and set aside to crumble up after cooling down
    3. In the same skillet, brown the 1/2 lb. of ground beef in the bacon drippings
    4. Add the crumbled bacon bits
    5. Next, stir-in the fresh peas and coat them well
    6. Braise the peas and meats on medium heat for 5 minutes before adding water
    7. Slowly add 2 cups of water and stir well (you will add more water later when needed)
    8. Add all of the dry seasonings and Colgin Liquid Smoke, stir and mix well
    9. Cover with lid and continue cooking on medium heat until peas are tender--about an hour. 
    10. Stir occasionally. Add a small amount of water at the time as needed.

    This delicious side dish can be prepared in a 12" cast iron skillet (with lid) entirely on medium or lower heat in about an hour. One of the good things about using cast-iron cookware is the even heat distribution (for slow and low cooking).

    Simmer the peas, stirring every few minutes--adding a small amount of water now and then to compensate for evaporation. Keep just enough water to barely cover the peas. 

    It is important to note that cast-iron pots and pans are not ideal for storing the foods which are cooked in them. To avoid a metallic taste, or darkened peas, remove them from the pot and add them into another vessel as soon as practical.


    This simple meal can be served as a side-dish, or over cooked rice. Bon Appetit!

     
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    Spicy Cajun Chow Chow with Onions and Peppers

    The warning of an early frost in our area compelled me to pick all of the green and unripened tomatoes from my garden. I harvested about 10 lbs. and used the larger ones to slice, bread and freeze for fried green tomatoes later on. The rest was allocated to making a fresh batch of green tomato relish, or as some Cajuns refer to it, 'chow chow'. The tomatoes, bell peppers and onions were coarsely chopped by hand, while the other vegetables were chopped using a food processor.

    This recipe will show you how to make a hotter and spicier than normal relish. If you would like to tone down the heat of this chow chow recipe, remove the seeds from the jalapeno pepper pods before chopping and adding it to the pot.

    Ingredients
    • 4 lbs. green tomatoes (about 12 cups), coarsely chopped
    • 4 medium to large yellow onions, coarsely chopped
    • 4 med. bell peppers, (green and red), coarsely chopped
    • 4 cups jalapeno peppers (with seeds), finely chopped
    • 2 cups of celery, finely chopped
    • 4 cups sugar
    • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
    • 2 Tbs. mustard seeds
    • 1 Tbs. celery seeds
    • 1 Tbs salt

    Instructions

    1. cut-up tomatoes and vegetables according to recipe
    2. add all ingredients into a large (non-reactive) pot and stir well
    3. on medium heat bring mixture to a boil
    4. continue boiling for 2 1/2 hours on med. heat, stirring occasionally
    5. sterilize 8 pint size jars
    6. fill each jar to the top with relish
    7. place the jar lid on top of each jar
    8. clean the area around the lid with a damp sponge
    9. screw lid covers on jar and allow to cool before storing
      Makes 7 - 8 pints.

      This Cajun-style tomato relish goes great with Fried Catfish Nuggets.

      Enjoy!
      KT
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      Tuesday, February 03, 2015

      Cajun Paleo Diet? Rolling Back the Hands of Time

      Cajun Paleo Diet? What a unique concept. But then, maybe not. When I was a kid growing up on our farm in South Louisiana we never considered for one moment there would come a time when our foods would not be safe to eat or become compromised by modern food processing practices.

      The Paleo Diet has become popular among consumers who want a different and safe approach to their daily food consumption, much like the foods we produced back in the mid-1900s on our humble farm. 

      I researched the word Paleo and found that the term actually means to go back in time. In this case, an era when foods were pure and untainted by the food industry. We have now become plagued by the manufacture and distribution of "processed" canned goods and other unhealthy add-ins to our food stuff, i.e., excess salts, sugars, preservatives like monosodium glutamate (MSG), potassium benzoate, potassium sorbate, along with sucralose, enriched wheat, artificial coloring, Canola oil, soy, aspartame, high fructose corn syrup... the list goes on and on.

      There are many recipes in Real Cajun Cooking--Pure and Simple which fit nicely within the parameters of the Paleo Diet, but you must search for them. I found a couple of exemplary cookbooks which can take us straight away to the preparation of healthy meals and plans which can help us to not only lose weight, but can also add years to our lives.

      I promised myself I wouldn't rant about how our food supply keeps evolving into substances that once resembled something which was safe and good to eat, but has now turned into Frankenfood, so I will reserve that discussion and debate for another day.

      It is quite disconcerting to hear about the increasing need for folk to adhere to special diets because of intolerance to certain foods like grains, dairy, sugars, nuts, processed canned goods and so on.

      Delicious and spicy foods, like the ones in many of our recipes in Real Cajun Cooking--Pure and Simple, are unfortunately out of reach for many of our visitors who have to adhere to special diets because of their dietary intolerance to certain foods.. 

      I personally blame much of it on modern technologies which are hell bent on contaminating our food supply on a massive scale, whether we like it or not, through genetic engineering and modifications which are causing many to succumb to the horrible ill effects which it creates.

      Therefore, while trying not to stray too far from our main course, (that of offering you fabulous and delicious original Cajun recipes), the publications I mentioned (with plans and guides) demonstrate how we can enjoy the types of food which can be ingested by most people, but especially by those of us who have become intolerant to many modern-day products.

      If you need to lose weight you can now join the thousands who have seen amazing changes in their body fat composition after switching to a Paleo lifestyle... all while eating foods they love!

      We don’t have to starve ourselves anymore on tiny salads that leave us unsatisfied. A lot of people say they feel more satiated than ever before once they begin eating healthy Paleo meals.

      These publications contain mouth-watering recipes guaranteed to satisfy the pallet without sacrificing quality. Each book offers an unconditional 60-day money-back guarantee if you are not 100% satisfied. You have nothing to lose. It's worth checking out and will make a great addition to your library. Get yours today. Bon appetite!


      Click Here
      The Paleo Recipe Book


      TESTIMONIALS

      “Phenomenal numbers…”
      Thank you…This has been a very positive experience and I learned a lot about healthy alternatives. Mike can’t wait to talk to his Diabetes Educator later this month to see her reaction to his phenomenal numbers. He is motivated to continue even though this was a huge challenge for him. His numbers are the motivating factor. You are doing great things to help people. Thank you thank you.
       Lori Johnson (husband lost 14 pounds and 5 inches in 30 days)

      *****

      “I look better than I have in half a decade.”
      I’ll say that I’m impressed. I knew that, with the Paleo lifestyle, I would feel better. No question. I simply chose not to do it. Why? I don’t know. It was “inconvenient” and “a diet”. In truth, I didn’t know how to apply it in my day-to-day. Well…problem solved. When given the tools to actually follow through, with detailed instructions, lists, and encouragement, it was not only beneficial to my health but fun and borderline empowering. I feel great, I look better than I have in half a decade – and I’m actually enjoying food.
      Carson Durr (lost 10 pounds and 5 inches in 30 days)

      *****

      “Almost all of my digestion issues have disappeared.”
      I have been suffering from many issues with my gut for quite some time. It went from being gassy, to bloated, to severe cramping. I had already gone dairy free before doing this challenge. I had tried removing gluten from time to time but working in a restaurant that mainly sells pastries and bread – it becomes its own challenge. But my issues had continued to worsen. By having the recipes to center me I was able to focus my diet and dig in and do the research. It really became the belief system behind the challenge of eating whole clean foods that drove me to stick to it and get past my addictions to “filling” foods. Almost all of my digestion issues have disappeared. I still live a pretty stressful work life so I hope to continue and clean up my gut completely! These recipes will now be a permanent part of my life! Thank you!
      Annie Jiminez (lost 8 pounds in 30 days)

      *****

      “I lost 12 pounds total…”
      I was super scared to start the Paleo challenge, but I still started right away on the first day and found it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be! I definitely missed some of the things I was not eating, but honestly it was mind over matter. I really like that I can eat until I am full without feeling guilty about my portion size. I enjoy eating bacon a lot, even though I have never been much of a bacon eater. I have found that the grass-fed meat I am buying was so much more juicy and delicious that what I had previously been choking down (in fact, before Paleo I ate a largely vegetarian diet). I was skeptical of cutting out legumes, as they had provided most of my protein, but once the weight started melting off I saw the light :) I lost 12 pounds total, and probably would have lost more if I hadn’t had a major off-the-rails week in the middle! I definitely plan to continue following the Paleo plan…I have definitely made some lifestyle changes that I will be sticking with…
      Elizabeth Swarny (lost 12 pounds in 30 days)

      *****

      "“I am now a believer in this ‘diet."
      This might sound cheesy but Paleo has changed my life and my way of thinking about food. I am so much more aware of what I am putting in my body now…and I think that is just huge. Not that I was eating poorly before..but this truly has me thinking through what I am making and the ingredients I am using. Thank you thank you for all of the assistance in menus and grocery lists. I am now a believer in this “diet.” You have changed my life…for real!
      Carol Beth Haynes (lost 10 pounds in 30 days)

      *****

      The Paleo Diet Is Proven:

      The best part of the Paleo diet is that you are not a guinea pig like so many modern day diets.The Paleo diet can help with fat loss, digestive complaints, energy issues, joint pain, and even to produce lower markers for many degenerative diseases because that is what it has done for us and so many others who have adopted a Paleo lifestyle.

      Finally, if the results of modern day Paleo dieters isn’t enough proof for you, all we have to do is remember that for nearly 2 million years the human diet went unchanged and our paleolithic ancestors thrived as a result. Only within the last 50 years during the boom of food manufacturing, the demonization of healthy saturated fats, and the implementation of misinformed dietary guidelines has the state of our health taken a drastic turn for the worse.



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