Creole Cooking Recipes - Easy Cajun Cooking
History of Arcadians -French Canadians
There are 700,000 Arcadians living in South Louisiana who are descendants of French Canadians. About 18,000 French speaking, Catholic inhabitants of Brittany, Poitou, Normandy and across France established the French colony of Acadia, now Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1604. The British won the colony from France in 1713, but the French had a strong, thriving self sufficient community.
The Arcadians were not willing to renounce their Catholic religion and pledge allegiance to Britain, so they were cruelly forced from there homes in an event called Le Grand Derangement. This separated families and forced people to flee with only the possessions they could carry. Over half of the people lost their lives at sea as they looked for a place to live along the eastern coast until finally the King of Spain allowed them to settle in South Louisiana.
Cajun Commuinity Boating
Arcadians Settled with Cajun Cooking
They received a hostile reception from the French aristocracy in New Orleans, so they headed west into uncharted territory. They settled along the bayous of south central and south western Louisiana where they could live with their own beliefs and customs.
They were able to raise their own crops; they fished and trapped. Cajuns are famous for their dialect a patois of 18th century French), their music, their spicy cooking and they had learned to live life to the fullest. They have continued to preserve these customs.
In general, Cajun cooking is more like country cooking of Louisiana and Creole is more the food of the city. Both of these types of cooking use the “Holy Trinity of New Orleans” which includes green peppers, onions and celery. Cajun cooking mixture of French and southern US influences, which relies heavily on pork fat and spices. Creole cooking is the other major New Orleans cuisine. It is a fusion between French, Spanish, Caribbean and African cuisines.
It is different because it uses more butter, cream and tomatoes. The African link to Creole cuisine is probably the strongest with regard to preparation techniques. The use of the mortar and pestle or pounding dry peppers, seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables is common
- 3/4 cup oil (Canola or Vegetable)
- 1 cup all purpose white flour
Heat a heavy skillet or cast iron pot and add oil.
Once oil is heated, slowly add the flour, stirring constantly until all is blended.
Continue to cook over medium to low heat, stirring constantly until flour and oil blend to form a brown roux the color of a dark copper penny.
The longer you cook it, the darker the roux will become.
Remember don't rush the cooking of the roux; allow the mixture to develop at its own pace.
to cooking pot and add warm water to hot roux for thickness desired.
The mixture will make 5 quarts gumbo juice or one large fricassee dish.
Many cooks add onion, bell pepper, and celery mixture right at the end of the cooking process. This spreads the flavor throughout the roux.
can double or triple the recipe and store the unused roux in a covered
container in your icebox for weeks to be used for future dishes.
Roux can be used to flavor or thicken gravies.
A dish made with roux always taste better the next day or if frozen the next time it is reheated.
If you cook the roux too long or burn it, the flavor becomes too bitter to use.
Gumbo Ya Ya
- 1 chicken, cut up
- 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups onions, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups celery, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups green pepper, coarsely chopped
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
- 1 pound andouille sausage finely, diced (or any spicy sausage such as Kielbasa)
- 4 cups hot cooked rice
Cut chicken breasts in half crosswise to get a total of 10 pieces of chicken.
Season chicken with the Creole seasoning.
Measure the flour into a large paper bag. Add chicken pieces and shake until well-coated. Remove chicken and reserve the flour.
In a large skillet, brown chicken in very hot oil, remove and set aside.
Stir oil remaining in the skillet with a wire whisk to loosen any brown particles remaining in the bottom of the pan.
Make a roux by whisking in 1 cup of the remaining flour and stirring constantly until the roux turns a dark brown.
Remove from heat; add onions, celery and green bell pepper, stirring constantly until vegetables are tender.
Transfer roux and vegetables to a Dutch oven.
Add stock to roux and vegetables and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to simmer and add garlic, sausage and chicken.
Continue cooking, covered, until the chicken is tender, 1 3/4 to 2 hours.
Adjust seasonings and serve in bowls over the rice.
Yield: 10 servings.
How to cook a Cajun Jambalaya
- 1 large yellow onions, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 large green pepper, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, diced (with tops)
- 1/4 cup bacon drippings or cooking oil
- 2 teaspoons minced parsley
- 1/2 lb ham, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 large bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (or other hot bottled sauce)
- 1 (14 ounce) can tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups uncooked rice
- 1 1/2 lbs fresh raw shrimp, shelled and de-veined
- 1/2 lb smoked beef sausage
For Chicken Jambalaya instead of shrimp:
- 3 lbs chicken, cut up
- 1/2 lb polish sausage, sliced
Cook onions, garlic, green pepper and celery in the bacon drippings or cooking oil until onion is browned.
Add parsley, ham, thyme, and bay leaves; cook 5 minutes, stirring ofte
Add salt, hot sauce, tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, and 2 cups of water; simmer 5 minutes.
Add rice; reduce heat and simmer, covered for 30 minutes.
Add shrimp and smoked sausage; cover and simmer 10 or 15 minutes longer or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
Season mixture to taste with salt and additional hot sauce as desired.
Add chicken and polish sausage.
When the onion-celery mix is done, finish as directed, omitting ham and shrimp
Mirliton can be stuffed and prepared in number of ways according to your preference. One whole mirliton will feed two people.
- 3 - 4 Mirlitons
- 1 lb. ground beef or 3/4 lb. peeled shrimp or crab
- 1 med onion chopped
- 1 stalk celery chopped fine
- 1/4 bell pepper chopped fine
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/3 cup chopped green onions
- 2 tbs. cooking oil or butter
- 1 tsp. Creole Seasoning
- Seasoned Bread Crumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
Slice mirlitons in half and
put to boil until fork-tender. Don't overdo them because if the skin gets too
tender they will fall apart when working with them.
If using ground beef, brown it and drain off the fat.
If using shrimp, dice them
up and sprinkle a little Creole Seasoning on them and mix them around.
Sauté onions, celery and bell pepper in oil for about 15 minutes until soft, add garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.
When mirlitons are done take them out of the water and let them cool until you can handle them.
Remove the seed and scrape the pulp into a dish.
Get as much of the pulp out
as you can without puncturing the skin.
Add the ground beef or shrimp to the sautéed vegetables and cook for about a minute.
Add the mirleton pulp, mix well, add seasoning and green onions and mix well.
Cook on a low fire for about 5 minutes. T
Taste to see what seasonings are needed. Let this rest for about 10 minutes.
Turn the oven on 375º F.
Salt and pepper the inside of the mirleton shells.
Spoon the stuffing into each shell; don't be afraid to overstuff them.
Sprinkle bread crumbs over the mirlitons.
Place the mirliton shells in a baking pan or casserole.
Bake them on the top rack in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the bread crumbs begin to brown.
Yield: 6-8 Servings
**The Stuffed Mirliton can be frozen for 6 months by preparing everything up until the bread crumbs. Wrap each mirliton tightly is plastic wrap, then in a freezer bag and date the bag.
Crawfish Etouffee Recipe
- 1/2 cup roux *
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
- 1 small can diced rotel tomatoes
- 2 cups water
- 3 lbs of cleaned craw fish meat
- 1 tsp. each salt, pepper, garlic powder
- Dash of cayenne
- 1 cup finely chopped green onion tops for garnish
Make a roux by browning "slowly" in a small iron skillet ...1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup flour until it is dark brown. Do not rush this.
Add chopped white onions and bell pepper.
Add rotel tomatoes, water and seasoning.
Stir very well over medium high heat.
Cover and reduce to low and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Add crawfish tail meat.... and raise heat to a slow boil.
Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat.
Cover and let set while you cook a pot of white rice. (About 3 cups of raw rice, 6 cups water, salt, and butter)
Serve over the 'cooked' white rice and garnish each bowl with green onion.
I had this recipe at a restaurant called Desiré when we visited New Orleans and it was delicious. Ohhhh yiyi!
Cajun Barbequed Shrimp
Cajun Barbequed Shrimp
- 2 pounds jumbo shrimp with head and unpeeled
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 beer (drink the other half while cooking!)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
- French bread as accompaniment
Traditionally the heads are left on to impart flavor into the sauce but if you prefer take the heads off before cooking.
In a large skillet cook all ingredients except beer and butter.
Cook over moderately high heat until shrimp turn pink, about 2-3 minutes.
Add beer, and then remove shrimp as to not overcook them.
Cook until liquid is reduced by half.
Reduce heat to low and stir in butter, a few cubes at a time, until melted.
Remove skillet from heat.
Place shrimp in a bowl and pour sauce over top.
Serve with French bread for dipping.
Cajun Red Beans and Rice
Red Beans and Sausage with Rice
- 1 pound red kidney beans
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 bell pepper chopped
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 pound smoked sausage cut in 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 ham-bone with some meat on it (Optional but tasty)
- 1 bay leaf red pepper to taste
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Water to cover beans
In a large Dutch oven or cast iron pot, cover in cold water and soak overnight.
When ready to cook, add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaf and ham-bone.
Add enough additional water to cover the beans at least 3 inches above their marker.
Cook slowly stirring occasionally until beans are tender.
Time: 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
In the last 30 minutes of cooking mash some of the beans to thicken the gravy.
Add the smoked sausage and season to taste with salt and pepper.
The heat may be increased to evaporate excess water. .
Stir to prevent sticking.
Serve over steamed rice.
These Cajun and Creole recipes are just a few of the more common main meals. The Cajun food is typically prepared with cast iron pots, and they use the fat from bacon and other meats for seasoning, which is tasty but not too good for your cholesterol level.
The Cajun people love to eat and get together to enjoy the fellowship of their friend, plus they love their unique music. The Arcadians had a tragic beginning, but they have developed a unique culture with their own traditions.
© 2010 Pamela Oglesby