When I was young my mother and father visited my mother’s Cajun French Parents in Chataignier, LA. No, that is not a misspelled! Think Deep into the woods, down a dirt road and then seeing cotton fields.
That is the Chataignier of 1928. Both my parents grew up in the deep Cajun Country…My mother in Chataignier and my father in the Big City of Opelousas. Which was THE BIG CITY of the area.
These pics set a scene for what the old south was. And Real Cajun Cooking! Not to blast the TV Chefs or New Orleans, but NOT EVEN CLOSE, Sha! LOL
I do not have a Clue…Real Cajun?? NOT!
Cheese on a Cajun Shrimp Dish???!! Really?? No Way! My Mah Mah (Grandmother) would be schocked! Hey, I’m Schocked!!
This is Cajun…
Now for the best…Down Home Cajun recipes from Real Cajun Cooks with a little history to help everyone understand how Cajun got to be Cajun.
Historically, Gumbo is the Hallmark Food of the Cajun Culture. How did Gumbo come about? In a nutshell…
Now how is Southern Cajun Summers different from the rest of the USA. Example: this is friend of mine’s son Broody Landry! He is adorable under the mud! Oh heck he’s adorable with the mud!!!
We take mud baths…
And we ride 3 wheelers in the mud…
And we get stuck in the mud…
And we drive 4 wheeler through the mud…
And this is a mud bug…
So as you can see, mud is very important to the life of Cajuns. Now you big city types can’t possibly have half the fun we do. More on crawfish boils (mud bugs) later. Yep we eat em! Sometimes catch ‘em and then eat ‘em. More on that later!
Yeah it is common to see these guys in swamps! This one is sunning with a Snapping Turtle!
How about a little Cajun music:
When I was young, many moons ago, my family had a camp on the Bayou just like this one! Such fun!! And yes, we ate what the adults caught! Catfish, turtle, crawfish (that’s crayfish for you Yankees), and fish of all sorts! Just lit up a fire and cooked it right there! Will blog on that later!
And a little more Cajun music and Cajun dancing:
All Cajun Women can make a Gumbo! There is no end to the distinctive flavor of the touch of each cook!!! Experiment! More of this or less of that. It is allowed in Cajun Culture! Add Okra, Eggs, Tomatoes, Seafood…it is all ok! So just Enjoy!
Absolutely delicious! But first definitions and tips:
Roux - The base for Gumbos, Stews and Sauces.
Andouille - a spiced, heavily smoked pork sausage, distinguished in some varieties by its use of the entire gastrointestinal system of the pig. For example, traditional French andouille is composed primarily of the intestines and stomach. (Nicely stated from Wikipedia)
Tasso - a spicy, peppery version of smoked pork made from the shoulder butt. Tasso is not eaten on its own, but is used as part of a flavor base for stews or braised vegetables.
Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning - Awesome Local Lousiana Seasoning. If you can not find it in your area and you want some…contact me and I will arrange a shipment to you. Will inform you of the cost at that time. It is a great Cajun touch for lots of dishes. Add this and instant Cajun Flavor! Contact Me: Phyllis.StCyr@gmail.com
Hen - Large Old Chicken -
Tabasco Sauce - Louisiana Hot Sauce! Awesome!
Gumbo File - This is a Cajun Spice made from the leaves of the Sassafras Tree. Sprinkle a little on the top of your bowl of Gumbo for a little extra Cajun Flavor! But only a little! Contact Me: Phyllis.StCyr@gmail.com
Cajun Gumbo Recipe
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup vegetable oil (corn oil is best)
1 whole hen cut up-a free range chicken is best
2 cups andouille sliced (or any lean smoked sausage)
3 ounces tasso (or 4 slices smoked bacon or smoked ham)
2 cups onion chopped
1 cup green pepper chopped
1 cup celery chopped
4 cloves garlic diced
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning (or 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
1 tablespoon Tabasco Sauce
2 1/2 quarts water or chicken stock
1 cup green onions
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Put oil and flour in a large heavy pot. Brown flour to the color of dark chocolate. See pictures for a photo clue. You can use a wood spoon or a wire wisk. I like both but the wisk separates the flour better.
When roux is browned add onions, green pepper, celery and garlic. Keep heat on low and saute until soft. About 10 minutes. Stir often so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
The roux will darken as the vegetables cook and this is good.
Add water, chicken and all other ingredients except for green onions and parsley. Reserve those until the end. Stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer at least two hours.
Three hours is better to get the hen cooked to a tenderness ideal for gumbo. Add more water if needed as the gumbo cooks and the liquid reduces. Stir occasionally.
At the end of the cooking time add the green onions and parsley, stir and cover. Let stand for 15 minutes. Salt to taste at this point.
Serve with cooked white rice. Use a bowl and serve a proportion of 1/3 rice to 2/3 gumbo.
This recipe will serve 10-12.
As I have stated in the Definitions, If you want any or all of the distinctive Cajun products let me know…I can ship to you. I will send you the cost of a shipment of each individual product. If you prefer, all I can ship a Cajun Cooking Gift Basket to you. Sorry but can’t ship meats at this time!
Contact me at Phyllis.StCyr@gmail.com for more information.
Web Site Coming Soon!
Oh How I do love The Big Bang Theory…Found this pic…Sheldon’s Dream or Penny’s Nightmare?? LOL
My Fav TV Show!!! What does this say about me! Geekdom Reigns!