In Search of the Real Cajun Jambalaya

Will the REAL jambalaya recipe please come forward? Ever since President Trump served “Carolina Gold Rice Jambalaya” in April at a state dinner honoring French President, Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte, controversy has been brewing in Louisiana. That is not “jambalaya,” folks protested. This set off a flurry of newspaper editorials, recipes and opinions in our state. The truth is that there are many variations of jambalaya and many good recipes. Here’s own recipe, I think it’s one of the best!

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New Orleans’ Creole Remoulade Sauce

Creole Remoulade Sauce is truly a recipe of New Orleans. It is a very tangy and full-bodied sauce usually served with boiled shrimp or seafood. Derived from French cuisine and adapted by Creole cooks, the sauce eventually making it’s way onto the menus of some of the oldest and finest New Orleans’ restaurants. With Mardi Gras celebrations and their pageantry and traditions in progress in New Orleans, I’m reminded of these restaurants and what made them famous. Continue reading

Teen Chef: Let’s Bake Mardi Gras King Cake Broiches

It’s Mardi Gras season in Louisiana and today we’re making King Cakes. This year I have teenager, Jessi, to help me make these sweet, rich and delicious yeast breads known as King Cakes. King cakes fill the grocery stores and hundreds are sold in New Orleans during the Mardi Gras season. It is fairly easy to make a king cake yourself at home using this recipe. The key is using a heavy-duty mixer to do the kneading.

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Traditional New Orleans Shrimp and Grits

I’m starting out the New Year with a very traditional New Orleans’ recipe for “Shrimp and Grits.” We ate this dish several years ago on Christmas morning at a little cafe in the business district of New Orleans. The grits were creamy and smooth; the shrimp seasoned just right; about the best I’ve eaten.  I’ll begin the New Year with one of my favorite recipes that I’ve learned to like since moving to Louisiana. Continue reading

Crawfish Étouffée – Simple Shortcut

Here is one of my favorite crawfish recipes–Crawfish Étouffée. This is a very popular dish in Louisiana, especially in the spring when crawfish are plentiful. My version is simple to make and it is as good as you will find in any restaurant. Étouffée is a Cajun dish; a thick stew. Crawfish or seafood are smothered with vegetables on the stove in a thick sauce and then served over rice as a main dish. I use a recipe that takes a shortcut to make this a fail-proof dish.

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Marie’s Crawfish Tarts

Springtime in Louisiana means that it’s time for crawfish. These crustaceans live in the swamps and in the springtime they grow and come out of their burrows. The tails, when peeled, are large enough to eat for a feast. A Louisiana delicacy. A spring crawfish boil is a ritual here in South Louisiana and the traditional way to eat crawfish.  Continue reading

Achafalaya Basin Swamp Juice and a Cajun Food Tasting Party

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Our annual local dulcimer music festival in March draws folks from all over the country for a weekend of music, workshops, concerts, vendors, and of course, good food. We like to introduce the out-of-town guests to our unique Louisiana cuisine. This year fried alligator, boudin balls and crawfish tarts were on our “Taste of Louisiana” menu. I made a festive punch, called “Achafalaya Basin Swamp Juice,” for a thirst quencher.

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Tullio Saffiotti’s Italian Green Bean Salad and the Mediterranean Diet

This week’s recipe is a tribute to my 89-year-old neighbor, Tullio Saffiotti, a Sicilian immigrant who came here as a young man and established the fine fine wine business in Baton Rouge. He passed away recently. The recipe reminds me of the foods you’d find in the healthy Mediterranean Diet.marinated-green-bean-and-new-potato-salad-2-img_7798_1

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