Hey, I like to cook but Iím not a chef. None of these recipes require any special skill. Some take time, but anybody that can turn on a burner and lift a pot, can cook these recipes. Pay attention to the notes and comments in the recipes. Most have been learned through the school of hard knocks. If something in the instructions is in bold print itís probably important.
It seems like most Cajun recipes start with. "Make a Roux". If you've never done it, it may sound hard but itís not really that difficult.
The most important thing to remember about a making
a roux is never stop stirring . Donít stop stirring
until it cools down. If you donít keep stirring, your roux
will get black specks of burned flour. If this happens throw it
out. The second most important thing to remember is making
a roux takes a while. Be patient.
Turn the burner on a notch below high. Pour in the oil and heat it until the surface shimmers. Pour in about 1/3 of the flour. Watch out, it will release a lot of steam. Start stirring. After a minute or so add another 1/3 of the flour. Keep stirring. After another minute or two, add the last of the flour. Keep stirring. Don't stop stirring until your roux cools. Gumbos normally use a dark chocolate brown roux, etoufeeís a little lighter. Lastly I have one final thing for you to remember when you are making a roux. DON'T STOP STIRRING!
A few other things to remember about roux's.
Rouxís donít smell great while you are making them. Donít worry; it all comes together in the end.
Lastly, donít splash any on you; it sticks like glue and burns like napalm.
Here's a couple of other things that may or may not
be important to you.
Cajun does not mean
hot! Most Cajun and nearly all Creole recipes are
not spicy, that's just a bunch of marketing crap that
restaurants use. Every time they make something spicy
they call it Cajun because it sounds better. None of the
recipes in this collection are terribly spicy. You can always
add some pepper sauce later.
There are really only two food ingredients I canít stand. Mayonnaise and green peppers. None of these recipes use green peppers and only one contains mayonnaise. You can add green peppers to any of the Cajun recipes if youíd like. When ever a recipe calls for celery, use the same amount of onions, the same amount of celery and and add the same amount of green peppers as celery that the recipe called for. For instance, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of onions and a Ĺ cup of onions then use 1 cup of onions, a Ĺ cup of celery, and a Ĺ cup of green peppers.
If you don't know the difference between Cajun and
Creole think of it this way. Cajun is country and Creole
is city. Here's another way to think of it. Cajun
food comes from the bayous and farms while Creole food comes
from New Orleans.
If ya ainít got a cast iron frying pan and cast iron dutch oven (the bigger the better) ya canít cook Cajun. Go get one, season it well, and come back. If you need help seasoning your cast iron, here's a link to a very thorough way to do it right. Seasoning Cast Iron. Truthfully, the only recipes that really need the cast iron are jambalayas and the ones that use a roux. Non-stick works for just about everything else.
Shrimp can substituted for crawfish in any recipe.If the recipe calls for Creole seasoning, we use Tony's.
If the recipe doesnít specify, use salted butter
GBD = Golden brown & delicious.