How to Cook dishes from Cajun and Creole tradition
The Cajun and Creole people most live in the state of
Cajun people tend to be descended from French Acadians (French settlers in the
Canadian maritime provinces and the state of
whereas Creole are often descended from French and Spanish settlers in Louisiana
arrived prior the region becoming part of the
United States as a result of
the 1803 Louisiana Purchase.
Intermarriage, and perceived social differences between Cajun and Creole people, has
of course blurred the distinctions between the two groups, and many people choose to define
their own identity in the way that they feel describes themselves best.
the difference between Cajun and Creole cuisine is somewhat blurred. However, in the state itself,
there are distinct differences. Cajun food tends to spicy, hearty, based on local produce, including
agricultural produce and wild game. Creole cuisine is sometimes perceived as more sophisticated, and
tends to make more use of seafood.
Some popular Cajun and Creole recipes and dishes include:
- Boudin - Pork sausages containing milk and rice. There are two varieties
boudin blanc and boudin rouge, which principally differ whether they include pig's
- Creole Omelette - A plain omelette served
with a spicy vegetable sauce.
- Cracklins - A snack made from fried pork skins.
- Gumbo - A soup made from meat or shellfish stock, bell peppers, celery, onion and a thickener.
The thickener used is usually okra or filé powder (a spice made from dried ground
sassafras leaves), sometimes with roux (a mix of wheat flour and fat).
The soup also usually contains poultry, smoked pork, and local shellfish
such as crab,
shrimp. Andouille (a sausage made from smoked pork, chitterlings, onions, wine
and seasoning) and tasso (smoked pork shoulder) are often added to the recipe,
giving it a smokey flavor.
Gumbo has become popular throughout the Gulf Coast, and even in Northern
Soul Food restaurants, and
Gumbo is traditionally served over rice.
- Étouffée - A dish of shellfish or chicken over rice, similar to gumbo,
but with a thicker consistency,
- Jambalaya - This dish has been described as a New World version of
Spanish cuisine's paella - although it
usually tomatoes instead of saffron, and various local meat and seafood,
depending on the recipe and what ingredients were available in the area.
Jambalaya is prepared in a single pot, and contains meat, seafood, vegetables,
rice and stock.
- Oysters en Brochette - Raw oysters are placed on a skewer with partly cooked bacon. The whole
thing is then breaded and deep-fried. The skewer is then removed, and the dish is then served on
top of triangles of toast with Meuniere sauce (a local sauce made from flour, butter, parsley and lemon).
- Oysters Rockefeller - A dish invented by the
chef, Jules Alciatore. The dish is made from oysters, parsley and parmesan cheese topped with a
rich sauce. The dish was named after the richest American of the time, John D. Rockefeller,
and was created as an alternative to escargot at Antoine's restaurant in
- Pompano en Papillote - A dish made by cooking a fillet of pompano fish in a parchment envelope
with a sauce of wine,
shrimp. During the cooking process, the envelope usually puffes up
to resemble a balloon - which is appropriate since the dish was originally created by
Jules Alciatore, in honor of the Brazilian balloonist, Alberto Santos-Dumont.
- Shrimp Creole - Shrimp in a sauce made from tomatoes, celery, onion, and bell peppers, flavored
with pepper sauce. It is usually served on top of steamed rice.
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