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Cajun Cooking for Non-Cajuns


As a Cajun might say, “no buddy’s perfect.” No need to be ashamed of your non-Cajun heritage, but no need to go through life without good food, either. Jokes aside, Cajun food offers so much in the way of flavors and texture that it has become recognized as one of the most unique cuisines in the world and is very much a part of Americana cooking. Here are a couple of Cajun favorites:

Jambalaya

Ahh-E! There are tons of “just add meat” boxed dinners out there for this Cajun dish. Don’t be that person. You can have authentic tasting Jambalaya in less than an hour with very little effort, really. ‘And the SMELLS!

Ingredients
1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
1/3 lb cooked and shredded chicken
1/3 lb cut sausage
1/3 lb cubed cooked Ham
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 chopped white onions
2 cups chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup diced celery
3 minced garlic cloves
1 cup uncooked rice
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/4 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp salt

Directions:
Cook the onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic in two tbsp of the oil in a saucepan until onions are slightly translucent. Add Shrimp and cook until Shrimp are pink, but not dry out. Remove from heat and set to the side.

In separate pan, add ½ tsp of oil to the dry rice and brown rice, taking care not to burn it. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, salt, pepper, thyme, Tabasco, and the bay leaf.

Heat to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer about 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender.

Stir in the Shrimp and all of the meat. Cover and cook until heated through. Remove bay leaf, and impress yourself.

Calas

Okay this isn’t something you’ll likely find anywhere but in a Cajun kitchen. No one knows why it has never caught on, but calas is definitely a traditional Cajun treat. Serve to your guests as a dessert; they are sure to be impressed by your knowledge of Southern culture!

Ingredients
6 tbsp flour
2 tbsp baking powder
3 tbsp sugar
powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups rice cooked
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 pinch nutmeg
2 eggs
vegetable oil (for frying)

Directions:
Mix dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix rice and eggs together.

Add the dry ingredients to the rice and eggs, and mix together thoroughly. Drop by spoonfuls into a pan of hot vegetable oil (about 360 degrees F) and fry until brown. Be very careful when doing this!! Drain on a paper towel. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Best served hot.

These will get you through an entire meal and should pretty much leave your family and friends stuffed, but somehow wanting more.

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