Louisiana Crawfish and Asparagus Tart

Crawfish Asparagus Tart

Oh, for the love of crawfish. These little crustaceans show up every spring to spice up our Acadiana tables and are gone by the heat of summer. At least that was the way it used to be years ago before farming, processing and retail distribution transformed a natural rite of spring into a year-round industry…. 

Read More »

French Mustard-Braised Rabbit

A Tale of Two Mustards

The people of South Louisiana have many ancestral ties to their French cultural roots – cooking included. For instance, a delicate roux made by a trained saucier in the kitchen of a Michelin-starred French restaurant takes the same basic technique as one made by a skilled Cajun or Creole cook on a … [Read More...]

Creole Oyster and Spinach Soup

Rockin’ the Rockefeller Boat

Antoine’s restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans is famous for many classic Creole dishes, but Oysters Rockefeller is at the top of the list. While the ingredients in the 100-year-old recipe remain a closely held secret, the family insists that spinach is not one of them. As if to defy that … [Read More...]

Catfish Courtbouillion

Cajun Catfish Courtbouillon

Rosalie Fontenot Waldrop is my mother-in-law and a sweet Cajun lady who grew up in rural southwest Louisiana at a time when change threatened the traditional French Acadian way of life. Back in the post-war 1940s and 50s there was a movement afoot throughout Acadiana to eradicate the French language … [Read More...]

IMG_3574

Asparagus Aspiration

There are vegetables that scream flavor, and then there are those that speak softly.  Asparagus whispers.  I’ve had a love affair with asparagus for many years now and continuously stalk the perfect recipe.  I’ve eaten asparagus dishes in France, in Napa, and in many of the best restaurants on both … [Read More...]

Crab & Corn Bisque

Corn and Crab Bisque

Louisiana cooking is famous for pairing farm-to-table vegetables with fresh Gulf seafood. Oyster and spinach is a common duo in many soups and shrimp and artichoke shows up frequently as well. But my all-time favorite is a traditional soup: Corn and Crab Bisque. This cream-based soup has its origins … [Read More...]

Pain Perdu with Syrup

Pain Perdu – the Cajun French Toast

Literally translated, pain perdu is French for “lost bread" -- the Louisiana version of French toast. And this dish is steeped in historical meaning and cultural significance for the Acadiana table. For early French-speaking Cajun settlers living off the land in the rural farmland of South … [Read More...]

Okra and Tomatoes with Stewed Chicken and Sausage

Okra is Okay

Here's the thing -- okra is a vegetable of extremes.  For the most part, folks tend to categorize okra as a “love it or hate it" relationship.  It’s hard to be indifferent about okra.  True Southerners, and especially good Cajun cooks, identify strongly with okra.  But, even within okra circles … [Read More...]

Seared Rare Duck Breast

Seared Duck Breast with Raspberry Rosemary Sauce

Cajun life is centered around the culture of hunting that influences the tastes and ethnic dishes that make it so rich and colorful. Duck is a popular dish in all its forms – both wild and domestic. Duck gumbo and duck cassoulet are dishes that I have written about before and they both focus on duck … [Read More...]

Pinapple Martini & Jar

Martini Marinade

  Anyone who enjoys an ice-cold vodka martini has a long list of recipes to draw from. A quality vodka is undoubtedly the key ingredient but from there the variations are endless. I have some friends that stock bottles of Grey Goose in their freezer to achieve just the right pouring temp. … [Read More...]

Boudin-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry Wine Sauce

Boudin-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry Wine Sauce

It’s 5pm, and I’m heading home from work.  I’m lucky to live just a short ten-minute drive from my office – just enough time to think about supper and I’m in the mood for something a little offbeat.  Time to pull in to see Earl. Earl’s Cajun Market is a neighborhood grocer that hundreds of cars … [Read More...]

A rich dark stock is the key to my Acadiana Chicken Soup. (All photos credit: George Graham)

The Long, Hot Simmer

Most every food culture takes pride in their version of chicken soup. It is as basic and fundamental a recipe as cooking gets. But, most folks haven’t a clue to how exceptionally delicious – no, heavenly – this dish can be. To learn the skill of making a rich, sublime soup of nothing more than … [Read More...]

Cajun onion rings

Lard of the Rings

For me, onion rings are a weakness bordering on obsession.   A perfectly fried o-ring is a thing of beauty.  When dining out, I order them constantly and will even pay a couple of bucks more to substitute onion rings for fries.  While some are good, and others just acceptable, I am mostly … [Read More...]

Cabbage Jambalaya

Cabbage Jambalaya

Cabbage is always on our Acadiana table for New Year's Day. It’s just the natural order of things. There are numerous cabbage dishes in my recipe repertoire, but Cabbage Jambalaya is my new favorite. It combines the best of rice dressing with smothered cabbage cooked down with smoked ham hocks along … [Read More...]

Stuffed Quail Gumbo

Quail Gumbo

Try as I might, I cannot quell my passion for quail.  I crave it this time of year especially and no holiday season would be complete without it.  Let me explain the source of my lifelong obsession for this tasty flight of fancy. It all began when I was a kid growing up in small-town Louisiana … [Read More...]

Sweet Heat Carrots

Sweet Heat Carrots

In my culinary treasure chest, carrots are as good as gold. Even better. Carrots are one of the simplest, yet most versatile vegetables of all. Raw, juiced, steamed, buttered, or broiled -- carrots are cherished by cooks in the know. In a cake or just to bake, you can’t beat the flavor and texture … [Read More...]