Monday, September 15, 2014

Illustrated Drawing: Cajun Spice

We were introduced to Cajun spice by Allie's Louisiana boyfriend. We love our foods spiced, so it was really fun to try some new flavor combinations. Perhaps you've seen Emeril Lagasse, the New Orleans chef made famous by his BAM! spice blend. He uses it in place of salt and pepper in dishes and coined the phrase, "taking it up a notch".

Cajun food is different than Creole food, but both are from Louisiana. Some people believe Creole to be city food and cajun to be country food....Even though both culinary aspects overlap and seem to get closer everyday, they are different cuisines.

Cajun food uses the "holy trinity" of flavors - celery, carrots and green pepper. They are the base for many recipes.  Of course, other herbs are added (bay leaf, garlic, oregano, dried shrimp, brown sugar, sassafras leaves).

Creole is a blend of many cultures: African, Italian, Spanish, German, Carribean, Native American and Portuguese. It is thought to be more sophisticated than Cajun food, because of all the influences and spices used in Creole cooking.
Creole cooking uses tomatoes in their jambalaya while Cajuns cuisine does not.
Creole cooking makes a roux with butter and flour, whereas Cajuns use oil an flour.

But, back to the Cajun spice blend. How do you use it?

  • to season potatoes before they are roasted
  • as a rub for fish or meat before grilling
  • stir a teaspoon into half a cup of mayonnaise and you will have a cajun mayo recipe
  • Sprinkle Cajun seasoning onto cooked pasta, in place of salt and pepper.
  • Use Cajun Seasonings in a salad.
  • Sprinkle seasoning on french fries for an unexpected spicy flavor.

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