An oft asked question on the internet is: What is the difference between Creole Spice vs. Cajun Spice blends? There is a lot of confusion surrounding these two mixes of spice. Frequently, they are treated as being identical, but they are not. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Southern cooking
Last week Jan had a work lunch that had Sweet Potato Biscuits with PB&J. She brought some leftovers home for us to try. She suggested that this would be a good thing to serve the teenagers on their Thursday movie night.
My usual pattern of having the family over for dinner was disrupted by Captain America. We went to the movie and had deli dinner over at the kids’ place (yes, she’s 28 now, but she’s still our titmouse). I brought the dried meats, bread and cheese, Miriam provided the fruit and veggies.
I am planning a buttermilk roasted chicken tonight. I wanted a green vegetable to go with it and green beans came to mind. This Sunday, Miriam served us her marinated strawberries and steamed green beans. I thought: Why serve them separately?
I am making a Southern (U.S.) roasted chicken. Southern chicken calls for yams to be the starch. This is one of those dishes that I try to make differently each time I make it. I am still looking for the perfect mashed yam dish.
I lived on the West Bank of New Orleans (Gretna) for a couple of years in the 70’s. I have eaten my fair share of real Cajun food, and I have a good idea what it should taste like. If I am just cooking a dish for a weekday meal I will usually just use a Paul Prudhomme’s “Magic” blend. One thing I will not be doing is using the Prudhomme recipe I saw him make on TV one time. While I am sure it was delicious, I am too much of a Californian to follow a recipe that starts, “when the two pounds of butter has stopped frothing, add the three cups of onions.”
Adapted from Jolinda Hackett, About.com Guide
For this Sunday’s feast I am making Jambalaya. Jambalaya is really a one pot meal, but it is heavy on the meats and starch. I wanted a green vegetable side dish to balance out my meal. Jan and I are in complete agreement about okra. It may be one of the classic Cajun/Southern vegetables, but despite our Southern roots (Virginia and Mississippi) we both dislike it. Many of the things calling themselves “Cajun vegetables” on the internet were just regular veggies with some Cajun spice thrown on top. I finally decided on collard greens, another classic Southern vegetable. I would not, however be cooking it in the Southern fashion, the way our mothers did, boiling it down to a sludge. California-Style, braising until just tender, is my plan, with a little red pepper for color.
In the 1970’s I was working for a diving company based in Belle Chasse, LA. I have been thinking about that time lately (it probably has something to do with Lent and Mardi Gras). I can’t think about N’Orl’ns (one word) without thinking about the food. For two years I lived off of Muffulettas, Shrimp Etouffee, boiled crawfish, and Jambalaya. I have had a sudden desire for the flavor. Louisiana food generally falls into two main cuisines Creole and Cajun, which roughly corresponds to city and country.