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Recipe: Cajun Shrimp

I learned most of what I know about Cajun cooking from three great chefs:   Justin Wilson (red suspenders), Paul Prudhomme (white beret), and Emeril Lagasse (“Bam!”).

When it came to creating my own Cajun-style seasoning, though,  I needed a little more personal advice than these television chefs. I was so lucky to have two friends with strong ties to Louisiana — Aurora and Judy. Both of them jumped into action when I told them that I was working on a Cajun blend;  Aurora reached out to generations of family members back home, asking them for guidance, which led to her passing on comments like:

Here in town, it [gumbo]  is typically served with a side of potato salad and maybe some buttered french bread that’s been toasted

and

You can have heat but you got to have those flavors that come together just right“. Read the rest of this entry

Going Cajun!

In my last post,  I had talked about how much I appreciate and count on the support I get from people… Well, let me present Exhibit A!

Let the Cajun education begin!

A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of seeing several fellow Andrea Bocelli fans at an event in New York City. During the post-concert dinner, I mentioned to my Lousiana-born friend Judy that I want to develop a Cajun spice blend to add to my collection of ethnic blends. Until now, my exposure to Cajun cuisine has been limited; a trip to New Orleans several years ago, dinner at Emeril’s NOLA restaurant, and watching numerous cooking shows.

 Judy gave me several helpful insights, including this one that cracked me up:  “Real Cajuns don’t do that blackened thing… to them, that’s not blackened, it’s just BURNT!”. 

To my surprise and delight, a package from Judy arrived in the mail today, full of products that she uses and recommends, a list of “staples” for Cajun cooking, and a cookbook to inspire me!  I can’t wait to dive into the world of crawfish, etoufee, gumbo, jambalaya and much more.

 Laissez les bon temps rouller!

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