Martini Marinade

Pinapple Martini & Jar

  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. I’ve even experimented… 

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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 five or 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 … [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...]

Pigs Ear Pastry

Les Oreilles De Cochon — Talk about good!

I love hometown cookbooks. You know the kind I’m talking about. Not the glossy, full color, celebrity chef-endorsed titles that scream from the shelf of the big box bookstores. No, these are the quiet, little regional books – usually comb-bound with no photographs -- tucked neatly in rows far … [Read More...]

Turnip Stew

Turnips – From Bitter To Better

In the autumn months, turnips turn up on Acadiana tables quite frequently. As a South Louisiana ingredient, it is quite popular and reflects the love affair that the entire American South has with this down home ingredient. I particularly like cooking with turnips and enjoy their strong taste that … [Read More...]

Tabasco Chocolate Brownies

The Dark Secret to the Ultimate Chocolate Brownie

Thanksgiving approaches and you're probably thinking about your menu or what you can bring to the dessert table if you are a gracious guest.  Pies of pumpkin and pecan are perfectly predictable.  But, if you want to add a slice of spice to the sweets then consider this sensory sensation -- Tabasco … [Read More...]

Stuffed Goo-Gootz

Stuffed Goo-Gootz

At the first hint of cool weather, cucuzza squash starts showing up at the farmer’s markets and produce stands around Acadiana. Some folks are unfamiliar with this elongated green squash variety, but those in the know look forward to it every autumn season. For most of us, cucuzza is pronounced … [Read More...]

Fried Frog Legs

Buttermilk Fried Frog Legs with Mustard Cream over Green Onion Corncakes

Bullfrogs are a down-home delicacy in South Louisiana much as they are in the finest French restaurants along the Champs-Elysées. The only difference is here in South Louisiana, our frogs are wild and our recipes even wilder. Now, you can have your Parisian rendition of ‘’Cuisses de Grenouille’’ … [Read More...]

Scuppernong-glazed Beef Ribs

Scuppernong Inspiration

I am a meticulous planner by nature as well as by profession.  That attention to detail has served me well these many years, but truth be told, I’ve grown tired of it.  It seems that as I’ve aged, I’ve let loose of the need to fastidiously program every waking minute of my life.  Empty day planners … [Read More...]

Taters 'n Onions with Red-Eye Gravy

Taters ‘n Onions with Country Ham Steak and Red-Eye Gravy

Reverend Jesse Waldrop is my wife’s father and just plain Papaw to us.  He’s a transplanted Tennessee hillbilly preacher who found his way down to bayou country.  For over forty years, the Reverend has walked the back roads of Acadiana spreading the gospel and selling the Good Book door-to-door.  … [Read More...]

Blackened and Smothered Ribeye Steak

Black Magic

Long before the heralded Chef Paul Prudhomme blackened his redfish, old time Cajun cooks had already embraced the black arts – cooking arts, that is.  Searing on hot iron until an ash-laden crust forms is a fundamental foundation of rustic, farmhouse Cajun cooking.  If black bits don’t appear in a … [Read More...]

White Beans and Rice

White Beans Supreme

Every once in awhile, I like to get back to basics – simple recipes and easy preparation with satisfying results.  It’s no-fuss, home-style, comfort food that is heart-warming and sticks to your soul like white on rice. Beans and rice are a staple of every Cajun Creole household.  Much like our … [Read More...]