Shrimp and Zucchini Pirogue

Hollowed out, fried zucchini with a mound of shrimp étouffée topped with fried jumbo shrimp. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Legendary singer /songwriter Hank Williams brought Cajun music (and food) into the mainstream in 1952 with his song Jambalaya. No doubt you remember the colorful lyrics: Good-bye Joe, me gotta go, me oh my oh Me gotta go pole the pirogue down the bayou My Yvonne, the sweetest one, me oh my oh Son of… 

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Oxtail Stew 2

Oxtail Stew with Mushrooms and Port Reduction

  Okay, there may be some of you out there that just doesn’t see the beauty in this dish. Yeah, it’s just a skillet full of bony meat with some kind of gravy. And you’d be missing out on one of the great dishes on the planet Earth. Plain and simple – it’s oxtail stew. Oh, you can call it … [Read More...]

Cheese-stuffed boudin regally encased in crusty pepper jelly-glazed bread -- the king of all cakes.

Boudin King Cake

There are many great reasons to live in Louisiana, but Mardi Gras has to be near the top of the list. And king cake – the most regal cake of all – makes the carnival season even more special. This sugary confection comes out of hiding about three weeks before Mardi Gras day and is obsessed over by … [Read More...]

Dark and rich, backbone stew is a Cajun iron-pot classic.  (All photos credit: George Graham)

Backbone Stew

Admit it, when you think of Cajun food, gumbo comes to mind. Maybe jambalaya or even crawfish étouffée are in your limited wheelhouse of South Louisiana cooking. But, that’s only scratching at the topsoil of this lush culinary landscape, and it’s my goal to dig deep and get to the roots of Cajun and … [Read More...]

Tomato Soup Horiz

Talking Tomato Soup

You say tomato, I say soup!  It goes without saying that a steaming hot bowl of tomato soup is the ultimate comfort food. You know exactly what I mean – it feels warm and cozy just like that old pair of fur-lined slippers you refuse to throw out (c’mon, admit it). Tomato soup is quite good right out … [Read More...]

Spiced Lettuce Cups Vert

Cajun-Spiced Lettuce Cups with Vidalia Onion Relish

I must confess that, like many of you, I always start the year off with a goal of eating lighter, but living in Acadiana -- ground zero for the most amazing food culture in America -- it is a daunting task.  So today I am offering a compromise of sorts: These lettuce cups deliver on the spicy Cajun … [Read More...]

Dark and smoky, these turkey necks spice up a gumbo pot with flavor.  (All photos credit: George Graham)

Smoked Turkey Neck Gumbo

Smoked turkey neck gumbo is not timid. Its very design is to grab your full attention as you ascend, no dive, into the dark depths of its culinary abyss. The smoky, bony knobs of neck meat render tender with a moistness that makes them burst with earthy flavor. The tantalizing taste of your first … [Read More...]

Roasted Duck Pieces on Board Horiz

Beer Can Duck

For me, crispy, twice-cooked duck is as good as it gets. When dining in a restaurant that understands how to cook duck -- gently rendering the fat while preserving the moisture of the meat -- I will always order it. But cooking this dish at home does present some challenges. Challenges, I’m happy to … [Read More...]

Pomegranate 3

Pomegranate Spritzer

  If ever there were a drink to define the holidays, it is this one: the colors of red and green, the fragrance of fruit and evergreen, and the taste of a sweet present under the tree. This Pomegranate Spritzer is gift wrapped and ready to serve.  And the beauty of this one is that it works … [Read More...]

Beef Shanks

Beer-Braised Beef Shanks with Parsley Pecan Pesto

Let’s cut to the meat of this story -- whole sectional cuts of beef are irresistible to me.  They harken back to pioneer days and more rustic farm-style butchering techniques.  But beef shanks are rarely seen whole in the supermarket.  My guess is that retailers fear that timid customers will panic … [Read More...]

Beef Pot Pie angle

Pot Pie Promise

Cooking meat in a rich red wine sauce is classic French and is equally common in French Louisiana. Cajun hunting camp cooks love to braise tough cuts of wild game and infuse the pot with wine and stock.   The technique works with any number of meats (see my coq au vin recipe here) and around … [Read More...]

IMG_8670

Cane-Brined Roast Turkey

I love turkey. It is dependable, versatile, affordable, and delicious cooked in so many great Cajun and Creole interpretations. But for many cooks, a turkey sandwich is about as close as they get to the bird all year long. And anxiety sets in as the calendar rolls around to September, October, … [Read More...]

Creole Pimento Cheese

Fire-Roasted Red Pepper Pimento Cheese

In the Deep South, pimento cheese is the mortar that holds society together.  Whether sandwiched between two slices of white bread or elegantly stuffed in a stalk of celery, no Southerner worth his salt would be without a basic pimento cheese recipe. Here in South Louisiana we like to do things a … [Read More...]

SmotheredGreenBeansOverhead

Creole Smothered Green Beans with Andouille Sausage

This green bean casserole is the one you’ll always see on our holiday table. It’s simply green beans straight out of a can, but it’s uncanny how these green beans — sautéed up in smoky bacon grease, smothered down in spicy andouille, and spiked with Cajun seasonings — will bring “thanks” to your … [Read More...]

Cajun Rice Stuffed Onion

Dirty Rice

An iconic side dish of Cajun cuisine is rice dressing, commonly referred to as dirty rice, made from seasoning and spices along with pork liver. You won’t see a meat-and-three plate lunch without a scoop of the stuff – it’s practically a food group in Acadiana. Here in South Louisiana, there are … [Read More...]

Smoked ponce, rice and gravy served up family-style.

Ponce Upon A Time

Long ago the French came to the bayous of Louisiana and brought with them a vast wealth of recipes.  Over generations of influence, the tastes and flavors of most of those recipes have evolved.  These classic Cajun dishes and the artisan skills that go into Louisiana’s culinary cultural uniqueness … [Read More...]