Ragin’ Cajun Red Bean Chili

Hearty red bean chili stewed down in Ragin' Cajun beer is served up! (All photos credit: George Graham)

First, the idea: Turn a pot of creamy down-home Louisiana red beans spiked with beer and Latin spices into a meaty porkalicious chili.  Just think about it. This unique recipe solves the debate on whether to add beans to your chili; the beans are the star of this bowl o’ red. There’s much to like… 

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Bacon-wrapped lamb on the bone smoked in pecan wood pairs perfectly with sweet potato risotto. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Pecan-Smoked Lamb Shanks with Sweet Potato Risotto

At the first sign of cold weather, most men instinctively crave large slabs of meat. Not sure why. Maybe the caveman in all of us, or the need to store up protein for a long winter hibernation. Or maybe I’m just overthinking this. Yes, come to think about it, I crave it year round. Lamb is not … [Read More...]

Piled high with grilled onions, these smoked sausage po'boys are a South Louisiana classic. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Beer-Braised Smoked Sausage Po’Boy with Griddled Vidalia Onions and Sauce Duo

Smoked sausage is a familiar food item throughout Acadiana, and not a festival goes on without a booth serving up a sausage po’boy. It doesn’t get any simpler and don’t look for me to complicate it…much. First, the basics: My bread is classic – a soft po’boy bun from Evangeline Maid Bread in … [Read More...]

Crispy fried nuggets of catfish with a zesty dipping sauce is a "fryday" celebration in Acadiana.  (All photos credit: George Graham)

Potato Chip-Crusted Catfish Nuggets with Creole-Spiked Sriracha Mayo

Fridays in Cajun country usually mean “frydays” with fried catfish as the star attraction. And this recipe is a revelation on how good this dish can be. My catfish is encased in an impenetrable wall of crispness. Every bite explodes with flavor, shatters with a crunch of spice, and gives way to the … [Read More...]

Beef shank soup bone makes a tasty (and inexpensive) osso buco. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Soup Bone Osso Buco

When I see osso buco—the Italian wine-braised meat specialty—on a menu, I almost always order it. In white tablecloth restaurants, it’s usually made with cross-cut veal shank, and it is a pricey dish. I’ve seen it made with pork shanks, and even lamb shanks but the rich taste of beef is my … [Read More...]

Crab Avocado Martini 45 degree2

Crab and Avocado Napoleon with Spicy Citrus Salsa and Creole Green Goddess

More and more these days, I’m seeing traditional South Louisiana restaurants serving Cajun and Creole dishes with plate presentation techniques that impress. The days of a sprig of parsley and wedge of lemon are over. Simple things: a swish of sauce, a cedar plank fish, a scooped-out bread bowl, or … [Read More...]

Fresh ingredients combine in a comforting bowl of soup. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Lentil, Leek, and Mirliton Soup

Beans are a South Louisiana tradition, and I've written much about red beans and white beans, and how they have multiple uses in the Cajun kitchen. But lentils don't normally come to mind in the Cajun cooking conversation.  Not sure why.  Lentils are a tradition of French cooking, and the good folks … [Read More...]

Chef Christopher's brunch inspiration.  (All photos credit: George Graham)

Poached Eggs over Fried Green Tomatoes with Crabmeat Hollandaise and Gouda Grits

Grand Coteau is one of those sleepy little time-capsule communities that make Acadiana so intriguing to travelers. Only a stone’s throw off Interstate 49 north of Lafayette, this tiny St. Landry Parish town has a charm that’s hard to beat. From the prestigious girls’ school Academy of the Sacred … [Read More...]

The best ever: Creamy, mustardy potato salad featuring Cajun quail eggs.  (All photos credit: George Graham)

Mustard Quail Egg Potato Salad

In South Louisiana, you won’t find a fish fry, backyard barbecue, or even a steaming bowl of gumbo that doesn’t have a scoop of potato salad at the ready.  It’s a Southern thing, and a familiar down-home southern Louisiana preparation is a mustard-infused potato salad.  While this ubiquitous dish is … [Read More...]

A thrilling dessert made easy with store-bought ingredients.  (All photos credit: George Graham)

Blueberry Cream Pie

With words reminiscent of immortal Louisiana bluesman Fats Domino, I found my thrill on this hill of blueberries piled high on a mountain of cream.  And one bite of this easy-to-assemble Blueberry Cream Pie will make you sing the blues, too. Who knew that a magnificent dessert recipe could be so … [Read More...]

Crisp chicken thighs top rich tomato-infused Louisiana jasmine rice in this classic Creole dish. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Chicken Thighs and Creole Jasmine Rice

White or dark? When it comes to ordering chicken off a menu, it seems that is the inevitable question, and for the most part, people are quite opinionated about their preference. Without any research to back me up, I would guess that the breast meat wins out, and is why it sells for a premium in the … [Read More...]

Dark lager beer is the key ingredient in this hearty beef stew.  (All photos credit: George Graham)

Blackened Voodoo Beef Stew

  If you’ve spent any time on Acadiana Table, you know my love affair with cooking with beer. I just love the heady flavors of wheat and barley that give body to most any dish. Recently on vacation, I stopped in at an Irish brewpub and dove head first into a bowl of Guinness beef stew; it was … [Read More...]

Oven-baked and stuffed with flavor, this fish is fall-off-the-bone delicious. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Baked Yellowtail Snapper with Herbs, Lemons, and Olives

Gulf finfish cannot be beaten. I am blessed to live within a short drive of the Gulf of Mexico and the waters that produce amazing varieties of seafood. Drum, trout, grouper, tuna, flounder, pompano, and my favorite snapper, all show up on the Acadiana Table. Recently, I ran across yellowtail … [Read More...]

Sun Jewel Melon Ice Cream

Sun Jewel Melon Ice Cream

Even at my age, summer in the South conjures up childhood memories of the many ways we fought to stay cool on those sticky hot, horrendously humid Louisiana days.  It amazes me today at the simplicity of those times and how we savored the most ordinary events in our life like hand-cranked ice … [Read More...]

Blackened wild Atchafalaya Basin catfish. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Blackened Catfish with Lemon Rosemary Sauce

Over the years, the culinary technique of blackening has become one of my favorite methods for cooking fish of any kind--especially catfish.  With the deep, dark flavor of pungent spices that seal in the moist flesh of wild-caught catfish, it's cloaked in a rich, lemony butter sauce that zings with … [Read More...]

Ripe juicy strawberries on a mound of pound cake is at the center of this classic dessert. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Strawberry Shortcake Jars

In the South, strawberry shortcake and the 4th of July just go hand-in-hand. There’s no better way to top off a backyard holiday barbecue than with fresh seasonal fruit topped with whipped cream. It is the simplest recipe that delivers crowd-pleasing results every time. But how can we improve … [Read More...]