Crawfish Boil Chowder

Thick and spicy chowder with the flavor of a Louisiana crawfish boil.  (All ppbotos credit: George Graham)

If you live in crawfish country, you know all about South Louisiana’s favorite springtime pastime – the backyard crawfish boil. Suckin’ heads and pinchin’ tails is always a tasty occasion, but what to do with all the leftover crawfish and vegetables? Chowder time! Making soup with Louisiana seafood is a familiar recipe for most Cajun… 

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Stuffed Crabs Sauce

Stuffed Crabs with Absinthe Cream

With this stuffed crab dish, I like to think of old Polaroid photos of a time-gone-by spending lazy summers on the coast; we crabbed during the day, floundered at night, and slept to the gentle Gulf breeze blowing through the screened windows. Summer days spent crabbing at my family’s fishing … [Read More...]

Wrapped in bacon and glazed with sweet heat, this meat loaf spikes with flavor.  (All photos credit: George Graham)

Bacon-Wrapped Meat Loaf

As a kid growing up on Montgomery Street in Bogalusa, Louisiana, dinnertime was comforting. A home-cooked meal as we gathered around the family table was what we did every night. It was a simpler time.  No distractions.  No complications.  No worries. Over time, things change. These days, busy … [Read More...]

Fresh Louisiana crabmeat and tender asparagus enveloped in a creamy cheese sauce. (All photos credit: George Graham)

White Asparagus and Crabmeat Au Gratin

Years ago, I rarely saw white asparagus in South Louisiana markets but these days it is everywhere. That tells me that, in addition to green asparagus, local cooks have discovered this ingredient and are bringing it into their Acadiana kitchens. But, why is white asparagus white, and what’s the … [Read More...]

Simple Southern ingredients come together in a hearty soup. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Kale, Black-eyes and Pork Jowl Soup

Soulful simplicity. It doesn’t take much of a story line to sum up what this dish is all about. If stewing down a pot of black-eyes and fresh kale isn’t simple enough, then infuse it with the soul-food flavors of smoky pork jowl and intense dark chicken stock – the essential ingredients for this … [Read More...]

Chick Steak Sanwiches - Version 2

Chic Steak Sandwich at the Acme Café

Ding…ding…ding! Order up! Chic Steak, extra mayo, hold the pickle! My father, George Graham, Sr., was slinging burgers at White Tower in Michigan in the years before WW II and wound up welding aircraft parts in a factory in Detroit until war’s end. Flush with cash and a dream, he and my mom … [Read More...]

Louisiana seafood and Creole tomatoes combine in this South Louisiana fish soup. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Creole Cioppino

Fish soup is as essential to French cuisine as gumbo is to French Louisiana. I love the flavors of briny stock-infused shellfish and finfish swimming in a bowl of herbs and vegetables. In my younger years, I once traveled the length of France searching for the perfect soupe de poisson, and two weeks … [Read More...]

Stuffed Shrimp Two Plates Horiz

Crawfish-Stuffed Shrimp with Creole Rice

One of the tastiest South Louisiana dishes I’ve ever eaten celebrates both shrimp and crawfish. I first tasted crawfish-stuffed shrimp some thirty years ago at the Blair House, a highly acclaimed French Acadian restaurant in my hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana. The door to that establishment has … [Read More...]

Crispy fried quail drizzled with Honey Heat is a tasty appetizer.  (All photos credit: George Graham)

Skillet-Fried Quail with Honey Heat

  If asked to name one Southern dish worthy of praise, for most folks it would be fried chicken. But for me, there’s something about the taste of farm-raised quail with its delicate, close-to-the-bone meat hand-battered and fried that ascends to a higher culinary calling. And if you try it, I … [Read More...]

Catfish Head Stew Horiz

Catfish Head Stew

On a crisp cool Friday morning on my way to Eunice, Louisiana to stock up on my favorite garlic smoked sausage at my friend Kermit Lejeune's smokehouse, I drove past a little market on the highway heading west out of Opelousas. I did not have seafood on my mind, but it was the colorful exterior … [Read More...]

Oh yeah -- slowly braised rabbit stewing alongside pillowy dumplings. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Rabbit and Dumplings

My wife Roxanne is a wiz in the kitchen, and her sauce-bathed dumplings are a Southern classic I crave.  I love the way her pillowy, soft dumplings sink into the bed of herb-infused meat (usually chicken) and soak up the spicy blanket of gravy for what I can only describe as comfort … [Read More...]

Rich and creamy oyster and spinach pastalaya with smoky andouille sausage. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Oyster, Spinach and Andouille Pastalaya

“In the South, as in no other American region, people use language as it was surely meant to be employed; a lush, personal, emphatic, treasure of coins to be spent slowly and for value” — Time Magazine, September 1976 Here in the South, folks are prone to outbursts of words, phrases, and sayings … [Read More...]

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

Shrimp and Zucchini Pirogue

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 … [Read More...]

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...]