Asparagus Aspiration

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There are vegetables that scream flavor, and then there are those that speak softly.  Asparagus whispers.  I’ve had a love affair with asparagus for many years now and continuously stalk the perfect recipe.  I’ve eaten asparagus dishes in France, in Napa, and in many of the best restaurants on both coasts.  I love them all…. 

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Crab & Corn Bisque

Corn and Crab Bisque

Louisiana cooking is famous for pairing farm-to-table vegetables with fresh Gulf seafood. Oyster and spinach is a common duo in many soups and shrimp and artichoke shows up frequently as well. But my all-time favorite is a traditional soup: Corn and Crab Bisque. This cream-based soup has its origins … [Read More...]

Pain Perdu with Syrup

Pain Perdu – the Cajun French Toast

Literally translated, pain perdu is French for “lost bread" -- the Louisiana version of French toast. And this dish is steeped in historical meaning and cultural significance for the Acadiana table. For early French-speaking Cajun settlers living off the land in the rural farmland of South … [Read More...]

Okra and Tomatoes with Stewed Chicken and Sausage

Okra is Okay

Here's the thing -- okra is a vegetable of extremes.  For the most part, folks tend to categorize okra as a “love it or hate it" relationship.  It’s hard to be indifferent about okra.  True Southerners, and especially good Cajun cooks, identify strongly with okra.  But, even within okra circles … [Read More...]

Seared Rare Duck Breast

Seared Duck Breast with Raspberry Rosemary Sauce

Cajun life is centered around the culture of hunting that influences the tastes and ethnic dishes that make it so rich and colorful. Duck is a popular dish in all its forms – both wild and domestic. Duck gumbo and duck cassoulet are dishes that I have written about before and they both focus on duck … [Read More...]

Pinapple Martini & Jar

Martini Marinade

  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. … [Read More...]

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...]