Hey, where y'all at?! Bienvenue à vous-autres! Welcome to The Creole and Cajun Recipe Page, serving fine Louisiana cuisine to the web since 1994 and celebrating the marvelous Creole cuisine of New Orleans, and the hearty cooking of Acadiana.
Beware, all ye who enter here -- Louisiana (and especially New Orleans) has, in my not-so-humble opinion, the best cuisine in the world. However, it isn't always what you'd call healthy ("It ain't da seafood dat makes ya fat ... it's da batta!"), and some of the dishes are probably not for people obsessed with watching their intake of fat. But dawlin' ... talk about good! With some creative substitutions you can make them much more healthy if you like. Use your imagination, but don't declare war on butter and cream; just enjoy them occasionlly, and in moderation.
Before you ask the inevitable question, "What's the difference between Creole and Cajun?" ... find the answer and more by reading this introduction to the joys of Cajun and Creole cuisine by food writer Malcolm Hébert. One of our finest chefs, Chef John Folse, also writes about the history and evolution of Creole and Cajun cuisine. You may also wish to read my take on the infamous, so-called Cajun food craze of the mid-1980s.
Before you begin:
Know Your Ingredients. Creole and Cajun cooking uses certain specific ingredients and techniques with which you might want to familiarize yourself. Find out what they are here -- how to make them, where to get them, or how to substitute for them.
Mail-order Sources. If you're living outside Louisiana, you might need to know where to get some of your ingredients -- here are a few places who can get you what you need.
Metric and Celsius Measurements and Temperature Equivalents! Okay, for all y'all on the rest of the planet, we finally added this. Yeah, I know, it's about time ... and now I don't have to keep getting emails asking "What's a cup? What's a quart?"
Use the Search Engine. Before you write to me and ask me if I have a recipe for this or that, please just use the search box at the top of this page or the above link to look for it yourself on this site. If it doesn't come up in the search, then I don't have it. Thanks for helping.
The Basics: Before you dive in, you've got a little bit of prep work to do. in this section you'll find a couple of things you should always have on hand -- Creole seasoning blend (a basic mixture of seasonings upon which to build your dishes) and homemade stocks (see below) -- don't skimp on this step.
Then you can start with my picks for the five essential New Orleans dishes:
Now, in sort of order ...
Cocktails and other beverages: Have some cocktails before dinner (especialy a Sazerac, New Orleans' finest). Classic New Orleans cocktails (and classic cocktails from elsewhere), then learn the proper way to make iced tea, and finish your meal with the best coffee in the world.
Stocks: Make homemade stock. It makes all the difference. You must do this!. Good stock is the key to great dishes. Make your own. Forget cans and bouillion (ugh).
Appetizers and salads: Some of New Orleans' best and most famous dishes are starters.
Gumbos, soups and bisques: "Soup" is the understatement of the century. Gumbo is the Rolls-Royce of soups, and many of New Orleans' soups, gumbos and bisques are works of art.
Sauces: Well-known Louisiana sauces, plus the "mother" sauces and more.
Sausages and seasoning meats: Andouille, tasso, chaurice, Creole hot sausage and more.
Seafood dishes: Why we're famous for our seafood.
Poultry dishes: And you thought chicken was boring. Not the way we make it. From elegant haute Creole to rustic one-pot dishes to a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken.
Meat and Game dishes: Beef, pork, veal, rabbit, venison. From the simple to the decadent.
Vegetables, Side Dishes and Vegetarian Dishes: Gotta eat your veggies. And your dirty rice too! Plus a new and growing section for our vegetarian friends. (It ain't easy for a vegetarian to be in New Orleans.)
Sandwiches: New Orleans' quintessential sandwiches, from po-boys to muffulettas and beyond.
Breads and Breakfast: Breakfast and brunch in New Orleans ... mmmmmm. It's a wonderful and delicious local tradition back home ... start one yourself where you live.
Dessert! Listen to me. Do not think about calories or fat ... just eat it!
Condiments & Pickles: You'll want those pickled onions for your red beans, and those pickled okra spears for your Bloody Marys. Plus condiments and stuff from to salsas to preserves.
A Culinary World Tour: Recipes from many world and regional cuisines.
Plus a special bonus ...
"The Crawfish-Sea Urchin Tale" - Where one day in 1985 Louisianian and Japanese culinary traditions crashed head-on, and there were no survivors. Now fully illustrated with photos!
"Uncle Manny's Flanny Steak Vegetables" - A "recipe"/short story by William McKenzie Neal.