This page is dedicated
to the memory of
Jamie ShannonExecutive Chef,
New Orleans, La.
from 1990 to 2001
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Enter the name of a dish
or an ingredient.
-- Mark Twain, 1884
by Chuck Taggart (email),
Native New Orleanian, and damn good cook (albeit a modest one, of course)
Bienvenue à vous-autres! Welcome to the Creole and Cajun Recipe Page! Here we celebrate the marvelous Creole cuisine of New Orleans, and the hearty cooking of Acadiana (or "Cajun country"). You'll also find some culinary basics -- stocks, sauces, seasonings, and the like -- as well as a few tastes of many other regional and world cuisines.
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!
However, several of the dishes within these pages are indeed pretty good for you, and with some creative substitutions you can make them much more healthy. 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 beginKnow 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 you non-Americans, we finally added this. Yeah, I know, it's about time ...
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 yellow 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.
Last, but not least ... consider a donation. If you found a recipe you liked and made an amazing meal for your family and friends, if you got some good restaurant recommendations, or if you just enjoyed my writing, please consider making a small donation to help keep the Gumbo Pages' server bills paid up. Or if you're rich and wanna send me $1000, that's okay too. :-) You can use PayPal (preferred) or the Amazon Honor System (they keep a larger percentage for themselves, and I get to keep less). Every little bit is appreciated!
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 -- (make then and keep them in the freezer; you must do this!. Good stock is the key to great dishes. Make your own. Forget cans and bouillion (ugh).
Then you can start with the four essential New Orleans dishes: Red Beans 'n Rice, Jambalaya, Gumbo and Shrimp Creole
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.
- 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.
- The Mother Sauces, some popular Louisiana 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.
- New Orleans' quintessential sandwiches, from po-boys to muffulettas and beyond.
NEW! Muffuletta olive salad recipe!
- 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.
- Listen to me. Do not think about calories or fat ... just eat it!
- You'll want those pickled onions for your red beans, and those pickled okra spears for your Bloody Marys.
- The rest, from condiments 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.
The Creole and Cajun Recipe page is a subset of The Gumbo Pages, a massive and wonderful musical, cultural and culinary World Wide Web site concentrating on New Orleans, southern Louisiana, Acadiana ("Cajun country"), roots music and the wide world of non-commercial radio. Check it out!
This Web site is a work-in-progress (aren't they all?), and I welcome contributions. Also, if you cooked something that you learned from here, particularly my own recipes, I'd like to hear about it!
Special thanks to recipe contributors Sim Aberson, Arne Adolfsen, Bob Beer, Greg Beron, Ed Branley, Georges Collinet, Chef John Eddy, Nick Fitch, Chef John Folse, George Gerhold, Vasily Gladkov, Mrs. Zenaida Gladkova, Rich Hawkins, Christopher Hébert, Malcolm Hébert, Mrs. Dot Luquet, Susan Martinez, Peter Ostroushko, Louis Poché, Don Reid, Marc Savoy, Sarah Savoy, Mrs. Pat Taggart, Maurice Tate and Mrs. Nettie Zeringue. Recipe page logo by Sean Burke.
In memoriam: Chef John Neal of Peristyle Restaurant, New Orleans, Chef Tom Cowman of Upperline Restaurant, New Orleans, and sommelier Howard Arthur Faye, Los Angeles, who passed away in 1995; Chef Pierre Franey, who passed in 1996; Chef Gary Holleman, who left us in 1997; and Chef Patrick Clark of Tavern on the Green, who passed in 1998.
This site was (mostly) written, edited and designed by, and is maintained by Chuck Taggart (email)
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People who steal my stuff will be étoufféed and served to Dr. Lecter, with a nice Chianti. (I'm serious. Just don't do it. Thanks.)