Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link's Louisiana

Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link's Louisiana

Donald Link

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0307395812

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link's Louisiana

Donald Link

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0307395812

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


An untamed region teeming with snakes, alligators, and snapping turtles, with sausage and cracklins sold at every gas station, Cajun Country is a world unto itself. The heart of this area—the Acadiana region of Louisiana—is a tough land that funnels its spirit into the local cuisine. You can’t find more delicious, rustic, and satisfying country cooking than the dirty rice, spicy sausage, and fresh crawfish that this area is known for. It takes a homegrown guide to show us around the back roads of this particularly unique region, and in Real Cajun, James Beard Award–winning chef Donald Link shares his own rough-and-tumble stories of living, cooking, and eating in Cajun Country.

Link takes us on an expedition to the swamps and smokehouses and the music festivals, funerals, and holiday celebrations, but, more important, reveals the fish fries, étouffées, and pots of Granny’s seafood gumbo that always accompany them. The food now famous at Link’s New Orleans–based restaurants, Cochon and Herbsaint, has roots in the family dishes and traditions that he shares in this book. You’ll find recipes for Seafood Gumbo, Smothered Pork Roast over Rice, Baked Oysters with Herbsaint Hollandaise, Louisiana Crawfish Boudin, quick and easy Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits with Fig-Ginger Preserves, Bourbon-Soaked Bread Pudding with White and Dark Chocolate, and Blueberry Ice Cream made with fresh summer berries. Link throws in a few lagniappes to give you an idea of life in the bayou, such as strategies for a great trip to Jazz Fest, a what-not-to-do instructional on catching turtles, and all you ever (or never) wanted to know about boudin sausage. Colorful personal essays enrich every recipe and introduce his grandfather and friends as they fish, shrimp, hunt, and dance.

From the backyards where crawfish boils reign as the greatest of outdoor events to the white tablecloths of Link’s famed restaurants, Real Cajun takes you on a rollicking and inspiring tour of this wild part of America and shares the soulful recipes that capture its irrepressible spirit.

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stew, add the last cup of cream, remaining tablespoon of butter, Herbsaint, and reserved whole oysters. Cook for 5 more minutes and serve. NOTE: If you do not have enough oyster liquor from the pint of oysters, add fish stock, chicken broth, or water, as needed. Alternatively, some seafood markets sell oyster liquor, which is another great option. Crab Cakes with Jalapeño Remoulade Crab Cakes with Jalapeño Remoulade SERVES 4 I have a list of things that I almost never order in a

cakes should be loose, just barely holding together. Chilling them before they are cooked helps firm up them and hold together without too much binder (bread crumbs). Dungeness and Peeky Toe crab can be used in this recipe, but my favorite is blue crab from the Gulf. I have actually gone to the trouble of cooking live crabs and picking them myself, but trust me—if you can buy good lump crab, that’s the easier way to go. Even for a pretty accomplished crab picker like me, it takes a while to get

word piquant basically means “spicy,” but in Cajun cooking it also refers to a certain preparation that involves pan frying meat and making a roux. I’ve often heard Cajun food referred to as one-pot cooking and this is a perfect example. If you want to save time, buy 2 boneless, skinless breasts and 4 boneless thighs. 1½ tablespoons salt 2 teaspoons ground black pepper ½ teaspoon ground white pepper 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper 2 teaspoons chili powder 1 teaspoon paprika 1 (3- to 4-pound)

from his previous marriage). He had worked as a shipbuilder in Mobile, and then as a police officer, where he was assigned to clean up the rougher neighborhoods. They cooked round-the-clock, out of necessity. Feeding their children, and then their grandchildren, was no small task. Those meals, and in particular Grandad’s style of cooking, left an indelible mark on me. I started out eating at the kids’ table, but my cousin John and I were the oldest grandkids, so our stay there was brief. We had

sort of a roulade, or in French cooking terms, a ballottine. After the stuffed thighs are cooked, let them rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes and they will firm up nicely and stay juicy. The sliced rounds make for a great-looking presentation. If you buy thighs individually from the meat case (as opposed to prepackaged varieties), ask for the largest available—they’ll be easier to stuff. This recipe is a fun, inexpensive way to prepare a truly great meal, particularly when served with Aunt

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