winter at the bayouLouisiana is its own place. It's kinda like being in a different country. There is this bubble that surrounds it. It's not a bad thing, just different. This bubble takes in a little bit of South Arkansas, Southwest Mississippi, a teeny bit of Alabama (like the Mobile area), and a little bit of East Texas. This area has some of the best food around. If you ask the locals they say it is Southern food, but no, it really isn't. It is Cajun food; spicy and oh so very, very delicious!
Cajun food was originally developed by the very poor in Louisiana and Southern Mississippi. Rice is a main staple in Cajun food (did you know Arkansas grows more rice than any other state? And let me tell you, it is A LOT! I've seen all the rice fields. There are other states that grow rice too.). Because the people had large families and were so poor, they used rice to stretch the meal. Seafood was also common since the people lived close to the Gulf of Mexico. As most of you know, spicy is the word for Cajun food. They love their Tabasco and cayenne peppers too. Since the people could grow bell peppers, onions and celery, you will find that most dishes consist of these, and are called the Holy Trinity. They also like to use a lot of garlic.
garlic plant from our gardenCrawfish, or mud bugs as they were oringianlly referred to, have become very popular. Because they were so plentiful, these critters were eaten by the poor. They learned to doctor them up with what was on hand which were all kinds of spices, and the Holy Trinity. Today, crawfish are very popular worldwide.
A few pepper from our garden.
I would like to share with you a very easy Jambalaya recipe a friend of mine shared with me.
(named after Terrebone Parish; waaaay down in South Looozina)
1 lb raw, peeled shrimp
1 cup washed raw rice
1 can consomme
1 can french onion soup
1 stick melted butter
1 small can mushrooms
3/4 cup chopped onion
Tabasco sauce (to taste)
salt (to taste)
red and black pepper (to taste)
I forgot to put the red pepper in the picture, but you better be sure I used it!!!!
Combine in large casserole, and cook at 350 for 1 hr and 45 mins to 2 hrs. covered. Stir occasionally. During last hour you can add 1 lb sausage. I like to use Andouilli sausage, which is very Cajun. If you are worried about the excess oil, boil first before putting into Jambalaya mixture. I also like to add a little cooked shredded chicken breast (I just cook it in olive oil and season the meat with Tony's seasoning) and crawfish. I didn't add the crawfish this time because it was so expensive. You can put in all the meat, or just the shrimp. I just usually have a mess of people over when I serve this, and most of them are meat people, so....
You don't have to use Andouille sausage. You can use any sausage. Andouille is just the best.
We use Tony's in just about all our cooking!
Well, hope you try this easy recipe. Let me know how you like it. If you don't like your food very spicy, I'd just leave out the red pepper and Tabasco.
If you try this, let me know what you think. Hope you enjoy!