March 2021 Challenge - Cajun and Creole

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On the heels of Mardi Gras! A celebrated part of the US food scene, Cajun and Creole represent the cultural history of the state of Louisiana. Drawing on influences of early settlers, Cajun and Creole cuisine incorporates French, Spanish, West African, and Native American traditions framed by ingredients found in and around fresh and saltwater marshes, estuaries, and lowlands. Shellfish, fish, game meats, rice, tomatoes, beans, okra and of course the venerable hog!

Some famous dishes include roux-based gumbos, étouffée and jambalaya but extend to things like “bbq” shrimp, red beans and rice, boudin and beignets. Feel free to use what is available to you to sub in ingredients and cook in the “style”. The challenge might be to take a few minutes to read a little about the history of the people and their food traditions.

Laissez les bon temp rouler! (let the good times roll!)


But not without a few rules!
  • The challenge begins on the 1st of every month. The last entry must be made by the last day of the month.
  • You may post multiple entries.
  • All entries must be cooked during the month of the challenge.
  • If you use a documented recipe, please cite your source.
  • Entries should include the name of your dish and a picture of the final product. Sharing personal recipes and pictures of the process are not mandatory but extremely helpful.
  • The winner is chosen by the person who posted the challenge, and is announced after the last day of submissions. The decision is final and falls entirely at the discretion of the challenger.
  • Submitting an entry makes you eligible to win. If you do not wish to be considered for the win you may still participate in the challenge, but make your wishes known to the challenger.
  • The winner’s bounty includes praise, virtual high-fives, and the responsibility of posting the next month’s challenge. That entails choosing a theme, posting a Challenge thread that includes the guidelines, checking in on the submissions regularly during the month, and promptly choosing a winner at the end of the challenge.
 
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A friend of mine pickles venison hearts and they are a delicious snack.

Funny - I made wild bunny gumbo for Fat Tuesday. I can get into this challenge.
 
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I should be able to find something I can make.
Monthly shopping is this Thursday, will see whats available (and got my garden) ;)
 
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Joined Nov 5, 2007
Pickle meat. Tasso. Andouille. Boudin.

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A good chance you will see two of the four in this challenge. Possibly three, probably not all four. And catfish. And shrimp. And grits. And greens. And beans. And rice.

Could be a fun month.

mjb.
 
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Tasso...
I remember looking at making that at some point in time ;) All curing stuff is still in storage though.
Looking at blackening, or was that an arab thing?
I better read up on the challenge theme before posting ;)
 
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First step is done.

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Some of that pork was cut into large cubes, put into the freezer.

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About a quart of vinegar with garlic, black pepper, celery seed, mustard seed, salt and a healthy dose of hot sauce was brought to a boil.

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After the vinegar cooled off for a while it was poured into a bag with the chilled pork. So in a few days I'll have some pickle meat.

Thinking my first dish might be blackened catfish with collards. @butzy blackening is a Cajun thing, go for it!

mjb.

Challenge List
 
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@butzy Here is the guy that popularized "Blackened" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Prudhomme

I've got Boudin in mind as well - I have everything I need to make it except more scallions, but it's got to warm up some first. It was below 0 F this morning with a stout wind most of the day keeping around there.

I have one grocer a town over who always has fresh pork butt for under $1lb. and that's where I go when I make sausage. Hell you can't beat that price and another in another town that sells Hatfield bacon ends for $2.49lb. and another that's local that trims their pork loins so close I buy the fat cheap too.
 
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@teamfat I'm excited about the pickled meat. I'd never even heard about that so I think I am going to have to give that a go to see what it's all about. It's meant to be a seasoning meat right? But there's no curing salt? Looking forward to see what you do with it.

@mike9 That's awesome you have access to meats and fat like that. Once in a blue moon I get lucky.. this big ol' pork loin was 99 cents a lb! I smoked it and sliced it on my deli slicer. Made some dang tasty sammiches!

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Step 2.

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Three slices of that pork butt. Salt, cure #1, sugar, black pepper, white pepper, home grown killer hot cayenne pepper, cinnamon, smoked paprika and garlic powder.

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All mixed up in a bag, into the fridge. In about a week it will go in the smoker, then some tasso for my hoppin' john or dirty rice or gumbo or collards or jambalaya or ....

mjb.
 
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I need some tips on grilling rump steak in Creole/Cajun style.
Other than seasoning it with Cajun spice
I normally go SE Asian with most of my grilled food (and most other as well). Will be interesting to go in a different direction ;)
 
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