You don’t have to travel to Louisiana to get a taste of the delicious flair that Cajun cuisine has to offer. With a background of French cooking and influences from the American South, Cajun food is a uniquely-flavorful type of cuisine that can bring new life to your kitchen at home. Here are some tips to help you gain the Cajun know-how to create favorite Louisiana-style dishes in your home:
- Know your spices: Cajun cooking has a reputation for being hot and spicy, but the spice factor of Cajun food does not necessarily make it hot. While there are some powerfully hot Louisiana hot sauces and dishes, the spices used in Cajun cooking do not always crank up the heat. Cajun food blends salty, smoky, and savory flavors with spice blends including paprika, onion powder, and garlic. Cayenne pepper can be used for dishes where you want the heat, but it is generally optional. Bell peppers are also key flavor additions in Cajun food, so you will often find them in the base of sauces, soups, and stews.
- Use cast iron cookware: Louisiana cooks often take pride in their cookware, because it is durable cast iron that has been passed down from previous generations. Well-maintained cast iron is ideal for high heat searing, slow cooking, and deep frying, which are all important cooking methods for the Cajun style.
- Befriend your local fish monger: If you want to stick to the most authentic Cajun recipes, you will need to get used to cooking with more seafood, particularly shellfish. Crawfish, shrimp, and oysters are all Cajun favorites from the sea, and they are generally paired with land-roving meats like sausage, chicken, and ham. Fresh seafood is essential, so get to know the members of the fish department at your local grocery store so you always get the best catch available.
For the seasonings, spice blends, and sauces to make your Cajun cooking absolutely perfect, check out the online store of Totally Nawlins. We stock ingredients that you can only find in Louisiana stores and ship them across the nation so you can always bring the spirit of Cajun culture to your kitchen. Shop with us online or call us at (985) 377-9253.