How to Enjoy Gourmet Cajun Cooking For Less
The heart of the Louisiana bayou is where Cajun cuisine originated. Acadian French settlers banished or sold into slavery from their native Canada by the British found a new home in Louisiana, and their culture has thrived through trials and hardships ever since. Their unique style of spicy cooking has drawn fans from many different countries, including the United States.
Cajun cuisine is one of the most sought after cooking styles in our country. It doesn’t require a huge expense to dish up some gourmet Cajun favorites, but keeping a few things in mind helps produce the most authentic and flavorful dishes. The Southern favorite requires attention to some traditional ingredients and flavor profiles, as well as more than a little creativity.
Look for Flavor Profile
Cajun dishes use ingredients generally considered too spicy for the average palate. In fact, Cajun cuisine has a reputation for being too spicy for serious food connoisseurs. The ultimate goal of these dishes, however, is not set your taste buds on fire, but instead to add to the native flavors of these dishes’ best ingredients. The fact that many of these flavor profiles are also found in spicy foods is merely a coincidence.
Tabasco sauce is a good example to illustrate this point. Often used in traditional red beans and rice dishes, the heat of this spicy condiment is somewhat of an afterthought. The more important factor for gourmet Cajun cuisine is its vinegar-like taste that binds these dishes together.
Thus, a milder Tabasco sauce might never have made it to market to complete the distinctive taste of Cajun dishes. It is true that traditional Cajuns “like it hot,” but less adventurous diners can substitute other ingredients that create similar flavor profiles without too much trouble.
Use Simple Cajun Ingredients
Gourmet Cajun meals can add a little jazz to other recipes as well. Southern eateries often create dishes with crawfish, grits, and boudin sausages as a type of homage to the Cajun style and flavor. These are ingredients that expand the rich array of flavors and textures possible in certain gourmet recipes.
Some of the more exotic ingredients might be hard to find in traditional supermarkets and groceries, but there’s no need to go bayou hunting to find some nutria, blood sausage, or frog legs.
Cajun meals may use ingredients found in southern swamp land, but the culture has enough ancestors and relatives to supply local areas with a generous supply of the right authentic ingredients to assist your discovery of a completely new taste for yourself.
Give Your Everyday Recipes a Cajun Twist
As we’ve indicated, Cajun cuisine adds dimension and variety to everyday meals as well as the most traditional recipes. Add a little Andouille sausage to cabbage or black eyed peas cooked and you’ve created an entirely different taste experience than what you’re used to. You can also use traditional staples like Tony Chachere spices to add Cajun zip to steamed vegetables or meat dishes.
Using Cajun ingredients in your daily meals makes them more flexible. Modern Cajuns are all too eager to introduce new flavors and different recipes to new cultures. Put a little down-south inspiration into your favorite foods and you’ll soon find yourself searching for more alternatives. The flavor profile of gourmet Cajun cuisine is like no other, and demands attention when used properly.