Mardi Gras is almost upon up, and Mardi Gras always makes me think of New Orleans and New Orleans always makes me think of Jambalaya. See how my mind works? It’s all about the food, lol! And while my fave Jambalaya Recipe is already on my site, one made with a roux (that’s said to be the Cajun-style) I really wanted to up my game this year and perfect a Creole-style Jambalaya, the tomato-y kind. Yeah, I’ had to get out of my (very delish) Cajun rut and make this New Orleans Creole Jambalaya for Mardi Gras this year.
I have seen so many articles and posts about Yaka Mein, ever since Anthony Bourdain featured Miss Linda Green on his show, “No Reservations.” But Yaka Mein first came on my radar in this article from Go Nola. I knew I just had to taste Yaka Mein and I knew the only way that was going to happen is if I made it myself. So here is my Instant Pot Yaka Mein. (Stovetop directions included, too.)
Yaka Mein has a long history so I’m not going to go too much into that because it’s been covered extensively elsewhere, like in this article from The Deep South. I am going to tell you to make it if I can be so bossy! And make it soon. There’s no need to lose another day without having Yaka Mein in your belly!
Honey Glazed Cajun Spiced Ham is one of my fave Holiday hams, no matter the Holiday. It couldn’t be better during the fall/winter months for Thanksgiving or Christmas and it brightens up a harsh, cold Easter like we’re having this year.
Last week, without thinking, I posted three dinner recipes in a row. Usually, I try to break things up a bit with a salad or dessert or some other post. So this weekend, I thought I’d make more “fun” things!
Are you thinking about a Mardi Gras Celebration? Or maybe you’re just a fan of Cajun or Creole food? Here are my favorite recipes from Louisiana and New Orleans, with a few Southern recipes tossed in. (It seems I really like pimento cheese!) Click on a photo to take you to a recipe.
Laissez les bons temps rouler.
These Cajun Stuffed Chicken Breasts might be just the thing to bring a little sunshine into your life during this cold, cold January. These are like Oh My Gosh good, with just a little spice to warm things up.
So you all know (if you follow me – and if you don’t, I’d love it if you would, here with email (on the right) or on facebook or twitter I cooked up a ham for Thanksgiving. And what a ham it was! The stunning and absolutely delish Biltmore House’s Tawny Baked Ham. It was just a half ham, but of course, there were leftovers! And this year, part of those leftovers went to make Instant Pot Opelousas.
Sometimes I just crave the flavors of Naw’lins. Cajun, Creole, it doesn’t matter. And with Mardi Gras just around the corner I just had to make Shrimp Etouffee.
I have family that lives in the South and have visited Georgia many times. I’ve been to Atlanta as well as a few outlying areas. I’ve been to Tennessee and North and South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida. I’ve been to Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. But never once while I’ve been in the South, have I ever had Fried Green Tomatoes.
So often one thing leads to another, and so it was when I made Shrimp & Grits with a Cajun Gastrique not too long ago! My sister came to visit shortly after and while she missed the Shrimp and Grits, she proposed we make Grillades & Grits. It was a good call and we were off on yet another New Orleans inspired adventure!
So it might seem that I’m on a bit of a grits kick – I made Cheesy Grits recently to go with my Shrimp & Grits with a Cajun Gastrique. And today I’m posting another Cheesy Grits recipe to go with Grillades & Grits. It’s not that you just can’t have too many grits recipes, but that they’re both really good.
I’ve huge fan of Cajun food. Seriously, don’t ask me why – I grew up the Midwest and don’t think I tasted anything from the cuisine until I was in my twenties.
A Cajun might take issue with the name of this dish; maybe it should be called Un-Dirty Rice. Down & Dirty Cajun Rice is a fresher take on the Louisiana classic Dirty Rice and pulls just a few key elements from the original to make a fantastic side.
This is one of our newer family faves – Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad. It has a bit of spice but it’s not over the top and it’s a perfect foil for the creamy ranch-style dressing. This is a marvelous summer recipe, but its bold flavors can easily spill into fall with no problem. Oh heck, it’s good anytime.
Are you a lover of Cajun food? I am. I love Cajun Spices and Seasonings and this is my favorite Cajun Spice Blend. It’s a little spicy, yes, but Cajun Spice Blend has so many different layers of flavor. It’s not just all about the heat.
A dark or Red Roux (pronounced roo) is what gives my Jambalaya, below (as well as other classic dishes) its indescribable flavor. Try this with caution if you’ve never made a roux – the nutty flavor will haunt you to the rest of your days and once you’ve had a great roux in a dish…well, there’s no going back.
Until late in my life, I didn’t really eat greens, and when I’d had them they’d always been Collard greens cooked forever with ham hocks or salt pork – delicious, but something I’ve avoided because of the high fat and long cooking process.
Jambalaya truly reflects a cultural heritage carried into the New World, nurtured and melded into its own special blend – hundreds of years ago, displaced French Canadians settled into the Louisiana area and adapted this dish to their new surroundings. A lovely melange of vegetables, earthy sausage and chicken are in this Cajun Jambalaya Recipe and it has just the right amount of spice to be interesting. Then Y’all can pass the hot sauce at the table! Happy dance!
Tyler Florence…my hero! I used his basic recipe for Po’ Boys – with a few deletions and additions, and it is amazing! His Creole sauce is so good, my son went nuts over it. While these may look like a basic Po’ Boy, I promise you, they are anything but. I’ve had them in many different areas of the country and these beat out every restaurant version.
Years ago, my son and I had Red Beans and Rice in New Orleans – and if you’ve had that experience, you know how the flavors of that dish can literally haunt you; you’ll think about it, taste it again in your mind, and not be satisfied until you have it again. Luckily, its only a food or I’d sound like some kind of crazy stalker…