With summer coming to an end and school getting ready to start, prepare a delicious Cajun lunch for you and your kids with leftovers from dinner! There are so many creative ways to take a classic Cajun dish and twist it to spice up your lunch the next day. Here are just a few examples of how to enjoy your Cajun dishes for days!
Monday night is a classic for red beans and rice (and the special in our class!), and it is easy to make way too much for dinner. Save your leftovers and use them Tuesday afternoon to make a Mexican inspired salad! Use the red beans and rice to top on lettuce as a healthy lunch option filled with protein to keep you going all day long.
Cajun Tomato Pasta
It is a well-known secret that Italian meat sauce tastes even better the day after. Make a little extra next time you treat your family to pasta, and save the leftovers for the next day! Use tomato pasta for a healthier version with less fats and calories. Simply spice up your meat sauce (or plain tomato sauce) with a little hot sauce and Cajun seasoning to put a Cajun spin on it. Add vitamins in minerals by adding extra onions and peppers. Heat it up before lunchtime over whole-wheat pasta or use it as chili or to dip your grilled cheese in! Promise it may taste twice as good as the night before!
Lunch Topped With Etouffee
Crawfish or shrimp etouffee are both Cajun dinner favorites. But don’t forget about their versatility for leftovers, they can make lunch even more delicious. You don’t even need a full dish to compliment your lunch. Prepare cooked pasta, fish or chicken, top with the leftover etouffee, and enjoy – it will have the whole office smelling like a Cajun restaurant! You can also use the ettouffee as sauce for breakfast dishes such as the “hollandaise” in eggs benedict or place is over biscuits for a new twist on biscuits and gravy.
There are many ways you can enjoy your classic Cajun dishes for days to come. If you want to learn how to make these dishes like a true Cajun chef, come check out one of our cooking classes http://www.crescentcitycooks.com/classes.asp or just stop by our shop to pick up all your Cajun cooking essentials for dinner tonight!
I know what you’re thinking, how can Cajun and Creole food that tastes as rich and delicious in actually be healthy for you? Surprisingly, there are many healthy ingredients and spices that are staples for almost all Cajun and Creole dishes.
First off, onions are a delicious ingredient used in almost every dish. Don’t dismiss them to fight bad breath or watery eyes! Onions actually have been proven to fight diseases such as heart disease and cancer with their anti-inflammatory properties. Not only do they fight disease, onions also have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that prevent colds and infections.
Next is the almighty power of tomatoes in Creole dishes. Tomatoes are great anti-oxidants since they are filled with Vitamins A and C that also neutralize free radicals in the blood stream. They are also known to help with diabetes and heart problems. Vitamin A in tomatoes will improve your vision and keep your hair strong and shiny, along with strengthening your teeth, skin and bones!
Lastly, don’t underestimate the greatness of peppers. All peppers are rich in vitamins A, C and K, but these properties are most prevalent in red peppers. These vitamins prevent cell damage and disease related to aging and support immune function. Cayenne peppers are the star in Cajun cooking, but the wonderful taste comes along with amazing health benefits with some of the highest amounts of vitamins and minerals. Both hot and sweet peppers contain substances that increase body heat production and oxygen consumption after eating them, which means your body is burning extra calories for weight loss!
So what are you waiting for, get rid of your vitamin supplements and jump start healthy eating with a Cajun and Creole diet full of vitamins and minerals! The bold tastes found in Cajun and Creole cooking are the exact ingredients that help fight against diseases, protect against illness, fight aging and promote weight loss (just don’t add all oil and butter that the recipes call for!). In your next meal, don’t forget to pile on extra tomatoes, peppers and onions!
The Fourth of July is here! Having family in town? Hosting a dinner party for your friends? Simply enjoying a beautiful New Orleans summer barbeque? Well whatever the event to celebrate this fun holiday, we have the perfect New Orleans-inspired dish made with many of our festive spices and sauces, Cajun Buffalo wings!
3 lbs. chicken wings
1 tsp. pecan oil (sold in our store)
1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced (Garlic Chop sold in our store)
1/2 cup Cajun pepper sauce (Slap Ya Mama is our fav! Sold in our store)
1/2 cup cane syrup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbs. or more, Slap YA Mama hot sauce (Sold in our store)
1 tbs. prepared horseradish
1 tsp. flavoring and browning sauce (sold in our store)
1 tsp. chili powder
Cajun seasoning to taste (Our “Slap YA Mama” shake)
Remove wing tips from wings and place in a large bowl and season with Cajun seasoning.
Heat oil in large, heavy pot and cook onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until soft. Stir in Cajun pepper sauce, cane syrup, vinegar, hot sauce, horseradish, flavoring and browning sauce, and chili powder. Over medium heat, cook for 5 minutes, until bubbly. Allow to cool.
Pour half of the sauce over wings, to coat, and cover and refrigerate overnight. Drain sauce and discard. Arrange wings on a baking sheet lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 10 minutes on each side.
Meanwhile, bring other half of sauce to a boil and boil for 1 minute, reserving some for dipping, if desired. Brush half of the remaining sauce over wings and continue baking for 10 more minutes. Turn and brush with remaining sauce and bake for 10 more minutes or until no longer pink inside.
2 tsp Pecan or olive oil
2 med onions (2.5 cups)
2 med bell peppers (2 cups)
4 stalks celery (1 cup)
6 toes garlic
2 whole Gumbo crabs, break in 4 pieces
2 diced tomatoes or 1 can diced tomatoes
Shrimp or seafood stock 3 quarts
Oil less roux (see below)
Shrimp 2-3 lbs, peeled and marinated in hot sauce and your favorite Creole seasoning.
Crab claw meat
3 tbl fresh Parsley
3 stalks Green onion, diced
Salt and pepper to taste.
Put oil in pot. When it’s heated move around until the bottom is coated. Put in the onion, bell pepper, celery. Cook till the trinity starts to caramelize, add gumbo crabs and cook until trinity is browned. Add diced tomatoes and garlic. Cook about 1 minute. Add stock and bring to a boil. Whisk in the dry roux and simmer for 45-60 minutes with lid on. Add the shrimp, crab claw meat, parsley and green onion. Salt and pepper to taste.Serve.
Oil less roux
Preheat oven to 375 ( Sometimes, I do this in my toaster oven)
Put in flour, I’ll make 2-3 cups at a time.
Bake, stirring every 7-10 minutes until desired darkness. At least 45 minutes.
Can keep in jar until needed.
The ability to serve up a tasty treat in the kitchen can not only put your grumbling stomach at ease, but also your mind. Cooking involves experimentation, risk and great reward. The delicious meal created in the end is only the icing on the cake (figuratively and possibly literally.) The creative process involved with cooking can also improve your mental health. Recent psychological studies show that cooking may lead to an increase in feelings of happiness and well-being.
All senses – smell, touch, taste, sight, and sound – are put to full use during the act of cooking. The journey can be just as rewarding as the destination. Sizzling garlic, chopping onions, or breaking apart basil leaves can refresh and rejuvenate the senses. Not only are the senses sweetly satisfied, but the variety of possible dishes opens a world of creativity to the chef. If the creativity pays off in a succulent dish, not only are the taste buds given a boost, but also the chef’s confidence in his/her cooking skills.
Looking to add a new flavor to expand the creativity of your dishes? Learning how to cook New Orleans-style at Crescent City Cooks will easily add a few more dishes to your repertoire. It’s hard not to fall in love with the flavoring and spices that accompany those oh-so-delicious Creole dishes. They’re easy to learn and the tastes are impossible to forget.
So if you’re getting sick of the ol’ Lasagna Thursdays, come by to our Thursday class to master chicken & Andouille Gumbo, jambalaya, Bananas Foster, and pralines. Give your senses the night-out they deserve. We’re sure they’ll appreciate it, and your friends and family too!