Take Advantage Of Your Leftovers – Cajun Addition!

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!

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Cajun-Mexican Salad

 

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!

Nita’s Healthy Recipes

Crawfish or Shrimp Etouffee 

1/4  c pecan oil
1/3 c flour

1 med onion
3 stalks celery
1 red bell pepper
2 green bell pepper
4 cloves of garlic

1  large or 2 medium tomatoes chopped or diced can tomatoes
2 tsp  worcestershire sauce
3-4 cups shrimp stock

2 stalks green onion chopped
4-5 tbl of parsley, chopped
1 tbl hot sauce of choice
2 tbl  plus 1 tbl creole seasoning of choice

Puree onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic in food processor. Put peeled crawfish or shrimp in bowl, marinate with hot sauce and 2 tbl creole seasoning.
Make the roux: On medium heat put pecan oil and flour in a cast iron pot. Stir constantly until it reaches a light medium brown.
Add the pureed holy trinity. Cook, caramelize, the trinity. Scape the bottom of the pot because it will stick to the bottom. Add 1 tbl creole seasoning Keep scraping. Cook down until the trinity glides along the bottom of the pot as whole.
 Add tomatoes and worcestershire sauce, stir until combined.
Add stock, stir, put top on and simmer 10-15 minutes.
Add parsley, green onions and crawfish or shrimp. Cook with top off 5 -10 minutes. Salt and season with creole seasoning to taste.
Serve over brown rice.

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Light Tomato Basil Pasta

3 medium to large tomato
5  cloves garlic, if large cut in 1/2 or 1/4
2 tbl Olive oil
2 tbl basil chopped
2  tbl Italian seasoning
1 package cooked wheat pasta, salt water
Salt
Crushed red pepper

Cut tops off of tomatoes, stuff tomato sections with garlic.  Sprinkle top with olive oil. Put tomato on grill or in 350 degree oven.
Cook pasta according to directions. Put pasta in large bowl or back in pot.
Cook tomato until skin starts to split. Put tomatoes in bowl with pasta, upside down. Pull off skin, discard skin. Add Italian seasoning and basil. Cut up tomato and toss. If necessary add olive oil. Salt and crushed red pepper to taste.


History of the well-known Cajun-Creole dish, Crawfish étouffée.

Since the Crawfish season is upon us, I will share a bit of history behind the crawfish étouffée dish!

Crawfish étouffée was created in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Breaux Bridge is in Acadiana, which locals refer to as “Cajun Country.” The restaurants of Breaux Bridge were the first to offer crawfish openly on their menus, and are well-known for crawfish farming and cooking. In 1959, the Louisiana legislature officially designated Breaux Bridge as “la capitale mondiale de l’ecrevisse” or “the crawfish capital of the world”.

Étouffée (pronounced eh-too-fay) comes from the French word étouffer, which means to smother. This luscious dish starts with a roux, just like Creole Gumbo.

Browning butter or oil and flour together on a low heat makes a creole roux. The roux used for étouffée is a brownish-orange color, which is much lighter than a gumbo roux. This lighter roux will give the dish a completely different taste than gumbo, and has a thicker consistency than gumbo.

Like many Louisiana dishes have the holy trinity (onions, green peppers and celery). It is usually seasoned with Cajun spices, green onions, garlic, parsley, and a rich shrimp stock. The best way to describe the dish is a thick Cajun stew full of delicious, plump crawfish (or shrimp, depending on the season). Crawfish étouffée is usually served hot over Creole boiled rice.

Which do you prefer? Cajun or Creole étouffée?