Honestly, who doesn’t love Cajun food? Just take a stroll around any city in the US and you’re
bound to stumble across at least one restaurant serving this mouthwatering fare. Whether it’s an
authentic jambalaya, hearty gumbo, or a succulent etouffee, it’s one of America’s most loved
flavors. However, it’s also one America’s most misunderstood foods.
It is, without a doubt, the most distinct cuisine coming out of Louisiana and the South, and is
influenced by a culture as complex as its dishes. True Cajun flavor is the result of French
settlers adapting their European cooking methods and recipes to this new home, using a variety
of local natural resources now at their disposal. Because we consider ourselves an expert in the
field, we’d like to clear some things up, and give all y’all four incredible, not-so-top secrets to
great Cajun cooking.
1. The Holy Trinity
The Cajun ‘Holy Trinity’ is as sacred as its Christian counterpart - you absolutely can’t live
without it! Onions, celery, and bell pepper form the backbone of many Cajun dishes.
Remember, Cajuns are the direct descendants of Acadians and French Catholic colonists, so it
makes sense that integral ingredients receive such high-praise of a name..... Add a little garlic,
parsley, and scallions to the dish and you’ve got yourself a truly authentic Cajun delight.
2. A Really Good Roux
Put simply, you need a really good roux for really good Cajun dishes. A roux is a mixture of flour
and fat, and the fat is usually in the form of oil in Cajun cuisine. It forms the basis for many of
the style’s signature dishes such as gumbo and etouffee. To pull off a really good roux is
actually an artform. The cooking process is a delicate affair, so listen closely....
First, you have to continually stir the mixture. This means no stopping. At. All. If you don’t
constantly stir the roux, it will burn. Second, you mustn’t heat the roux too quickly. If black
specks appear in your roux, it’s burnt and you’ll need to start over. Third, and this one is very
important, you must be patient and be prepared to invest time in your roux. The darkness of
your roux will depend on the ingredients: a light roux will compliment, and not overpower, the
fish in a seafood gumbo, whereas a dark roux will stand up to the hearty flavor of a smoked
duck gumbo. Get your roux right, and your Cajun dish will be bursting with flavor.3. When in Doubt - Old Bay Everything!
Many think Old Bay is reserved for just shrimp and crab, but it’s the most versatile weapon in
any Head Chef’s arsenal. The company website doesn’t lie when it says:
1) it’s great on seafood and
2) it’s great on everything else.
Add it to any seafood dish and you’ve got a winner. Sprinkle it on fries and you’re in for a treat.
And, trust us on this, add it to vanilla ice cream and you’re taking sweet and salty to a whole
different level! Whatever it is, Old Bay is the Cajun twist you’re dishes might be missing.
4. Make The Most Of What You’ve Got
It’s joked that Cajuns will eat anything that doesn’t eat them first, and that if it crawls, swims, or
flies, it’s on the menu. Born out of necessity, Cajuns are extremely resourceful, relying on the
Bayou and its surrounding area for the majority of ingredients. Cajun cooking is famous for
using regional proteins such as alligator, crawfish, and shrimp, grains such as rice and corn,
and vegetables like celery, okra, and scallions.You can use these tasty secrets in your own kitchen, but if you’re looking for a taste of the
Crescent City right here in Nashville, we’ll be your go-to! We’re proud to serve Nashville with
authentic Cajun food, great beer and signature cocktails. To see our full menu of our snacks,
PoBoys, Entrees and more, click here.