shrimp okra gumbo

Our Favorite Cajun Recipes for the Fall

If we get lucky, we start getting cooler weather in South Louisiana around this time of year. We often joke that there are only two seasons in the bayou: “Hot” and “Not.” With cooler temperatures come many more outdoor activities, football tailgates, nights at “da camp,” and a whole host of Cajun seasonal cuisine. We wanted to share some of our favorite fall recipes with all of you, we hope you enjoy them! We will start with a regional favorite to South Louisiana, a traditional shrimp & okra gumbo. 

Traditional Shrimp & Okra Gumbo

There are as many ways to make a gumbo as there are ways to make a hamburger, according to the internet. If you ever met one, chances are that you already know that Cajun cooks are typically more opinionated about food than the judges on Chopped. Some people like to put a little roux in their Shrimp & Okra gumbo, but our favorite recipe does not include a roux. Instead we prefer okra for all of its thickening power.
 
Serves 6-8
 
Ingredients: 
 
3 pounds of spoon sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 pounds of Okra, sliced and stemmed
4 quarts of shrimp stock (Shrimp Stock Recipe can be found here)
3 cups of Chopped Onion
1 cup each chopped celery and green bell pepper
1/2 pound small diced smoked sausage or andouille
1 heaping tbsp. of filé powder
3/4 cup of green onions (for garnish)
1/2 cup of parsley (for garnish)
1/4 cup of cooking oil (preferably vegetable, but not olive oil)
2 tablespoons of white vinegar
All Purpose Cajun Seasoning, Black Pepper, Salt, White Pepper
 
Special Instructions: Serve over your favorite rice, Cajuns typically use medium or long grain white rice, cooked in a rice cooker.
 
     1) In a large frying pan, heat up half of the cooking oil to a sauté temperature (medium high heat). Add okra and white vinegar (this reduces the slime that okra creates when it is blanched) and lower heat to medium, cooking for 30 minutes, or until okra is thoroughly wilted and cooked through. 
 
     2) In your large gumbo pot, sauté the remaining vegetables in the remaining cooking oil until transparent, about 20 minutes.
 
     3) Slowly whisk in seafood stock. Add your okra and the sausage/andouille to this mixture. Generously add Cajun seasoning, salt, black/white pepper and cayenne pepper to your liking. While the flavors will develop longer, you need to ensure that the base is seasoned to your liking at this point.
 
     4) When seasoning is blended in to taste, lower heat to a simmer. Cook covered for 45 minutes to allow flavors to get rich and layered. At the 45 minute mark, bring temp back up to a rolling boil. 
 
     5) In a large bowl, season the shrimp with 3 tablespoons of  Cajun All Purpose Seasoning. Drop seasoned shrimp into boiling gumbo, turn burner off. Close lid. Allow to sit, untouched for ten minutes. This will ensure perfectly cooked shrimp every time.
 
     6) Garnish with parsley and green onion. Serve over rice.

 

Crawfish Boil Leftover Potato Salad

 
One of the saddest times in Cajun country is the space between crawfish seasons. We figured out how to put a man on the moon, but we can’t seem to fool nature into giving us a year round crawfish season (yet). Whether you have simply never experienced the mind-blowing flavors of a true Cajun crawfish boil, or you are a bonafide Cajun who happens to be craving boiled crawfish several months out of season, this is the recipe for you. It’s all the powerful flavors and aromas of a crawfish boil, but you can make and eat it year round.
 
Serves 6-8
 
Ingredients: 
3 pounds of very small unpeeled potatoes (golf ball size)
1  four ounce bottle of Zatarain’s garlic and onion shrimp boil liquid
3 tablespoons of Zatarain’s regular crawfish boil liquid
4 tablespoons of All-Purpose Cajun Seasoning
One pound of Louisiana crawfish tails with fat
3 ears of corn on the cob, fresh (remove husks)
2 small onions
 
For “Crawfish Dip” dressing
Ketchup
Mayonnaise
Worcestershire
Cajun Seasoning
1 tablespoon of horseradish (optional)
One bunch green onions, in slivers
 
     1) In a soup pot, heat up 4 quarts of water (enough to cover corn, onions, and potatoes) and heavily salt, as you would for pasta water (1/4 cup). Add both Zatarains liquid boils and old bay seasoning.
 
     2) Add fresh corn on the cob (you can cut them in half to fit in the pot), potatoes, and onions. Boil on medium high for 18 minutes, or until corn is bright yellow and cooked. Add crawfish tails, and let simmer for 2 more minutes. Close lid. Let sit for 10 full minutes. Drain.
 
     3) In a large bowl, mix together the potatoes (halved after they cook, do not mash), corn (shucked after it cooks), and the onions (chopped in one inch pieces after cooked).
 
     4) In a mixing bowl, mix together one cup of mayonnaise, half a cup of ketchup, 1/4 cup of Worcestershire and optional tablespoon of horseradish. Add Cajun seasoning to your desired level of saltiness.
 
     5) While still hot, add the “crawfish dip” to the corn, potatoes and onions and toss until coated evenly.
 
     6) Garnish with green onion slivers. Serve with Seafood Gumbo!
 
 

Cajun Bread Pudding 

(From Our Good Friends at RealCajunRecipes.com)

Bread pudding was the answer to what to do with leftover bread, which probably came about soon after the invention of bread. Bread pudding is a ‘common’ dessert, definitely not the high end haute cuisine but you would never convince Cajuns or your guest that it isn’t. Visit realcajunrecipes.com for a variety of bread pudding sauce toppings – rum sauce, whiskey sauce, lemon sauce, brown sugar sauce, and bourbon sauce.

Ingredients

2 1/4 cup milk

2 slightly beaten eggs

2 cups 1 inch cubed day old white bread, Evangeline Maid if you can find it

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

Directions

In an 8 x 8 buttered pan; add the 1 inch cubed bread. In a bowl, combine the, milk, eggs, brown sugar, and cinnamon, vanilla and salt and mix well. Pour the mixture over the bread, and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.