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Cajun Cuisine: Authentic Cajun Recipes from Louisiana's Bayou Country Hardcover – October 1, 1985

4.6 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The magic and mystique behind Lousiana's Cajun (or Acadian) cuisine are completely revealed in this collection of recipes from the heart of Cajun Country: the bayous of southern Lousiana. In her introduction to Cajun Cuisine, third-generation Acadian Marie Louise Comeaux Manuel writes, "Acadian (Cajun) Cuisine is a recipe in itself. For ingredients, take the classical French cuisine, combine it with Spanish classical cuisine, blend well, take herbs and spices from France and Spain and sometimes couple with seasoning learned from the Choctaws and Chickasaws. Then be sure to add the ingenuity, the creativity and the keen taste of the refugee Acadians.... Now, add the exotic taste and magic seasoning of the African cook. Voila! This is Acadian cuisine."

The differences between Cajun and Creole cuisines are explained (the Creole cuisine of New Orleans is fattier and more highly seasoned), then the home cook is treated to more than 200 recipes, from breakfast to dessert, designed to bring forth the bayou.Favorites such as fried okra and Maque Choux are represented, as well as 11 different gumbos (even one with squirrel!) and seven recipes for Jambalaya. There's a recipe for Alligator Stew, plus two ways to prepare frog legs, and the book closes with a generous dessert section, which naturally includes Pecan Pralines and Tarte á la Bouillie, a classic Cajun custard pie. The recipes are simple and straightforward and have clearly been tested in homes for the past couple of centuries--no processors or microwaves need apply; all you need is a sharp knife and a big iron pan. Put some Zydeco music on the stereo, fry up some oysters, and let the good times roll!

About the Author

W. Thomas Angers, is a Lafayette Louisiana author, publisher and attorney. He first became interested in cajun cuisine when he worked for his familys magazine, Acadiana Profile Magazine, a regional magazine about Louisianas' cajun country. It is there that he first became acquainted with the writings of Marie Louise Comeaux Maunuel, director emeritus of the School of Home Economics at the then University of Southwestern Louisiana, situated in the heart of cajun country. Her article on the origins and nature and component parts of cajun cooking is the most scholarly and informed on the subject. Mrs. Comeaux-Manuel became a consultant on the production of the book and the article became a component of the book.

Mr. Angers published this book in respone to a perception that so many were seeking to know and understand what comprises authentic cajun cuisine and to fulfill that need.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Beau Bayou Pub Co; 1St Edition edition (October 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0935619003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0935619003
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

It's hard to learn to cook Cajun food from a cookbook; the food traditions of the Cajuns of Southwest Louisiana have been passed down orally for 400 years, and only in the "Cajun Cuisine" craze of the late '80s-early '90s did Cajun cookbooks really start to become popular.

These recipes are stripped down to the bare basics, because that's how Cajuns do it. Cajuns don't customarily use Emeril's Essence (remember, Emeril is from Boston) or carefully measured spices. It's a dash of this, a dash of that, until it tastes right. Don't make it too spicy; you can add your hot sauce later. You will never be able to make authentic-tasting Cajun food if you follow a recipe to a T.... that's not how it's done! You also need to learn how to modify recipes to suit your tastes... if you don't like file' powder, don't add it (many Cajun cooks don't add file' to anything, some put it on the table for you to sprinkle in yourself, some use it heavily). If you don't like okra, don't use it! Again, not all Cajun cooks do (although in response to the reviewer below, when Cajuns do use okra in gumbo, it is always sliced, and it is always slimy. Some people like it that way.)

This book provides excellent framework-style recipes for you to do what you want with. If you want to add tomatoes, go ahead! No one's stopping you! If you want to pour in a half gallon of Tabasco, feel free! If that's how you like it, that's how you like it. If you want to make your roux with butter (or oil or lard or bacon grease) do it that way! It won't change anything important, the recipe will still be fine. That's the beauty of Cajun food.
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1 Comment 38 of 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Cajun Cuisine is, without a doubt, the best Cajun cookbook that I've ever used. I was born and reared in Southern Louisiana, and the recipes detailed within closely mirror the exact techniques, seasonings, and spices that I had learned by watching both my grandmothers in their kitchens, and how I was personally taught by my grandfather at his hunting camp. You CANNOT go wrong with this book! Jacques
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It is the most used book in my kitchen. All the recipies are simple enough for me to wow the native Cajuns. And that's saying something! It's also the easiest Cajun cookbook I've ever used. Your 5 star rating of Cajun Cuisine is much deserved.
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I have spent my entire lifetime eating cajun food, and most of my adult life cooking it. Many of the recipes used by my grandmothers and my mother were lost to me, but since I discovered CAJUN CUISINE, I have recovered many of them. I have eaten, at one time or another, almost everything listed in this book, and as a bonafide cajun who grew up in the country where money was scarce but food was not, I can assure any reader that these recipes are as authentic as the cajuns themselves, and were designed to feed families well with tasty, inexpensive, and plentiful food products. BRAVO to Mr. W. Thomas Angers for a job well done.
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There is a very good reason that this book has been in print for these many years, it is sound and complete! Before it was all the rage, before TV chefs and countless others were jumping on the Cajun food bandwagon, this book was there! As a Louisiana cookbook author myself, I must admit, when all is said and done, this one has not only become the granddaddy of them all, but it is the most thorough and it's still the best HANDS DOWN! (Don't Take My Word For It, check it out!)
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This is a book about cajun cuisine. That is all you are getting. That may seem odd to say that since this is the name of the book but many know that cajun cookboks will often have numerous other recipes that may be creole, traditional southern, soul or classical french. Even italian. This is specificaly cajun and not southern louisiana. You get what you pay for.

Because the book operates from a narrower scope you may not have the recipes you want. No red beans and rice for example that is a creole dish. You may also notice the lack of tomatoes in many dishes that you normally think would have them. The crawfish etoufee for example has no tomatoes which is classical cajun. This etoufee is little more than butter and the trinity. You get a down to basics recipe for maque choux and i use it often. This book gives you everything you need to be a cajun cook but maybe not everthing you want.

There are many dishes here that you may have never heard of. Try the louisiana pear cake one time. A spice cake with fresh pears is all the rage now at my little restaurant here in tennessee and some of the recipes have allowed me to expand and my offerings to my customers who are not cajun. In fact cajun cake recipes are one of the real strong points of this book. There are about 10 of them compared to only 2 in prudomme's book. You get everything from that pear cake to wine cake and syrup cake. All are wonderful.

This book has helped me as a restaurant owner to become a self taught cajun chef. Everything from cajun ginger cake to vegetarian gumbo. You can't help but love this book.

Why the 4 stars? No dry spice measurements. The dry spice mix is the standard of paul prudomme's recipes but all this book gives you is is cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.
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