Cajun Shrimp and Rice Skillet

Ingredients:

1 ⅓ cups uncooked Long Grain White Rice

2 ⅔ cup Chicken Broth

1 lb Jumbo Shrimp, peeled and de-veined

4 tbsp Butter

2 Garlic Cloves

Cajun Seasoning

1 ½ tsp Paprika

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Garlic Powder

½ tsp Cracked Black Pepper

½ tsp Onion Powder

½ tsp dried Oregano

½ tsp Cayenne Pepper

¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Cajun Cuisine

Cajun cuisine (French: cuisine cadienne [kɥi.zin ka.dʒɛn], Spanish: cocina acadiense) is a style of cooking developed by the Cajun–Acadians who were deported from Acadia to Louisiana during the 18th century and who incorporated West African, French and Spanish cooking techniques into their original cuisine.

Cajun cuisine is sometimes referred to as a ‘rustic cuisine’, meaning that it is based on locally available ingredients and that preparation is relatively simple.

An authentic Cajun meal is usually a three-pot affair, with one pot dedicated to the main dish, one dedicated to steamed rice, specially made sausages, or some seafood dish, and the third containing whatever vegetable is plentiful or available. Crawfish, shrimp, and andouille sausage are staple meats used in a variety of dishes.

The aromatic vegetables green bell pepper (piment doux), onion, and celery are called “the trinity” by Cajun chefs in Cajun and Louisiana Creole cuisines. Roughly diced and combined in cooking, the method is similar to the use of the mirepoix in traditional French cuisine which blends roughly diced carrot, onion, and celery. Characteristic aromatics for the Creole version may also include parsley, bay leaf, green onions, dried cayenne pepper, and dried black pepper.

History

The Acadians were a group of French colonists who lived in Acadia, what is today Eastern Canada. In the mid-18th century, because of their acceptance and integration of indigenous peoples, these integrated people of mixed French and Indigenous peoples were forcibly exterminated from Acadia under threat of summary execution by the British in what was the first systematic ethnic cleansing on the North American continent. This “cleansing” by the British Empire is now referred to by historians as le Grand Dérangement (or, “The Great Insanity”, in English); the progeny of those French and Indigenous Americans who were ethnically cleansed by the British Empire are the peoples who settled in Southern Louisiana, and are now known as “Cajuns”, which is an English bastardized spelling of the contracted French word, “Acadiens”.

Due to the extreme change in climate, Acadians were unable to cook their original dishes.  Soon, their former culinary traditions were adapted and, in time, incorporated not only Indigenous American traditions but also African-American traditions–as is exemplified in the classic Cajun dish “Gumbo”, which is named for its principal ingredient (Okra) using the West African name for that very ingredient: “Gumbo,” in West Africa, means “Okra”.

Many other meals developed along these lines, adapted in no small part from Haiti, to become what is now considered classic Cajun cuisine traditions (not to be confused with the more modern concept associated with Prudhomme’s style).

Up through the 20th century, the meals were not elaborate but instead, rather basic.  The public’s false perception of “Cajun” cuisine was based on Prudhomme’s style of Cajun cooking, which was spicy, flavorful, and not true to the classic form of the cuisine.

Cajun and Creole cuisine has been mistaken to be the same, but the origins of Creole cooking began in New Orleans, and Cajun cooking came 40 years after the establishment of New Orleans. Today, most restaurants serve dishes that consist of Cajun styles, which Paul Prudhomme dubbed “Louisiana cooking”.  In home cooking, these individual styles are still kept separate. However, there are fewer and fewer people cooking the classic Cajun dishes that would have been eaten by the original settlers.

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