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American

CSCA - Louisiana and the Gulf Coast

TermDefinition
CREOLE Creoles are descendants of the people who came to New Orleans in the 1700s, whether French, Spanish or African so there are both white Creoles and Creoles of color. To sum up: City food, sophisticated food, richly served.
ACADIANS French immigrants to Nova Scotia in the early 16th century who came for religious freedom. They were persecuted by the British and left in the middle 1700s, fleeing to New Orleans. They settled in the bayous of New Orleans - known as the Cajuns.
CAJUN French immigrants of Nova Scotia (Acadia), became known as Acadians. Moved to New Orleans because of religious persecution & became known as Cajuns, derived from Acadians. Their food was hunted and gathered from back bayous - considered country food.
HOLY TRINITY This version of a mirepoix is the basis of most Creole and Cajun cooking. Almost every dish is started this way, a roux followed by onions, celery and green peppers.
ÉTOUFFÉE These dishes are smothered dishes, cooking slowly in a covered pot or skillet with a little added liquid to sautéed ingredients.
PANÉEING This is the Creole word for pan-frying.
CRAWFISH Tiny freshwater crustaceans found throughout the bayous usually boiled and often found in gumbos as well as bisques and étouffées. They are also called mudbugs and crawdads.
FILÉ Made from sassafras leaves which are dried, then finely pounded and passed through a sieve. It is used as a thickener as well as a spice most often in gumbo.
MIRLITON AKA chayote, custard marrow or vegetable pear, it is a member of the cucurbit family – think watermelon and cucumber. Their delicate flavor pairs well with crabmeat and shrimp and they are most often served roasted and stuffed with a mixture of seafood.
OKRA A member of the mallow family. It came to America with the Congolese slaves who hid the seeds in their hair. The name comes from their language ‘ochingumbo’ - shortened to okra and gumbo. The seeds produce a glutinous purée when cooked (thickens gumbo).
SESAME SEEDS Africans brought sesame seeds with them where they knew them as benne. They appear in savory crackers and in the thin, brown sugar cookies known as benne wafers and in praline-like candies.
TABASCO First cultivated on Avery Island, Louisiana, during the Civil War these peppers are crushed into a mash and combined with vinegar and salt. After aging the mixture in oak barrels it is bottled and sold.
PAIN PERDU This is a popular breakfast item literally meaning “lost bread”. It is similar to French Toast.
GRILLADES AND GRITS Pounded veal or beef round fried in oil and butter and served over hominy grits with a reddish brown gravy.
BEIGNETS Fritters of fried sweet dough similar to pate a choux, brought over from France and dusted liberally with confectioner’s sugar.
GUMBO This is a long cooking soup/stew started with a roux, used mainly for flavor, not thickening. It is thickened with either okra or filé powder but never both. Thus, Louisiana recognizes two types of gumbo, okra gumbo and file gumbo.
JAMBALAYA This dish might be aptly named “cleaning out the kitchen.” It is a highly seasoned, strongly flavored rice dish, which may contain any combination of pork, fowl, smoked sausage, ham or seafood. It often contains tomatoes.
ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE Cajun Andouille is made from a diced, lean cut of pork – the shoulder, butt or shank – mixed with a little pork fat and seasoned with garlic, salt and black and often red pepper.
BOUCHERIE This is the daylong Cajun family event when a hog is slaughtered and everything is used. (Boudin blanc & rouge, Cracklins, Fromage de tete de cochon, Chaudin,Chaurise, Tasso)
TASSO A Cajun smoked, spicy ham with file powder, garlic, red pepper, often used in gumbos, jambalaya and red beans and rice.
RED BEANS AND RICE This is a simple dish in which the beans are cooked with pork or sausage and a ham bone and served over rice
OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER These came from Antoine’s Restaurant in New Orleans. The owner’s son wanted to create an oyster dish to replace snails so he covered oysters on the shell with a rich green-colored sauce.
MUFFULETTA A sub like sandwich born in the early 1900s when the Italian grocers sold plate lunches to workers consisting of cold meats, cheese, bread and pickled olive salad. The name comes from the name of the Sicilian bread which was stamped on the paper and
PO’ BOY This is basically the New Orleans version of a hero, sub, grinder, etc. The most popular Po’ Boy today is probably fried oyster.
BLACKENED REDFISH Invented only recently by Chef Paul Prudhomme, this has become a Creole classic. Filets of redfish are dipped in a mixture of spices and butter then placed in a white-hot skillet, which creates clouds of smoke and imparts a charcoal taste.
KING CAKE A central part of Mardi Gras. It is a brioche, or other rich dough ring filled with a nut mixture (sometimes fruit and cream) and derived from a pithivier. The top is decorated with sugar in the 3 Mardi Gras colors. A plastic baby is hidden inside.
PRALINES The Creoles adapted pralines from their native France. Pecans, readily available in Louisiana, replaced the almonds and brown sugar replaced the white. Some versions also contain cream, totally changing their texture from a traditional praline.
BANANAS FOSTER This dish originated at Brennan’s. It is melted butter and brown sugar cooked to a syrup, bananas are added, followed by rum and other liqueur then flambéed. It is usually served over vanilla ice cream.
Created by: CSCAStudy