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"Cajun Culinary Terms"
Our Glossary of Cajun Culinary Terms will save you a considerable amount of time searching for definitions of terms that are related to Cajun cooking. You'll find that our Glossary of Cajun Culinary Terms is one of the most comprehensive that you'll find on the internet.
Cajun cuisine is simply the preparation of food that was developed by the Cajun people. Cajuns (Acadians) were expelled from Nova Scotia in the 1750s. They then settled in Louisiana as a poor people. At that time, Cajun cooking traditionally involved meals that were cooked in a large pot so many could be fed. Cajun cuisine has an outstanding, spicy flavor all its own.
If you are currently new to Cajun cooking, take a few minutes and read the various terms listed below. It would be impossible to remember all of this information. Simply bookmark our "Glossary of Cajun Culinary Terms" so you can quickly return whenever you need to clarify a specific term. To locate any of the specific terms, simply click on "A-Z" which represents the first letters of the terms in our glossary. You'll then be directed to the first term that begins with that particular letter. All terms in this Glossary are listed in alphabetical order.
If you cannot find the term that you were looking for, please click here to let us know so we will have an opportunity to add that particular term to our glossary. Your help will be appreciated.
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Amandine... (ar-man-deen) - A lemon butter sauce topped with toasted, slivered almonds served over fish or seafood.
Andouille... (ahn-do-ee) - A lean and spicy smoked pork sausage that adds great flavor to Cajun dishes. Andouille is most often used in gumbos and jambalaya. It is also served with Red Beans and Rice.
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Beignet... (ben-yay) - A sweet, square-shaped doughnut that is sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Blackened... Blackening is a method of cooking fish or meat (generally chicken) to achieve an over-charred and crunchy outer surface. The fish or meat is generally coated with a very spicy, dry rub and is quickly seared in butter that has been melted in a cast-iron skillet.
Bisque... (bisk) - A smooth, creamy, highly-seasoned soup which is usually made from either crawfish or shrimp. The heads are cleaned and stuffed with a dressing that was made from the tail meat and then cooked in the Bisque. A great idea for leftover boiled crawfish.
Boudin... (boo-dan) - Hot and spicy pork that's ground and mixed with onions, spices, herbs, and cooked rice. It is then stuffed into a sausage casing and cooked.
Bouillie... (boo-yee) - Is a boiled milk custard.
Bread Pudding... A traditional New Orleans dessert that is made from day-old French bread. The loaf is broken up into pieces, soaked in custard and then baked until golden brown. Bread Pudding is often served with various sauces in enhance the flavor.
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Cafe au Lait... (caf-ay-oh-ley) - Is a half-and-half blend of very strong chicory coffee and hot milk. It literally means coffee with milk.
Cajun Sausage... The Southern part of Louisiana is famous for it's great Cajun Sausage, which is a generally made from pork or a blend of pork and beef. Many brands of Cajun Sausage are available in mild, medium and hot.
Cane Syrup... A rich, sweet syrup that is extracted from Sugar Cane. It is generally used on pancakes and waffles and is an essential ingredient in Louisiana Pecan Pie as well as other great Southern dishes.
Cayenne... (ki-yan) - Is a hot pepper that is dried, ground and used to season the majority of Cajun foods. Use with caution.
Chicory... (chick-o-ree) - Is an herb whose roots are dried, ground and then roasted which is used to flavor coffee.
Cochon de Lait... (coo-shon-duh-lay) - A suckling pig that is roasted over a blistering, hickory fire until the inside is tender and juicy and the outside is as brittle as well-cooked bacon
Couche-Couche... (koosh-koosh) - Is a popular breakfast food, made by cooking cornmeal in a black iron skillet on top of the stove. It is then served by topping it with milk and/or cane syrup.
Courtbouillon... (coo-boo-yon) - A spicy Louisiana stew made with fish, tomatoes, onions and vegetables which is typically thickened with Roux.
Cracklins... A snack food. Fried strips of pork skin which incorporates pieces of meat and fat.
Crawfish... Are also known as Crayfish, Crawdads and Mudbugs. Crawfish are freshwater crustaceans that resemble small lobsters, to which they are related. Crawfish are boiled by most Cajuns and served with corn on the cob, small red potatoes which are all cooked together in a large pot. Crawfish are used in a great many Cajun recipes.
Crawfish Bisque... (bisk) - Is a rich, roux-based soup, traditionally garnished with crawfish heads that are stuffed with savory dressing (made with tail meat). Crawfish Bisque is traditionally served with/or over rice.
Creme Brulee... (cream-bru-lay) - Is a dessert that consists of a rich custard base topped with a layer of hardened caramel which is created by burning a sugar topping under a grill or other intense heat source (i.e. hand-held blow torch). The hardened sugar can be caramelized by igniting a layer of liqueur sprinkled over the top of the dessert.
Creole Mustard... A spicy version of mustard that is made in Southern Louisiana using select mustard seeds that are marinated before processing.
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Deep Fried Turkey... The preferred way to cook turkey by Cajuns. The turkey is immersed in a pot of hot cooking oil and cooked until golden brown.
Dirty Rice... Is a rice dish that is cooked with green peppers, onions, celery and a variety of spices and meats.
Dressed... This term is utilized when ordering a sandwich or Po-Boy. It means that you want mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomatoes placed on your sandwich or Po-Boy.
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Etouffee... (eh-too-fay) - Refers to smothered meat or seafood which is cooked with onions, bell pepper, celery and thickened with a Roux. Etouffee is usually served with rice.
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File... (fee-lay) - Is finely ground sassafras leaves which is generally added to Gumbo when served. File is individually used to season and thicken whatever it is added to.
Fricassee... (free-kay-say) - Is a brown stew that is made by browning meat (generally chicken) and then removing the meat from the pot. A Roux is made with the pan drippings and the meat is then returned to the pot and simmered until tender.
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Grillades... (gree-yads) - Are medallions of broiled beef or veal which are served with grits for breakfast.
Grattons... (grah-tawns) - Is the Cajun word for Cracklins, which is the original Cajun snack food.
Gumbo... (gum-boh) - Is a thick, robust soup with thousands of variations which usually incorporates chicken, shrimp or seafood. Cajun Sausage or Andouille is used quite often in a Chicken Gumbo.
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Hushpuppies... Is a cornbread mixture that is formed into balls and fried until crispy and golden brown. Hushpuppies are usually served with fried fish.
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No Terms Available
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Jambalaya... (jam-buh-lie-yuh) - A hearty dish comprised of a wide selection of meats (i.e. ham, sausage, shrimp, chicken, tasso) which are cooked with onions, bell peppers, celery, rice and various spices. Leftovers can make a great Jambalaya.
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King Cake... Is a traditional Mardi Gras cake (similar to a coffee cake) which is decorated in gold, purple and green. King cakes are served at parties throughout the Mardi Gras season. A small plastic baby is inserted in the King cake and the individual that gets the baby in their piece of cake must buy the next King cake.
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Liqueur... Is a strongly flavored alcoholic beverage that is typically served in small quantities after dinner. Liqueur is typically flavored with either fruit, spices, nuts or herbs.
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Maque Choux... (mock-shoo) - Is corn that is cut from fresh corn on the cob and stewed down with tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and spices.
Marinade... Is a mixture of liquids and seasonings in which foods are soaked before cooking. Marinades are an important part of Cajun cuisine.
Mirliton... (mirl-uh-tahn) - Is a pear-shaped vegetable that can be prepared in various ways. Mirliton can be stuffed like an eggplant or squash by scooping out the inside meat which is then cooked and mixed with various meats or seafood and seasonings.
Molasses... Is a thick, dark brown syrup made from sugar cane which is plentiful in Louisiana. The savory sweetness of all-natural molasses imparts moistness and a delicate caramel aroma to cookies, pies and brown breads.
Muffuletta... (moof-a-lot-ta) - Is a sandwich which is made up of thick layers of several different types of Italian meats, cheeses and a layer of olive salad. Served on special Muffuletta bread.
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Napoleon... Is a light-flaky, buttery pastry filled with rich cream fillings with a sweet glaze on top.
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Okra... A vegetable that is used to thicken and flavor gumbo.
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Pain Perdu... (pan-per-doo) - Is simply French toast.
Pecan... (peh-kawn) - A Pecan is a nut which is a major ingredient in Louisiana Pecan Pies and Pralines.
Praline... (praw-leen) - Is a smooth, creamy candy that is made of sugar, brown sugar, evaporated milk or cream, butter, vanilla and pecans.
Po'Boy... (poor-boy) - Is a sandwich (i.e. fried shrimp, fried oysters, meatballs, roast beef, or soft-shell crab) served on crispy-crusted French bread.
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Quiche... Is a pie made with a butter crust and filled with eggs beaten with heavy cream and loaded with plenty of shrimp, cheese and crabmeat.
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Red Beans & Rice... A main dish that is comprised of kidney beans, seasonings and spices served over a bed of rice. This dish is usually made with chunks of Andouille, Cajun sausage, ham or Tasso.
Remoulade... (row-moo-lad) - Is a cold mayonnaise-based dressing which is made with Creole mustard, chopped green onions, paprika and any combination of spices. It is served on various seafood dishes and seafood Po'Boys.
Rice Dressing... In Louisiana, Rice Dressing is synonymous with stuffing. It is generally made with rice, ground pork, vegetables and broth.
Roux... (rue) - Is flour that is cooked in oil, butter or lard until it is brown with a nut-like flavor and aroma. Roux is used as a thickening, coloring and flavoring agent in various foods (i.e. gumbos, gravies, stews, sauces, and soups). Roux may be light-gold (for fish and other delicate ingredients), very dark for hearty dishes or anywhere in between.
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Sauce Piquant... (pee-cahnt) - Is a spicy, thick, reddish gravy that is made with roux, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, celery and seasonings which are then combined with various meats (i.e. chicken, pork, sausage, wild game or tasso) and then slowly simmered.
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Tasso... (tass-o) - A thin strip of smoked, highly seasoned pork or beef. It is used to flavor various foods (i.e. gumbos, jambalayas and beans).
Trinity... The Cajun Trinity is comprised of onions, bell peppers and celery. Many Cajuns add garlic to the Trinity as a standard practice for additional flavor.
Turducken... This unique Cajun concoction starts with a boneless turkey that is stuffed with a boneless duck which is stuffed with a boneless chicken. A Turducken can also contain sausage and/or cornbread stuffing which is thoroughly seasoned.
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No Terms Available
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Veloute... (ve-loo-tay) - Is a creamy white sauce based on chicken, veal, or fish stock that is often used on poultry or vegetables. This sauce is thickened with a white Roux.
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White Sauce ... Is a sauce that is made by adding hot milk or hot broth to a white Roux.
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No Terms Available
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Yam... A sweet-potato-like, orange-colored vegetable which should not be confused with a sweet potato.
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Zest... The thin, brightly-colored outer part of the rind on citrus fruits. The oils in the Zest make it ideal for use as a flavoring. The Zest can be easily removed with a grater or a citrus zester.
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