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Here's a poem from my book, Flowers of Shanidar, which explains how I cook, which also explains why I prefer to eat my own food rather than some other's food.The Thinking Cook
A man is what he eats
A man is what he thinks
A man cooks what he thinks
What he thinks while cooking
You can taste in the food.
If he's thinking, "I'd rather be
skiing than cooking these french fries."
The french fries will taste like you'd rather be
skiing than eating his french fries.
If he's thinking, "What a wonderful combination
of sausages, herbs, white rice, brown rice,
and wild rice to set before my friends
who will enjoy every bite,
His guests will savour every ingredient
and every bite.
Be careful what you think about
when you're cooking
You and others will get to taste your every thought.
"The Thinking Cook" copyright 2003 by Bobby Matherne
Many of these are Cajun dishes I ate inside of Cajun cottages just like the ones that appear on this page. I photographed these houses along Highway 1 between Thidodaux and Raceland, Louisiana. With Louisiana crawfish becoming indigenous to many parts of the world in the 21st Century, it will soon be possible to prepare these crawfish dishes wherever you live.
These are recipes that I only wrote down in order to share them with you, my Good Readers. Most of them were not written down until I decided to share them. I would be delighted to hear from any of you who use these recipes to good effect. If the recipe does not come out, just try it again. There was some aspect of the cooking that you need to pay attention to. The timing, the moisture content at the various stages of cooking, the amount of stirring (you can't stir too much, only too little), and many other aspects need attention, much more than I can communicate in a written recipe. I have added many photos to the recipes to aid you in visualizing the various ingredients, quantities, texture during cooking, how to serve food, etc. Just click on any underlined words or phrases of recipe to see photos, such as this one of Avocado Supreme.
I learned cooking at my mother's knee, literally. I was about five or six years-old and I couldn't even see the counter top yet, but I could smell and I could hear her chopping and stirring. Plus I could later taste the result. Those aspects are essential: chopping, smelling, and tasting, and these cannot be put into a written recipe except to call your attention to them as I do now.
A few more notes: some of these recipes are not Cajun dishes, but they are recipes prepared by, eaten by, and enjoyed by this Cajun. If you are not Cajun and prepare these dishes, I can't guarantee you will enjoy the results, but if you don't, I suggest you find a Cajun to help you by preparing the dish alongside you, and perhaps only then will you learn to cook like a Cajun. I put this caveat in so that perhaps you will understand what you eat in a Cajun restaurant may be horribly executed renditions which had little in common with what real Cajun food tastes like. Cajuns don't cook from a book, I guarantee! As a result every dish they prepare tastes good, because taste is the only consideration when a Cajun is cooking. The over-seasoning with spices and hot sauces is not real Cajun cooking, but a twisted and over-done version of Cajun cooking. If you see packaged versions of Cajun food, avoid them --- they will be over-spiced and made of dried ingredients you can get at the grocery yourself --- they will take away the control you have of making something taste good as you cook. If you see some restaurant or menu advertising "Spicey Cajun Cooking" do yourself a favor and avoid it! But, if you see a Cajun cooking the dishes, Mais, Cher! You is in for a treat! You will tell people about the food you ate, "Talk about good!" I guarantee!
Click on Recipe Name to View Completed Dish, on Date to View Recipe
Seafood Dinner: Butter Beans over Rice with Grilled Flounder Filet, July 2004
Salad Dressing: Stilton Bleu Cheese Dressing ( Shown in Avocado Half) , September 2005
Seafood Dinner: Cresh, Simplified (CRab, Eggplant, SHrimp Étouffée) , August 2006
Special Treat: Oysters on the Half-Shell with Bobby Jeaux's Sauce , July, 2007
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A Reader's Journal I, A Reader's Journal II, A Reader's Treasury.
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