Green bell pepper, onion, and celery — the holy trinity of Cajun cuisine is the aromatic base for most traditional Cajun recipes. You can almost hear Paul Prudhomme’s thick, put-upon, Cajun accent pronouncing some of these iconic dishes, like gumbo, étouffée, and andouille (ahn-dew-wee) sausage.Commander’s Palace and K-Paul’s, and his television show Always Cooking! , but he didn’t invent the genre. Cajun cuisine came 40 years after the establishment of New Orleans and Creole cooking; eventually, it would be known simply as “Louisiana cooking.”
The spices and flavors of classic Cajun cuisine are exaggerated by the chefs that now represent the genre, like Emeril Lagasse and his predecessor Prudhomme, but the basic principles of what makes Cajun food unique are all there.
The rich, vibrant dishes are flavored by this trinity of ingredients, carefully sautéed to develop a rich base. Cajun cooking is a labor of love, from vigorously stirring roux to form the base and thickening agent for flavorful gumbos, to adjusting and readjusting the seasonings to find that perfect balance of cayenne pepper, scallion, garlic, and creaminess — but cooking a Cajun meal doesn’t have to be exhausting.
We have rounded up our favorite Cajun dishes that balance the heat, pack in that mind-blowing flavor, and are simple enough for any cook to follow.
Bayou Potato Salad
Enjoy this potato salad on its own or stir it into your gumbo for a welcomed creaminess that will cool the heat.
Angela Carlos is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Find her on Twitter and tweet @angelaccarlos.