THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CAJUN & CREOLE CUISINE

People have often asked me “What is the difference between Cajun and Creole cuisine? It’s a little hard to explain, because both cuisines have similar ingredients, however there are a few distinctions that can be made.

The Cajun cuisine uses rustic, country ingredients, such as wild game that is found nearby. These ingredients may be deer, rabbit, wild pig, crawfish, chicken and duck, to name a few. The cuisine also uses sausage made from pork, such as Boudin, Tasso and Andouille. The Cajun cuisine also is not usually tomato based, but uses a dark roux (mixture of flour & oil) as its base. Jambalaya and Gumbo are examples of this cuisine.

The Creole cuisine however, uses more sophisticated, exotic ingredients such as shrimp and trout, along with crawfish. The Creole cuisine also is often tomato based or cream based with rich sauces. It uses a lighter roux, often made with butter and flour. Shrimp Creole and Crawfish Etoufee are examples of this cuisine.

Both cuisines are incredibly tasty and a little spicy. You should try some recipes of both cuisines to spark your taste buds!

SoLa CHICKEN & SAUSAGE GUMBO

Ingredients:
1 c. Vegetable oil, divided
3 lbs Boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
12 oz Package smoked link turkey sausage (or Andouille, if you would like a spicier sausage)
½ c. All purpose flour
3 c. Onions, chopped (approx. 1 large onion)
1 c. Bell pepper, chopped
1 c. Celery, chopped
2 Cloves, garlic, minced
1-2 T. SoLa Cajun Seasoning (use 1T. if you want it milder)
1 T. Salt
2-3 Bay leaves
1½ c. Okra (fresh or frozen, thawed)
6 c. Chicken broth (reduced sodium)
3 Green onions, chopped

Brown chicken thighs or breasts in skillet with ½ cup vegetable oil. Remove chicken from skillet. Brown smoked sausage in the same skillet until brown. Set aside.

To make a quick roux: Whisk remaining ½ cup vegetable oil and flour in a heat-proof 1 or 2 quart Pyrex measuring bowl. Cover and put in the microwave oven for 5-7 minutes. Check after 4 minutes and stir. Roux should be a dark caramel color when ready.

Transfer roux to a large pot on the stove at med-high temperature. Add onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic, salt, bay leaves and SoLa Cajun Seasoning to the roux and cook until vegetables are tender & opaque, but not brown. Add okra, chicken and sausage; cook 5 minutes. Pour in chicken broth; bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 45 minutes.
Serve over rice and garnish with green onions. Serves 8-10.

 

SOLA SHRIMP CREOLE

Ingredients:

½ c. Vegetable oil
½ c. All purpose flour
3 c. Onions, chopped (approx. 1 large onion)
1 c. Bell pepper, chopped
1 c. Celery, chopped
2 Cloves, garlic, minced
2 T. SoLa Cajun Seasoning (use 1T. if you want it milder)
1 T. Salt
3 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
2 c. Water
2-3 Bay leaves
3 lbs. Raw, peeled shrimp

To make a quick roux: Whisk vegetable oil and flour in a heat-proof 1 or 2 quart Pyrex measuring bowl. Cover and put in the microwave oven for 5-7 minutes. Check after 4 minutes and stir. Roux should be a dark caramel color when ready.

Transfer roux to a large pot on the stove at med-high temperature. Add onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic and SoLa Cajun Seasoning to the roux and cook until tender but not brown, stirring often. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water and bay leaves and cover and simmer on med–low temperature for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp and cook about 15 min. on med-high temperature.

Hint: The Shrimp Creole is really better made the day before serving.

If you are making the Creole the day before serving, omit the shrimp, cool and put Creole mixture in the refrigerator, covered. Add shrimp on the day you are serving and follow above directions. Serve over rice. If you like, you may add chopped green onions on top of the Creole. Serves 8-10 people.