Events & Entertaining: A Mardi Gras Celebration

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Article By: Calphalon Team
Originally Published: 2/2/2010

Culinary Tips

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Bouillabaisse: When making this classic fish stew, you can use one stock pot instead of two. The tall, narrow profile of this 8 Qt. vessel minimizes evaporation during the slow, lengthy process of making stock.
Unison Nonstick 8 Qt. Stock Pot with Cove
Clean mussels and clams just before cooking. If cleaned too early, they will die.

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya: This traditional rice dish originated in the poorer section of Louisiana, in the bayou, where food was often scarce and there were many mouths to feed. For an even more authentic dish, substitute duck breast for the chicken. We suggest the Contemporary Stainless 7 Qt. Sauté Pan for your needs.

Crawfish Étoufée: The Cajun dish étoufée got its name from a distant food memory of the French Cajuns who remembered that way back in France, great-great-grandmere had prepared something that sounded like étoufée. Étuver is a French culinary term that translates in American speak as "to braise or steam," as when ingredients are cooked in a covered skillet and allowed to stew in their own juices. It's easy to understand how in the largely oral Cajun tradition étuver became étoufée.

Regional Tastes

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Just what is the difference between Cajun and Creole cooking anyway?

With a mix of French and Southern roots, Cajun cooking evolved in the rural bayous of Louisiana and centers around items that could be easily caught or raised locally, like crawfish and pork, as well as inexpensive staples like rice and beans (all the makings for Étoufée, for example), or fat and flour (which makes a roux) which is used to add flavor and thickness to dishes.

Creole dishes, like shrimp remoulade, were developed within the affluent city of New Orleans. They were greatly influenced by the mix of goods such as butter from France, tomatoes from Italy, and spices from Spain, Africa and the Caribbean, plus fresh seafood from the Gulf of Mexico.