Everything I learned about the history of Cajun and Creole food, I learned from Paul Prudhomme, the Louisiana-born celebrity chef who popularized both types of Southern cuisine. I learned that Cajun food is the food of country folk who settled in the bayou lands of Southern Louisiana and kept largely to themselves. Creole food, on the other hand, is city food, specifically from New Orleans, and was greatly influenced by the many different cultures like French, Spanish, Italian, Haitian, French Canadian, Native American and African that helped to shape that city. My very favorite shrimp dish came from Prudhomme, and that made him, in my eyes, the King of Cajun cooking. This Spicy Cajun Shrimp is simply divine. I remember making it for my father, and his reaction was always the same. He would bow his head, clasp his hands in front of the bowl and just say, “Honey, this is liquid gold!” Don’t be put off by the amount of ingredients. I can only tell you that this dish is worth every bite. Perhaps the phrase that best describes Paul Prudhomme’s Spicy Cajun Shrimp has to be Ça c’est bon — That’s good! Enjoy a big bowl of Cajun comfort food this week!
Are you looking for an easy but exquisite meal that will knock your socks off, but won’t knock you off your New Year’s resolution to eat lean? You can’t go wrong with this pork specialty. The moment I tasted it, it was love at first bite – for me and for everyone else at the event that Scottsdale Chef Linda Martin was catering. A Guava Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Cuban Salsa, prepared by Chef Martin, was all people could talk about, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the recipe and serve this ultra-flavorful dish to friends and family. Linda Martin is a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef with more than 14 years of experience and a Valley favorite. She is well-known as a popular chef at Sweet Basil Cooking School and Gourmetware in Scottsdale, the featured chef for Dacor Luxury Appliances, and the owner of her own catering company, Linda’s Dinner Designs. I’ve had many dished created by Chef Martin, but the Guava Glazed Tenderloin has become an all-time favorite. Thank you, Chef Martin, for sharing it!