large loaf of crusty French or Italian bread
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!