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Page 3
"Cajun Food Glossary"

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  • Andouille (ahn DO ee) - A spicy (but not usually hot), smoked country sausage, usually stuffed with large pieces of pork, used in gumbo and other Cajun dishes.
  • Beignet (ben YAY) - Sweet, square-shaped doughnuts, minus the hole, sprinkled with powdered sugar.
  • Crawfish Bisque (bisk) - A rich, roux-based soup, traditionally garnished with crawfish heads stuffed with savory dressing. Served with a bowl of rice on the side which may be added according to individual taste.
  • Boudin (BOO dan) - Hot, spicy pork (sometimes including giblets, especially liver) mixed with onions, cooked rice, herbs, and stuffed in sausage casing. Sold pre-cooked and warm at meat markets, etc
  • Cayenne (KI yan) - A hot pepper that is dried and used to season many Louisiana dishes.
  • Chicory (chick-ory) - An herb whose roots are dried, ground, and roasted; used to flavor coffee.
  • Cochon de lait (koh SHON duh lay) - "suckling pig"; a pig roast with the whole hog slowly roasted over an open flame.
  • Cracklins - Fried strips of pork skin, often including pieces of meat and fat. Snack food.
  • Crawfish - Sometimes spelled "crayfish" but always pronounced crawfish. Resembling toy lobsters, these little critters are known locally as "mudbugs" because they live in the mud of freshwater streams. They are served in a variety of ways, including boiled, fried, and in etouffée.
  • Dressed - When referring to a sandwich or Po-Boy this means adding mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomatoes.
  • Etouffée (eh too fay) - Cajun term for smothered meat or seafood, cooked with a roux and the Cajun "Holy Trinity" (onions, celery, and bell pepper). Usually served with rice. The term is derived from the French verb "etouffer", which means "to smother or suffocate."
  • File (FEE lay) - Ground sassafras leaves, added at the end of cooking, used to season and thicken, among other things, gumbo. Introduced to the French by local Indian tribes.
  • Grillades (GREE yads) - Medallions of broiled beef or veal. Grillades and grits is a popular breakfast, especially in New Orleans.
  • Gumbo (gum-boe) - A Cajun/Creole delicacy of South Louisiana, reflecting its rich history: wild game or seafood (from the Acadians), thickened with okra (from the Africans), file (from the Indians), and roux (from the French). A thick, robust soup with thousands of variations including chicken and andouille, shrimp, and seafood gumbos.
  • Jambalaya (jam buh Lie yuh) - A hearty dish of South Louisiana origin featuring a choice of meats (ham, sausage, shrimp, chicken, tasso), cooked with Trinity, tomato, and rice.
  • Mirliton (MEL e taun) - A hard-shelled vegetable pear. It is cooked like squash and stuffed with either ham or shrimp and spicy dressing or smothered, like cabbage, also ham or shrimp. It is native to Mexico where it is called Chayote squash.
  • Maque Choux (mock shoo) - Corn stewed down with tomato, peppers, caramelized onion, and spices. Meat or seafood may be added to serve as the main dish.
  • Muffuletta (moof a LOT ta) - This huge sandwich is made up of thick layers of several different types of Italian meats, cheeses, and a layer of olive salad. Served on special, seeded Muffuletta bread (but French bread will do).
  • Praline (PRAW leen) - Smooth, creamy candy made of sugar and butter, with pecans or other nuts mixed in for crunch.
  • Po'Boy (poor boy) - A New Orleans-style sandwich (fried oysters, roast beef and gravy, shrimp or soft-shell crab) served on crispy-crusted loaf bread (French bread). In Cajun Country, the best ones are stuffed with fresh, fried seafood.
  • Red Beans & Rice - Kidney beans cooked in seasonings and spices, usually with chunks of sausage and ham, and served over a bed of rice. Because this dish is easy to prepare and convenient to eat, it is traditionally served on Monday (laundry day).
  • Remoulade (ROW moo lad) - A cold mayonnaise based dressing made with Creole mustard, chopped green onions, paprika and any combination of spices, served on chilled, boiled seafood.
  • Roux (rue) - Flour cooked in fat (butter, oil or lard) until it is brown with a nut-like flavor and aroma. Used as a thickening, coloring, flavoring base for pot foods, like gumbos, gravies, sauces, and soups. May be light-gold (for fish and other delicate ingredients) to very dark for hearty dishes.
  • Sauce Piquant (PEE kant or pee CAHNT) - A fiery-hot, thick, reddish gravy made with roux and tomatoes, combined with alligator, chicken, pork, sausage, game or tasso, highly seasoned with herbs and peppers, and simmered for hours.
  • Tasso (TASS o) - A strip of smoked, seasoned pork or beef. Similar in substance to beef jerky, but used to flavor pot food (gumbo, jambalaya, beans, etc.) or thinly sliced and simmered in a sauce for rice or pasta.
  • Trinity - Cajun Trinity: Onions, bell peppers and celery, the three most often used ingredients in Cajun/Creole cooking. Holy Trinity: The Cajun Trinity with garlic added.
  • Yam - A sweet-potato-like, orange-colored vegetable. Opelousas is Cajun Country's "Yam Capital."

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Page 1 ~ A - K
Page 2 ~ L - Z
Page 4 ~ U.S. and Australian/British Culinary Terms


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