My dear Mon’Amie, what fine delicacies shall we explore today? France, the birthplace of many of the greatest chefs known to this world. Some may call it a coincidence, but we digress; The French were always a notch above the rest when it came to the culinary craft.
What better proof to come to my aid but the Acadian people who were the main drivers behind the Cajun cuisine? From baking to stewing, this tribe of martyrs who were exiled from their respective countries as part of something better, something out of this world- and today, you’ll be a part of something greater too!
Cajun Cookbook Review Center 2020
|#1 - Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen||99%|
|#2 - River Road Recipes: The Textbook of Louisiana Cuisine||96%|
|#3 - Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link's Louisiana||92%|
|#4 - Cooking Up A Storm: Recipes Lost and found from the Times-Picayune of New Orleans||89%|
|#5 - The New Orleans Cookbook||85%|
Want to learn more?
Now that you’ve seen our top 5 recommendations, we’ll give you more detail on each of them, including why we liked them. When you’re ready, click the yellow button to get the best price on Amazon!
1) Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen by Paul Prudhomme
Louisiana. The path of exile for the Acadaian people.
The cradle of some of the greatest cooking methods out there and with chef Paul, a renowned artisan that popularized the craft in the US, the fun is just around the kitchen corner!
With special sections gifted upon classics, such as the seafood cuisine, various appetizers and soups, and their lesser-known, Louisiana moniker, gumbos, you’ll never have to buy another cookbook again.
The biggest hurdle while reading this book was to find something NOT in it: Baking, boiling, deep-frying, grid-ironing, charbroiling… (always use the best deep fryer!)
While the Cajun loved to make things a bit complicated sometimes, chef Paul never failed to provide a step-by-step breakdown of all the in’s and out’s. You’ll never feel like you’re missing out, on the contrary, you’re being led through the magical land of the Cajun cuisine! That’s why we rated it as the best cajun cookbook!
What We Liked About It
The vast richness of recipes and the incredible detail which was gifted upon each and every meal is what makes this cookbook special. Chef Paul goes out of his way to ensure that every step is as clear-cut as it can possibly be and with such a pundit near you, one cannot go wrong in the kitchen!
Be aware of the fact that Cajun meals, in general, do take a lot of time out of the day, so plan ahead before embarking on any of the recipes.
2) River Road Recipes: The Textbook of Louisiana Cuisine by the Junior League of Baton Rouge
As you could’ve already imagined, this book largely focuses upon the vast and succulent richness of the seafood cuisines prepared by the Cajun people.
With 650 recipes on the go, you’ll never grow tired of exploring the underwater beauty of seafood cooking. The one thing that distinguishes it the most from all the other real Cajun cookbooks is that it stayed true to its nature: Most of the recipes featured haven’t been altered and most if not all haven’t depreciated in the least bit!
This means that by following the recipes outlined here, you’ll be transported straight into the fray, in a time where things were simpler and the food was healthier!
What We Liked About It
This cajun creole cookbook is a must-have in your kitchen. It’s more of an encyclopedia of a fallen culture that is only now being rejuvenated by some chefs. We’re not just talking about a simple cuisine or ragged cooking methods, but a piece of history right around your kitchen corner!
3) Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link’s Louisiana by Donald Link
This book got us so excited as it dealt with recipes many didn’t dare to delve into! Louisiana wasn’t some sort of wonderland where the birds chirped and the neighbors were all smiling and dandering.
It was a wasteland full of dangers and the soil was worthless and unyielding. In such daring conditions, the Cajun had to adapt to their surroundings by all means necessary or perish in an ignoble death.
With nature’s hand against them, local animals such as boars had to be hunted and brought down for their bacon.
This book is raw and tells it how it is. At times riveting, at others upsetting, this is an ontological piece of work that besides acquainting you with the common Joe of that time, teaches you how to cook just like him!
What We Liked About It
You get two for one, it’s as simple as that. It comes as to no surprise that you’ll oftentimes find this book in the shelves of old ladies or your grandma, as the stories you were hearing as a child take roots in the hidden regions of Louisiana’s Cajun!
4) Cooking Up A Storm: Recipes Lost and found from the Times-Picayune of New Orleans by Marcelle Bienvenu
Cooking Up A Storm is more than just a cookbook. It’s a story of human will and strives for survival when nature has its own way.
Just as the Cajun was cursed with the decrepit lands of Louisiana, so did New Orleans experience the biggest catastrophe in the 21st century, Hurricane Katrina.
A tragic event that took the lives of many innocent spawned something ethereal, something out of this world:
The crux and the soul of these amazing people were beautifully captured in the cookbook and their heritage continues to live on!
As you flick the pages, one by one, the stories and the recipes breathe a life of their own. You’ll feel the indomitable human spirit and it will reflect in your cooking!
What We Liked About It
We felt so immersed in the entire thing as if we were striving for survival among all these brave people. The energy and invincible aura of these recipes made it easy to get up and hit the burner.
Each individual meal had a story to it and the way chef Marcelle went about it was so beautiful, that it is nothing short of mesmerizing.
5) The New Orleans Cookbook by Rima Collins
Filled with easy to replicate and delicious recipes, the New Orleans Cookbook is a classic and a wealthy introduction to the cooking of the region.
Don’t be mistaken, although it is filled to the brim with different recipes, none of them are bored or crude.
On the contrary, the Collin’s are known for their creativity in the kitchen and outside of it; Working as food critics for most of their lives, they possess intricate knowledge on what is and what isn’t.
This reflects in the cookbook and is the reason why many cite it as a must-read if you’re to delve into Cajun cuisine.
One notable thing is the fact that most of the ingredients from the recipes do sound a bit on the weird side, as most of them you’ve probably not been cooking with.
Luckily for you and us, they are very easy to find and you shouldn’t experience any problems with it!
What We Liked About It
Many cookbooks do tend to overdo it with the history part and one begins to question whether they are listening to a boring lesson or learning how to cook.
While the history part is not completely obstructed from the reader’s eye, just enough information is presented to know how the dish came to be.
How We Chose The Top Cajun Cookbooks For Your Kitchen
Much thought has gone into ranking these in an appropriate manner; We didn’t want any spilled tears after the reviewing was done.
We decided that the biggest ranking factors were, as follows:
By engagement, it comes as mutual understanding that it measures just how willing does the book takes you to actually get up and start cooking.
The thing is, many have loads of cookbooks on their shelves that were opened once and never again: This is something we are vehemently trying to avoid.
Any cookbook that doesn’t at least give us a snippet of the times talked about is worthless. You’re cooking with bacon, eggs, and vegetables from the 1790s?
Tell us why they are different from the same ones in the 21st century.
Many chefs lose sight of the fact that most of us aren’t pundits but mere hobbyists trying something new and exciting.
While the recipe might give us the most accomplished roux on planet earth, it’s worthless when faced with the reality that most beginners can’t replicate it.
This one’s quite obvious. We don’t put stuff in our mouths that don’t get those taste-buds revved up. The chefs were quite lucky with this one since Cajun food is so versatile, you would have to find a real curmudgeon to be able to complain about the taste.
Why Cajun Cooking Is Great
We could write an entire book on just this topic alone, but let’s keep it to the basics.
The Cajun was a group of people sent on exile to a land that was anything but fertile. To keep things resourceful even when riddled with such a resource-less place, they had to be creative.
New things had to be tried, new flavors, flowers, buds, mixtures…
With so much forced experimenting being done, most of it wasteful, a new branch was born.
This only tells half the story, the other half comes in the form of the unique ingredients that could be found in Louisiana.
These ingredients weren’t used before, as they weren’t needed and it was only when pushed to the edge, that new flavors entered the mainstream of the Cajun!