Your life is about to change. It’s about to get a whole lot better.
Do you love to cook exciting food to serve to your friends and family? Got a Pirate Party to contribute a dish to? Want something to dazzle me hearties?
This was last Sunday’s main meal. It includes my best Gumbo recipe. The slow smoked pork ribs marinated in a dry rub are my favorite way to make them. So easy. You’ll find a recipe for Cajun Blackening Seasoning Mix that I used as the dry rub. Might as well throw in my Devil’s Eggs recipe.
These are easy, healthy comfort food recipes that create a hearty feast for celebrating a day with your family and friends. There’s a whole lotta love in these gifts.
You will experience the best tastes and most satisfaction with cooking with and serving to your family all non-GMO, organic, no-nitrate, no hormones, no antibiotic, grass fed, clean ingredients.
Cajun Creole Cuisine
I feel a great affinity for Cajun Creole Cuisine. My last name is French. My family can be traced to the same region in France that the Acadians came from. I grew up in Iowa and have traveled great distances. New Orleans and Cajun Country have always held a fascination for me. River boats. Mardi Gras. Jazz. Zydeco. Dancing. Food. It was so different from all other places I’ve traveled. Cajun-Creole Culture is a combination of West African, European, and Native American… singularly unique in the world. It seems like such a romantic life, such a mystery. I visited and felt the magic.
Previously I submitted a Jambalaya recipe. Gumbo and Jambalaya, Ettoufe and Po Boys, rice and spices, and crawfish and seafood of all kinds define this area’s cuisine.
This is my best Gumbo recipe. The oysters make a unique and unexpectedly wonderful contribution to the taste. They are almost opposite from but team up so well with the sweet shrimp. The Andouille smoked sausage bridges the gap between the two.
And just wait till you serve these Slow Smoked Cajun Blackening Seasoning Dry Rub St. Louis-style Pork Spare Ribs.
It’s easy to be awed that this part of the world could produce such tastes. And those who experience them feel so blessed that someone is sharing this with them. Serving this to family raises the cook’s esteem in everyone’s eyes. Garontee.
Devil’s Eggs – Ghost Peppers
Devil’s Eggs are my take on the Deviled Egg. Everyone I know loves Deviled Eggs. Why can you only eat 2 eggs for breakfast and yet 40 Deviled Eggs during a BBQ Picnic? Devil’s Eggs are simply hopping them up with hot sauce.
- 6 eggs, boiled
- 1 T hot sauce
- ¼ C mayonaise
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- pinch of pink Himalayan salt
- Boil eggs, let them cool a bit to settle.
- Peel, then cut them in half on long equator.
- Pop out the yolks into a small glass bowl, and crush them fine.
- Add ingredients, stir completely.
- Fill egg whites with yolk mix.
Feel free to experiment with hot sauce. I have used Chipotle, Tabasco, Ghost Pepper, Sriracha, Chipotle and Lime, Habanero, etc….. Enjoy!
Seafood File Gumbo with Andouille Smoked Sausage
This is the best tasting Gumbo that I’ve ever experienced in my life. Deep tastes of file gumbo, oysters, smoky bacon and sausage. Broad tastes from onion, garlic, celery, tomatoes, and herbs and spices. The shrimp add their sweet taste. And the exciting heat of the red, white, and black pepper… spicy heat, searing heat, dull heat. Gotta love it.
This is my prefered style of Gumbo because it is thickened with file gumbo powder (sassafras root) and tomato paste.
The texture from the Andouille and oysters add to the delight of the feel in your mouth. The rice adds its own taste and texture to the experience. The shrimp finishes it nicely with their soft, full, fluffy texture.
The broth absorbs the cacophony and carries it to a glorious crescendo on your taste buds. You bite into the seafood and sausage and all the herbs and spices and broth flood your mouth. Oh. Oh. Sensation. Oh, what a wondrous feast in every bite!
- 1½ tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
- ½ tsp white pepper
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1½ tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
- 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 3-4 T smoky bacon drippings
- 2 C onions, chopped
- 2 C green bell pepper, chopped (male)
- 2 C celery, chopped
- 1 lb Andouille smoked sausage, cut to ½” slices
- 3 T file gumbo
- 1 T Louisiana hot pepper sauce (yes, Tabasco)
- 1 T fresh garlic, chopped fine
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 6 C stock, bone broth (seafood, chicken)
- 12 oz oysters
- 1 lb shrimp
- 1½ C cooked rice
- Heat a Dutch Oven on Med-Hi, add bacon ends and cook until they are brown and crisp and separated from the drippings. Scoop out the brown bits.
- Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery and cook and stir for 5 minutes.
- Add the Andouille and cook and stir for 5 minutes.
- Add the file gumbo, hot sauce, and garlic and stir to combine.
- Add the tomato paste, stir into the veg.
- Add the stock, stir to combine, bring to a boil, and then on Low for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
- Have the rice cooked, warm, and ready.
- Turn off the heat. Add the oysters and stir. Add the shrimp and stir. Let sit for 5-8 minutes to let the seafood finish cooking.
- Serve immediately.
Slow Smoked Blackening Seasoned Pork Ribs
The first time I tasted Blackened Redfish was in Glenn’s Cafe in Columbia, MO, in the early 1990’s. I knew of Paul Prudhomme (and of blackened redfish); he was indeed already an legend. When my wife suggested we go there, I remember thinking that a Cajun-Creole restaurant that far away from NOLA was sheer folly. I loved pleasing my wife, so I ordered the redfish dish along with a cast iron skillet of Cajun BBQ Shrimp. Glenn’s opened a whole new world of wonder for me. My wife wanted the Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce. Again, I was reluctant because I didn’t like bread pudding. This was also a new, grand experience in happy gastronomy.
We took my Mom and Dad there when they came to visit. They kept saying, ‘My this is hot,’ or something similar. For Christmas, Dad gave me Paul Prudhomme’s first cookbook and I remember feeling so honored that he blessed me with the perfect, heartfelt gift. I immediately turned to see if there was a Blackened Redfish recipe and sure enough, it was there.
So, it came time to fire up my big cast iron skillet to white hot and cook me up some. Oh, the anticipation. Oh, the smoke! Don’t do that indoors…. unless you have a high horse power venting hood.
I seem to always have need for Blackening Seasoning Mix. I make it in 1/2 cup batches and use it for a myriad of uses in my Cajun-Creole cooking. This time it’s for a dry rub for the pork ribs. Here’s my spice mix.
Blackening Seasoning Mix
- 4 T sweet paprika
- 1 T pink Himalayan salt
- 1 T onion powder
- 1 T garlic powder
- 1 T ground cayenne pepper
- 1 T ground white pepper
- 1 T ground black pepper
- 2 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 2 tsp dried oregano leaves
Store this in a glass jar, covered. Keep dry in a dark cupboard.
Slow Smoked Cajun Blackening Seasoning Dry Rub St. Louis-style Pork Spare Ribs
My smoker’s electric heating element puts out a steady 250 degrees F. And it has a pan for water. So it’s designed to smoke and steam at a slow pace, and end up with great tasting, moist meat.
There are lots of different pork spare ribs: Country Style, Boneless Country-style, St. Louis style, Baby Back, Pork Spare Ribs. I appreciate them all. In the store, the St. Louis style just looked like the best ones that day. And, they were no-nitrate, no-hormone added.
- 1 rack of St. Louis-style Spare Ribs
- Blackening Seasoning Mix
- Rinse off the ribs. Pat them dry. Rub the Blackening Seasoning all over them on both sides and let them sit covered in a glass baking dish in the fridge over night.
- Soak wood chips in water for at least an hour. I choose between hickory and mesquite mostly.
- Allow the ribs to come up to room temperature.
- Assemble the smoker with wood chips around the heating element and 2 1/2 C water in the pan. Slow cook for 3 hours.
- Voila. Let them rest in a baking dish for 10 minutes. Cut them into serving size portions.
Pour a bowl of Gumbo. Put some ribs on a plate with some Devil’s Eggs and some fresh, crunchy green onions, radishes, and celery and carrot sticks. Maybe you’d like to serve this with baguettes and butter and cold beer or a crisp white wine.
About thickening Gumbos: there are three ways to thicken gumbo. The original way to cook Gumbo is with okra. Gumbo is the West African word for Okra, which is available fresh during summer and fall, same season as shrimp. The second is File gumbo (powdered sassafras root) is from the local Louisiana Native Americans who used it in their cooking. This blended into the Cajun cuisine, then on to the city, New Orleans. It was used to thicken gumbos in winter when okra was not in season. A latest arrival is a roux, which is French and a combination of hot oil and flour, which makes a gravy. I love making roux, but not the health issues. I’m not a fan of okra. So that’s why I’ve chosen file gumbo and tomato paste to thicken my Gumbo.
Cooking is my passion. It’s my favorite hobby. It’s what I do for the most fun. I enjoy so much the opportunity to share my recipes with you. For years I’ve mentioned writing a cookbook. And dreaming that maybe one day one of my recipes could be served in a restaurant.
Writing these stories with these recipes that I’ve tweaked to my own tastes gets closer to that idle dreaming. People have suggested eBooks, which I find appealing.
I appreciate your taking the time to research these recipes. Hopefully, you will choose some to cook and share with your loved ones. Stop back by and let me know how it goes.
Please leave a comment. I would like your thoughts.
Enjoy your day of “Good cooking, good eating, good loving.” – Paul Prudhomme.
Mike – Pirate Foodie
Cooking for Pirates – where every meal is a party for a Pirate.