Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link's Louisiana

Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link's Louisiana


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307395818
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 04/21/2009
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 224,518
Product dimensions: 7.80(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

DONALD LINK is the chef-owner of Herbsaint and Cochon in New Orleans. He won the James Beard Best Chef South Region Award in 2007.

PAULA DISBROWE is the author of Cowgirl Cuisine and co-author of Susan Spicer’s Crescent City Cooking. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Read an Excerpt

Real Cajun

Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link's Louisiana
By Donald Link

Clarkson Potter

Copyright © 2009 Donald Link
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780307395818

Lake Charles Dirty Rice
Serves 6 to 8

This recipe appears at just about every occasion in Cajun Country. Whether it’s a holiday, funeral, family reunion, or potluck dinner, you can bet there will be at least one form of dirty rice or rice dressing. At the Link family reunion in Robert’s Cove, I counted six versions, all different. The essential ingredients are few, but flavor and texture vary greatly.

The main difference between dirty rice and rice dressing is that rice dressing is generally made with ground beef or pork, whereas dirty rice is made with pork and chicken livers. Many people think they don’t like liver, but when it’s balanced with other flavors, the liver taste is not overpowering. I’ve served this deeply flavored rice to many people who claim they hate liver, only to have them love it.

2 tablespoons canola oil
4 ounces ground pork
1/2 cup chicken livers (about 4 ounces), pureed1
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 cups cooked rice
1/2 bunch scallions (white and green parts), chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the pork and chicken livers and cook, stirring, until browned. Add the salt, black pepper, and chili powder and stir often, but resist the impulse to stir constantly: You want the meat to stick to the pan and get crusty. Add ¼ cup of the chicken broth and cook until it has evaporated, allowing the meat mixture to get browned and crusty and stick to the pan once again. Add the onion, celery, garlic, jalapeño, and oregano and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are nicely browned and crusty and beginning to stick to the pan. Add the rice, the remaining 1 ¼ cups broth, the scallions, and parsley. Stir until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is heated through.

NOTE: When making dishes that involve rice, remember that your flavor base will seem overly seasoned until the rice absorbs the flavors. In Cajun cooking, salt is the most crucial ingredient to get right, so you’ll want to taste the dish after the rice cooks and adjust accordingly.


Excerpted from Real Cajun by Donald Link Copyright © 2009 by Donald Link. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Real Cajun 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very entertaining, in-depth look into cajun cooking. I cant imagine making my own boudin, but I could with this book. A few practical recipes and lots of colorful info on cajun tradition and cooking. Good gift for a southwestern or Louisianan.
LAHamm More than 1 year ago
I am a native Louisianian, and am often amused at what people think is Cajun cooking. Chef Link is a real Cajun (not a pejorative term in Acadiana), and his recipes sing for lovers of real Louisiana Cajun food. Anyone who owns a restaurant named after the noble hog (Link's New Orleans spot is named "Cochon") is okay in my book. If you are looking for prissy Creole dishes ala New Orleans' signature restaurants such as Galatoire's and Commander's Palace, this is not the book for you. But if you want real, rustic, hardcore Louisiana Cajun dishes, grab this book for your collection.
julesamom More than 1 year ago
I borrowed this from the library in the fall of '09 and kept renewing it, it was so good! My family got it for me as a Christmas present. I have made the fried meat pies, biscuits, twice baked potatoes and the hush puppies so far. All the instructions are clear, and the writing is very conversational and entertaining. And of course the photography is beautiful and makes your mouth water!
TulaneGirl More than 1 year ago
I have been steadily eating my way through this book and it hasn't steered me wrong yet. Not only is it a beautifully presented book, almost beautiful enough to have on your coffee table, it's more than just a pretty facade. It's filled with true cajun dishes with authentic flavors. Plenty of kick and spice. The dishes are relatively easy and don't require complicated culinary tools or ingredients. A true delight.
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64640 More than 1 year ago
I thought with a name like Link, what does this guy know about Cajun food? Apparently everything!! Was totally surprised..... not only is he a real Coons a$$.... he knows what he is talking about. The recipes are down to earth and explained in a way that a non-cook can follow. Not only will the food get you hooked, the stories that accompany each recipe will take you back to your own grandparents' kitchen table. Only going to give it 5 Stars, because they don't have 10..... Thank you Mr. Link for the journey; I was able to see Acadia through your words and recipes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a history book that tells a great story as well as a book that has true cajun recipes. It is an easy read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
love this book, great hints, great recipes, good reading about the cajun lifestyle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a native of South Louisiana, I thoroughly enjoy reading and using Donald Link's book. The stories are so heartfelt and entertaining while bringing a real sense of the Cajun culture to life. Each page makes my mouth water for more. The recipes are very authentic and very easy to follow.
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