Dishing: Cajun Heather
In our series “Dishing" we bring you the thoughts and creations of everyday people who love food as much as we do. Today I’m especially excited to share some authentic home coked Cajun food, made by Louisiana native and my personal friend, Heather. Like Kait and I, my friendship with Heather is rooted in food. The first time we hung out was an epic eight hour long gumbo-making extravaganza. Heather and her husband, Jonathan, never return from a trip home to Slidell, Louisiana without a cooler full of beloved goodies from home: Crystal hot sauce, chicory coffee, Abita brews, and meats most Bostonians have either never eaten or haven’t heard of : boudin sausage, alligator, venison, etc. (most of which relatives have caught or made themselves). Oh, and I may or may not have had the pleasure of drinking some amazing but in most states outlawed sassafras tea.
Heather says she’s been cooking Cajun staples since “before she I see over the stove top." When asked how she feels about food she says, simply “It’s everything. Food is love." I couldn’t have said it better myself, girl .
On a recent cold, rainy (read: shitty) Boston winter day Heather invited my husband and I, as well as some other friends and a few Louisianan ex-pats, over for a good ol’ fashioned Cajun feast. That pat of butter you see is fryin’ up some boudin. Jonathan was quick to point out the casing was “artificial"- you see, real boudin is encased in pork intestines, which is flexible and usually not at all crunchy- you usually have to scrape the meat out of its tube. Whatever this was, it was friggin delicious. Next up came alligator sauce piquante, a modification of the classic Louisiana Lafayette Junior League’s Talk About Good! frog legs sauce piquante. Served over perfectly fluffy Carolina Gold white rice, it was the perfect compliment to the boudin (double boudin) and peppers corn stuffing and pickle salad. And if you’re thinking you’d have just loaded up on the meaty stuff and left the cucumber salad to brine away, untouched, let me tell you something…that dish sneaks up on you. With a little hot peppers to give it spice, the sour salad balances the rich boudin and the gamey alligator in a way that…well, let’s just say it goes down easy.
I’m still stuffed.