You say Cajun/I say Creole…both are delicious – The Panolian

You say Cajun/I say Creole…both are delicious

Published at 4:37 p.m. on Tuesday September 19, 2023

By Kara Kimbrough

I’m not here to restart an argument about the differences between Cajun and Creole food. I hesitate to mention ANY food from these regions after becoming a social media sensation last year. I innocently said that I “I didn’t like the okra in my gumbo.” A few supporters agreed that this was not a prerequisite for old-fashioned gumbo, but others disagreed. With vehemence. I remember the words distinctly, “You can’t make gumbo without okra, otherwise it’s NOT gumbo!” » Ouch.

Arguments aside, almost no cuisine surpasses either Cajun or Creole. Each dish includes a variation of seafood, tomatoes, sautéed vegetables, spices, fragrant rice… the list of delicious ingredients is long. With the exception of oysters, I love every element that goes into the composition of a multitude of dishes representative of these cuisines.

That’s all I’ll say about that, other than sharing some food ideas from last weekend’s Cajun/Creole party, as well as a few recipes I tried before the football game.

First of all, our menu consisted of jambalaya; muffalettas; Zapp’s Hot Shrimp and Chips Dip; a dish of grilled Cajun shrimp, sausage and vegetables; Creole potato salad; Chicken wings and tenders with Cajun spices and a variety of desserts.

My contributions were the muffalettas, chips and dip. I’ve shared the recipe for a mass-market muffaletta in previous columns, so I won’t repeat it. However, if you missed it, send me an email and I will send you the recipe.

A few days before the game, I stopped by a book sale at a library and picked up an old cookbook filled with Cajun/Creole recipes. I revised them a bit to suit my tastes and am sharing them below, along with the shrimp dip my friends enjoyed at the tailgate party.

I hope you’ll be inspired to host your own dinner or meeting with someone similar and, as the French say, “Let the good times roll!” »

Warm Shrimp Dip

1 pound small raw shrimp, roughly chopped (use popcorn shrimp to avoid chopping)

2 tablespoons of butter

1 red pepper, seeded and chopped

½ Vidalia onion, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (or Creole seasoning)

8 ounces cream cheese

½ cup mayonnaise

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

½ cup grated parmesan

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1/2-1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the butter, chopped pepper, chopped onion and garlic to the pan. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes to soften. Once the vegetables are soft, add the shrimp and Cajun seasoning. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir in cream cheese, mayonnaise, cheddar, ¼ cup Parmesan, lemon juice and hot sauce, if using. Stir until the cream cheese and grated cheese melt into a thick sauce. Turn off the fire.

Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are bubbly. Serve hot with chips, crackers or cut vegetables.

Boat potato salad with shrimp

4 large red potatoes

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup olive oil

1 cup bottled Italian dressing

5 garlic cloves, sliced

1 bunch green onions, sliced

2 peppers, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Red pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes; peel and slice into quarter-inch rounds. Place in a large bowl. Boil shrimp in seasoned water; drain and place on the potato slices. Add the rest of the ingredients – garlic, onions and peppers seasoned with salt and pepper. Refrigerate and let sit overnight for flavors to blend.

Remoulade Sauce

(can be used as a salad dressing, dip for boiled shrimp,

crackers or chips or to make shrimp remoulade)

½ cup tarragon vinegar

4 tablespoons of Zatarain Creole mustard

1 teaspoon of horseradish

2 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped (I forget it in mine)

4 tablespoons of mayonnaise

1 large rib of celery, finely chopped

3 green onions and tops, finely chopped

2 teaspoons of paprika

Pinch of thyme and garlic salt

½ cup olive oil

Salt and cayenne pepper to taste

In a food processor or blender, whisk together all the ingredients except the olive oil. Add the olive oil little by little. Taste for salt and pepper. Cool well. If serving shrimp remoulade, add cooked shrimp before refrigerating.

Kara Kimbrough is a writer and travel agent specializing in Mississippi food and travel. Email him at

Warm Baked Shrimp Dip is the perfect dish to bring to a tailgate party – or any other gathering.

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