BEIGNET (ben-yay)-A fried pastry which is a cross between a cruller
and a doughnut without the hole, a square shaped confection served hot and
liberally sprinkled with powdered sugar.
CAFÉ AU LAIT (caf-ay-oh-lay)-French, meaning, literally, coffee with
milk. It is a half-and-half blend of strong chicory coffee and hot milk.
CHICORY (chick-o-ree)-An herb, the roots of which are dried,
roasted, ground and used to flavor coffee. During the Civil War, when coffee
imports were scarce, south Louisianans used chicory to stretch their meager
coffee supplies. Today it is used as flavoring.
COURTBOUILLON (coo-bee-yon)-A thick fish stew or soup served over rice.
CRAWFISH-Sometimes spelled “crayfish”, but usually pronounced
“crawfish”; these small crustaceans resemble tiny lobsters and are used in a
wide variety of south Louisiana dishes. They are indigenous to the freshwater
swamps and bayous and are also grown in controlled ponds.
ETOUFFEE’ (ay-too-fay)-A method of cooking seafood smothered in
vegetables in a succulent tomato-based sauce used to create a stew-like seafood
entrée. Usually served over steamed white rice.
FILE (fee-lay)-Ground sassafras leaves used as a flavoring and
thickening agent in gumbo.
GUMBO-A thick soup prepared with seafood or game, countless
spices, and vegetables and served over rice.
HUSHPUPPIES-A cornbread-type mixture, formed into balls and fried until
crispy and golden on the outside.
JAMBALAYA (jum-bo-lie-ya)-A highly spiced rice-based one-pot meal
that combines any variety of seafood or meat with vegetables.
RED BEANS AND RICE-Red beans simmered for hours with seasonings and smoked
sausage then served over steamed rice. Traditionally made on Monday (laundry
day) so that the dish could cook, unattended, all day while the wash was being
REMOULADE (row-moo-lad)-A cold dressing made with oil, Creole
mustard, chopped green onion, paprika and any combination of spices, served on
chilled, boiled seafood.
ROUX (roo)-A mixture of flour and fat (butter, oil or lard),
cooked until it is brown with a nutlike flavor and aroma, then used as a base
for sauces and soups.
SAUCE PIQUANTE- A thick, sharp-flavored sauce made with roux and tomatoes,
highly seasoned with herbs and peppers, simmered for hours.