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

4.39  ·  Rating Details  ·  181 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
An untamed region teeming with snakes, alligators, and snapping turtles, with sausage and cracklins sold at every gas station, Cajun Country is a world unto itself. The heart of this area—the Acadiana region of Louisiana—is a tough land that funnels its spirit into the local cuisine. You can’t find more delicious, rustic, and satisfying country cooking than the dirty rice, ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 21st 2009 by Clarkson Potter
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Oct 26, 2015 Maren rated it really liked it
I've been wanting to eat Cajun food again ever since I spent a week in Lafayette in spring of last year. Where I live now, there's no way I'm going to get Cajun food unless I make it myself. I've especially been craving some nice jambalaya--and was so grateful and excited to find a recipe for it in this book! I think Link's recipe could feel daunting, since step 1 is to roast a chicken and step 2 is to make stock with the carcass, but I just happened to have already done both those things and sa ...more
Aug 19, 2010 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks, south
I bought this book at the eatery "Butcher" in New Orleans, after having the best shrimp and grits in my life. The grits were creamy with a tinge of brine and the sauce was littered with these blood-red morsels of bacon that were so succulent I felt guilty, as if the pig had just been slaughtered in the back an hour before. We also tried Boudin, which reminded me of the filling they put in Middle East dishes. Writing this made me hungry all over again...

Note: The recipes are pretty fattening--but
Apr 24, 2012 Mia rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, cooking
Recipes sounded and looked good, but overall most of them needed tweaking to just be edible. Too much work! When I buy a recipe book I just want to cook the recipes as is (or at least w/ minimal tweaking) and not stand there and think, "How can I save this?"

So, instructions were clear and the photos were nice, but the recipes were far from delicious. So disappointing! I was really craving some New Orleans cuisine.

Rea K
Jun 11, 2015 Rea K marked it as cookbooks
The gumbo recipe would probably be better if I could cook the roux properly. The crawfish etouffe is not bad (not a seafood fan) and I made it for my Meats, Fish, and Poultry class instead of the one in the book.
The broccoli and rice thing with homemade mushroom soup is good. Of course, the mushroom sherry soup from school kicks ass compared to this stuff, but not bad. And I don't like mushrooms.
That's all I remember cooking out of this.
I love the pictures, the stories, everything. Dude, I lo
Jun 21, 2009 Amy rated it it was amazing
When I read Frank Bruni's 2008 review of Cochon, one of Donald Link's New Orleans restaurants, I actually started salivating. When I visited later in the year, it did not disappoint. Neither does Real Cajun, which features a few of Cochon's recipes, as well as some from Herbsaint, and some from Link's family, friends, and local favorites. Despite New Orleans' reputation for excess (and Link's obvious appreciation for fried oysters, fried chicken livers, fried chicken, and pork belly cracklins), ...more
Dec 20, 2010 Anne rated it really liked it
This cookbook was a Christmas gift last year, and while I haven't finished it, I've made several recipes, all of which were delicious, and read most of the rest, which explains my drooling problem. Donald Link’s style is as engaging as the photography: his accounts of family crawfish boils and church suppers give a homestyle context to impeccably-shot, super-tasty food. This is the food he grew up eating, and while I think ease of preparation in a home kitchen will depend on how much time & ...more
Marion Pilger
May 15, 2014 Marion Pilger rated it it was amazing
Great recipes. Amazing photography. I felt it was liking reading a family history book with lots of background information about the recipes and the ingredients and the people. Although not listed as an ingredient in any recipe in this cookbook - it seemed to me that there was a large spoonful of love stirred into every dish.
Feb 26, 2015 Jane added it
This book had sumptious rich recipes but it is not Real Cajun. Most of the recipes are modernized and fusion.
They almost all use Mexican or Oriental chiles and herbs not part of the Cajun tradition.
Catherine Woodman
I think this is the best cookbook for the genre that I have seen--it came out this year with fellow New Orleans chef Jeff Besh's cookbook--they were both nominated as best American cookbook for both the IACP and the James Beard award--one won one, the other the other, so maybe it is just as good--We have made the dinner rolls, the biscuits, the jambalaya and the shrimp creole and they have all been spectacular--so it is more like Cochon food than Herbsaint--but very good and I would highly recom ...more
Derek Lazzara
Nov 30, 2015 Derek Lazzara rated it it was amazing
Simple, easy recipes that are rustic and full-flavored. The heat for the spicier recipes is easy to adjust for milder tastes.
Roberta Pell
Dec 17, 2015 Roberta Pell rated it really liked it
Took me back to when I visited family in New Orleans, great recipes and must have!
Nov 24, 2009 Derek rated it really liked it
Shelves: food-cooking
If you've been to to any of the Link eateries (Herbsaint, Couchon and Butcher) then you know that Link is the man when it comes to traditional Cajun. With great writing, pictures you could eat and a nice selection of some of Link's favorite southern cooking, if you buy this book, get a bike or a gym membership.
Jan 02, 2013 Summer rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
I haven't tried any of the recipes in this book yet (I can't wait!), but I loved reading it. I felt like he was describing my family and my childhood; it was so similar to my experiences growing up in a Cajun family in Louisiana. Great book!
Mar 11, 2012 Steff rated it really liked it
Shelves: cook-books
Only halfway through this & have already marked quite a few recipes for future use.
Feb 10, 2012 Christopher rated it it was amazing
the green bean casserole was a HUGE hit at the potluck.
Jan 13, 2010 Brooke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food
awesome Cajun down home cookin'!
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