Cajuns do everything just a little bit ""extra."" They laugh loud, love enthusiastically, get more creative when it comes to their dishes, and love bringing friends and family together over a delicious meal. And Christmas is no exception.
Cajun isn't just a food style, nor can it be broken down to a simple seasoning mix. Being Cajun is a lifestyle with historical roots that run deep. Gathering with loved ones is an essential part of being Cajun, and when they cook, you can guarantee they will make the most out of whatever regional ingredients are available. While a spring crawfish boil might be something we presume is the standard go-to for Cajun gatherings and shenanigans, it is during the holidays that the Cajun spirit truly shines.
This year, why not celebrate Cajun cuisine's excellent dishes and history by learning how to prepare a Cajun Christmas? Don't worry if you've always wanted to and have no idea where to start! We're here to help!
Pork Loin Roast with Carolina Apple Butter Compote
If you want to try a traditional Cajun Christmas dinner but are not sure or not ready to branch out too far from what you or your friends and family are comfortable with, then you might find this pork loin roast recipe a perfect fit.
- 1 boneless pork loin roast, roughly 3 lbs
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons of salt
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ½ tablespoon freshly cracked pepper
- 2 tablespoons of canola oil
- 2 lbs of unpeeled, Gala apples
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1 cup of apple cider
- 5 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Kitchen string
How to Prepare
In a bowl, combine minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Rub your pork loin with this making sure it is thoroughly coated. Tie the pork with kitchen string, securing it firmly at intervals of roughly 1 inch. Cover and let chill for at least 2 hours.
After chilling, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. While preheating, brown the roast in a cast iron pan with the oil over medium-high heat, continuing for 2 to 4 minutes on each side to brown evenly. Remove pork from the pan and transfer it to a roasting pan lined with foil. Bake for an hour or until the center of the pork reaches 150 degrees. Once done, remove from oven, cover with foil, and set aside for 15 minutes.
While pork is resting, cut the apples into bite-sized pieces and cover them in lemon juice to avoid browning. Using another skillet, over medium-high heat, mix the cider, sugar, cinnamon, zest of an orange, and stir, letting cook for 10 minutes or until it thickens. Then, add the apple chunks and cook for roughly 20 more minutes.
Once apples are soft and most of the liquid absorbed, stir in butter and remove the pan from heat. If your pork that has been resting has released juices, feel free to mix that into the apple compote. Slice the pork loin and serve it with the apple compote immediately.
Crispy Cajun Chicken
An oven-baked chicken that, when you bite into it, is so crispy that the crunch can be heard –yet not fried? It's possible! What makes this baked chicken, so irresistibly crunchy and crisp is a unique combination of coating and suitable crumbs, a mix of spicey and a hint of sweetness from cornflakes. You can even choose to keep the chicken skin on or take it off, and it won't affect the resounding crunch either way!
- 1 lbs chicken, parts of your choice like breasts, thighs, drumsticks.
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon creole/cajun spice blend
- 2 cups roughly crushed cornflakes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Rinse chicken and pat thoroughly dry with a paper towel.
- Mix mayonnaise and seasoning in a small bowl. Crush cornflakes and place them on a plate.
- Dredge chicken in mayonnaise and spice mixture, then in cornflake crumbs. Shake any excess off and place it on a baking sheet. If you left the chicken skin on, place it skin side up.
- Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes, or until the coating is a deep golden brown and the internal temperature of chicken reaches 185 degrees F. Serve and enjoy!
Whether you live in a climate that is usually hot and humid, and cooler temps have finally arrived, or the snow has finally arrived to stay—is there anything more warming and filling than a fantastic chili? This chili recipe is a unique, full-bodied, savory pot of holiday goodness that any of your friends, family, and guests will love.
- 3 strips of bacon, chopped
- 1 lb of andouille sausage chopped and halved
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained
- 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup frozen mirepoix mix (onions, celery, green peppers)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ to 1 cup of your favorite Creole Sauce to taste
- In a stockpot, cook bacon until it begins to crisp. Remove bacon from pot and set aside.
- Into the same stockpot you cooked the bacon, add sausage. Cook until fully heated through and browned. Remove from pot and set aside.
- Add ground turkey and cook until crumbled well and no longer pink. Remove from pot and set aside.
- Add frozen vegetables to the stockpot and cook until they soften for about 3 minutes.
- Add garlic, salt, dried oregano, and thyme—Cook for an additional minute.
- Stir in tomatoes, broth, and creole sauce to taste. Add beans, meats, and a single bay leaf.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
We at Wholey want to help you have all the inspiration and ideas to create an unforgettable Christmas dinner this holiday season. When it comes to cooking and food, let us assist in making it the most convenient, merry, and bright menu of the year!