Tired of your typical three-eggs any style, flapjacks and hash brunch? Cajun brunches are your answer. Cajun brunch dishes are belly-savoring, flavorful and can be found all over NYC and the vicinity. Cajun dishes might be something of mystery to many, but there ain’t nothing to be scared of. The ingredients in these dishes and other brunch items will make your mouth water!
The French-speaking Acadian immigrants residing in Louisiana, or “Cajuns”, is from where the name Cajun originates. Their style of cooking is often referred to as a three-pot ordeal, having pots for main meals, rice and vegetables. The meal is locally sourced using simple ingredients and preparation and is intended to satisfy many.
Know your meats and vegetables:
Crawdads – Also known as crawfish, crawdads are fresh water crustations, popular ingredients in jambalaya, gumbo, and even some egg dishes.
Andouille sausage – A Cajun menu isn’t complete without Andouille, which is spicy-pork smoked sausage found mostly in omelets, jambalaya and gumbo.
Holy Trinity – This phrase refers to the celery, bell peppers and onions, which are always used together in Cajun cooking. You will find these vegetables in gumbo and jambalaya.
What to start off with:
Hush puppies – Who doesn’t love these?! These deep fried cornbread balls couldn’t be a better appetizer.
Drinking? Try a Sazerac cocktail (whiskey, absinthe, bitters and lemon garnish) or Abita Beer (refreshing beer from the South).
Jambalaya – A great way to get your man to brunch is to let them know this the menu includes jambalaya, which contains three meats — usually shrimp, chicken and Andouille sausage, as well as vegetable trinity set. It is fantastic as is, but even better in omelette form. How is this different from gumbo? It comes down to the rice. The rice marinades with the meat and vegetables, soaking up the flavor and thickening to be less stew-like.
Po’ boy – Not an omelette lover, a po’ boy is ALWAYS on a Cajun menu. It is a sandwich any way you like it with mayo, lettuce and tomato on French bread. During brunch it can become a great egg sandwich.
Gumbo – Need something to warm up with before your brunch entrée? Gumbo is a great start. Where the name comes from is not certain, but it could be from the African word for okra, ki ngombo. It’s essentially a thick stew with meats, shellfish and the holy trinity of vegetables.
If you can stuff in anything else:
Bread pudding – Made with day-old French bread baked and soaked in custard with whiskey sauce on the side, this is a great treat after your main dish.
Beignet – This decadent dessert is a deep-fried doughnut in the shape of a square, lightly covered with powdered sugar.
Now that you’re in the know with Cajun brunch, you need to experience it for yourself! Great Jones Café (NoHo), Delta Grill (Hell’s Kitchen), Acme Bar & Grill (NoHo) and OddFellows Rest (Hoboken) are places where you can laissez les bon temps rouler (lay-zay lay bon tom rule-air) – or let the good times roll — during brunch!
Written by: Erica