Roux peas, meaty oyster dressing, panéed pork chops and tarte à la bouille.
There are numerous unique dishes that Louisianians eat – and there’s certain times of the year that they traditionally eat them. Chef Jarred Zeringue celebrates this seasonal bounty in an approachable guide to Cajun cooking – “Southern and Smoked: Cajun Cooking Through The Seasons.”
Zeringue’s family has lived, worked and farmed in the River Parishes since the early 1700s. Featuring the flavors and culture he learned growing up, Zeringue’s new book offers an intimate window into how his own family—like so many others in the River Parishes—cook from the land and use the freshest of ingredients that they have often grown or sourced.
“This book is laid out in four seasons,” Zeringue said. “It is a mixture of recipes from my restaurants and a lot of family recipes and family stories of growing up in the River Parishes. It’s a year of cooking in the River Parishes with what we can grow, hunt catch and fish … it’s filled with traditional recipes and why we eat them when we eat them and there’s also some new ways at looking at some of the produce that we grow.”
The pages of “Southern and Smoked: Cajun Cooking Through The Seasons” – available now at Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse and available nationally through book retailers May 9 – also features historical pictures of the River Parishes. The book shares the traditional tastes of Zeringue’s childhood, with an emphasis on the smoked meats for which his smokehouse – Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse in LaPlace – is renowned.
“My selfish hope in writing it is to get these recipes down on paper,” he said. “I’m seeing my grandparents get older and not remember everything and it gets harder and harder to find good versions of these things online. I wanted to have these recipes available regionally because a lot were hard to find and I wanted to have it available nationally. These ingredients are available to everyone all over the world … these traditions can happen anywhere.”