In the late 1800’s, Sicily endured some rough times, causing many natives to leave the Italian Island. Sicilians took ships to the major ports of the United States, with many staying in the country’s second-largest port, New Orleans. Living on an island meant many Sicilians made their living as fishermen, and their diet reflected this. Being close to the sea is one of the reasons so many Sicilians didn’t move further inland.
The Sicilians brought their culture and cuisine with them upon immigration, particularly an Italian-style tomato sauce. Just as she absorbed the French and Spanish before them, New Orleans absorbed the Italians. New Orleanians took the idea of Italian-style tomato sauce and mixed it with roux, the flour-and-grease base for sauces. Over time, the classic “red sauce” became “red gravy,” called that to distinguish it from the “brown gravy” New Orleanians made for generations. To make the distinction between traditional cuisine and the modified style of Italians raised in New Orleans, some restaurants and restaurant reviewers began to refer to the modified style as “Creole-Italian” cooking.
An obvious homegrown Italian contribution to the cuisine of the Crescent City is the muffuletta, a hearty sandwich of salami and provolone topped with a distinctive olive salad. Muffulettas, found at delis across the country, originated at Central Grocery on Decatur St. in the Quarter, a store that is still selling them to this day. Another great example of Creole-Italian fusion is the change that happened to the classic Italian recipe for scampi. Since there were no scampi here, Italian cooks used the plentiful local Gulf shrimp instead. This dish evolved into a new dish: the spicy, buttery and misnamed “barbecue shrimp”. The dish spread to restaurants and homes and is now one of the most famous New Orleans dishes.
Slap Ya Mama is a big fan of the fusion between different cultures and our array of spices and sauces are excellent at bridging that gap. Add Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Seasoning to your favorite Italian dishes to create Creole-Italian fusion in your own kitchen or check out some of the recipes we have created. Let us know some of your favorite Creole-Italian fusion recipes in the comments!
In Louisiana, we love hot sauce. Hot sauce originated in the early 1800s and is believed to have gotten its start in Cajun cooking, and now many selections of all-natural hot sauce come in different levels of spice and flavor. Food experts think that our love for hot sauce is all in our head, saying that spicy food does not actually cause any physical harm to a well-functioning digestive system. Our brain contains chemical molecules and excites the pain receptors on your tongue that are linked to the sensation of temperature. A study from the 80’s demonstrated a connection between enjoyment of roller coasters and a passion for spice and discovered that thrill seekers were more likely to enjoy spicy foods. If you’re a thrill seeker looking for that adrenaline rush in your food, here are five new ways to utilize hot sauce.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate is the comforting milky and sweet, delicious beverage that we love when the weather gets cooler, but why not spice it up? Add a couple of dashes of hot sauce to your mug to get an extra kick.
Bodybuilders and people looking to shed fat love this combination because of the low-calorie flavor that hot sauce provides. Adding hot sauce to your eggs gives your protein an extra dash of character and will be a staple in your home.
Popcorn is a popular snack with many varieties such as white cheddar, caramel, and the beloved butter flavor. Try adding a drizzle of hot sauce over your popcorn during your next movie night.
If you’ve ever seen the movie Selena, you’ll remember the scene where Jon Seda douses his pizza with hot sauce. Sometimes, the tomato sauce isn’t enough of a kick.
Hummus is delicious as a dip for veggies, pita, crackers and an excellent spread for sandwiches and wraps. Adding some hot sauce in your hummus will give you the kick that you need to amplify your hummus experience.
Here at Slap Ya Mama, we know that different people like different hot sauces and that’s why we have four different types of delicious all-natural hot sauce. Let us know in the comments what foods you love our hot sauce with. We would love to know more!
The Comfort Food of Louisiana
Locals, transplants, and tourists alike know that Louisiana is known for its delicious and unique cuisine with gumbo being one of the most sought out dishes. Fall in Louisiana is a brief transition separating our warm summers from the relatively mild winters. It would be more appropriate to call this time of year gumbo season. Gumbo is a hearty, stew-like soup that is beloved across Louisiana. This dish crosses all class barriers, appearing on the tables of the poor and the wealthy, alike. The ingredients can vary widely from one cook to the next and from one region of the state to another, but two elements are constant: roux, a sauce thickener that is a mix of equal parts flour and fat, and the trinity, a blend of onion, celery, and bell pepper.
To thicken a gumbo, filé (sassafras leaves ground into a powder) or okra can be added. There are no set rules as far as the primary meat, although the most popular versions of gumbo are either chicken and sausage based or seafood based. Gumbo is often cited as an example of the melting-pot nature of Louisiana cooking. The name itself is derived from the West African word for okra, suggesting that gumbo was originally made with okra. Dr. Carl A. Brasseaux of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette found in his research that the first documented references to gumbo appeared around the turn of the 19th century. Gumbo has influence from many different cultures including Choctaw, French, Cajun, Creole, and African. The stew-like soup is viewed as a mixture of all cultures and influences in one pot that everyone is bound to enjoy.
Walker & Sons has formulated an alternative to preparing your favorite Cajun dishes. When it comes to gumbo, many families take a full day out of their schedule to make this dish perfect. In 2017, it’s difficult to find the time to devote to this dish. Slap Ya Mama has perfected our dinner mixes so that you and your family can enjoy easy cajun dishes. In just minutes and with little effort, you can have great tasting, stove cooked gumbo for the entire family. Just add your chicken and sausage or seafood, bring to a boil, let it simmer and serve it.
“To some, the mix of Asian and Cajun may sound bizarre but to people in South Louisiana, it feels like the next perfect step into culinary bliss. “
In the mid 1970’s after the fall of Saigon, a large wave of Vietnamese made their way down to New Orleans. There are a few reasons that made the incoming Vietnamese feel as if this could be the perfect place to call home. The top reasons were the very familiar subtropical climate and the large Catholic population in the New Orleans area. Yes, most of the Vietnamese in South Louisiana are Roman Catholic and were brought here by Catholic Charities. The Vietnamese community now makes up nearly 3% of the total population in New Orleans.
As the Vietnamese started into the local work force, they began to work in a variety of businesses. Now the majority of the population is in the restaurant and seafood industry. Vietnamese cuisine was heavily influenced by the French from the get-go, so the transition to Cajun was a no-brainer and the wave of fusion cooking has been steadily growing. It seems as if you can’t look for a recipe without seeing some type low-sodium fusion recipe or something titled Casian hot wings. The locals enjoying this fusion already have a taste for seafood and now most of them have grown-up with the large Vietnamese population, so it is a very comfortable mix. Whether it’s a bahn mi, a Vietnamese po-boy, or a steamy bowl of pho seasoned with low sodium Cajun seasoning that you are looking for, you don’t have to go far. The local New Orleans people seem to love this fusion. The Vietnamese have also taken the beloved King Cake and made it a little better with the best king cake of 2017 award going to a Vietnamese bakery in New Orleans East.
If you are interested in trying a fusion recipe do not hesitate to add a Slap Ya Mama product like our fantastic hot sauce or one of our seasoning blends like the white pepper or low-sodium. You will be pleased!
A History as Rich as the Flavor
Cajun Cuisine, known for its spicy notes and heartiness, is a style of cooking that developed in the South after Acadian immigrants fled Canada in the 18th century. It was developed by a population that lived off the land and has adapted over centuries of cultural influences and geographical changes.
The Acadians were the original French settlers in North America and immigrated to Canada in the early 1600s. It was important that these settlers lived off of what was readily available to them: using meat and vegetables cooked in a thick sauce in a single pot. In 1755, they refused to pledge allegiance to the British Crown in 1755 and more than 14,000 Acadians were deported and made their way to Louisiana.
When they settled in the South, these French-Canadian farmers once again adapted their cuisine to the ingredients that were at hand in the region. Their cuisine evolved to include crab, oysters, shrimp, catfish, crawfish and even alligator. Bell Peppers, celery, and onions thrived in Louisiana’s hot and sticky climate and were a staple in their cuisine known as the holy trinity that Louisiana natives use to this day. Louisiana is known as being a melting pot of cultures and these cultures have influenced the cuisine heavily throughout history. As a result, Cajun food was also heavily influenced by African, Native-American, and Caribbean cultures which, in turn, spiced things up a bit. Garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, salt and red pepper flakes were all incorporated in their delicious dishes.
In the present day, these Cajun recipes have been passed down from generation to generation with slight differences in the recipes from family to family. Slap Ya Mama seasoning is a staple in homes across Louisiana for offering the delicious Cajun blend of spices that takes your gumbo to the next level of flavor with several different options: Original Cajun, Hot Cajun, White Pepper Blend, and Low Sodium Cajun Seasoning. If you are looking for the perfect seasoning blend for your Cajun recipes, SLAP your food with our authentic seasoning blends!
Everyone at one point in their life has tried a stuffed pepper. They’re too popular to avoid, but what happens when you want to try something new? Thanks to the extra kick in Cajun spice, there’s a way to enjoy both the classic dish and a different taste. A common recipe like one for slow cooked stuffed peppers is just waiting to become Cajun Seasoned Stuffed Peppers.
Slow Cooked Stuffed Peppers
4 medium sweet red peppers
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
3/4 cup salsa
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/3 cup uncooked converted long grain rice
1-1/4 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Reduced-fat sour cream, optional
This recipe comes, as recipes usually do, from older traditions. Stuffed pepper recipes exist across the world, but the ones made here have a style that is unique to the United States with ground beef, rice, cheese, and spices among the ingredients. Additional elements such as vegetables or cream come from personal preferences but still follow the process of cooking within a large pepper as perfected since the 1890’s. Beyond that, like a regular bell pepper becoming Cajun Stuffed Peppers, the recipe continues to change.
Stuffed peppers can be one of the simpler party dishes based on the recipes which means it can always be improved or made more elaborate. Ingredients can be switched out for dietary needs or just a little extra spice. The addition of Cajun spice, however, provides a new opportunity for an old recipe.
In a common dish, Cajun seasoning can either be added in place of something or as an ingredient on its own. Using the previous slow cooked recipe, a chef could easily substitute chili powder or cumin for a new spice. This not only keeps the hot element of the food but adds a new taste to it as well. Some people find that the flavor can even be preferable as the seasoning gives a sense of vibrancy to an otherwise ordinary recipe. Some even goes as far as to make Cajun stuffed peppers with the seasoning and hot sauce as their own flavors rather than substitutes. There is certainly something about the Cajun taste that always sticks out no matter where it goes.
If you’re looking to change up an old recipe or start a new one, purchase some good Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning for your own stuffed peppers today!
Down at the Big Easy, there’s no such thing as too spicy. Sometimes, the only thing a dish can need is the right seasoning to bring out the delicious flavor. For even a regular recipe, a unique seasoning can highlight all the good qualities of a meal and bring out a new eating experience. Thanks to the availability of Slap Ya Mama seasoning, plenty of recipes can now get an extra kick to their taste.
For many New Orleans dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya, or barbecued shrimp, seasoning can be a vital part of the recipe while others could just use a touch of flavor to an otherwise ordinary meal. For example, an otherwise ordinary homemade recipe for chicken tenders gains a southern flair with the just a few spots of Slap Ya Mama seasoning in the right place.
Slap Ya Mama Chicken Tenders
4 chicken tender breasts
1½ Cups Buttermilk
1 Cup Flour
½ cup Canola Oil
1 Tbsp “Slap Ya Mama Seasoning”
To make the most out of your chicken recipe, the seasoning is best used when mixed with the flour during the process. After marinating the chicken in buttermilk for about four hours, mix one tablespoon of the Slap Ya Mama seasoning with the one cup of flour to coast the tenders. Once the chicken is fully coated with the seasoned flour, deep fry the tenders in a medium heat pan until they are fully cooked. If the flavor is still not to your liking, feel free to add more seasoning to reach that Cajun level. If you’ve ever made homemade chicken tenders before, it may be time to try them with a new degree of flavor.
If you’re looking to add some Slap Ya Mama seasoning to your recipes, visit their website to purchase any one of the Slap Ya Mama products – with ingredients so good you’ll want to “slap ya mama!”
- 2 – 3 1/2 pound spaghetti squash
- 6 Tbsp butter, divided
- 1 1/2 pound large shrimp; fresh, peeled, deveined & rinsed
- 2 large shallots, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 Tbsp capers
- 1 tsp Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Seasoning
- 1 tsp Slap Ya Mama Hot Blend Seasoning
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Using a fork, pierce squashes all over. Place on baking sheet and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until tender. Let cool 15 minutes. Slice squash in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out seeds and discard. Using a fork, shred squash meat into a large bowl and set aside. Toss out skin. In a large cast iron skillet, melt 1 Tbsp of butter over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and 1 tsp of Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Seasoning and cook until shrimp are pink and firm, about 5 minutes. Remove shrimp and set aside. In the same skillet, add 1 Tbsp of butter over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic, sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add white wine and chicken broth, increase heat to high. Bring to a boil and let boil until liquid is reduced by two-thirds. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in remaining 4 Tbsp of butter, cream, capers and 1 Tbsp of Slap Ya Mama Hot Blend Seasoning. Cook until butter is completely melted. Stir in squash and shrimp. Top with chopped parsley and serve.
Serves Approximately 6
Slap Ya Mama is back with a new light Spring dish. Introducing the Slap Ya Mama Honey Glazed Salmon with a Citrus Avocado Salsa Served over Coconut Rice featuring Slap Ya Mama’s White Pepper Blend & Hot Seasonings. See the full list of ingredients, serving size, and directions for preparation.
- 4 (6oz) salmon fillets (skinless)
- 8 tsp. honey
- 8 tsp. flour
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- Slap Ya Mama White Pepper Blend Seasoning (to taste)
- 1 large hass avocado, peeled, cored & diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- 2 small navel oranges, peeled, segmented & diced
- 1 tsp. lime zest
- 2 Tbsp. lime juice
- 3 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp. Slap Ya Mama Hot Blend Seasoning
- 2 cups white rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 cube chicken bouillon
- ½ red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp. white sugar
- 1 tsp. Slap Ya Mama Hot Blend Seasoning
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For ease, work with 2 salmon fillets at a time. Sprinkle the top of each fillet with Slap Ya Mama White Pepper Blend Seasoning, and drizzle 1 tsp. of honey over each fillet, being sure to spread evenly. Dust the top of each fillet with 1 tsp. of flour. Over medium-high heat, add olive oil to a large skillet. Once oil is hot, add 2 fillets, floured side down, and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. While they’re cooking, apply Slap Ya Mama White Pepper Blend Seasoning, honey and flour to the tops of the fillets as before. Carefully rotate each fillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and place on a baking sheet that has been lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray. Repeat process with the other two fillets. Once all salmon is on baking sheet, bake in the oven for about 7 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of fillets.
Serve warm over coconut rice and top with citrus avocado salsa. Enjoy!
In a large bowl, combine avocado, onions, orange zest, orange pieces, lime zest, lime juice and cilantro. Gently toss all ingredients while sprinkling Slap Ya Mama Hot Blend Seasoning evenly over salsa.
In a saucepan over high heat, bring water, rice, chicken bouillon, bell pepper and butter to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Add coconut milk, Slap Ya Mama Hot Blend Seasoning and sugar, stir and let simmer until rice has absorbed most all of the coconut milk.
This is a delicious and easy slow cooker recipe that everyone will enjoy!
- green cabbage, ½ head or 3 cups, shredded
- 1 tsp. Slap Ya Mama Hot Blend Seasoning
- red cabbage, ½ head or 3 cups, shredded
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 large jalapeno, sliced
- ½ small red onion, sliced
- 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
Directions for Pork
Season the roast with 2 tbsp. of Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Seasoning, being sure to cover it evenly. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add butter and roast. Brown all sides of the roast and set aside. In the same skillet, reduce heat to medium; add onions and garlic and sauté until onions are tender. Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the skillet, stir in dark brown sugar, being sure to scrap the bottom of the skillet to help bring up remnants of the browned pork and onion/garlic mixture. Bring to a light boil then remove from heat. Place roast in the slow cooker and pour contents of the skillet over the roast. Cook on low for 8 hours. Once cooked, remove from the slow cooker and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Using 2 forks, pull roast apart into small slices or chunks. Toss with BBQ sauce to desired taste, serve on buns and top with coleslaw.
Directions for Coleslaw
Combine the cabbage, jalapeno, onion and carrots in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar and Slap Ya Mama Hot Blend Seasoning. Add dressing to cabbage mixture and toss well.
It’s time for an old fashioned Louisiana Mardi Gras! Fiddles and accordions are blasting, and chickens are being tossed so high you’d almost think they were flying. Costumed revelers who look like they came straight out of medieval history sporting fringed and wire mesh feudal outfits on horseback, chasing chickens and begging for ingredients for a huge communal gumbo. Louisiana Cajun Country’s Courir de Mardi Gras – a tradition that dates all the way back to medieval celebrations in France.
Traditions of Louisiana Cajun Mardi Gras
Outside of the stunningly decorated floats and crowned kings and queens you find in New Orleans Carnival festivities, Cajun Mardi Gras is a festival of French origins and a celebration of amazing gumbo – and it all begins on Mardi Gras Day.
Courir de Mardi Gras – Photo courtesy of cajunzydecophotos
On the morning of Fat Tuesday, costumed revelers take the streets wearing handmade medieval jester dresses sporting capuchons hats from French traditions that mocked nobility in the medieval era, and bishop miters for the Catholic papal state. It was all a way to escape the roles of life on a daily basis and live like you don’t have a care in the world. The hustle and bustle of everyday life was drowned away by the sounds of Cajun bands playing and the smell of delectable Cajun country cooking. When the horseback revelers took the streets, Courir de Gras began.
Courir de Mardi Gras
The main event of Cajun Mardi Gras. Costumed revelers on horseback are led by the capitaine of Mardi Gras in the traditional celebration of Courir de Gras, where they’d travel from house to house begging for ingredients for a communal gumbo that would feed the town. But you wouldn’t just receive the ingredients. You need to work for it – and by work we mean an assortment of rituals that included dancing atop their horses, climbing trees, and making chicken noises. Homeowners would then toss live chickens into the air for revelers to chase and swing around their heads. The horsemen are joined by men riding on chicken wagons and trailers to catch the most chickens for the communal gumbo while offering cold beer and sausage, and providing musical entertainment for homes they passed by. Thankfully, you don’t have to wait for the race to be over before the gumbo is prepared. The food is now prepped prior and during the race while awaiting its last ingredient once the race is over – chicken.
Each town in Cajun country has their own unique way of celebrating Courir de Gras. The towns feature various foods and events that really bring out the Cajun experience you’re looking for. For example, in Basile, you’ll find a courir for the kids held a few days before Fat Tuesday.
Parade and Musical Entertainment
Once the run comes to an end, the Mardi Gras parades soon follow. In Cajun country, you won’t find parade floats featuring intricate gowns or elaborate mockups. You will instead find homemade costumes and handmade decorated floats pulled by trucks rather than tractors. The parades are also accompanied by traditional music featuring Cajun bands playing the fiddle, accordion, guitar, and the must-hear washboard.
Cajun Mardi Gras is definitely a sight to see. If you want to experience something different than New Orleans Carnivale, everyone is welcome to come down to Cajun Country. Spend Mardi Gras this year in Cajun country for an experience you’ll never forget. Just read what National Geographic’s Young Explorer Caroline Gerdes had to say from her experience going from New Orleans Carnival to Cajun Mardi Gras.
Slap Ya Mama is back with a new signature dish. Introducing the Jambalaya Cakes with Honey ‘Slapped’ Roasted Turkey Breast recipe by37 Cooks featuring Slap Ya Mama’s original blend and jambalaya dinner mix seasonings. See the full list of ingredients, serving size, and directions for preparation.
– By Holly of 37 Cooks
When I first signed up for this challenge, I had absolutely no idea what to make. I was thinking breakfast of some kind, but Cajun-spiced? Jambalaya Mix? Pepper sauce? I really started to sweat it…literally!But an idea struck me after working at my son’s preschool one morning. They were reading a book called Marsupial Sue Presents The Runaway Pancake by John Lithgow. I had never heard of this book before, but these kids were in love! They’d sing along with his teacher and hang on her every word. So that’s where the pancake idea was born. I made several kinds at first (zucchini, cheese, sausage) but the yam ones stuck. My son, Caden, would just gobble them up. I hope you do too!
Cook Slap Ya Mama Cajun Jambalaya Dinner Mix according to box instructions, minus the meat. Let cool.
Saute the diced yam on medium heat in 2 Tablespoons oil, brown sugar and Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Cajun Seasoning until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, mix egg, butter and milk. Fold in the black beans, cooked yam and Slap Ya Mama Cajun Jambalaya Dinner Mix. Add the wet ingredients into the dry until just mixed. Let sit about 10 minutes.
Heat a large, non-stick skillet on medium-high. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of canola oil per batch of cakes. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into pan, making 3-4 at a time. Cook the cakes 3-4 minutes and gently flip. Cook another 2 minutes until golden brown. Yields about 12 cakes.
Heat oven to 350˚F. Rinse and pat dry turkey breast. Place in small roasting dish. Coat with olive oil and season with Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Cajun Seasoning. Drizzle with honey. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until done and juices run clear.
For the sauce: Mix the sour cream and Slap Ya Mama Cajun Pepper Sauce. Serve on top of the cakes.