9.22.2016

The German Cajun Connection

(Brats and Kraut?)
   It's around  this time of year that almost every small town in our area is having some kind of German festival.  For whatever reason, it's not been widely known that German migrants also settled mostly along the Mississippi River and still has a strong influence on our culture. 
   As with other branches of our region's Cajun "family tree", besides the  French, Spanish, African,  Italian and Native American cuisines, German food has also impacted our life, as well. Their wonderful sausages and beer to name just two. 
   Some historians credit the Germans with the evolution of Boudin, one of our most treasured Cajun sausage-like, (but not sausage) "gotta haves".
       I have my own theory about this:  
   While the Germans most likely had a boudin-like sausage, it is unlikely they would have used rice as a cereal filler.  I have noticed over the years that the closer to the Mississippi River you travel, the less rice is used in the making of boudin. Here in our little river town the people who make boudin insist on using no rice in their boudin. To me, this suggests a German influence and lends credence to my theory. That and the fact that the local phone book has a ton of German names listed. Anyway, I digress and never intended this to be a history lesson...just my take on Cajun-German "fusion" food stuff.  

On to my main topic. At first glance, you might wonder what's Cappy doing with brats and kraut in his beloved ol' black iron pot? Well, this is my "Cajunized" version of brats and kraut.  It's just fresh spicy Cajun sausage with smothered cabbage.  
I let the sausages sizzle covered in the pot with a splash of oil for a few minutes.
I turned them over and pricked the skin with a fork to allow the juices to escape into the pot.
I put the lid on and while the sausage was simmering away in its own juices, I turned three onions
into long pieces,
I took the browned sausages out and put the onions in the pot, then added some of our own Cajun seasoning and let them cook, (covered )
while I whacked up half a head of cabbage that had been lurking around in the fridge for some time.
In went the cabbage with the onions, 
got all stirred up and covered again for a while, 'til it "simmered down".  I occasionally stirred it all around while it was on low heat, and after an hour or so, I put the sausages back in on top, stirred a bit more, then called it "done". 
   It was a wonderful hearty meal in honor of Fall approaching; my favorite time of year.
So thanks to the German influences that contributed richly to our culture! Instead of the traditional October Fest greeting, we wish you in true Cajun fashion, Happy Fall Yall!!!
  (Peg said she has some German in her heritage, too, and proved it by drizzling vinegar over this meal in her bowl, and was also her way of letting me know me the cabbage was not kraut and the sausage was not the boudin that I'd been talking about as far as cultural food influences. Hmm...I forgot about the Yankee influence here in my own house.)
Post a Comment