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Joyeaux Noel: Setting a Cajun Christmas Table

It’s Christmas time in Acadiana (and everywhere else) and that means one thing especially: food! Most people across the country will be basting turkeys and glazing hams—but in Cajun country, we do things a little differently. While there’s nothing wrong with a holiday classic on the table, there are too many delicious Cajun delicacies to ignore. Why just have a Turkey when you can have a Cajun Turducken? Why settle for an out-of-the-box stuffing mix when you can have a cornbread dressing with crawfish tails? You get the idea; it’s not just that we do things differently. We do them better. Here are a few tips for bringing that Cajun flavor to your holiday table!

Hors D’oeuvres & Cocktails 

First things first: sipping and socializing. While most would be content just catching up with friends and relatives with a drink in hand—real Cajuns don’t miss an opportunity to eat. After all, this is a holiday feast, not a health club. We suggest a selection of delicious and convenient finger foods: 

  • Slices of andouille sausage, skewered with toothpicks and served with a spicy honey mustard. It’s a classy (but still Cajun) way to get the party started!
  • A bowl of pork cracklins and pork skins combined (AKA Old Spanish Trail Mix). You’re going to want to have lots of napkins on hand for this one! 
  • Individual crawfish pies: perfectly hand-sized and stuffed with delicious crawfish boudin that go great with Dat Dip
  • To complement the Hors D’oeuvres, we recommend Bloody Marys with a dash of Louisiana Hot Sauce, since most people of Louisiana don’t miss an opportunity to get a little more spice in their lives. There are lots of great local vodkas to choose from, as well! 

Cajun Food Appetizers 

Not to be confused with the first course: the appetizers are the first out of the kitchen after everyone’s finally sat down (usually at the mismatched assortment of tables and chairs that have been crammed into maw maw’s place at the last minute). For many, the appetizers are a chance to define the flavors of the coming meal. While that’s true in Cajun country as well, it’s mostly just another opportunity to feast on all of our hometown favorites. The trick is to pace yourself and get a little bit of everything, because you’re going to want plenty of room for what’s coming! Here are a few suggestions for your table:

  • Boudin stuffed bell peppers to introduce the thing everyone’s been waiting for: boudin! They’re easy to cook, nice and simple but still delicious, and they’re green so it feels like you’re eating something healthy! 
  • Bring on more shellfish with some seafood cornbread stuffed mushrooms that are light enough to keep you from filling up on while still being good enough to eat twelve of (we don’t recommend eating twelve in one sitting).  
  • Add a local twist to the traditional bread course with eye-catching and mouth watering boudin bread—it’s so pretty you won’t want to eat it! Once you smell that homemade bread, boudin and pepperjack; you definitely will eat it, though.  
  • What better way to get all hopped up for the holidays than a tender and delicious pair of fried frog legs? Freshly fried frog legs are delicate and relatively light—they go great with some local honey as well! 

Main Course

Now it’s what everyone’s been waiting for: the main event! Honestly, we could just about suggest the whole world of Cajun cooking for this part of the meal. There are simply too many delicious dishes to choose from. However: we don’t want to be held responsible for your table legs breaking under the weight of ten dishes, so we narrowed it down to our three favorites. Pick and choose, mix and match, or just cook them all! 

  • What better for the main event than a dish that was not only invented in Louisiana, but is also sure to drop every jaw in the room. We speak, of course, of the world-famous turducken. A semi-boneless turkey stuffed with chicken thighs, duck breasts and a classic Cajun vegetable blend (not to mention seasoned by Billy’s flavor experts) means there’s a little something for everyone! By “a little,” we mean a lot. 
  • If you think the Turducken is lacking in pork, we’ve got the perfect solution: Billy’s Baconizer! Delicious homemade sausage and pepper jack cheese, all wrapped up in seasoned bacon? What’s not to love? 
  • Another dish that makes a beautiful and delicious centerpiece is a stuffed pork tenderloin! Our suggestion: a pork tenderloin stuffed with delicious crawfish boudin! Louisiana crawfish is the best in the world, so why pass up an opportunity to eat it? When it’s tucked into a juicy and tender pork tenderloin, it’s sure to make your season bright! 

Side Dishes 

Those main courses can’t hit the table solo! To make your spread complete, you’ll need a couple of savory sides to elevate your entrees! While there’s a few classics you can always lean on (cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes) and a few ways you can bring a bit of Cajun flavor to your holiday favorites (boudin in the green beans), there are a few that we suggest you consider to really round out your festive menu: 

  • There’s hardly anything more classic than dressing (especially in the south), but you haven’t truly had a good dressing mix until you’ve tried our homemade dressing mix and our seafood cornbread dressing
  • Listen: we know lots of people will say it’s a main course, but when there’s this much good food on the table, there’s no shame in calling gumbo a side. It’s always appropriate when the weather is cool (and even when it’s not, in our opinion) so it’s never a surprise to see it on the holiday table. If all the meal prep has you stressed for time, Kary’s gumbo mix makes making an authentic gumbo easy. Pair it with some local rice for the best results! 
  • So it’s not the most traditional of sides, but there’s always got to be a place on the table for the dish that put Billy’s on the map: pepper jack boudin balls! There’s no dish on the planet that these beautiful spheres of porky perfection don’t complement! Don’t believe us? Try it this year for yourself and see if you get a single complaint! 

Dessert 

Let’s face it: you don’t have any room for dessert at this point, do you? On the off chance that you do, we’re gonna suggest two things: 

  • What we like to call an “Avery Island Iced Tea”: equal parts vodka, white rum, tequila and gin coupled with a splash of lemon juice, and topped off with your favorite (local if possible) cream soda. It makes for a sweet way to round off the salty and savory meal you just had a little too much of. Be careful, though! It’s strong!
  • Bread pudding: the ultimate Louisiana dessert. There are a million different ways to make it, and everyone has their own opinion. As a result, we’re not even going to try to tell you how to do it—but you might want to start saving your bread now. 

Good Cajun Food, Good Cajun Times

The truth is, there’s not just one way to celebrate the holidays. As long as you’re surrounded by family, friends and good food—chances are you’ll have a good time. The truly Cajun way to spend a holiday is to appreciate what you have and who you’re with, after all. At the end of the evening, when you’re basking in the warm glow of all the delicious food you just ate and are exchanging gifts, be sure to appreciate the good times while they’re still here! 

We’re always honored when our customers include our food in their holiday plans. While we celebrate people making their own food—if you don’t have the time or expertise to do it yourself, we’re here to help. We can ship our food anywhere in the US, so be sure to check out our online store to see our wide selection of Cajun foods, local products, merchandise and more! 

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