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Shrove Tuesday with a Cajun twist

Shrove Tuesday is right around the corner. Shrove comes from the word “shrive” which means to confess. After two birthdays lasting a few weeks, we could say that I have some confessions to make, but we’ll save that for another day.

Sometimes known as Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras in French), the idea of breakfast for dinner is a great alternative to the traditional meat and potatoes. My kids absolutely love this idea.

The last day of indulging before Lent is another reminder that moderation is always best. But with all the indulgences, Mardi Gras is a celebration that we won’t soon forget. Our trip to New Orleans was quite some time ago but filled with great memories: a whole new selection of antiques and food to savour.

Yes, I know, the traditional pancakes and sausage is nothing new to us here. Locally, we make the trip to Wellesley Gourmet for their apple butter sausage.

In the spirit of New Orleans, Cajun cooking is a different kind of excitement in recipes and flavour. The most successful are full of heart. The methods are similar, but the desire to develop a following comes from the cook that can bring it home with their own twist. Don your beads, invite some friends and enjoy some good ol’ Cajun cuisine.


Blackened Fish


1 lb firm-fleshed fish: tuna, salmon or halibut

1/4 cup melted butter


Seasoning Mix


1 tbsp sweet paprika

1-1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cayenne

3/4 tsp white pepper

3/4 tsp cracked black pepper

1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves

1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves


Cut fish into half-inch thick pieces. Let the fish come to room temperature before blackening;

Mix the seasoning ingredients together;

Heat cast iron skillet until it is extremely hot, just short of seeing white ash forming on the bottom of the pan;

Just before cooking, brush the fish with melted butter until it is evenly coated;

Sprinkle the mix over the buttered fish and place in hot pan;

Place 1 tbsp of melted butter on top of the fish (be careful, the butter may flame up);

After 2 minutes, turn the fish over and place another tbsp of melted butter over the fish;

Cook on high for another 3 minutes. The fish should be firm to the touch: it will give slightly, appearing opaque and flakey. (Cook one piece at a time and wipe the pan out when it is done – the more practice you have cooking fish, the better it will get.)


Avocado Salad


Half a ripe avocado, diced

1 lime, juiced

3 tbsp olive oil

3 dashes Tabasco or your favourite hot sauce

1/4 red and green pepper, diced

1 tbsp red onion, diced

2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

Season with salt and pepper

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