Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun



February 16th, 2020 · Comments Off on Beignets

This is a sneak peek into one of the first recipes in the book from the breakfast chapter.

Beignets recipe sneak peek.

Cafe Au Lait and beignets are a treat at Cafe du Monde, and now you can make these tasty, deep-fried morsels in the comfort of your own home. Bread flour is the key to a delightful beignet because it has a higher protein content- near 12 percent more than all-purpose flour. The extra protein allows the dough to produce more gluten, which gives it body, strength, and elasticity.


Ingredient list

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3⁄4 cup warm (110°F) water
1 packet active dry yeast

1/⁄2 cup evaporated milk
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 quart peanut oil
1 1⁄2 cups powdered sugar


1.In a medium bowl, dissolve the granulated sugar in the water. Sprinkle with the yeast and allow it to develop, forming small bubbles, for 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Stir in the milk, egg, and salt and blend well. Add 2 cups of the flour and stir to combine well. Stir in the butter, then stir in the remaining 11⁄2 cups flour. Trans- fer the dough to a floured work surface and knead until the dough is smooth.
3. Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl, cover with a dish towel, and allow to rise at room temperature for about 2 hours, until doubled in size.

Dough set to rising

4. When ready to fry the beignets, heat the oil in a deep fryer, large Dutch oven, or large saucepan to 350°F.
5. Meanwhile, with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough on a floured work surface to a 1⁄4-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 3-inch squares.

6. Fry the dough squares in batches in the hot oil for about 2 minutes per side, turning them when they are light golden brown.
7. Once fried, drain the beignets on several layers of paper towels. Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with the powdered sugar while still hot, and enjoy immediately.

Rolling out the dough
Cutting the dough squares
Frying the beignets
Beignets ready with confectioners sugar dusting

Comments Off on BeignetsTags: Recipes

Recipes from the Kitchen of Martha Boudreaux

February 14th, 2018 · 2 Comments

In tribute and remembrance of my mother, Martha Boudreaux, her cooking legacy will live on with this small collection of recipes which include some of our family favorites.  These meals were in and out of the family meal rotation for many years, growing up and eating these delights, I knew we had it good because I asked my parents to open up a restaurant. My mom said “Heh, no way! Its way too much work, but you can open one!” I was just 11 years old then, and her words of wisdom rang true just 10 years later upon my acceptance into the Culinary Apprenticeship Program at Delgado Community College the Fall of 1983.

Please enjoy this small collection of 7 recipes that I’ve put together, the first PDF document contains a booklet format with six recipes, which I’ll be handing out printed copies to 25 guests at her memorial service this Saturday. The other PDF is an extra recipe that was not added to the booklet due to my rush to get the booklet to print in time for our trip to New Orleans. The Lagniappe recipe (a little something extra) is the Cauliflower Salad recipe, which always went well with the Garlic Stuff Pork Loin Roast.

Enjoy and Bon Appetite!

Recipes from the Kitchen of Martha Boudreaux (PDF, 815K., 4pp.)

Cauliflower Salad Martha Boudreaux (PDF, 164K., 1p.)

→ 2 CommentsTags: Recipes

Black-Eyed Pea Jambalaya

January 22nd, 2018 · 2 Comments

From the kitchen of Martha Boudreaux


Martha Boudreaux walking Ben down the steps at Wanda's backyard wedding

Martha Boudreaux walking with Ben down the steps at Wanda’s backyard wedding.

This recipe is as close to my mom’s that I can approximate, both Monique and I agreed that with a few subtle changes this base recipe would be the same one-pot meal that came out of Martha Boudreaux’s kitchen in Algiers, in the New Orleans Westbank. Similar to the Southern favorite Hoppin’ John, with the addition of the black-eye peas, this jambalaya version is packed full of flavor with a rice dressing or dirty rice quality that makes us come back for seconds, or thirds! The fresh parsley and green onions added at the end lend a freshness to the dish, setting it apart from a general jambalaya recipe.

In memory of my mother and her recent passing, Martha Boudreaux’s kitchen legacy lives on with this dish prepared in our kitchen, and yours too, as I share with you our rendition of this classic recipe.

While downsizing and sorting through boxes I found the photo (above) of my mom Martha Boudreaux, and our son Ben which was taken during my sister Wanda’s wedding which took place in her backyard on Farragut Street in Algiers many years ago.

Black-Eyed Pea Jambalaya
Recipe Type: Entree
Cuisine: Cajun
Author: Cajun Chef Ryan
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
  • ¼ Cup Bacon grease or peanut oil
  • 12 Ounces Smoked sausage, ¼” sliced, or ham steak cut into ¼” dice
  • 1 Pound Lean pork stew meat, cut into ½” cubes
  • 1 Tbsp. CCR Finger Lickin’ Rub, or Cajun Spice Blend
  • 1 ½ Cups Onion, chopped
  • 1 Cup Bell pepper, chopped (we used Poblano)
  • 1 Cup Celery, diced
  • 6 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Cups Chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ Cups Uncle Bens Converted Long Grain White Rice
  • 2 Cans Black-eyed peas (15oz each)
  • To Taste Salt and black pepper
  • ½ Cup Curley parsley, chopped
  • 2 Each Green onions, chopped
  1. In a heavy 4-quart Dutch oven or pot over medium-low heat, add the bacon grease or oil, season the pork with the rub or Cajun Seasoning, then brown it and the sausage until all pink is gone from the pork.
  2. Add the onions, pepper, celery and garlic, stir well then cover and allow to simmer down for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken stock and Worcestershire sauce, turn up the heat and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the rice and black-eye peas, stir well, bring back to a simmer, then turn down heat and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid.
  5. Season to taste and stir in the parsley and green onion, keep covered for another 10 minutes then serve.

Black-eyed Pea Jambalaya

Black-eyed Pea Jambalaya

→ 2 CommentsTags: Recipes

Drunken Shrimp

January 9th, 2018 · 1 Comment

Drunken Shrimp The pot full Christmas Eve dinner
This is my mom Martha Boudreaux’s famous drunken shrimp recipe. It is famous in my mind because back in the late 1970’s there were several young holy Mormon’s riding their cycles in the neighborhood. One Saturday my dad Joe and I were working in the yard when the two blessed men approached us telling about God and their devout story. My dad invited them to dinner one night during the week. Mom decided to make her drunken shrimp recipe since it would feed a large table of guests and maybe some leftovers too.

The afternoon before the dinner, mom made a point of telling Wanda and I not to mention that the shrimp was cooked in beer. Given that they had taken a sanctified vow not to partake of alcohol, coffee, and other vile things, they should not know about the alcohol in the recipe. It was our little inside joke, and it was all I could do not to tell them how wonderful the shrimp was because of the special secret ingredient. They loved the shrimp, and I must have had one of those huge grins from one ear to the other once they professed how much they loved the shrimp and potatoes.

There is one modification I would make to the recipe, I would add a touch of Worcestershire Sauce in with the beer and stock in step 1, maybe a couple tablespoons, it’s one of my secret ingredients in most soups and sauces that I prepare.

With tribute to my mother, Martha Boudreaux, and her recent passing on December 14, 2017, this is her Drunken Shrimp recipe that I now share.

Drunken Shrimp
Recipe Type: Seafood
Cuisine: Cajun
Author: Cajun Chef Ryan
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
With tribute to my mother, Martha Boudreaux, and her recent passing on December 14, 2017, this is her Drunken Shrimp recipe that I now share.
    • 1 Cup Butter


    • 3 Bags Delaney’s (Pict-sweet) Chopped Seasoning mix (Celery, onion, bell pepper, parsley)


    • 8 Cloves Garlic, minced


    • 1 Tb. Salt


    • 1 Tb. Black pepper


    • 5 Lb. Shrimp, 16/21 count, shell on, no heads


    • 1 ½ Cup Beer or white wine


    • ½ Cup Water or chicken stock


    • 2 Lb. New Red Potatoes, cut into ¼ pieces


  • 1 Loaf French Bread
    1. Melt butter in large pot, add seasoning mix, garlic, beer and stock, bring to a boil.


    1. Add the salt and pepper and potatoes, continue to boil until potatoes are just tender.


    1. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp are just pink. Cover and allow to sit for 30 minutes to soak up the flavor.


    1. Adjust salt and pepper is needed.


  1. Serve with crusty warm French bread.


→ 1 CommentTags: Cajun · Recipes · Seafood

Tahini Dressing and Memory Lane

June 26th, 2017 · Comments Off on Tahini Dressing and Memory Lane

I received an inquiry email from Shawn Holahan who was at Tulane University, New Orleans in the 1970’s and remembers dining at Nature’s Way Salad Shop, which at the time was located on Magazine Street in Uptown New Orleans. He did some searching online for their original Tahini Dressing recipe and found a blog post of mine that mentioned some work I did at Nature’s Way. His inquiry and email thread are copied below for everyone to enjoy and as a formal record of food and restaurant history in New Orleans.

If you want to follow the email thread in chronological order, start from the bottom.

Hello Shawn,

You are welcome, and thanks for the approval for the blog post!

The address on Magazine street where Nature’s Way was located is now known as Taqueria Corona. I cannot remember when Nature’s Way closed, but it was sometime in the late 1980’s, and according to this “About” page the taco restaurant started sometime in 1988. So it would seem that Nature’s Way was most likely running until around late 1987 to early 1988. Not sure if the owners did anything else, I do remember hearing that they were looking to retire, so I’m guessing that they decided to hang up their hats and get out of the restaurant business. Nature’s Way may have closed up sooner than 1987, as I do remember the location was vacant for sometime before Taqueria Corona started up.


Ryan Boudreaux

From: Shawn Holahan
Sent: Monday, June 26, 2017 12:37 PM
To: Ryan Boudreaux
Subject: Re: New Message From Boudreaux Family Farms – Get In Touch


Wow! What a response!! Thank you very very much! I’ll be trying your tahini dressing recipe, and certainly will report back successful tweaks, if any.

That steamed vegetable plate was simply nirvana to me back then. I’d get an extra helping of tahini dressing – and depending on who was taking the order, I’d be charged extra. I googled Nature’s Way restaurant in hopes of finding the tahini recipe and wound up with your blog post. You brought me back in time with your perfect description.

Do you know whether the owners remained in the food biz?

And you absolutely have my permission to post my inquiry with my name on your blog (and yes, with the email address removed).

Thank you very much for taking the time for such a detailed response. You love food – I can tell. I’m a foodie at heart too – I mean, how can I not be after a life in NOLA?


On Jun 26, 2017, at 10:52 AM, Ryan Boudreaux wrote:

Hello Shawn,

So great to hear from you and that you were a patron of Nature’s Way on Magazine Street in New Orleans back in the 1970’s. My family would frequent the shop on occasion when we were Uptown, (we lived on the Westbank in Algiers), I remember the wonderful smoothies, my favorite was the banana or strawberry, I loved the place then, and was so happy when I got to work there in the 1980’s.

I worked at Nature’s Way during night shifts only for a brief period of time in 1983 and possibly in 1984. Most of the prepared recipes were made by the owners/managers during the day shift, so I did not get many opportunities to prepare the dressings and such. Only if we got busy and ran out of something, and if I had the chance I’d whip up a small batch of whatever it was to get us through that shift, there were only two of us working the shop for the mid-afternoon to dinner hours. Unfortunately, they held all of their recipes close to the vest, and while I may have made the tahini dressing recipe once or twice I never recorded any of the preparations for my own use. I do however remember how all the smoothies were made. They also ran cheese enchiladas as a special and that is easy to replicate.

If I remember correctly the tahini dressing was a combination of the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, tamari, water, a bit of sesame oil and a touch of salt.

I’d try starting with this base recipe and see where it takes you:

Tahini Dressing
Recipe Type: Dressing
Cuisine: Whole Foods
Author: Cajun Chef Ryan
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 1/4 cups
Easy to make this dressing is perfect on fresh lettuce, spinach, or steamed vegetables
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 pinch salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and process till it reaches a smooth consistency. Add more water to thin the dressing if you prefer a thinner texture. It will thicken as it sits, so you can add water to thin as needed, and it will keep for a week or so refrigerated.


While I worked there the steamed vegetable plate over brown rice was fresh broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, with options for the white cheddar cheese and turmeric on top after the vegetables were steamed. Not sure if the recipe had evolved over the years, but during my short time there it was just those three vegetables on the plate.

Please let me know how the recipe comes out for you, I’d be curious if you tweek it a bit. Off the top of my head the ingredients I would adjust are the tamari and lemon juice. Maybe make a batch with more tamari and less lemon juice, depends on the flavor profile you are after. The physiology of taste is an amazing thing, and how a particular flavor or taste can bring back a specific memory.

Hope this helps!

I am going to post this Q&A on the Cajun Chef Ryan blog so I have a record of it, just your name if that is ok with you.

Bon appetite!

Ryan Boudreaux

—–Original Message—–
From: Shawn Holahan
Sent: Saturday, June 24, 2017 12:35 PM
To: Ryan Boudreaux
Subject: New Message From Boudreaux Family Farms – Get In Touch

Chef Ryan – My inquiry comes from a trip down memory lane, or rather down Magazine St. and Nature’s Way Salad Shop during my Tulane years in the 70s. I saw a blog post of yours describing perfectly the steamed vegetable, brown rice, white cheddar , tahini plate. That was my “go to” meal on those infrequent occasions that I had a few extra dollars. Here’s my question (just when was I going to get to the question?!?): Any chance you remember the tahini dressing recipe? Loved that dressing and can’t replicate it. Also were the only vegetables in the dish broccoli, carrots and cauliflower? THANK YOU!!

Comments Off on Tahini Dressing and Memory LaneTags: Dressings · Heritage · History