Cook the Book: 'Real Cajun'

realcajun.jpgDonald Link is a self-proclaimed "coonass," a true Cajun born and bred in Acadia Parish, Louisiana. As the chef and proprietor of Herbsaint and Cochon restaurants in New Orleans, Link's menus feature classic Cajun dishes with French and Italian twists. Louisiana's local produce, game, and seafood have been lifelong inspirations for Link's cooking.

Real Cajun features recipes from every stage of the chef's life—such as his aunt's Tomato and Bacon Pie, which he enjoyed on childhood vacations to the Alabama coast, or his Game Day Choucroute, eaten with his staff and friends during the first Super Bowl after Hurricane Katrina. Food plays a major role in every aspect of Cajun life, from holidays to family reunions, festivals to funerals; with that in mind, recipes for every occasion are lovingly laid out in Real Cajun.

The recipes in Real Cajun are hearty, delicious and heavy on the pork. Link guides you though the process of curing your own bacon, making sausage, and curing Tasso ham at home. It's not surprising that some sort of pork product works itself into nearly every recipe in the book, and with dishes like Catfish Fried in Bacon Fat and Fried Oyster BLTs, why not?

Every day this week we are going to feature a recipe from Real Cajun—get ready for Maque Choux with Fried Green Tomatoes, Fried Chicken Livers with Hot Pepper Glaze, and a curious regional dessert called the Chocolate Yummy. Caroline Russock

Win 'Real Cajun'

We are giving away five (5) copies of Real Cajun. For a chance to win, just tell us in the comments section below: What is your fondest childhood food memory?

Five (5) people will be chosen at random from among the eligible comments below. Comments will close Monday, April 27 at noon ET. The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.

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