White boudin sausage is a Cajun delicacy

ASK THE CHEF

February 24, 2002|By Jim Coleman and Candace Hagan | Jim Coleman and Candace Hagan,Knight Ridder / Tribune

Q. I recently tasted a wonderful white Cajun sausage, and was told that it was made from rice, pork and Cajun seasonings. I cannot remember the name of the sausage, though, and I would love to buy some.

A. The Cajun delicacy you are describing is boudin sausage, or boudin blanc. The real thing is made by stuffing casings (usually hog casings) with pork, pork liver, onions, rice and seasonings. They are usually steamed and then eaten, or steamed first and then grilled.

There is also a French version of boudin blanc, but in my opinion (and that's the only one I care about), it is not nearly as good. The French sausage is much smoother, and they use eggs and cream instead of rice. Even though you now know what you are looking for, you still might have trouble finding it.

Check out www.cajungrocer. com if your grocer shrugs when you ask him for boudin.

Q. I have a recipe that calls for marrowbones. I know they are stock bones, but should I look for something special?

A. Should you look for something special? Heck, yeah, you should look for a new recipe. Who gave you a recipe that is calling for marrowbones?

If you're determined to go through with this, you may have some trouble finding marrowbones in typical grocery stores. You will be looking for bones from the thigh and upper legs of veal or beef. They should be cut no smaller than 2 inches and no larger than 4 inches. Obviously, they should contain marrow.

Jim Coleman is executive chef at the Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia, a cookbook author and host of television and radio cooking shows. Candace Hagan is a food writer and cookbook author.

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