The Holy Trinity of Cajun Cooking

The Holy Trinity of Cajun cooking is nearly as important to the mostly Catholic French Cajuns’ as the churches Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) as it is to attending Mardi Gras, eating Gumbo, attending a crawfish boil, and much more. Ask any Louisianan and they’ll tell you so,which is why good things come in threes, right?

Holy Trinity of Cajun Cooking
Holy Trinity of Cajun Cooking

Creole and Cajun cuisine is distinctly full of flavor, culture, and history and you smell it when you enter a Cajun or Creole home. Three simple vegetables make up the holy trinity (bell pepper, onion, and celery) and once they are sauteed together they form the base for some of the most delicious dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya, and Étouffée. Throw in fresh parsley, garlic, green onion, bay leaf, and cayenne pepper and your dish comes alive!

Other holy trinity versions

In France onions, carrots and celery form the holy trinity commonly referred to as a mirepoix (pronounced meer-pwah) named after a French town. The three simple ingredients add sophistication to French dishes.

In Italy, they have their own “holy trinity” called soffritto (sufreit, odori or battuto), the Italian word for “under-fried” or “fried slowly”. This describes perfectly the process of gently cooking olive oil, carrots, celery, and onions in a 2:1:1 ratio to soften them and release their flavor.

Which ever “holy trinity” version you decide to use, your meals will be blessed with flavor. Can I get an Amen?

Cajun holy trinity

  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 6 celery stalks
  • Oil

Jambalaya
Jambalaya

Directions

  1. Wash bell peppers and celery thoroughly and pat with paper towels to remove excess water.
  2. Chop (you don’t have to be so precise with the size) and sauté in oil until soft.

This is the base of your next Cajun dish!

Italian holy trinity (Soffritto)

  • 80 gr. (1,6 oz) of Onions
  • 80 gr. (1,6 oz) of Carrots
  • 60 gr. (1,0 oz) of Celery
  • 5 gr. (one clove) of garlic
  • 10 gr. (0,2 ox) of Salt
  • 10 gr. (0,2 oz) Extra Virgin Oil
  • 2 gr. (0,05 oz) of Vinegar from wine
  • 20 gr. (0,4 oz) Rosemary (optional)
  • 10 gr. (0,2 oz) Sage (optional)
  • 25 gr. (0,5 oz) Persil (optional)
  • 20 gr. (0,4 oz) Basil (optional)

The uniformly finely chopped vegetables are cooked for about 5 minutes or until they are soft “dorata” or golden in color.

  1. Wash vegetables and herbs thoroughly and pat with paper towels to remove excess water.
  2. Chop vegetables to even size.
  3. Mince the herbs to even size.
  4. Sauté vegetables and hers in olive oil until soft.

French holy trinity (Mirepoix)

The sizes should be relatively uniform and the more finely chopped the vegetables are, the more quickly the flavor and aroma are released.

  • Two parts onion, to one part each celery and carrot, diced evenly
  • Butter
  • A small quantity of tomato paste for color (Optional)
  1. Wash vegetables thoroughly and pat with paper towels to remove excess water.
  2. Chop to even size and sauté in olive oil until soft.

Whether your next dish is Cajun, Italian, or French, the holy trinity of Cajun cooking will add distinct flavor to it.