Connie Sue Domangue, a Schriever native, said one of her favorite things to do is cook. She has competed in the Bayou Gourmet Cooking Contest beginning in 1999 and has won in many categories, including the Grand Prize over the years.
“I started learning how to cook at the age of eight, Domangue said. “My mom was a working girl, so whenever she did cook for us, I was under her foot in the kitchen. I watched her use different seasonings on meats and vegetables. I would help her pick out the pots and pans she was to cook in.”
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She went on to share back then in those days, there were no crock pots, microwaves or grills in their home. Her mother and she used pots and pans. Her mother taught her to use the cast iron skillets and to never leave one dirty.
“She taught me to season cast iron pots and pans. I once came home from a trip and when I saw my cast iron skillet left in the sink with water in it, I almost lost my mind. I woke up my home and wanted to know who did it! To this day, my son Chancy keeps his cast iron pots seasoned like I taught him.”
We asked Domangue to share a little about her love for cooking, along with one of her award-winning recipes, her Low-Calorie Razzle Dazzle Roma Tart. Here are her edited responses to our questions.
How important is preparing good food to you and your family, and why?
When I go on vacations to see my family and friends, I’m the one who does the cooking. I spend a lot of time in their kitchens making gumbos, redfish sauce piquante, jambalaya, and anything else they want Cajun to eat. My family and friends who live out of state love our Cajun food. I once cooked a crawfish pot full of gumbo for my cousin in Texas, and he made many frozen meals from it. Jokingly he refuses to share with others except with his wife. Needless to say, the gumbo didn’t last a month in the freezer.
Were you professionally trained as a cook?
I have learned many techniques for cooking throughout my life. Beulah Rhodes taught me how to make homemade candies and different type of custards. I never had squash custard much less heard of one until she taught me. Pop taught me how to make a sauce piquante. Just from those recipes I am able to make similar dishes. In home economics classes in high school, my teacher taught me the fundamentals of basic measurement of cooking. Once I was able to read and interpret a recipe, I began creating all kinds of dishes.
What is your favorite dish to cook, and your favorite to eat, if different?
My favorite dish to cook is pecan pie, it is my mother’s secret recipe. If someone wants one of our pies, I tell them to buy the ingredients and I bake it for them. It took 20 years to create the perfect praline recipe myself. I will share the secret recipe with my granddaughter to continue the tradition.
Do you like to be creative with recipes and invent your own, or do you prefer to cook traditional favorites?
I enjoy cooking traditional recipes to personal taste. My favorite is my mom’s cornbread dressing recipe where my sister and I make it every year and from scratch. It is delicious and taste just like moms. Of course we have to have giblet gravy and homemade cranberry sauce. In this too, my mother makes the best in our family’s opinion.
How has your cooking and eating changed during the pandemic?
I have been cooking more home-cooked meals. Usually I would cook on the weekends. Now I prepare all kinds of sandwiches. I cook at least two meals a day, and that is getting old. My husband recently shared he was happy with whatever I prepare; he could eat bologna sandwiches every day. I later found out that he was just joking.
Do you have a family cooking memory that is special to you?
When I was 10 years old, I was making breakfast for my siblings on a Saturday morning. I was grabbing for salt out of the pantry and discovered my mom’s food coloring. I had my eggs mixed up to be scrambled and I put the whole bottle of green food dye in the eggs. I cooked the scrambled eggs and ham. It was early morning and the lights weren’t on when I gave each sibling their breakfast. As they ate, no one actually looked in their bowl. After everyone had eaten, I started reciting the Dr. Seuss book about “Green Eggs and Ham.” My siblings said they would never eat that. I began to laugh uncontrollably. I revealed what I had done. Our lips and tongues were all green. It was so funny!
What is about living in south Louisiana that inspires your cooking?
Living in the south Louisiana, there is a variety of seafood in abundance. With just a hook, pole, and bait one can catch fish just about anywhere there is flowing water. I love cooking with fish, crabs, shrimp, and crawfish. I make soups, gumbos, salads, and anything my mind can create. I have learned to make oyster jambalaya. Fresh seafood can always be added to any kind of food one can cook. When I leave on vacations, my ice chest is loaded down with seafood to cook for my family and friends.
What advice would you have for someone who is interested in the art of cooking?
My advice is to learn basic measurements, how to read a recipe, know the cuts of meat, how to bake, broil, baste and broil. One should know the difference in temperatures, pan sizes and know the spices. I have taught different people how to make candies, cook a Turkey, and make coffee on an open fire. Also I have taught others how to smoke meats and grill. And some things I just keep to myself.
Is there anything we have not asked that you care to share?
We have to eat to survive. Why not make it tasty?
Note: If you know of any friends or family members who are excellent cooks, and who may be candidates for future Cook of the Week feature, please email their name and full contact information to email@example.com.
Reviewed By This Is Article About Razzle Dazzle Roma Tart is a low-calorie treat was posted on have 5 stars rating.