Take a Culinary Trip to New Orleans with These Authentic Cajun & Creole Recipes
Take your tastebuds to South Louisiana with these authentic Cajun and Creole recipes. Dishes like Catfish Courtbouillon and Crawfish Etouffee will make you feel like you're in the Crescent City. And since no visit to New Orleans is complete without a side trip to the surrounding Cajun and Creole country, we also included recipes from chefs in New Iberia and Avery Island (home of Tabasco) to give you an authentic experience of Louisiana cuisine.
Chock-full of shrimp, chicken, sausage, okra and tomatoes, this flavorful stew is a staple in Louisiana. Make it a meal and serve with Real Cornbread (see associated recipe).
Smothered Green Beans with New Potatoes
This green bean recipe from chef Alex Patout of Landry's restaurant in New Iberia, Louisiana, gets plenty of flavor from bacon and onions.
Cajun courtbouillon (pronounced koo-bee-yon) is a vegetable-and-fish stew recipe. In this healthy catfish recipe from Louisiana native chef Donald Link, the catfish and stew are combined at the end, making for a pretty presentation and keeping the catfish nice and crispy.
Gumbo, a hearty stew made with anything from sausage or duck to rabbit or seafood, starts with a roux cooked until it turns dark and nutty, giving the stew recipe its signature earthy flavor. This crab and shrimp gumbo recipe comes from Eula Mae Doré, who was the cook at the Commissary on Avery Island, home to the Tabasco company. She learned Cajun cooking by watching, rather than from cookbooks. Serve with brown rice. (Recipe adapted from Eula Mae's Cajun Kitchen by Eula Mae Doré and Marcelle R. Bienvenu; Harvard Common Press, 2007.)
Pork Loin Roast with Pepper Jelly Glaze
Chef Frank Brigtsen, of Brigtsen's restaurant in New Orleans, makes homemade pepper jelly to glaze thick pork chops for Réveillon. He recommends two ways to simplify for the home cook: go for store-bought jelly and, instead of chops, a pork loin roast.
Literally translated as "smothered" and pronounced ay-TOO-fay, the crawfish recipe is typically a saucy stew served over rice. In this healthy recipe from chef Patrick Mould, the tasty crustaceans (use shrimp if you can't find crawfish) are smothered in a sauce made with plenty of onions, garlic and Cajun seasoning.
Gateau de Sirop
This easy cake recipe by Cajun food authority Marcelle Bienvenu is studded with pecans and is typical of Cajun cooking--it's rustic, humble and made with ingredients that are always on hand. Serve this easy cake recipe for breakfast with cafe au lait or as a simple dessert accompanied by whipped cream or ice cream. Cane syrup comes from cane juice that has been cooked until it's golden and toasty-flavored. You can use molasses or honey in its place.
Crescent City Cornbread Dressing
This jazzed-up Southern cornbread dressing is made with Louisiana chef Frank Brigtsen's cornbread, which is sweet and flecked with scallions and jalapeños. If you want to streamline the dish, use store-bought cornbread.
Satsuma Mandarin Salad with Spiced Pecans, Pickled Red Onion & Cane Vinaigrette
Satsuma mandarins are grown throughout Louisiana. These easy-to-peel fruit add a bright juicy burst to this salad that's featured on the holiday menu at Brigtsen's restaurant in New Orleans.
Sweet Potato Bread Pudding with Pecan Praline Sauce
The dessert menu at Brigtsen's restaurant in New Orleans offers "Bread Pudding du Jour," which changes with the seasons. This sweet potato version plays well during the holidays.
Invented at Antoine's in New Orleans in 1889, oysters Rockefeller was named for John D. Rockefeller, one of the richest Americans at the time, for its rich sauce. Antoine's has kept the original recipe secret, but basically it includes a cream sauce with spinach and other greens, flavored with Pernod or anisette. This version omits the cream sauce but is still full of flavor.
BBQ Shrimp with Shrimp Calas Griddlecakes
This New Orleans staple has nothing to do with a BBQ pit; it's simply local shrimp doused in heavily seasoned butter with lots of hot French bread for dipping. Chef Frank Brigtsen created this version when he worked under chef Paul Prudhomme, using beer and shrimp stock for the sauce. For Réveillon, Brigtsen matches them with shrimp-studded griddlecakes inspired by calas, a typically sweet fritter that likely came to New Orleans with enslaved people from Africa.
Grilled Redfish with Andouille & Shrimp Couche Couche
New Orleans chef Chuck Subra turns couche couche, a Cajun breakfast food where a cornmeal batter is cooked in oil until browned, into a savory stuffing for grilled redfish. If you prefer not to make cornbread from scratch, use 4 cups diced prepared cornbread.