10 New Orleans Recipes for Mardi Gras!

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Mardi Gras is right around the corner! If you aren’t able to make it to New Orleans this year for the big party, have no fear! We’ve put together a list of some of the best New Orleans recipes to help you celebrate.

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo via Emeril Lagasse

Gumbo is one of the most famous dishes in Louisiana cooking. Though recipes differ from one chef to another, the traditional meats include chicken, ham, bacon, oysters, shrimp, sausage, crab, and beef. Gumbo is often cited as an example of the melting pot nature of Louisiana cooking (Southern Foodways Alliance).

Crawfish Etouffee via Jennifer Cooks

One of the oldest Cajun and Creole dishes around is etouffee, which literally means “smothered.” In the case of etouffee, the crawfish (or desired seafood) is smothered in vegetables and sauce, resulting in a stew-like dish. Traditionally, the Cajun version of the dish does not contain tomatoes, where the Creole version does. According to culinary history, etouffee was first served at the Herbert Hotel in the early 1920s (Cajuncrawfish.com).

Muffuletta Sandwich via Serious Eats

One of the most iconic New Orleans dishes, the muffuletta sandwich is made of olive salad, genoa salami, ham, mortadella, provolone, and Swiss cheese layered on a large sesame round. Sicilian immigrants settling in New Orleans are responsible for this delicious sandwich, whose name originally comes from the bread it’s made on (New Orleans Historical).

Red Beans and Rice via All Recipes

Red beans and rice are the favorite Monday tradition of the people of New Orleans! Monday used to be the traditional “wash day,” so while they were tending to the laundry, the women of the house would put on a pot of red beans to cook all day. This dish is usually served with a side of sausage or pork chops, and can still be found on many restaurant menus in the Big Easy (New Orleans Official Guide).

Crab Cakes with Remoulade Sauce via Everyday Occasions

Remoulade sauce goes back to 19th century France, where it was originally a sauce used for various types of meat dishes. The New Orleans-style sauce we see today has a distinct Creole and Cajun influence, and is most enjoyable with any number of seafood dishes (Cook’s Info).

Shrimp and Grits via Bobby Flay

Grits originally came from the Native American Muskogee tribe, who would grind corn in a stone mill to give it the gritty texture accompanied by grits. This tradition was passed down to settlers in the area. However, it was in 1982 in Chapel Hill. North Carlolina that Bill Neal gave grits their status by adding cheddar and parmesan as a base. Shrimp and grits remains a classic New Orleans brunch dish to this day (Deep South Magazine).

Jambalaya via Gimme Some Oven

Similar to gumbo, jambalaya recipes vary from chef to chef and can contain multiple ingredients depending on what part of the country you’re in. There are also two different versions – the Creole (or “red”) version which contains tomatoes and the Cajun (or “brown”) version which does not contain tomatoes. It is widely speculated that jambalaya recipes originated from the Spanish paella dish (Louisiana Life Magazine).

Crawdogs via My Recipes

While this is a more modern New Orleans creation, we’re still super excited to try it!

Beignets via Paula Deen

Beignets, which were brought to New Orleans by early French settlers traveling from the Acadia region of Canada, are hot, fluffy pastries deep fried to perfection and topped with powdered sugar. Made from a type of dough called choux, Beignets can have a variety of different fillings, including meat, cheese, fruit, or chocolate. The most famous spot to get Beignets and coffee is the Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter (Livery Tours).

Bananas Foster via Martha Stewart

The now-famous recipe for bananas foster was invented by Chef Paul Blange as a response to a challenge by his boss, the owner of Brennan’s Restuarant, to create a new dessert with bananas in it. It is estimated that Brennan’s serves about 35,000 pounds of bananas each year (New Orleans Online)!

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

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