Courtesy of Denny Culbert
When it comes to regional cuisine around the United States, food from Louisiana may just have some of the boldest and most distinctive flavors. We’re not just talking about Cajun and Creole cuisine, which use the “Holy Trinity” of onions, bell peppers and celery, fresh shellfish and rich roux that stew for hours. We’re also talking about po’boys, muffaletta, beignets and all of those delicious dishes you’ll find in New Orleans.
Fortunately, you don’t have to travel all the way to Louisiana to try the state’s signature cuisine — these recipes will allow you to make them in the comfort of your own home.
You can’t think about Creole dishes without a seafood-packed gumbo coming to mind. This particular recipe uses crab, shrimp and oysters, all cooked in a thick, brown roux.
A traditional Lenten dish in Louisiana, green gumbo is packed with aromatic herbs, like parsley and Thai basil. If that isn't green enough for you, this soup is also packed with cabbage, broccoli rabe, mustard greens and turnip greens. This meat-free dish is perfect for Fridays during Lent.
A classic shrimp and chicken jambalaya is not for the faint of heart. While it may not contain the world’s hottest hot sauces, a blend of Crystal Hot Sauce, cayenne powder and jalapeno peppers packs a punch.
A traditional po’boy is made with French bread, giving it a crispy crust and fluffy center. Fried shellfish only adds to the po’boy's dreamy texture. Most restaurants will ask if you want your sandwich “dressed,” which means adding a salad of shredded lettuce, tomatoes and pickles and a special mayonnaise sauce. And trust us, you do.
Remoulade is a combination of mayonnaise, herbs, pickles and more that originated in France. But when Louisiana took on this mayo-based sauce, it added creole mustard, cayenne pepper and other ingredients that gave it its reddish color and spicy flavor.
This Creole-style jambalaya is one of the all-time best chicken recipes. Tender chicken breasts and thighs are amped up with smoked sausage and rice that is heavily seasoned with the "Holy Trinity" plus plenty of garlic, basil, rosemary and oregano.
Shrimp and grits are a classic Lowcountry breakfast dish, and this Southern fave is taken to the next level with smoky barbecued shrimp and grits infused with gouda.
The “dirty” part of dirty rice’s name comes from the color of the white rice when it is cooked with chicken livers and ground pork. Though often cooked on a stovetop, this recipe suggests baking it to make the rice moist and fluffy.
Boudin is the combination of cooked rice, pork, the "Holy Trinity" and plenty of Cajun spice all rolled together. As the name implies, these ingredients are shaped into a ball and dipped into a panko mixture before being deep-fried.
You haven’t had the true New Orleans experience until you’ve sat down with your friends, cracked open a beer and stuffed your face with crawfish. The Southern tradition calls for you to toss some boiled crawfish on the table — on top of newspaper or a table cloth — along with cooked potatoes, corn, andouille sausages and more.
Not a crawfish fan? Understandable. This shrimp boil has those same classic New Orleans flavors courtesy of Zatarain’s liquid crab boil, bay leaves, mustard seeds and coriander, which marinate with the easily-available protein.
If the dark red-brown broth doesn't make it abundantly clear, this chicken and andouille sausage gumbo is rich and flavorful. The secret? Chicken fat.
A classic Southern dessert with touches of orange, this Louisiana ring cake is an underrated treat.
It does not get more classically New Orleans than a big, fluffy beignet. This recipe is especially fun: it’s the same one served at Universal Orlando's famous Mardi Gras celebration!
King cake is a Mardi Gras tradition, and New Orleans’ signature colors (green, gold and purple) decorate the top of this sweet bread dough. Don't forget to hide a little plastic baby inside! Whoever finds it gets to bake up this treat for the next year.
Bananas foster is an all-New Orleans dessert, made famous at Brennan’s. An impressive rum flambe gives bananas a beautiful caramel flavor and color, and the whole thing is best served over ice cream. If this dessert makes you think you’re a chef, you may want to try your hand at these recipes straight from Louisiana chefs.
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