Classic New Orleans Cuisine

Feast on our versions of recipes―Cajun, Creole, and otherwise―from the Crescent City.

Jambalaya with Shrimp and Andouille Sausage

Randy Mayor

Jambalaya with Shrimp and Andouille Sausage

New Orleans cuisine has a clear French influence, but the city was also ruled by Spain for a time, and this dish is likely a descendent of Spanish paella. Rice is cooked with tomatoes, sausage, and shrimp to create a hearty, filling dish that's simple to prepare. You can use crawfish, chicken, or pork in place of the shrimp.

View Recipe: Jambalaya with Shrimp and Andouille Sausage

New Orleans Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

Randy Mayor

New Orleans Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

Created as a way to use up stale bread, this decadent dessert has it all―creamy, warm, custardy texture; a buttery, caramelly sauce; and a good slug of bourbon to top things off. You'll find bread pudding on the menus of nearly every restaurant in New Orleans, and nearly every NOLA-style restaurant outside the city.

View Recipe: New Orleans Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

Shrimp Po'boy with Spicy Ketchup

Randy Mayor

Shrimp Po'boy with Spicy Ketchup

One of many legends about this sandwich's creation holds that during a streetcar conductors' strike in the Depression, a restaurant gave free sandwiches to the "poor boys" who were striking. Today, the name is applied to sandwiches containing roast beef, catfish, shrimp, oysters, or pretty much any other filling. What makes it a po'boy is the fresh, crusty French roll.

View Recipe: Shrimp Po'boy with Spicy Ketchup

Creole Tomato Salad

Randy Mayor

Creole Tomato Salad

New Orleanians rave about Creole tomatoes, grown exclusively in south Louisiana. If you can get them, they're perfect for this simple no-cook salad, but if you don't live in the area, use your favorite heirloom variety―the juicier and tangier the better.

View Recipe: Creole Tomato Salad

Shrimp and Crab Gumbo

Randy Mayor

Shrimp and Crab Gumbo

The exact ingredients and method for the perfect gumbo are a matter of great contention in New Orleans, but this seafood-based version is a popular variety. We toast the flour in a dry pan to get the flavor―but not the fat―of a traditional butter-and-flour roux.

View Recipe: Shrimp and Crab Gumbo

Brennan's Bananas Foster

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Brennan's Bananas Foster

Created at the iconic Brennan's Restaurant in the 1950s, this recipe is named for Richard Foster, a friend of the restaurant's owner. It's a surprisingly quick and easy recipe with just a few ingredients, but the results are unbelievable. For the most impressive presentation, flambé the bananas (very carefully) tableside.

View Recipe: Brennan's Bananas Foster

New Orleans-Style Shrimp

Becky Luigart-Stayner

New Orleans-Style Shrimp

Barbecue shrimp (no relation to slow-smoked Southern barbecue), cooked in loads of butter, Worcestershire, lemon, and black pepper, is the specialty of the house at New Orleans institution Pascal's Manale. Our version cuts back on the unhealthful saturated fat, but brings huge flavor nonetheless. Serve with plenty of French bread to soak up the buttery, spicy sauce.

View Recipe: New Orleans-Style Shrimp

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Gumbo is usually a labor of love. The brilliant accelerator here is that we sauté chicken and veggies in the roux while it cooks and develops the trademark deep, rich color and nutty flavor (instead of browning the roux separately). Test Kitchen Director Vanessa Pruett says, “Drippings from authentic andouille sausage start a strong foundation, adding spicy, garlicky goodness to the dish.”

View Recipe: Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Cajun Crab and Quinoa Cakes

Photo: Johnny Autry

Cajun Crab and Quinoa Cakes

These cakes are served with a simple tartar sauce to cool down the Cajun-style spice rub.

View Recipe: Cajun Crab and Quinoa Cakes

Blackened Chicken with Dirty Rice

Photo: Johnny Autry

Blackened Chicken with Dirty Rice

Bring classic New Orleans' fare to the table with this dazzling duo. Perfectly seasoned blackened chicken and spicy dirty rice make the perfect pair.

View Recipe: Blackened Chicken with Dirty Rice

Saucy Crawfish with Whole Corn Grits

Photo: Johnny Autry

Saucy Crawfish with Whole Corn Grits

Substitute shrimp for the crawfish, if you prefer. Toasting the flour brings nutty flavor to the sauce, similar to a brown roux. Microgreens make an elegant garnish.

View Recipe: Saucy Crawfish with Whole Corn Grits

Cajun-Stuffed Potatoes

Photo: José Picayo

Cajun-Stuffed Potatoes

We don't wrap potatoes in foil before baking: That produces soggy skin. Try a light coating of cooking spray or oil to make the jackets irresistibly crisp. Substitute chopped cooked shrimp if crawfish are unavailable.

View Recipe: Cajun-Stuffed Potatoes

Cajun Hot Crab Dip

Photo: Johnny Autry

Cajun Hot Crab Dip

Spoon this dip into a baking dish up to a day ahead, but top with panko and chives just before baking. If it's chilled, leave the dish out at room temperature while the oven preheats.

View Recipe: Cajun Hot Crab Dip

Cajun-Spiced Smoked Shrimp with Rémoulade

Photo: Charles Masters

Cajun-Spiced Smoked Shrimp with Rémoulade

No grilling skillet, no problem: Thread the shrimp on skewers instead. The delicious, tangy, and cool rémoulade is the perfect condiment.

View Recipe: Cajun-Spiced Smoked Shrimp with Rémoulade

Crab and Vegetable Gumbo

Photo: Johnny Autry

Crab and Vegetable Gumbo

The gumbo-blend vegetables contain chopped celery, onion, bell pepper, corn, and okra. If you can't find this particular blend, substitute a mixture of frozen okra and corn.

View Recipe: Crab and Vegetable Gumbo

Pan-Fried Shrimp with Creole Mayonnaise

Photo: Johnny Autry and Randy Mayor

Pan-Fried Shrimp with Creole Mayonnaise

Serve a lighter version of fried shrimp with a creamy Creole dipping sauce. Fresh, seasonal veggies make the perfect accompaniment.

View Recipe: Pan-Fried Shrimp with Creole Mayonnaise

Crab Cakes with Spicy Rémoulade

Photo: Johnny Autry

Crab Cakes with Spicy Rémoulade

Serve these succluent crab cakes over mixed greens with a side of this must-have rémoulade. Delicious crab, combined with crunchy panko crumbs, and crisp onions and peppers are the secret to our signature crab cakes. Cooking Light Editor Scott Mowbray raves, "These are the best crab cakes we've ever made!"

View Recipe: Crab Cakes with Spicy Rémoulade

Open-Faced Blackened Catfish Sandwiches

Photo: Johnny Autry

Open-Faced Blackened Catfish Sandwiches

Don't skip out on the creamy cilantro slaw. It pairs wonderfully with oh-so-savory blackened catfish.

View Recipe: Open-Faced Blackened Catfish Sandwiches

Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce

Photo: Randy Mayor

Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce

This bread pudding is a slimmer, trimmer, and top-rated (by our picky Test Kitchen judges) redesign. Baking Tip: The layer of sauce in the middle of the pudding is the secret to this velvety-rich interior.

View Recipe: Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce

Fried Catfish with Hush Puppies and Tartar Sauce

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Fried Catfish with Hush Puppies and Tartar Sauce

Proof that you can get fried food to fit into a healthy diet. Coat the fillets and prepare the batter for hush puppies while you wait for the oil to come up to temperature. You can also make the tartar sauce up to two days ahead and keep it refrigerated.

View Recipe: Fried Catfish with Hush Puppies and Tartar Sauce

Smoky Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo

Photo: Johnny Autry

Smoky Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo

This is certainly not a soup to disrespect. To build all that great flavor with lower sodium, we began by making a quick homemade shrimp stock reduction, drawing lots of shrimp flavor from the shells. We slashed more sodium by ditching the sausage and instead using meaty chicken thighs for richness. The briny shrimp needed just a light dusting of smoked paprika to take the flavor to a whole new level—no extra salt required. Canola oil replaced saturated fat--heavy butter in the nicely darkened roux.

View Recipe: Smoky Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo

Creole Deviled Eggs

Photo: Romulo Yanes

Creole Deviled Eggs

Chef Stage, of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in New York City, remembers his mother's deviled eggs, which he updates for this recipe with vibrant Creole seasonings.

View Recipe: Creole Deviled Eggs

Shrimp Po'boys

Photo: Randy Mayor

Shrimp Po'boys

New Orleans turns out one of the world's most exuberant sandwiches and calls it a poor boy: always joking down there, always delicious. Delightfully crunchy and deliciously messy, this lighter po'boy delivers classic satisfaction.

View Recipe: Shrimp Po'boys

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Photo: Johnny Autry

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Jambalaya is a classic Creole dish that combines rice with a variety of other ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, peppers and some type of meat or shellfish. This easy one-dish meal features both smoked sausage and shredded rotisserie chicken.

View Recipe: Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Chicken Muffuletta

Photo: Jan Smith

Chicken Muffuletta

Our Chicken Muffuletta is a lighter take on an old New Orleans favorite. It's packed full with chicken, salami, olives, onions, and spices.

View Recipe: Chicken Muffuletta

Cajun Red Beans and Rice

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Cajun Red Beans and Rice

Prechopped vegetables and canned beans keep this version of red beans and rice simple yet satisfying. Because this recipe begins with oil-sautéed aromatics, it contains more grams of fat per serving than its boxed counterpart—but the calories and sodium are significantly lower, and the taste is terrific.

View Recipe: Cajun Red Beans and Rice

Brown Sugar Bourbon Sparkler

Photo: Johnny Autry

Brown Sugar Bourbon Sparkler

This festive drink is the perfect choice, whether your letting the good times roll on Bourbon Street or celebrating this lively holiday in your own neighborhood.

View Recipe: Brown Sugar Bourbon Sparkler

Chicken Gumbo

Photo: Johnny Autry

Chicken Gumbo

This quick-cooking gumbo is a delight for both the cook and hungry diners. Don't be fooled by its speedy preparation: There's nothing basic about the flavor of this gumbo.

View Recipe: Chicken Gumbo

Shrimp Étouffée

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Shrimp Étouffée

This flavorful New Orleans classic is a quick meal that tastes like it has been slow cooking all day. Serve it with crusty French bread.

View Recipe: Shrimp Étouffée

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