Classic New Orleans Cuisine
Feast on our versions of recipes―Cajun, Creole, and otherwise―from the Crescent City.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We buttermilk-battered shrimp and baked it in a hot oven to golden crispiness, adding fresh okra to the mix for some extra Gulf state color. Creamy caper-spiked remoulade keeps things moist, and hot dog buns make this Cajun country treat right-sized.