Cajun and Creole
On the road one day in New Orleans, I spent some time in the Crescent City Farmers Market and got a lesson in étouffée-making from the doyenne of Louisiana home cooking, Poppy Tooker. Étouffée is a riff on the old French verb “to smother,” and while there are as many recipes for étouffée as there are cooks who make it, this one is so easy that it’s become an instant classic in our house. I can’t imagine a better meal than a pot of étouffée, some rice, a salad and a ripe piece of fruit for dessert. —Andrew Zimmern
Shrimp Bisque with Crab and Tapioca
At his restaurant, John Besh simmers the broth for his bisque with the crushed shells of whole blue crabs. Chopped shrimp boiled in their shells flavor the broth for a home version of Besh’s tapioca-studded bisque.
Creole Shrimp with Garlic and Lemon
Eco-minded chefs are cooking with wild American shrimp, but not just for ethical reasons. As New Orleans chef Tory McPhail says, “They taste cleaner and crisper, since they swim in the tides.”
Spicy Pork Po'Boys
In Louisiana, a po’boy is a soft baguette filled with either fried seafood or meat. Melissa Rubel makes her po’boys with juicy grilled pork patties, topped with lettuce, tomato and a crunchy-creamy pickle-and-shallot mayonnaise.
Summer Jambalaya with Chicken and Spicy Sausage
Katy Sparks doesn’t agree that nursing mothers shouldn’t eat spicy foods. But if you want to lower the heat level in this recipe, substitute sweet sausage for the andouille and skip the poblano.
Andouille-and-Sweet Potato Pie with Tangy Apple Salad
This creamy sweet potato filling is actually fairly simple, but Donald Link opts to prepare the crust by hand; he also tosses the salad with mustard greens, which can be tricky to find. In the easy way, make the crust in a food processor and substitute watercress for the mustard greens in the salad.
Chef Rembs Layman prepares rich gumbo with house-made stock and a specialty jerk seasoning blend. Home cooks can use store-bought rotisserie chicken, canned chicken broth and supermarket jerk or Cajun seasoning.
Creole Chicken and Ham Fried Rice
This fried rice, studded with sautéed chicken and smoky ham, is softer and moister than the Asian version. Any kind of long- or medium-grain white rice works nicely here.
Crab and Andouille Jambalaya
To make this jambalaya stand out, use incredible lump crabmeat, great andouille sausage and a good hit of Old Bay seasoning.
New Orleans Red Beans and Rice with Pickled Peppers
In New Orleans, red beans and rice are traditionally served on Mondays because the dish uses up leftover Sunday ham. Grace Parisi likes making the recipe any day of the week, and she replaces the ham with smoky bacon.
This gumbo from New Orleans chef Donald Link owes its flavor to the roux, a mix of flour and oil that’s cooked until it’s coffee-colored.
Catfish Po'Boys with Pickle Remoulade
Chef Jay Foster does brisk business in these fried-fish sandwiches at San Francisco's Outside Lands music festival.
Andouille, Crab and Oyster Gumbo
“Deep in the Louisiana bayou, Cajuns still live off the land—trapping, shrimping, crabbing and hunting,” says Andrew Zimmern. “Cooks make gumbo with nutria, a giant, water-dwelling rodent. It’s a dish of need, not want. I learned my gumbo techniques from a trapper’s wife, but I use oysters and crab; no rodent required.”
Snapper with Spicy Crab-and-Andouille Sauce
This recipe calls for Louisiana Gold Pepper Sauce—its pure chile flavor isn’t masked by the addition of vinegar, which some purists think interferes with the subtle flavors of foods like the buttery crab and andouille sauce that tops the succulent sautéed snapper here.
Corn Bread Stuffing with Shrimp and Andouille
The stuffing can be refrigerated for 1 day before baking. Bring to room temperature before baking.
Okra Gumbo with Blue Crabs and Shrimp
In this recipe from The Dooky Chase Cookbook, chef Leah Chase uses okra (and lots of it) to thicken the dish.
New Orleans chef John Besh places oysters in mini tartlet shells, then tops them with a creamy horseradish sauce and crispy bread crumbs.
Chicken and Smoked-Sausage Gumbo
Try a sturdy red wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France with this hearty gumbo.
Dirty Rice with Shrimp
Typically, in this popular Acadian classic, it's chopped chicken livers and ground meat that make the rice look "dirty." For our special version, we've left out the livers and added shrimp but kept the rest of the usual lineup—onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic.
Oyster Dressing "Grand-Mère"
Chef John Besh says, “This is the only dish worthy of both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner at our house.” Why? Because it's unbelievably delicious—a bready dressing that’s spicy, crispy and nicely briny.
The muffuletta is the quintessential New Orleans sandwich of cured meats, cheese and tangy olive salad piled onto a sturdy Italian loaf. Emeril Lagasse’s delicious muffuletta is packed with briny olives and pickled vegetables.