Great times were had at an Evening in New Orleans and we turned out some pretty good food! Here are the recipes. Cut them in half if you are not feeding 12 people.
Serves 12 people as an appetizer. If you are serving this as a luncheon dish, add tomato wedges around the shrimp and it will serve 6.
Shrimp Remoulade is one of the classic dishes of New Orleans; boiled shrimp served cold over salad greens with a spicy mayonnaise dressing.
2 pounds of cooked, peeled shrimp – no tail. Use 41-50 or 51-60 size, depending on your preference. You can also cook your own shrimp if you want to infuse them with flavor – but not necessary for this dish.
1 head of iceberg lettuce. Why iceberg? It holds up well and stays crunchy.
1 small onion, finely diced
2 ribs celery, finely diced
½ cup parsley, finely chopped
2 cups good mayonnaise – I use the olive oil kind
¾ cup chili sauce
¼ cup horseradish (not the creamy stuff – you want the heat)
¼ cup creole mustard – or some other hot, grainy mustard
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp Hot sauce of your preference – more or less, according to your heat tolerance
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
Mix everything together and taste for salt and heat. Add more hot sauce, horseradish, salt, and pepper - depending on what it needs.
Refrigerate sauce in a covered bowl for at least 4 hours or overnight before using.
Make sure your shrimp are dry – pat with paper towels if needed. In a large bowl, toss your shrimp with enough sauce to coat. They should not be soupy, but should have a generous coating of sauce. Use leftover sauce for salads or as dip for crudités.
Cut the iceberg lettuce into quarters and remove core. Finely shred the quarters crosswise. Put a generous helping of lettuce on each chilled plate. Then top with an equally generous helping of the sauced shrimp.
Serve with crusty baguette and a chilled Chablis, Pinot Noir, Riesling – or something along those lines.
Corn Maque Choux
12 ears fresh corn
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large or two smaller onions, chopped fine
2 medium-sized green peppers, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2-3 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1-5 teaspoons hot sauce
1/2 cup half and half
Scrape off corn kernels into a bowl; scrape milk and remaining pulp from cob with a knife. This is messy and will take a while.
Combine oil and butter in a large skillet; heat until butter melts. Add the onion and 1 tsp salt and cook for a minute. Add bell pepper and stir to combine, then add the corn and cook for about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic, chopped tomatoes, some of the salt, pepper, hot sauce and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes, or until the corn is tender. Lower the heat if the mixture begins to stick. Check for salt and add more if needed. Add the half and half, stir, bring to a quick simmer, and remove from heat. Check for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
Serve with Jambalaya
Here is a recipe for red Creole Jambalaya - there are lots of kinds out there. This was very flavorful and we all loved it. Give it a try!
This makes a ton of food. Cut the recipe in half if you’re not planning on feeding an army. Or keep leftovers and eat it all week.
1 pound boneless chicken, cubed or shredded (I roasted mine, then skinned and deboned)
2 lbs. (hot) smoked sausage, sliced – Andouille or a combination of Andouille and other
2 onions, chopped
2-3 bell peppers, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
5 ribs celery, chopped
2 cans tomato paste
1 big can tomatoes
6 cups homemade chicken stock
Creole seasoning blend to taste (2tsp black pepper, 2 tsp cayenne, 2 tsp oregano, crushed, 1 tsp white pepper, 1 tsp thyme, crushed – mix everything together and use at least 2 tsp of this in your dish – we used it all)
2 bay leaves
Salt to taste - important for the rice!
3 cups long-grain white rice, uncooked
In the Dutch oven, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil.
Tear or cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.
Cut all the vegetables into small pieces.
Brown the sliced smoked sausage and pour off excess fat. (Do it in batches so you don’t crowd the pan.) Reserve the sausage in a bowl. In the pot with some or all of the fat, sauté the onions, garlic, peppers and celery in oil until onions begin to turn transparent. Salt and pepper as you go.
While you're sautéing the "trinity", add the tomato paste and let it pincé, meaning to let it brown a little. What we're going for here is an additional depth of flavor by browning the tomato paste a little; the sugar in the tomato paste begins to caramelize, deepening the flavor and color. Keep it moving so that it browns but doesn't burn.
Once the vegetables are translucent and the tomato paste achieves sort of a red mahogany color, deglaze the pan with the about 2 cups of the stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to mix up any browned bits, and stir until smooth, making sure the sautéed vegetables, paste and stock are combined thoroughly. It should be fairly thick.
Smash the tomatoes – or cut them up in the can before you put them in. Add the Creole seasoning, tomatoes and salt to taste. Cook over low-medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the chicken and sausage, and cook another 10 minutes. Check seasonings.
Add the rice and the rest of the chicken broth, stir to combine and bring to a simmer.
Cook for about 20-25 minutes with a lid on, or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and is cooked through.
If you haven't checked your seasonings before adding the rice, it's too late! It's much better for the rice to absorb the seasonings while it's cooking.
Check seasoning anyway and add more salt if necessary. When the rice is done, turn the heat off and let the jambalaya sit for about 10 minutes. Fluff it with a spoon – scrape any bits off the bottom – they are good.
Bread Puddin’ with Lemon Sauce and Chantilly Cream
After assembly, the bread pudding has to sit for 45 minutes. Then it bakes for a total of 1 hour. It can sit longer before baking – gauge when you put it in the oven according to when we are eating our entrée. The lemon sauce can be made ahead and should be served warm. The Chantilly cream can be made ahead too, but must be kept in the fridge. Better to make the Chantilly just before serving, though.
1 ¾ cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter -- melted
3 cups half and half
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup pecans, dry-roasted -- coarsely chopped
8 cups bread cubes
Cut the bread into ½ inch cubes.
Generously butter your Pyrex dish.
With an electric mixer, beat eggs on high speed until extremely frothy and bubbles are the size of pinheads, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and butter and beat on high until well blended. Beat in the half and half, and then stir in the raisins and pecans.
Place the bread cubes evenly into one or two greased Pyrex dishes. Pour the egg mixture over them and submerge the bread until it is soaked. Let sit until you see only a narrow bead of liquid around the pan's edges, about 45 minutes, patting the bread down into the liquid occasionally. Place in a preheated 350 oven. Immediately lower the oven to 300 and bake 40 minutes. Increase the oven to 425 and bake until pudding is well browned and puffy, about 15-20 minutes more.
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon -- halved
½ cup sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 ½ cup water -- divided
2 teaspoons vanilla
Pinch of salt
Squeeze the juice from the halved lemons (should be about 4 tbs) into a 1-quart saucepan, add the lemon halves, 1 cup of the water and bring to a boil. Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 1/2 cup of water. Add the cornstarch mixture, pinch of salt and the vanilla to the pan. Cook 1 minute over high heat, stirring constantly. Strain, squeezing the sauce from the lemon rinds. Makes about 1 ½ cups. Serve warm with bread pudding.
2 cup heavy cream – use the whole container – no need to measure
2 teaspoon vanilla
6 tsp rum
2/3 cup sugar
6tablespoons sour cream
Refrigerate a medium-size bowl and the beaters until very cold. Combine the cream, vanilla, rum in the bowl and beat on medium speed 1 minute. Add the sugar and sour cream and beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Do not overbeat.