New Orleans CuisineBayou Bravado
New Orleans, a city of contradictions, wears them proudly. Enjoyment is effortless: Much of it can’t be contained, so it moves onto the streets, be it block party, crawfish boil or impromptu music session. Sightseeing is also effortless, from sprawling plantations to bohemian galleries to a tour of the swamp. The one constant? The Big Easy’s food. The cuisine here is full-on iconic, and we’ve gathered a few favorites for you to recreate – too bad you can’t enjoy a snowball in the process.
This is the official cocktail of New Orleans, and after sampling a few, you’ll understand why. Its red-orange hue makes it as pretty as it is tasty.
Yield: 1 cocktail
Add sugar and water to an old-fashioned glass, and mix until dissolved. Add whiskey, bitters and ice. In a second chilled old-fashioned glass, add Herbsaint. Swirl glass until coated, and discard excess. Strain whiskey mixture into chilled glass, and garnish with a lemon peel.
Some of the country’s best oysters are found in Louisiana. Po’ boys are divine, but since every trip to N’awlins devolves into a feeding frenzy, bread is just a waste of precious stomach real estate. We’ve ditched it to focus on the perfectly fried, spicy oyster.
Yield: 4 servings
Add 3 inches of oil to a saucepan on medium-high heat. In a medium bowl, add flour, cornmeal, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano and thyme. Mix well. Add oysters, and coat well.
When a candy thermometer reaches 360˚F, carefully add 6 or 7 oysters to oil. Cook until golden brown, about 2–3 minutes. Remove from oil, drain on paper towels and season with salt. Fry remaining oysters in batches.
Add all of the remoulade ingredients to a bowl, and mix well. Transfer in an airtight container, and refrigerate until serving.
Nothing says comfort like a silky, piping-hot bowl of etouffee. As winter rages on, make a note to serve this soother on an especially frigid night.
Yield: 6 servings
Add butter to a large pot on medium heat. When it has melted, add flour. Cook until roux is a dark brown color, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes. Add onion, celery, pepper and tomatoes, and cook until vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, paprika, black pepper, salt, oregano, thyme and cayenne pepper, and cook 1 minute.
In a separate pot, bring shrimp stock and wine to a simmer. Slowly add liquid to roux, whisking constantly. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add crawfish. Cook for 8 minutes, then add shrimp and lemon juice. Simmer for another 4–5 minutes, until shrimp are cooked through. Garnish with scallions and parsley, and serve with rice.
It’s hard to ignore New Orleans’ heat and humidity, let alone in the kitchen. For those who crave sweets but dread turning on the oven, pralines are the answer. Bourbon, like bacon, makes everything better so our version adds a bit to keep things poppin’.
Yield: 15–18 pralines
Line a large cutting board or sheet tray with parchment paper.
Add sugars and heavy cream to a saucepan on medium heat. Cook, whisking occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Bring mixture to a boil, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reaches 238˚F. Shut off heat, and add bourbon, butter and vanilla. Stir until creamy, about 1 minute, then add pecans. Mix well. Quickly drop heaping tablespoons of mixture onto parchment. Allow pralines to cool. Peel off parchment, and serve.