3 of Louisiana’s Best Dishes You Can Cook at Home
While you are stuck at home away from work and much of the outside world you are probably looking for ways to pass the time.
I know we love good food in Louisiana so I decided to hunt for the recipes for 3 dishes that are considered some of the best in the south if not the nation. And you can learn to make them at home for your family.
There will be arguments, but the crawfish etouffee at Mulate’s is considered by many foodies to be the best etouffee recipe in the world. Here’s how to make it:
1 ¼ stick butter
1 medium onion – diced
2 stalks celery – diced
1 small bell pepper – diced
1 lb peeled crawfish tails
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Melt butter or margarine. Add diced onions, celery, and bell pepper. Saute' on medium heat until vegetables are translucent –approximately 15 minutes. Add crawfish and Mulate's Cajun Seasoning - stir well. Cook covered on low heat for approximately 15 minutes. You may add chopped parsley or green onions just before serving. Serve over white rice.
For Jambalaya you will find great versions all over the state, but here’s one I really love.
1 1/2 tablespoons chicken or beef fat, pork lard, butter, or oil
2/3 cup (about 3 ounces) Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Tasso
1 cup (about 6 ounces) Andouille Smoked Sausage, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
1 1/2 cups bite-size pieces chicken
2 tablespoons Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Seafood Magic, Poultry Magic, or Meat Magic
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
4 medium-size fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup tomato sauce
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups uncooked rice, preferably converted
Melt the fat in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the tasso and andouille and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pan well, until tender but still firm, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken, raise the heat to high and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium, add the Magic Seasoning Blend, bay leaves, and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly and scraping the pan bottom as needed, for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Add the tomato sauce to the saucepan and continue to cook, stirring fairly often, for 7 minutes. Stir in the stock, bring to a boil, then stir in the green onions. Cook, stirring once or twice, for 2 minutes. Add the rice. Stir well and remove from the heat. Transfer to an un-greased 8×8-inch baking pan, cover snugly with aluminum foil, and bake until the rice is tender, but still a bit crunchy, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and serve immediately.
Let the feuding begin over gumbo. I really can’t tell you which one is my favorite. Herby K’s in Shreveport serves a magnificent gumbo. Several other restaurants do too. But the food critics around the state seem to point to the gumbo at Antoine’s as just a tad better than the rest. Here’s that recipe if you’re daring:
¾ stick butter
2 cups chopped green onions
2 cups sliced okra
1 cup chopped white onions
2 cups raw peeled shrimp
2 cups raw oysters
1 cup chopped tomato pulp
2 cups tomato juice
1 1/2 quarts Fish Stock
3 crabs (top shell discard, cut into 4 pieces)
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon File (sassafras)
3 cups cooked rice
salt, pepper, and cayenne
Melt the butter and sauté the green onions, okra, white onions and crabs. In a separate pot put the shrimp, oysters, tomatoes and tomato juice with 1 1/2 quarts of Fish Stock and bring to a boil. Let boil for a minute, then add to the first pot. In a small skillet cook the butter and flour together until brown. Blend this brown roux with the File and some of the gumbo liquid and add to the gumbo. Add salt and pepper and cayenne to taste. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours.