From authentic gumbo to bananas Foster, these are just a few of the dishes that make New Orleans famous. So why not break them out for Mardi Gras?
Created at Brennan's restaurant in New Orleans in 1951, this classic dessert features ripe bananas cooked in a rum-infused caramel sauce, then flambéed in front of diners and spooned over vanilla ice cream.
This rich gumbo includes chicken and andouille sausage, and is thickened with filé powder, ground from sassafras leaves.
In New Orleans, red beans and rice, affectionately called “red and white,” is traditionally served on a Monday as a way to use up Sunday dinner’s ham bone. Here, smoked sausage lends its spicy flavor to the rice and meaty Anasazi beans.
America's first cocktail, the Sazerac was created in New Orleans with whiskey, Peychaud's bitters, and absinthe. Locally-produced Herbsaint replaced absinthe after it was banned in the early 19th century.
This is a traditional Cajun-style (brown) jambalaya, chock full of smoked meats with nary a tomato in sight.
You haven't visited New Orleans if you haven't had a beignet at Cafe Du Monde in the French Market. When making these at home, have plenty of confectioners' sugar on hand and serve the beignets with a fresh pot of coffee.
Bring on the spice! A mix of dried and fresh spices make this dish, like New Orleans itself, over-the-top. The creamy cheese grits counter the heat and help this celebratory meal achieve perfect balance.
In New Orleans, king cake is to Mardi Gras what pumpkin pie is to Thanksgiving: It just wouldn't be the same without it. A tiny plastic baby is hidden in the sweet, cinnamon-laced bread; whoever gets the piece with the prize gets to host the next party.
New Orleans cooking teacher Poppy Tooker's seafood gumbo is packed with shrimp, crabmeat, okra, and fresh oysters.
Scallions, Worcestershire sauce, and Creole seasoning cut the richness of the crawfish and its buttery sauce.
A creole-style (red) jambalaya always includes tomatoes. Using tomato paste instead of canned or fresh tomatoes adds deeper flavor and gives the finished dish a rich hue. The shrimp are cooked for a long time, but this method yields a flavorful jambalaya with tender—never mushy—shrimp.
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