Capture the flavors of New Orleans with shrimp rémoulade, gumbo, and authentic King Cake
Up to 2 days ahead:
- Cook the gumbo up to but not including the rice and scallions. Cool the gumbo and refrigerate it. Skim off any solidified fat from the surface.
Up to 1 day ahead:
- Make the rémoulade sauce.
- Make the simple syrup for the cocktails.
- Make the king cake but don’t make the icing yet.
Up to 2 hours ahead:
- Cook, cool, drain, and refrigerate the shrimp.
- Shred the lettuce for serving the shrimp; keep it refrigerated.
- Ice and decorate the king cake.
30 minutes ahead:
- Reheat the gumbo.
- Cook the rice and slice the scallions for serving the gumbo
Just before dinner:
- Coat the shrimp with the remoulade and arrange on the bed of lettuce.
- 2 medium heads tender, leafy lettuce (such as bibb or Boston)
- 4 green or red bell peppers
- 4 large and 1 medium onions
- 1 large bunch celery
- 1 bunch scallions
- 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 bulb garlic
- 3 lemons
Meat, Eggs & Dairy
- 1-1/2 lb. large (21-25 per lb.) shrimp
- 2-1/2 lb. skinless chicken thighs, preferably bone-in
- 1-1/2 lb. andouille sausage or other spicy smoked sausage
- 5 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 5 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 8 cups lower-salt chicken broth (or use homemade)
- 3 cups white rice
- 2 cups bread flour
- 2 cups bourbon
- 3/4 cup cake flour
- 1 (1/4-oz.) package dry-active yeast
- 2 Tbs. Creole or country-style Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbs. filé powder
- 4 tsp. Herbsaint (or Absinthe or Pernod)
- Tabasco or other Louisiana-style hot sauce
- Peychaud’s Bitters
- 1 plastic baby figurine to hide in the king cake (optional)
- Green, gold, and purple food coloring (you can make your own purple using the standard red, and blue)
- 3-3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 8 bay leaves
- 2 Tbs. light corn syrup
- 1-1/2 Tbs. cayenne
- 1 Tbs. white-wine vinegar
- 1 Tbs. prepared yellow mustard
- 1 Tbs. honey
- 2 tsp. tomato paste
- 1 tsp. table salt
- 3/4 tsp. dried oregano
- 3/4 tsp. dried basil
- 3/4 tsp. dried thyme
- 3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp.ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. almond extract
- 1/4 tsp. paprika
- kosher salt (at least 1/2 cup)
- whole black peppercorns