One of the greatest cities I’ve ever been to is New Orleans. Some people might find that odd given that I’ve been all over the world but there is something so special about this city. I’ve always had a connection to the South what with my love of cooking, tradition and that my ancestors from Sicily settled in Louisiana when they came over. So a love for gumbo, boudin, jazz music and anything creole began.
I have many Southern cookbooks in my house and whenever I’m in a bind and can’t decide what to make I immediately flip one open. The result is always comforting, flavorful and delicious food that everyone enjoys. About a week ago I posted a romantic dinner for two menu. Since my partner lives in another country things like Valentine’s Day aren’t always celebrated in the traditional sense so I decided to have my sister and mom over for dinner! Instead of going the romantic route I switched it up and created a Creole menu to bring a little festivity to the table.
Creole food is bursting with flavors that are generally only found in Louisiana and surrounding areas, so creating that in California or other places around the US can be a little difficult. Thank goodness there are stores like Draeger’s that have things from all over the world. If you don’t have a grocery store that carries products from other regions you can also order a lot of these things online. A few ingredients that are important to this menu are:
Boudin Sausage: This generally is a mix of pork, rice and various vegetables. In Louisiana you can find these bad boys everywhere, you push the meat out of the casings and eat them like a sort of meat push up pop. For the main dish of this menu you are using the mixture without the casing. You can make it from scratch (which is what I did, recipe here) or you can buy it online here. I could not find a store around me that knew what it was or carried it. If you need to improvise you can also take regular sausage meat, add some rice, bellpepper, and creole seasonings and call it a day. It won’t be exactly the same but it does get the job done.
Crystal’s Hot Sauce: The main base of this BBQ shrimp recipe is this hot sauce. I would advise from using something else because this hot sauce has a very distinct flavor. You can buy it in many grocery stores (which is where I found it) or you can grab some online here.
Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning: I love this stuff – you can pretty much use it on anything. For the BBQ shrimp and the green beans this is a major factor in how the dish turns out. You can find this pretty much anywhere, I’ve never had an issue with it but you can of course also buy online here.
Creole Dinner Menu
French 75’s contain cognac, which I am a huge fan of but my sister and mother are not. So instead I served a delicious Brut Rose I had in the fridge. You can really never go wrong with Rose. So whether you have a craving for some good ‘ol southern cooking or you’re looking to try something new the above menu will really make an impression.