Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday at the Table

We had friends over for dinner Friday night, and since they had just returned from a jazz cruise down the Mississippi River, we thought it would be fun to serve them a New Orleans meal. We visited there in 1985, and the recipes we brought home have been family favorites ever since. I'll share some of those recipes, plus a few I found that fit in with the theme.

Cajun Pecans from party nuts! by Sally Sampson - Fancied up nuts are one of my favorite party snacks, and I have used this book over and over again. I didn't find these overly spicy, and they proved a good nibble.

Artichoke Bits from La Bonne Cuisine: Cooking New Orleans Style - This was a new recipe to me, and our guests asked me to send it to them - that's always a good sign. I thought they needed a little sauce, so I mixed up a bit of sour cream and Dijon mustard . . . nothing fancy but a good compliment.

1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained
2 lemons
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Quarter the artichoke hearts and squeeze the lemon joice over them. Dip them in the olive oil and roll them in the bread crumbs. Bake at 400-degrees on a greased cookie sheet for 10 to 15 minutes. Makes 32.

King Cake Martini - Our guests actually brought the makings for this treat, including the purple, green, and yellow rimming sugar (Mardi Gras colors). This is definitely a sweet drink and would be just as good "after dinner."

2 oz. King Cake liqueur (We used Devil's Food Cupcake brand flavored vodka.)
1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
1/2 oz. Bailey's Irish Cream
Shake in shaker with ice till very cold.

Commander's Garlic Bread from The Commander's Palace New Orleans Cookbook - Though I make this with fresh dill when I have it, it's almost as good with dried.

Commander's Salad from The Commander's Palace New Orleans Cookbook - The dressing is as legendary as the salad. This is simple but delicious.

Sausage and Chicken Jambalaya from my friend Linda Beth, who showed us around New Orleans back in the day - OK, this is a dish we've made over and over again. No need for us to experiment with new recipes. We like this one.

12 oz. bacon, cut in 1/2" pieces
1 link (3/4 to 1#) Polish sausage
1 link (3/4 to 1#) andouille
3/4 to 1# boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut crosswise in strips
1 large onion, chopped
2 bunches green onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups long-grain white rice
2 - 16 oz. cans chopped tomatoes
1 - 10 oz. can Ro-tel tomatoes (with peppers)
dash thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. Tony Chachere's creole seasoning
In large pot over medium heat, fry bacon; add sausages and chicken and fry. Add vegetables and cook until wilted. Add rice, stirring well. Drain tomatoes, saving liquid. Add tomatoes to pot and stir. Add 3 cups liquid (reserved tomato liquid + water). Stir well. Add seasonings and bring to boil. Turn to low, cover and cook 30-40 minutes, or until rice is done and all liquid has cooked off.

Bananas Foster from The Commander's Palace New Orleans Cookbook - This is a really easy-to-execute flaming dessert - fun and tasty!
Hope you enjoyed this little jaunt to the south. What's been going on in your kitchen?


  1. There are wonderful memories in those recipes! Bill and I visited New Orleans in 1995 and had brunch at Commander's Palace on Mother's Day.

  2. I really like the look of the artichoke hearts - what is the dipping sauce you served?

  3. I was on the ball this week, and got something posted today! Ha.

    New Orleans has a special place in my heart. This meal sounds like a wonderful way to capture that love! Bananas foster is always amazing.

  4. Oh man, this is my kind of menu, right down to the martini. There is nothing like a big dish of Jambalaya when it's cold outside. With Mardi Gras coming up this is perfect!

  5. Looks so delicious. My DH on a rare occasion makes banana foster. Uhmmm :)

  6. Oh how fun!! You're making me homesick!!

  7. I would love to try the artichokes. What is the dipping sauce with it?

  8. Just tweaked the post to include the simple dipping sauce - sour cream and Dijon mustard...

  9. These all look great, though I think the artichokes would be my favourite :o)

  10. Mmmmm, love me some Louisiana food! It all looks great. Now I want to go see if we have the ingredients for jambalaya in my freezer...

  11. Those Martini's look great...Mmmm, might need to make one tonight ;-)

  12. This all sounds so delicious - especially the Chicken Jambalaya and the martini!

  13. Oh what a good choice in apps! Yum! I do have to say that our family doesn't do the "red" jambalaya, nor have I ever had bacon in it either, but I will say, the bacon I will have to try, that sounds like a great addition to that dish! Sounds like a perfectly lovely meal!

  14. It all sounds simply delicious! I must say, being around you too much would sure make it difficult to remain on a light eating program, as I am! Everything reads "too good to resist!"

  15. everything sounds and looks so delicious!!! i wish i was going to your house for dinner!