New Orleans themed dinner for four

I'm having friends over for dinner Sunday night. She's a great cook and they both love to eat. I want the meal to have a New Orleans theme, and I have my usual standbys (gumbo, barbecue shrimp, red beans and rice, bread pudding etc.), but I was thinking it would be fun to try some new things. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  • Posted by: drbabs
  • April 12, 2013


BoulderGalinTokyo April 17, 2013
New Orleans! Sigh....How about Pappadeux's Imperial Sauce on Seafood--crabmeat, artichoke hearts and mushrooms in a Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce.
drbabs April 18, 2013
A great idea for the next dinner party! I have to look for the David Guas book, too.
ChefJune April 15, 2013
I know the dinner's over, but since I'm jsut seeing this now, I have to put in a good word for Pork chops Etouffee! Also, if you've never tried Paul Prud'homme's spicy meatloaf, you really should..... ;)
drbabs April 15, 2013
Thanks, ChefJune! (Husband doesn't eat pork.) Meatloaf sounds like a fun idea.
Bevi April 15, 2013
drbabs April 15, 2013
Hi, Bevi, did you miss my note about the dinner? I made shrimp creole with salad and chocolate pecan pie for dessert.
pierino April 15, 2013
Shrimp creole sounds wonderful. "Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?"
boulangere April 14, 2013
I have absolutely nothing to add to the mix, save for a plea that you make the dinner for 5 rather than 4. I'll be glad to be the dishwasher ;0) !!
Hilarybee April 14, 2013
For the future, I really recommend "Dam Good Sweet" by David Guas. It's all about New Orleans and its desserts (and desserty breakfasts). I've really enjoyed it and it has become one of my favorite cookbooks, and I've done several of the desserts for on the fly parties and they've all been huge hits.
drbabs April 14, 2013
Hi all. Thanks for all your great ideas. That Saveur article in particular really brought me back-- my brother was manager of Commander's Palace in the '80's. So my husband is allergic to oysters, and hates when I try new recipes for a dinner party. We also completely forgot that we have a party to go to this afternoon, so I have to be able to prep everything ahead of time. So I decided to make a big salad, shrimp creole and rice. Because I always have to try something new, I made Antoniajames' Mr. T's pecan pie, only I turned it into a chocolate pecan pie at my husband's request. It's gorgeous; I hope it tastes good.
Hope y'all are having a great weekend!
AntoniaJames April 15, 2013
How did you make the pie chocolate? I've experimented with several methods but am most curious to know what you did, and how it turned out! ;o) P.S. How fitting that you chose that recipe. Did you see in the head note that it's derived from an ancient (really cute!) little pamphlet style 1950's era cookbook on the cooking of New Orleans?
drbabs April 15, 2013
@AJ, I did notice where you derived the recipe, and I love it because it's so chock full of pecans. I added 1/4 cup of Penzey's high fat cocoa powder and a pinch of instant espresso to the egg, butter and golden syrup mixture, and left out the orange and nutmeg (although they'd still be good with chocolate I think). The cocoa dries out the filling a bit, but it tastes delicious.
AntoniaJames April 15, 2013
The original recipe calls for only 1/2 cup each of chopped pecans and pecan halves. Not surprisingly, with so few pecans, the pie is just like so many pecan pies -- full of sweet, gooey filling with relatively few nuts. That was my first revision, ages ago. I love what you've done with the chocolate! I have made it with chocolate chips, which tasted pretty good, but once cool, the pie was rather hard to cut. Using cocoa makes so much more sense! Mr T would love it the way you made it, so I will certainly be following suit, the next time I make one. ;o) P.S. I'm thrilled the pie turned out well for you. I do think that carefully placing the pecans on top makes it particularly attractive.
drbabs April 16, 2013
Yes, I love the fact that the pie is so chock full of pecans. I've also melted chocolate into the filling and it was difficult to cut-- that's why I tried the cocoa this time. It does dry the filling out a bit, so it doesn't have quite as gooey a consistency. And I agree- the placement of the pecans on the top of the pie makes it really pretty-- so perfect for a dinner party, and easy to do.
sdebrango April 16, 2013
I would love to make chocolate pecan pie and am reading the comments, do you think adding an extra egg yolk and maybe an extra tbs of butter would help with the drier consistency?
drbabs April 16, 2013
Suzanne, I think those are both good ideas. I actually don't mind the drier consistency, though.
LucyS April 17, 2013
I just found this hotline thread and I was about to suggest pecan pie! My Mississippi-born grandmother used to make it when I was little. I hope you enjoyed it.
Bevi April 14, 2013
What have you decided upon for dinner tonight??!!
Cristina S. April 12, 2013
This slideshow from Saveur might help:
drbabs April 14, 2013
Thanks, Cristina, that was fun.
pierino April 12, 2013
Many people (and Dr. Babs, I hasten to add is not one of them) mix up the cooking of New Orleans with Cajun. Two different things. NOLA is the creole cooking of the French slave kitchens mixed up with African and Spanish. Etoufee is always wonderful. Oysters of course, and crab or flatfish prepared in the way they do at Galatoire or Arnaud's. How about beignets for dessert with chicory coffee ala Cafe du Monde? If it's helpful, the current issue of Saveur is dedicated to New Orleans.
drbabs April 14, 2013
Pierino, as you know marriage has left me challenged in the what to cook department-- my husband pretty much hates all the food I love. That unfortunately extends to coffee with chicory-- I even have an old French drip coffee pot for authentic cafe au lait, but I almost never use it anymore. Thanks for the Saveur suggestion.
CHeeb April 12, 2013
Mini-meat pies with spicy remoulade make great appetizers. Mixed fruit salads with a mascarpone,orange zest and Gran Marnier dressing would be a great light way to end the meal,too.
drbabs April 14, 2013
Thanks-- we're going for decadent dessert.
amysarah April 12, 2013
Start by mixing up some Sazerac's - lots of recipes online. (My old friend/native of NOLA says they're his balm when homesick.) Also, if this is an oyster eating group, maybe Oysters Rockefeller (a la Antoine's, etc.) Perfect way to start the meal.
drbabs April 14, 2013
Hmmmm, Sazeracs-- great idea-- this is more of a wine group, but thanks for the suggestion.
sdebrango April 12, 2013
I see Abbie already weighed in and I planned on recommending you browse through her recipes this for example or her Mushroom Etoufee.
drbabs April 14, 2013
Hi Suzanne. Our friends would LOVE Abbie's gumbo, but unfortunately I don't have "all day" to make it.
aargersi April 12, 2013
Can we come over? I like to serve macque choux. Can you get mirlitons up there? You could do a southern squash type deal. At Bayou Boogaloo there is a fried eggplant and etoufee thing that is AH-mazing. Oh - chargrilled oysters? Crawfish bread? And can you find Strawberry Abita up there? It's the current seasonal beer - we drink a LOT of it. Yum
drbabs April 14, 2013
Absolutely! (Actually, we're probably about a year away from actually being able to do that...). We can't get Abita beer, unfortunately, and as I told Bevi below, I can't do any last minute stuff, so I'm sticking with some standbys and a new dessert. ( I would make maque choux-- I've made both yours and chefjune's and love them both-- but it's not corn season here.)
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