Want to be part of the action but can’t make it to New Orleans? No worries. Pick up some authentic Louisiana fare at your local market and whip up your own celebration at home.
Top 10 New Orleans Ingredients
1. Red beans (for red beans and rice)
2. Rice (for jambalaya, gumbo, etouffee's, red beans and rice, etc.)
3. The Holy trinity (onions, celery and bell pepper. Every dish starts with these three ingredients)
4. Hot sauce (the condiment of choice)
5. Oysters (po-boys, stew, gumbo, etc.)
6. Shrimp (po-boys, shrimp and grits, gumbo, etc.)
7. Andouille sausage (jambalaya, etouffee’s, gumbo, gravy, etc.)
8. Fish fry (time saving)
9. Cajun spices (pre-made or make your own blackening spice)
10. Okra (fresh or frozen for gumbo, stews, stuffings)
Other ingredients that will bring a little New Orleans into your home are: redfish; eggplant; shredded lettuce-mayo-bread and butter pickles (this combo on all sandwiches is called “dressed”); Zapp’s potato chips; Barq’s root beer soda; Abita or Dixie beer.
The quintessential chip of New Orleans, Zapp's will have you licking your lips and finger tips. Fairly spicy, but in a good way, these chips are addicting!
B & G butter pickle chips
In New Orleans, when you order a po-boy or sandwich, it will inevitably come "dressed" as in mayo, hot sauce, pickles and shredded lettuce. If you don't care for any of the items, you need to speak up!
There is no restaurant, no home, no sandwich in New Orleans that is not dressed with a dab or two or three of hot sauce. Our favorite is Crystal. It is "hot" and spicy, but in a good way, with tons of flavor not just heat.
Barq's Root Beer
Found Nationwide, Barq's root beer is a New Orleans favorite for soft drinks. At Domilisi's on Annunciation Street, where the best po-boys are found, ask for a Barq's and they will serve you up one in an original glass bottle!
Zatarain's Fish Fry
Fish fry is essentially flour, spices, sometimes corn meal and a few leavening agents. Sure, you can pull together your own, which will certainly not contain the added preservatives in this product, but sometimes this is just easier. And boy, is it good!
Okra is a main staple readily found in the produce aisles in New Orleans. Used in all sorts of recipes, such as fried with remoulade sauce (recipe below), pickled, or as a vegetable in gumbos, okra can be slimy once cooked. When okra is cooked, the pods release a sticky substance which creates a thickening property that is very desirable.
Okra can also be eaten raw, in salads or crudite. They are mild in flavor with a toothsome bite.
Okra tip: Okra may be stored in the refrigerator in a paper bag or wrapped in a paper towel in a perforated plastic bag for 2 to 3 days, or it may be frozen for up to 12 months after blanching whole for 2 minutes. Cooked okra can be stored (tightly covered) in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Blend the following ingredients together
- 1/4 Cup Hellmann's Real Mayo
- 1/4 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley, Chopped
- 2 Tbs. Whole Grain Mustard
- 1/4 Cup Capers, Chopped
- 1/4 Cup Butter Pickles, Chopped
- Squeeze of 1/2 Lemon
- Pinch of Celery Salt
- Grind of Black Pepper
- Hot Sauce, to taste (We like Crystal)
Holy Trinity vegetable medley
The three main vegetables that are used in New Orleans cookery are celery, bell pepper and onions, also called The Holy Trinity. Sometimes, garlic, parsley or shallots are substituted (or added) for one of the vegetables.
Some people think New Orleans food is "spicy", when usually the recipes are just heavily spiced, or seasoned. Find a bunch of really good varieties in your local, Long Island grocery store, or blend together your own blackened spices.
- 4 tbsp. paprika
- 1 tbsp. onion powder
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp. white pepper
- 1 tbsp. black pepper
- 1 tbsp. ground oregano
- 1 tbsp. ground thyme
- 1 tbs. celery salt
- 1 tbsp. table salt
Place all spices in bowl and mix to blend evenly. Store in tight container.
Danielle Cox, the New Orlean's One-Pot Meal Examiner states "red beans and rice is a staple in almost every New Orleans kitchen". Here is her delicious recipe for Red Beans and Rice. While Long Islander's might have a hard time finding Camelia Dried Red Beans outside of New Orleans, I think they will forgive us for using a local brand....
What you will need:
- 1lb. dry red beans
- 1lb. cooked smoked sausage
- 1lb. cooked pickle meat
- 1 medium yellow onion (cut into slices)
- 1 large green pepper (cut into thick strips)
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper (cajun seasoning if you have it)
Soak red beans over night in cold water. Drain beans and remove any bad ones. Put beans in crock pot and cover with cold water. Add everything except for the green pepper. (They will disolve into nothing if cooked too long). When adding salt and pepper do not over do it in the very beginning. More can be added as the beans cook. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, adding the green pepper an hour or two before serving.
Some other options for meat are andouille, ham or bacon. Remember to render all fat after cooking the meat. To add more of a creaminess to the beans, mash a couple of spoonfuls of the beans on the side of your crock pot. Another option is to take some of the liquid in a small bowl and add a lttle bit of flour. Mix completely (kind of like making a roux) and add back to the pot.
Serve red beans over white or brown rice. Fresh french bread or plain bread and butter are also great on the side for dipping.
River Rice- Brown or White
River Rice is easily found in many Long Island grocery stores. It is a converted long grain rice that is used in many New Orleans recipes such as gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee and many other dishes.
River® Natural Long Grain, popular among America's health-conscious consumers, has the nutty flavor and chewy texture of brown rice offer consumers a change of pace from the traditional health-food fare.
Brown rice is a good source of whole grain fiber, is naturally sodium-free, high in complex carbohydrates, and high in vitamins and nutrients.