Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Food of New Orleans - Some Louisiana Love



When you think of New Orleans, the first thing that comes to mind might be the wild parties in the street.  For this Southern writer, while the entertainment is non-stop and exciting, it's the food that leaves my mouth watering and aching for my next trip to this incredible city.  Many of these recipes I've tried to recreate at home, but nothing beats having a fresh beignet or eating crawfish étouffée while watching the excitement of the city pass you by.  So pull up a chair and let's get your taste buds tingling with the Food of New Orleans and some Louisiana love.


What better way to start a conversation on food than with the sweet delight native to New Orleans, the beignet?  My mouth is already watering as I think about the deep fried pastry sprinkled with powdered sugar.  Top this off with a steaming cup of Café au lait (milk and coffee mixed with chicory) , and darlin' you got a delight that's gonna make you want to be square.  Café du Monde, has long waiting lines in the French Quarter, but it's worth the time you wait just to enjoy this tempting treat.


If you're ready to get your taste-buds tingling, enjoy a little heat with my favorite lunchtime dish in New Orleans, Crawfish étouffée.  My baby sister clued me in on this treat and while she would say it's mild, for my sensitive buds it was a lot of fire worth every kick.  Almost like a stew with a great gravy, the crawfish lend it a unique flavor and it should be added to your must try list.  If you head on over to New Orleans Online, they've even got a recipe for those of you who can't wait to sample the fare.



Borrowing a line from Louis Armstrong, who used to sign his letters Red Beans and Ricely yours, the next must try dish on my list arrives.  You just haven't had Red Beans and Rice until you've tried them in New Orleans.  I first found the recipe for Red Beans and Rice at the back of a romance novel I read years and years ago.  I can't remember the title of the book (if anyone knows the name please send me an email) but it was one of the best recipes I tried, at least until I made into the French Quarter and was shown how to do it right.  All I can say is, holy sin I was in food heaven!  This dish is not as spicy as the Crawfish étouffée but the flavors were so incredible and it was a nice cooling down of my tongue.  Trust me when I tell you it's nothing like anything you've tried to make on your own.


I could talk all day about the food of New Orleans, instead I'm going to leave your imagination room to roam and give you one last recommendation on a local treat that you must try.  The Praline almost has a fudge texture, sweet and oh so creamy, when you add in pecans, it's a little treat that just has me drooling wishing I had one to enjoy right now! If you can't wait to taste this piece of heaven you can visit New Orleans Famous Praline Company  and they'll pack some up and send them you're way.

Now that I've given you all these great things to sample, I find myself getting hungry.  When you take your next trip to New Orleans I hope you think of me and pack up a little gift box to send back.  Do you have a favorite recipe from your trip to the city?  I'd love to hear about it, and I'm sure our readers are ready to be tempted even more, I'll even furnish the bibs.  Share your thoughts on New Orleans, we're just ready to pull up a chair and chat with you!


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