Vacation Spice: Cajun musicians, pals and kinfolk share their household recipes | Food and drinks | Gambit Weekly

Whether or not it is massive household feasts or sharing plates at a celebration, the vacations are a time to eat nicely — and there aren’t many individuals consuming higher than south Louisianans. Within the spirit of the sharing season, Gambit requested a few of our pals and colleagues from the Acadiana area for his or her favourite household Christmastime recipes, and we hope readers trying to boost their very own vacation feasts will give them a attempt. Learn under for 11 recipes supplied by Cajun musicians, coworkers sharing their grandmothers’ recipes and membership homeowners giving a trippy addition. Allons manger!


• Siti’s Fried Rooster

• Oyster Artichoke Soup

• Shrimp Stew

• Rice Dressing

• Whitney’s Christmas Journey Mushrooms

• Crawfish Pie

• Gatou Sirop

• Grandmother Ethel ‘Mommee’ Dufresne’s Shrimp Remoulade Sauce

• Artichoke Casserole

• Cornbread Dressing

• Frosted Pecans

Harry Barton family pic

An outdated picture of Harry Barton and his household 

Siti’s Fried Rooster

Offered by Harry Barton, musician


2 complete chickens, minimize into items and washed nicely

2 cups flour, seasoned with cayenne, black pepper and salt

Canola or vegetable oil

Add oil to frying skillet till skillet or pot is midway full. Warmth over medium-high warmth to 350-375 levels. Whereas oil is heating, bread hen in seasoned flour (no milk, no batter, simply seasoned flour). Coat fully. As soon as oil is heated, place a number of items of hen within the oil and fry till golden brown and an inner temperature of 165 levels. Set cooked items apart on a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat till all of the hen is cooked. Serve all of it to Harry.

Laura Bassett

Laura Bassett as a baby

Oyster Artichoke Soup

Offered by Laura Bassett, journalist


1 stick of butter

1 onion, chopped high quality

2 cloves garlic

2 cans artichoke hearts, chopped and rinsed nicely

Bunch of chopped inexperienced onions, tops solely

1 1/2 tablespoons flour

1 can of cream of mushroom soup

1 quart of oysters

1 quart or 3 cans of contemporary hen inventory

1 pint whipping cream

Bay leaf, thyme, sherry

Cavender’s Seasoning

2 drops Tabasco

Aunt Kathy says, “This recipe assumes you understand how to cook dinner. The garlic must be chopped and the seasonings cooked down a bit in butter earlier than including flour, whisking nicely. Then add soup. I chop the oysters earlier than including to combination. Then broth and cream. Generally I sprinkle Cavender’s Seasoning as I’m including oysters. It’s undoubtedly a key ingredient and this recipe doesn’t say how a lot. I simply sprinkle to style.”

Shrimp Stew

By Annette Guidry Exnicios; supplied by Jeanne Exnicios, Gambit writer

Serves 10-12


1 ½ cups chopped celery

¾ cups inexperienced pepper

1 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons melted butter 

3 kilos shrimp

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon seafood seasoning

1 cup water

Saute celery, inexperienced pepper and onion in butter until tender. Add shrimp, cornstarch, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and seafood seasoning. Add water. Cook dinner over medium warmth, stir till thick. Simmer 15-20 minutes.

Jamie Lynn left.jpeg

Jamie Lynn Fontenot, left, and her twin sister Jenna. Jamie Lynn grew cooking along with her Papa (Grandpa) and this rice dressing was a staple.

Rice Dressing

Offered by Jamie Lynn Fontenot, musician

Serves 4

Cookbook photo

A well-loved cookbook 


1 tablespoon butter

1 pound of dressing combine or ¾ cup floor beef and ½ cup pork

1 small onion, chopped

1 tablespoon bell pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons inexperienced onion, chopped

1 small garlic pod, minced

2 tablespoons parsley

1 to 2 cups inventory or gravy from fowl

1 cup rice, cooked

Salt and pepper, to style

Elective: hen livers

Brown the meat in 1 tablespoon of butter. Add onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Cook dinner over low warmth for half-hour. Add inexperienced onions, parsley and inventory. Let cook dinner 10 minutes longer. Add cooked rice and serve scorching.

Tony and Whitney (not vintage)

Tony and Whitney Bergeron 

Whitney’s Christmas Journey Mushrooms

Offered by Tony and Whitney Bergeron, Intracoastal Membership homeowners

Observe: Every little thing is finished with love, and self-gauging (by way of quantities).


Child portobello mushrooms


Minced garlic

Chopped shallot


Salt and pepper

White pepper

Grated Parmesan

Boursin garlic and herb cream cheese unfold


Preheat oven to 400 levels. Grease pan. Take away stems from mushrooms and chop stems. Place mushroom caps on greased pan. In a medium-heat skillet, add butter, chopped mushroom stems and cook dinner for a bit. Add garlic and chopped shallot. Add breadcrumbs and toast evenly. Season with salt, pepper and white pepper. Take away from warmth.

Add combination to bowl with a number of wholesome scoops of the cream cheese unfold, Parmesan and parsley. Combine nicely and scoop into the mushroom caps. Bake in oven 15-20 minutes till golden.

Crawfish Pie

Offered by AJ Rodrigue, WWOZ DJ


1 9-inch pie crust

¾ stick margarine

2 onions, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon tomato sauce or 2 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 pound crawfish tails

2 eggs, barely crushed

Inexperienced onion tops and parsley, to style

Salt and pepper, to style

Preheat oven to 350 levels. Saute greens in margarine till tender. Combine cornstarch and tomato sauce and add to greens. Mix in soup, stirring till easy. Take away from warmth and add crushed eggs and crawfish. Stir in chopped onions and parsley, season to style. Pour in unbaked pie shell and prime with pastry crust. Bake 40-45 minutes.

Louis and Andre.jpg

Andre Michot, left, and Louis Michot, proper

Gateau Sirop (Syrup Cake)

Offered by Louis Michot and Andre Michot, musicians


½ cup sugar

½ cup butter, room temperature

2 cups cane syrup

2 eggs

2 cups flour

2 pinches salt

Slightly baking soda

½ cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 levels. Mix the sugar, butter and syrup, and blend them collectively in a big bowl. Add eggs and blend in, slowly including flour, salt and baking soda. Combine nicely, then slowly add buttermilk and vanilla extract. Pour right into a pan and bake for about 45 minutes, simply till a toothpick inserted comes out clear. Let it cool, et c’est paré manger!

Grandmother Ethel ‘Mommee’ Dufresne’s Shrimp Remoulade Sauce

Offered by CC Adcock, musician


2 tablespoons horseradish

1/4 cup of wine vinegar

1/3 cup of ketchup

1 tablespoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 clove garlic

1/2 cup salad oil

1/2 cup of inexperienced onion tops, minced

1/2 cup chopped celery

Sprint of cayenne pepper

Put every thing in a blender and mix totally. Serve with jumbo Gulf shrimp and roasted pecans after opening presents, late Christmas morning.

Adcock shared this reminiscence with us about Mommee and her remoulade:

In our household, rising up and nonetheless to this present day, it is all about Mommee’s Remoulade… A basic!

My maternal grandmother Ethel “Mommee” (as the primary grandchild, I purportedly had the excellence of “naming” her this) Dufresne grew up throughout the river from New Orleans within the small St John The Baptist Parish hamlet of Lucy, Louisiana. After marrying, she and my grandfather (you guessed it – “Daddee”) resided a lifetime within the small city of Church Level, LA. out on the Cajun prairie. I spent many great childhood Christmases at their home. Mommee was very French and her and her 8-9 brothers and sisters knew the best way to make scrumptious issues. Their coveted remoulade recipe was what everybody all the time awaited on Christmas morning. It might be introduced out alongside peeled jumbo gulf shrimp and roasted pecans, and served mid/late morning after opening presents, and earlier than “the massive lunch”. This pre-dinner (dinner being the noon meal – supper the night meal, as y’all know) snack allowed for some sustenance between having woke up on the daybreak for Santa and an early afternoon seated meal (that allowed time for prolonged household from across the state to reach) with all of the trimmings. The bringing out of the shrimp remoulade additionally heralded the hour the place the grown-ups may fairly begin pouring highballs and the older youngsters may have a sneaky mimosa or two. A front room filled with wrapping paper ripped to ribbons, toys scattered about and in numerous phases of being assembled wrongly and a tree that was often simply barely nonetheless holding on to being alive. Everybody would clamor across the espresso desk, vying for place when the remoulade was set out. As we tore by it, Mommee can be always coming in warning us to “avoid wasting room for dinner”!

A photograph of my Mommee’s Dufresne household recipe is connected. “Simple to make” she indicators off with. Although, she may typically be caught elevating a difficult eyebrow upon tasting, if she hadn’t really ready the Christmas remoulade herself! She’d warn “make it EXACTLY like I wrote it down – and do not add or change something”. In right this moment’s loopy, rapidly altering world, I relate now greater than ever to what she means!

One final humorous anecdote: My grandfather handed away from most cancers within the late 90’s on Christmas Eve. I stayed with Mommee that evening to permit my mom and the opposite household to go dwelling and get some relaxation, and in order that Mommee would not get up on their lonesome on Christms morning. My mom referred to as me brilliant and early to want me Merry Christmas and to test on her mom and to see how Mommee was holding up. She seemed to be doing completely high quality. We would already had espresso and even a number of giggles. Mommee wished me to take her to mass. She’d lived at this level for 50 years in her adopted Church Level and I really feel a displaying at Christmas morning mass was extra of a social obligation for her, than non secular observe. I wearing coat and tie and she or he was in all black as we set to move off into city to church (“Church Level” is called as such as a result of church steeple being the tallest level within the city)!

Proper as we have been about to cross the entrance door threshold as we have been leaving the home, Mommee stopped and grabbed me tightly by my arm and appeared up straight into my eyes. She said: “In fifty years of dwelling on this home and on this city, I’ve by no means left on Christmas morning to go to mass with out…” My eyes welled up pondering of her lacking her life’s real love, my pricey grandfather. I leaned in to present a supportive hug. After which she completed: “With out having made my remoulade”!

Because of a handful of New Orleans eating places, you don’t need to have your Bubbe’s recipe, be Jewish or also have a Jewish neighbor to partake in tasty Hanukkah meals traditions.

Artichoke Casserole

By Annette Guidry Exnicios; supplied by Jeanne Exnicios


4 massive cloves of garlic

1 cup grated romano cheese

1 ½ cup high quality breadcrumbs

½ teaspoon salt

Black pepper

1 cup parsley chopped high quality

¼ cup olive oil

Move garlic by press in mixing bowl. Combine all above components, rubbing between arms so garlic won’t stay in lumps. In casserole dish, alternate combination with 1 can hearts of artichoke minimize into thirds. Add 3 or 4 tablespoons of water from artichokes. Bake lined for 20 minutes and uncovered for five minutes.

Cornbread Dressing

Offered by Harry Barton


2 containers of Jiffy cornbread, baked and cooled

6 hen thighs with bones

2 massive onions, chopped

Celery, chopped

Plenty of garlic, minced


Black pepper


Inexperienced onions, chopped

Chop parsley and inexperienced onion, then put aside. Cowl different components (moreover the cornbread) with water and produce to boil. Let cool, take out bones and crush celery. Combine all collectively step by step with crumbled cornbread till texture is true, agency and never too runny however nonetheless squishy. Season extra to style. Unfold combination into shallow baking pan and bake 45-60 minutes at 350 levels. Sprinkle with parsley and inexperienced onions.

Dakar NOLA explores links between Senegal and Creole cuisines in a tasting menu format

Serigne Mbaye just lately turned his pop-up right into a brick-and-mortar restaurant on Journal Avenue.

Frosted Pecans

Offered by Michael Chauvin, The Advocate digital gross sales director


1 egg white

1 teaspoon water

1 pound pecans

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 levels. Beat egg white till frothy, however not stiff. Add water. Stir in pecans, ensuring all of the pecans are moistened. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, salt and cinnamon. Then add to moist pecans. When they’re coated nicely, unfold them on a cookie sheet sprayed with Pam (or different cooking spray). Bake for half-hour, stirring each 10 minutes. Cool, and luxuriate in!

Kitten N' Lou's Living Nativity, George Porter's birthday bash, Home for the Holidays and more New Orleans events coming up Dec. 20-26

Sustain with the most recent occasions at


Learn More →