I've been bombarded with tons of requests ... OK ... two, maybe three requests for Cajun Superbowl food recipes.
In thinking about this, I realized that Cajuns really eat a lot of the same Superbowl foods that everyone else eats ... chips and dips, especially those made with Velveeta ... wings ... more chips ... pretzels ... mixed nuts ... popcorn, etc. (except for the boudin, which I'm certain you can't get up north ... and the crawfish)
Another thing Cajuns typically do if they know they are having a large group of people over is cook a big pot of gumbo, jambalaya, or even, red beans and rice. My simple gumbo recipe is posted here. I use the easy recipe for red beans (with smoked sausage in place of ham or pork) off of the package of Camellia red beans or you can see it here. And, I do the jambalaya out of the box (Tony Chachere's or Zatarain's) because it's just as good and much easier.
But, just to appease, I've come up with a Superbowl Party Menu (complete with recipes) because I want everyone to support the Saints, by not only sharing in our excitement for this first Superbowl experience, but also sharing in some of our culture.
One of my absolute favorite things is Pepper Jelly Dip. Two steps and you're done.
Oh, how I wish you could get this jelly where you are. It's the best. THE. BEST. Of all the pepper jellies I've tried. But ...
Just buy yourself a jar of pepper jelly, a block of cream cheese, and some crackers. Now, you're good to go.
Pepper Jelly Dip
1 jar pepper jelly
1 block cream cheese
Pour jelly over cream cheese. Serve with crackers.
New Orleans is known for their muffulettas (which isn't Cajun, but just go with me). Here's a great recipe I've tried from Southen Living.
Easy Mini Muffulettas
1 (32-oz.) jar Italian olive salad
12 small deli rolls, cut in half
12 thin Swiss cheese slices
12 thin deli ham slices
12 thin provolone cheese slices
12 Genoa salami slices
Spread 1 Tbsp. olive salad evenly over each cut side of roll bottoms. Top each with 1 Swiss cheese slice, 1 ham slice, 1 Tbsp. olive salad, 1 provolone cheese slice, 1 salami slice, and 1 Tbsp. olive salad. Cover with roll tops, and wrap sandwiches together in a large piece of aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 14 to 16 minutes or until cheeses are melted.
This would not be complete without a recipe from Emeril. BBQ Shrimp is the bomb! I've adapted the recipe to my liking. Served with crusty French bread is the best or just peel and eat.
New Orleans BBQ Shrimp
3 pounds large Gulf shrimp, in their shells
2 T. Creole seasoning
Cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 bay leaves
3 lemons, peeled and sectioned
2 cups water
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Peel the shrimp, leaving only their tails attached. Reserve the shells and set aside. Sprinkle the shrimp with 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning and fresh cracked black pepper. Use you hands to coat the shrimp with the seasonings. Refrigerate the shrimp while you make the sauce base.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the reserved shrimp shells, the remaining Creole seasoning, the bay leaves, lemons, water, Worcestershire, wine, salt, and black pepper. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Strain into a small saucepan. There should be about 1 1/2 cups. Place over high heat, bring to a boil, and cook until thick, syrupy, and dark brown, for about 15 minutes. Makes about 4 to 5 tablespoons of barbecue sauce base. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the seasoned shrimp and saute them, occasionally shaking the skillet, for 2 minutes. Add the cream and all of the barbecue base. Stir and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp to a warm platter with tongs and whisk the butter into the sauce. Remove from the heat. Mound the shrimp in the center of a platter. Spoon the sauce over the shrimp and around the plate. Arrange French bread around the shrimp. Garnish with chopped chives.
Try this Ragin' Cajun Chili recipe with Fritos.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound andouille sausage (or smoked), chopped
1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
1 1/2 pounds ground pork
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons hot sauce (like Red Hot or Tabasco)
2 sprigs thyme
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
3 cups chicken stock
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 bunches scallions, chopped
1 large bag plain Fritos
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven pot and cook the andouille sausage for about 2 minutes. Add the ground chicken and pork in an even layer; do not overcrowd the pot. Break up the meat with the back of a wooden spoon and scrape up the bits at the bottom. Continue to cook until all the meat is super-duper brown. To the pot, add the celery, onion, green bell pepper and garlic, and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add the hot sauce, thyme, chili powder, cumin, paprika and cayenne, and continue cooking for another minute. Pour in the stock, crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce, bring to a bubble and turn down to a simmer. Let cook for another 20 minutes or until reduced.
Season the chili with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with some crushed fritos and chopped scallions on top.
And, for something sweet ... none other than king cake. You can go the homemade route, but, trust me, I've been there, done that. Go with the crescent rolls. But, just in case, you're a bit stubborn like I can be, here's a recipe for homemade king cake.
Otherwise, here's the easier recipe.
King Cake with Cream Cheese Cinnamon Filling
2 8-ounce cans crescent rolls
4 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Mardi Gras Icing, as needed (recipe follows)
Mardi Gras Icing: 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1 to 2 tablespoons skim milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, yellow, green, red, and blue food coloring
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 10-inch round pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray. Separate crescent rolls at perforations, into 16 slices. Place slices around prepared pan with points in the center.
About halfway down from points, press seams of individual rolls together to form a joined circle of rolls. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Spread on dough in the center where seams have been pressed together.
In another small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over cream cheese. Fold dough points over filling, then fold bottom of triangle over points, forming a circular roll like a king cake. The filling should be completely covered by the crescent rolls at this point.
Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly and drizzle with colored Mardi Gras Icing.
Mardi Gras Icing
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except food coloring. Divide mixture into 3 bowls. In first bowl, add a few drops of yellow food coloring. In second bowl, add a few drops of green food coloring. In third bowl, add equal drops of red and blue food coloring to create purple. Drizzle over baked cake.
I'll be taking the weekend off, as I do every weekend, and watching my boys, the New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts (fingers crossed)!