By Karin Calloway

Karin Calloway is a working mom living in Augusta, Ga., with multiple freelance jobs and a ton of dirty dishes.

Ragin' Cajun

Hurricanes may have changed the landscape of the state, but the culinary traditions of Louisiana cannot be rocked. Cajun and Creole cuisine are among my favorites. In fact, I cut my culinary teeth (so to speak) as a newlywed with my copy of Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen. This month, in an effort to tip my hat at the rebuilding efforts in Louisiana and Mississippi, I'm sharing some of my favorite French Quarter-inspired menus.

Shrimp Remoulade is a classic Louisiana starter. Serve in a large bowl with tooth picks as an appetizer, or place a portion of the shrimp atop salad greens for a first course. Follow with Oysters Rockefeller Soup, a sublime combination of ingredients reminiscent of the famed dish at Antoine's. The main course is my version of Chicken Etouffée, a favorite of my family. Serve the chicken over Baked Rice (see the recipe on this site).

Dessert is the combination of two New Orleans classics: Bananas Foster and Bread Pudding.

The menu is perfect for a weekend dinner party. And, each component can become part of other meals. The shrimp makes a great party appetizer any time and the soup is delicious served on its own, with a tossed salad, for a light supper.


Recipes:

Pan-Roasted Salmon
Cooking fish can be intimidating for many home cooks but roasting takes out the guesswork, providing perfect fish with little work. Add the step of dusting the fish in a little seasoned flour and searing in a skillet before finishing in a hot oven offers an even tastier main dish, with almost as little fuss.
Bananas Foster Bread Pudding
What do you get when you cross two New Orleans dessert favorites? You get Bananas Foster Bread Pudding, a sweet, decadent dessert that is a real crowd pleaser.
Chicken Etouffee
Roasted chicken with crispy skin is comfort food for most families, but since I discovered the joys of Cajun cooking and roux making as a newlywed in the mid-1980s (through Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen), Chicken Etouffee is my family’s most-requested comfort dish.
Oysters Rockefeller Soup
Oysters Rockefeller is a classic combination of oysters on the half shell bathed in a luscious green sauce, sprinkled with a little cheese and broiled until bubbly. Here, the combination of ingredients is simmered together for a soup that has all the flavor of the original dish.