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.