The Super Bowl is an important occasion in American culture—namely a day when it’s okay to indulge in as many delicious snack foods and cold adult beverages as your heart desires. On a Sunday, no less! We don’t have a sports stake in this year’s Baltimore/San Francisco matchup, but since the big game’s being held in the Big Easy, we’re excited about whipping up a few Creole dishes from down Louisiana way.
Below are a few recipes from some New Orleans chefs living in Washington, plus one from a Baltimore chef. Jeff Tunks, who worked at the famed Windsor Court in New Orleans, and Dave Wizenberg own the New Orleans-themed Acadiana. David Guas, who grew up in New Orleans East and Lakeview, owns Bayou Bakery. The pimiento cheese fritters from Firefly chef de cuisine Todd Wiss may not be straight-up New Orleans (please don’t write in) but they sure are tasty. And we even threw in a recipe from Jeff Landry, a congressman from Louisiana’s third district. Enjoy!
Jeff Landry’s Cajun Caucus Tabasco Brie (In his words: “AWESOME!”)
Makes about 8 to 10 servings.
1 can Pillsbury crescent rolls
1 block Havarti cheese
1 cup chopped pecans
1 jar Tabasco spicy red pepper jelly
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2) Roll out crescent rolls on a nonstick cookie sheet and arrange them as a square by kneading them together. Place the block of cheese in the middle of the square. Place the pecans on top of the cheese. Fold the crescent roll dough over the cheese, making sure to completely cover pecans and cheese. Place in oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, checking at the 20-minute mark. Once dough is browned, remove from the oven.
Spread the jar of pepper jelly on top of the hot Brie, and serve.
Dave Wizenberg’s Shrimp-and-Crab Nachos
Makes 80 to 100 nachos.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 pound 70/90 shrimp (rock shrimp) shells removed
1 teaspoon cumin, ground and toasted
½ teaspoon garlic, minced
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, cleaned and picked
½ cup sour cream
1 bunch green onions, sliced
20 to 25 (6-inch) corn tortillas, quartered and fried (can substitute store-bought corn tortilla chips)
3 cups pepper jack cheese, grated
½ cup pickled jalapeños slices
1) Add oil to a sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté the shrimp with cumin and garlic. In a bowl, combine shrimp, crabmeat, sour cream, and green onions. Spread tortilla chips on a baking pan lined with aluminum foil. Top with shrimp and crab mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and top with jalapeños. Broil just until cheese has melted.
Jeff Tunks’s Louisiana Seafood Gumbo
Makes about 10 servings.
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups onions, chopped
8 ribs celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups chicken broth, canned or from base
2 (28-ounce) cans tomatoes, diced
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen okra, sliced, thawed
1 pound crab claws
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 large dried bay leaves
½ cup fresh parsley, minced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon pepper
2 pounds shrimp, medium, unpeeled
1 quart oysters (do not drain water)
1 pound crab meat
1 pound fish fillets (catfish or other firm white fish) cut into 1-inch pieces
To fill: hot cooked rice
To taste: filé powder (optional)
1) Combine oil and flour in a heavy skillet; cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring constantly, until roux is dark. Be very careful roux does not scorch. Stir in onion, celery, and garlic, and cook 10 minutes, stirring often.
2) Transfer mixture to a Dutch oven or large kettle. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, okra, crab claws, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, bay leaves, parsley, thyme, basil, oregano, sage, and pepper; simmer 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Peel and devein shrimp.
3) Add shrimp, oysters, crab meat, and fish to the pot; simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaves before serving.
David Guas’s Crawfish Tamales With Holy Hell Hot Sauce
Makes about 10 servings.
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup onions, chopped
½ cup bell pepper, diced
½ cup celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound Louisiana crawfish tail meat
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons flour
1) In a medium sauté pan, heat oil and butter together over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic to the pan, and cook, stirring, until translucent. Add crawfish meat and season with salt and cayenne. Continue to sauté for another 5 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and reduce heat to low. Continue to cook for 5 minutes until flour cooks out. Spoon onto a baking sheet and place in refrigerator to allow filling to cool.
4 cups instant masa
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2½ teaspoon kosher salt
2½ to 3 cups water
1) Place all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, then add water slowly by hand until a ball forms. Mixture should be wet, but still able to be formed into a ball.
Ingredients (Holy Hell Hot Sauce):
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup onion, chopped
¼ cups bell pepper, diced
¼ cup celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 to 5 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups shrimp stock
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
Kosher salt, to taste
Henry Family Farm’s Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce, to taste
Make the Holy Hell Hot Sauce:
1) Heat oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic, and sauté until translucent. Add tomatoes and stock.
2) In a separate dish, mix the cornstarch with cold water. Stir cornstarch slurry in pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Season with salt and as much hot sauce as you can handle! Add sauce a few drops at a time, tasting along the way and adding more if needed.
1) Soak corn husks in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are pliable. Remove from water and reserve.
2) Take one and peel thin strips, pulling down with the grain. Reserve strips.
3) Press half a cup of tamale mix on the open corn husk and, using your fingers, press out to 3-inch by 4-inch rectangles.
4) Scoop about three tablespoon of the crawfish filling into the center and roll each side of the tamale up around the crawfish filling to enclose it.
5) Roll the whole thing by tucking the bottom husk in and rolling until tight. Using the reserved strips, tie off the top open part of the husk.
6) Place the tamales into a steamer, cover, and cook for 35 to 45 minutes. Cover with hot sauce as desired.
Firefly’s Pimiento Cheese Fritters
Makes 15 to 20 fritters
1 pound grated sharp cheddar, such as Cabot
1 cup mayonnaise—Duke’s works best!
1 cup small-dice pimiento peppers
¼ cup sliced scallions, greens and whites
¼ teaspoon cayenne
¼ teaspoon Tabasco
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper
1 to 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ cup untoasted brioche bread crumbs, or regular store-bought bread crumbs
2 egg yolks
2⁄3 cup Wondra flour
2⁄3 cup panko bread crumbs
1) Working in small batches, place the breadcrumbs in a food processor with cheddar, mayonnaise, peppers, scallions, cayenne, Tabasco, and garlic powder, and process at medium speed.
2) Season with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce to taste.
3) Using a small ice cream scoop, portion out small ball-shaped fritters. Place them on a baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour. If making ahead, defrost overnight in fridge before battering and frying.
4) Once the fritters are firm, dip them in Wondra flour first, then egg yolks, and finally panko bread crumbs.
5) Fry at 350 degrees, until golden brown and hot inside. Season with sea salt to taste.