Sense of Place: The Food and Cuisine of Louisiana

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A word of advice: If anyone from Louisiana offers to cook you dinner, just say yes. The food from this region will light your taste buds on fire - sometimes both figuratively and literally! For those of us who don't live there, at least we can live somewhat vicariously through the recipes. Take a look!Basics: "Holy Trinity": a blend of green bell peppers, onions, and celery. This mix is used as the foundation for many dishes much like the French mire poix. In fact, this is also sometimes referred to as the "Cajun Mire Poix." Brown Roux: Unlike a traditional roux which is cooked briefly before the liquid whisked in, brown roux is cooked slowly and carefully until it's a deep chocolate brown. Rather than a thickener, brown roux is more of a flavor base for many Louisiana dishes. Also, brown roux usually uses oil or lard instead of butter. Blackening: Coating meat with a blend of dry spices and then cooking it over very high heat.

Main:
Red Beans and Rice from the Food Network
Shrimp and Oyster Po' Boy from the Food Network
Creole Gumbo from WDSU.com
Vegetarian Gumbo from 101 Cookbooks
Muffaletta Sandwich from Gumbo Pages
Jambalaya from Simply Recipes
Spicy Blackened Catfish from Epicurious
Crawfish Etouffee from Out of the Frying Pan
Crawfish Boil from Chow.com

Sweets:
New Orlean's Style Beignet from Nola Cuisine
Creole Cream Cheese Ice Cream from Nola Cuisine
Bananas Foster from Brennan's
Pecan Pralines from Cook's Recipes

Drinks:
Sazerac Cocktail
Ramos Gin Fizz
Cafe Brulot from Epicurious

What other favorite recipes should go on this list?!

Related: Sense of Place: Southern Food and Cuisine

(Images: Flickr members Noonch and Andrew Huff licensed under Creative Commons, and Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)

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