Mardi Gras - New Orleans Cuisine

This week, we have a few recipes for your Mardi Gras celebration, or anytime you are craving New Orleans cuisine. Hope you enjoy.

Let us know if there is something you would like us to put in our column, or if you have a recipe to share, please submit to

Crispy Andouille Hush Puppies


Hands-On: 20 mins

Total: 35 mins

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings


Vegetable oil (for frying)

1 c. self-rising white cornmeal

3/4 c. diced andouille sausage

3/4 c. self-rising flour

1 c. finely chopped sweet onion

2/3 lg. egg, lightly beaten

1/3 c. lager beer

1/3 c. buttermilk


Pour oil to a depth of 3 inches into a Dutch oven; heat to 375°. Stir together cornmeal and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Add egg, beer, and buttermilk; stir just until moistened. Let stand 10 minutes.

Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, drop batter into hot oil, and fry, in batches, 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on a wire rack over paper towels. Keep warm in a 200° oven.


Mini Crab Cakes with Cajun Sauce


Active: 35 mins

Total: 1 hr 5 mins

Yield: 24 mini crab cakes


1/2 c. unsalted butter, divided

1 lb. fresh lump crabmeat, drained & picked over

1 lg. egg, lightly beaten

3 T. chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish

1/2 tsp. lemon zest, plus 1-1/2 T. fresh juice (from 1 lemon), divided

1-1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs, divided

2 tsp. kosher salt, divided

3/4 tsp. black pepper, divided

1/2 c. mayonnaise

2 tsp. Mexican-style hot sauce

1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning

1/4 c. olive oil, divided

24 lg. gem lettuce leaves (from 4 heads)

Lemon wedges 


Place 4 tablespoons of the butter in a small microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH until melted, about 30 seconds. Gently stir together melted butter, crabmeat, egg, chives, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, 3/4 cup of the panko, 1-1/2 teaspoons of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper in a medium bowl. Shape into 24 (1-1/2-inch) cakes. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup panko on a large plate. Transfer cakes, in batches, to plate; dredge both sides in panko, pressing to adhere. Place cakes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover; chill 15 minutes or up to 8 hours.

Stir together mayonnaise, hot sauce, Cajun seasoning, and remaining 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl; set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons each of the butter and oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add 12 cakes; cook until golden brown and heated through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer cakes to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm. Wipe skillet clean. Repeat with remaining 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons oil, and 12 cakes.

Place each crab cake on a lettuce leaf. Top each with about 1 teaspoon of the sauce. Garnish with chives and lemon wedges. Serve immediately.


Chicken-Andouille Gumbo with Roasted Potatoes


Hands-On: 45 mins

Total: 3 hrs 10 mins

Yield: Makes 10 cups


1 lb. andouille sausage, cut into 1/4” thick slices

1/2 c. peanut oil

3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 lg. onion, coarsely chopped

1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped

1 c. thinly sliced celery

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp. Cajun seasoning

1/8 tsp. ground red pepper (opt.)

1 (48-oz.) container chicken broth

2 lbs. skinned & boned chicken breasts

Roasted Potatoes

Toppings: chopped fresh parsley, cooked and crumbled bacon, hot sauce


Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often, 7 minutes or until browned. Remove sausage; drain and pat dry with paper towels.

Heat oil in a stainless-steel Dutch oven over medium heat; gradually whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 18 to 20 minutes or until flour is caramel-colored. (Do not burn mixture.) Reduce heat to low, and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is milk chocolate-colored and texture is smooth (about 2 minutes).

Increase heat to medium. Stir in onion, next 4 ingredients, and, if desired, ground red pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Gradually stir in chicken broth; add chicken and sausage. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 40 minutes or until chicken is done. Shred chicken into large pieces using 2 forks.

Place Roasted Potatoes in serving bowls. Spoon gumbo over potatoes. Serve immediately with desired toppings.




Hands-On: 30 mins

Total: 1 hr

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings


1 lb. andouille sausage, sliced

2 T. canola oil

2 c. diced sweet onion

1 c. diced celery

1 lg. red bell pepper, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 bay leaf

2 tsp. Creole seasoning

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. dried oregano

2 (10-oz.) cans diced tomatoes & green chiles, drained

3 c. chicken broth

2 c. uncooked long-grain rice

2 c. shredded cooked chicken

1 lb. peeled, medium-size raw shrimp, deveined

1/2 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Garnish: chopped green onions  


Cook sausage in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until browned. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon.

Add diced onion and next 7 ingredients to hot drippings; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in tomatoes, next 3 ingredients, and sausage. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or until rice is tender.

Stir in shrimp; cover and cook 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Stir in parsley. Serve immediately.

To Freeze: Prepare recipe as directed. Line bottom and sides of a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with heavy-duty aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; fill with jambalaya. Cover and freeze. To serve, remove foil, return casserole to original baking dish; cover and thaw in refrigerator 24 hours. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake at 350° until thoroughly heated.


Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice


Active: 20 mins

Total: 1 hr 55 mins

Yield: Serves 8

(serving size: 1/2 cup rice,

1 cup red beans mixture)


1 T. olive oil

1 meaty, smoked ham hock

1-1/2 T. chopped garlic (from 4 med. garlic cloves)

2 c. chopped yellow onion (from 1 lg. onion)

1-1/2 c. chopped green bell pepper (from 1 lg. bell pepper)

1 c. chopped celery (from 2 lg. stalks)

1/4 c. chopped jalapeño chiles (from 2 med.-size chiles)

2 tsp. Cajun seasoning

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1 lb. dried red kidney beans, sorted & rinsed

2 (4-in.) fresh thyme sprigs

2 dried bay leaves

4 c. chicken broth

1 tsp. kosher salt, divided

4 c. water

2 c. uncooked long-grain white rice

2 lg. scallions, thinly sliced

Hot sauce (optional)


Select SAUTÉ setting on a programmable pressure multicooker (such as Instant Pot). (Times, instructions, and settings may vary according to cooker brand or model.) Select HIGH temperature setting, add oil to cooker, and allow to preheat until oil is shimmering, 5 to 6 minutes. Add ham hock, and cook, turning often, until browned lightly on all sides, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, onion, bell pepper, celery, jalapeños, Cajun seasoning, and paprika;  stir to combine. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add beans, thyme, bay leaves, chicken broth, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt; stir to combine.

Press CANCEL on multicooker. Cover cooker with lid, and lock in place. Turn steam release handle to SEALING position. Select MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK setting. Select HIGH pressure for 75 minutes. (It will take 10 to 15 minutes for cooker to come up to pressure before cooking begins.)

Meanwhile (about 40 minutes before ready to serve), combine water, rice, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan over high. Bring mixture to a boil; cover with lid, and reduce heat to low. Cook 15 minutes, without removing the lid. Remove from heat, and let stand, covered, 20 minutes, undisturbed.

When multicooker has finished, carefully turn steam release handle on multicooker to VENTING position, and let steam fully escape (float valve will drop). (This will take 3 to 4 minutes.) Remove lid from cooker, and stir. Remove ham hock, and let stand until cool enough to handle. Remove and discard thyme and bay leaves. Remove all meat from ham hock, discarding bone and fat; chop meat. Add meat to bean mixture, and stir to combine. Serve immediately with rice, and top servings with scallions. Serve with hot sauce, if desired.


Southern Shrimp and Grits


Prep Time: 15 min.

Cook Time: 20 min.

YIELD: 4 servings


2 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 c. 2% milk

1/3 c. butter, cubed

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

3/4 c. uncooked old-fashioned grits

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese



8 thick-sliced bacon strips, chopped

1 lb. uncooked med. shrimp, peeled & deveined

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. Cajun or blackened seasoning

4 green onions, chopped


In a large saucepan, bring the broth, milk, butter, salt and pepper to a boil. Slowly stir in grits. Reduce heat. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in cheese until melted. Set aside and keep warm.

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels with a slotted spoon; drain, reserving 4 teaspoons drippings. Saute the shrimp, garlic and seasoning in drippings until shrimp turn pink. Stir in reserved bacon; heat through. Serve with grits and sprinkle with onions.


Creole Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce


Hands-On: 20 mins

Total: 1 hr 15 mins

Yield: Makes 10 to 12 servings


2 (12-oz.) cans evaporated milk

6 lg. eggs, lightly beaten

1 (16-oz.) day-old French bread loaf, cubed

1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained

1 lg. Red Delicious apple, unpeeled & grated

1-1/2 c. sugar

1 c. raisins

5 T. vanilla extract

1/4 c. butter, cut into 1/2” cubes & softened

Bourbon Sauce (Recipe follows)


Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk together evaporated milk, eggs, and 1 cup water in a large bowl until well blended. Add bread cubes, stirring to coat thoroughly. Stir in pineapple and next 4 ingredients. Stir in butter, blending well. Pour into a greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

Bake at 350° for 35 to 45 minutes or until set and crust is golden. Remove from oven, and let stand 2 minutes. Serve with Bourbon Sauce. 


Bourbon Sauce


Hands-On: 18 mins

Total: 18 mins

Yield: Makes 1-1/2 cups


3 T. butter

1 T. all-purpose flour

1 c. whipping cream

1/2 c. sugar

2 T. bourbon

1 T. vanilla extract

1 tsp. ground nutmeg


Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat; whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes. Stir in cream and sugar; cook, whisking constantly, 3 minutes or until thickened. Stir in bourbon, vanilla, and nutmeg; cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.


Quote of the Week:

“Love does not dominate; it cultivates.”

~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe



The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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