While landmarks around the globe are turning (RED) to show support for World AIDS Day, here in the US, it’s also Dine America 2010, where restaurants across the nation have committed to serving Gulf seafood. Not everyone will have a chance to dine out tonight or be able to find Gulf seafood in their grocery store. In the spirit of support for my fellow citizens who support their own families by providing fresh Gulf seafood to consumers, I’d like to tell you about some of the delicious Louisiana seafood dishes I’ve enjoyed lately and how you can bring the flavor of my state, Louisiana, to your home.
EAT in New Orleans
Recently I was invited to sit in on a planning session for a global hospitality brand and then enjoy the culinary delights of the Crescent City. The group dined at EAT, a restaurant in the French Quarter that I had yet to experience. OMG! I was served the best fried catfish I’ve ever tasted in my life. It was served with a side of rice and butter beans that were TO DIE FOR. The butter beans were soupy with Louisiana Gulf Shrimp and I could have made a meal just off the butter beans and the rice.
BESH Steak at Harrah’s New Orleans
There is a secret menu item at BESH that isn’t really a secret anymore since I’ve blabbed about it everywhere and as one of my local three travel secrets. When I’m down in NOLA working, I sometime sit at the bar at BESH Steak and order the Risotto and a glass of white wine. The bartender treats me like a queen and sets the bar with a place setting for me before serving. The risotto has bits of gulf coast crabmeat with sweet bites of corn. It is such a comforting dish and something I’d request for my last meal.
Here in Baton Rouge, LA when I’m working at my full time job in the fire service, we like to order plate lunches from Tony’s Seafood. Tony’s has been a part of my entire life, as it is located directly across the street from where I went to elementary school. This isn’t a sit-down restaurant, but a fish market to get live and fresh seafood, frozen Louisiana seafood dishes, and hot plate lunches. Many visitors to Red Stick stop at Tony’s to bring Louisiana seafood back home with them on their flights. Tony’s is located near Baton Rouge Metro Airport and will package your seafood for the flight home or road trip. They also ship overnight through their website. We also like to get snack boxes of boudin balls in traditional boudin flavor, crawfish balls, and Louisiana seafood balls.
How can you bring Louisiana seafood into your kitchen?
Seafood Gumbo is a fabulous cold weather meal. You can use my Easy Gumbo recipe and change out the chicken and sausage for shrimp, crawfish, Louisiana gulf oysters, and crab claws. Also here’s my super-duper easy Louisiana crawfish or shrimp etouffee recipe:
- 1 lb Louisiana shrimp or crawfish (peeled and cleaned)
- 1 can Rotel or other can of tomatoes and green chilis
- 1 can Cream of Mushroom or Cream of Chicken Soup (I like the mushroom w/ garlic)
- Handful of chopped bell peppers and green onions
Sautee the crawfish or shrimp (or both) in butter and cook down the bell peppers and onions. Add the Rotel and Soup and let simmer on low for about 15 minutes. Serve over rice and add a salad and garlic bread for your meal. Kick things up a notch by adding strips of fried catfish on the rice before pouring the etouffee.
What are some of your favorite Louisiana seafood dishes?