Life has changed pretty drastically over the last few weeks, especially here in NOLA. As we adjust to quarantining and social distancing, you might be feeling a little bored…but now is an excellent time to pick up a new skill! Whether you’re a seasoned chef or just starting out, we have a few classic New Orleans dishes that will bring the taste of Bourbon Street into your kitchen.
The Best New Orleans Dishes to Cook During Quarantine
Let’s face it—the Big Easy has some of the best food in the country. And if you can’t order takeout, here are a few dishes you can try to make yourself!
Gumbo is an iconic NOLA favorite—and it’s actually easy to make! This hearty stew usually incorporates a strongly-flavored stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener (known as a roux), and a secret staple of New Orleans cuisine. Most local recipes, including gumbo, call for the “Holy Trinity” of vegetables: celery, bell peppers, and onions.
There are plenty of variations on gumbo, so feel free to get creative! Cajun gumbo often features a dark roux with shellfish, while Creole varieties have sausage, tomatoes, and filé (sassafras leaves). For inspiration, check out this recipe from local legend Emeril Lagasse!
The po’boy is a simple sandwich that’s perfect for lunch, dinner, or just a snack. A typical po’boy consists of a meat (fried seafood or roast beef are popular) and a variety of garnishes on French bread, so you can really incorporate whatever you have on hand.
Typically, a “dressed” po’boy comes with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayonnaise. However, seafood-based po’boys are often served with just melted butter and sliced pickle rounds. If your mouth is already watering, this recipe from restauranteur Benjamin Wicks might just do the trick!
The muffuletta is a unique sandwich with a quintessential New Orleans flair…and it’s not hard to make one at home. Created by Italian immigrants, this dish comes with a variety of meats and cheeses piled high onto Sicilian sesame bread. However, the real secret lies in the olive salad dressing—it gives this sandwich the kind of flavor you won’t find anywhere else.
There are plenty of variations on muffuletta that you can try, and it’s also a fantastic make-ahead dish. In fact, many local chefs suggest letting your muffuletta marinate in the fridge for a few hours so all the flavors can melt together. Not sure where to start? This recipe can give you a few pointers!
If you live in New Orleans, you’ve probably already sampled Café du Monde’s out-of-this-world beignets. Fortunately, they ARE available for takeout…but you can also try your hand at making your own.
For those that don’t know, beignets are a deep-fried choux pastry topped with powdered sugar. Be sure to eat your beignets fresh and hot…and if you’re going for an authentic experience, enjoy them with a side of café au lait! Here’s a recipe that can get you started.
Ready to Discover More New Orleans Dishes?
New Orleans is a fabulous place to call home, and we’d love to show you around the area once things return to normal. For all of your home buying or selling needs, just contact the Nugent Freeland Team! We have all the resources you need to simplify your move to the Big Easy.