- Southern-Style Deviled Eggs
- Spiced Pecans
- A Selection of Crackers
- Crab Maison
- Classic Oysters Rockefeller
- Barbecue Shrimp
- Grand Royale
- Brandy Crusta
- Gin Fizz
Prepare the cocktails in large batches and serve them from pitchers so you don't have to play bartender mixing individual drinks all night.
For authentic New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp, make sure to use fresh, head-on shrimp.
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Anna Stockwell RECIPE: Crab Maison
A popular appetizer at Galatoire's restaurant in New Orleans, this light and satisfying salad is a great lunch on Mardi Gras with crusty French bread.
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp. high quality olive oil
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. Creole or Dijon mustard
1 tsp. small capers, rinsed, drained, and finely chopped
½ tsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ tsp. kosher salt
⅛ tsp. freshly ground white pepper
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 lb. jumbo lump crab meat
12 large leaves butter lettuce
4 slices tomato, halved
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1. Whisk together mayonnaise, oil, vinegar, mustard, capers, parsley, salt, pepper, and scallions; add crab meat and fold gently to combine. Place 3 leaves lettuce each on 4 salad plates. Divide crab mixture evenly among plates and garnish with two half slices tomato.
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Todd Coleman RECIPE: Classic Oyster's Rockefeller
Oysters Rockefeller were created in New Orleans, at the legendary Antoine's. The restaurant refuses to give a recipe, but we do know that neither bacon nor spinach is involved. Instead, the oysters are topped with a roux full of herbs and vegetables, then combined with bread crumbs and broiled until the bivalves are tender and a delicate crust forms.
Rock salt, as needed
12 bluepoint oysters, chilled
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 tbsp. flour
¼ tsp. cayenne
6 scallions, minced
2 ribs celery, minced
2 sprigs tarragon, stemmed and minced
1 bunch parsley, stemmed and minced, plus sprigs to garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
3 tbsp. fresh bread crumbs
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1. Fill 2 ovenproof baking dishes halfway with rock salt. Shuck oysters over a bowl to catch their liquor (you should have about ½ cup), discarding flat top shells. Loosen oysters from bottom shells with a knife. Nestle 6 shucked oysters in their shells into each bed of rock salt; chill.
2. Melt butter in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; cook until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add oyster liquor; cook until thickened to a paste, about 2 minutes. Stir in cayenne, scallions, celery, tarragon, parsley, and salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until soft, about 1 hour. Transfer to a food processor, add bread crumbs, and process into a smooth paste, about 2 minutes.
3. Heat broiler to high. Place paste in a pastry bag fitted with a ½" fluted tip. Pipe paste completely over oysters. Broil until paste begins to brown and oysters are just cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Garnish each dish with parsley sprigs, if you like.
Penny De Los Santos RECIPE: Gin Fizz
A mix of orange flower water and gin gives this New Orleans cocktail a floral character and a hint of juniper.
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. superfine sugar
1 ½ oz. gin
1 oz. heavy cream
¼ tsp. orange flower water
1 egg white
1 oz. cold selzer
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1. Combine lime juice, lemon juice, and sugar in a cocktail shaker and stir to dissolve. Add gin, heavy cream, orange flower water, and egg white. Cover and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
2. Add 2 cups cracked ice, cover, and shake vigorously for about 45 seconds more. Strain into a chilled rocks or highball glass and add seltzer.
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