Food for a Mardi Gras/New Orleans themed beach party

In a couple of weeks I’m going to a Mardi Gras/New Orleans themed beach party and I want to bring a dish. I know the host is already doing jambalaya, beignets, and something with shrimp.

I need some ideas on what to bring. I wanted to do something involving crawfish, but I can’t find any here in New York City. My oven is broke, so anything that needs to be baked or roasted is out. (Stove-top is fine.)


How about the ingredients for Hurricanes, a la Pat O’Briens.

Go to a costume/party supply store and buy bags of Mardi Gras beads and some masks, boas, etc.

Pick up some Cajun music CDs.

Sorry, that’s all I’ve got, for now.

Oh, one more…make shrimp (or any kind of) ettouffee’ (sp?), which is easily done stove-top. I don’t have a recipe off the top of my head, but I’m sure you could find some good ones.

Let the good times roll (I can’t remember how to say it in French!)

Try some [url=] muffalettas. Red beans and rice are also authentic New Orleans. Crawfish actually is Cajun - when I lived down there very little crawfish could be found in New Orleans.

Oysters Rockefeller (possibly too complicated) is another New Orleans dish.

You could buy a coffee cake and decorate it as a King Cake. Plastic baby optional.

I was going to recommend King Cake, as well.

Also, pralines.

My wife’s partner is from NO, I’ll ask her for some recommendations as well.

Gumbo? Dirty rice?

Laissez les bons temp rouler, cher! :smiley:

Crawfish season is pretty much over. That’s more of a spring thing.

If you’re wanting music that even we down here consider Mardi Gras must-haves, pick up something by The Funky, Funky Meters or better yet, Professer Longhair. He did the definitive Mardi Gras song. You know it’s carnival time when the radio is all *Mardi Gras Mambo *, all the time. :stuck_out_tongue:

Please don’t do Cajun music. Cajun is not the same as Creole/New Orleans. In fact New Orleans natives used to get quite insulted to be mistaken for Cajuns, and vice versa.

Correct. Little known fact: New Orleans isn’t in the area known as the Cajun triangle at all. Baton Rouge is though.

Great suggestion, as the OP is in NYC. All the meats and cheeses needed for a muffuletta are easily found in well-stocked delis … and if it’s an Italian deli, they should have the de rigeur olive salad for sale.


I’ve lived in the New Orleans metro area almost all my life … going on 4 decades now. Crawfish has always been plentiful.

If you want to take the easy way out and not cook, consider Barq’s root beer and/or Zapp’s potato chips, which can be ordered here

I especially recommend the Cajun Crawtator flavored chips. They are seasoned with crawfish boil.

Thanks for all the great responses! I saw something about King Cake last night when I was looking up recipes. I just wonder how I’ll get the plastic baby into a pre-made cake. Oh, and of course how many party stores I’ll be going to looking for a tiny plastic baby.

OK, and even if Cajun food and N.O. food are different, I still like the sound of Cajun Crawtator chips.

Please keep the suggestions rolling.

Maybe something with Tasso (Spicy Cajun smoked Ham)? It’s traditionally a cajun product, but it has been incorporated into NOLA Creole. Tasso is a bit of a specialty item, but I have seen it available in certain delis and supermarkets.

I like a one pot, slow meal for potluck siutuations, they seem to work best. It also seems like the party you will be attending is in need of some vegetable side dishes. So, I will reccomend Emeril’s Stewed Black-Eyed Peas with tasso and Mixed Greens with Turnips and Tasso.

Although Cajuns and their food can be found in the area; Justin Wilson, for example. Also my geometry teacher at Bonnabel had a Cajun accent. Laplace, self-proclaimed Andouille Capital of the World, is much closer to New Orleans than Baton Rouge.

I just wanted to make clear to the OP that if one is having a New Orleans theme for a party they should try to be true to the theme. If Cajuns get mixed in, while it will make the atmosphere a lot more fun, it won’t be truly New Orleans.

Both are wonderfully unique in their own right, so why perpetuate the confusion?

Sorry to be definsive, but that’s the Achee’ in me coming out. Like Justin Wilson, I am only one-half Cajun, but it’s the fun half. :stuck_out_tongue:

How about picking up a small doll at a dollar store? I bet you could find something usable with minimal effort. To put it in a pre-made cake, carefully turn the cake over, make a slice in the center, and squeeze the baby in. If you are able to minimize any cake breakage, it shouldn’t be too obvious that you cheated. Flip it back over, add some extra glaze and appropriate colored sprinkles and you have yourself a king cake!

Why yes, I have cheated at making desserts before. Why do you ask?

Fried pickles (dill pickles coated in corn meal) with ranch dressing for a dip.

Fried crawdad tails. (I’ll find a place that has them online- gotta be somewhere in NYC that sells “daddytails” :wink: ).

Red beans sauteed with onions and banana peppers.

If you’re not much of a

Sorry- premature posting- happens to all men sometimes.

If you’re not much of a cook (by which I mean no offense- some people just aren’t that experienced), Zatarains has lots of mixes that are pretty easy and usually yummy. (Fried pork chops or ham cut into chunks and mixed with their black beans and rice mix are New Orleansy and really good.)

Your vision of true New Orleans started disappearing when K-Paul’s opened. :slight_smile:

Another vote for muffalettas–something fairly easy to assemble & transport.

For music: Anything by Doctor John. (Although his Night Tripper stuff is a bit dark for a beach party.)

I love Cajun & Zydeco music–& the food that matches. Good excuse for another party!

I am from Louisiana and my wife and I went to Tulane. Actually, Tulane has produced a disproportionate number of prominent Dopers

I worked in high end catering while I was there. We served the best examples of all the dishes listed but I just thought of one in particular that was always a huge hit: bread pudding. There are different variations, the biggest one being whiskey sauce versus rum sauce but they are all great. Recipes are easy to search for just using “New Orleans bread pudding” in Google. Here is one example: New Orleans Bread Pudding. It is easy to make and hard to screw up as long as you use quality ingredients. A lot of the other dishes in this thread require a lot more skill to make.