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With New Orleans again serving as host to the Super Bowl festivities this year, it's the perfect opportunity to think Cajun for party planning. Go beyond boring bean dip and Buffalo wings and try these Louisiana-inspired recipes from Bayou Jack's Cajun Grill, which provided easy-to-follow variations of some of its most popular dishes. Throw a few colorful beads around the spread, and you'll be set to laissez les bon temps rouler!
1 stick butter
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3-10 garlic cloves (your preference), chopped
1 pound crawfish tails, boiled and peeled (may substitute peeled shrimp, lump crabmeat or oysters, drained and quartered)
1 pint half-and-half
1-2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
1 pound cooked pasta, drained and rinsed (fresh pasta is best; shape is based on your preference)
Finely chopped parsley for garnish
1. Melt butter in a large pot. Sauté onions and garlic for 3 minutes.
2. Add the seafood and sauté for 2 minutes more.
3. Add the half-and-half then several big pinches of Creole seasoning to taste.
4. Cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the sauce thickens. Let it sit for 10 minutes over very low heat, stirring often.
5. Toss with pasta, garnish with parsley and serve immediately. (Chef's note: Add a cup of grated parmesan to thicken sauce even more.)
1 pound yellow Velveeta cheese, sliced into 1-inch cubes
1 (10-ounce) can Rotel
2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces frozen crawfish tails
1 tomato, diced
1 small bunch green onions, finely chopped
1. Melt Velveeta cubes over medium heat in a large pot.
2. Add Rotel with its juices.
3. In separate pan, melt butter and sauté crawfish for approximately 2 minutes.
4. Pour queso mixture into large bowl and top with sautéed crawfish, tomatoes and green onions.
1/2 cup buttermilk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (16-ounce) jar dill pickle slices, drained
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups fine cornmeal
1 teaspoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
1/4 teaspoon Creole seasoning, plus 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 quart oil for frying
12 ounces buttermilk ranch dressing
1. In a shallow dish, combine buttermilk, salt and pepper. Place pickles in mixture and set aside.
2. In large, resealable plastic bag, combine flour, cornmeal, seafood seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon Creole seasoning and cayenne pepper. Shake to mix well. Add pickles, a few at a time, and tumble gently to coat evenly. Remove and place on a plate covered with wax or parchment paper.
3. Heat oil to 365 degrees in deep-fryer or heavy deep skillet.
4. Fry pickles in several batches until golden brown and slightly crisp on the outside with a moist interior, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
5. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk ranch dressing with remaining Creole seasoning. Serve as a dipping sauce for warm pickles.
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