It's possible for you to be served plain, steamed vegetables on the side in New Orleans, but it's unlikely. As elegant as that might be, we have a way of zipping up vegetables, even if it's just napping them with a cayenne-laced Hollandaise. Here are a few tasty vegetable preparations, suitable for entrees or sides, as well as a few of my other favorite side dishes. Try one of the dressings below as a stuffing for a chicken or holiday turkey. If you like sweet potatoes and/or yams, we've got recipes from simple to fancy to super-fancy, and all great.
Note to certain nameless pains-in-the-butt who wrote to me saying things like "Shrimp is not a vegetable!" -- hello! These are side dishes and dishes in which vegetables are the primary ingredient. The dishes in this first section are NOT strict vegetarian or vegan dishes! I never claimed they were, either -- New Orleans is not a vegetarian community, as you can probably tell. There's a section below this one where I've been accumulating strictly vegetarian versions of Creole dishes, so vegetarians -- chow down on those to your heart's delight.
Oh, and it goes without saying that this is your one-stop shop for fantastic Creole side dishes for your Thanksgiving and Christmas meals!
- Aunt Faye's Baked Beans, which we now call Pork 'n Pork 'n Pork 'n Beans
- Baked Pumpkin Lafourche, from Madewood Plantation [outside link]
- Beer-Grilled Corn with Spicy Compound Butter
- Black-Eyed Peas
- Cornbread, Andouille and Celery Root Dressing.
- Dirty rice: Aunt Nettie's recipe
- Creole Eggplant dishes from Delmonico's, Galatoire's and the Bon Ton Cafe
- Garlic and Chive Mashed Potatoes
- Greenbean and Artichoke casserole
- Grilled Creole Mirliton Ratatouille
- Linguine with Tomato-Parmesan Cream Sauce
- Maquechoux: a delicious Cajun corn dish learned from Louisiana's Native Americans
- Okra and Tomatoes
- Oyster Dressing
- Shrimp and Andouille Dressing
- My mom's Shrimp Dressing
- Smothered Cabbage (It's smothered in bacon fact. Have I got your attention yet?)
- Greg Beron's MawMaw's Stuffed Mirlitons
- Mamie's Sweet Potato Crunch, from Mrs. Mamie H. Phillips of Opelousas
- Baked Spiced Sweet Potatoes with Pear in a Bourbon Cane Syrup Glaze, my signature holiday dish.
- Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Pecans
- Truffled Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Due to increasing requests from both Gumbo Pages readers and vegetarian friends of mine, here are some recipes I've been playing with for Creole or Creole-style dishes adapted to a strictly vegetarian diet. New! And growing!
- Gumbo Z'Herbes, or green gumbo: A marvelous meatless gumbo containing many different fresh greens and herbs
- Creole-Style Vegetarian Jambalaya
- Mike's Fiddlehead Gumbo, an all-vegetarian gumbo featuring the artichoke-asparagus flavored fern (if you can find it!)
- Red Beans and Rice: New Orleans' quintessential dish can be made completely vegetarian, and it's still great.
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Chuck Taggart (e-mail chuck)