A Special Holiday Buffet

I thought it would be fun to share some appetizers that are traditional in New Orleans.  These dishes would be a great addition to your holiday parties.  They are simple, tasty and perfect for the next round of festivities.  The roast tenderloin and baby new potatoes are personal favorites that will go with the Creole dishes perfectly!  Don’t forget your favorite cocktails, wine and a big bottle of  bubbly!

Pickled Shrimp*

Spicy Pecans*

Baby New Potatoes with Creme Fraiche, Caviar and Fresh Chives

Roast Tenderloin with Horseradish Sauce

Chilled Crab Legs with Ravigote Sauce*

pickled shrimp

Pickled Shrimp*

Deliciously piquant, these shrimp make the perfect hostess gift when presented in a mason jar, a great appetizer of try tossing them in a crisp green salad.

1 medium red onion, in small dice

1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced ( included green ends)

1 cup chopped fresh parsley (flat leaf)

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste

6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1/4 cup Creole mustard or other coarse mustard

2 tablespoons sugar

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

3/4 cup cane, malt or cider vinegar

1 1/4 cups extra virgin-olive oil

2 bay leaves

3 pounds medium to large shrimp, boiled (peeled, deveined, tails on)

Combine the red onion, green onion, parlsey, crushed red pepper, garlic, mustard, and sugar in a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper.  Add the vinegar, and whisk in the oil in a slow, steady stream until the marinade emulsifies.  Add the bay leaves and adjust the salt and pepper.  Add shrimp and stir.  Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally.  This will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

spicy pecans

Spicy Pecans*

These are great to keep on hand throughout the holidays!  I KNOW you can’t eat just one!

4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)

1/4 cup honey

 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1/2 pound pecan halved

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the honey, salt, and cayenne pepper, bring the mixture to a boil, and cook for 1 minute, stirring.  Remove from the heat, and add the pecans to the honey mixture.  Stir to mix well.  Spread the coasted pecans on a sheet pan, and bake in the pre heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, possibly more often toward the end.  Serve when cooled, first separating any pecans that stick together.  Store in an airtight container.

caviar potato6_thumb[16]

Baby New Potatoes with Creme Fraiche, Caviar and Fresh Chives

2 pounds small new potatoes, halved and steamed until just tender

1 cup sour cream

1 cup heavy cream

1 small jar caviar

1 bunch chives, finely chopped

Coarse sea salt

Take the cooked potatoes and scoop the middle out with a small melon baller.  Mix the heavy cream and sour cream to make creme fraiche.  Place a spoon full of this mixture into each cavity of the potato halves.  Place 1/4 teaspoon of caviar (your choice of quality and type) on the creme fraiche and sprinkle with chopped chives.  Sprinkle the finished, stuffed potato halves with coarse sea salt and serve on a platter.


Roast Tenderloin with Horseradish Sauce

1 3-4 pound beef tenderloin

6 cloves garlic, peeled and halved

Coarse Sea Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons good olive

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Cut small slits along the length of the tenderloin and insert half of a garlic clove.  Rub the entire tenderloin with olive oil, then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.  Place the tenderloin in a long metal baking pan and sear on all sides until browned.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and roast the tenderloin for about 45 minutes, for medium rare, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center reaches your desired doneness.  Slice 1/2 inch thick slices and place on a serving platter.

Horseradish Sauce:

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons good horseradis

2 tablespoons heavy cream

Mix all ingredients and serve in a small crystal bowl on the meat platter.


Chilled Crab Legs with Ravigote Sauce*

This is one of my all times favorites.  Commander’s Palace is famous for their Ravigote Sauce.  Chef Jaime shares this and the other recipes I’ve included in this post that have an asterisk (*) by them.  This is simple and so delicious!

5 pounds snow crab legs

Crab boil seasoning (I use Zatarain’s)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the crab boil seasoning and then the crab legs.  Boil, covered for about 15 minutes.  Remove the legs and chill until ready to serve.

Ravigote Sauce

1 cup Creole Mayonnaise (recipe below)

1/2 cup Creole mustard or coarse-ground German mustard

1 tablespoons capers, drained and coarsely chopped

1 medium egg, hard-cooked and diced small

1 1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 green onions, thinly sliced

In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, capers, egg, and horseradish.  Season with salt and pepper.  Fold in the green onions.  Cover and refrigerate.  It will keep for a few weeks.

Creole Mayonnaise

1 medium egg

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 medium white onion, diced

2 1/4 cups vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Kosher salt to taste

Place the egg, lemon juice, and onion into the bowl of a food processor and puree.  With the motor running, slowly add half the oil.  Then add the hot sauce, pepper, and salt.  Stop the motor, scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and, with the motor running again, slowly add the remaining oil.  Taste and adjust salt.  Store, covered, in the refrigerator for a week.

One Response

  1. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Says:

    Where would I start?? Everything looks so good. I could make a whole meal just out of appetizers – in fact I think that’s what we’re doing Christmas eve. Thank you for delicious recipes.

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