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Best New Orleans Seafood: Serve it at Home

Are you craving the best New Orleans seafood? My husband and I love seafood. While we get our fish from Alaska and not the Gulf of Mexico, these recipes are modeled after Cajun seafood in New Orleans. “What is New Orleans seafood?” you ask. According to wikipedia, Cajun style cooking means cooking with local ingredients, based on what you have on hand. Therefore, Orleans seafood dishes often include green bell peppers, onion, celery, parsley, and cayenne pepper. However, when I decide to make the best New Orleans seafood, I use what I have on hand, which means that I sometimes substitute ingredients based on what I have in my refrigerator and my family’s tastes. These Cajun flavors have influenced southern soul food as well as many other cuisines.

New Orleans Seafood Appetizer: Oysters with Parmesan

best new orleans seafood: oysters parmesan in a glass baking pan

Ingredients for New Orleans seafood appetizer

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp horseradish
  • 2 dozen oysters, shucked and cleaned.
  • 1/4 cup crushed whole grain cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

For convenience, I keep a lot of canned seafood on hand for when I can’t get fresh. While fresh is always better, canned is ok when added to recipes where it will be less than 50% of the ingredients. I used 2 small cans of oysters for this recipe.

Directions for oysters parmesan

  1. Melt the butter in a pan and add the flour, whisking to create a roux.
  2. Once the roux has cooked about 2 minutes, add the onions. Cook on medium low heat until the onions are soft, and add the garlic.
  3. After that, stir in the milk, bring to a boil, and reduce heat. Continue cooking until sauce is thickened.
  4. When sauce has thickened, remove from the heat and mix in horseradish, and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix olive oil, cracker crumbs, parmesan, and red pepper.
  6. Place oysters in a baking dish and pour sauce evenly on top. Then sprinkle with crumb mixture.
  7. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes at 450 F, or until top is golden brown.

Notes: Most recipes will have you add the garlic at the same time as the onions. I usually add it afterwards, not only with Orleans’ seafood, but with all my recipes. If you aren’t careful with garlic, it can burn easily, leaving a bitter taste. It is better to have it slightly undercooked than overcooked. In addition, I never keep breadcrumbs on hand. Instead, I crush whatever leftover chip or cracker crumbs I have left in my pantry. It is a great way to use those crumbs in the bottom of the bag while imparting extra flavor to recipes.

Best New Orleans Seafood: Halibut with Crab Butter

best new orleans seafood: halibut with crab butter and tomatoes

Ingredients for fresh seafood with crab

  • 1 lb. white fish fillets, such as halibut, cut into several portions
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 10 oz. cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 crushed cloves of garlic
  • 2 chopped green onions
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped
  • fresh lemon juice from a whole lemon
  • 1/2 lb. crab meat ( or 1 can of crab meat)

Note: Jalapenos can sometimes be very hot, but at others be more mild. I buy jalapenos almost every week because my husband and I like spicy food. However, from week to week we don’t know what we are going to get. Of course, adjust the amount of jalapeno based on the intensity of the ones you buy and according to how hot you like your food.

Above all, always grate your own Parmesan. In short, fresh tastes like a completely different cheese than that powdered pre-grated stuff. In addition, I usually use almond flour. It certainly has more flavor, is gluten free, and has additional health benefits.

Directions for Best New Orleans Seafood

  1. Mix Parmesan and flour together. Then dredge fish in mixture and fry in a pan with olive oil over medium high heat until golden brown on both sides.
  2. Once fish is browned transfer it to a separate plate and keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, add butter, tomatoes, garlic, onions, jalapeno, and lemon juice to the skillet. Lower heat, and then toss in the crab meat, season with salt and pepper, and cook until heated thoroughly.
  4. To serve this, pour crab butter over fish fillets.

Red beans and rice

What do you need to make red beans and rice?

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • large onion, chopped
  • 3 mini bell peppers sliced
  • 1 stalk of celery with leaves, chopped
  • 2 15 oz. cans of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • chopped green onions to garnish

How to make red beans and rice

  1. Cook onion, celery, and peppers in oil over medium heat, until onions are translucent.
  2. When veggies are cooked, add the beans, liquid smoke, and cayenne pepper. Then cook until beans are hot and start to get a bit mushy. If they are too dry, feel free to add a bit of water. Serve on top of rice and garnish with chopped green onions.

I have found on occasion that I don’t have ham or bacon on hand for flavoring. By adding the liquid smoke, you still get that smoky taste, but now it is a vegetarian meal.

How to Make New Orleans Seafood Gumbo?

What is New Orleans Seafood Gumbo? These are the ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 12 oz. white fish such as halibut, skinned, de-boned, and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 chopped stalks of celery with leaves
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 quarts fish stock
  • 12oz package of frozen okra
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 link smoked sausage sliced
  • 4 chopped green onions
  • 2 tsp Creole spice
  • 12 oz shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 1 tin smoked oysters
  • 1 can crab meat
  • 3 cups white rice to serve

How to cook New Orleans Seafood Gumbo

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
  1. Begin by making a roux by heating the oil over medium high heat in a large pot. Subsequently, whisk the flour into the hot oil, and reduce to medium heat. Continue stirring about 10 minutes. Once mixture is brown, add onions, and cook over medium low until onions are tender. (Fig.1)
  2. After that add the celery and cook for about 3 more minutes. Then add the stock, okra, garlic, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 45 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. (Fig. 2)
  3. Next, add sausage and green onions, cooking for another 10 minutes. (Fig. 3) After 10 minutes, add fish, shrimp, oysters, crab, Creole spices, and Tabasco. Cook for another 5 minutes until shrimp are pink and fish is cooked through.

What are good side dishes to serve with seafood gumbo? White rice, of course.

Grilled whitefish with herb butter

Ingredients

  • 2 whitefish fillets, skin on, such as rockfish
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried tarragon
  • 2 chopped green onions
  • 1 crushed clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • lemon wedges to serve

Directions

herb butter sauce for grilled best new orleans seafood
Figure 4
best new orleans seafood recipe for grilled fish with herb butter
Figure 5
  1. Make the herb butter sauce by melting the butter and adding lemon juice, cilantro, tarragon, green onions, minced garlic, and red pepper, until well mixed. Figure 4.
  2. Next, season the fillets with salt and pepper.
  3. Then place the fillets, skin side down on a grill heated on medium high heat. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. After that, place pats of herb butter in slits in the fish and continue cooking until butter melts. Another option is to brush the melted butter on top of the fish and pour extra butter on after cooking. Serve with lemon wedges.

Fried Fish with Spicy Mayo

This is certainly tasty and quick, making it a good weeknight meal. I use frozen Brussels sprouts to save of prep time. Likewise, the spicy mayo can be made ahead of time. Further, I like to make some extra to use for other meals.

Ingredients

ingredients for making fried New Orleans seafood
  • 2 lb. white fish fillets such as halibut, skinned
  • 1/4 cup brown mustard
  • tbsp Tabasco
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup mayo
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1 chopped jalapeno pepper
  • 2 tsp Cajun seasoning

Brussels Sprouts

  • 1 small bag frozen Brussels sprouts
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Directions

spicy mayo in a bowl to serve with New Orleans seafood
New Orlean Brussels sprouts in a bowl
New Orleans seafood recipe for fried fish fillets
  1. Mix mayo, lemon juice, vinegar, tbsp of mustard, green onions, jalapeno, and 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning together in a bowl, and set aside until ready to use.
  2. Cook Brussels sprouts according to package directions. Then drain and mix with garlic, balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, and olive oil.
  3. Mix cornmeal with 1 tsp Cajun seasoning in a shallow bowl. In another bowl, mix brown mustard and Tabasco.
  4. Cut fish into serving size pieces. Then dip first into mustard mixture, and then into cornmeal mixture. Fry in a pan in about 1/2 inch of hot cooking oil. Cook about 3 minutes on each side until browned. Consequently, make sure internal temperature reaches 145 F.
  5. Serve with spicy mayo and Brussels sprouts.

New Orleans Pasta

best new orleans seafood recipe for pasta with clam sauce

I completely made this recipe up, by taking my Italian clam recipe, and giving it a Cajun twist. Instead of diced tomatoes, I used a can of Rotel and adding Cajun seasoning. I also made homemade Fettuccine and added a teaspoon of Cajun seasoning to my pasta recipe.

Ingredients for Cajun seafood pasta

  • 2 6 oz. cans of diced clams with their juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 10.5 oz. can Rotel
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro to garnish
  • 8 oz. pasta

Directions for Cajun pasta

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, and add in the tomatoes and garlic.
  3. Continue cooking while breaking up the tomatoes for about 3 minutes. Then add the wine, clam juice, and Cajun seasoning, bringing the mixture to a boil. Continue boiling over medium until sauce reduces by half.
  4. Serve over drained pasta and garnish with cilantro.

Here are sponsored links for some of my kitchen tools. I constantly use my food processor and pasta maker. On nights when we want to have a lighter meal, I use my spiralizer to make zoodles.

New Orleans Seafood Boil

best new orleans seafood recipe for safood boil, okra, corn, and 4 types of seafood in a pot.

Ingredients for Cajun seafood boil

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 mini bell peppers sliced
  • 1 crushed clove of garlic
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 3 cups of seafood stock or chicken stock
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 lb white fish such as halibut
  • 4.3 oz. can crab meat
  • 6 oz. can diced clams
  • 8 oz. shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 2 large ears of corn cut in half
  • small bag frozen okra
  • 1 tsp fresh tarragon
  • green onions to garnish

How to make New Orleans seafood boil

  1. Make a roux by melting butter in a stew pot over medium heat. When butter is melted, stir in the flour, cooking for 2 minutes.
  2. After that, add the onions and peppers, and cook about 5 minutes until vegetables are soft.
  3. Once the veggies are soft, mix in tomatoes, stock, wine, Old Bay, okra and garlic. Then bring to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes to bring out the flavors.
  4. After that, add the fish, crab meat, and clams, continuing to cook over medium heat for five minutes.
  5. When the fish is cooked, add the shrimp and corn. Cook for another 2 minutes. Serve with Tabasco and top with green onions.

This seafood boil may be served over rice.

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Donna Emperador is a travel and food blogger and copywriter. Donna believes in learning about different cultures while sharing good food and cocktails. She has lived in South Florida for over 20 years and enjoys spending time exploring the road to find unique places to share with readers. She can be found on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

3 thoughts on “Best New Orleans Seafood: Serve it at Home”

  1. I was drooling as soon as I saw your cover image. We always chase seafood when we travel. And we sure found some great dishes in New Orleans when we visited. I will have to try making that seafood gumbo at home one day. And a seafood boil would be awesome if I could find fresh seafood in Toronto.

  2. They all look delicious! But my favorites are Oysters with Parmesan, New Orleans Pasta and Seafood Boil. I think I want to make NOLA Pasta for lunch.

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