SUPER BOWL XLVII
Celebrate the Ravens with a Big Easy-influenced Super Bowl party
Baltimore chefs with New Orleans' roots share gameday-ready recipes
Mini-muffaletta sandwiches, one of the suggestions for Super Bowl party food from Thomas Dunklin, Executive Chef of B&O American Brasserie. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun / January 24, 2013)
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At 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 3, when the Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, much of Baltimore will be watching, either from their stadium seats in New Orleans or here at home.
Ravens fans not lucky enough to have tickets to the big game still have plenty of reason to celebrate at home in Baltimore, and they can do so in N'awlins style. According to local chefs with Louisiana roots, the Big Easy's cuisine is tailor-made for parties.
"New Orleans food is for gatherings," says Thomas Dunklin, the New Orleans-born and raised executive chef at B&O American Brasserie. "It's family driven."
So it's no surprise that many traditional New Orleans dishes — like crawfish boils, dirty rice, and yes, even gumbo — are easy to make for a crowd.
Chef Shawn Lagergren, who draws on his Louisiana childhood when creating the menu at Tooloulou in Hamilton, says, "Southern cooking is rooted in family and traditions. Cooking in Louisiana is a way of life — it's comforting and full of emotion."
Fitting for a football game that, no matter what the final score, will certainly evoke an emotional response from Baltimore fans.
In New Orleans, "emotion" goes hand in hand with spice. "When you're talking about New Orleans food, you're talking about northern Caribbean food. That's where you get your hot, your spice, your seasoning," says Chef Ed Bloom, a Baltimore native who studied in New Orleans for 10 years — including a stint under Chef Paul Prudhomme — before returning to open Ethel & Ramones in Mt. Washington.
Dunklin agrees. "New Orleans has really bold flavors, due to the cultures that inhabited the city over the years."
Dunklin recommends kicking off Super Bowl parties with a variety of bite-sized foods, including mini muffuletta sandwiches, grilled oysters with spicy jalapeno-lime butter, deviled eggs topped with ham hock, pimento cheese and chow chow, and smoky jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese and bacon-wrapped garlic sausage.
Dunklin also suggests serving up a Super Bowl seafood boil — similar to a Maryland crab feast, but with different seasonings and a wider array of seafood. Bloom agrees that a seafood feast is a good choice, with the addition of his "three red" sauce. Lagergren notes that other great party foods are big batches of dirty rice and gumbo.
"Every Cajun family has a gumbo recipe," says Lagergren. "Each family takes pride in making their gumbo a little different, giving it something that sets it apart."
Marylanders have opportunities to combine traditional Baltimore foods with New Orleans-inspired flavors. "With all the seafood, New Orleans and Baltimore use similar ingredients," explains Dunklin.
At Ethel & Ramone's, Bloom makes a crab cake using remoulade — the mayonnaise-style condiment spiked with Cajun seasoning — in place of a mayonnaise or mustard binder. He admits that in New Orleans, chefs prefer Cajun and Creole seasonings to Baltimore favorite Old Bay (though as a Baltimore native, his own spice allegiance never wavered).
Most chefs say they make their own Louisiana-style seasoning, using spices like cayenne, onion powder and garlic powder. But Bloom also recommends Chef Paul Prudhomme's Magic Seasoning Blends and Maryland's own McCormick Cajun Seasoning. Dunklin likes Emeril's seasonings and Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning.
To wash down all those spices, try a Sazerac, the boozy rye, bitters and absinthe concoction that is the official cocktail of New Orleans.
"The key ingredient in a Sazerac, Peychaud's bitters, was created by a Haitian immigrant named Antoine Peychaud out of his apothecary on Royal Street in 1838," explains Doug Atwell, head mixologist at RYE in Fells Point.
For dessert, Dunklin recommends a king cake, the brioche-like wreath of a cake traditionally associated with Mardi Gras. "It's not hard to make," he promises. "In New Orleans, starting January 6th, every Friday we have a king cake."
A small plastic baby is baked into the cake. Finding the baby is associated with luck and, according to Dunklin, "Whoever gets the baby has to bake the cake the next Friday."
The top of the king cake is dusted in colored sugar — usually green, yellow and purple, the colors of Mardi Gras.
But in Baltimore, nobody will complain if you skip the green and yellow sugars.
On Sunday, it's purple all the way.
Recipe from B&O American Brasserie
These petite sandwiches are hearty and full of flavor.
1 pound ham, sliced
1 pound genoa salami, sliced
1pound mortadella, sliced
1 pound capicola, sliced
1 pound Swiss cheese, sliced
1 pound. provolone, sliced
2 cups olive salad (see recipe)
1 sheet pan loaf focaccia (or 30 or so slider buns)
Slice focaccia in half to open the bread up. Place slices of ham, salami, mortadella, capicola, Swiss cheese and provolone cheese on half of the bread loaf. Top with olive salad. Place top half of bread loaf on top.
Cut the loaf into 1 ½ inch by 1 ½ inch squares. If using slider rolls, there is no need for slicing.
1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 cup pichioline olives, chopped (or any green olive)
1/4 cup celery, chopped fine
1/4 cup carrot, chopped fine
1/4 cup cauliflower, chopped fine
1 Tablespoon oregano, chopped
1 Tablespoon garlic
1 Tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
11/4 cup olive oil
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Let sit for 24 hours.
Recipe from Tooloulou
At Tooloulou, Chef Shawn Lagergren recreates the family recipes he grew up with in Louisiana — and he's keeping a few secrets to himself. "The gumbo done at Tooloulou boasts a family secret that makes it a little different than the recipe below. Stop in on a Sunday night and try it for yourself."
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1 cup celery, chopped very fine
1/2 cup onions, chopped very fine
1/2 cup green bell peppers, chopped very fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped very fine
8 cups chicken stock
1 pound boneless chicken breast, cubed
1 pound boneless chicken thighs, cubed
Salt and black pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste
2 pounds andouille sausage
Sliced okra (optional)
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
Gumbo file powder, to taste
In a 1 to 2 gallon heavy pot, mix flour and butter. Cook over medium heat until flour is brown (walnut colored). Stir constantly.
Add celery, onions and green pepper and cook until tender. Add the garlic and cook an additional 5 minutes.
Add chicken stock and mix well. Add the chicken.
Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Add salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste and cook 1 hour. Add andouille sausage to the pot. Add enough water to fill pot to approximately 1/2 inch from top. Add okra (if using).
Continue cooking 2 hours, stirring frequently. (Gumbo can cook all day; it gets better as it cooks.)
Approximately 30 minutes before serving add parsley. Serve in large bowls over rice with gumbo file powder on the side, so each person can add as much as they want .
Three Red Sauce
Recipe from Ethel & Ramone's
Chef Ed Bloom uses this sauce in numerous ways at Ethel & Ramone's. "You can add it to rice instead of water, use it instead of water for jambalaya, or saute a variety of seafood and deglaze the pan with the three red sauce. It's really versatile," he says.
1/2 quart marinara sauce
1/2 quart or 4 large red bell peppers, fire-roasted, deseeded and skinned (jarred is fine, but if you roast them at home, be sure to remove all the seeds, as they add bitterness)
3 cayenne peppers, fire-roasted, deseeded and skinned
3 heaping Tablespoons cajun seasoning (Chef Prudhomme's or McCormick's)
Combine marinara, roasted red peppers and roasted cayennes in a food processor and blend, or place in a bowl and blend with a handheld wand blender.
Add seasoning and puree until the sauce is almost velvety.
If the sauce is too spicy, cut back on the cayenne peppers, add additional red bell peppers, or thin it with water. Tool it out to your own taste.
Recipe from Tooloulou
Dirty rice is a savory — and filling — staple of New Orleans cooking.
1/4 cup canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
1 pound ground beef*
2 cups rice (uncooked)
4 cups beef stock
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Add oil to pot and add onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until translucent. Next add ground beef and cook until browned. Add rice and then beef stock and seasonings.
Bring to a boil and stir. Reduce heat and stir every 10 minutes (total rice cooking time is between 25 and 30 minutes). Cover for last 10 minutes until rice is fluffy.
*Can also be made with ground chicken gizzards, hearts and livers.
Recipe from Rye
The official cocktail of New Orleans, the Sazerac was created during the 19th century. "Today, its precise and careful preparation is the sign of a well-trained bartender," says Doug Atwell of RYE in Fells Point.
2 ounces Old Overholt straight rye whiskey
1 sugar cube
3 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
Pour two ounces of whiskey into a pint glass, fill with ice and stir for 8 to 10 seconds. Rinse a chilled rocks glass with absinthe. Soak the sugar cube with bitters until completely red, place into the rocks glass and muddle with a splash of water. Strain the chilled rye into the prepared rocks glass and garnish with a large swath of lemon peel.
Bacon-Wrapped Garlic Sausage and Cream Cheese-Stuffed Jalapenos with Caramelized Onion Ranch Dip
Recipe from B&O American Brasserie
Chef Thomas Dunklin says that like all New Orleans food, this smoky, spicy take on jalapeno poppers is "a little rich and heavily seasoning-based."
36 slices smoked bacon, thick slice
18 jalapenos, halved (seeded optional)
1 pound cream cheese
11/2 pounds garlic sausage
Lay bacon out on a cutting board 2 slices at a time and around 2 inches apart. Cover with plastic wrap and lightly pound out the bacon to thin strips. Proceed with remaining slices of bacon.
If you like it spicy, don't deseed the jalapenos. If you prefer a less spicy dish, remove the seeds.
Take the jalapenos and spoon about a tablespoon of the cream cheese inside of each. Then put about a tablespoon of sausage on top of the cream cheese in the jalapeno.
When complete, wrap each one with bacon and secure bacon with a thick toothpick or skewer.
To cook, place in a smoker and smoke for 2 hours at 225 degrees (optional). Then place them in a 375-degree oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until bacon is crispy.
Serve with caramelized onion ranch dip.
Caramelized Onion Ranch Dip
1/2 cup caramelized onions
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon cilantro, chopped
1Tablespoon Worcestershire, reduced by half
2 Tablespoon cider vinegar
11/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
Place onions in a food processor and blend to smooth. Add garlic, cilantro, Worcestershire, vinegar, honey, mayonnaise and buttermilk, then puree until smooth. Season with salt, white pepper and Tabasco sauce to taste.
Ham Hock and Pimento Cheese Deviled Egg with Chow Chow
Recipes from B&O American Brasserie
Deviled eggs are a favorite addition to meals from Maryland to Louisiana. Here, Creole mustard, pimento cheese and ham hock amp up the Southern flavor.
10 eggs, hard-boiled
1/2 cup pimento cheese
2 ham hocks, boiled until tender (about 2 hours)
1 Tablespoon Creole mustard*
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise (may need a little more)
1/2 Tablespoon chives, minced
1/2 Tablespoon shallots, minced
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 dashes Tabasco
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire
1/2 cup chow chow (see recipe)
Smoked paprika, to taste
Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Separate the yolk from the white.
Place egg yolk in a mixing bowl with shredded pimento cheese, ham hock, mustard, mayonnaise, chives and shallots. Mix well.
Add cayenne, Tabasco, lemon juice and Worcestershire. Season with salt and white pepper.
Place mixture in a piping bag and pipe mixture into egg white. Top with chow chow and smoked paprika.
*if you cannot get Creole mustard, combine three parts grain mustard with one part prepared horseradish.
1 cup white cabbage, thinly shredded
2 Tablespoons shallots, minced
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seed, whole
1/2 Tablespoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a pot and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool.
Grilled Oysters with Jalapeno Lime Butter
Recipe from B&O American Brasserie
"Baltimore and New Orleans cuisines use similar ingredients," says Chef Dunklin, pointing out both cities' love affairs with seafood, like oysters. These grilled oysters topped with spicy butter are an interesting alternative to oysters on the halfshell.
1/4 pound butter, room temperature
1 jalapeno, finely chopped (seeds optional)
1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped finely
1 teaspoon sea salt
12 oysters, fresh in the shell
Heat grill to medium-hot heat with hardwood (oak, cherry, apple or hickory). If you don't have wood, use charcoal.
While waiting for grill to heat up, combine all ingredients except the oysters and mix well. Wrap butter mixture in plastic wrap, roll into a log, and chill.
While butter chills, shuck oysters.
Once the butter is chilled, slice into coins (about one tablespoon each) and place on top of oysters.
Once the grill is hot, place the oysters, in their shells, directly on the grill for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the butter is melted and sizzling.
NOLA Style Boil
Recipe from B&O American Brasserie
"In Maryland we have steamed crabs," says Chef Dunklin, "and in New Orleans we have a crawfish boil. We boil seafood with potatoes and corn and garlic, pull it out, throw it on a newspaper-lined table and stand around the table, eating and chatting."
For the boil sachet
10 bay leaves
5 Tablespoons coriander, whole
6 Tablespoons cayenne (more if you like it spicy)
2 Tablespoons fennel seed
4 whole cloves
2 Tablespoons oregano
4 Tablespoons mustard seed, brown
4 Tablespoons mustard seed, yellow
12 whole allspice
1 cup salt
4 Tablespoons peppercorns
Additional boil ingredients
10 lemons, halved
4 onions, halved
6 garlic heads, whole
3 gallons water
Potatoes and seafood
5 pounds red bliss potatoes
4 ears fresh corn, cut in half
4 blue crabs
2 to 3 pounds andouille sausage
5 pounds whole shrimp
10 pounds crawfish
Place all boil ingredients, except lemons, onions, garlic and water, in a sachet. Place sachet in a large pot. Add lemons, onions, garlic and water to the pot. Bring to a boil.
Taste to make sure it is the flavor of spice you want. If you want it spicier, add more cayenne.
Add potatoes, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Bring the liquids back to a boil, add corn and crabs and cook 5 minutes.
Bring liquids back to a boil, add sausage, shrimp and crawfish.
Bring back to a boil and shut off immediately. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes or longer. (The longer the soak, the spicier the shellfish. Soaking is the key to flavor.)
Fig and Goat Cheese King Cake
Recipe from B&O Brasserie
King cakes – bread-like cakes with a small plastic baby baked inside – are a New Orleans Mardi Gras tradition. During Mardi Gras season, which lasts from January 6 until the beginning of Lent (this year, Lent begins on February 13th), New Orleans residents eat king cake every Friday. According to Chef Dunklin, whoever finds the baby has to bake (or buy) the cake the next week.
1/4 ounce yeast, dried
1 cup milk, warmed
5 egg yolks
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Combine yeast and milk and cover. Let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes.
Check to see if bubbles form — that will let you know that the yeast is working. Then, combine yolks and butter into milk mixture.
Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl: sugar, flour, salt and lemon zest.
Combine the flour mixture into the egg mixture, ½ cup at a time.
When the dough starts to form, place it on a lightly floured table and knead dough for 10 minutes until elastic.
Then place in greased bowl and cover and let sit for 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
Roll the dough out to a rectangle that is about 6 inches long. Place the fig compote (see recipe) in the center and top with goat cheese. Roll the dough to cover the filling.
Take one end of the cake and connect it to the other end, creating a circle. TIP: Place a coffee tin in the center to hold the shape of the circle.
Place a plastic baby, inserted from the bottom, into the cake.
Let it proof, or rise, for 45 minutes or until doubled.
Bake at 350 degrees 25 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.
Once the cake has cooled top with icing (see recipe) and colored sugar (see recipe).
2 pounds fresh figs
2 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 vanilla bean, scrapped
1 teaspoon sherry
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, fresh cracked
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
1 teaspoon gelatin, bloomed
Combine all ingredients except gelatin and cook for 20 -25 minutes or until the mixture has reduced by a half.
Add the gelatin and cool.
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 Tablespoons water (may need more)
Combine all ingredients and mix well. If icing is too thick, add a touch more water.
1 cup disco sugar (or granulated sugar)
1/4 teaspoon food coloring
Combine and mix until the food coloring is evenly distributed in the sugar. Make purple, green and yellow sugars for decorating.