by Kate Heyhoe
In honor of Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday, here's a tip for giving your foods that spicy New Orleans touch.
"Cajun (or Creole) Mustard" is the rowdy, raucous, bad boy of mustards. Open a jar and, if you're not prepared, you might just get knocked down by the heady aromas of spice, vinegar and mustard seed, all wrapped up in a light blanket of heat. Hooey! This is not that sissy stuff passed among Rolls Royces. Cajun mustard definitely adds kick to a meal.
Next time you're in New Orleans, order shrimp with remoulade sauce and you may be very surprised, for there, that old boring grandfather of a sauce is made with Cajun mustard, and suddenly it finds youth again. Cajun mustard is available in specialty markets and at some grocers. Look for it in the condiment aisle and on the counter in the fresh seafood area. Or, you can make your own by mixing a strong brown mustard with horseradish, cayenne or other red chile powder, and vinegar. It makes a lively sauce for braised chicken breasts—just add a tablespoon or two with some white wine to the skillet, cover and simmer until done.
Then, as they say at Mardi Gras, "Laissez les bontemps rouler!"—Let the good times roll!
Interested in a Creole-Style Mardi Gras menu from the turn of the century? The New York Public Library's book Around the American Table offers wonderful tidbits and little known facts of the era in New Orleans, including:
More about Mardi Gras and Carnaval.
This page originally published as a Global Gourmet Today column in 1998.
Copyright © 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page modified January 2007
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