This year, Louisiana is celebrating its statehood bicentennial.
Many events have taken and will continue to take place until the end of the month in celebration of our state's history.
I'm diggin' back into a little food history and making calas, a type of rice fritter originating from slaves who sold them in the French Quarter in the 1800s.
One of my very first posts was on traditional calas, which are sweet and dusted with powdered sugar.
This time, I'm going savory and a bit modern, combining calas with the flavors of shrimp creole.
Shrimp Creole Calas w/ Lemony Garlic Mayo
A little shaking hands with the past while high-five-ing something new.
Calas is best made with leftover rice. I added shrimp sauteed with onions, bell peppers, garlic, celery, and tomato to get that Shrimp Creole vibe going.
The mixture is dropped by spoonfuls (you decide the size) into hot oil and fried until golden. I served this with a lemony, garlicky mayo just to dress it up.
Results: The Husband loved them. The Boy was disappointed...I suspect he thought he was getting doughnuts for supper. (Keep dreaming, kiddo.) I liked them--especially with the mayo, but next time I think I'll experiment with adding some tomato paste. Needed more tomato.
This year's Festivals Acadiens et Creoles was an official Louisiana Bicentennial event. In addition to a beautiful festival poster depicting the history/roots of Cajun & Creole music, a few non-Cajun and Creole acts were added to the program in honor of the bicentennial. It was a celebration of music from all parts of Louisiana. I liked the blending of what we'd normally associate with Festivals...
Like old-style Creole music by Ed Poullard (fiddle) and Preston Frank (accordion).
Joe Pitre a Deux Femmes:
And a little something different, like Soul Express brass band playing New Orleans Jazz
More from this year's Festivals Acadiens
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Shrimp Creole Calas
Vegetable oil for frying
a couple of tsp olive oil
1/4 c chopped onion
1/4 c chopped bell pepper
2 Tbsp chopped celery
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 c chopped shrimp
1/4 c chopped tomato
Tony's Creole seasoning to taste
2 c cooked rice (best if cooked ahead of time and cooled)
6 heaping Tbsp flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
a few pinches of cayenne pepper
2-3 shakes hot sauce
Begin heating the vegetable oil to 350 in a deep fryer or pot.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Saute until they start to soften. Add the garlic, shrimp, and tomato and season with Tony's. Saute until the shrimp are cooked through. Set aside to cool.
Combine the rice, flour, baking powder, salt, and cayenne in a bowl. Add the hot sauce and eggs to bind the ingredients and mix well. Fold the cooled shrimp mixture into the rice mixture. Carefully drop into the hot oil and fry until golden. Drain on paper towels and serve with Lemony Garlic Mayo.
Lemony Garlic Mayo
scant 3/4 c mayo
juice and zest of half a large lemon, or to taste
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
Mix all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours for the flavors to blend.