North and South Louisiana Holiday Feast: Menus and Recipes
Thanksgiving and Christmas Recipes - North vs South Louisiana
If you are not from Louisiana, you probably don't know how different the northern part of the state is from the southern part of the state. We cook different foods, pray in different churches and celebrate the holidays in very different ways.
I have lived in both parts of the state and on this page I will give you a taste of the best Thanksgiving and/or Christmas recipes from Shreveport in the north to New Orleans in the south. Here you'll find easy recipes for cornbread dressing as well as oyster dressing, stuffed mirlitons, bread pudding, pumpkin pie, pecan pie and other Louisiana favorites. There is even information about how to roast the turkey.
We hope you enjoy your visit and the recipes here and that you "pass a good time, cher".
Two Different Worlds and Food within the Same State
I exist in two very different worlds. I was born in North Louisiana and grew up in a small town in Red River Parish, but I have spent the majority of my life in South Louisiana. My Father's side of the family has strong roots in New Orleans and France. There is even a street in New Orleans that is named after one of our great uncles. My Mothers people hail from Virginia and settled on a large piece of land in Red River Parish along the Red River near Coushatta. This is where she was born. She lived most of her life in North Louisiana, but also lived in Texas.
North and South Louisiana are like two different states. The north was settled by predominantly protestant people of English or African American heritage. It is mostly rural where agriculture and cattle ranching prevail. The diet and culture is more like that of Texas or Arkansas.
In the south, it is a different world. The French Catholic culture prevails in Acadiana and in New Orleans French, Spanish, Italian, German, Irish and other Catholics have blended to form a boisterous and fun loving group of people. The food is rich and the celebrations are grand.
Because of my mixed heritage, I am comfortable with either style of cooking and have prepared holiday meals in both the Northern and the Southern Louisiana styles. I've included recipes for most of the items in both meals. We hope you enjoy using these recipes.
Holiday Feast in North Louisiana
North Louisiana Holiday Menu
- Cornbread Dressing
- Giblet Gravy
- Green Bean Casserole
- Cranberry Sauce
- Mashed or Baked Irish Potatoes
- Brown and Serve Rolls
- Pumpkin Pie
- Pecan Pie
- Christmas Cookies
- 3/4 cup onion, minced
- 1 1/2 cups celery (stalks and leaves), chopped
- 1 cup butter
- 9 cups cornbread cubes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sage leaves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup chicken or turkey stock or broth
- In large skillet, cook and stir onion and celery in butter until onion is tender. Stir in about 1/3 of the cornbread cubes.
- Turn into a deep bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss. Add 1/4-1/2 of the broth or stock until the mixture is moist.
- This dressing can be stuffed into the turkey right before roasting or spread into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish the night before. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Then bake at 325 degrees F for about 45 minutes.
- Giblets to add to gravy Wash gizzard, heart, liver and neck. Cover all except live with water; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 peppercorns, 2 cloves garlic, a small bay leaf and a little onion. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer 1-2 hours or until gizzard is fork tender. Liver is very tender and can be fried, broiled or simmered in water, 5-10 minutes.
- Giblet broth can be used in stuffing, gravy and recipes where chicken broth is specified. Cooked giblets can be cut up and added to gravy or stuffing. Refrigerate giblets and broth separately unless used immediately.
Green Bean Casserole a Louisiana Holiday Favorite
More North Louisiana Recipes
9-inch Pumpkin Pie
Pastry for 9-inch One-crust Pie
1 can (1 pound) pumpkin (or 2 cups baked pumpkin)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or cloves
1 2/3 cups evaporated milk or light cream
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare pastry. Beat eggs slightly with rotary beater; beat in remaining ingredients. Pour into pastry-lined pie pan. (To prevent spills, place pie pan on oven rack or on open oven door when filling with pumpkin mixture.) Bake 15 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake 9-inch pie 45 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool If desired, serve with sweetened whipped cream or ice cream.
North Louisiana Food Poll
Is North Louisiana food to your liking?
Holiday Feast in South Louisiana
South Louisiana Menu
How to Roast a Turkey Video
South Louisiana Recipes
makes 8-10 servings
1 long loaf French bread, stale
3 10-ounce containers (about 3 dozen medium) oysters
2 cups chicken or turkey stock
1f stick butter
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Salt, pepper, Creole seasoning and cayenne
Buy a po-boy loaf of French bread in paper (not plastic_ several before making dressing and let it go stale. (A good way to crumb the bread is to beat it with the side of a meat mallet while it is still in the paper bag.)
In a large bowl, break bread into small pieces and cover with water strained from the oysters and the chicken stock. Let soak 30 minutes to an hour.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet and saute' white onion and celery until soft. Add garlic and saute' a few minutes more. Add this mixture, the green onion tops and parsley to the soaked bread and mix well. Check oysters to eliminate any shell, chop them and stir into mixture. Add seasonings.
Place in a greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish, making sure there is plenty of liquid. Add more stock or water if necessary to make dressing very moist. Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until dressing has firmed up and is lightly browned on top.
This dressing can be stuffed into a turkey and baked, but the turkey should be stuffed at the last minute to avoid salmonella poisoning. If baked inside the turkey, make sure the dressing reaches 165 degrees.
1 (8-ounce) loaf French Bread (stale)
1 quart milk
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup raisins
3 tablespoons butter
Break up bread. Soak in milk, using your hands to crush it and mix well. Add beaten eggs, sugar, vanilla and raisins. Pour melted butter into bottom of a 12x7-inch baking dish. Pour in egg mixture. Bake at 300 degrees 1 hour or until very firm. Let cool slightly.
Bread pudding can be served with several types of sauces including Bourbon, Amaretto, Whiskey and Lemon.
Bourbon Sauce: Cream 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Heat in top of double boiler over hot water until very hot and sugar is dissolved. Whisk in 1 beaten egg very quickly; do not boil. Cool slightly; add bourbon to taste.
Amaretto Sauce: Over low heat melt butter and sugar together, stirring constantly. Add amaretto. Add egg. Heat slowly a minute or two more to set egg. Pour over bread pudding.
Tart Lemon Sauce: In one-quart saucepan combine 1 1/4 cups water, one-half cup sugar and 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel; bring to boiling. In measuring cup combine one-quarter cup lemon juice and 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch; mix into sugar mixture. Cook and stir until thickened, two to three minutes. Stir in two tablespoons butter or margarine. Makes about 1/3/4 cups.
South Louisiana Food Poll
So Cher, how do you like the food down here in South Louisiana?
Old Absinthe House
Which is best, food in North Louisiana or food in South Louisiana? Here's what readers have to say.
North Louisiana Food Rules!
WriterJanis2: I would prefer the north, mainly because some of the southern food isn't to my personsl liking.
Mortira: The North menu is more like what I'm used to, but I'll try anything once! You have to have an open mind about Christmas food if you want to share traditions with new family members.
South Louisiana has the Best Food!
E L Seaton: Please don't make me choose but if I have to the south. I lived in southern Louisiana for a bit some years ago. Great lens.
anonymous: Wonderful recipes
anonymous: I love it all...but tend to gravitate more towards the South. great lens. brought back some fond memories of living there.
huvalbd: Although I'm born and brought up Texan, by blood I'm half Cajun and my mother's mother grew up in New Orleans, so that's home cookin' to me!
KBellamy1: I'm originally from Virginia so I understand the food from North LA but I had the opportunity to travel to New Orleans years ago and it became my favorite place in the U.S. So I've eaten and cooked plenty of South LA food. Love it!
Cheryl Kohan: Well, I'm of British descent so am used to unusual holiday fare. I think I'd really enjoy the food from South Louisiana more than the traditional North menu.
Pecan Pralines, Yum!
© 2008 Yvonne L B