Quick Recipes and Easy

Jazz Up Your Party with a Cajun Tradition

Entertaining is a fantastic way to spend time with your family and friends, but after a while your staple party thoughts may seem to become a bit stale. Coming up with fun themes or thoughts can be a bit daunting, but if you check out the traditions of other cultures you may find just what you need to spicy up your next party. If you’re looking for a way to jazz up your get-togethers with new thoughts and fun themes then consider borrowing a Cajun tradition or two. Louisianans are known for having a excellent time whether it’s at Mardi Gras or just a family gathering.

Forget about that same backyard barbeque that you plot every year and host a crawfish boil instead. A crawfish boil is a fantastic laid back event that guests of all ages can delight in, and you can host one even if live crawfish are unheard of in your area because many Louisiana companies can ship them to you as long as they are in season (January through June). In addition to the crawfish, you can also serve corn on the cob, whole red potatoes, and onions just add them in the same boiling pot. Have plenty of cold beer and soft drinks available and your guests will certainly have a memorable time.

Rather than serving yet another oven roasted turkey to your dinner guests, treat them to a tasty stuffed turducken. A turducken is a Cajun poultry phenomenon that consists of a semi-boneless turkey that is stuffed with a boneless duck that is stuffed with a boneless chicken. Additionally each bird is stuffed with some sort of seasoned dressing as well. Since turduckens can be baked in the oven or cooked on a grill or smoker they work fantastic as a main course for sit down dinners as well as outdoor parties.

You can even use thin slices to make tasty finger sandwiches that your guests are sure to like. Simply use the turducken slices in place of roast beef, ham or turkey. Just be sure to use a sausage stuffed variety because those with cornbread or rice dressings tend to fall apart when sliced and which could result in sandwiches that are quite messy.

If a turducken is too much for your guests to handle try deep frying a turkey instead. A Cajun fried turkey has a crispy skin and tender juicy inside that will certainly please a hungry crowd. A fried turkey is not battered as fried chicken is, but is merely seasoned well with a dry rub or injected with a marinade and fried in hot oil. Most Louisianans prefer peanut oil because it adds an extra layer of flavor but, you can use any oil with a high smoking point. Since this cooking process requires 2 gallons of hot oil (it should be heated to about 350 degrees) you should only attempt to prepare this tasty bird outdoors; but, whether you serve it indoors or outdoors depends solely on the style of your party.

For an thought that will get your party guests involved in the meal preparation take a cue from a Cajun Mardi Gras tradition. On Mardi Gras day, townspeople travel from home to home requesting various ingredients that are needed to prepare a communal meal, which is usually a gumbo. You can recreate this tradition anytime of the year by asking each guest to bring an ingredient for the gumbo. Gumbo is a dish that is best suited for cooler weather, but during warmer months you can request that guests contribute ingredients needed for a jambalaya.

These Cajun inspired thoughts provide fantastic entertaining options that can be used throughout the year to jazz up any party or dinner. Whether you’re hosting a backyard party or Thanksgiving dinner give it a Cajun twist and your guests are sure to have a fantastic time that they won’t soon forget.

Elizabeth Catalanotto is a contributing writer for cajungrocer.com CajunGrocer Louisiana’s premier online food store where you can buy a cajungrocer.com/fresh-foods-holiday-dishes-turducken-c-1_15_24.html stuffed turducken and other Cajun and Creole products.

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