So for spring break this year I got to go to New Orleans with some other kids from UMD. I spent my days taking in the sights, the weather, the people and of course the incredible food. I spent my nights taking in, well, other things.
It’s impossible to get the whole New Orleans food experience in one trip, but I did my best to hit the basics: jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish, oysters, beignets and po-boys, plus some other stuff that wasn’t exactly traditional but amazing nonetheless. There’s a lot to discuss, so I put the highlights of my trip in a separate article.
After five days of culinary heaven, I knew I had to take some of the NoLa flavor back with me. I figured, what better way to spice up my meals than with “Slap Ya Mama” Cajun creole seasoning? It’s a traditional, versatile spice mix that works well with all kinds of stuff. I also visited Pepper Palace, an awesome store that does hot sauce sampling, and got this unbelievable Parmesan garlic wing sauce.
I decided I should try out my souvenirs through a tribute to the Big Easy: a loaf of homemade Cajun beer bread. I figure this recipe will capture that southern kick and adorable predisposition to alcohol that defines New Orleans. To accompany the bread I decided to fry up some chicken wings, cause y’know, wings.
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 50 min
Total Time: 1 hr 5 min
Servings: One loaf of bread
3 cups bread flour (all purpose is also fine)
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup sugar
½ to 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, depending on how much heat you like
1 can beer
¼ to ½ stick melted butter
1. Preheat your oven to 375° F. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and Cajun seasoning.
2. Next, pour that beer (nobody would blame you if you had a few gulps first).
3. With your hands, work the mixture until you get a sticky ball that resembles dough.
4. Grease a bread pan with some of the melted butter, and then work the dough into the bread pan so that it’s nestled comfortably into every corner.
5. Spread plenty of butter onto the top of the dough until you have a nice coating and then add more. Really channel your inner Paula Deen here. The bread is going to absorb the butter and the result will be a very beautiful crunchy crust.
6. Finish by sprinkling on a little bit more seasoning, then throw the bread in the oven for about 50 minutes.
7. After that unbelievably long wait, poke the bread with a toothpick or fork. If it comes out clean, you’re golden. Let that bad boy rest on a cooling rack or something for 15 minutes.
While you wait for the bread to cool, why not fry some wings? It’s real easy: just heat enough oil to cover some wings on medium high in a large pot, and then fry the wings in batches for about 8 to 10 minutes.
Then put them in a bowl with whatever sauce you prefer and toss to coat.
If you feel like making your own wing sauce, which is totally worth it, here’s some help:
This bread is hearty and has a kick that’s great for waking you up in the morning. It will also clear your sinuses up real quick. It goes well with some saucy wings, but definitely accompany this meal with some beer or even a glass of milk to cut the heat.
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