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Delicious Holiday Recipes, from the Bayou to You.

If you know a thing or two about Louisiana, you might already be aware that we take our cuisine pretty seriously and, if you ask any self-respecting Louisiana Coast cook what makes their Thanksgiving table uniquely delicious, the first thing they're gong to tell you about is Oyster Dressing. Around these parts, our holiday turkeys are served with a heaping helping of deliciousness by way of what is arguably the most enduring Thanksgiving tradition in a region full of culinary treasures. The happy coincidence of Thanksgiving falling right at peak oyster season has made this regional take on stuffing a must-have on any holiday table in these parts for generations. Hometown boy Chef John Besh has called his recipe for Oyster Dressing "the only dish worthy of both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner at our house," and if it's good enough for John Besh, we're pretty sure it's the best because, frankly, he's never led us astray. He's a gracious guy, too, which is why we are happy to share his family's traditional recipe with you all, from Louisiana with love.


While you're in the kitchen working some Louisiana magic, consider Stuffed Mirlitons, a regional delicacy that our favorite local chefs also consider a Thanksgiving must-have. Fresh, local mirlitons - a pear-shaped member of the gourd family, just like squash and melons - boast a soft, fresh flavor sometimes described as a cross between a cucumber and a potato. In other words, they are begging for the full Cajun treatment and they show up on our Thanksgiving tables replete with a zesty stuffing highlighting shrimp or crab. They might be easier to find in your neck of the woods if you ask for Chayote, but no matter what you call them, they are straight-up heavenly delicious.


If you're feeling full already, pace yourself, because we haven't even talked about gumbo yet. There aren't many feasts of any stripe around here that are complete without a gorgeous, steaming bowl of seafood gumbo and Thanksgiving is no exception. The bounty of our coastal waters and every tradition we can think of demand gumbo, so you might want to stop reading here and go start working on your roux. It's an art, you know. Our friends at Houma Area Convention & Visitors Bureau have been kind enough to share this masterful take on the classic from the kitchen of Senator Allen J. Ellender.


While we're overeating, we might as well remind you that this is just the sort of over-the-top culinary glory that you should expect from the birthplace of the Turducken (that's a duck inside a chicken inside a turkey with delicious layers of different dressings in between for the uninitiated) and one of the world's Pecan Pie capitols. Why not make your Thanksgiving a Cajun one by making room at your table for one of these glorious Louisiana Thanksgiving traditions? You'll never regret it! We would like to wish a happy, healthy - and tasty - Thanksgiving to you and all of those you count dear. Enjoy every minute - and bring on the elastic-waist pants!

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