Game Day Eats: New Orleans

I’m adding a new feature to the blog this fall that is a nod to the fact that I live in a place where football is sort of a personality trait… Green Bay, Wisconsin. Football dominates our tourism industry, our local culture and our way of life. I’ve never been really into the sport of football as I didn’t grow up watching it or following a team. But I obviously have a love of food and recipe testing, so I’m incorporating a new feature this fall that has a food and football crossover.

For select games this season, I’m going to be highlighting some culturally significant foods from the team we are playing (whether it is a home or away game). It’s a fun way to explore a different culture, try a new recipe and give a nod to our opponents of the week. We could not have had a more fun team to kick this off with… the New Orleans Saints!

Overnight Muffaletta Sandwiches | Recipe by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Get the recipe here. Muffalettas are an iconic New Orleans food with ties to Sicily and Italian delicatessens in New Orleans. Traditionally prepared on round Sicilian sesame bread, the sandwich itself is credited as being first developed in New Orleans, although there is some dispute if it was Central Grocery or Progress Grocery owned by the Perrone family that first invented it. Either way, the recipe, like many staples in American cuisine was inspired by immigrants and invented in the U.S. We prepared our muffaletta on some parmesan focaccia that we let get a bit stale for a few days as this is an overnight muffaletta. Letting the sandwich marinate overnight added a tremendous amount of flavor, but we knew we’d need some drier bread to not get soggy. Interestingly, one of our favorite Green Bay area restaurants, Nicky’s Lionhead Tavern, makes *hands down* the best muffaletta in Green Bay, and that restaurant has ties to the Green Bay Packers as it is located a few blocks from where Packers Training Camp takes place each summer.

Hurricane Cocktails | Recipe by Baking Beauty

Get the recipe here. Hurricanes (especially the giant frozen ones) are something that comes to mind immediately when you think of the French Quarter and New Orleans. The drinks get their name from the glasses they are traditionally served in (which resemble a hurricane lamp). I don’t own any glassware even remotely similar in shape so forgive my creative adaptation! The cocktail was born in New Orleans during WWII out of a whiskey shortage. Pat O’Briens Bar is the bar credited with first serving the cocktail and they are still open (although they are temporarily closed due to Hurricane Ida). You can buy mixes, glassware and more on their online store for nationwide shipping.

Upside-Down Bananas Foster Lava Cake | Recipe by Taste Made

Get the recipe here. Bananas Foster is yet another food that we trace the origin of back to New Orleans. The recipe was invented in the early 1950s in Brennan’s Restaurant by restauranteur Ella Brennan. Miss Ella from Commander’s Palace tells the story of this woman and her incredible impact on Louisiana cuisine and the restaurant industry in New Orleans. The recipe was simply created as a way to use up a surplus ingredient (bananas) in a way that offered some showmanship (like a baked Alaska might at a competitor restaurant). The recipe I used is non-traditional in that it is upside down and that it is in miniature form. It’s so much easier to serve and share this way! Brennan’s, where the recipe originated, is still open to this day (although they are temporarily closed due to Hurricane Ida).

Supporting New Orleans in the Aftermath of Hurricane Ida

Obviously at the time of this post, New Orleans and Southern Louisiana residents are experiencing tremendous difficulties in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. If you have the financial ability to help families and individuals in need, here are some local organizations you can donate toward to help this area of the country rebuild and reopen.

Operation BBQ Relief: A 501(c)3 organization that deploys to areas of natural disaster with mobile food operations to provide hot meals to those in need.

Culture Aid NOLA: A 501(c)3 organization that started during the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to support victims of natural disasters by providing meals to those in-need. They specifically seek to aide populations that have been devastated by the last year such as performers, artists and those in the food and beverage industry. They source their products locally for assembling meals by working with local farmers, grocery stores, etc.

Second Harvest Food Bank: This is the local arm of Feeding America that serves Southern Louisiana. While food donations are helpful, the fastest way to get food and meals to people in need is through financial support of local food banks.

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