We know you’ve perfected the holiday standard: Oven-roasted turkey, gravy, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. This year, treat your guests to an elevated holiday meal with New Orleans flair.
Our gourmet excursion of recipes from renowned New Orleans restaurants is a delicious, hearty take on the traditional holiday menu. Your guests will enjoy wine pairings, specialty cocktails, delicious sides, and not one, but two show-stopping entrées. Top it off with a scrumptious dessert and an after-dinner coffee cocktail, and your family might even let you host Thanksgiving two years in a row.
On the menu
To make any holiday menu complete, there are three must-haves: good recipes, fresh ingredients and lots of love going into the preparation. Here are seven reasons to get excited about spending Thanksgiving at home this year:
Windsor Court’s Hot Buttered Shochu
Arnaud’s Seafood Gumbo
Ruth’s Chris’ Harvest Salad
Ruth’s Chris’ Barbecued Shrimp
Ruth’s Chris’ Filet Oscar
Arnaud’s Spice Cake
Windsor Court’s Café Brûlot
Varietals are the spice of life
Before pulling out the chopping board and sharpening your knives, head to the local store to pick up wine for the evening. Grocery wine departments or wine shops are great resources. We asked Sara Kavanaugh, sommelier at Windsor Court Hotel’s The Grill Room for her fall fest menu picks. “There is nothing that goes better more with traditional New Orleans food then dry Riesling,” said Kavanaugh. “The spices coming from both the gumbo and the barbecued shrimp are made for the high acid, green apple, citrus driven wine of Josef Leitz, Rudeshemier Berg Kaisersteinfels, “Terrassen,” Rheingau, 2012. This is one of the most amazing vineyard sites in all of the Rheingau, paired with one of the greatest winemakers in all of Germany.”
“For the Filet Oscar, I am always a fan of Domaine Perrot-Minot, Morey-St.-Denis, “En La Rue de Vergy”, 2007.” Kavanaugh continues, “This wine has the perfect amount of elegance, and just enough power that it works amazingly with both the beef and the crab. You’re not looking to overpower the dish with a big meaty wine; you want to be able to taste each bite and enjoy each sip. This wine does that.”
Let the good times begin! What better way to kick off a luxurious holiday dinner than with a festive cocktail? As your guests come in from the cold, take their coats and greet them with a Hot Buttered Shochu, a signature beverage from Windsor Court Hotel’s Cocktail Bar. This heart-warming cocktail will warm your guests and set a decadent tone for the evening.
Pass the gumbo, please! A good New Orleans meal often starts with a hearty cup of gumbo, and a holiday dinner party is no exception. Arnaud’s gumbo is a balance of hearty vegetables, flavorful herbs, rich seafood and a medley of spices. Serve your gumbo piping hot, and over warm, fluffy rice.
Greens that make you give thanks. Take a break from the richness of your meal with a fall-inspired Harvest Salad from Ruth’s Chris Steak House. This seasonal blend of mixed greens, roasted corn, dried cherries, crispy bacon and tomatoes are tossed in white balsamic vinaigrette, topped with goat cheese and Cajun pecans.
Two sides to every story. Whether you have chosen to serve your holiday meal family-style or in courses, now is the perfect time to introduce your scrumptious side dishes. These traditional holiday dishes from Ruth’s Chris Steak House are the perfect companions to your non-traditional entrées.
Shrimp, crab and steak, oh my! It’s time to wow your guests with the first savory entrée: Ruth’s Chris Barbecued Shrimp. A classic New Orleans recipe, Barbecued Shrimp are not actually not barbequed, but sautéed in reduced white wine, butter, garlic and spices. Bring out your best crisp, chilled white wine to serve with this dish, and be sure to have some crusty, French bread on the table to soak up the sauce! Nom!
The only main dish delectable enough to follow Barbecued Shrimp is Filet Oscar: a tender cut of corn-fed Midwestern beef, broiled to perfection and topped with crab cake, asparagus and béarnaise sauce.
If you’re intimidated by the idea of cooking steak, don’t worry. We’ve included a behind-the-scenes peek at how it’s done at Ruth’s Chris. In fact, when the neighborhood steakhouse was founded 50 years ago in New Orleans by Ruth Fertel, she was a home cook herself. Ruth set out to offer the highest quality food in simple, elegant presentations—all served in a setting of true southern hospitality. Bring Ruth’s simple, elegant hospitality into your holiday meal with Filet Oscar.
Your red wine selection will go perfectly with this course, so bring out fresh wine glasses and pour generously.
How to Prepare a Steak The Ruth’s Chris Way
Choose, prepare, and serve the best steak:
- True to Ruth Fertel’s original ideals, every great steak dish begins with quality ingredients. Ruth’s Chris Steak House serves only the finest custom-aged, Midwestern USDA Prime steaks.
- The restaurant prides itself on proprietary cooking methods; for example, steaks are broiled in a trademark 1800-degree oven that Ruth herself helped develop 50 years ago.
- Steaks are served on plates heated to 500 degrees to ensure the steak stays “sizzling” hot from the first bite to the last.
Sweet talk. When your guests have feasted to near capacity, cap off the meal with a mouthwatering dessert and New Orleans tradition they’ll never forget: Arnaud’s Spice Cake.
At this point in the evening, we’re confident your guests will be calling for an encore. End your meal on a perfect note with a round of Café Brûlot – a coffee cocktail served hot with hints of cinnamon, orange, and cardamom.
Traditionally, the spiced and spiked toddy is set aflame, but Windsor Court’s The Grill Room has a version unlike any other in the city. It is prepared in a Taiwanese tea maker and the end result is highly infused concoction. At home, consider duplicating the contents inside a Taiwanese device for decorative display in a vase or service pitcher. The Café Brûlot can be crafted several ways, including in creative fashion as the Grill Room’s version, or like the Antoine’s original.
Indulge, enjoy, and if the spirit moves you (we’re sure it will), take a food journey to the French Quarter to experience these locations in person. There is nothing like the mood, music, and vibe of ‘Nola to get your appetite going!