Thursday, December 17, 2015

Louisiana-Inspired Holiday Party Recipes

Written By Tori Ward, CVB Markering/PR Assistant

The holiday season is in full swing, which means pretty much everyone will be either hosting and/or attending a few holiday parties. While we're sure that any holiday party you attend will have fun people, good music and a festive atmosphere, it's undeniable that tasty food and drinks are a necessity for a successful holiday party. To help get you in the holiday spirit, we have two Louisiana-inspired recipes for you that are sure to be a hit at any holiday party! 

You just can't go wrong with fresh shrimp, cheese or Cajun seasoning, which is why we've picked this warm Cajun Shrimp Dip recipe as a quick, go-to appetizer for any holiday party. 

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Cajun Shrimp Dip
1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, and chopped
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup each onions, bell peppers, and celery, diced
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 tsp. or more, Cajun seasoning
4 tbs.'s white wine
2 tbs.'s lemon juice
Salt to taste
Few shakes Tabasco sauce
16 oz.'s cream cheese, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup each fresh parsley and green onions, chopped

Melt butter in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add onions and bell peppers and saute' for 5 minutes. Add Cajun seasoning and garlic, stir well. Stir in white wine and lemon juice, and reduce heat to low.

Add shrimp, salt, and Tabasco. Mix well then cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Gradually add cream cheese until melted, stirring often and cook for 5 minutes. Add green onions and parsley and a little more white wine if mixture is too thick. Transfer to a dip bowl and serve with mini toasts or crackers. 

What's a holiday party without a yummy cocktail? A favorite Louisiana holiday cocktail is Brandy Milk Punch. This punch is a lighter substitute for egg nog, but has that same creaminess and rich flavor that everyone loves during the holidays. Not a brandy person? No worries, just use bourbon instead!

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New Orleans Brandy Milk Punch
1/2 cup brandy
1 1/2 cups very cold whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional; replace with additional milk if desired)
2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Small pinch of kosher salt
Ice cubes
Whole or ground nutmeg

In a pitcher, combine the brandy, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stir vigorously until combined and frothy. Taste to adjust sweetness.

Fill two glasses with ice cubes and divide milk punch into the glasses. Top each with a generous grating or sprinkle of nutmeg, and serve immediately.

We hope you enjoy these Louisiana-inspired recipes this holiday season. Do you have a different go-to holiday party dish or cocktail? Tell us about it in the comments! Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from everyone at the Ruston Lincoln CVB! 

Tori Ward is a proud Louisiana native, born and raised in Shreveport, La. She is a Louisiana State University alumna and has a passion for all things PR. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic and lover of the outdoors. She is currently attending Louisiana Tech to pursue a master’s degree in business administration.  

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