Classic Creole dishes celebrate family and home
By Meda Kessler
Ty Dupont hails from Plaquemine, Louisiana, and loves to cook regional favorites, whether for big parties or small get-togethers at his Ridglea Hills home. Plaquemine, a small town about 25 minutes southwest of Baton Rouge, sits along the Mississippi River. Like any good Bayou State native son, Dupont learned to cook from the women in his life: GiGi, his mother, and MawMaw Dupont and MawMaw McGinnis, his grandmothers. Come Mardi Gras season, he typically makes a king cake (Fat Tuesday is March 1).
His go-to cookbook for holiday favorites is a spiral-bound copy of River Road Recipes, produced by the Junior League of Baton Rouge and lauded as among the best for Creole recipes. Dupont has an original version of the book, first published in 1959. There are now four editions with 2 million sold over the years. Go to juniorleaguebr.com to purchase any of the four printings. “My mother made the Shrimp Dip to take to parties and card games,” says Dupont. He whips up a classic Crabmeat Mornay when he wants something warm.
Makes 2 cups
- 1 stick butter
- 1 small bunch green onions
- ½ cup parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 pint heavy cream
- ½ pound grated Swiss cheese
- 1 tablespoon sherry wine
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- Salt, to taste
- 1 pound crabmeat
Melt butter in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Saute onions and parsley until onions are soft.
Add flour, cream and cheese. Mix thoroughly and cook until cheese is melted.
Add the remaining ingredients except crabmeat; blend well. Gently fold in crabmeat.
Makes 2 1/2 cups
Makes 2½ cups
- 2 pounds medium shrimp
- One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 10 green onions
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
Boil shrimp. Drain, cool and remove shells and tails. Chop meat into coarse pieces.
In a small mixing bowl, add cream cheese and lemon juice. Blend well.
Trim green onions and chop both white and green parts. Add onions, shrimp and rest of ingredients to cream cheese. Blend well and chill.