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Red Beans and Rice
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 3 hours
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 3 hours
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place red beans into a large bowl, and cover with water by several inches. Soak overnight.
  2. In a large soup pot, add the oil, garlic, green pepper, onion, celery. Sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Drain and rinse red beans, add them to the soup pot with the vegetables. Cover with water and cook over medium to low heat. Season pot with salt, black pepper, and Creole seasoning.
  4. Reduce heat to low and cook until beans are tender, about 4 hours. When beans are tender add the sausage cut into bit size pieces. Stir to combine and let the flavors come together over low heat for 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Red beans should have a thicker liquid. If water starts to run low just add water slowly so it doesn’t create the consistency of a soup, these are very creamy beans. Serve red beans over hot cooked rice.
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Shrimp Po’boy
Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 10 min
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 10 min
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. For the fried shrimp: Preheat oil in fryer to 360 degrees. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Dredge the shrimp in the flour.
  2. Make an egg wash with the egg and the water. Dredge the shrimp in the egg wash. Dredge the shrimp in the cornmeal. Fry the shrimp until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel lined plate to get rid of excess oil.
  3. To assemble: Slice the French bread and toast lightly in oven. Spread mayo and place lettuce, and tomatoes on the bread. Place fried shrimp on bottom bun.
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Jambalaya
Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 25 min
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 25 min
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. The most important thing is to use the right equipment: a 2-gallon cast iron Dutch oven and a large stainless steel chef's spoon.
  2. Use high heat to preheat the Dutch oven and add the sausage. Using a chef's spoon or large spoon, constantly move the sausage from the bottom of the pot. Be careful not to burn the meat.
  3. Add the thigh meat and brown the chicken on all sides. Again use the spoon to scrape the meat from sticking and burning to the bottom of the pot. Browning the sausage and chicken meats should take 20 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the thigh meat to the point that it shreds.
  4. Lower the heat to medium and add the onions and garlic; sauté for about 15 minutes or until the onions are very limp and "clear". Scrape the bottom of the pot to remove all the "graton". This is where the jambalaya gets its distinct brown color and taste.
  5. Add the tasso, thyme, basil and black and white pepper. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. This will give the seasonings time to release their oils and flavors.
  6. Add the rice, reduce the heat to medium and gently break up the rice. Using the stainless steel paddle, continue to insure that the rice is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  7. After about 5 minutes, fold in the parsley. Continue to scrape the pot to insure that no rice sticks to the bottom. When the jambalaya returns to a boil, reduce heat to the lowest possible setting and simmer, covered, for at least 25 minutes. Do not remove the cover while the rice is steaming.
  8. If Manda's brand sausage is not available, any lean smoked sausage can be substituted. You may have to remove any excess grease from the pot after frying down an unknown sausage.
  9. If no stocks are available, then chicken soup base can be used. Be careful with your seasoning, as bases are usually full of salt.
  10. The jambalaya is best when served directly out of the cast iron pot.
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Shrimp & Grits
Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 25 min
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 25 min
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Bring water to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Add grits and cook until water is absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese.
  2. Rinse shrimp and pat dry. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until browned; drain well. In grease, add shrimp. Cook until shrimp turns pink. Add lemon juice, chopped bacon, parsley, scallions and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes.
  3. Spoon grits into a serving bowl. Add shrimp mixture and mix well. Serve immediately.
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Muffuletta
Prep Time 15 mins
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 mins
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, stir the pimento-stuffed olives with the giardiniera, capers and their respective liquids. Add the Calamata olives, garlic, shallot, oregano, parsley, thyme and crushed red pepper. Stir in the olive oil and let the mixture stand for 1 hour.
  2. Open the Italian bread on a work surface. Spoon the olive salad on both sides of the bread and spread evenly. Arrange the mozzarella slices on the bottom half of the bread, then top with the capocollo, Genoa salami and mortadella. Arrange the provolone cheese on the top half of the bread, covering the olive salad completely. Carefully close the sandwich. Wrap the sandwich tightly in plastic and let stand for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Cut the sandwich into 8 pieces and serve peperoncini on the side.
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Down on the bayou, locals know exactly how to have a good time. Even the smallest of gatherings can turn into a celebration and for no particular reason at all. People on the bayou know how to throw a great party, and Mardi Gras is no exception.

Mardi Gras is a season filled with beads, food, traditions, and good times. Communities join together in celebration to live up to the saying laissez les bons temps rouler, which is French for “let the good times roll.”

During Mardi Gras, visitors have the opportunity to party like a local at one of the biggest celebrations in the Bayou Region. To truly party like a local, there are traditions that must be followed.

Before the celebration can begin, it is important to claim a spot along the parade route. Front row seats are taken quickly, so it is best to show up to the route a few hours early. Spots can be claimed by using portable-folding chairs, tents, or even trash cans – it all works!  

On Mardi Gras Day, or “Fat Tuesday,” the celebration starts in the early hours of the morning. The locals – dressed in purple, green, and gold – waste no time and begin tailgating long before the parades are scheduled to run. Barbecue pits are fired up, food is served, and families spend quality time with one another as they wait for the parades to begin.

“I really do enjoy Mardi Gras. I grew up around it and used to go to parades when I was little with my family that always came in from out of town,” says Kameryn Rome, a Houma native. Rome says that her family used to spend the whole day of Mardi Gras on the Houma parade route.

According to Rome, parades on the bayou have a more family-oriented atmosphere compared to the parades in New Orleans, and because of this, it is the perfect location for traveling families to experience Mardi Gras.

Parades in both Houma and Thibodaux are very laid-back. “They are very similar in that way,” says Ryan Dubina of Houma. He said that the main difference has to do with size. Thibodaux parades are much shorter, and the floats are smaller. Despite these differences, the celebration is just as big.

When the parades start rolling, the competition for colorful beads begins. Everyone stands, waves their hands in the air, and shouts the traditional phrase, “throw me something, mister!” For many locals, this is the most exciting part of the celebration.

“Riders throw beads, stuffed animals, toys, homemade trinkets, and a variety of other items. It is fun to see what you will end up catching,” says Bernadette Lanata of Boutte.

She watches the parades with her family until the very last float passes.

However, the celebration is not complete without a delicious piece of king cake.

“It is a tradition in my family to share king cake together after the parades are over,” says Bernadette. It is a sweet treat that should not be passed up. This tasty dessert is easily found at bakeries and local grocery stores all over the bayou during the season of Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras on the bayou is a family event that is filled with many special traditions that the locals appreciate. Locals on the bayou sure know how to, as the French say, “let the good times roll.”

Article by Madison Boudoin

STAFF WRITER & COPY EDITOR

Video by Wes Barnett

STAFF VIDEOGRAPHER & SPECIAL SECTIONS

Cassidy Smith, a 23-year-old Nicholls alumnus, created Mon Cher Honey— mon cher being French for “my dear”— in 2018. What began as an assignment for a college course and a favor for a friend, became a passion project for Smith as the sole owner and operator of the business.

“I started off with 60 jars of honey and was completely surprised when they sold out within four or five days,” Smith says.

Mon Cher honey is locally harvested and distributed in and around the bayou region of Louisiana. She strains and fills fresh orders of hand-jarred honey from her kitchen table. Mon Cher Honey is certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture.

According to the USDA’s latest agricultural census, “United States honey production in 2017, from producers with less than five colonies, totaled almost 600 thousand pounds, down 22 percent from 2016.” The research shows that only 50 colonies exist in Louisiana. The colonies produced 4,300 pounds of honey, totalling $8,342 in 2017. Smith has already produced about 300 pounds this year.

Each hive is removed and relocated by Daniel Achee, who goes by the name Dan the Bee Man. Dan removes bees from the New Orleans, Houma, Thibodaux, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette areas.

Dan the Bee Man first contacted Smith with a five gallon bucket of honey he acquired from a bee hive extraction. Ever since starting his business, he wanted to package and sell the honey himself but did not have the time. Since Smith was not working while completing her last semester at Nicholls, she accepted the offer to help Dan.

After Smith focused on the project for almost two weeks and researched all things honey, Mon Cher Honey was born. She had full control over the design, marketing outlines, social media strategies, and other professional collaborations.

After several trial runs to find the perfect jar for scooping honey, Smith found an American-made jar that is eco-friendly and recyclable. Every 16 oz. jar of Mon Cher honey comes with an information card about honey.

“With the purchase of Mon Cher’s local honey, you are saving bees and spreading awareness about endangerment,” Smith says. “We pride ourselves on making sure our customers and our hives are happy. We are always encouraging members of the community to buy local.”

Smith says consuming local, raw honey is better than any store bought honey because processed honey loses important enzymes and antioxidants that make it so nutritious.

Starting Mon Cher Honey has taught Smith to appreciate local businesses. Smith says the support from small businesses in the community has helped Mon Cher Honey take off.

Many local businesses now stock Mon Cher Honey. You can find the jars and T-shirts designed by Smith at Lynn’s Interiors, Ship-N-Geaux, and Weeping Willow Cafe and Bakery in Thibodaux. Smith found her most surprising success at Weeping Willow, where her honey sold out in just two business hours. She received an email the next morning requesting 10 more jars. Smith has even been contacted by markets in New Orleans and Houma looking to charry Mon Cher Honey in the future.  

One of the biggest challenges Smith has faced as a young business owner is making investments in herself, as well as in the company.      

Trusting your instincts is hard and I am constantly learning from my mistakes. Trial and error can be tough, especially knowing I can’t get my time, effort, and money back,” says Smith.

Looking forward, Smith plans to move to Austin, TX, in June, where she will continue working as a public relations professional. Smith’s goal is to have the business running smoothly for Dan when he eventually takes over. The pair have discussed hiring a Nicholls Mass Communication intern to help Dan.

Damon Smith, Cassidy’s father, says he’s just proud to see his daughter put her passion and education to use.

“Cassidy’s determination and drive from an early age let us know that she won’t settle for anything that is just average. She wants to be the best at what she does and will be successful at whatever she puts her mind into.”

Article by Ashlyn Verda

STAFF WRITER & VIDEOGRAPHER

Ashlyn Verda is from Des Allemands, LA and is majoring in Mass Communication/PR.

Video by Sydney Moxley

STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHER

Sydney Moxley is from New Orleans, LA and is majoring in Mass Communication/Journalism.