Travel opens you up to new cultures and new food experiences, so in my mind travel has always been a way to go forth and eat all the things! Despite being mostly a non-meat eater since I was 12, I’ve always been open to trying things when I travel, especially if it’s a famous local dish. In New Orleans, food is definitely part of the experience. Be open to trying new things.
I rarely took time off during my years on the Sea Fever, though I quit more than once. I was offered the opportunity to travel to New Orleans for Jazz Fest with a friend who was a Tulane alum, and I couldn’t resist. We stayed with a friend of his, and I was privileged to have an insider’s tour of the city. Little did I know that several years later I’d be back to New Orleans to have heart surgery.
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Jazz Fest was phenomenal, and there are so many other cool things to do in New Orleans, but like most visitors to The Big Easy, it was the food that stole my heart. I ate turtle soup, alligator pie, po-boys, oysters, crawfish étoufée, gumbo, jambalaya, pralines, and of course coffee + beignets at Café du Monde.
One of the highlights was a visit to The Pearl where I feasted on a killer shrimp po-boy and imagined I was a character in one of James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux novels (the Pearl is mentioned in his books).
The dish I’m sharing below, Bayou Benedict is one I started serving on the dive boat in the Bahamas after returning from a trip to New Orleans. This is less of a recipe and more of an arrangement of ingredients.
fresh or canned crab meat
bearnaise sauce (
For each serving you’ll need 4 asparagus spears, 2 eggs, one english muffin or biscuit, and half an avocado.
Steam the asparagus spears, toast the english muffins, make the Bernaise sauce and poach the eggs.
Lay 2 asparagus spears on each toasted english muffin half, put crab in between, set poached egg on top then spoon on sauce.
Sprinkle with a bit of Cajun seasoning.