High-spirited Celebrations

For the Home 03/01/12

Written By Marissa Jamison

Hold your own Carnival Celebration this March with our Mardi Gras-inspired menu, created by Biltmore Executive Chef Damien Cavicchi. Invite guests to wear their favorite costumes and join what is known as the biggest party in the world.

The spirit of Mardi Gras parties was alive and well in Biltmore House during George and Edith Vanderbilt’s time. While we don’t have archival proof that an actual Mardi Gras party was held, it is well know that Edith Vanderbilt was a lover of costume or “fancy dress” parties her whole life. She entertained often at Biltmore and clearly had a flair for the dramatic. In preparation for a party to be held in August of 1922, she contacted the famed Ziegfield Follies in New York to inquire about renting the “White Peacock” costume made famous by a member of the show. Unfortunately, it appears that Edith had little luck in this endeavor and resorted to having her own costume made a year later. She contacted a New York City costume company for suggestions on making long white peacock feathers with “eyes” of paste diamonds. While Biltmore’s archives don’t shed light on any other details of the event, based on the costumes, it must have been spectacular.

Creamy Corn Maque Choux Shrimp Remoulade Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya Hurricane


Creamy Corn Maque Choux

Serves 4 as a side dish

It is believed that the Acadians (Cajuns)
learned this dish from the Native Americans.
It is fairly simple, and with the addition of
cream, as in this recipe, it certainly lends
itself to becoming an entrée, pairing
well with shrimp, crawfish, smoked sausage
and pasta.

• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 4 cups fresh corn (or 7 ears)
• 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
• 1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
• 1/2 cup chopped celery
• 3 cloves thinly sliced garlic
• 1/4 cup chicken stock (or water)
• 1/4 cup dry sherry, (or dry white wine)
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
• 1 tablespoon kosher salt
• 1/4 cup chopped Italian Parsley
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1/2 cup chopped green onions (optional)

Pre-heat a heavy bottomed 4 quart sauce pot over medium heat. Add butter, corn, onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic, salt, black, white and cayenne peppers, and cook until softened, about five minutes. Add sherry and reduce heat to low.

Add chicken stock and simmer on low heat about 5 minutes until corn is tender. Add parsley and cream, and simmer about 5 more minutes. Garnish with green onions. Can be made in advance and reheated with a little chicken stock or water.

Winemaker’s Suggested Pairing:
Biltmore Riesling


New Orleans Shrimp Remoulade

Serves 4 as an appetizer

The preparation of Remoulade Sauce varies depending on where you are from. This is the version I associate with the feeling and flavors of Louisiana. Ask for domestic shrimp from your grocer.

• 1 1/2 lbs peeled and deveined shrimp
• 1 head Iceberg or Bibb lettuce
• 1 cup shaved white onion
• 1 sliced ripe tomato
• Lemon wedges for garnish

Sauce Ingredients:
• 1 1/2 cup best quality mayonnaise
• 1/2 cup Creole or whole grained Dijon mustard
• 1/4 cup chopped Italian Parsley
• 1/4 cup chopped capers
• 1/4 cup chopped green onions
• 1/4 cup chopped celery
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tablespoon prepared Horseradish
• 1 tablespoon best quality vinegar
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon whole celery seed

Combine all ingredients for Sauce. Reserve overnight if possible.
Cook shrimp in salted boiling water. Cool in ice water. Drain well.
To assemble, toss cooked shrimp with 1 1/2 cups of Remoulade sauce. Divide lettuce over four plates, and top with dressed shrimp, tomato and shaved onions. Serve with remaining sauce on the side. Garnish with lemon wedges.

Winemaker’s Suggested Pairing:
Biltmore Sauvignon Blanc


Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Serves 6 as a main course

All Purpose Cajun Spice Blend 
• 1 teaspoon celery seed
• 1 teaspoon white pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 tablespoons smoked paprika
• 1 tablespoons granulated onion
• 1 tablespoons granulated garlic
• 1 tablespoons kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
• 1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves

Mix well and reserve.

• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
• 1 lb Andouille Sausage or other quality smoked sausage cut into 1/2 inch slices
• 2 lbs boneless chicken thighs diced into 3/4 inch pieces
• 1 cup diced yellow onion
• 1/2 cup diced celery
• 1/2 cup diced bell pepper
• 2 tablespoons sliced garlic
• 1 (28oz can) best quality crushed tomatoes in juice
• 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
• 2 cups long grained rice
• 1 cup chopped green onions
• 1 tablespoons kosher salt
• 1 tablespoons red best quality vinegar
• 2 bay leaves

Thoroughly coat chicken with half of seasoning blend. Set a heavy bottomed sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add oil, and begin browning seasoned chicken, in batches, to prevent over-crowding the pot, about 5 minutes per batch. Reserve browned chicken. Continue browning process with Sausage. Reserve browned sausage.

Add butter to pot along with onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or until softened, scraping up any flavorful brown bits from bottom of pot. Add chicken, sausage, and their drippings, 2 tablespoons of spice blend, and remaining ingredients to pot. Bring to a boil, and immediately reduce heat to low. Cover pot. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender. Add additional seasoning blend if desired. (Note: Store-bought Cajun spice blend can be substituted if necessary.)

Winemaker’s Suggested Pairing:
Biltmore Sauvignon Blanc



Serves 4

This ubiquitous cocktail was debuted at a New Orleans World Fair back in the late 1930’s. It was perhaps named for the hurricane lamp-shaped glass in which it is believed to have been originally served. It’s common in the French Quarter to ‘float’ a shot of 151 Rum on top of the finished cocktail. If you find this recipe too sweet, the simple syrup may be omitted.

• 8 fl oz light rum
• 8 fl oz dark rum
• 8 fl oz pineapple juice (or passion fruit juice)
• 4 fl oz orange juice
• 2 fl oz fresh lime juice (two limes)
• 2 fl oz simple syrup
• 2 fl oz grenadine
• orange slices and cherries for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and pour into festive glasses. Garnish with orange slices and cherries.

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