I looked at the calendar and I saw that I have 4 weeks until Mardi Gras. I already have a couple of Creole recipes up on the site, Creole Collard Greens and Creole Mustard Greens so I'm going to focus on some main dish meals, namely Jambalaya and Gumbo, and I'll finish it off with my recipe for King Cake. The foundation for any great New Orleans meal is the spices and since many dishes are rice based or served over rice, you'll need some high quality brown rice, I recommend Mathatma brand which despite the Indian name is 100% USA grown rice. Now the other thing, I don't often say this, is that you cannot go wrong with Zatarains Brand rice blends. It has the perfect blend of spices coupled with a high quality rice that makes for a delicious meal. I cannot extol the virtues of this brand enough.
Anytime you can cut some time from a recipe by using a high quality boxed product I usually say "Don't do it". The scratch version will come out so much better. But in this one case I say use the Zatarains mixes as a base for what you are cooking. It's so much easier to make dirty rice with their mix and add some cooked Andouille sausage than to do it all from scratch and get together the spices yourself. There I said it, and you probably won't hear it from me again in a long time as I am not a fan of processed food, however exceptions do sometimes come into play.
This is NOT a paid post for Zatarains on behalf of anyone. This is 100% my own opinion on a product I believe in.