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New Orleans Themed Engagement Party

I'm throwing an engagement party for 200 people. The party theme is going to be New Orleans Style. I need any ideas on food, decor, etc. Thanks!

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  1. Just remember, if it's in Lent, you can't have any meat. Well, seafood is acceptable.

    3 Replies
    1. re: N.O.Food

      The rules of fast and abstinence during Lent were changed following Vatican II which closed in 1965. Meat is OK except for Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent.

      1. re: MakingSense

        True, it depends on if you adhere to Vatican II.

        1. re: N.O.Food

          Even before V-II, practicing Catholics were allowed meat at one meal a day during Lent, except of course for days of abstinence. In New Orleans and Louisiana, there were some other exceptions made, but they were strictly local and some were merely customary, not formal Church law.

          Since this party is in June, none of that should apply. Only a few people observe the Catholic rules of fast and abstinence on Fridays these days and the OP didn't mention that this would be a consideration.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. okay, here's what I'd do

        chicken and sausage gumbo
        creole tomato salad
        quail with mirlitons
        and bread pudding soufflé for dessert

      2. You can probably find fabric with fleur de lis pattern and use for tablecloths or window dressings. The food part is easy, there are so many dishes to choose from. Gumbo is a must but if it's going to be sitting in a chafing dish for a while I'd make chicken and andoille over seafood. Mini mufulettas are good too.

        1. I think there are actually a few recent threads on the home cooking board titled something like "Mardi Gras Party" where New Orleanians and other experienced folk suggested hors d'ouevres and things to make for Mardi Gras parties. You should check that out.

          I really like mini-muffalettas, which are often the first thing recommended.

          Depending what season the party is in and what's available where you are, you could do a crawfish boil or have raw oysters, both of which can be very festive and are very New Orleans. Doing a boil (crawfish, corn, potatoes, other veg if you want, all boiled up with Crab boil) would be very high yield -- one big pot could feed quite a few mouths (maybe not 200 in one pot, but better than making 400 mini muffalettas by hand... goodness... maybe you could just make a few really big ones and cut them into wedges).

          Bananas Foster is a festive food that is also a New Orleans signature item.

          I like the idea above of using a Fleur de Lis symbol in your decoration... I think that using the obvious, Mardi Gras Beads, as decoration would be appropriate as well. I think you also need New Orleans Jazz playing at the party (maybe someone else can recommend something good, though really we should be sticking to food here).

          1 Reply
          1. re: Adrienne

            If you do a "crawfish boil" (or crab, or shrimp boil) you must get copies of the Times Picayune (newspaper), to spread on the tables. Barq's Root Beer is a must. Nowadays, I think that Abita Springs' beer, of some flavor, has replaced the Dixie, and I know that Jax (good ridence) is gone. Last time that we had the Dixie, the Blackened (or Crimson) Voodoo did well, but I'm not sure that it's still around, especially post-K. Now, if you could do Regal, Falstaff, Dixie AND Jax, you'd really hit all the low points of NOLA beers. (note: still miss the smells of Jax Brewery, when doing my Café Du Monde coffee on a foggy night, regardless of what I thought of that beer.)

            Hunt

          2. What city are you in? What time of day will the party be? How long? How formal? Cocktails, sit-down, buffet, reception style? Dancing?

            5 Replies
            1. re: MakingSense

              The event will be in southern Georgia in June from 7-10 pm. It is cocktail attire, and we have a jazz band. I love getting these great ideas from everyone. Thanks to all!

              1. re: LBM329

                June, ahh.

                You must do something with creole tomatoes if you can get them. Not sure what, but you really should.

                Hmm. I'm thinking . . .

                1. re: tzurriz

                  We like to take creole tomato slices, top with asiago cheese and put under the broiler. We can still get creoles at a grocery by our house called Matherne's. It is the only place I can find them. A restaurant we love (LaBoca) did a creole tomato salad with blue cheese, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

                  1. re: tzurriz

                    of course you top those creole tomato slices with shrimp remoulade...perfect for June

                  2. re: LBM329

                    In GA, you should have no problem getting most of the fixins' for a great party. Maybe start earlier and ask the gentlemen to don white jackets.

                    Oh, and by the way - congratulations! Enjoy. Hire a good caterer, and enjoy your party.

                    Hunt