• Tommy Centola

Putting Cajun twist on Easter dinner

Easter is coming up. Time to make plans for this glorious day. These days, our family celebrates Easter with a crawfish boil. In New Orleans, that was not the case. My mother insisted in a traditional sit down meal.

Numerous appetizer and side dishes were prepared by those attending. The main entrée would be a baked ham. Since in previous articles I have shared ham glazes, today I have taken a different approach. For starters, we have Andouille Deviled Eggs. The main dish is Orange-Glazed Pork Loin. And for dessert, I’m sharing my mom’s Sour Cream Cake. Let’s get into the kitchen.


You can’t have Easter without Easter eggs. Here is a Cajun twist on a classic egg appetizer. Just don’t hide them. This is something you would not want to find a few days later.

Andouille Deviled Eggs

12 large hard-boiled eggs

1 teaspoon canola oil

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped andouille sausage

1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper

1/2 cup Creole mustard

1 1/4 Creole seasoning

Peel each egg, and halve lengthwise. Remove yolks and set aside.

In a small skillet, add oil and heat over medium heat. Add andouille and bell pepper, and cook, stirring 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels; let stand until cool.

In a small mixing bowl, add egg yolks, and mash with a fork. Add andouille mixture and creole mustard. Season with Creole seasoning, stirring to combine.

Spoon yolk mixture into egg whites and garnish with parsley, if desired.

Ham is a traditional centerpiece for a New Orleans Easter dinner. I wanted to take another approach. This pork loin’s plenty of flavor, which will have you not missing the ham.

Orange-Glazed Pork Loin

1 3 1/2 to 4 pound center-cut pork loin

4 large garlic cloves, peeled and cut into slivers

2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons minced fresh sage

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 navel oranges, thinly sliced

Curly parsley sprigs

Orange Glaze

1/4 cup orange marmalade

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup Creole mustard

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

Pan Sauce

1/4 cup Grand Marnier

1 cup orange juice

Preheat oven to 350℉. Place roast on a cutting board, fat side up: make small slits in the fat with a paring knife. Insert garlic slivers in slits. In a small bowl, combine rosemary, sage, salt, and pepper: pat onto roast. Place meat in a large roasting pan. Roast in preheated oven to an internal temperature of 145 degrees, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare Orange Glaze by combining all glaze ingredients in a small bowl. About 15 minutes before the meat is done, brush glaze over roast: roast 15 minutes more. Place roast on a carving board.

Prepare Pan Sauce – Skim all fat from roasting pan; place pan over medium-high heat. Add Grand Marnier and orange juice; scrape up browned bits from bottom of pan. Cook 5 minutes.

Slice roast into 1/2 inch thick slices; arrange, slightly overlapping, on a platter. Drizzle Pan Sauce over slices; garnish platter with orange slices and parsley sprigs. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

The very first time I made this recipe was for an Easter meal. This is one of my mom’s recipes. I did not discover it until after she had passed away. A friend of hers made it for the family. I would have loved to tasted her version.

Sour Cream Cake

1/2 cup butter

2 cups sugar

4 tablespoons cocoa

1 cup boiling water

2 eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Cream butter and sugar. Add cocoa and mix well. Add unbeaten eggs and blend. Add sour cream, then flour gradually. Pour water over baking soda and add to the above mixture and mix well. Add vanilla. Bake in an ungreased and floured pan for 30 to 35 minutes. When cool, top with your favorite icing.

These delectable dishes would be welcomed on any table. Bringing them together for Easter makes for great a New Orleans celebration. One day, I hope to bring back my mother’s Easter traditions. Talking my relatives in Arkansas into not having crawfish is a very tall order. Happy Easter!

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