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Acadiana Lifestyle

From Scratch - January 2018

01/30/2018 07:00AM ● By Robert Frey

Muffuletta Pork Chops and Zydeco Green Beans

By Sharon LaFleur of

Way, way back in the day, folks in Acadiana would hold a bal de maison, or house dance for their friends and neighbors. You’d let everybody know by putting a flag on your fence by the road. Food was served and it was a night of music and socializing for the whole family. Another name for these dances is fais do do, which is Louisiana-French baby talk for “go to sleep.” Baby sitters weren’t a thing then, but the dances would run late. So the kids would pile into a back room to sleep. As kids are wont to do, they often popped up and ran back out into the action, and their mamas would admonish them by saying, “fais do do,” so she could get back to the fun.

Occasionally the fare served at the dance was meager. So the host might pass the word that, les haricots sont pas salé, “the green beans aren’t salty,” meaning that the beans were without pork. In French, les haricots would be pronounced, “lay zarico,” and eventually zarico morphed into zydeco and became the name for the music that was played at the dance. Originally French-speaking Cajuns and Creoles all played the same music. Starting at the end of World War II, Cajun music kind of went country and zydeco picked up on rhythm and blues.

My recipe for Zydeco Green Beans is made with tasso, but you could use bacon or pancetta. And instead of white (or as they say around here, Irish) potatoes, you can substitute sweet.

For the pork chops, we salute New Orleans and their iconic sandwich, the muffuletta. Not especially paleo, the muffuletta’s signature element is the olive salad. I love salsas and relishes with meat and poultry, and this addition makes for a nice change from gravy or a pan sauce. The whole meal is quick and easy, and delicious, too.

My playlist reflects the dishes with tunes by bands that play in and around New Orleans and a bunch of my favorite zydeco songs. Originally the playlist was two-and-a-half hours long, and obviously I’ve left out whole genres of Louisiana music. If I’d included the many forms of jazz, swamp pop, and Cajun, there’d be two-and-a-half days of music … with too much left out. So this will give you a taste.

Get the full recipe here!

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