James Martin’s Creole-Style Shrimp to Philly Cheesesteak

Ahead of one of America’s biggest holidays, here are three recipes from James Martin’s tour of the giant county that are sure to cause fireworks in the kitchen.

Creole-style shrimp

Wherever you go in New Orleans, you are surrounded by food and music. I made this dish right in the heart of the city, in Louis Armstrong Park – the perfect setting. The Creole flavours come from the French and Spanish settlers that made Louisiana their home.

Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
8 slices crusty bread
1 knob of butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp Creole seasoning
½ tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp dried thyme
6 tbsp spoons white wine
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 x 400g (14oz) tins chopped tomatoes
3 bay leaves
1 tsp caster (superfine) sugar
150g (5 ¼oz) pimento-stuffed olives in brine, drained
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1kg (2¼lb) raw prawns (shrimp), peeled and de-veined
Small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Small bunch of basil, chopped

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the bread slices in two batches until golden and crispy, then lift onto a plate and put to one side.

In the same pan, add the remaining oil and the butter. When the butter has melted and is bubbling, stir in the onion and garlic and cook over a low heat for 2 minutes. Put the Creole seasoning, cumin and thyme into a small bowl. Add a splash of the white wine and stir in to make a paste.

Spoon into the pan with the onion and stir in. Next, add the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, bay leaves, sugar, olives, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and the rest of the wine. Season well and stir everything together then simmer over a gentle heat for 5 minutes.

Add the prawns (shrimp), stir in and cook gently for a further 8 minutes. Stir through the fresh herbs and taste to check the seasoning. Remove the bay leaves. Drizzle over a little extra olive oil, if desired, then spoon among four shallow bowls. Serve with the toasted bread.

Fort Worth chicken wings with orange and slaw

Fort Worth is a Texan cattle ranch town, with all the old buildings still intact. It’s a popular tourist destination, and is almost like Disneyland for cows. Instead of Mickey Mouse and Pluto, you see cowboys and longhorn cattle wandering the streets. With rodeo stadiums everywhere you look, it’s a good place to visit.

Serves 4

Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
75g (½ cup) cornflour (cornstarch)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
900g (2lb) chicken wings

For the slaw

2 medium egg yolks
1 tsp dijon mustard
200ml (1 cup) olive oil
2 tsp grainy mustard
1 celeriac (celery root), peeled and thinly sliced into batons
1 apple, cored and thinly sliced into batons

For the sauce

100ml (½ cup) maple syrup
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 jalapeno chillies, chopped
6 spring onions (scallions), trimmed and sliced
Zest and juice of 1 orange

First make the slaw. Put the egg yolks and mustard into a medium bowl and whisk together. Slowly add the oil, starting with a drop at a time, and whisk continuously until the mixture starts to thicken and emulsify. Continue to whisk, pouring the oil in at a steady drizzle now until all the oil has been added. Stir in the grainy mustard and season to taste. Fold in the celeriac (celery root) and apple and spoon into a serving bowl.

Heat the vegetable oil in a deep fat fryer to 160C/325F or in a deep heavy-based saucepan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. Note: hot oil can be dangerous; do not leave it unattended. Line a large plate with kitchen paper.

Put the cornflour (cornstarch) into a medium shallow dish and season with the salt and pepper. Dip each chicken wing in to coat in the seasoned flour, then deep-fry in batches for 8-10 minutes until golden and crisp. Drain on the kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt.

Place all the ingredients for the sauce into a large frying pan and place over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then simmer until the sauce has reduced by about a third. Put the wings into the frying pan in 2-3 batches and spoon over the sauce to coat them. Bubble over a low heat for 2 minutes to heat the chicken through.

To serve, spoon the wings and sauce onto a large warm platter and serve with the slaw.

Philly cheesesteak

Invented by a hot dog guy for a taxi diver who wanted to grab something quick to eat, the Philly cheesesteak has become massive in its home city of Philadelphia. Its fame has come at a price, however, and unfortunately it is now easier to find a bad one than a tasty one. This has to be made with great beef, normally ribeye, cooked quickly then sliced up. Provolone cheese is another must. Other than the hoagie – the type of bread it sits in – the rest is up to you.

Serves 3

4 tbsp olive oil
3 x 20cm (8in) hoagies or baguettes, cut in half lengthways
6 large spring onions (scallions), cut in half lengthways
2 little gem lettuces, leaves pulled apart
50g (1¾oz) cherry tomatoes
500g (1lb 2oz) ribeye steak, thinly sliced
3 pickled onions, sliced
2 mozzarella balls, torn
300g (3 cups) grated provolone cheese

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Heat a griddle pan to hot. Drizzle the oil over the cut sides of the baguettes and place cut-side down onto the griddle. Toast until charred. Brush a little oil over the spring onions (scallions) and griddle them for 2-3 minutes, again until charred.

Place the baguettes in a parcel of foil or baking parchment, top with the lettuce and tomatoes. Oil the griddle and place the steak on the griddle to cook for 1 minute on each side. Then cut up into strips while on the griddle.

Place the strips of steak into the baguettes. Add the slices of pickled onion, mozzarella, provolone cheese, and top with the spring onions. Place in the oven for 5 minutes before serving.