Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Boudin Balls: Baked or Fried, with Homemade New Orleans-Style Remoulade

Wal-Mart never ceases to surprise me.  And not in the “OMG People of Wal-Mart” kind of way (at least, not ALWAYS).  But it does regularly amaze me the things I can find in Wally World.  Last week, it was nori wraps for sushi at $2.50/pack (regularly $5 at the local specialty store).  This week, it was boudin.
Or, boudAIN, as the package calls it.

Sorta like Anthony Bourdain…but tastier & less cannibalistic.
At only $2.27, I had to try it.  Typically I’m skeptical of “Cajun” labeled products that aren’t from Louisiana…but Zummo’s is made in Beaumont, Texas, which is in “Cajun Texan country”, near the TEX-LA state border.  In the early 19th century, many Louisiana Cajuns began migrating across the Sabine (the river that serves as the TEX-LA border) to work the rice fields in southeastern Texas and for the promise of jobs with the new Southern Pacific railroads in this area.  This is yet just another reason that Texas is awesome: depending on where you are, you can get delicious authentic Mexican, Tex-Mex, or Cajun food.
What IS Boudin, you ask?  Ummm…well, it’s kinda all there in the picture.  It’s heavily seasoned cooked rice, ground pork, and pork liver, combined and then stuffed into a sausage casing.  I know, I know…pork liver’s gross.  Organs are gross.  But boudin is DELICIOUS.  So just act like it isn’t there.  You won’t notice it, I promise.
What to make with boudin?  Well, it can be oven roasted (like my blog-friend Genet did here) or it can be smoked, boiled, and then sliced up as a nice finger food.
OR…you can roll it in breadcrumbs & fry it.  Because we. like. fried. everything.  Boudin balls are common commodity in the average Louisiana gas station.  Greasy & delicious, like most fried foods they make you super happy while you’re eating them, and then instantly regret it afterward.
Typically, when making boudin balls, you would make the boudin fresh, roll it into a ball, then batter & fry it.  But alas…I don’t have the time (or stomach) to make fresh boudin.  So…we’ll be rolling with the premade stuff. 
Oh…and we’re oven-frying.  To save ourselves from that “After I just ate fried food” feeling.
Trust me…it’s a totally acceptable alternative.
But, since we’re slacking off a bit on making our own boudin, I figured I should probably step it up and make our own dipping sauce, right?  That’s why I’ll also be sharing my NOLA remoulade recipe with you.  Remoulade is AMAZING.  HUGE flavor with not a ton of calories when made right (49 calories in 2 tbsp).  Run out of boudin to serve it with?  Put it on your next sandwich and have a Hallelujah moment.  For realz.  It is also AMAZING with cocktail shrimp.  Or fried shrimp. Dip your french fries in it.  Drizzle over grilled fish.  The sky is the limit!!!
  • For remoulade: [will make (8) 2 tbsp servings]
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise (NOT Miracle Whip)
  • 3 tbsp cocktail sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp Creole mustard (if you can’t find Creole mustard, you can double up on the yellow, but the Creole gives it a much more rounded flavor)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • (For the best flavor, make this sauce the night before so the flavors can fully combine.)
(Note:  if you'd prefer to buy remoulade, I like Louisiana Fish Fry's version.)

For boudin balls: [will make (6) 3 piece servings]
  • 1 package (14oz) boudin (boudain) links, casing removed and cut into 1-1.5 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup Louisiana fish fry (or, 1/3 cup cornmeal + 1 tsp Cajun seasoning)
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten + 1/2 tsp paprika

To make your remoulade:  Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl & whisk thoroughly.  Let set for 3 hrs or overnight for maximum flavorosity potential.
For the boudin balls:
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Mix the bread crumbs & fish fry together (FYI—if you use the Louisiana fish fry, it’s already seasoned, so don’t add any extra salt.)
Roll the boudin pieces in the paprika egg wash until coated.  Then drop (one at a time) into the bread crumb mixture & toss to coat thoroughly.
Place all the boudin pieces on a lightly spritzed cookie sheet, then lightly spritz the boudin balls with oil (using a Misto or Pam).  This will help them get a nice golden brown.
Bake for 15 minutes, then turn them over, spritz again with oil, and bake for another 8 minutes.  Then turn your broiler on for 2-3 minutes to finish.  Remove when nicely golden.

FRIED OPTION: Since my husband had never had regular boudin balls, I decided to make these two ways.  I oven-fried the majority, but I also pan-fried four of them in oil, so he could have a comparison.  If you decide to pan-fry some, cover the bottom of a small pan with olive oil & heat over medium until the oil starts to smoke.  Then carefully place 1-2 balls in the pan & watch for them to brown, and turn every 10-seconds or so until browned on all sides.  Let rest on a paper towel, and then place in the oven for 10 minutes at 425 to ensure that they’re cooked through.  The results will look like this (darker than the oven-friend versions:
Serve 3 balls with 2 tbsp of the remoulade & garnish with green onions.
IMG_2491 (Okay, okay, I admit they look a little like toasted coconut marshmallows, but I promise—they’re DIVINE.
Suggested accompaniment: salad and a good beer (we went with Baraboo Woodpecker Wheat)
Calories 265 for boudin balls/ 49 for remoulade
  Total Fat 12.0 g / 3.8 g 
  Saturated Fat 2.6 g / 0.5 g 
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g / 1.4 g 
  Monounsaturated Fat 0.5 g / 1.8 g
  Cholesterol 79.3 mg / 2.5 g 
  Sodium 863.8 mg / 170 mg 
  Potassium 30.3 mg / 16 mg 
  Total Carbohydrate 36.5 g / 3.5 g 
  Dietary Fiber 2.0 g /0.2 g
  Sugars 2.1 g / 2.0 g
  Protein 11.7 g /0.3 g


  1. That sounds super-yummy ... can't imagine I'll find Boudain up here ... or Creole mustard for that matter ... but I'll give it a try!

  2. I was really surprised that I found it in Missouri! But apparently many of the Sam's & WalMart stores carry it across the Midwest.

  3. I am FROM Southeast Texas. I am visiting friends in Key Largo that are also from my home area. I brought with me ZUMMO's! I can't wait to use your recipe to give them a taste of "home".

  4. I found some in Walmart in Tennessee. I'm trying this tonight.

  5. I found mine in the Walmart in Tennessee. I'm trying out this recipe tonight.

  6. I would love to find different brands of boudin in central Mississippi. Am attempting my first batch minus the casing. Touch and go on the seasonings for now. Must try breading and baking. Thanx for the tips.