Mardi Gras Menu

Bust out your beads, it’s Mardi Gras! While people in New Orleans have been celebrating for what must seem like weeks, here in CA, we’re throwing one last Creole-style hoorah on Sunday before the final “Fat Tuesday.”  Here’s what I’m cooking up for our guests:

Santa Barbara Ridge Back Shrimp

Peel n’ eat shrimp boil — Gulf Shrimp from Fisherman’s Cove Seafood in Kenner Louisiana.

I also ordered their pre-mixed spice shrimp blend. Normally, I like to create my own spice combinations, but this stuff is the real deal and so worth it. This is such a great appetizer for entertaining because they can be served at any temp. Make’em in the morning and serve them cold or boil them right before guests arrive for hot or room temp shrimp.

This type of shrimp is fantastic for entertaining. It’s fun and casual to sit around a table and peel and talk, talk and peel, but don’t for get to eat! Oh, and sip a cold one, too: Blackened Voodoo, Red Stripe, or whatever tickles your fancy. Just remember to put a few slices of lemon in the finger bowls so your guests won’t end up with “schkrimps” hands.

Jambalaya for a Crowd with  Chicken and Andouille sausageThis is my own recipe but I don’t have it all written down — I’ll figure it out and get it to ya’ll soon. I did order Andouille Sausage from the Mardi Gras Mecca (Poche’s Market). So excited!

Veggie Platter — Got to get the veggies in the kids!

Garden Greens and Radish with Buttermilk Dressing

King Cake—Any time a recipe calls for a plastic baby to be used — I’m in.

I ordered my babies from Oriental Trading Company. The only thing is, they come in packs of 24.  What can one do with 23 tiny plastic babies? Hmm…how about this?

If baking your own king cake is getting in the way of your Mardi-Gras revelry, you can also order online at Gambino’s.  If you actually happen to be in Louisiana (lucky you), Tastee Donuts sells the original McKenzie’s recipe King Cake.

Beignets — I am using a recipe from Anne Burrell. I know she usually cooks Italian fare, but she is a great baker.

Here are some great Cookbooks to help with Louisiana-Style cooking:

Real Cajun by Donald Link

Emeril’s Potluck by Emeril Lagasse

Crescent City Cooking by Susan Spicer