Anyone who thinks Mardi Gras is just a chance to party doesn't know enough about the food surrounding this annual festival. The food of New Orleans is the stuff of legend - spicy jambalaya, blackened catfish, savory dirty rice --really, what's not to love? Many of this region's Cajun staples are stews built on rich, dark roux. (Its deep flavor is present in every bite of seafood gumbo and shrimp etouffe.) When you're on the hunt for Mardi Gras recipes, look for traditional preparations that hold true to the Cajun and Creole tradition. This cuisine doesn't need any fancy twists or updates - it's beauty is in its simplicity. Once you've cleared the dinner plates, it's time for king cake. This colorfully decorated cake isn't just a sweet dessert - local custom dictates that the baker add a trinket (often a tiny baby doll) to the batter. The lucky guest who finds the doll in his slice is "king of the feast". Hiding a trinket (it was once typically a bean, now bakers often a place a tiny baby doll) in the batter in this festively decorated cake is a Mardi Gras tradition.See Popular Mardi Gras Recipes
Fried dough squares are sprinkled with powdered sugar to make these sweet rolls. Serve them while still warm for brunch, a snack, or dessert.
Serve these fun green drinks at a summer party or a Halloween bash.
Toasted walnuts, honey, hot red pepper, and soft aromatic cheese blend seamlessly in this spicy and savory appetizer spread.
From New Orleans' French Quarter coffee houses, beignets (ben yayz) are square hole-less fried dough that are airy and delicate. Use a deep saucepan to fry the beignets, leaving at least 3 inches between the oil and the top of the pan. Roll in powdered sugar and serve warm for breakfast, brunch, or dessert.
The sandwich filling that originated in New Orleans transforms itself into a tasty spread perfect for a quick, no-fuss snack and starter.
Ready in just 15 minutes, this easy recipe instantly awes guests. Brown sugar, bananas, and a splash of liqueur are warmed and poured over ice cream for an enticing dessert.
A melting pot of traditions go into Creole dishes French, Spanish, African and Native American originating in the Louisiana Bayou.
Decorated in traditional Mardi Gras green and yellow, King's Cake is first served on January 6, Twelfth Night. Whoever is served the hidden pecan becomes the king or queen for the week and bakes another King's Cake. This festive ritual continues each week until Mardi Gras, the day before Lent.
Most sources say jambalaya is from "jambon," the French word for "ham," an appropriate heritage for a Creole dish, plus the African "ya," meaning "rice."
This New Orleans dessert is truly sublime, as is the rich sauce that blankets every serving. It's a worthy indulgence.
This classic drink contains gin and fizzy sparkling water with a splash of lemon juice.
Andouille sausage and crawfish tails reflect the Cajun roots of this robust salad. Can't find these Louisiana specialties? Substitute other smoked sausage and cooked shrimp.
The traditional French fritter or beignet is a puffy, deep-fried doughnutlike pastry. Mixing the dough is easy with the help of your bread machine.
A New Orleans favorite, this hefty sandwich is typically served on a baguette. Combine mango with chilled shrimp, rather than the customary fried shrimp, for a fresh take on tradition.