If you plan to behave yourself for Lent, make it worth your while by indulging in the abundance of the Carnival season! Mardi Gras is famous for parades, beads and beer, and great New Orleans cuisine keeps you fueled for nonstop celebration. Try some of these Louisiana classics and let the good times roll!
King Cakes look like dessert, but during Carnival Season in New Orleans they are the breakfast of champions! And something sweet for the morning coffee break...and an after school treat...and a midnight snack. This version is almost as easy as stopping by the bakery!
The beignet (prounounced ben-yay) is the New Orleans version of a doughnut. It's a sweet, light and golden pastry that's best served hot and sprinkled (loaded) with powdered sugar. No wasted space for doughnut holes - you get to eat the whole thing!
Put out a tray of crawfish bread slices and watch them disappear! It's perfect parade or festival fare—you can mix the filling ahead of time and pop these open-faced sandwiches in the oven just before serving.
There's nothing quite like a good, old-fashioned fish fry! Catfish is delicious, but you can substitute another fish if catfish is not available. Buttermilk and cornmeal create a batter that strikes the perfect balance between moist and crispy.
If you're spending all day at parades you can set up your crockpot in the morning and come home to red beans that have simmered all day with sausage and spices. Serve with fluffy white, and have a bottle of Tabasco ready for the spicy souls among you.
Keep it simple in the kitchen with a meal prepared in a single pot. Start with the "holy trinity" of Creole cuisine—onion, celery and green bell pepper—and you're on your way! This version of jambalaya uses andouille sausage, but you can also try smoked sausage, chicken or shrimp. Or all of the above!
There are as many ways to make gumbo as there are cooks in Louisiana! This version with shrimp, smoked sausage and okra has been passed from generation to generation and will likely become a favorite in your household, too. It requires some attentive cooking, but it's so worth the effort!