5 Delicious Fat Tuesday Delights

Cue the parades and floats, it’s almost time for New Orleans’ biggest celebration: Mardi Gras! However, you don’t have to live in the Big Easy to celebrate. If you’re throwing or hosting a party, consider making one of these festive dishes.

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1. King cake

One of the most iconic dishes served during Mardi Gras is king cake. This recipe comes from Pillsbury and only requires four ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (17.5 ounces) Pillsbury Grands cinnamon rolls with icing
  • 2 tablespoons yellow colored sugar
  • 2 tablespoons purple colored sugar
  • 2 tablespoons green colored sugar

Directions:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease the cookie sheet. Separate the dough into five rolls. To make mini king cakes, unroll one roll into a dough rope; fold rope in half lengthwise. Then, twist the dough in a spiral and shape into a circle. Place on cookie sheet. Repeat to use up rolls, placing 2 inches apart.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and decorate by spreading icing on the warm cakes and sprinkling with colored sugars.

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2. Gumbo

Martha Stewart provides a simple recipe for gumbo, a New Orleans staple, by substituting seafood with chicken. The best part is that this only takes 15 minutes to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 6 ounces Andouille or smoked sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 pound okra, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 

Directions:

First, in a five-quart saucepan, warm oil over high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper; brown both sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Then, transfer to a plate to cool before slicing into thin strips.

Next, reduce the heat to medium. Cook the sausage until browned, around 1 to 2 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery, and cook until the onion is translucent, about 4 to 6 minutes. Next, stir in flour and cook until light brown, stirring constantly, until toasted, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Once you’ve completed the above steps, stir in the tomato paste, thyme, half the okra, tomatoes, and 2 quarts water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Stir in the chicken and any accumulated juices. Cover and cook until thickened, for around 30 minutes.

Finally, stir in remaining okra; simmer, uncovered, until chicken is starting to fall apart, which will be around 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in parsley if desired.

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3. Muffulettas

This recipe, originally from Southern Living, takes a classic sandwich and puts a spin on it by creating mini muffulettas, perfect for appetizers and/or transporting.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (32-ounce) jar Italian olive salad
  • 12 small deli rolls, cut in half
  • 12 thin Swiss cheese slices
  • 12 thin deli ham slices
  • 12 thin provolone cheese slices
  • 12 Genoa salami slices

Directions:

Spread 1 tablespoon of olive salad evenly over each cut side of roll bottoms. Top each with 1 Swiss cheese slice, 1 ham slice, 1 tablespoon of olive salad, 1 provolone cheese slice, 1 salami slice, and 1 tablespoon of olive salad. Cover with roll tops and wrap sandwiches together in a large piece of aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 14 to 16 minutes or until cheeses are melted.

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4. Sazerac

Pay homage to New Orleans by serving the city’s official cocktail, the Sazerac, at your Mardi Gras party. Bon Appétit provides the popular drink recipe below.

Ingredients:

  • Ice cubes
  • 1 sugar cube or 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Peychaud’s Bitters
  • 1/8 teaspoon angostura bitters
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/4 cup rye whiskey (such as Michter’s)
  • 2 teaspoons absinthe (such as Pernod’s)
  • 1 lemon peel twist

Directions:

First, fill an old-fashioned glass with ice and set aside. Then, place the sugar cube in another old-fashioned glass. Pour the bitters, then water, over the sugar before muddling with the back of a spoon until the sugar dissolves.

Next, add ice to fill the glass before adding whiskey. Let it stand, stirring often for about five minutes. Discard the ice from the first glass before adding the absinthe. Swirl to coat inside of the glass before pouring out the absinthe. Then, strain the whiskey mixture into the glass. Twist the lemon peel above the cocktail and run along lip of glass before discarding it.

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5. Bananas foster

If king cake doesn’t satisfy your sweet tooth, try another New Orleans classic in bananas foster. This recipe is provided by Food Network. 

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 6 ripe bananas, peeled, sliced lengthwise and halved
  • 1/4 cup banana liqueur
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream

Directions:

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the brown sugar and stir for about two minutes until the sugar completely dissolves. Next, lay the bananas in the pan and cook on both sides for around three minutes, until they become slightly soft and begin to brown. Remove pan from the heat and add the banana liqueur and then the rum and cinnamon. Tip the pan slightly and carefully ignite the alcohol with a long kitchen match or kitchen lighter to flambé. Put the pan back on the heat and shake it back and forth, basting the bananas until the flame dies out.

Next, divide the ice cream among dessert bowls. Gently lift the bananas from the pan and place two pieces on the ice cream. Finally, spoon the sauce over the ice cream and serve immediately.

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