Get a taste of Mardi Gras with these New Orleans-style recipes
King cake
Los Angeles Times

Get a taste of Mardi Gras with these New Orleans-style recipes

Mardi Gras is Tuesday, Feb. 28, but you don’t have to travel all the way to New Orleans to get a taste of Mardi Gras. These New Orleans-style recipes will make you feel like you’re part of the celebration without even leaving your kitchen. 

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CAJUN DIRTY RICE 

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups long-grain brown rice
  • 12 ounces andouille sausage, sliced into ½” pieces (If andouille sausage is not available in your area, simply substitute a spicy style sausage instead.)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh scallions, chopped (plus more for garnish)

Using a large saucepan, add the chicken broth and rice. Stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until broth is fully absorbed (~45 minutes). (Tip: Do not stir rice once you cover the pan and reduce heat.) Once broth has been absorbed, remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.

After the rice has been cooking for about 10 minutes, place a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the sliced sausage. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. Set sausage aside, but leave the fat in the skillet.

Add the onion, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Saute over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until soft (about 10-12 minutes).

Add the remaining ingredients (salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper, parsley and scallions). Stir and cook over low heat until rice is done.

Add the cooked rice and stir. Garnish with additional chopped scallions before serving.

— From Spiced

 

Homemade Shrimp and Sausage Cajun Gumbo Over Rice
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NEW ORLEANS GUMBO WITH SHRIMP AND SAUSAGE

ROUX

  • 1/2 cup high heat oil, such as canola, corn, or vegetable
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour

GUMBO

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 8 ounces andouille sausage, sliced 
  • 2 tablespoons EACH: cajun seasoning AND tabasco sauce (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne (omit if you want it mild)
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 ounce can) stewed tomatoes and juices, roughly diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds raw shrimp
  • 2 teaspoons gumbo filé
  • Sliced scallions + white rice or quinoa, for serving

ROUX:

Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or a heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour until combined and smooth. Switch to a wooden spoon and continuously stir for 15-22 minutes or until the roux darkens to just past a deep peanut butter color. Do not let the roux burn! (If you smell it burning, you will need to throw it out, clean the pot and start over. Unfortunately there’s just no saving burnt roux!)

Once the roux reaches that deep rich brown color, stir in the onions, bell peppers, and celery and continue to cook, stirring as needed so the vegetables don’t stick. About 8-10 minutes or until the veggies soften. Add the garlic, andouille sausage (if using tofurky, do not add yet), and bay leaves. Continue to cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until the garlic is nice and fragrant.

Add the cajun seasoning, tabasco sauce, and cayenne along with the chicken broth and stewed tomatoes and bring to a high simmer before lowering the heat to medium-low, covering and simmering for 15-20 minutes.

IF USING TOFURKY: Add a teaspoon of oil to a skillet over medium high heat. Add the slices and cook for a quick 90 seconds (turning half way) just to sear the outside before adding to the gumbo.

Add the shrimp and tofurky (if using) to the gumbo, give it a stir and allow to continue to simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the shrimp is opaque and the veggies have softened. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Add the gumbo filé and stir. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Serve warm with white rice or quinoa with sliced scallions on top.

— Recipe from: Little Spice Jar

 

EASY MARDI GRAS KING CAKE

  • 2 cans refrigerated cinnamon rolls
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 can cream cheese frosting
  • Green, purple and yellow sanding sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and liberally spray a 10-inch bundt pan with non-stick baking spray.

Open the cinnamon roll cans and add a row to the bottom of the pan.

Lightly brush the row with the beaten eggs then add another row, each time brushing with eggs, until all cinnamon rolls are in the pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until solid and no longer jiggling.

Remove and cool for 5 minutes then turn out on serving plate.

Allow to cool until slightly warm then spread cream cheese frosting over the top and sprinkle with sanding sugar, alternating all colors.

— Recipe from: Grandbaby Cakes

 

BAYOU BURGERS 

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1⁄4 cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crushed
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 4 onion rolls, halved and lightly toasted

In medium bowl, combine all ingredients except rolls.

Shape into 4 patties.

Grill or broil to desired doneness.

Serve on rolls and top, if desired, with grilled onions.

— Recipe from: Food

 

kenwnj - Fotolia

EASY CRAWFISH BOIL

  • 2 whole lemons, plus 2 more lemons cut into wedges for serving
  • 12 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 3 large onions, peeled and quartered 
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoon whole all spice berries
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 big handful of fresh parsley, divided
  • 2 and 1/2 pounds whole small red potatoes, larger potatoes cut in half
  • 14 ounces andouille sausage, cut into 12 pieces
  • 6 cobs of corn, shucked and broken in half
  • 2 lbs fully cooked frozen crawfish*, rinsed
  • Hot sauce (for serving)

Fill a large pot with 6 quarts of water. Cut the whole lemons in half. Squeeze the juice into the water and add the squeezed lemon halves as well. Add the garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, allspice, bay leaves and salt. Tie the thyme and half of the parsley into a bouquet using kitchen twine. Add it to the water. Stir well. Cover and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.

Add the potatoes. Cover and cook until they’re just tender, 9-10 minutes. Add the sausage and corn. Cook covered for 5 minutes. Gently add the frozen crawfish and cook covered until heated through, 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the remaining parsley leaves.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the crawfish, sausage and vegetables to a large platter. Discard the herb bouquet.

To Serve: Cover a table with newspaper (top with food safe tissue paper if desired). Pile the crawfish, sausage and vegetables right on top, or leave everything on the platter. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Put out the lemon wedges and hot sauce. Squeeze the garlic cloves from the skin as a condiment as well. Make sure there are a lot of napkins on hand before you dig in!

— Recipe from: Cook the Story

 

Louisiana Cajun favorite Shrimp Creole on rice is hot and spicy.
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SHRIMP CREOLE 

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning such as Slap Your Mama (more or less to taste)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour (1 teaspoon corn starch for gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 lb of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 medium scallion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt to taste

In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, green bell pepper, garlic and celery and saute until tender. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce, cayenne pepper, cajun spice, bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer 20-30 minutes.

Make a slurry of the flour and water and stir into the tomato mixture. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Lightly season the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning and add immediately to the tomato mixture. Add Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce; stir together. Cook for another 5 to 6 minutes, or until shrimp is opaque and cooked through, adjust salt if needed.

Add chopped green onion and parsley and serve.

— Recipe from: Skinnytaste

 

peanuts on old wooden plate
Igor Syrbu - Fotolia

CROCK-POT CAJUN BOILED PEANUTS

  • 1 pound raw peanuts, in the shell
  • 3-ounce package dry crab boil (such as Zatarain’s Crab and Shrimp Boil)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • 8 cups water to start

Add peanuts to the slow cooker, add in water. Pour garlic powder, salt, Cajun seasoning and red pepper flakes over the top. Stir everything together.

Place dry crab boil on top. Cook on low for 12-24 hours. The longer the mixture cooks, the stronger the flavor.

Add water as needed to make sure the peanuts are covered.

Scoop the peanuts out with a slotted spoon and serve in a bowl.

— Recipe from: Tammilee Tips

 

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HOMEMADE BEIGNETS

  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 11/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 7 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cupshortening
  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Mix water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let sit 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, salt, and evaporated milk together.

Add egg mixture to yeast mixture and mix.

Stir in 3 cups of bread flour.

Add shortening and stir in remaining flour.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.

Coat a large bowl with oil, place dough in bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

Let rise at least 2 hours or place in refrigerator overnight.

Pour about 3 inches of oil in a Dutch oven and heat to 350 degrees.

Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness and cut 2-inch squares. (This is easy to do with a pizza cutter.)

Working about four at a time, place in oil and fry, flipping continuously until they are golden brown.

Test one to make sure it is cooked through. Drain on paper towels and coat with powdered sugar.

— Recipe from: Spicy Southern Kitchen

 

Crab cakes
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NANNY’S CREOLE CRAB CAKES

  • 1 pound lump crab meat, picked over
  • 3 tablespoons mayo
  • 1 teaspoon Creole mustard
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Few drops of Tabasco
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
  • 1/2 sleeve of saltine crackers, crushed
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • Butter for frying

Combine all ingredients, except crab meat, in large bowl. Fold in crab meat and toss gently, until blended.

Shape into cakes, roll in breadcrumbs, and fry in butter, in a cast iron skillet, until browned. Makes 6 Divine!

— Recipe from: Cajun Delights

 

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SLOW COOKER LOUISIANA-STYLE RED BEANS AND RICE 

  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 2-3 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning (or other Creole seasoning of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon. dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and black pepper to taste 
  • 4 cups cooked small red beans (or use 3 cans red beans, rinsed and drained and add 1/2 cup more chicken stock)
  • 3 cups diced lean ham or Louisiana Hot Sausages (dice into pieces about the size of the cooked beans)
  • 3 cups homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Green Tabasco Sauce (or use a smaller amount of red Tobasco)
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 cups cooked white rice for serving 

If using dried beans, soak overnight and cook on stove until they are fairly soft, or cook in pressure cooker about 25 minutes. Drain beans. If using canned beans, rinse with cold water until no more foam appears, then drain.

Cut ham or sausage into small pieces, about the size of cooked beans.

Heat olive oil in a heavy frying pan, then saute diced onion about 5 minutes, or until onion starts to brown. Add garlic and saute 1 minute, then add Creole Seasoning, dried thyme, and dried oregano and saute 1-2 minutes more.

Put onion mixture into small crockpot. Add cooked beans and diced ham or sausage. Add stock, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, bay leaves, and red wine vinegar, and stir to combine.

Cook on high for 4-8 hours, until the beans are dissolved as much as you prefer. I like this best when the beans are at least 3/4 broken apart and dissolved into the liquid. Canned beans are usually softer and will break apart more quickly.

Serve hot, topped with white rice. In New Orleans this is usually served in a bowl filled about 2/3 full of the soupy bean mixture, then topped with a scoop of rice.

— Recipe from: Kalyn’s Kitchen

 

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CHICKEN AND SAUSAGE JAMBALAYA

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • Dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound cajun or andouille smoked sausage, sliced into 3/4 inch rounds
  • 1 pound chicken breast meat, cubed
  • 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked rice

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven. Add onion and bell pepper and saute until translucent.

Add garlic and a pinch red pepper (or more if you like heat) and saute until garlic is fragrant.

Add sausage and chicken and cook until chicken is mostly white.

Add tomatoes with, tomato sauce, bay leaves, broth, creole seasoning and uncooked rice. Cover and reduce heat and cook 45 to 55 minutes or until rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

— Recipe from: Southern Bite