Mardi Gras It’s March 1, and as some New Orleans residents like to say, “Everywhere else, it’s just Tuesday.”
But that’s not the case. Are you empty in the driver’s seat? Do you wear sequins and sparkles on weekdays? Have you been accused of being “excessive” more than once? Carnival is probably for you.
As connoisseurs and know-it-alls will tell you, America’s first Mardi Gras didn’t take place in New Orleans. (Mobile, Ala., Claims That Honor.) But it was New Orleans that spread its fame and, of course, the holiday demanded moveable food, as there were parades to see and royalty. Welcome home as you pass by.
Here are dozens of recipes (and a few more, for lagniappe) to celebrate Mardi Gras, whether you’re in Crescent City or ending a long day with Zoom.
Carnival is a marathon, not a sprint. Red beans and seasoned rice and rice – a New Orleans Monday traditional dish – fit the bill for a bit of dining on Lundi Gras, the day before Mardi Gras. This recipe, by journalist Pableaux Johnson, has been perfected over years gathering Monday at his grandmother’s kitchen table, with spicy andouille sausage and a few herbs used to great effect. If you fancy something more savory (and vegan), switch to cooking red beans and rice in Sarah DiGregorio’s pressure cooker.
The neutral yard, or median, on St. Charles on Mardi Gras in the morning smells of Popeyes. The fried chicken is portable and easy to eat with one hand while you raise your other hand to pick up the seeds thrown from the passing float. Try Melissa Clark’s fried chicken first, which is double floured for an incredibly crispy crust. If you don’t want to fry on a weeknight, bake a batch Lindy Boggs’ Chicken. The female congressman have been serving this dish at an annual New Orleans garden party for years.
The beauty of jambalaya is its ability to take in whatever you throw in when you clear the fridge: sausages, ham, chicken, shrimp, mushrooms, oysters, you name it. Bring a little sparkle to Tuesday night with this week’s early night jambalaya from Vallery Lomas, which you can easily make for vegetarians.
Cooking recipe: Quick Jambalaya
In New Orleans, there is a healthy appreciation for chewing gum: duck and andouille, green, vegetarian. This Creole Gum from the Chef Leah ChaseAdapted by Matt Lee and Ted Lee, it’s chock full of seafood, beef, pork, and chicken, creating a “brackish and silky and delicious” broth unlike any other.
Cooking recipe: Creole Gumbo
While Bourbon Street flows with hurricanes and hand grenades year-round, cocktail lovers turn to some of the city’s older creations, like the Sazerac. Its blend of rye and bitters is balanced with lemon, sugar and absinthe or Herb, depending on who is making your drink. No one will notice Mardi Gras if you pour yours in go for a cup.
Cooking recipe: Sazerac
This Italian bread, full of cured meats and made famous by Central grocery store, only gets better when it rests at room temperature. Maybe that’s why it’s so beloved. Just be sure to double wrap the bread in paper if you’re bringing it to a gathering, as the oil from the fragrant olive salad will leak through the sesame bread no matter what.
There’s something about po ‘boy bread in New Orleans: light and airy like a feather, but with a crust that can break apart under the slightest pressure. Like magic, it works as an ideal delivery vehicle for fried shrimp, fried green tomatoes, fried oysters or roast beef, as in this version from Mahony’s on Magazine Street. It will easily feed a crowd, or keep a family of two boys for a week; serve it dressed – chopped lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and mayo.
Cooking recipe: Mahony’s Beef Po ‘Boys
This recipe from Brennan’s restaurant in New Orleans has wowed Times readers since it was first published in 1957. It’s not a shame that fireworks feats are involved. . The cook ripens avocado bananas, soaking them in a bit of banana liqueur and rum before burning.
Cooking recipe: Banana Foster
King cake season can be short or long depending on when Mardi Gras falls on the calendar, but Fat Tuesday is the end of the season, meaning you have less than a week to eat. Chef Dominick Lee caramelizes apples for this cake, adapted by Kayla Stewart, topped with cream cheese flavored with orange blossom water. (Substitute almond extract for orange blossom for less blooms.) Making a king cake is a fun family project, and you can find plastic babies in the infant bathing suits section. of your local party supply store. Note: The jewelry is hidden in the cake after baking.
Cooking recipe: Caramel Apple King Cake
Drinking a strong, fishy, alcohol-based drink on a neutral medium is a hallmark of Carnival in New Orleans. This boisterous pick-me-up keeps the party going, and it’s inspired by a year-round service at Molly at the market in the French Quarter. If you just want a high-octane coffee, you can’t go wrong with this cold brew recipe. Serve coffee with chicory for more New Orleans flavor.
Confectionery hot, golden and covered with sugar, beignets are the best way to start the day and end an evening. Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter is known for piling drifting sugar on top of its signs, while its rival Morning call Let the customer decide how much sugar to add. This recipe by Kay Chun leaves it up to the cook to decide how to dust it. This batch serves a crowd and is made in a Dutch oven, no deep fryer required.
Cooking recipe: donuts
Playlist for your Mardi Gras Party
Carnival involves music as well as competition. Here’s a playlist to listen to as you prepare your own celebration.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/24/dining/mardi-gras-recipes.html Mardi Gras recipes for your next celebration