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From gumbos and jambalayas to oysters and crawfish, we offer 24 tasty ways to celebrate Mardi Gras.
Cool mango complements the spicy grilled Cajun fish and lime-flavored broth. This light soup can work as an appetizer or main dish.
This jazzy gumbo is great for a celebration. A deep, coppery-brown roux and slices of okra are the secret to the dish's rich flavors.
Melted Monterey Jack cheese and sweet and spicy peppers take fried catfish filets from ho-hum to simply delicious.
Cajun seasoning, lemon peel, and fresh parsley spice up fresh snapper. Red beans and long-grain rice complete the dish.
These tasty crab- and mayonnaise-based appetizers get their kick from ground red pepper.
This muffuletta sandwich recipe, filled with mixed vegetables, green olives, garlic, ham, provolone cheese, and salami, is perfect for your next informal gathering, tailgate party, or picnic. Each sandwich serves 6 to 8 people.
Try this crockery-cooked take on the traditional Creole-style "red" jambalaya -- a slightly spicy tomato-based stew of shrimp, chicken, and rice.
Andouille (a hard, smoked pork sausage) is mixed with crawfish for a decidedly Cajun twist on a stuffed pork roast. Andouille is used in many Cajun dishes. There are French and Creole versions of this sausage, with the Louisiana version being much spicier than its European cousin.
Browning flour without the oil of a traditional roux gives this Shrimp and Crab Gumbo rich flavor with less fat.
Oysters smothered in a white wine sauce chock-full of shrimp and mushrooms, then topped with Parmesan crumbs, makes this a very rich treat. When buying fresh oysters look for those with tightly closed shells and a fresh scent (not a strong fishy odor).
Try this version of lasagna is spiced up with Cajun style. The lasagna's seasoning, andouille sausage, and the combination of onion, celery, and sweet pepper give it a decided Cajun flair.
This sandwich has a lively tart cherry relish instead of the traditional olive relish found in muffuletta sandwiches. The cherry flavor is a nice complement to the meat.
This grilled Cajun chicken sandwich recipe makes a quick, easy, and delicious meal for any occasion.
Chicken, oysters, and sausage meld into a great souplike stew in this Louisiana classic. Like many traditional New Orleans dishes, this gumbo uses a combination of poultry, meat, and seafood.
The secret to a great gumbo with a Cajun kick lies in the andouille, a spicy smoked sausage. If you can't find andouille, any smoked sausage will do, but you may need to spice up the gumbo with a bit more red pepper.
This chicken burger recipe gets its flavor from chickpeas and Cajun seasoning. Use some of the chickpeas from a 15-ounce can for these burgers; then use the remaining chickpeas in the Potato-Chickpea Salad recipe.
A filling of shrimp seasoned with garlic and onion top a mirliton squash. A mirliton (MILL-ee-tawn) is a pale green, tropical squash that grows in Acadiana (southern Louisiana). In your area, you may find it going by its Latin-American name, chayote (rhymes with coyote). No matter what its name, this squash has a crisp white flesh.
The combination of shrimp, smoked sausage, chicken, and vegetables is reminiscent of the Creole classic jambalaya.
Raisin bread pudding served with a smooth, rich whiskey sauce is a New Orleans classic. Cajun and Creole cooks are known for their thriftiness. They're also known for the richness of their food. This recipe shows the best of both tendencies by recycling last night's bread into something glorious.
Decorated in traditional Mardi Gras colors of green and yellow, King Cake is first served on January 6, the Twelfth Night. Whoever gets the hidden token (in this case a pecan) in his or her piece becomes the king or queen for the week and bakes another King Cake. This festive ritual continues each week until Mardi Gras, the day before Lent.
A sinfully rich dessert, the doberge cake, a tall confection constructed of many thin layers of moist cake separated by creamy custard and iced with any number of different frostings. Ingenious New Orleans bakers took the famous European dobos torte and fashioned the New Orleans facsimile -- doberge (DO-bash) cake.
Pralines (praw-leen), as defined by people of New Orleans, are flat and very sweet confections made of brown sugar and pecans. In French cookery praline is caramalized almonds or hazelnuts that have been ground into a paste or powder.
A stunning mixture of coffee, brandy, orange, and spices makes this drink is a real treat.
Brulot means "burnt brandy" in French. Special fireproof brulot bowls were important tableware in fine New Orleans homes during the 1800s. For a dramatic effect, the lights were dimmed before the mixture was flamed and the coffee added to it.