Mardi Gras! Let the good times roll!
Mardi Gras is one of my favorite holidays because it brings dressing up and over indulgence into the professional realm. Every year we try to celebrate Fat Tuesday in our own special way. Lately I have had the pleasure to spread the celebration to my clients and share the bold flavors of Cajun Cuisine around Reno!
Mardi Gras is the last day before Lent begins, and it’s a time to get all the partying out of your system before serious spiritual reflection. I won’t delve into religion—this is a food blog, after all—so what can you make this week to spice up your dinner table? How about a delectable muffuletta? I swear I almost crawled out of bed to eat this muffuletta at 2 am… it is that delectable. Comfort food like Gumbo or Jambalaya sound good? Those will really warm your belly! Let’s wash it all down with a genuine hurricane cocktail.
Let’s break down Cajun cuisine into some basics:
1. The Holy Trinity: Onions, celery, and bell peppers. Prep up a big batch because these three veggies are in almost every dish.
2. Roux: Equal parts fat and flour, cook to desired color—dark for Gumbo. Keep stirring or it will burn! Roux is used to thicken stock to make a stew consistency.
3. Spices: Lots and lots of spices! Cayenne, cumin, thyme, and more (see below). Mix up a batch of with ingredients found in your pantry or buy a pre-made blend at the store. Just be careful; the store bought mixes can be pretty salty. Here’s my blend:
I mix this in big batches by ratio so “parts” could be teaspoons, tablespoons, or cups…
- 1 part of the following spices:
- Cayenne pepper
- Chili powder
- 2 parts of:
- White pepper
- Salt (can be scaled down for dietary needs or taste)
4. Meat: Chicken, craw-fish, crab, shrimp, Andouille sausage, and Ham are the commonly used proteins. For the vegetarians let’s use kidney beans for classic Red Beans and Rice.
I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as my family and friends do!
Crank up the Zydeco, and boogie with your friends while cooking up these yummy recipes! Bon appetit, et laissez les bon temps rouler!