Like all great holidays Mardi Gras features some great food. I don’t get down to New Orleans for the celebration but I always get to (or host) a New Orleans style Mardi Gras party. A big question is always “What’s the Mardi Gras menu this year?”
In New Orleans it’s about the seafood so I think your appetizers have to feature some sort of seafood. If you are not having a formal sit down I think you can go with all appetizers and do just wonderfully. Here are some of my favorite recipes.
- Crab Cakes: Everyone likes them and these can also serve as an entrée. I like this recipe from New Orleans Foodie.
- Crab Florentine Mushrooms: Not quite a New Orleans recipe but it gives me an excuse to combine three of my favorite foods; crab, spinach and mushrooms. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
- Beignets: If you have been to New Orleans you have been to Café du Monde for beignets. These are great for breakfast and great after an evening of imbibing. This is an easy recipe for beignets. Not quite the same as Café du Monde but yummy. And yes I did just name drop.
- Seafood Gumbo: I’ve been to New Orleans 3 times and had gumbo about 10 times. Never fails to please. Here is a relatively easy way to prepare this signature dish. And yes, I'm thinking of using gumbo for an appetizer.
- Grilled New Orleans Style Shrimp: Like crab cakes this works very well as an entrée as well. And I'm excited to try them.
- Mardi Gras Jambalaya: This is usually my main course. It makes for a gorgeous presentation and is just fun to eat. There are a lot good recipes for jambalaya. This year I am going to try this one from Emeril that features duck.
- Shrimp and Grits: Get down and get southern! Good grits are awesome.
- Andouille Sausage and Shrimp with Creole Mustard Sauce: Sausage and shrimp? Count me in. Be honest, your mouth watered a little just now, didn't it?
- Not really a seafood fan? Go with a southern meal of red beans, Southern Fried Chicken, and a baked ham. As a test run, I made the fried chicken the other day. And I have to say, it was fantastic!
- Mardi Gras King Cake: For me this is the only choice. You can buy these at many bakeries if you are not a great baker. (That’s what I do.) Try this if you are a great baker though, or at least up to the challenge!
- Banana Pudding: This is a great alternative for a smaller group.
- Tri Colored Cupcakes: Everybody likes cupcakes, and these are delicious. Enjoy. (I know I did when they were in the office.)
- Hurricanes: Pat O’Brien’s sells a mix for this that is easy to use.
- These other two are some work to make and probably for an experienced mixoligist but they are tasty.
Do you have a great recipe that you use every year? Feel free to share in the comments below!