Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday”, the final day of the Carnival celebration, the festive season that occurs before Lent) will be Feb. 12th in New Orleans, but you don’t have to live or even be there to enjoy the food (not that it hurts to partake of the original goodies!) and perhaps host your own Mardi Gras, wherever you’re residing!
Here’s a few (they’re quick and easy!) to get you started:
5 cups water
Optional: ¼ cup oil
2 packages Zatarain’s Jambalaya Mix, Original
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 pound smoked sausage, ¼ -inch thick
Optional: ½ cup of sliced green onions
Bring water and oil to boiling stage in a large saucepan.
Stir in the rice mixes, chicken and sausage; return to the boiling stage.
Reduce the heat to low; cover and simmer. For 25 minutes or until the rice is tender.
Remove from heat.
Let stand for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with green onions before serving.
Makes 12 (1-cup) servings
Work time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Red Bean and Rice Party Dip
3 cups of water
1 package of Zatarain’s Red Beans and Rice
1 cup of salsa
2 Tbs of chopped jalapeno peppers
2 packages (8 ounces each) of cream cheese, softened
2 cups (8 ounces) of shredded cheddar cheese
Prepare the rice mix according to package directions, using 3 cups of water instead of 3 ¼ cups.
Reserve ¼ to ½ cup of the shredded cheese to garnish dip, if desired.
Stir the remaining ingredients into the rice mixture.
Place the mixture into food processor or blender; cover.
Process or blend until smooth.
Keep the dip warm in a chafing dish or slow cooker, if desired.
Makes 60 (2 Tbs.) servings
Work time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
For more info on New Orleans-style cuisine, go to www.facebook.com/zatarains.
Source: “Jazz up Mardi Gras with these authentic dishes”-Family Features, March 2, 2011
1 eggplant, cut into ¼ “ slices
2 jars (6 oz. each) marinated artichoke hearts, drained, marinade reserved
1 round loaf bread (1 lb.)
¾ cup mixed olives, chopped
2 each red and green peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded
4 oz each Provolone cheese and Genoa salami, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced
Heat the broiler.
Toss eggplant in the artichoke marinade.
Broil the eggplant for 5 minutes, turning once.
Cut off top one-third of bread; reserve.
Remove the center, leaving a one-inch-thick crust.
Spread loaf with olives.
Layer eggplant and remaining ingredients inside.
Top with reserved bread.
Wrap in plastic wrap; cover with plate.
Weigh down with several cans.
Makes 8 servings
Work time: 15 min.
Total time: 20 min., plus chill time