Recipes for Fat Tuesday

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Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”, reflecting the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.

Today’s post are recipes that I have used many times over the past 30 years.  They are authentic french southern recipes that I have lightened up (California style) where I could, without sacrificing taste.

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I visited New Orleans, pre-Katrina, and found the culture and the food to be so different from anyplace I had ever travelled in the United States. Really, EVERYTHING is different there…jazz music, chicory lattes, beignets, architecture, the way the streets run, the parliamentary court system, graveyards, swaps & gators,  fast food drive-thrus that serve cocktails (bet that’s changed?) Well, if you have never visited the BIG EASY, than you should put it on your list. But most of all, my impression of New Orleans is the people, who rebuild their unique city after Katrina and the food, oh my goodness, the food… I think that always makes a place special, don’t you?
So today I’m Lettin’ the Goodtimes Roll…and bringing out some oldie but goodie recipes.
 These recipes are SIMPLE  and can be served together, as in this post, (which certainly fulfils the Fat Tuesday richness!) or just make one, as a side, as an appetizer or meal in itself.  The bacon-wrapped green beans has become my go-to side dish when we have ham or turkey during the holidays.
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Crab Salad with Remoulade
Iceburg lettuce, or  mixed greens.
3 cups fresh crab meat (I prefer sweetness of Alaskan crab)
lemon wedges
(I used precut bagged iceburg mix. And added the arugula.
Remoulade Sauce
4 T fresh lemon juice
4 T white vinegar
4 T mustard
4 T prepared horseradish
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp paprika
dash of cayenne pepper
2 T catsup
1 C salad oil
1/2 C minced celery
1/2 C finely chopped green onion
Avocado,  slice pretty to garnish
(Geeze, just noticed the avocado never made the camera shot!)
Combine lemon juice, vinegar, & seasonings. Gradually add oil. Stir in food processor or blender. Then add celery & onion. Makes 2 cups and keeps in refrigerator for several weeks.
 remouladeNote: this incredible Remoulade Dressing recipe can substituted with (from grocery store) Louisiana Fish Fry Products, Remoulade Dressing, it tastes great! A great time saver. Almost as good as the recipe.
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Bacon Wrapped Green Beans
(photo shows uncooked wrapped bundle)
1 2 slices bacon, I prefer thick cut. Cut slices in half.
(simple way)  16 oz cans  Whole Green Beans, VERTICAL pak
(a bit more time way)  Frozen or Fresh Whole Green Beans, cook til tender, do not over-cook, these will cook more when wrapped.
Toothpicks (1-2 per bundle count)
New Orleans Mustard Sauce
6 T mayonnaise
2 T prepared mustard
2 tsp prepared horseadish (or more to taste)
Whisk together above 3 ingredients. Serve cold or warmed.
Separate green beans into bundles, figuring 1-2 bundles per person. Cut bacon slice in half, so is now half the length. Lay flat and put bean bundle on top. Wrap the bacon around bundle and secure with 1-2 toothpicks (see photo). Pick doesn’t have to go through to other side. Toothpicks will be removed before serving.
Broil bundles on slotted broiler pan or on cookie sheet. use rack so drains bacon grease. Turn when browned, continue to cook til bacon is cooked to preferred doneness. I cook mine 5 min first side then flip and watch carefully.
Shrimp & Sausage Kabobs
Photo shows the brands and ingredients I used for this post.
We prefer a healthy chicken sausage like Open Nature. Their new variety is Sun Dried Tomato & Provolone (comes precooked). It is really good. The Cajun’s Choice seasoning mix (shown) is a good  if you want to add a little kick to the shrimp.
Soak bamboo skewers for at least 15 minutes prior to using.
Skewer shrimp separate from the sausage, unless sausage is precooked like I used. Shrimp will cook faster.
I use two skewers to run through the shrimps so it is more stable for turning.
Cut each sausage link into 5 chunks. Skewer by alternating with red onion and bell pepper chunks.
Grill or Broiler Method:
 (Grilling) heat to med hot. Apply sauce as it cooks. Shrimp takes only a few minutes. Turn skewers often. Cook precooked sausage & vege kabobs til juicey BUT if sausage is raw cook til  done as per meat directions.
 (Broiler) apply sauce first but watch shrimp carefully. Remove shrimp skewers when shimp is pink* (curling is overdone!)  and continue to cook sausage and veges til juicy and browned. Turn once.
*I tend to ere on the side of undercooked shrimp, I pull early and finish cooking in microwave if necessary.
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Serve the sausage kabobs with Mustard Sauce (green bean recipe) and shrimp kabobs with store bought cocktail sauce.
Tip: When serving Kabobs or Salad, take the opportunity to use those odd shaped white dishes we all bought at Home Goods or Marshalls.

Mardi Gras Colors

Green for Friendship      Purple for Royalty      Gold for Purity


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