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Fat Tuesday: Laissez les Bon Temps Rouller

Three Mardi Gras Masks and Beads

Ready to party? Your customers certainly are! Get in the spirit of Mardi Gras and throw them a celebration to remember. It’s fun and it gives people a reason to celebrate at the end of a long, dark winter. So break out the beads and masks and get ready to throw down, New Orleans style!

Traditional Mardi Gras recipes are listed below. Depending on your establishment, you can set up menu items, a special prix fixe menu, or even have a party night with a fixed cover or a Mardi Gras themed happy hour. Get the word out, get some fun accessories (beads, beads, and more beads) and book a brass band to really liven things up. Just don’t wait till last minute on the band – much like fiddlers at St Patrick’s Day, bands will be in high demand for Fat Tuesday.

Beignets:

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup evaporated milk
7 cups bread flour
1/4 cup shortening
Nonstick spray
Oil, for deep-frying
3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions

Mix water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.

In another bowl, beat the eggs, salt and evaporated milk together. Mix egg mixture to the yeast mixture. In a separate bowl, measure out the bread flour. Add 3 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add the shortening and continue to stir while adding the remaining flour. Remove dough from the bowl, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Put dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.

Add the confectioners’ sugar to a paper or plastic bag and set aside.

Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into 1-inch squares. Deep-fry, flipping constantly, until they become a golden color. After beignets are fried, drain them for a few seconds on paper towels, and then toss them into the bag of confectioners’ sugar. Hold bag closed and shake to coat evenly.

Jambalaya:

Ingredients

2 tablespoons peanut oil, divided by tablespoon
Cajun seasoning 10 ounces andouille sausage, sliced into rounds
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced 2 stalks celery, diced
Celery Bunch
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (16 ounce) can crushed Italian tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon file powder
1 1/4 cups uncooked white rice 2 1/2 cups chicken broth

Directions

Heat 1 tablespoon of peanut oil in a large heavy Dutch oven over medium heat. Season the sausage and chicken pieces with Cajun seasoning. Saute sausage until browned. Remove with slotted spoon, and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil, and saute chicken pieces until lightly browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

In the same pot, saute onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic until tender. Stir in crushed tomatoes, and season with red pepper, black pepper, salt, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce and file powder. Stir in chicken and sausage. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.

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