Wow! Blog posts have been few and far between, but here are a couple of fun recipes for your Mardi Gras celebrations…don’t forget that it’s tomorrow, March 4th!
Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday. And what could be richer than Shrimp Etouffee?! Etouffee literally means “smothered”. You start this dish with a roux which will create a nice, thick, yummy sauce. I always serve mine over rice. Perfection! And for dessert, nothing speaks New Orleans like a nice fluffy Beignet drowned in powdered sugar. Oh, my! Talk about decadent! Hope you enjoy!
6 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
3 medium stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1 tsp. Parsley
Cayenne Pepper, to taste (depends on how hot you want it)
2-3 dashes Tabasco Sauce
One 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
Salt, to taste
1 pound small shrimp, cooked, peeled, and deveined
1. Melt butter in large skillet over med-low heat. Whisk in flour to make a paste. Continue cooking, whisking frequently, until mix turns caramel color, 10-15 minutes.
2. Add onion, green pepper, celery, and garlic and cook about 5 minutes or until vegetables are slightly softened.
3. Add pepper, Cajun seasoning, Parsley, Tabasco, and Cayenne.
4. Add 1 cup water and stir to blend. Pour in the tomatoes and their juice, and season with salt to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low for 10-15 minutes. Add in shrimp to heat the last 5 minutes.
5. Serve over rice and enjoy!
French Quarter Beignets
1/4 cup sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
3/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup evaporated milk
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 cup vegetable oil, plus extra for deep frying
Powdered sugar, for dusting
1. In a large bowl, mix sugar and yeast with 3/4 cup lukewarm water. Let sit for 10 minutes until mix is foamy.
2. Whisk in salt, egg, and milk. Add 1 1/2 cup flour and whisk until smooth. Add the veg. oil and whisk. Add the rest of the flour (2 cups) 1/2 cup at a time and stir with a spoon.
3. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth.
4. Rub a small amount of veg. oil on dough ball and return to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and put in fridge for at least 2 hours.
5. Roll dough on a floured surface to form about a 15 by 20 inch rectangle. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into enough small rectangles to make 30 beignets.
6. Pour oil into an electric skillet, or a regular skillet, and heat to 350F. The oil should be about 3 inches deep.
7. Drop the rectangles into the hot oil being careful not to overcrowd…they need room to grow…literally. Brown on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Lift out with tongs and drain on paper towel lined plate. Immediately sift the powdered sugar (as much or as little as you want…personally, I like a lot!) on top of the beignets.
8. Serve immediately. They are best when they are still nice and warm. Each bite will make you think you’ve died and gone to heaven!
HAPPY MARDI GRAS!