Mardi Gras

Big Easy Jambalaya

February 17, 2015

Fat Tuesday is here and luckily you don’t have to wear a costume to make this delicious Mardi Gras meal.

Mardi Gras King Cake

February 16, 2015

Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday and it’s time to make Mardi Gras King Cake. Don’t forget to insert the tiny plastic baby inside.

Mardi Gras Gumbo

February 3, 2015

Fat Tuesday is fast approching and it’s time for Mardi Gras Gumbo! I like to keep it simple, so I’ve opted for just the essential Creole favorites of sausage, okra, rice and a bit of Cajun spice.

Okra & Corn Maque Choux

March 13, 2014

Okra & Corn Maque Choux

Okra & Corn Maque Choux

Maque choux is a traditional dish of southern Louisiana similar to succotash. It is believed that the name of this dish is a Cajun French translation of the Native American name. 

INGREDIENTS

1/4 Pound Diced Spicy Smoked Sausage

1/2 Cup Chopped Sweet Onion

1/2 Cup Chopped Green Bell Pepper

3 Minced Garlic Cloves

3 Cups Corn Kernels

1 Cup Sliced Fresh Okra

1 Cup Peeled, Seeded, Diced Tomatoes

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

In a large-size skillet sauté sausage over a medium-high heat for 3 minutes until browned. Add onions, bell pepper, and garlic to sausage in skillet. Sauté for 5 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add corn, okra, and tomatoes to mixture in skillet. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Transfer to serving dish and serve warm. Serves 6

© Victoria Hart Glavin

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Mardi Gras Cream Caramel Dessert

March 4, 2014

Mardi Gras Cream Caramel Dessert

Mardi Gras Cream Caramel Dessert

Celebrate tonight with this delicious Cream Caramel Dessert. Your family will wish it were Mardi Gras every night!

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Cold Water (Divided)

4 Teaspoons Gelatin

1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

1 1/2 Cups Whole Milk

3/4 Cup Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

3 Large Egg Yolks

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste (I like to use Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Paste)

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

In a small-size bowl pour in 1/4 cup cold water. Add gelatin and gently stir to help dissolve. Let gelatin sit for 5 minutes until gelled. In a small-size saucepan add the remaining cold water and bring to a simmer over a medium-high heat. Pour hot water onto gelatin. Stir until dissolved and then set aside. In a medium-size bowl beat the whipping cream to stiff peaks and then place in fridge. In a medium-size saucepan add milk, sugar, and kosher salt over a medium-high heat until milk is hot and starts to steam. Whisk occasionally. Place egg yokes in medium-size bowl and beat slightly. When milk mixture is hot, whisk into yolks by adding just a few drops at first and adding more little by little. This is very important, as you don’t want scrambled eggs. Pour milk and egg yolk mixture back into saucepan and bring to simmer over a very low heat. Make sure to stir frequently. When simmering cook for 2 minutes and stir constantly. Turn off heat and stir in gelatin and water mixture, vanilla bean paste, and vanilla extract. Strain twice through a fine mesh sieve and pour into a medium-size bowl. Pour ice water into a large-size bowl (1/3 full) and sit bowl of cream mixture inside the large bowl of ice water. Using a handheld electric mixer beat cream until cooled and starts to thicken. Remove whipped cream from fridge and gently fold whipped cream into cream mixture by adding a tablespoon at a time. Transfer mixture to individual serving ramekins and place in fridge for 3 to 5 hours until set. Serves 4 to 6.

© Victoria Hart Glavin

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Mardi Gras

March 4, 2014

Mardi Gras

Fat Tuesday Red Beans & Rice

March 4, 2014

Red Beans & Rice

Fat Tuesday Red Beans & Rice

In keeping with the Mardi Gras theme here is a super easy Red Beans & Rice recipe. You can either use canned beans or dried beans (soaked and cooked).

INGREDIENTS

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

2 Minced Garlic Cloves

1 Diced Red Onion

1 Diced Celery Stalk

1 Diced Green or Red Bell Pepper

1 Pound Cooked Red Kidney Beans (2 Cans)

1 Teaspoon Onion Powder

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

2 Tablespoon Hot Sauce

2 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock

1 Cup White Rice

2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter

In a large-size saucepan heat olive oil over a medium-high heat. Add garlic, onions, celery, and bell pepper and sauté for 5 minutes until tender. Add kidney beans, onion powder, kosher salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Stir until combined. Turn heat to low and simmer while cooking rice. To cook rice add chicken stock to a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir in rice and butter. Return to a boil. Turn heat to low and cover with lid. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes. Do not remove lid. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Gently add rice to beans and stir to combine. Transfer to serving bowl and serve warm. Serves 6

© Victoria Hart Glavin

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Mardi Gras King Cake

March 3, 2014

 

Mardi Gras King CakeMardi Gras King Cake 2

I’m sure you’ve been hearing a lot about King Cake these days, but just what is King Cake anyway? King cakes are a holiday tradition around the world, including the celebration of the Twelfth Night and Carnival. Each community has its own recipe variations and symbolic interpretations. In the United States, a plastic baby is baked inside the cake, and the person who received the slice with the baby in it is said to have good luck and named Queen or King of the party and required to supply the next king cake or host the next party or both. The cake is topped with icing and three colored sugars that represent justice (purple), faith (green), and power (gold). Warning…this is an involved recipe.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 Cup Warm Water That Should Be 105 to 115 Degrees

2 Packages Dry Yeast

1 Tablespoon Sugar

4 to 5 Cups Unbleached Flour

1/2 Cup Sugar

2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1 Teaspoon Grated Lemon Rind

1/2 Cup Warm Milk That Should Be 105 to 115 Degrees

1/2 Cup Melted Unsalted Butter (Cooled)

5 Egg Yolks

1/2 Cup Chopped Candied Citron

1 King Cake Baby (As Shown)

Icing:

2 Cups Sifted Powdered Sugar

2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons Water

Colored Sugar Crystals (Purple, Green & Gold)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small-size bowl combine warm water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Mix well and set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes. In a large-size bowl combine 4 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, kosher salt, nutmeg, lemon rind, warm milk, cooled melted butter, egg yolks and yeast mixture. Beat until smooth. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead in enough of the remaining 1 cup flour until dough is no longer sticky. Continue kneading for 10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a well-greased bowl and turn once so greased surface is on top. Cover dough with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours until double in bulk. Punch dough down and place on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle with citron and knead until citron is evenly distributed. Shape dough into a cylinder, about 30 inches long. Place cylinder on a greased baking sheet and shape into a ring. Pinch ends together to seal. Place a well-greased 2 inch coffee can in canter of the ring to keep the shape during baking. Press King Cake Baby into ring from the bottom so that it is completely hidden by the dough. Cover ring with a kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes until doubled in bulk. Place in oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown. Remember that each oven heats differently. Remove from oven and remove coffee can immediately. Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes on baking pan. Remove from pan to wire rack to cool completely. To make icing: In a small-size bowl combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water. Beat until smooth. Drizzle cake with icing. Sprinkle with sugar crystals by alternating colors. Serve cake and watch who gets the baby! Serves 12

© Victoria Hart Glavin

Mardi Gras King Cake Baby

Cajun Jambalaya

March 1, 2014

Cajun Jambalaya

Cajun Jambalaya

Can’t make it to the French Quarter on Fat Tuesday? Celebrate Mardi Gras with New Orleans favorites and have your own party (ok dinner for husband and the kids). My recipe calls for shrimp, but I’m allergic to shrimp so I left it out of my dish.

INGREDIENTS

1 Pound Peeled & Deveined Shrimp (Fresh or Frozen)

1 Medium Chopped Onion

1 Stalk Chopped Celery

1 Chopped Green Bell Pepper

2 Minced Garlic Cloves

2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

2 Cups Chicken Broth

One 14 1/2 Ounce Can Undrained Diced Tomatoes

8 Ounces Andouille Sausages (Cut Into 1/2 Inch Slices)

 3/4 Cup Uncooked Long Grain Rice

1 Teaspoon Crushed Dried Thyme

1 Teaspoon Crushed Dried Basil

1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1 Bay Leaf

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Cup Cubed Cooked Ham

If using frozen shrimp make sure it is thawed. Rinse shrimp and set aside. In a large-size skillet add oil and heat over a medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook for 4 minutes until tender. Stir in chicken broth, undrained tomatoes, sausages, rice, thyme, basil, cayenne pepper, bay leaf and pepper. Bring to boiling and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Stir in shrimp. Return to boiling. Reduce heat again to a simmer. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes more or until shrimp turns opaque and rice is tender. Stir in ham and heat through. Remove from heat and transfer to serving bowl. Throw away bay leaf. Serve hot. Serves 4

© Victoria Hart Glavin

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