Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Mardi Gras!

Happy Mardi Gras from FoodPair! Though it's too late to catch a flight down to The Big Easy to celebrate with the insane crowds, there are plenty of fun & easy things you can whip up in the comfort of your own home to celebrate the best of Fat Tuesday and New Orleans.

Mardi Gras, translated as Fat Tuesday, is a giant party held the last day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. For those observing Lent, Mardi Gras is the last day to eat rich foods for a long time, so major feasting is in order! As they say in New Orleans, Laissez les bons temps rouler, let the good times roll on Mardi Gras.

It's a great time to make one of our favorite dishes: Jambalaya. Not only is it fun to say (Jambalaya!), it's a delicious rice stew with chicken and sausage. Many Cajun and Creole dishes start with the "holy trinity" of chopped onions, bell peppers and celery, which are staples of cooking across Louisiana.

To help you assemble a parade of Mardi Gras dishes, we fired up the increasingly powerful FoodPair search engine and found a handful of great recipes from across the Web.

Buttermilk Beignets
Start your day off in style with Beignets and Chicory Coffee.
Ingredients in this recipe: sugar, buttermilk, salt, powdered sugar, baking soda, milk, peanut oil, active dry yeast, bread flour

Great for snacking and gifting, Pralines are candied pecans.
Ingredients in this recipe: cream, pecan, sugar

Muffuletta Sandwich
This New Orleans classic is a massive sandwich with a tasty olive salad.
Ingredients: garlic, olive oil, capers, parsley, celery, red bell pepper, bread, olives, red wine vinegar, salt, black pepper, provolone cheese, salami

Chicken Gumbo
This Cajun gumbo is hearty, spicy & delicious!
Ingredients: garlic, oregano, green bell pepper, okra, onion, celery, salt, cumin powder, chicken stock, black pepper, all-purpose flour, vegetable oil, canned tomato, chicken, Andouille sausage, paprika

Cajun Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
Another Cajun classic, Jambalaya is an all-in-one rice & meat stew.
Ingredients in this recipe: basil, garlic, onion, parsley, rice, sausage, thyme, chicken stock, black pepper, white pepper, chicken thigh, red pepper flakes, tasso

Sauteed Bananas with Cardamom-Praline Sauce
Make this amazing dessert a part of your sweet repertoire.
Ingredients in this recipe: banana, butter, brown sugar, heavy cream, lime juice, vanilla ice cream, ground cardamom

Let's get cooking!

Any other favorite ingredients or dishes you'd like us to highlight? Post them in the comments section or on our Facebook page! And while you're at it, "Like" us on Facebook to get helpful updates in your news feed.


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