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  • Writer's pictureRhonda Morrison

Cook up a Mardi Gras worth remembering

Fat Tuesday Pasta, Cajun Caesar Salad, and Skinny Hurricane recipes included for your Mardis Gras festivities. #MardisGras #FatTuesday #Foodie #recipes #holidays #celebrate #hurricane #pasta #tasty #cooking #foodiefam #Louisiana #delicious

Mardi Gras season is here. Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday. Along the gulf coast, we celebrate for up to two weeks before Fat Tuesday. This is the time of year that we embrace indulgences we give up during Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday.

Growing up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, my family attended the parades every year. The floats carrying krewe royalty always brought excitement for what baubles and beads they would throw to the masses. The work and dedication that krewe members give to the creativity of their parades are demonstrative of their love for the community they support.

As much as I love all the parading, dancing, and celebrating, I love decadent eating more. I have spent several Mardis Gras in the French Quarter. My favorite decadent carnival eats are all down Decatur Street. The sandwiches, pizzas, pasta, and traditional Cajun fare are unparalleled for the price point, portions, and delicious quality. Many of my recipes are inspired by a ravenous jaunt through these Mom and Pop restaurants.

One meal that I always serve at some point during this season is my Fat Tuesday Pasta and Cajun Caesar Salad. And I call it “fat” because this is a poshly decadent dish. My friends who have eaten this pasta dish honestly believe it belongs in a restaurant. It’s Cajun comfort food at its best. And it will stick to your hips as well as your ribs.

The perfect side to this rich main course is my Cajun Caesar Salad. Homemade French bread croutons and a Cajun-spiced Caesar dressing take center stage with this salad. You can turn this salad into a meal by adding blackened or grilled shrimp or chicken.

And finally, I like to wet my whistle with a hurricane. But I am a lightweight in how many indulgences I can comfortably indulge in. So I make an equally scrumptious Skinny Hurricane.

Try all of these recipes to have a spectacular Fat Tuesday celebration in your own home with no crowds, traffic, or dodging flying objects. Share this meal with a few people you love and see how the gesture returns the sentiment.

Fat Tuesday Pasta

  • 1 (16 ounces) package dry fettuccine pasta

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup diced yellow onion

  • ½ cup celery chopped

  • ½ cup poblano or bell pepper, diced

  • 3 green onions, chopped

  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms

  • 1 pound chopped andouille sausage

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken, cubed

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic

  • 1 cup chopped tomato

  • 1 pound fresh shrimp – peeled and deveined

  • ¼ cup dry white wine

  • 1 medium lemon

  • 10 ounce Philadelphia cooking crème, original

  • ½ cup butter cold and cubed

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

  • Salt, cayenne, and ground black pepper to taste

1. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the fettuccine, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally until the pasta has cooked just past al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink.

2. Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook and stir the green onions, mushrooms, and andouille sausage until the mushrooms begin to release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato, and cook, stirring often, until the garlic is fragrant, 3 minutes; stir in the shrimp, and cook and stir until the shrimp are opaque and pink about 3 more minutes. Pour in white wine and lemon juice, and cook until the liquid has reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Pour in heavy cream, and cook until the cream has reduced and thickened. Stir in the green, red, and yellow bell pepper.

3. Drop in about 2 tablespoons of the diced cold butter. Holding the skillet by the handle, swirl the sauce over medium-low heat until the butter has melted and incorporated; repeat several times with 2 more tablespoons of butter until all remaining butter is incorporated. Remove the sauce from the heat, and stir in parsley. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Gently toss the sauce with the cooked fettuccine to serve.

Cajun Ceasar Dressing

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

  • 1 tsp. anchovy paste

  • 1 medium lemon, juiced

  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard

  • 1 ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan

  • ½ tsp. Creole or Cajun seasoning

In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, anchovy paste, lemon juice, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Add the mayonnaise, Parmesan, and Creole seasoning. Whisk dressing until well combined. Toss the dressing with romaine lettuce, croutons, and more grated parmesan.

French Quarter Croutons

  • 8 oz. French bread, sliced and cubed

  • 1-2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 tsp. Garlic powder

  • ½ tsp. Cayenne pepper

  • ½ tsp. Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, with your hands, toss together the bread, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne. Gradually drizzle on the olive oil and continue tossing until all cubes of bread are coated in the olive oil. Place coated bread on a baking sheet and place in oven. Turn the bread over every 3-5 minutes until crispy, approximately 18-22 minutes.

Skinny Hurricane

  • 1 ½ oz. light rum

  • 1 ½ oz. dark rum

  • 1 oz. light cranberry pomegranate juice

  • 1 oz. no sugar added pineapple juice

  • 1 oz. diet lemon lime soda

Pour all ingredients over ice in a shaker. Give 1 or two shakes. Pour into hurricane glass.


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