{Recipes} Mardi Gras

I've never been to Mardi Gras, and I will admit that the festivities do not appeal to me much.  However, I would love to visit New Orleans and experience the food, culture, music, and architecture.  I've been intrigued with it, especially from a photographer's aspect ever since I saw an acquantaince's photos. 

I do love food!  And what is Mardi Gras without great food?  Below are a few recipes I will be trying!

Starting off with King's Cake!
 Source Logan Brown

Mardi Gras King Cake
Servings: 12

Prep Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

2 packages dry active yeast
1/2 cup sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
5 egg yolks
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/43 degrees C)
4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Vegetable oil
8 ounces cream cheese
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons milk
Purple, green and gold sugar sprinkles
Plastic Baby Toy (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C.

For The Cake:
Combine the yeast, sugar, butter, and egg yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the milk. With the mixer on low speed, beat the mixture for about 4 minutes to dissolve the yeast. If the yeast mixture doesn't begin to foam after a few minutes, it means it's not active and will have to be replaced.

In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, nutmeg, and lemon zest. Add this mixture to the yeast mixture. Mix on low speed until it lightly comes together, then increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl, forms a ball, and climbs slightly up the dough hook.

Remove the dough from the bowl. Coat the dough with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl and turn it to oil all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, set in a warm, draft-free place, and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

For The Filling:
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cream cheese and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Mix well and set aside.

For The Sugar Glaze:
In another small bowl, combine the remaining powdered sugar, lemon juice and milk. Mix well and set aside.

After the First Dough Rising:
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Roll the dough out 30 inches long and 6 inches in diameter. Spread the cream cheese filling across the center of the dough. Bring the two long edges together and seal all sides completely. Using your hands shape the dough into a long cylinder and place on a greased baking sheet, seam side down. Shape the dough into a ring. Place a well-greased 2 pound coffee can or shortening can in the center of the ring to maintain the shape during baking.

The Second Dough Rising:
Press the plastic baby toy (optional) into the ring from the bottom so that it is completely hidden by the dough. Cover the ring with a towel and place in a warm, draft free place. Let the dough rise for about 45 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.

Baking the Cake:
With a sharp knife, make several slits around the top of the ring. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. After baking remove the coffee can immediately. Allow the cake to cool. Drizzle the cake with the sugar glaze that you have set aside. Sprinkle the cake with sprinkles, alternating colors. Cut the cake into individual pieces and serve.

Yield: 12 servings.
Source: Emeril Lagasse

Sausage Jambalaya
Eggplant and sausage spice up Cajun rice jambalaya. Eggplant is not a traditional ingredient in jambalaya, but it works well. This recipe begins in a skillet and is finished in the oven.
3/4 pound smoked sausage, thinly sliced
1 small eggplant, cubed
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
2/3 cup uncooked rice
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup chopped canned tomatoes, drained
1/4 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper
1 small bay leaf
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook sausage until lightly browned in oven-safe skillet. Add eggplant, onions, and bell pepper. Stir in rice, chicken broth, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover, and bake for 30 minutes or until rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Fluff lightly with a fork. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Creole Rice
2-1/2 cups long-grain white rice
1 teaspoon salt
1 onion, peeled
1 branch parsley
1 branch thyme
1 carrot, peeled
Soak the rice in cold water for 15 minutes and drain. In a large saucepan, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add salt, onion, parsley, thyme, and carrot. Add the rice and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes. Remove the onion, parsley, thyme, and carrot. Drain the rice in a colander. Rinse under cold running water. Drain again and turn into saucepan. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes until the rice grains are completely dry.
{Source Cooking with Cajun Women by Nicole Denee Fontenot (Hippocrene Books)}

I am on the search for a great  beignet recipe!  Can anyone share theirs?

 As they say in New Orleans, 
"Laissez le bon temps rouler,"
or "Let the good times roll!"


  1. i went to college in new orleans and love everything about it- great recipes!