Gearing up for Fat Tuesday - February 24 this year - and all the feasting and revelry that comes with end of the Mardi Gras season? Celebrating this festive holiday doesn't require that you attend an official Mardi Gras bash - you can more conveniently throw your own. Here are our top tips to throw a fabulous Mardi Gras fete plus a sumptuous selection of Creole- and Cajun-inspired Mardi Gras recipes to feed your Mardi Gras party guests.
Host a Mardi Gras party at home
Since attending an official Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans isn't necessarily convenient – or cheap, invite your friends over for a Mardi Gras get-together of your own. Here are some quick tips to throw a Mardi Gras party and make the best gumbo and hurricane cocktails.
Mardi Gras and Gumbo are near synonymous – rarely are either mentioned (or eaten) without the other quickly coming to mind. The key to a good gumbo is a roux – a mixture of flour and fat that is cooked until varying shades of brown to add thickness and flavor to the dish. Try this quick and easy Chicken and Sausage Gumbo for your Mardi Gras bash.
Make Red Beans and Rice
Another renowned New Orleans dish, Red Beans and Rice, is a filling, flavorful and fun meal in and of itself. You can make this traditional Louisiana Red Beans and Rice or try a tasty twist on the classic with this Maple Balsamic Red Beans and Rice with Turkey Sausage.
Get creative with Cajun
Cajun cuisine is a hallmark of Mardi Gras. Whether you opt to make traditional Cajun recipes or put a creative Cajun spin on some of your already oft-cooked meals, your Mardi Gras menu is sure to please. Give this Savory Crab-Stuffed Chicken and Cajun Krab Rice
or Grilled Ragin Cajun Stir-Fry
a place in your Mardi Gras feed.
Feature Creole cuisine
Another strong inspiration for Mardi Gras menus across the country, Creole cuisine naturally adds fire to the Mardi Gras fever. Serve this Creole Baked Goat Cheese
to add an elegance to your Mardi Gras spread or serve this Creole Bacon Chowder
as a creamy start to a sit down Mardi Gras feast.
Serve scrumptious seafood
With Lent right around the corner, you can serve these Crawfish Pies and Po Boys
for your Mardi Gras get-together and then again on Fridays during Lent (they are that good!).
Don't forget the royal dessert
The most traditional of Mardi Gras desserts, the King Cake is also the most colorful and fun. You can order a King Cake (complete with the little baby trinket hidden inside) or make your own royal dessert with this recipe for The King of King Cakes
Mardi Gras is known for its festive feasting, but that is no reason to turn Fat Tuesday into Fat February. Holly Clegg has come up with a scrumptious low-fat Mardi Gras menu and shares her tasty renditions for jambalaya and more in "Low"Fat Tuesday
Louisiana, New Orleans in particular, is a mecca of mouthwatering cuisine and world-famous star chefs. Emeril Lagasse is only one of the culinary masters to hail from the Mardi Gras state. For inspiration and to have some Mardi Gras trivia under your belt, here is what you need to know about the top 10 heroes of New Orleans cuisine