Celebrate Mardi Gras With These Fun, Festive Recipes

You don’t have to live in the Big Easy to celebrate Mardi Gras. Whether you’re hosting a Mardi Gras party or craving Louisiana Creole cuisine, these recipes are for you.

Classic King Cake
Recipe from Martha Stewart 

Mardi Gras isn’t complete without this traditional treat. This recipe is involved, but the King Cake is worth the time.

 cup evaporated milk
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for bowl and baking sheet
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 (1/4-ounce) package active-dry yeast1/3 cup warm (110 degrees) water
5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup milk
Sanding sugar, for garnish

In a small saucepan, combine evaporated milk, butter, and 1/3 cup granulated sugar over medium heat. Remove from heat. Let cool slightly, and stir in vanilla. Set aside.

Stir 1 tablespoon granulated sugar into warm water. Add yeast, and set aside until mixture begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. Butter a large bowl and set aside.

Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl, and then set aside. In an electric mixer, whisk together eggs and milk mixture on medium speed. Add yeast mixture. Mix until combined. Gradually add flour, beating until fully incorporated.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, kneading until smooth. Place in prepared bowl, turning several times to coat. Let rise, covered with wax paper and a clean damp towel, in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Once dough has doubled, punch down with your fist, and knead a few times in the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide evenly into six pieces.

Roll each piece into a log, about 24 inches long. Braid 3 logs together, shaping each braid into an oval and pressing the ends together to seal. Transfer to two buttered baking sheets. Cover with wax paper, and let sit in a warm place until dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once dough has doubled in size, discard wax paper, and bake until just golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar with remaining 1/4 cup milk to form a smooth, thick glaze. Add more sugar or milk, if necessary. Quickly coat cakes with glaze, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tilapia Po’ Boys
Recipe from Real Simple

These sandwiches are flavorful and filling, making them the perfect weeknight meal.

1/2 cup flour
tablespoon seafood seasoning
3 6-ounce tilapia fillets, cut into strips
2 tablespoons canola oil
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 baguette, split and quartered
1 cup shredded lettuce
16 pickle chips
Hot sauce and potato chips, for serving

In a bowl, combine the flour and seafood seasoning. Coat the tilapia with the flour mixture (tapping off any excess). Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the tilapia in batches until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side, adding more oil to the pan if necessary.

Dividing evenly, spread the mayonnaise on the baguette. Form sandwiches with the baguette, lettuce, pickle chips, and tilapia. Serve with the hot sauce and potato chips.

Slow-Cooker Seafood Gumbo
Recipe from Real Simple

This slow-cooker recipe is full of vegetables and nutrients.

½ pound sliced bacon, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced (1 1/2 cups)
1 medium onion, sliced (1 cup)
1 green pepper, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 pound large raw shrimp, cleaned
1 pound fresh or frozen crabmeat
1 10-ounce box frozen okra, thawed and sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces

In a large skillet, over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker.

Discard all but a thin coating of fat from the skillet. Add the celery, onion, green pepper, and garlic to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Spoon the vegetables into the cooker and add the broth, tomatoes (with their liquid), Worcestershire, salt, and thyme.

Cover and cook on low heat for 4 hours, or on high for 2 hours. Add the shrimp, crabmeat, and okra, and cook 1 hour longer on low heat or 1/2 hour longer on high.


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