Bring the fun and flavor of Carnival season to your table by creating a "Big Easy" celebration at home. Revel in the true meaning of Mardi Gras with good music, good friends and a tasty menu of festive favorites like classic dirty rice, jambalaya with a twist and traditional King Cake.
Tips to jazz up your celebration
Mardi Gras is a tradition steeped in celebrating with family members gathered around a meal. Bring the party home by spending time together and enjoying flavorful dishes that are easy to prepare. Tap into the authentic way of celebrating with these festive ideas:
Lead the potluck parade: Create a potluck-style party and ask everyone to bring their favorite Mardi Gras dishes like jambalaya maque choux, red beans and rice tortilla casserole and Mardi Gras dirty rice. Make sure to have guests bring copies of their recipes so they can swap secrets with friends and find new favorites.
Don't forget the kids: Welcome young Mardi Gras revelers to the celebration by inviting them to create their own bead necklaces or use shoe boxes to craft parade floats by adding construction paper, feathers and glitter.
Get your dancin' shoes on: New Orleans jazz isn't just for listening-it's also for dancing. Keep lively music playing throughout the gathering from Zatarain's free online Pandora station.
Satisfy your sweet tooth: Put a tiny twist on the traditional King Cake dessert by making King Cake cupcakes. Kids can join in on the decorating fun by adding traditional Mardi Gras-colored frosting, sprinkles and candy in purple, green and gold.
For more information on how to jazz up your Mardi Gras celebration wherever you live, visit www.facebook.com/zatarains and follow Zatarain's on Twitter (@MyZatarains) for authentic recipes, online tools and party tips to let the good times roll.
Jambalaya Maque Choux
Makes six servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 package Zatarain's Jambalaya Mix
- 1 cup frozen corn
Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add celery, bell pepper and onion; cook and stir 3 minutes or until sausage is browned and vegetables begin to soften.
Stir in water, tomatoes and rice mix. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in corn; cover and cook 5 minutes longer or until rice is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork before serving.
Source: Zatarain's (McCormick)