5 Ways to Turn Your Kitchen Into the French Quarter for Mardi Gras

If you can't make it to New Orleans to take part in the annual Mardi Gras celebrations, bring the party to your kitchen with the help of these authentic recipes.

Related To:

Monster Muffaletta

Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday — no matter what you call it, tomorrow's all about indulgent, no-holds-barred eats, drinks and celebrations, especially in New Orleans, where Mardi Gras takes on an over-the-top culture all its own. If you can't make it to the French Quarter to take part in the annual parades or dress up in the signature purple, green and gold colors, bring a taste of the experience into your kitchen wherever you are by recreating classic NOLA-style classics right at home.

Piled high with layers of Italian deli meats and cheeses and a hearty layer of briny, tangy olive-pepper salad, Jeff Mauro's Monster Muffaletta (pictured above) serves as a hearty base in your stomach to soak up whatever it is you'll be drinking all day. But perhaps best of all, this big-batch sandwich is a no-cook standby that can be assembled and ready to eat in only 10 quick minutes.

Shrimp Gumbo

If seafood is more your style, look no further than Alton Brown's Shrimp Gumbo, packed with authentic flavors. "Onions, celery and green peppers, the 'holy trinity' of both Creole and Cajun cooking, add flavor and substance to the thick shrimp and sausage stew," Alton explains. He rounds out the meal by serving this bold gumbo atop traditional white rice.

King Cake

FNM-KingCake-059-002.tif

Photo by: Lara Robby/Studio D ©Copyright Hearst Commmunications Inc., 2008

Lara Robby/Studio D, Copyright Hearst Commmunications Inc., 2008

Feeling lucky on Mardi Gras? Take your chances on grabbing the sought-after plastic baby — or a dry bean — baked inside Food Network Magazine's richly decadent King Cake. The tradition states that whoever finds the toy in his or her piece of cake will enjoy good luck and prosperity. But even if you don't uncover the baby, you'll still be pretty lucky to indulge in this cinnamon-scented cake, stuffed with a bourbon-pecan filling and topped with a sweet glaze.

Parade Time Cocktail

1051FN297.tif

Food Styling: Eugene Jho

Photo by: Lisa Shin ©Lisa Shin Photography, Inc.

Lisa Shin , Lisa Shin Photography, Inc.

Of course no Mardi Gras is complete without a cocktail or two, and Food Network Magazine's Parade Time Cocktail fills the bill every time. With cake-flavored vodka and a splash of Irish cream, plus a tri-colored sugar rim, this five-minute concoction is the ultimate in themed indulgence.

In New Orleans, Cafe Du Monde is famous for its pillowy beignets served in a mound under a blanket of powdered sugar. You can enjoy a similar treat at home, thanks to Anne Burrell's easy-to-make take with her recipe for Beignets. She makes a vanilla-scented dough from scratch, then deep-fries the beignets and douses them with a snowfall of sugar while they're still warm.

Next Up

The Best Beignets to Celebrate Mardi Gras

Let the good times roll with a NOLA-style treat.

How the First Female Chef at a Historic New Orleans Restaurant Celebrates Mardi Gras

Here’s how Meg Bickford faced the roaring return of carnival season at Commander’s Palace — and her recipe for an "obnoxiously good" shrimp po' boy.

Frightfully Delicious Ways to Turn Fruit Into Fun Halloween Treats

Apples, bananas and more deserve to be part of your Halloween festivities this year.

6 Ways to Turn Your Favorite Thanksgiving Pie into Cake

Now you can have your cake and eat pie too!

5 Easter Mains That Aren't Ham

Say hello to new holiday traditions.

5 Alternative Burgers Worth Flipping For

Even if you hold the beef and spring for an alternative protein, you don't have to sacrifice flavor. Just in time for Labor Day grilling, these five alternative patties are ready to step up to the bun.

5 Valentine’s Day Recipes That Fit Every Celebration

Say "I love you" with an extra-special homemade treat.

5 Sweet Ways to Use Matzo This Passover

Take your unleavened bread to the next level with these fun desserts.

5 Green St. Patrick's Day Desserts for Good Luck

Who needs a pot of gold when you've got green velvet cupcakes?!

5 Father’s Day Recipes for Dads Who Love Beer

Because a cold one tastes so much better with onion rings!