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:

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.

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.

FNM-KingCake-059-002.tif

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.

1051FN297.tif

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.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Light & Fresh Mardi Gras Menu

Don’t worry about your waistline this Fat Tuesday with this fun and guilt-free Mardi Gras menu.

Spotlight Recipes: Mardi Gras Madness

This Mardi Gras celebrate Southern-style food without sticks of butter, mounds of meat, and gobs of heavy cream. These top healthy picks will make your mouth water and have your guests begging for more.

Mardi Gras Must-Eats in New Orleans and Beyond

Great Cajun restaurants in the French Quarter, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and beyond.

Mardi Gras Hi-Hat Cupcakes for the Entire Family

With Mardi Gras around the corner, I thought I'd bake up something the whole family can enjoy. There is something so appealing about a hi-hat cupcake. You can't go wrong with a delectable yellow cupcake covered in sweet clouds of hi-hat frosting and gently dipped in chocolate.

10 NOLA-Inspired Recipes to Make for Mardi Gras

If you’re a long ways away from the Crescent City, bring the flavors of the French Quarter home with fluffy beignets, mouthwatering po’ boys and a beautifully bedazzled king cake. Here are some of our favorite NOLA-inspired recipes to make for Mardi Gras.