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Mardi Gras Inspired Recipes

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Mardi Gras is coming up soon, and what better way to celebrate it than with a mouthwatering Mardi Gras-inspired meal! This year, the holiday will be celebrated on March 5 by people in many countries across the globe. But where exactly did this holiday begin? What are its roots?

Mardi Gras is a Christian holiday that dates back thousands of years. It was adopted into the Roman Catholic faith as a way to enjoy all the rich foods the day before Ash Wednesday when the 40-day Lent period would begin.

The name “Mardi Gras” is French for “Fat Tuesday”. Traditionally the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, Fat Tuesday was a day that Roman Catholics would feast on all sorts of rich, fatty foods — cheese, lard, and meat — before having to fast in some form or fashion over the next several weeks until Easter.

These days, Mardi Gras celebrations take place everywhere that the holiday is recognized. And even though the actual day doesn’t come until the 5th of March this year, many places start their festivities the weekend before.

So, in anticipation of this year’s Mardi Gras, what rich dishes will you feast on to celebrate?

King Cake

This year, why not skip the main course and go right for dessert! King Cake is a traditional Mardi Gras sweet treat; its name acknowledges the three kings who visited baby Jesus shortly after his birth.

King cake is topped with icing and sprinkles and decorated with Mardi Gras colors. The cake filling can be any myriad of things, including nuts, spiced fruits, or almond/chocolate filling. It’s typically baked in a ring cake pan to resemble the shape of a ring. You can easily find this type of baking dish at a variety of stores and can snag one at a discount using a Walmart grocery coupon code.

While this all sounds delectable and festive, the main attraction of this particular cake is the little plastic baby Jesus that is actually baked right into the cake! Whoever cuts into the cake and gets the slice with the baby Jesus doll is said to have good luck.

Crawfish Boil

Crawfish are a small freshwater crustacean that resemble  — and taste a bit like — tiny lobsters. These little critters don’t have much meat, but when cooked in a spicy broth, they become quite the delicacy.

Crawfish dishes have been a tradition in Louisiana since 1755 when settlers discovered that these little crustaceans were a lot easier to come by compared to lobster. They can be cooked any number of ways, including cooked whole with the shell in a spicy broth, or with the meat removed and cooked in a soup or stew.

These days, crawfish are a New Orleans favorite and are typically enjoyed home-style in a big boil with sausage, corn, and potatoes.

Pancakes

One of the more common Mardi Gras dishes – and one of the simplest to make – are classic pancakes. Kids especially love the idea of being able to enjoy pancakes for dinner! In fact, pancakes are so popular on Mardi Gras that this particular day is often dubbed “Pancake Tuesday.”

Mardi Gras pancakes are typically served with many different colors embedded within them with a few drops of food coloring in the batter and layered with more colored sprinkles. You can easily find your food coloring and sprinkles by online grocery shopping at places like Walmart.

Shrimp and Grits

Another classic Southern dish for Mardi Gras is grits (a type of cornmeal) cooked in butter and milk, then topped with cheese and Cajun-seasoned shrimp. The richness of this dish is typical of native Louisiana cooking: rich and spicy, and influenced by the cuisines of Africa, the Caribbean, and France.

You should be able to find all the products you need for this dish at your local grocery store. Or else, consider online shopping to find everything you need at a discount.

Creole Crab Cakes

Bring the vibrant shores of New Orleans right into your home with these classic Creole crab cakes! Serve them as a prelude to your main dish, or enjoy them as your main course!

While they might sound expensive because of the crab, you can actually find moderately-priced canned crabmeat when grocery shopping, or you can buy frozen crab legs and break them down yourself to cut down on price.

Shrimp and Chicken Etouffee

This might sound like a fancy, expensive dish, but it can actually be rather affordable to make. You can easily find frozen bags of shrimp at much lower prices than you would compare to fresh fish. And with a Walmart grocery coupon code, your shopping trip can be even more affordable.

This particular dish is a concoction of shrimp, chicken stock, butter, flour, rice, veggies, and a whole bunch of different herbs and spices to create this wonderful blend of aromas and flavors.

The fancy word “étouffer” simply means “smothered or braised”, and is a cooking technique that’s typically used with the item of crustaceans.

Dirty Rice

The name might not sound appetizing, but this is surely a delicious dish. This Cajun recipe combines classic New Orleans flavors. It perfectly blends white rice simmered in tasty stock with chunks of meat, then paired with green peppers, celery, and onions. The rice might start off white, but it turns into a brown color with time (hence the name “dirty” rice) as a result of all the seasonings it’s mixed with.

Milk Punch

A popular Mardi Gras holiday drink in New Orleans and throughout the Deep South is “milk punch,” a unique concoction of milk, sugar, bourbon, and vanilla shaken and chilled before served. Pick up the all products needed to make this delicious beverage by grocery shopping with a Walmart coupon code in hand!

Red Beans and Rice

There’s nothing more true to classic Southern fare than good old rice and beans, and this particular recipe is a traditional Louisiana dish. Known in many restaurants in the south as “Made on Monday” because it can be made using leftovers from Sunday dinners, this dish combines red beans, white rice, and pork. Not only is it simple to make, but it includes relatively affordable ingredients that will save money.

Beignets

A pretty French name for “donuts,” beignets are a classic French sweet treat that’s become a widely-known traditional New Orleans dessert. Basically, beignets are puffed-up fried dough that are topped with powdered sugar.

Cajun Shrimp Mac and Cheese

Ordinary macaroni and cheese comes in a box from the grocery store. But the homemade version is much better and easy to make. This Mardi Gras, why not give this classic dish a New Orleans vibe with Cajun shrimp coated in a blend of Southern spices!

This recipe is rich and creamy and sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Pick up your Cajun spices while online shopping with a coupon code in hand to save money at checkout!

Final Thoughts

Mardi Gras is the perfect time to enjoy all of life’s amazing foods. And if you observe the season of Lent, Mardi Gras is a great way to kick off the season before you make your 40-day sacrifices. Celebrate Mardi Gras with some amazing traditional products at the lowest prices!

 

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