Celebrate Mardi Gras with these delicious cajun-inspired recipes

It's Fat Tuesday, otherwise known as Mardi Gras! You can celebrate today by eating some cajun-inspired dishes. Louisiana-native and chef Jay Pierce showed us some of his Mardi Gras menu at Mozelle's in Winston-Salem.

Jambalaya

Makes – 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons canola oil
  • 10 ounces Andouille sausage, cut into half moons, 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 pound boneless chicken, chopped
  • 1/3 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 each bay leaf
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled (36-40)
  • 3 cups chicken broth

Directions

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in large skillet.
  2. Add sausage and chicken.
  3. Sauté until chicken and sausage are browned on all sides.
  4. Remove to a plate.
  5. In the same sauté pan, add 3 tablespoons of oil. Add bell pepper, onion and celery.
  6. Sauté for 5 minutes or until tender.
  7. Add garlic, rice and spices and continue stirring until oil has coated all of the rice and garlic is fragrant (about 3 minutes).
  8. Return chicken and sausage to pan and add shrimp.
  9. Add broth, turn heat down to low and cover. Simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes.
  10. Adjust to taste with salt and pepper. Add additional chicken broth if needed.
  11. Allow the finished dish to rest, off of the heat for about five minutes, before fluffing with a fork or serving.

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
  • 1 cup Heinz Ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Crystal Hot Sauce
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
  • Shrimp
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 2 lemons, cut in half
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup red chili flakes
  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled (U15)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients except shrimp in a stock pot.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add shrimp. Return to a boil.
  5. Cook for 1 minute, then turn off heat and allow to soak for 5 minutes before removing shrimp.
  6. Cool shrimp.
  7. Serve shrimp on platter, arranged artfully with celery leaves, and dipping bowl of cocktail sauce. Or, make individual servings by dividing cocktail sauce by four and placing in the bottom of a martini glass and using shrimp to line the glass, hooking their tails over the rim.

Crawfish Bread

Makes – 1 quart

Ingredients

  • 1 pound crawfish
  • 1/4 teaspoon Creole Seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon Colman’s dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup grated Provolone cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated yellow cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Texas Pete hot sauce
  • 2 - 8” French rolls, split lengthwise like garlic bread

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Season crawfish with Creole seasoning.
  3. In a sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat.
  4. Add onion, celery and peppers, and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes.
  5. Add crawfish, and sauté until opaque throughout.
  6. Stir in garlic and mustard; remove from heat and place in a bowl.
  7. Allow to cool slightly (only slightly).
  8. Add mayonnaise, cheeses, Worcestershire and hot sauce. Combine well.
  9. Using a spatula, spread mixture evenly over the four halves of bread.
  10. Place bread on a foil lined baking sheet and bake in oven for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is browned.
  11. Remove from oven and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  12. Serve

Shrimp Poboy

Ingredients

  • 8 inch piece of French bread (8 inch French roll, if you have no access to real French bread)
  • 1/4 pound small shrimp, peeled (41\50)
  • 2 ounces cayenne pepper hot sauce (like Crystal)
  • 1/2 cup fish fry (or “breader” as it is known elsewhere)
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (not salad dressing)
  • iceberg lettuce, chiffonade
  • vine ripened tomatoes, sliced
  • hot sauce to taste

Directions

  1. Heat oil to 350° in deep fryer.
  2. Slice bread long ways, and lightly toast.
  3. Combine shrimp and hot sauce in a sandwich bag until shrimp are well coated, then dump into fish fry.
  4. Toss shrimp, until well coated in fish fry.
  5. Shake off excess breader, and deep fry for 3 minutes.
  6. The sound of water escaping from the frying oil should diminish considerably by this point, and the shrimp should be floating.
  7. Transfer to an absorbent paper towel, sprinkle shrimp with Creole seasoning.
  8. Spread both cut sides of French bread with mayonnaise, place sliced tomatoes on bottom and chiffonade lettuce on top. Place shrimp atop tomatoes, decide if you add more hot sauce, place lettuce and top bun on shrimp. Enjoy with cold beer.

NB: if you don’t have a fish fry (or breader) recipe that you love, here is a simple one

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup corn flour
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  • Mix well, store in an airtight container.
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