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Mardi Gras: A celebration of New Orleans flavors

Posted: February 16, 2010 9:47 p.m.
Updated: February 17, 2010 4:55 a.m.

The Big Easy Jambalaya Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes Makes 8 (1-cup) servings 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 cup chopped onion 2 bell peppers (preferably one yellow and one green), diced 1 can (14.5 ounces) fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained 3/4 cup water 1 package (8 ounces) Zatarain...

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While most people associate Mardi Gras with New Orleans, you can throw your own Fat Tuesday fest wherever you live. Let the good times roll with authentic New Orleans-style food to make your party as genuine as the Big Easy celebration. Mardi Gras is actually part of a larger celebration, Carnival, that begins 12 days after Christmas (January 6) and ends Fat Tuesday, 46 days before Easter, so the celebration can extend beyond just one day.

“While the French Quarter gets most of the attention for Mardi Gras merriment, many New Orleans families gather in their homes to celebrate with a big meal,” said John Besh, Louisiana native and nationally acclaimed chef. “For us, Mardi Gras is about three things: food, fun and family. If you have these key ingredients, any Mardi Gras celebration will be a success.”

This Mardi Gras, celebrate New Orleans-style by jazzing up your menu with popular and traditional dishes that will feed a crowd. No matter where you live, celebrate Mardi Gras with authentic New Orleans-style flavor and your guests will come dancing in. For more New Orleans-style recipes, visit

Shrimp Boil
In New Orleans, crawfish is the boil of choice, but shrimp is another great choice available outside the Gulf Coast. Some of the fun of seafood boils is personalizing your meal by adding your favorite accompaniments such as artichokes, mushrooms, sausage, or even broccoli.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Makes 6 to 8 servings

5     pounds shrimp
4     cups of water
1     package Zatarain’s Pro-Boil
1     package Zatarain’s Liquid Crab Boil
8     ounces pearl onions, peeled
1/2     bunch celery, chopped, aAdditional meats/vegetables of choice
1     lemon, sliced

1. Mix 4 cups water and 7 ounces Pro-Boil in an 8-quart pot.
2. Bring to boil on high heat. Stir in 1 ounce of Crab Boil, shrimp, celery and onions.
3. Cook shrimp for approximately 4 minutes or until a liquid forms between the shell and meat, and they are easy to peel.
4. Remove pot from heat, adding in ice and 2 ounces more of Pro-Boil.
5. Soak for 10 to 20 minutes, more or less depending on desired heat level.
6. Drain contents and toss with lemon slices before serving.


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