It is uncertain as to when the celebration of Mardi Gras first originated. Mardi Gras is celebrated in many of the Southern States in the United States. New Orleans is the most popular spot for Mardi Gras and most know celebration destination. Mardi Gras is the French word for Fat Tuesday. The celebration includes parades, balls, music, and most of all food. You do not have to attend Mardi Gras in order to taste some of the wonderful Cajun dishes that are served. You simply can make them at home and have your own Mardi Gras celebration.

Main Dishes:

CHICKEN FRICASSEE

Ingredients

1 hen, about 4 pounds, cut into serving pieces

Salt and cayenne

2/3 cups vegetable oil

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups chopped onions

1 cup chopped bell peppers

4 to 5 cups warm water or chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1/4 cup chopped parsley

3 tablespoons chopped green onions

Steps

Season the chicken pieces generously with salt and cayenne. Set aside. In a large black iron or stainless steel pot, make a roux by combining the oil and flour over medium heat. Stir constantly for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until it is dark brown. Add the onions and bell peppers. Cook, stirring often, for about five minutes, or until they are soft. Add the chicken pieces and stir to coat well with the roux mixture. Cook for about five minutes. Slowly add the water or broth. Add the bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about two hours, or until the chicken is tender. Adjust seasonings. Remove the bay leaves. Add the parsley and green onions and serve immediately. Serves about 8.

Cajun Alligator Etouffee Recipe

2 onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 stalks celery, chopped

1 can tomatoes

1 pound alligator meat, cut in thin strips

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

1/4 cup parsley, minced

Salt

Cayenne pepper

Black pepper

Sauté onions, garlic and celery in butter until soft. Add tomatoes and simmer for twenty minutes in covered iron pot.

Add alligator meat and let cook over low heat until tender, about 1 hour. If gravy is too thick, add a little hot water. Serve over rice.

Craw Fish Fettuccine I

6 tablespoons butter

1 large onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 pound peeled craw fish tails

1 (8 ounce) package processed cheese food

1 cup half-and-half cream

2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 pound dry fettuccine pasta

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic in butter until onions are tender. Stir in flour, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in craw fish. Cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the processed cheese, half-and-half, Cajun seasonings, and cayenne pepper. Cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish. Stir noodles into craw fish mixture; pour into prepared dish, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Snacks:

Black Bean Salsa

1 can 15 oz. black beans, drained

1-1/2 cups canned corn, drained

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup red onions, diced

1 to 2 jalapenos, diced

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Allow to sit in refrigerator a few hours before serving. Makes a wonderful dish for chips or topping for enchiladas or burritos.

Cajun Crab Crisp

12 English muffins

1/2 cup butter

5 oz Old English cheese (jar)

1-1/2 tsp mayonnaise

1/2 tsp garlic salt

2 tsp Konriko seasoning

1 tsp Tabasco

1-1/2 lb white crab meat

Melt butter and mix all ingredients together and spread on split and quartered English muffins. Bake at 350F in oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until toasted and golden brown.

Craw fish Cornbread Muffins

1 med onion, minced

1/4 lb butter

1 clove garlic, minced

1 lb craw fish tails

8 green onions, minced

One 16 oz Jalapeno Mexican cornbread mix

Salt, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder to taste.

Saute onion in butter until tender. Add garlic, craw fish tails, and seasonings. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Add green onions. Cook for five minutes. Prepare cornbread mix according to the directions on the package. Add craw fish mixture, stir well. Spoon into greased mini muffin tins. Bake at 350F for ten minutes.

Let’s not forget the recipes for when you get thirsty from all that delicious food.

Drinks:

Festivity Punch

5 lb of sugar

3-1/2 qt of water

2 tbs citric acid diluted in 1 pint of water

Four 46 oz cans pineapple juice

Four 46 oz cans orange juice

Two 46 oz cans grapefruit juice

Make a syrup of sugar and 3-1/2 qt of water letting boil about 2 hours. To this add citric acid which has been diluted in 1 pint of water, To this base add pineapple juice, orange juice and grapefruit juice.

Let mixture sit in crock with big piece of ice several hours before serving. Cherries are optional.

Makes One hundred 6 oz glasses

White Wine Sangria

1/2 gallon white wine

5 cups Sprite

1/4 cup simple syrup

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup brandy

1 whole apple, banana, orange, sliced

Mix all ingredients together. Add sliced fruits. Chill and serve.