Any plans for Mardi Gras this year? If grand parades and collecting beads aren't your quite your style, I highly recommend calling up some friends for a New Orleans-style feast. Hand your guests a Hurricane cocktail as they walk in the door, serve up plates of gumbo, and pass out giant slices of King Cake before they leave. Get some good jazz to play on the stereo, and the Mardi Gras spirit will find its way to you.
Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo
The scene is Mardi Gras! Put on something sparkly or dapper, whichever suits your mood. Invite people who you love to be with, who make you laugh, and who aren't afraid to mingle. I see this as a mingling affair. Tell them when to show up, but not when to leave.
Make It Happen:
This is a menu that can be adapted to a cozy gathering of close friends or rollicking house party. For a larger party, all these recipes can be easily doubled (or tripled!) to meet your needs.
Prepare the Hurricanes in a pitcher and leave it by the door with a tray of glasses. The base for the crawfish dip can be prepared ahead and then warmed up in the oven just before guests arrive. Ditto on the weenies.
Start the gumbo several hours ahead of the party so it's happily simmering away on the back burner by the time guests arrive. Even better, make it the day or two before and just warm it up to serve. Like chili, gumbo gets better with time.
The King Cake can be prepared while the gumbo is simmering, but be sure to account for the hour it takes for the dough to rise. Painting it with icing is the best part and never fails to make a dazzling presentation.
Wait to make the Milk Punch until people are ready for dessert. It's easy enough to blend the drink at the last minute and pour it into glasses while people are diving into the cake.
What else would you serve to have at your Mardi Gras party?
Related: Snacks to Sustain: Menu for a Late-Night Study Session
(Images: See linked posts)