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Top Mardi Gras Recipes

Mardi Gras King Cake recipe

From authentic gumbo to bananas Foster, these are just a few of the dishes that make New Orleans famous. So why not break them out for Mardi Gras?

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Classic Bananas Foster

Created at Brennan's restaurant in New Orleans in 1951, this classic dessert features ripe bananas cooked in a rum-infused caramel sauce, then flambéed in front of diners and spooned over vanilla ice cream.

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Gumbo Ya Ya

This rich gumbo includes chicken and andouille sausage, and is thickened with filé powder, ground from sassafras leaves.

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New Orleans-Style BBQ Shrimp

Huge, juicy shrimp dripping with butter, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and spices (no grill or barbecue sauce involved, despite the name), this dish is a New Orleans classic.

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New Orleans-Style Anasazi Beans & Rice

In New Orleans, red beans and rice, affectionately called “red and white,” is traditionally served on a Monday as a way to use up Sunday dinner’s ham bone. Here, smoked sausage lends its spicy flavor to the rice and meaty Anasazi beans.

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The Sazerac

America's first cocktail, the Sazerac was created in New Orleans with whiskey, Peychaud's bitters, and absinthe. Locally-produced Herbsaint replaced absinthe after it was banned in the early 19th century.

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Bourbon Chocolate Cake

This mousse-like cake really does melt in your mouth. Chocolate is the star (with a supporting role from 1/4 cup of bourbon, of course) so buy the best you can find.

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Cajun-Style Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya

This is a traditional Cajun-style (brown) jambalaya, chock full of smoked meats with nary a tomato in sight.

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Buttermilk Beignets

You haven't visited New Orleans if you haven't had a beignet at Cafe Du Monde in the French Market. When making these at home, have plenty of confectioners' sugar on hand and serve the beignets with a fresh pot of coffee.

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Creole Beef Grillades & Cheese Grits

Bring on the spice! A mix of dried and fresh spices make this dish, like New Orleans itself, over-the-top. The creamy cheese grits counter the heat and help this celebratory meal achieve perfect balance.

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King Cake

In New Orleans, king cake is to Mardi Gras what pumpkin pie is to Thanksgiving: It just wouldn't be the same without it. A tiny plastic baby is hidden in the sweet, cinnamon-laced bread; whoever gets the piece with the prize gets to host the next party.

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Seafood Gumbo

New Orleans cooking teacher Poppy Tooker's seafood gumbo is packed with shrimp, crabmeat, okra, and fresh oysters.

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Sauté of Louisiana Crawfish

Scallions, Worcestershire sauce, and Creole seasoning cut the richness of the crawfish and its buttery sauce.

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Creole-Style Shrimp Jambalaya

A creole-style (red) jambalaya always includes tomatoes. Using tomato paste instead of canned or fresh tomatoes adds deeper flavor and gives the finished dish a rich hue. The shrimp are cooked for a long time, but this method yields a flavorful jambalaya with tender—never mushy—shrimp.

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