A Month of Mardi Gras Cooking: Shrimp Creole and King Cake

On our last weekend before the Mardi Gras crescendo,  went to a parade, and cooked, and baked.  Also, my friend has me convinced that I do indeed want to do Mardi Gras in New Orleans one day.  I think we’re a few years away from that yet.  As long as the mid-day nap splits our day in two, we won’t be going too far way for long.

Instead, we went to our local parade downtown, and caught some moon pies…

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…and some beads…

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…along with a few cool toys.

After a side trip to Joe Patti’s for some shrimp, I made my final dish for culinary excursion of mine:  Shrimp Creole, consisting of shrimp in a chunky tomato base with lots of crunchy veggies…over rice, of course.

The ingredient list is quite simple, as is the recipe:

1 med onion

olive oil

16 oz can diced tomatoes

16 oz can tomato sauce

1 tsp chopped parsley

1 tsp thyme

1 bay leaf

1 tsp salt

1.5 lbs shrimp

1 green bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

Dice onion, and saute in  olive oil till soft.  Add in diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, parsley, and seasonings.  Simmer 20 minutes.  Add in shrimp and diced bell pepper.  Cook over medium heat 10 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Serve over a scoop of rice.

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This is actually better the second day.

So, I have this fear of working with yeast, but this year I was determined to make a king cake because they are so gaily decorated that I knew my kids would love to join in.  A Mardi Gras king cake usually has a tiny plastic baby tucked inside, and whoever gets the baby in their piece is said to have good luck for the next year.  I skipped the baby, so we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed that the coming year works out for us.

The king cake is actually very much like a sweetened bread.  I would never have thought of this, but I actually found a recipe online with instructions on making the dough in your bread maker, and then proof it, punch it down, and proof it again before baking.  Between that and a few Youtube videos on “punching down the dough”, I think I did alright.  I enlisted my son to punch down the dough because I knew he would do this job very enthusiastically.  After a few viewings of the Youtube video, I turned him loose.

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Does anyone see a happy camper?

When the cake is removed from the oven and cooled, you apply a glaze and sprinkle on sugars colored in the traditional purple, green, and gold colors.  That was the fun part.

This sucker is huge.

You can’t really tell how massive this thing is.  I wish you all lived closer so I could give out doggie bags.

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About Joyce

40-year-old university advisor, 10-years married with two small children, trying to do it all and have it all and still manage the occasional social interaction through the wonderful world of blogging.
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9 Responses to A Month of Mardi Gras Cooking: Shrimp Creole and King Cake

  1. Not that I will ever (well, nothing’s impossible) ever end up making any of these, but could you throw in a kosher dish? At least give me a chance. LOL.

    • Joyce says:

      LOL! You know, I thought of that. The thing is, this food is heavy on the shellfish. And if there’s no shellfish, there’s sausage. But Mardi Gras is over after tomorrow and I will be returning to some other food obsessions. I do highly recommend the mushroom risotto I made a few weeks back, though.

  2. Valerie says:

    Looks like the parade was fun! 🙂 And your son sure enjoyed that dough! hehe

  3. Sis says:

    Looks yummy, Creole food is one I haven’t been brave enough to cook yet.

    • Joyce says:

      If you’re ever in the mood to try, try this one. It’s as easy as could be. The king cake was a bit of a bear, but I’ve always wanted to make one of my own.

  4. Love the pics! I think that’s the first time I’ve seen a full on view of the family! So beautiful! Look at all those beads….Holy Cow…I bet that was fun! The food looks amazing! Plus I’m cracking up because now your son is cooking without a shirt…wasn’t he cooking without pants last time!!!???? So funny!

  5. Joyce says:

    He likes freedom of movement! Wait till summer, he’ll be cooking in his boxers.

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