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