Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, refers to events of the Carnival celebration, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”, reflecting the practice of the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual Lenten sacrifices and fasting of the Lenten season.
Easy Cajun Jambalaya
- In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and bell peppers and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook until soft, about 5 minutes, then stir in chicken and season with salt, pepper, and oregano.
- Cook until the chicken is golden, about 5 minutes, then stir in andouille sausage, garlic, and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
- Add chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, rice, and Old Bay. Reduce heat to medium low, cover with a tight fitting lid, and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is almost absorbed, about 20 minutes.
- Add the shrimp and cook until pink, 3 to 5 minutes.Stir in green onions just before serving.
Cognac Shrimp Bisque
2 pounds shell-on shrimp
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
2 medium yellow onions, large dice
2 medium carrots, peeled and large dice
2 medium celery stalks, large dice
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
5 fresh thyme sprigs
2 medium bay leaves
5 cups water
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Cognac
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. Peel shrimp, reserving shells. Coarsely chop shrimp into bite-size pieces, place in a medium container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Place 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, add onions, carrots, celery, and reserved shrimp shells and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are just tender and shells are pink but not browned, about 5 minutes.
3. Increase heat to medium high and add tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaves; stir until vegetables are coated in tomato paste. Add water, stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and keep at a lively simmer until broth has a shrimp flavor, about 30 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a heatproof container; set aside and discard solids.
4. Wipe out any solids in the saucepan and return it to the stove over low heat. Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter and let melt. When butter foams, whisk in flour and cook, whisking frequently, until smooth and golden brown, about 4 minutes
5. Slowly whisk in Cognac, then reserved hot stock, whisking until smooth, and bring to a boil. Add cream, cayenne, and reserved shrimp and stir to combine. Simmer until flavors have melded and shrimp is cooked through but not tough, about 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.