Some call it Carnival, but in New Orleans the festive celebration is called Mardi Gras, and it's always a party--a big party. The season of Carnival starts on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6, and culminates on the day before Ash Wednesday, otherwise known as “Fat Tuesday,” which in French is "Mardi Gras." It is considered the last hurrah of feast and revelry before the start of Lent, with its 30 days of fasting.
12 Decadent Desserts to Help You Party Like it's Mardi Gras
It's Fat Tuesday! What should you eat for dessert? You need a special New Orleans recipe like bread pudding with whiskey sauce, bananas Foster, or some sugar-coated beignets.AdvertisementAdvertisementRecipe
Shrimp Po'Boys with Remoulade SauceWith its tangy remoulade sauce, a cornmeal-crusted shrimp po'boy is a taste right out of Louisiana's French Quarter.
Just For You
Creole Coffee PunchChicory was used in New Orleans during the Civil War to stretch limited coffee supplies. Over the years, blending the slightly bitter root with coffee beans became a local tradition.
Make a Pastry Crown Worthy of a Mardi Gras King CakeA king cake is a once-a-year treat! Here's how to add a buttery, flaky pastry crown to your Mardi Gras king cake.
Shrimp JambalayaPaella. Jambalaya. Arroz con Pollo. what do these dishes have in common? A lot, actually. All are made by sauteing some aromatics like onions and garlic. Adding some sausage or other flavoring (like saffron), rice, and stock, and simmering with a protein (seafood or chicken or a combination). About 20 minutes later dinner is served!
Our Most Outrageous Fat Tuesday Recipes40 days is a long time to live without chocolate. You deserve to go out with a bang.
Cajun PopcornTake a Mardi Gras celebration from start to snack in 10 minutes flat with jazzed-up popcorn.
SazeracThis New Orleans cocktail traditionally uses rye whiskey. If you can't find it, try a good-quality bourbon.
Chocolate-Chicory LogsGround chicory is a beloved ingredient in New Orleans. The roasted and ground root of the endive is most notably used to smooth the sharpness of coffee. Here, it lends a pleasantly bitter note to these biscotti-like cookies. A bit of instant espresso powder can also be used.
Giant Paper Faces and MasksThese disguises -- larger-than-life caricatures of French aristocrats going to a masquerade ball -- will stand out in a crowd. That's the effect architect Tom Krizmanic (far right) was going for when he created the costumes for himself and the group with which he attended the New York Restoration Project's annual bash. He fashioned giant heads from tagboard, adding features with papier-mache and pastels. Then he gave the faces their own menacing masks: He took red paper, wooden dowels (for handles), ribbon, glitter glue, pipe cleaners, and other sparkly craft supplies and just "glued-gunned the heck out of them." Inexpensive costumes were also festooned with gold braid, lace, and other trimmings.
Louisiana Bread Pudding with Whiskey SauceA pan of warm bread pudding transforms day-old bread -- plus eggs and cream -- into an indulgence. This version has Creole roots, with cubes of baguette and a sauce that's flavored by a healthy dose of bourbon.
Blackened CatfishAdding cornmeal to the spice coating gives the fish a crisp crust in the broiler, without having to fry in oil.
Fish Po' BoysThis traditional Louisiana sub sandwich uses flounder and is topped with spicy tartar sauce.
Shrimp Boil with Corn and PotatoesCelebrate the end of summer with a New Orleans-style shrimp boil. In this traditional one-pot dish, the shrimp, corn, and potatoes are cooked together in a spicy, flavorful broth, which is then used for dipping.
Rum-Glazed Banana TartletsRecipe
Martha's BeignetsLouisiana made the beignet their official state doughnut. They're a treat for both breakfast and dessert--just make sure they're served hot and fresh. Martha made this recipe on Martha Bakes episode 602.Recipe
Baby Carrots with Spring OnionsBaby carrots are glazed in a white-wine-and-butter sauce.Post
Our Best Breakfast Hacks: Bananas Foster French ToastBananas bathed in a warm, gooey, boozy sauce of butter, brown sugar, and rum: Why would you NOT want to spoon this concoction all over your breakfast? Bananas Foster is not just for dessert anymore! Bring this New Orleans classic to your brunch menu -- whip up Bananas Foster French Toast.Recipe
Blueberry BeignetsRecipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, adapted from Essential Emeril: Favorite Recipes and Hard-Won Wisdom From My Life in the Kitchen, Oxmoor House, 2015, courtesy Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.Video
Smoked Chicken and Smoked GumboMardi Gras is gumbo! This classic Chicken and smoked Sausage gumbo is always a favorite. It's packed with flavor and great for parties or tailgating. Make this gumbo the night before for even more flavor. Just warm it up, whip up some rice and put out the hot sauce when you're ready to serve.Video
Spicy Frito Chili RecipeEmeril likes to make this Frito Chili or what he calls Mardi Gras Chili because it is easy and a crowd pleaser. You can even take it on the parade route with you!Recipe
Fried Oyster Po' BoysMartha likes how Emeril fries oysters and has adapted his technique for her Fried Oyster Po' Boy.Recipe
Shrimp RemouladeShrimp tossed in dense Greek yogurt, mustard, garlic, and ketchup makes a delicious centerpiece for a leafy salad. Making remoulade with yogurt instead of mayonnaise cuts the calories by more than half.Recipe
Chicken and Andouille GumboThis dish features the holy trinity of Cajun and Creole cooking: celery, onion, and bell pepper.Video
Crawfish and Cream Pasta Appetizer Recipe Part 2Emeril Lagasse presents a New Orleans style crawfish and pasta appetizer and grills a marinated ribeye steak.Video
Finished Consomme and Duck GumboEmeril Lagasse finishes his duck gumbo, combining the browned duck meat with the roux and chicken stock.Video
Crab Cakes and Tomato MarmaladeEmeril Lagasse adds the onion, celery, and red pepper to crab meat with mayonnaise; he then shapes crab cakes, places them on a baking pan and starts to bread the crab cakes.AdvertisementAdvertisementVideo
Court Bouillon Fish StewEmeril Lagasse introduces a show in which he shares his recipes for a fish and duck camps, and he prepares a court bouillon fish stew.Video
Gumbo ZherbesEmeril Lagasse creates a rue for his Gumbo Zhebes dish made of cabbage, beet greens, mustard greens, kale, carrot tops, and ham hocked.Video
Traditional Seafood GumboEmeril Lagasse prepares a traditional seafood gumbo made of a buttery rue with blue crab meat, garlic, onions, celery, and bell pepper.