Mardi Gras

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.

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Shrimp Maque Choux
Sweet corn, spicy peppers, and succulent shrimp are the stars of this maque choux, or Cajun succotash. The "milk" scraped from the corn cobs after the kernels are cut off gives the broth an irresistible creaminess. Experiment with different varieties of peppers for a uniquely delicious result every time.
Cajun Jambalaya
One way to distinguish between Cajun and Creole jambalaya: Traditional Cajun cooking doesn't include tomatoes. It does contain plenty of thyme, paprika, and oregano for a flavorful dinner.

More Mardi Gras

Cajun Dirty Rice
Don't be afraid to brown the rice in this recipe! The crispy, caramelized parts are the best.
Seafood Gumbo
Trappey's hot peppers in vinegar are the perfect condiment, but if you can't find it, Tabasco sauce is a great substitute.

Southern Sazerac

Rating: 5 stars

This may seem like a very exact method, but ritual is very much part of mixing a Southern drink.