One of our favorite holidays of the year comes early this year! I’ve never really understood what moon or planetary phenomena determine when Easter falls each year, but if you count back forty-one days you find yourself on Mardi Gras a.k.a. Fat Tuesday, which falls on February 12 this year. In keeping with our now well-established tradition, we will be offering a special menu for a week leading up to Mardi Gras, beginning February 6 and culminating with our tour-de-force Mardi Gras Dinner.
These are days to celebrate the unique culinary & cultural traditions of Cajun country and also New Orleans, and to do so we’re starting by bringing back last year’s wildly popular Family Meal, A Cajun Country Ramble, ca. 1955. This family-style dinner celebrates some very unique Cajun country cooking, beginning with boudin and cracklin’ and ending with the gateaux de sirop, or cane syrup cake, and everything in between represents a very special cuisine unlike anything you’ll find anywhere else. The file gumbo is a homage to the community gumbo pot, something that would come together every Fat Tuesday as the Courir du Mardi Gras rambled throughout the countryside, stopping at all manner of homes and creating a big ruckus until a contribution to the community gumbo pot was secured. The gumbo has literally everything in it – sausage, ham, chicken, crab, crawfish… and is made with a very, very dark roux – pitch black in fact, very much unlike anything you’ll find in New Orleans, where Creole rouxs tend to be lighter. Andouille and alligator sauce piquant is another oh-so Cajun dish, this being alligator tail and loin simmered in a wicked spicy tomato sauce made with – you guessed it – a roux, though sauce piquant is typically made with a lighter roux so the red color shines through. If you’re looking for some hard-core Cajun country cooking, this is your best bet for Mardi Gras, but we run these special menus for a full week so you can explore both the Creole and Cajun sides of South Louisiana by coming back for more.
- Crawfish and Pork Boudin Balls
- Cracklin’s and Cornbread
- Sunday File Gumbo – chicken, sausage, ham, catfish, crawfish, crab… served with creamy potato salad – it’s the Cajun way
- Alligator & Andouille Sauce Piquante with Arkansas Delta rice
- King Cake
Speaking of the Creole side of things, many Creole Mardi Gras favorites will pop up on our menus for the week of February 6-12, served a la carte alongside the Cajun Country Ramble. Here’s the lowdown:
- Barbecued shrimp
- Peacemaker Po’ Boys
- Banh Mi Po’ Boys
- Shrimp Po’ Boys
- Calas – those delectable rice fritters
Let’s not forget that we always have gumbo ya-ya and crawfish etouffee, both interpretations from the Cajun side of things, though Creoles have their versions of both dishes as well.
Please join us for a fantastic time, and if it’s an option at all and strikes your fancy, please visit New Orleans too!