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IT’S MARDI GRAS!

Posted 26 January 2018 by Saucy Fish Co.

You don’t have to visit the Big Easy to celebrate Mardi Gras. When you think of ‘Fat Tuesday’, New Orleans and Louisiana always come to mind: huge parades, colorful floats and the sound of jazz bands bouncing through the air.

But if you’re not close to the action in the South, why not get a flavor of Mardis Gras in your kitchen? Turn the tunes up loud, extend the invite to some Saucy pals, and get those hips grooving!

A Quick History of Mardi Gras

Celebrations can be traced back to French, Spanish and other colonial influences – as far back as the early 1700s! Mardi Gras arrived in the American colonies as a variant of Shrove Tuesday – or pancake day. Over the years, this combined with traditions of masquerade balls and carnivals to form one epic party.

When are the festivities?

In January and February, Mardi Gras is a real big deal! The season begins 12 days after Christmas on 6th January, and ends anywhere from 28 to 63 days later depending on the date of Easter Sunday – itself determined by the spring equinox. The culmination is the Fat Tuesday celebrations, which fall on 13th February this year.

What food will get me in the mood?

Where. To. Start. Creole and Cajun cooking is packed full of dreamy seafood delights (jambalaya, catfish fillets, crawfish bisque and shrimp po boys to name just a few) but this gumbo’s sure to keep your guests dancing all the way through to Fat Tuesday!

Seafood Gumbo

Ingredients:

○ 1 pound fresh crabmeat
○ 3 pounds raw shrimp
○ 6 tablespoons of oil
○ 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
○ 2 cups yellow onion
○ 1 cup of celery – roughly chopped
○ 1 cup of bell pepper
○ 4 garlic minced cloves
○ 1 can tomato paste
○ 3 bay leaves
○ 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
○ Hot sauce to taste
○ 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
○ 1 can whole tomatoes
○ 1 cup chopped green onions
○ ¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Method:

STEP 1: Cover and refrigerate shrimp and add 8 cups water and a pinch of salt, and bring mixture to a boil on a high heat.

STEP 2: Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered for one hour.

STEP 3: Meanwhile In a separate pan, Heat 3 tablespoon of oil in a large heavy pot over high heat.

STEP 4: Add flour, reduce heat to medium, and cook for about 10 minutes.

STEP 5: Then, add yellow onions, celery, and bell pepper, and sauté 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften.

STEP 6: Add garlic and ½ cup green onions, and cook 3 more minutes. Stir in tomato paste and canned tomatoes.

STEP 7: Then, stir in shrimp, remaining onions, crabmeat and parsley. Simmer for a minute then serve piping hot with rice and a big hunk of bread for dipping!

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