Seafood Mardi Gras
Carnival season is in full swing and no one celebrates better, harder and with more gusto than New Orleans and Mardi Gras.
Mardi Gras is held on Fat Tuesday, marking the last day before the beginning of Lent (always falls on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday). The first U.S. Mardi Gras took place in 1699 when French explorers landed near present day New Orleans. They marked the occasion with a celebration, one including all the delicious seafood found in the Mississippi delta and Gulf coast, creating the rich traditions that make this holiday unique (and delicious).
Mardi Gras is nothing without Seafood!
Many of the dishes we associate with Mardi Gras are seafood based. The region is chock full of crabs and shrimp and you’ll see these staples present in their traditional foods-be it Creole, Cajun, Spanish or French (or a combo of all four).
New Orleans classics are really simple to recreate, most use only a single pot, making it very easy to cook up at home-so you can have your own mini Mardi Gras!
Po’ Boys are a classic sandwich originally created for the dock workers and farmers of the region to have a filling meal while they work. The flavors, while mild, are still totally NOLA and fried shrimp are the star. The Shrimp Po’ Boys sandwiches are classically filled with shredded lettuce, thick juicy slices of tomato and dill pickles- all stuffed into a crusty french roll with a bit of mayonnaise and a couple splashes of good ol’ Louisiana hot sauce.
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon cajun seasoning or old bay seafood seasoning
- 1 1/2 lbs. Cameron’s Seafood Fresh Shrimp peeled
- 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 cups oil for frying peanut or vegetable
- 4 french rolls split
- 4-6 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 large beefsteak tomato sliced
- 2 cups ice berg lettuce shredded
- 2 big dill pickles sliced
In a large bowl whisk together buttermilk, eggs, hot sauce, mustard and cajun seasoning until smooth and blended. Toss shrimp in batter until coated.
In a large bowl whisk together cornmeal and flour, set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Using a thermometer, heat oil to 325°F-350°F. While working in batches coat shrimp in dry mix and fry for 2-3 minutes, flipping frequently, or until golden brown and cooked thoroughly. Let drain on a paper towel or wire rack and repeat this process for the remaining shrimp.
Spread mayonnaise on split rolls and fill with tomatoes, lettuce and pickles. Stuff evenly with fried shrimp and serve.
Seafood Jambalaya is one of those one-pot-wonders that is loaded with flavor while being extremely simple to make. You can really see the the Spanish influence in this recipe, a Creole interpretation of a paella! Mardi Gras would not be complete without Jambalaya.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/3 cup celery diced
- 1/3 cup yellow onion peeled and diced
- 1/3 cup green bell pepper diced
- 1/3 cup red bell pepper diced
- 1 tablespoon jalapeno minced (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and minced
- 1 lb. andouille sausage sliced
- 2 1/2 cups seafood broth
- 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 tablespoon cajun seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 3 cups long grain white rice
- 1 lb. Cameron’s Seafood Lump Crab Meat
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen okra sliced (optional)
- fresh parsley chopped
In a large dutch oven heat olive oil over medium high heat. Saute celery, onions, peppers and garlic for 2-3 minutes.
Add in sausage, broth, tomatoes, cajun seasoning, paprika and rice. Stir until combined. Gently stir in crab meat and okra and bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat to low and cook for 35-40 minutes or until rice is completely cooked. Garnish with chopped parsley before serving.
Celebrate Mardi Gras-Buy Seafood Online
All of the seafood listed in these classic New Orleans Mardi Gras recipes are available at our online store. As we say, ‘from shore to door, 3 days fresher than the grocery store’-all of our seafood is delivered right to your door when you schedule it, guaranteed! That’s convenience you need when planning a spectacular Mardi Gras party!
By: Patterson Watkins