Monday, February 11, 2013

Super Bowl Is Over, but Mardi Gras Is Coming

First, let's talk about the Ravens.
Last Sunday, we had some of these, courtesy of Alicia
(and thank you to McCormick for the food coloring):
Inside each cupcake, Alicia hid a small piece of fudgy chocolate -
a Berger cookie-like nod to the baby in a king cake.
The cupcakes were lucky for everybody. Ravens included.
So on Tuesday, Dixon and I did this:

We were with Sarah G. and my friend Audrey and her two little girls.
Turns out, when you go to a parade with a six year old, a two year old, a three year old,
a very pregnant lady (Audrey) and a double stroller, people are pretty nice.
(Note: The picture above was taken - by Audrey - an hour before the
stadium event actually started. Which explains the empty seats.)
Anyway, back to the subject of the post. On Super Bowl Sunday, our menu was
NOLA-inspired. I pulled recipes from the Sun article I write earlier in the week.
The dirty rice and gumbo, recipe by Chef Shawn Lagergren at Tooloulou,
didn't photograph well, but they were both excellent (and not overly complicated).
We also made a couple of the appetizers suggested by Chef Thomas Dunklin at B+O Brasserie.
Jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese and spoonfuls of garlicky sausage,
then wrapped in bacon and smoked:

They were amazing. Time consuming, but amazing.
In the background, you can see the caramelized buttermilk ranch dressing
for dipping. Also amazing (and not as time consuming).
I made extra ranch for dipping vegetables - and I'm glad I did.
Also courtesy of Chef Dunklin, grilled oysters with jalapeno-lime butter:

These were similar to grilled oysters we made on New Year's Eve
(those were grilled and topped with butter mixed with a smoky cayenne
hot sauce I made just before Christmas.
Grilled oysters seem like a thing right now. A good thing.
Anyway, this is a long way of recommending all of those recipes -
the dirty rice and gumbo, the jalapenos, and the oysters.
All fantastic, all completely home cook-friendly.
And all very NOLA. Happy Mardi Gras!

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