This week we will celebrate Fat Tuesday and there are a lot of great food opportunities that come to mind with this holiday!
I wrote in a much earlier post on Baking it Real about Fat Tuesday and the tradition of the King’s Cake. This is a traditional pastry with a small baby icon(meant to represent the child King) hidden in it. You can read more about that here:
and even get the recipe to make your very own King Cake this week in celebration of Mardi Gras! We also spoke a bit about the polish tradition of the Paczki. An heavy, fatty, eggy donut that you can’t resist on Fat Tuesday!
I wanted to touch though on some non-pastry food options for this Fat Tuesday, a little indulgence before heading into the Christian recognition of the Lenton season. As you’;; recall Fat Tuesday is the day of celebration before Ash Wednesday the first day of Lent known for it’s ritual of fasting. That being the case many communities celebrate with a decadent and over indulgent attitude toward their cooking on Fat Tuesday.
Many dishes are reminiscent of Southern styles of cooking. More specifically, the traditional Fat Tuesday entre’s are representative of Gulf Coast community cooking. Good old fashioned creole cooking!
So let’s talk a bit about creole cooking, and especially the dishes of Gumbo, and Jumbalaya! Louisiana Creole Cuisine is a style of cooking originating in Louisiana, United States which blends French, Spanish, Indian, Caribbean, Portuguese, Greek, West African, German, Italian and Irish influences, as well as influences from the general cuisine of the Southern United States.
Gumbo is a stew that originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century. It consists primarily of a strongly-flavored stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and what Louisianians call the “Holy Trinity” of vegetables, namely celery, bell peppers, and onions. Gumbo is often categorized by the type of thickener used, the vegetable okra, the Choctaw spice filé powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves), or roux, the French base made of flour and fat.
Jambalaya is a dish of Louisiana origin of Spanish and French (especially Provençal) influence. It consists of meat and vegetables mixed with rice. Traditionally, the meat always includes sausage of some sort, often a smoked sausage such as andouille, along with some other meat or seafood, frequently pork, chicken, crawfish, or shrimp.
Either of these dishes would be a welcome change to your dinner menu this Fat Tuesday below are a couple of links to some simple and delicious recipes for each! Enjoy!!