Fat Tuesday-- also known as Mardi Gras-- is upon us and let the partying begin in Soulard, downtown, and the Washington Ave. areas. New Orleans has nothing on St. Louis with the craziness that Mardi Gras brings.

Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday and in the catholic religion and other Christian religions the origins come from all the celebrating, eating and drinking before the fasting begins on Ash Wednesday. 

Sports Fans got a taste of the Mardi Gras atmosphere last week when the Super Bowl was played in New Orleans.

Mardi Gras has gotten bigger every year and St. Louis has its own, which is one of the biggest in the country.The Parade is in it's 11th year and has evolved int a nighttime parade that winds through downtown. The Parade steps off at 7 p.m. at the corner of Washington and Broadway and proceeds to 14th Street.


To find out more check out MardiGras inc.com. 

Upcoming 2013 Events

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Special Annual Mardi Gras Appearances by Michael "Supe" Granda of Ozark Mt. Daredevils

Friday, Feb. 8: “SUPE’S ON” @ Laurie’s Place - 228 N. Main, Edwardsville, ILL  62025 (618) 656-2175, 6:30 – 9:30 PM    www.lauriesplacebar.com

Saturday, Feb. 9: w/ Garbonzos @ Venice Café - 1903 Pestalozzi St. St. Louis, MO  63118  (314) 772-5994, 9PM -1AM www.thevenicecafe.com

 

Beyond the beads, parades and masks, Mardi Gras is all about the food. From now until next Tuesday when the clock strikes midnight signaling the beginning of Lent, it’s time to party hardy. If Soulard’s Mardi Gras isn’t in your plans consider hosting your own Mardi Gras.  Just scoop up some beads and cook up a Cajun Throw-down and let the good times will roll.

Cajun cooking is easy, which may be one of the reasons New Orleans is called The Big Easy. Sports fans who enjoy cooking the turkey in the turkey fryer will see how easy it can be. Our Travel/Food Editor Suzanne Corbett has put together some Mardi Gras recipes for us.

Crawfish Boudin Balls

Recipe from Chefs John Johnson and Stephan Schubert, both 2012 &2013 winners of Soulard’s Crystal Cajun Cook-off

1 tablespoon oil

8 ounces Arborio rice

2 teaspoons Crystal Hot Sauce

4 cups crawfish stock*

2 ounces green bell pepper, finely diced

2 ounces red bell pepper, finely diced

2 ounces, yellow bell pepper, finely diced

2 ounces celery, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces crawfish*, minced

2 ounces green onions, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup flour

3 large eggs, beaten

8 ounces bread crumbs

oil for deep-frying

In a saucepan heat oil over a medium high heat. Add in rice and stir until rice becomes translucent. Add hot sauce and stock 2 cups at a time, stirring constantly until stock is absorbed into the rice.  Check rice for tenderness. Remove and cool rice.

To assemble balls mix the green red and yellow pepper along with the celery, garlic, crawfish, green onions and red pepper flakes. Mixture can be seasoned to taste with salt and pepper, and then mixed to combine and shape into balls.

Place flour, eggs and breadcrumbs into separate shallow dishes.  Roll boudin balls in flour, then into egg and finishing in breadcrumbs. Fry balls in hot oil (about 400 degrees) for a few minutes to brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels.  Makes 10 –12 servings.

* Editor’s note: If crawfish or crawfish stock is unavailable use vegetable or chicken stock and shrimp. Chef’s recipe has been adjusted for the home kitchen.

Crawfish Boil Throw-down

2 3-ounce bags crab boil (Zataarain’s)

1/2 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup red pepper

4 lemons, cut in half

3 pounds small red potatoes

4 large onions, peeled and quartered

3 bulbs garlic, cut in half

2 pounds smoked sausage, cut into 6-8-inch pieces

4-5 ears of corn, cut into thirds

5 pound bag whole crawfish (fresh or frozen

Fill a large kettle with 4 gallons of water. Add salt, crab boil, red pepper and lemons; then bring to a boil. Add in potatoes, onions, sausage and corn. Boil for about 10 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Add crawfish and boil five more minutes, until crawfish turns a bright red.  Drain everything from the kettle and place on a large table covered with newspaper. Serve with lots of French bread and don’t spare the hot sauce. Serves 8-10