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Firing Up A Flavorful Grilled Mardi Gras Feast

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Mardi Gras Recipes

Fat Tuesday. Is there a more joyous food holiday? This special occasion revels in the richest, fattiest, most calorie-laden and decadent edibles available. After all, it’s the last day before the fasting of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is actually the culmination of the entire Carnival season, a months-long celebration featuring public parades, parties, costumes, masks, high-spirited revelry, and magnificent feasting.

From Belgium to Brazil, Mardi Gras festivities take place all over the world. In America, the party reaches its peak in New Orleans, Louisiana, the birthplace of U.S. Mardi Gras celebrations. Way back in the late 1600s, French King Louis XIV sent delegates overseas to defend France’s claim on the American territory of Louisiane. At that time, Louisiane included the modern-day states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and portions of eastern Texas. On Tuesday March 3, 1699, the king’s delegates made camp on the Mississippi River about 60 miles downstream from what is now New Orleans. It happened to be Fat Tuesday, and in honor of that day, they named the encampment area Mardi Gras Point (Point du Mardi Gras in French). By 1723, New Orleans became the capital of Louisiana, and the first NOLA Mardi Gras parade took place in 1837. The city was a natural epicenter for Carnival celebrations in the region and eventually the entire United States, a badge of honor that New Orleans has welcomed with open arms. For two weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday, local NOLA social clubs or “krewes” pull out all the stops with elaborate parties, balls, costumes, masks, dances, marching bands, parades, and floats, where riders toss “throws” such as colorful beads, doubloons, moon pies, lingerie, and coconuts into the cheering crowds. Anything goes during Mardi Gras, and it’s a wild time. Or as they say in the Big Easy, laissez les bons temps rouler. Let the good times roll!

King cake is the most iconic Mardi Gras food, decorated in the traditional colors of purple (for justice), green (for faith), and gold (for power). This rich, buttery cake is twisted and baked in a ring-shaped mold then decorated with colored icing sugar. It’s customary to hide a baby Jesus figurine inside the cake. Whoever gets the trinket bakes the next king cake to keep the party going.

Sweet pancakes are also traditional on Shrove Tuesday, as Mardi Gras is sometimes called, along with all manner of rich, fried pastries from doughnuts to beignets. In New Orleans, other Cajun and Creole foods find their way to Mardi Gras tables from jambalaya and gumbo to muffuletta, andouille po’ boys, grilled oysters, red beans and rice, pralines, hurricanes, and Sazerac cocktails. If you can’t make it down to New Orleans to partake of these foods and drinks, enjoy them at home! Here are some of our richest, most delicious NOLA-inspired recipes to help you celebrate Mardi Gras in style, no matter where you are.

Po boy with lid off showing shrimp and andouille

BBQ Shrimp And Andouille Po Boy Grills Up A Taste of N’awlins


Meathead, BBQ Hall of Famer

Savory New Orleans BBQ shrimp and spicy Andouille sausage are the stars of the show in this recipe for a grilled po boy. Served on crusty French style bread and packed full of meat and/or seafood, the po' boy sandwich is a New Orleans staple and our Barbecue Shrimp & Andouille Po-Boy twist is surely an instant classic.
Red beans and rice

Red Beans And Rice Recipe, A New Orleans Classic Made At Home


Meathead, BBQ Hall of Famer

Enjoy a taste of New Orleans with this recipe for classic red beans and rice! In NOLA, Sunday is ham night, and on Monday, the leftover ham and the ham bone are used to make Red Beans and Rice, a traditional Creole stew that can be prepped quickly and simmers for several hours before diving in.
Shrimp boil on newspaper

Easy Foil Packet Shrimp Boil For A Taste Of The Beach In Your Backyard


Clint Cantwell, Champion Pitmaster

This mouthwatering grilled shrimp boil recipe is an effortless family style feast for your backyard cookout. There’s something truly engaging about diving into a steaming hot peel-and-eat shrimp boil, fingers dripping with spicy juices as you devour the tender shrimp, potatoes, sausage, and corn, all done on the grill.
Grilled oysters in the shell

Grilled Oysters With Roasted Garlic Butter And Romano


Dave Joachim

If you've only ever eaten oysters raw, this recipe will be a revelation. And if you've never warmed up to oysters, give this recipe a try. Oysters Grilled with Roasted Garlic Butter and Romano are easy to make, drenched with rich flavors, and utterly delicious.
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Shrimp and andouille sausage in a bowl

Original New Orleans BBQ Shrimp Recipe Does Right Bayou


Meathead, BBQ Hall of Famer

New Orleans barbecue sauce is a rich, hot buttery sauce used on shrimp but it works beautifully on many other dishes. Technically, since there is no smoke in the recipe, so it really isn't barbecue, but there's no reason why you can't bask in its delicious mix of butter, garlic, Louisiana hot sauce, and more.
bowl of gumbo and rice

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Gumbo Warms The Soul

Turn your leftover Thanksgiving turkey into a delicious, soul warming gumbo with this easy to follow recipe.
Melissa Cookston and John Wheeler

Melissa Cookston’s Grilled Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Shrimp Recipe


Meathead, BBQ Hall of Famer

Create a grilled bacon wrapped stuffed shrimp appetizer with only five ingredients thanks to this award winning recipe courtesy of pitmaster Melissa Cookston. Cookston won the 2012 Kingsford Invitational by taking first place in five categories including this delicious bacon wrapped stuffed shrimp recipe.
grilled shrimp atop grits

Show Some Southern Flair With Grilled Shrimp And Grits


Clint Cantwell, Champion Pitmaster

Enjoy a taste of the south with this tested recipe for a grilled twist on the classic pairing of shrimp and grits. Whether it’s for brunch, lunch, or dinner, this delicious combination of rich and creamy stone ground grits and perfectly grilled shrimp is sure to please any crowd.
Grilled andouille sausage on a plate

How To Make Traditional Louisiana Andouille Sausage At Home


Meathead, BBQ Hall of Famer

Andouille sausage is the soul of New Orleans Creole cooking. It is spicy, garlicky, and smoky. Here is how to make this classic Louisiana sausage.

How To Shuck An Oyster And Cook It Like A Pro, Safely And Properly


Meathead, BBQ Hall of Famer

Opening an oyster shell isn't hard once you know how. Here's how.
Grilled catfish sauced and plated

Make Grilled Catfish That Doesn’t Stick With This Genius Trick


Clint Cantwell, Champion Pitmaster

A base of sliced citrus is the key to perfectly grilled fish in this recipe for grilled blackened catfish with charred lemon cream sauce. Grilling the catfish fillets on top of orange slices ensures the fish won't stick to the grill grate and adds a touch of citrus flavor.

Bayou Bite Louisiana BBQ Sauce Recipe


Meathead, BBQ Hall of Famer

This Louisiana BBQ sauce recipe is spicy and sweet with Chipotle Tabasco, roasted jalapenos, red peppers, and Steen's Cane Syrup. Referred to as Bayou Bite, this delicious sauce blends sweet and hot peppers for a mildly spicy finishing and dipping sauce for ribs, chicken, steaks, chops and so much more.
Cajun rub seasons meat

Cajun Seasoning Rub Recipe


Meathead, BBQ Hall of Famer

This spice blend features classic Louisiana flavors like cayenne and allspice, perfect for making andouille sausage, jambalaya, gumbo, and blackened fish. It is also good rubbed on barbecued meats and mixed into burgers.
this item is for members only

Creole Seasoning Rub Recipe


Dave Joachim

This recipe for spicy Creole seasoning is perfect for gumbo, jambalaya, and crawfish etoufee. It also works well rubbed on pork, chicken and turkey.
Powdered sugar dusted pecan tassie

Bite-Size Pecan Pies Are Easy To Make And Easier To Eat


Meathead, BBQ Hall of Famer

Satisfy your sweet tooth with this delicious recipe for pecan tassies, mini bite size pecan pies. Crunchy, nutty, gooey, flaky, and easy to pop one after another, these tasty tartlets are often served at Southern weddings, but are most common at Christmas and Thanksgiving, when pecans are still fresh.

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Published On: 6/28/2019 Last Modified: 2/7/2023


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