Bill and I spent some time in New Orleans, pre-Katrina and I fell in love with the city. The culture, the food, the architecture, the music, the people...well with the exception of the very scary voodoo priestess who grabbed me in the mall bathroom and preceded to tell me I smelled of cancer and was about to die. Yeah...
We stayed in a beautiful hotel on Bourbon Street and I was amazed when, on a Thursday night at 5 pm sharp, the police blocked the street off to traffic and the party began. And lasted all night! Streets back open to traffic again at 5am. This happens every night of the week. Amazing.
There are a few things you won't go without while visiting New Orleans. Music. Alcohol. Food. Every where you turn there is an open door with Creole or Zydeco music pouring out. Every business down Bourbon street seemed to have a walk up bar serving the “Best Hurricanes Around”. You never left a restaurant hungry. Two of the most popular offerings I remember were gumbo and Hurricanes. Even the McDonalds sold these NOLA specialties!
In honor of Fat Tuesday, I wanted to try to make these for the family, well the gumbo anyway! The Hurricanes are just for mommy and daddy!!
So, gather up your beads, its Mardi Gras baby!!
6 ounces amaretto liqueur
4 ounces light rum
4 ounces dark rum
4 ounces coconut rum (I prefer Malibu)
24 ounces orange juice
24 ounces pineapple juice
4 teaspoons lemon juice
grenadine syrup, to taste
1 orange, sliced into rounds or wedges
In a large pitcher, mix the amaretto, rums and juices. Stir in grenadine syrup to your taste. Pour over ice and garnish with orange and cherries. Enjoy!!
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast
halves-cup into bite size pieces
1 pound andouille sausage links, cut into bite size pieces (or sub any spicy sausage link)
1 cup olive oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 quarts chicken broth
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
6 stalks celery, diced
4 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
1 sweet onion, sliced
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with
green chile peppers, with liquid
2 tablespoons chopped fresh jalapeno pepper
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Cajun seasoning
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat, and cook chicken until no longer pink and juices run clear. Stir in sausage, and cook until evenly browned. Drain chicken and sausage, and set aside.
In a large, heavy stockpot over medium heat, blend olive oil and flour to create a roux. Stir constantly until browned and bubbly, about 25-30 minutes. (This is a very important step. Don't skip it! The longer the roux cooks the more flavorful your gumbo will be.) Mix in garlic, and cook about 1 minute.
Gradually stir chicken broth and beer into the roux mixture. Bring to a boil, and mix in celery, tomatoes, sweet onion, diced tomatoes, jalapenos peppers, parsley, and Cajun seasoning. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 40 minutes, stirring often.
Mix chicken, sausage, and shrimp into the broth mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until shrimp is thoroughly cooked, approximately 15-20 minutes.
Serve over hot white rice. Enjoy!! And remember to throw some beads to your cook!! ;-)