Laissez les bons temps rouler

That’s the Cajun expression for “Let the good times roll!” and is what comes to mind to most folks during Mardi Gras. Well, Tuesday is Fat Tuesday, so named because it is the final chance for indulgence before Lent. Since New Orleans is about 300 miles (480 kilometers) from here, attending Mardi Gras in the Big Easy was not an option, especially with the outrageous hotel prices. May as well be walking to New Orleans…

So last night, another member of the foodie group and I co-hosted a Mardi Gras dinner for 20 at her home. We cooked for three days. First was a sausage and duck gumbo. The next day it was seafood gumbo with shrimp, scallops, crab, and oysters. Finally, a jambalaya with tasso (smoked pork shoulder), andouille sausage, and chicken. The co-host lived in New Orleans and vicinity for 30 years and is an excellent Cajun / Creole cook.

Shrimp Etouffee (front) and seafood gumbo

Shrimp Etouffee (front) and seafood gumbo

Guests brought salad, sides, desserts and beverages. Some of the sides were entrees: shrimp fried rice, etoufee, and a classic red beans with rice. For appropriate ambience, there were Mardi Gras beads and a compilation of 17 Mardi Gras music videos from YouTube playing on a 50-inch screen.

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No dinner is complete without dessert!

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Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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