4 Recipes for an In-Cabin Mardi Gras Celebration

It may not be New Orleans, but Pigeon Forge is still a great place to celebrate Mardi Gras. Downtown Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg have pubs and bars for the 21-and-over tourists, and dozens of attractions along the Parkway offer fun for all ages. At the cabin, celebrate by making masks with the kids, relaxing and watching a parade on TV, and whipping up your own Mardi Gras dishes with these 4 recipes you can try in your fully equipped kitchen.

Southern Living’s Stovetop Crawfish Boil | serves: 6 | time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Ingredients

  • 4 ½ gallons of water
  • 2 (4 oz) packages seafood boil, such as Zatarain’s Crawfish, Shrimp, and Crab Boil
  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • ¼ cup Creole seasoning
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 5 lemons, halved
  • 2 garlic heads, halved crosswise
  • 4 small yellow onions, halved
  • 2 lbs small red potatoes, halved
  • 2 large fresh artichokes
  • 10 lbs live fresh crawfish, purged (ask your vendor)
  • 4 ears corn, husks removed
  • Creole mayo

Directions

  1. Bring 4 ½ gallons water to a rolling boil in a 7- to 8-gallon stockpot over high. (Start early! This could take 30 to 40 minutes.) Add seafood boil, salt, Creole seasoning, bay leaves, lemons, garlic, and onions. Stir until spices are dissolved. Add potatoes and artichokes; return to a boil. Boil 20 minutes. Add crawfish, and simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Cut each ear of corn into 4 pieces, and add to pot. Simmer 5 minutes. (If you lose your boil at any point, cover with a lid to return it to a simmer.)
  3. Line a large sheet pan with newspaper or parchment paper. Pour mixture through a large colander, or remove crawfish and vegetables from water, using a slotted spoon. Place crawfish and vegetables on pan. Serve with Creole Mayo for dipping.

Chicken-Andouille Gumbo with Roasted Potatoes | makes: 10 cups | time: 3 hrs, 10 min
Ingredients

  • 1 lb andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • ½ cup peanut oil
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
  • 1 (48-oz.) container chicken broth
  • 2 lbs skinned and boned chicken breasts
  • Roasted potatoes
  • Toppings: chopped fresh parsley, cooked and crumbled bacon, hot sauce

Directions

  1. Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often, 7 minutes or until browned. Remove sausage; drain and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Heat oil in a stainless-steel Dutch oven over medium heat; gradually whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 18 to 20 minutes or until flour is caramel-colored. (Do not burn mixture.) Reduce heat to low, and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is milk chocolate-colored and texture is smooth (about 2 minutes).
  3. Increase heat to medium. Stir in onion, next 4 ingredients, and, if desired, ground red pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Gradually stir in chicken broth; add chicken and sausage. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 40 minutes or until chicken is done. Shred chicken into large pieces using 2 forks.
  4. Place roasted potatoes in serving bowls. Spoon gumbo over potatoes. Serve immediately with desired toppings.

Cajun Corn and Bacon Maque Choux | serves: 6| time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Ingredients

  • 6 ears corn, husked and cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large fresh tomato, chopped
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Salt to taste
  • Cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • 8 strips crisply cooked bacon, crumbled

Directions

  1. Cut corn off the cobs by thinly slicing across the tops of the kernels; place in a medium bowl. Cut across the kernels again to release milk from the corn, add milk to bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and green pepper, cook until onion is transparent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Combine corn, tomatoes, and milk with the onion mixture. Reduce heat to medium low, and cook 20 minutes longer, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Do not boil. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Lower heat, cover skillet, and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer. Stir in green onions and bacon. Remove from heat

New Orleans Bread Pudding | serves: 12 | time: 35 min prep, 35 min bake
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup brandy or unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 10 slices day-old French bread (1 inch thick), cubed

SAUCE:

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Dash salt
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, combine raisins and brandy. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat; cover and set aside. Brush a shallow 2-1/2-qt. baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter; sprinkle with sugar and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, cream, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and nutmeg. Stir in remaining butter and reserved raisin mixture. Gently stir in bread; let stand for 15 minutes or until bread is softened.
  3. Transfer to prepared dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  4. For sauce, in a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, cornstarch and salt; gradually add water. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Serve with bread pudding.

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