Mardi Gras is a period of revelry that takes place on the Tuesday prior to the start of the Christian season of Lent. Mardi Gras, French for “Fat Tuesday,” is celebrated in various regions of the world, but perhaps nowhere are celebrations as festive as in New Orleans, where the French-Creole culture mingles with the parades, brass bands, tossed beads, and all around good fun and great food.
Partying around the clock requires eating to keep energy levels up. A hearty seafood stew can be the ideal choice for this fun-fueled day. (You can keep the festive mood on Fridays in Lent, too!) Try this recipe for “Sunday Gumbo” from Casseroles, Slow Cooker & Soups (Taste of Home Books) from the editors of Reader’s Digest/A Taste of Home.
Yield: 16 servings
1 pound Italian sausage links, cut into ¼-inch pieces
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cans (14½ ounces each) chicken broth
⅔ cup uncooked brown rice
1 can (14½ ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups frozen sliced okra
- In a Dutch oven, brown the sausage and chicken in oil. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm.
- In the drippings, saute the red pepper, onion and celery until tender.
- Stir in the seasonings; cook for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the broth, rice and sausage mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until rice is tender.
- Stir in the tomatoes, shrimp and okra; cook for 10 minutes, or until shrimp turn pink, stirring occasionally.