Fat Tuesday is upon us again, and no matter your affiliation, it’s a great time to indulge in the fattiest fried foods you can get your hands on.
Depending on where you’re from, the fried foods traditionally eaten on Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, range from the sweet — like doughnuts and King Cake — to the savory — like fried Po’Boys. In the UK, Fat Tuesday is Pancake Day, and in Poland, it’s Paczki Day — which refers to the jelly-filled doughnuts they eat. Of course for Americans, Mardi Gras is basically synonymous with New Orleans, which is home to some of the best fried foods in the country.
We take fried food very seriously, and whatever you eat the rest of the year, you should take it seriously too on Fat Tuesday. You’re supposed to indulge, so why not really go for it? We’ve rounded up some of the fattiest Fat Tuesday recipes to help get you started.
Easy Baked Creole Muffuletta Sandwich
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes Servings: 4
1 9 inch round bread, sliced in half
1 lb Geno salami, sliced deli thin
1 lb black forest ham, sliced deli thin
12 slices provolone cheese, sliced
1 1/2 cups olive spread
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut bread in half lengthwise, remove about 1/4 inch of bread filling to create a small well.
Fill bottom half of bread with 1/2 cup of olive spread, top with half of the salami, ham, cheese, olive spread, salami, ham, cheese, ending with remaining muffaletta spread.
Place top bread layer on sandwich, press down, wrap in foil and bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, cut into four pieces and serve warm.
Puffy Pillow Beignets
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 7 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, salt, eggs, evaporated milk, and blend well. Mix in 4 cups of the flour and beat until smooth. Add the shortening, and then the remaining 3 cups of flour. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours.
- Roll out dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 2 1/2 inch squares. Fry in 360 degree F (180 degrees C) hot oil. If beignets do not pop up, oil is not hot enough. Drain onto paper towels.
- Shake confectioners’ sugar on hot beignets. Serve warm.
Red Beans and Rice
- 1 pound dry kidney beans
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 6 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups long grain white rice
- Rinse beans, and then soak in a large pot of water overnight.
- In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, bell pepper, garlic, and celery in olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Rinse beans, and transfer to a large pot with 6 cups water. Stir cooked vegetables into beans. Season with bay leaves, cayenne pepper, thyme, sage, parsley, and Cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
- Stir sausage into beans, and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the rice. In a saucepan, bring water and rice to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve beans over steamed white rice.
BBQ Shrimp and Grits
BBQ Shrimp Ingredients:
- 12 raw colossal shrimp, unpeeled, with heads and tails left on (If colossal shrimp are not available, use the largest you can find.)
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1½ tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper**
- 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- half alemon, seeded
- ¼ pound (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, preferably Plugra or other European style butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
- warm, crusty French bread, for serving
1. Place the shrimp, Worcestershire, pepper, Creole seasoning, garlic, and 1 tablespoon water in a heavy 10-inch, stainless-steel sauté pan. Squeeze the juice from the lemon half over the shrimp and add the rind and pulp to the pan.
2. Over high heat, cook the shrimp while gently stirring and occasionally turning the shrimp.
3. After about two minutes of cooking, the shrimp should start turning pink on both sides, indicating they are nearly half cooked.
4. If the shrimp are the colossal size, add 2 tablespoons water to the pan. Otherwise, don’t add water.
5. Reduce the heat to medium-high and continue cooking as you gradually add the cold pieces of butter to the pan. While turning the shrimp occasionally, swirl the butter pieces until they are incorporated into the pan juices, the sauce turns light brown and creamy as it simmers, and the shrimp are just cooked through. This will take about two minutes total if the shrimp are extra-large, and about three minutes total if they’re colossal. Do not overcook the shrimp.
Cream Cheese Grits Ingredients:
- ¾ cup grits, stone ground
- 2 cups chicken stock
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 6 ½ Tbsp cream cheese
- 3 Tbsp parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Combine the grits, chicken stock, heavy cream, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper in a pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a slow simmer.
2. Stir the grits frequently to prevent sticking and burning.
3. Continue to cook on a slow simmer making sure to constantly stir the grits if they get to thick before they are tender.