Mardi Gras Party Food Suggestions and Recipes



Shrimp, Corn, and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe
“These wonderful ingredients blend to make a savory, satisfying soup,” Clegg says. “Put this recipe at the top of your list.”

Makes 12 servings

Try shrimp, corn, and sweet potato soup for another popular New Orleans / Mardi Gras menu item. Photo and recipe by Holly Clegg.Ingredients:
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cups diced peeled Louisiana yams, (sweet potatoes)
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen corn
1 (15-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (10-ounce) can chopped tomatoes and green chilies
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
4 cups fat-free canned chicken broth
1.5 pounds peeled medium shrimp
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped green onions, optional

Instructions:
1.    Coat large pot with nonstick cooking spray, and sauté onion, celery, garlic, and green pepper until tender.
2.    Add sweet potato, frozen corn, cream-style corn, tomatoes and green chilies, tomato paste, and broth; bring mixture to boil.
3.    Add shrimp, bring to boil, reduce heat and continue cooking until shrimp are done, about 10 minutes.
4.    Season with salt and pepper; garnish with green onions, if desired, and serve.

Tips for Making Homemade Beignets
Try these tasty homemade beignets with this easy recipe to make them at home. Photo and recipe by Cafe du Monde.Beignets are a timeless New Orleans tradition when it comes to food. Beignets are pillow-shaped fried dough goodies typically topped with powdered sugar. They are also often served as an appetizer with fillings of shrimp or crawfish. You can make your own beignets at home for a Mardi Gras party.

New Orleans’ legendary Café du Monde confided that they use 100% cottonseed oil to create their popular beignets. Burt Benrud, vice president of Café du Monde, explains that cottonseed oil is ideal for creating beignets because it can reach extremely high temperatures without burning.

“Arriving at a high temperature, around 370 degrees, is a crucial step,” Benrud says. “Use the count test to determine if the cottonseed oil is hot enough. If the dough rises to the top of the oil within eight seconds, it’s ready. Café du Monde uses giant fryers and gallons of oil. At home, most cooks use a smaller skillet and a smaller quantity of oil, which together hold less heat. With smaller beignets, the heat reaches the inside more easily, making them perfectly light and puffy.”

To try out the authentic Mardi Gras style recipe for beignets, please see http://www.cottonseedoiltour.com/mardi-gras.

About the Experts:
Holly Clegg is the Baton Rouge based cookbook author of the trim&TERRIFIC cookbook series. For more information, please see The Healthy Cooking Blog and www.hollyclegg.com.

Burt Benrud is vice president of Café du Monde. For more information, please see http://www.cafedumonde.com.

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