The Hurricane Cocktail:
It’s Fat Tuesday today! What’s Fat Tuesday? Fat Tuesday is the traditional name for the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. It is more commonly known as Mardi Gras, which is simply Fat Tuesday in French. It’s referring to the practice of the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday. I’m more into the Mardi Gras aspect! So far this year, we have been extremely focused on eating healthy, but I love a good excuse to let loose just for a day! I’m not from New Orleans but I love the food and the culture! There’s something about the French Quarters that’s sexy and mysterious and I love Creole cuisine.
Happy Fat Tuesday!
Ali in the Valley
Photo by: Ali
Here’s my Fat Tuesday recipes!
The Hurricane Cocktail:
The Hurricane became popular at Pat O’Brien’s bar in 1940’s New Orleans, apparently debuted at the 1939 World’s Fair and was named after the hurricane lamp-shaped glasses the first drinks were served in. It’s said that O’Brien created the heavily rummed drink as a means to get rid of the large stock of rum his Southern distributors forced him to buy.
2 oz light rum (I use coconut rum) 2 oz dark rum 2 oz passion fruit juice 1 oz orange juice juice of a half a lime 1 Tbsp simple syrup 1 Tbsp grenadine orange slice and cherry for garnish
Squeeze juice from half a lime into shaker over ice. Pour the remaining ingredients into the cocktail shaker. Shake well. Strain into a hurricane glass. Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice.
Recipe for Gumbo Ya-Ya:
1 1/2 cups Medium Dark Roux (see How To Roux recipe below) 2 cups diced onions 1 cup diced celery 1 cup diced green bell pepper 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic 2 quarts shrimp, crab or chicken stock 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds, browned in a skillet, and drained on paper towels 2 bay leaves 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce Dash hot sauce 1/4 teaspoon cayenne 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 teaspoon Essence (recipe follows) 1/2 pound crab legs 12 fresh oysters and juices from jar(2) (optional) 1/3 cup green onion tops, chopped 1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley leaves 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves 1/2 cup file powder, or to taste Steamed white rice, for serving
Heat the roux in a medium-sized heavy stockpot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions, celery and bell pepper. Stir mixture until onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute. Slowly pour in stock, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Add the browned sausage, bay leaves, Worcestershire, hot sauce, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
Bring gumbo to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer until gumbo is slightly reduced, about 50 minutes. (Gumbo should cook long enough for the roux flavor to mellow and for any floury taste to dissipate.)
Season the shrimp with the Essence in a small bowl. Stir in the seasoned shrimp, crab legs, oysters, green onions, parsley, thyme and basil. Cook until shrimp are cooked through, about 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Sprinkle in file powder and cook, stirring 2 minutes more, or pass file at the table for guests to thicken as desired. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Serve in warmed soup bowls over steamed white rice.
How to Roux:
3 cups vegetable oil 5 cups all-purpose flour
Place a heavy, iron Dutch oven, (or iron skillet with deep sides) over medium heat and heat the oil until just smoking. Whisk in flour, a little at a time and cook, whisking constantly, until roux becomes smooth and thick. Continue to cook, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon and reaching all over bottom of pan until roux darkens to desired color. Be careful not to produce specs of black. The roux must remain an even color throughout process. If specs appear you must start over. For a Light Brown Roux, cook the mixture, over medium heat for 1 1/2 hours, or until the color of peanut butter. For a Medium Brown Roux, cook the mixture, over medium heat for an additional 30 minutes, or until the color of a copper penny when ready.
ESSENCE Creole Seasoning:
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika 2 tablespoons salt 2 tablespoons garlic powder 1 tablespoon black pepper 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon dried oregano 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly. (Keep left over for future use)
All shrimp and lobster shells 1 bay leaf Zatarain’s Crawfish and Shrimp Crab Boil 1 lemon cut in quarters Salt Water to cover all ingredients
Combine all shells and the above ingredients in stockpot, add 4 quarts water and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim to remove any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove stock from heat and strain. Use only the liquid in the Gumbo. Discard shells!