Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mardi Gras Party Brings A Taste Of New Orleans

We attended a Mardi Gras party at the Schutte's lovely home in Excelsior Springs last night and it was most certainly a Good Time Had By All but of course, the highlight for me was the much-coveted Cajun-Creole cuisine. Carolyn and Jim certainly know how to host an entertaining bash and thanks to Jim's mad culinary skills, the food re-sparked the long-held loving torch I've held for spicy New Orleans fare.

I last visited New Orleans several moons ago in its pre-Katrina days and the mouth-watering meals have always held an esteemed place in my culinary memories. Beignets and a Cafe Au Lait at Cafe Du Monde, fresh seafood with a kick and a soul-nourishing helping of jambalaya or gumbo constitute just a few of those delicious delights. Years later, when we lived in Atlanta, we worked for a conference center where I was the assistant food and beverage director and two members of our culinary staff were Louisiana natives; one of whom was a true Cajun. They would whip up Creole and Cajun goodness on a regular basis and it was always a true treat for the taste buds. There is most certainly a difference between Cajun and Creole cuisine, but in the interest of space; I'll share a link that explains the difference: One characteristic both share is, as the article states.....most people eat to live, but Cajuns and Creoles live to eat!

The Schutte's Mardi Gras party featured tasty reminders of that beloved New Orleans food. Red beans and dirty rice, savory polenta, Cajun bean dip and my personal favorite: Jim's hearty and wonderful jambalaya. Fittingly, at the end of that table was a jumbo bottle of Louisiana Hot Sauce. The Mardi Gras desserts were dreamy as well; including decadent bread pudding served with bourbon sauce and a traditional King Cake. Most King Cakes include a hidden plastic figurine; traditionally a plastic baby doll and depending on which tradition you follow, the person who discovers the figurine receives good fortune for the next year but is also obligated to buy the next king cake. This particular (and particularly delicious) king cake featured tiny plastic stealth ninjas and one of them were inadvertently cut in half by their friend Kerri, so I'm not sure what effect that has on one's luck or obligations. Drinks were appropriately potent; especially the eye-opening Hurricanes that were served from the Best Drink Dispenser Ever.

I was also fortunate enough to watch the making of the beignets last night as well. Carolyn and her friends whipped them up from an actual Cafe Du Monde mix and when the flour stopped flying, they produced some hot and sweet beauties.

It was a delicious night through and through and a delectable reminder that Big Easy cuisine will always be one of my favorites. The Schuttes most certainly brought us a delectable taste of New Orleans and Mardi Gras. Laissez le bon temps rouler!


Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

Drat! Sorry we missed it! My sore throat and losing my voice didn't seem like a great thing to share...

Confounded Cook said...

We missed you, Kate! One day we WILL be at the same event face to

Romantisch Hotel Brugge said...

omg!! nice your looking and beautiful dress. really fantastic this post and interesting details shared in the post.amazing your idea and cool recipes.

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