Big Easy Mardi Gras Food

Mardi Gras time always reminds me of my parents. Every year my church held an adults only Mardi Gras party. People from all faiths came together and danced, ate great Cajun food and fellow shipped. My favorite memory was Mom coming in late at night carrying a King Cake! So the next morning, we munched on this delicious bread and hoped for the blessed Baby Jesus! Here is my delicious recipe that does not take much but a frozen loaf of white bread dough!

Here is my easy Gumbo anyone can make. Many recipe really don’t seem to work so well… It is all about the roux (flour and oil cooked in the bottom of your pot till chocolate brown) and the seasonings. Give this a whirl and let me know what you think!

Easy Gumbo

1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
1 pound chicken tenders, chopped
1 pound cooked shrimp
Vegetable oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 celery ribs, sliced
5 cups chicken broth
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Tabasco sauce

In a large dutch oven, cook sausage and chicken till browned and cooked through. Remove and set aside. Add in vegetable oil and saute the onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic and dried thyme till tender. Remove from pan. Add more vegetable oil with the dripping as well as the flour and stir till lightly browned. This is the roux so cooking the flour creates that rich flavor. Cook till dark chcocolate brown. Now add in the broth, bay leaves, creole seasoning, and meat. Cook for 30 minutes. Add in the shrimp the last 15 minutes and continue cooking. Serve with rice.

Quick King Cake

1 frozen white bread loaf, thawed
1 package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1/4 cup cinnamon sugar
1 stick of butter melted
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoon milk
Green, Purple and Yellow sprinkles
1 plastic baby or critter of your choice

Roll out your bread dough till it is about 24 inches long and about 12 inches wide. In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese and vanilla paste and a teaspoon of the cinnamon sugar. Spread it over the top of the dough, leaving a 1 inch edge all around. Sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar. Roll width wise making a long snake. Place on a parchment lined pan with the seam side down in a circle. Attach both ends and melted butter and place in a warm spot for 1-2 hours to rise. Once it has risen place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Now from the bottom place the baby inside.

To make the glaze:
In a small bowl combine the brown sugar and milk. Stir till thick like a glaze. Pour over the top and sprinkle with green, purple and yellow sprinkles.

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