Get Ready for Mardi Gras
Red Beans and Rice
Eating red beans and rice on Mondays is a tradition in New Orleans, where for decades custom held that the first day of the workweek be devoted to laundry. Doing laundry took all day, and having a pot of beans simmering on the back burner was a way to accomplish dinner at the same time. Even as speedy machines replaced the low-tech washboard, red beans and rice has remained a Louisiana staple. To replicate this traditional recipe using ingredients easily found in supermarkets across the country, we made some simple substitutions: small red beans for Camellia-brand dried red beans and bacon for hard-to-find tasso. Fine-tuning the proportions of sautéed green peppers, onions, and celery gave the recipe balance, and the right ratio of chicken broth to water added complexity without giving the dish an overpowering chicken flavor.
Celebrate Mardi Gras with a New Orleans-Inspired Menu
by Kristin Sargianis
New Orleans has been at the center of Mardi Gras celebrations since the 1800s. The merrymaking includes boisterous galas; colorful, sometimes raucous parades featuring ornate floats; and of course, festive food and drink. Get into the Mardi Gras spirit with some of our favorite Louisiana- and New Orleans-inspired recipes.