I had a small dinner party for Mardi Gras over the weekend. We had just returned from 9 days on the road for work, and while I have wanted to have a big Mardi Gras Party for the last couple of years, this was not going to be the year.
So, I did a bit of research online and came up with an easy menu.
Blackened Chicken Breasts
Broccoli (sounds Cajun, doesn’t it?)
Hoppin’ John ( a simplified version I sort of made up as I went along, with no ham hocks or bacon, just green pepper, onion and celery sautéed, then cooked with a can of black eyed peas and some Cajun seasoning, then mixed this into rice, which I’d prepared using low sodium, fat free chicken broth instead of water.)
Making the King Cake was my treat for myself, as I’ve heard about it for years, but beyond the name had no idea what it was.
What I discovered is that it is not so much a cake as a cinnamon ring or sweet bread. I googled “easy King Cake” and ended up at the Rhodes Bread website and went with their recipe for a lemon cream cheese filling. I had cream cheese and powdered sugar, and I was happy to think that I could buy the frozen dough and make this –No muss no fuss. I just followed the recipe, with my only change that I didn’t use colored sugar sprinkles, instead made 3 colors of glaze. So click here to see the King Cake you can order from New Orleans for 35 dollars and below is the picture of mine that cost me $2.25.
It has some imperfections, but other than the Rhodes Bread page, it seems imperfections are allowed if not embraced when it comes to decorating King Cakes.
Most importantly, it tasted good and was very easy. I can see making this again with lemon or other fillings for a breakfast or brunch for houseguests, sans the purple frosting.
I had considered making special cocktails–Hurricanes or Sazeracs, but the ease of just opening a bottle of wine won out. We did have Community Coffee with Chicory to try to carry a “New Orleans “theme.”
Maybe next year I’ll be able to pull off a big Mardi Gras Bash. But this was an easy, fun, low key, low cost and low pressure substitute.
And now I have a year to find Hurricane glasses on the cheap!