Mardi Gras at Home: Beads, King Cake, Muffulettas, and Hurricanes
|Robert Fresh Market|
|King Cake is a Mardi Gras tradition.|
Sure there are some great places to party, but sometimes you just wanna stay home. We'll tell you everything you need to celebrate Mardi Gras at home.
The Hurricane is the unofficial "official" drink of New Orleans. Invented by bar owner Pat O'Brien, the Hurricane is a blend of light and dark rum, fruit juice, and Amaretto. Usually when served in bars, it looks and tastes like boozy Kool-Aid. This recipe recreates what the famous New Orleans barkeep had in mind all those years ago.
1 oz. dark rum
1 oz. light rum
1 oz. Amaretto
2 oz. fresh orange juice
2 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
Dash of Grenadine
Teaspoon fresh lime juice
Combine ingredients into shaker filled with ice. Strain and pour into tall Collins or Hurricane glass filled with ice. Garnish with cherry and orange.
Muffuletta (or Muffaletta)
The sandwich of New Orleans, traditionally a giant sesame seeded roll filled with salami, ham, provolone, Swiss, and oily, salty olive salad (which is basically what makes it great). Make your own by over stuffing a seeded roll with the above mentioned meats and cheeses. Make your own olive salad by tossing green pimento olives and olive oil into a food processor and chopping for 30 seconds.
Muffuletta in Coconut Creek sells authentic New Orleans muffulettas. Choose the traditional or custom make your own with your choice of deli meats. A half ($8) serves one person, a full ($15) serves two. Pick a few up to go on your way home tonight -- they're open until 9:30 p.m.
King Cake is basically a round cinnamon danish ring, topped with icing and purple, gold, and green colored sugar. Other flavors are available at New Orleans bakeries, where King Cake is an industry unto itself. The colors on the cake are a Mardi Gras tradition and have specific meanings - purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power. Watch out for the baby baked inside each King Cake. A small plastic baby is hidden inside each cake. The person who gets the baby is said to have a year of good luck. They also have to pay for next year's cake. Pick up a King Cake at Publix ($9.99), Whole Foods ($12.99) or Fresh Market ($12.99).
It's not Mardi Gras without beads. Party City has a large assortment of them. And remember -- you have to work for your beads (usually by flashing someone). So don't just give them away.
Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.