Fire Up your Grill with these 5 Recipes for
If you can’t get to New Orleans in time for Mardi Gras (Tuesday, March 1), don’t despair: Undeterred by the fact that NOLA doesn’t have strong grilling traditions (even their deceptively-named barbecued shrimp is made on the stovetop), we’ve cobbled together an explosively-flavored live fire menu that will satisfy you and your krewe.
What’s not to love about a holiday nicknamed “Fat Tuesday?” First celebrated in North America by French immigrants to Louisiana, Mardi Gras is also known as Carnival, which translates to “farewell to meat.” This day, characterized by gluttony, ushers in weeks of Lenten fasting for observant Christians. (This year, the fast lasts until Easter Sunday, April 17.) Carnival is celebrated in many places—France, the Netherlands, the Caribbean, and of course, Brazil, where 800,000 visitors descend on Rio de Janeiro for raucous street parties, parades, masked balls, and samba.
But back in the day, particularly in medieval Europe, the celebration had a practical as well as a liturgical purpose: It was an excuse to feast on any animal products (bacon, sausages, lard, etc.) left over from the slaughter the previous fall. (Rarely could the peasants overwinter their livestock, instead rebuilding their herds in the spring.)
So mix yourself a Hurricane, New Orleans’ iconic cocktail, blast some jazz in the back yard, and fire up your grill for one or more of the dishes below. And by all means, laissez les bons temps rouler! Let the good times roll!