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Feb 12, 2009 10:31 AM

Laissez les bon temps roulez - Need Help with a Fat Tuesday Menu

I'm having a Fat Tuesday Party (on a Saturday) and need some help with my menu.

Here is what I am thinking:

Red Beans & Rice
Jambalaya (or is this too much rice with the above?)
King Cake

It is going to be a small crowd; 6 adults and 7 kids, some of whom are picky eaters.

Does anyone have any good recipes for the above to share? What type of canape could I serve?

Many Thanks!

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  1. When doing the New Orleans thing, you can never have enough rice. And Jambalay is a whole different animal that red beans.

    Not really a canape, but I'd do bacon wrapped shrimp doctored with Creole seasoning.

    Also, a block of cream cheese with green or red pepper jelly poured over. Serve with crackers or light toasts.

    6 Replies
    1. re: CocoaNut

      oooh-love the bacon wrapped shrimp idea! What would a good creole dressing be?

      1. re: dexters

        Most all of the grocery store purchased ones are LOADED with salt. I've never used it, but Emeril has a recipe on the food network - and you could tweak it to suit your own personal taste.

        I also found a creole sauce that he did that looks interesting. As is, it's chunky, but you could puree it to use as a dipping sauce......

        Sroll to the bottom for "ESSENSE"

        1. re: CocoaNut

          Duh- Emeril didn't even occur to me! I like the look of that creole sauce. I think I'll give it a dry-run this weekend and see how it is.

          Thanks for the links.

          I made Gumbo a few weeks ago, and it was mediocre at best. I'm scared to try it again!

          1. re: dexters

            Sorry 'bout that. I only sent the gumbo recipe because the creole seasoning (Essence) recipe was at the bottom. But sorry your gumbo flopped. I've only made it a couple of times and find it to be quite labor intensive. Just curious, assuming you started with roux, did you take it to the color of a copper penny (Emeril's terminology) and did you use a fish stock as a base? Both of those elements are huge flavor enhancers.

            Have fun at your party and Happy Mardi Gras! It sounds like you're lined up with some good eats!

      2. re: CocoaNut

        ditto, I'm with cocoanut - red beans and rice is sooo different than jambalaya. You can also do a big muffelatta and slice up small wedges or a big long po-boy but cut into small pieces. Kids might enjoy the sandwiches more - do a fried shirmp or oyster poboy!

        1. re: lexpatti

          I'm not sure I'm up for deep frying for a crowd--I find it too labor intensive at the last minute. I'll have to save that delicacy for my own kids, who I know will scarf down some fried oysters.

          But I do like your idea of a muffelatta! I had forgotten about those. My kids are obsessed with olives, so I know those would go over huge.

      3. My visit to New Orleans years ago was so fun because during that visit I specifically wanted to try the food of that area. I think they all became my favorite! I'll throw some of the food we had and I wouldn't hesitate to replcate it again (and I have many times).
        BBQ shrimp --- what a shocker that was when they brought them to the table, but oh my.
        Po' Boys
        Red beans and rice
        Shrimp bisque
        Muffuletta sandwich

        Love the idea of your party, sounds like fun!

        1. Very cool!

          We do something similar each spring, but go overboard....100 people through the house last year.

          Completely agree about not shrinking from serving both red beans and rice AND jambalaya.

          Have you considered a nice gumbo? You already are making the rice!

          Please have a look at I don't think you can put a foot wrong with any of the recipes Chuck provides.

          If you're adventurous, consider serving cafe brulot at the end of the night.

          Nothing says "you don't have to go home but you can't stay here" like flaming spiked coffee!

          Very best of luck!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Monch

            Oh wow, your party sounds like a blast! What other drinks do you serve? I have to make everything from scratch, as I live in London and there is certainly no Pat-O's hurricane mix sold 'round these parts. ;-)

            Thanks for the assurance on the red beans & rice and the jambalaya. I made a Gumbo d'Herbs a few weeks ago (from a WS cookbook) and it was mediocre at best. I'm almost afraid to try it again.

            Cafe Brulot: yummmy! My husband has a soft spot for flaming drinks (he has a predilection for Flaming Dr Peppers), so he will love those.

            1. re: dexters


              We only serve Hurricanes and tap beer....That's it. Just too damn many people to have an open bar.

              The first year (2002) we had the party, I made each Hurricane from scratch...Dumb.

              NOW we pre-make about eight gallons of mix and have them in buckets with spouts. We still put our love into the mix...hand sqeezed lime juice...but NO Pat O's. You will definitely get a better Hurricane the way you're doing it!

              If I could, however, I'd serve Sazeracs. Quintessential New Orleans cocktail...some say it is the "first cocktail"...the kicker is getting the "right" bitters. The Peychauds is tough to find. In a pinch, any orange bitters will turn the trick.

              bon chance, cher.

          2. Here is my favorite recipe for Red Beans, if you can, get some Camellia brand beans, as that is the bean of choice in New Orleans, of course you can always cut the recipe based on the other food you are having.

            RED BEANS AND RICE

            2 lbs beans
            2 large onions chopped
            4 celery stalks chopped
            6 bay leaves
            24 drops Tabasco
            1 tbls & 1 tsp Italian seasoning
            1 Tbls creole seasoning
            1 tsp onion powder
            1 tsp garlic powder
            1 tbls & 1 tsp Lea & perrins
            2 tsp soy sauce
            2 tsp Kitchen Bouquet
            20 cups of water

            2-3 pounds ham seasoning
            2-3 pounds regular smoked sausage (not even remotely flavored)

            Soak beans and all ingredients (except for ham and sausage) covered in fridge for 24 hours.
            When ready to cook add chopped up ham and sausage.
            Bring to a boil, then reduce to a strong simmer for 1 hour. Then reduce to low simmer for 2-4 hours. Near end of cooking time, pull out some beans and smash them up, you will want to do this with about 40% of the beans.

            3 Replies
            1. re: roro1831

              Thanks ever so much for typing that out for looks so yummy.
              What would you consider ham seasoning? And Kitchen Bouquet?

              1. re: dexters

                Ham seasoning is just diced ham, if I were home in New Orleans I would use pickled pork.
                Kitchen Bouquet: can be bought in a grocery store

              2. re: roro1831

                I agree whole-heartedly on the Camillia beans. They are a relatively small company outside of N.O. and only sell in a small geographic location. I always have my parents bring several packages of the kidney beans when they come for a visit. The beans are very fresh - the bag is even date stamped. Fresh beans cook a little more quickly, but more importantly, have a creamy texture with a rich "gravy". I don't even mash any when I cook them. Those, over rice with a slice of raw onion and a loaf of French bread to sop up the bean juices . Well, it doesn't get any better.

                I'm more of a minimalist when cooking them using only garlic, onion, thyme, bacon grease or ham hock, and S&P of course. Because I usually have it on hand, I sometimes fry breakfast sausage patties to serve along side. Of couse, if you can get Andouille, that would be authentic.

                You can order the beans at but unfortunately, the shipping cost will probably exceed the cost of the beans.

              3. Here's my father's jambalaya recipe, whenever I visit him, this is what I ask him to cook

                Jambalaya (cooked in the oven)

                ½ cup olive oil
                1 ½ cup chopped onions
                ½ cup chopped green onions
                ¾ cup chopped celery
                ½ cup chopped bell pepper
                3 pounds shrimp in shell, peeled
                1 lb Hillshire Farm skinless smoked sausage
                ½ cup tomato paste
                2 cups rice
                1 ½ tbls garlic
                1 1/s tbls parsley
                4 cups water
                Italian herb seasoning to taste
                Creole seasoning to taste

                Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot. Over med. High heat, sauté onions, green onions, celery and bell peppers. Add shrimp and sausage and sauté, stirring until cooked. Add tomato paste and mix well. Add rice and cook for a few minutes. Add garlic, parsley, water and seasoning, bring to a boil. Finish in the oven @ 300 degrees for 1 hr and 15 minutes.

                1 Reply
                1. re: roro1831

                  Yummy, that looks divine. I'll have to hunt down some smoked sausage, but I'm going to make that for sure.