Many historians believe that the first American Mardi Gras took place on March 3, 1699, when the French explorers Iberville and Bienville landed in what is now Louisiana, just south of the holiday’s future epicenter: New Orleans. They held a small celebration and dubbed the spot 'Point du Mardi Gras'. In the decades that followed, New Orleans and other French settlements began marking the holiday with street parties, masked balls and lavish dinners. Louisiana is the only state in which Mardi Gras is a legal holiday. However, elaborate carnival festivities draw crowds in other parts of the United States during the Mardi Gras season as well. Each region has its own events and traditions.
This year we want you to join in on the thrill of Mardi Gras by celebrating the lavish holiday the best way we know how...with booze and beignets of course! Get a taste for NOLA by trying out the recipes they're famous for--the Hurricane cocktail and delicious homemade Beignets!
2 oz. light rum
2 oz. dark rum
2 oz. passion fruit juice
1 oz. orange juice
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. simple syrup
1 Tbsp. grenadine
Orange slice and cherry for garnish
Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a hurricane glass filled with ice. Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice.
2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
1½ cups warm water
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
6½ cups bread flour
1/4 cup shortening
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar and yeast and stir. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a standalone mixer, combine the eggs, evaporated milk and salt and beat until combined. With the mixer on low, add in the yeast mixture to the egg mixture. Then add in cups of bread flour and mix on low. Add the shortening in and continue to mix before adding the remaining 3½ cups bread flour. Just be sure you don't over mix.
Knead the dough until smooth (it shouldn’t be stiff). Then place back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set the bowl in a warm area and let it rise for 2 hours. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to ¼″ thick. Then slice into 2″ squares with a pizza cutter. Heat vegetable oil in a Dutch oven until the temperature reaches 350 degrees. Then place a few dough squares in the hot oil and watch the magic happen! Turn them so they don’t burn on one side. When you remove them, dust with a light layer of powdered sugar, until all of them are done, then pile on the powdered sugar to top off your sweet treat!
Don't miss out on the fun this Mardi Gras! Celebrate with NOLA's famous booze and beignets and devour the details of a true Fat Tuesday!