It's Mardi Gras time! For those of us that have to work on Wednesday, Fat Tuesday may be less of a party, and more of an excuse to eat some spicy cajun food and watch a movie! So, instead of flashing for beads, pull up a seat, grab a big bowl of shrimp and cheesy grits, and turn on a spooky bayou-inspired flick.
It's dinner & a movie: New Orleans style!
The Movie: The Skeleton Key
Ok, so I've never been to Louisiana, so this movie might not be the most authentic representation, but it's a fun one! The Skeleton Key is a horror film (with Kate Hudson!) full of ghosts, hoodoo, and Louisianan accents. I'm a big fan of haunted house movies, and this haunted house takes the cake (the king cake!?). A big, giant, old plantation mansion deep in the bayou, with a dark past and, gasp, a secret room in the attic. Add to that cool southern scenery, black and white "flashbacks" of a 1920s conjure man, and tons of twists. And did I mention Kate Hudson? Love her! It can be a bit predictable at times, but the last scene is worth sticking it out to the end!
|Photo credit: http://www.universalstudiosentertainment.com|
The Dinner: Shrimp and Grits
I put a little poll up on my Facebook page, asking what I should make for Mardi Gras… the winner? Shrimp and grits! It's weird, but I had actually never had shrimp and grits before. I've had cheesy grits plenty of times, and I've had all kinds of shrimp, but never the two together. And, never in classic NOLA style. So, this dinner might be as inauthentic as the movie, but both make for a good time. For me, it's not Fat Tuesday without Andouille sausage, so obvious that went into the mix, along with some smoky bacon, tabasco, a little bit of molasses, lemon juice, and some worcestershire sauce. Spoon onto creamy, cheesy grits, and top with fresh parsley… you have yourself a tasty, cozy Mardi Gras dinner!
Shrimp & Andouille with Cheesy Grits
2 cups water
1/2 cup grits
2 T heavy cream
1 T butter
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper
Bring water to a boil, add grits, lower hear, and simmer until tender and water is absorbed. Stir in cream, butter, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.
2 thick slices smokey bacon, diced
1 andouille sausage, sliced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 shakes Tabasco or other hot sauce
1 tablespoon molasses
1 squirt ketchup
Salt & pepper
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon until just about (but not quite) crispy, and add sausage slices. Cook for a minute or so. Add butter, and cook until melted. Add garlic, cook for a minute, and stir in lemon juice through ketchup. Salt & pepper the shrimp, and add to skillet. Toss the shrimp in the butter and cook until shrimp are just pink and cooked through. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve shrimp with sauce over grits. Top with fresh parsley.
I used the following recipes for inspiration: