We're kicking off a week of Mardi Gras fun, featuring authentic Cajun dishes. I have never been to New Orleans or Mardi Gras, but have always longed for the experience through The Travel Channel and The Food Network. The shows only give you a glimpse of what Mardi Gras is like I am sure, but from them I have learned all about beignets, po'boys, jambalaya and king cakes. One year, I was tempted to mail order a king cake straight from New Orleans! I was very happy to find a bloggy friend in Michelle from Ms. EnPlace, a Louisiana native who blogs about her Cajun heritage and foods. I have been reading about her dishes and decided to give a few a try for a Mardi Gras party of our own! What's on the menu this week? We have Sausage Po'Boys, Muffalettas, King Cake and a special guest post from Michelle! We're gonna have loads of fun!
In reading the Ms. enPlace blog, it has a lot of great cajun dishes that I have been yearning to try - her jambalaya looks out of this world, but it is a bit complicated for someone who has never been to Louisiana or has never had real cajun food. So I decided to start easy, with a Po'Boy. If nothing else, I can make a sandwich! I carefully followed Michelle's instructions (find her recipe here) for her sausage po'boys...well, almost. My chicken sausage po'boys have a decidedly Northeast twist. In staying with her home state, Michelle uses Louisiana ingredients, and being from the Northeast, I used a few regional ingredients. Instead of the green onion pork sausage, I used a spicy Italian chicken sausage, and the beer? Good 'ole Sam Adams! We had some Oktoberfest left over, so I used that. Other than those small changes, I followed her recipe to the letter.
Wow! Wow! These Po'Boys were good! The smell from the chicken sausage alone was heavenly (it also pretty much smelled like a brewery, but it smelled good!), and the chicken came out of the beer with a magnificent glaze. I had to fight to keep my husband out of the sausage so it could make it onto the sandwich. I'm not a huge fan of peppers, and mixing the peppers with tomato paste made me skeptical about whether I would like the dish, but adding the beer and honey to the sauce, makes it FANTASTIC! My hubby and I could have eaten the entire pot of sausage in one sitting. I highly recommend it. My husband has been requesting that I always make our chicken sausage cooked in beer. The chicken sausage po'boys were a great kick-off to our Mardi Gras celebration and very easy to make. Next up Muffalettas!