Munch Madness

    Menu Ideas for Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day



    Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
    Brown 16 oz sliced sausage in saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 stalks chopped celery, 1 chopped medium yellow onion, 1 chopped bell pepper and sauté until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1½ lb cooked chicken, 32 oz chicken broth, 1½ cups long grain and wild original rice, and 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until rice is done. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Start with Cajun-style andouille sausage to give this dish extra kick!


    Sweet Bourbon Street Salmon
    Mix 3 Tbsp brown sugar, 3 Tbsp bourbon, 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce, 1 Tbsp ginger root, peeled and grated, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 3 cloves garlic, minced, and ¼ tsp pepper in a large ziplock bag. Add 4 salmon fillets and seal. Refrigerate for 1½ hours, turning occasionally. Spray pan with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add fillets and marinade to pan. Cook salmon for 4 minutes on each side. Once fish flakes with a fork, it’s ready. Serve fillets with 2 teaspoons of marinade on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.


    Cajun Grilled Fish
    Combine ½ cup melted butter, ½ cup olive oil, 6 minced garlic cloves, ¹/3 cup cilantro (dried), 2 Tbsp Cajun seasoning, and salt. Brush both sides of fish with the sauce. Grill, or broil, five minutes each side. Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice on each fillet. We used tilapia, but your favorite white fish will be just as delicious.


    Add to your Mardi Gras celebration with a traditional hurricane for grownups: Mix 1 oz vodka, 1 oz gin, 1 oz light rum, ½ oz 151-proof rum, 1 oz Amaretto, 1 oz triple sec, grapefruit juice, pineapple juice, and grenadine syrup. Pour gin, rums, Amaretto, and triple sec into a hurricane glass with ice. Add equal amounts of grapefruit juice and pineapple juice until almost full. Add grenadine to taste.


    Irish Soda Bread
    Preheat oven to 350°. Soak 1 cup each of raisins and golden raisins in water for 15 to 20 minutes, then drain. Stir together 5 cups sifted flour, ¾ cup sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 1½ tsp salt, and 1 tsp baking soda. Cut in one stick of butter and mix thoroughly with your hands until it gets grainy. Stir in raisins and 2 tsp caraway seeds. Add 2½ cups buttermilk and 1 beaten egg to the flour mixture. Stir until well moistened. Shape dough into 2 loaves and place in 2 lightly greased 9×5 pans. Bake for 1 hour. Test with a toothpick. Cool in the pans for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


    Sweet Irish Whiskey-Glazed Corned Beef
    Place 1 lb red potatoes, ½ lb carrots (cut in 2-in chunks), and 1 beer (a lager) in a slow cooker. Place 3 lb trimmed corned beef on top. Most corned beef comes with a seasoning packet. If it does, add the seasoning packet to the slow cooker. Cook for 8 to 9 hours on low (4 to 5 on high). Remove corned beef from slow cooker. Whisk together 2 Tbsp Irish whiskey, 1 Tbsp ketchup, ¼ cup marmalade and 1 Tbsp white vinegar. Brush over corned beef. Broil beef about 6 inches from heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until it caramelizes. Thinly slice corned beef against grain and serve with carrots and potatoes.


    Baked Cabbage
    Quarter 2 heads of cabbage. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Lay out on a cookie sheet or pan lined with foil. Bake at 350° until fork-tender and even a little golden brown (about 30 minutes).