When you picture Mardi Gras, you often think of one of the biggest worldwide celebrations. From the colorful attire to the buzz that surrounds a city like New Orleans, Fat Tuesday is one of the most magical days of the year. However, we all know that you can’t have Mardi Gras without paying homage to Cajun food.
A cuisine popularized by its West African, French, and Spanish cooking techniques, Cajun food is the staple of any Louisiana feast. Characterized by an abundance of seafood and vegetables, often mixed into one pot, it remains a fan favorite for plenty of people across the country. So on Mardi Gras 2021, be sure to fire up your grill and make these delicious Cajun-inspired dishes for the whole family to enjoy!
If there’s one dish that encompasses everything about Cajun-inspired foods, it’s shrimp! Those of us who love seafood know that shrimp reigns supreme because of how many different ways you can serve it. Between the jumbo shrimp you find served on their own to the equally delicious shrimp found delicately placed on the rim of a shrimp cocktail, the versatility of this tasty sea creature can’t be understated. When it comes to grilling, a bundle of shrimp is the perfect meal because it is so easy to share. In this Foil Pack Shrimp Bundle recipe, you also avoid any potential disaster that could be caused by pieces of shrimp falling into your grill’s grates. The aluminum foil not only keeps all the food together, but it also traps the heat and juices of your shrimp inside, which means you never lose the flavor. The key to this meal is all the quality ingredients you can add to liven things up. Featuring green beans, rice, Italian dressing, and a tasty Dijon mustard, your taste buds will be dancing along to the Mardi Gras music in the background. Give this recipe a go and let us know what you think!
The Mardi Gras theme keeps rolling on with our second grill-friendly dish! Chuck roast, which refers to the cut of beef that comes from the shoulder and neck region, is slightly fattier than your traditional brisket, and often has a richer taste. Why is that important? Well, for this dish, the goal is to have a feast fit for a celebration like Fat Tuesday. There’s no leaving room for dessert after you finish a plate of this meal. Like all the recipes you’ll find here, spices and seasonings are what set Cajun-style foods apart. You’ll want to press your Cajun seasoning evenly onto all surfaces of the beef pot roast to get that coveted flavor. To start the preparation process, place two 24 x 18-inch pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil on top of each other in shallow roasting pan and then place the beef in center of foil. Bring up all sides of foil, forming a bag so no liquid can leak out, but don’t seal the foil just yet! In a small bowl, combine tomatoes and flour, pouring evenly over the surface of the pot roast when mixed. Now, seal the top and sides of the bag with a double fold. This is when things really start heating up! Adjust your grill for indirect cooking and remove the foil bag from the pan, and place it in the center of the grid over a drip pan. Patience is a virtue, as you’ll need to keep the grill on and covered for two to two and a half hours, or until the pot roast is fork-tender. With all that time on your hands now, you can make your side of grits to accompany the main dish. Simply start by cooking your grits in water with salt according to the package instructions. To get the proper grits taste, add in a half cup of cheese and red pepper, making sure to stir until the cheese melts and keeping it warm so it doesn’t congeal. When it’s time, remove your pot roast from the grill and skim the fat from the cooking liquid. Finally, carve the pot roast into slices, serve with the cooking liquid and grits, along with a generous helping of cheese sprinkled on top. And there you have it! A Cajun dish that does Mardi Gras justice!
Grilled chicken is a staple of many cookouts across the country, but this time of year, we have to infuse a little bit of Creole flavor! For those of you wondering, there is a difference between Creole and Cajun food, although that difference is slight. If you ask native Louisianans, they’ll tell you that the essence of Creole food is found in rich sauces, local herbs, red ripe tomatoes, and the prominent use of seafood, caught in local waters. It is associated with the old-line kitchens of New Orleans, where generations of traditions are still carried on today. Because of the influence of Haitian food in Louisiana, you won’t find a better grilled chicken recipe than this one, especially if you love spices. The Creole sauce is the focal point here, and requires a few key ingredients to get it just right. Before you start your prep, make sure you have tomato paste, ground allspice, and make use of that bacon grease that you’ve been storing for this exact moment. Start by melting the bacon grease (or pork fat) in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Carefully whisk in the reserved marinade that this recipe calls for when making your chicken, adding in the tomato paste and ground allspice slowly. Next, bring the mix to a boil and lower your heat, allowing it to simmer for about five minutes. Then it’s as simple as grilling your chicken the old fashioned way, and basting it with the Creole sauce after about 15 minutes of grilling. That’s all there is to this outstanding recipe!
Finally, we top off our favorite Mardi Gras recipes with a unique twist on a cookout classic! Barbecue sauce is considered to be the defining feature that brings any grill-friendly dish together. It’s the last little bit of flavor you put on your food, and the first thing you taste when you take a big bite. So naturally, we had to include a recipe that details how to make your own Creole version of traditional barbecue sauce. Spice lovers, this will take your appreciation for a good tangy and hot barbecue sauce to a new level. Featuring chopped onions, green peppers, ground black and red peppers, and garlic powder, there’s no denying this sauce has it all. Simply heat oil in a medium saucepan and add in the finely chopped veggies this recipe call for, making sure to stir for two to three minutes. Add in the remaining seasonings and your choice of barbecue sauce into the saucepan and bring everything to a boil. Finally, reduce the heat to medium, let the sauce simmer for five minutes and let it cool off in the fridge until it’s ready to brush on chicken, ribs, or anything else your heart desires!
Blue Rhino and Mardi Gras? The Perfect Combination!
While your Mardi Gras celebrations this year might look much different than years past, there’s one saving grace! Blue Rhino is here to fuel your cookout on Fat Tuesday. Finding a ready-to-grill tank is as easy as checking out our Propane Finder and searching for the closest location carrying our brand. In just a few minutes, you’ll be whipping up some of the best Cajun and Creole-inspired dishes and your appetite will thank you for it!