Mardi Gras Recipes

Mardi Gras Recipes

The following recipes, provided by Susan Ward Tarner, host of a featured cooking show on Helena Civic Television called Cooking with Susan, Slow Food, Montana Style, capture the essence of Mardi Gras. Try them with your favorite Villa del Monte wine.

Rosemary Cayenne Biscuits and Ham
Enjoy with Villa del Monte Pinot Reserve

Susan’s Version of Poulet (Chicken) Tchoupitoulas
Delicious with Villa del Monte Merlot

Sweet Potato Rounds
Pairs nicely with Villa del Monte Chardonnay

Omelette au Chocolat
Serve with Villa del Monte Syrah Rosé

Rosemary Cayenne Biscuits and Ham
2 cups of all purpose flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ chopped fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup shortening, such as Crisco
¾ cup milk*
Thinly sliced ham

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Add flour, baking powder, and salt to a large mixing bowl.  Add baking soda if using buttermilk.  Add shortening, and use fork or hands to lightly mix into flour mixture until small pieces form. Use a very light hand when doing this in order to not over work the dough.  Add milk or buttermilk, and mix just until it forms a ball. Shape biscuit dough with your hands or place dough on lightly floured countertop and use small biscuit cutter for appetizer sized biscuits. Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degree for 12 minutes. Split biscuits in half and butter lightly. Place a thin slice of your favorite ham between the halves.

*Can also be made using buttermilk.  Add 1/3 teaspoon of baking soda if using buttermilk.  Make your own buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup of milk and letting sit for about 2 minutes.

Susan’s Version of Poulet (Chicken) Tchoupitoulas
Plantations were established along the Mississippi River in the 1700’s by French Settlers.  Tchoupitoulas is the last remaining plantation on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish, and the original portion of the house is 220 years old.  This recipe combines a cornbread pudding with seasoned chicken.  Delicious!

3 tablespoons of butter
3 cups chopped onions
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
½ pound andouille sausage – ground or in links
1 tablespoon chopped or pressed garlic
1 ear sweet corn with kernels removed or half can of sweet corn, drained
5 eggs
2 cups heavy cream
¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 cups cubed cornbread
½ cup grated parmesan or sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup Emeril’s Original Essence
½ cup vegetable or olive oil
1 to 2 whole chicken(s) halved

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter. In a large sauté pan, melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat. Add onions, bell pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne. Season with black pepper and sauté until the onions are soft and start to turn brown. Add sausage and cook for 3 minutes. Add garlic and corn, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, and then add the cream, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk until blended. Stir in the sausage mixture. Add the cornbread cubes and mix well. Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with grated cheese, and bake until golden brown and set – about 55 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the Essence and ½ cup oil. Mix well and smear evenly over each chicken half. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a large sauté pan, and heat. Place the chicken in the heated pan, skin side down, and sear until golden brown about 6 to 8 minutes. Turn the chicken over and place in roaster, baking dish or oven-safe sauté pan and roast at 350 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes until juices run clear.  Let rest for 3-4 minutes.
Serve with cornbread pudding and enjoy!

If you can’t find Emeril’s Essence, you can make your own:
2½ tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients to make 2/3 cup of Essence.

Sweet Potato Rounds
4 sweet potatoes
Olive oil
Coarse sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Wash and peel sweet potatoes. Slice into thin rounds. On a large baking sheet layer sweet potatoes evenly. Cover sweet potatoes with a generous amount of olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake at 400 degrees for about ten minutes, until sweet potatoes start to brown. If they start to get dark, cover lightly with foil and continue to bake until crisp for a total of 20 to 25 minutes.

Omelette au Chocolat
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon Special dark cocoa
½ bar of Lindt Chili Chocolate, melted and cooled slightly (or use pinch of cayenne pepper if you cannot find this chocolate)
Vanilla ice cream
New Orleans Pecan Praline Sauce, recipe follows

Whisk together 2 egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a bowl until mixture is thick. In a separate bowl, use a whisk or hand mixer to whip the egg whites with 2 tablespoons of sugar until the egg whites hold soft peaks.  Melt the butter on medium heat in a 9-inch nonstick omelet pan or skillet, making sure that the butter does not burn. Combine the yolk mixture with the whipped egg whites, cocoa and melted chocolate.  Pour into the pan and cook until the mixture is firm on the sides, making sure that you do not burn the omelet. Finish cooking the mixture under the broiler until you can tell it is set in the middle, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and fold the omelet over and slip onto a dessert plate. Place a scoop of ice cream next to the omelet and cover with New Orleans Praline Sauce.  Serve while warm. 

New Orleans Pecan Praline Sauce
4 tablespoons butter
¾ cup all purpose flour
1¼ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup light corn syrup
¾ cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla
1¼ cup chopped pecans

Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to prevent lumps. Add brown sugar, corn syrup and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla, evaporated milk and pecans. Mix well until smooth.

While growing up in Georgia, Susan Ward Tarner learned to cook from an expert, her “mama.” She now lives in Montana with her husband and teenage daughter where she enjoys combining food history and culture with locally grown and produced ingredients. Susan hopes to inspire everyone to challenge their cooking abilities and palates.