Tuesday, February 05, 2008

super fat



Daiku, Mardi Gras, party store, 2006

Happy Mardi Gras / Fat Tuesday / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake Day / Carnivale / Super Tuesday everybody! I want to dedicate this post to the wonderful Kittee, a.k.a. Cake Maker to the Stars. As you know, she lives in New Orleans and when she heard me complain about not being able to find certain key ingredients for cooking a Mardi Gras feast, she sent me the most amazing care package! Behold:


  • Zapps potato chips (what other brand of chips do you know that makes a (vegan) flavor called 'Cajun crawtator'??)
  • Tony Chachere's seasoning (the flavor can't be duplicated)
  • Camellia field peas and red beans (for authentic New Orleans red beans and rice, of course)
  • Zatarain's crab boil seasoning (to make a nice vegan boil with potatoes, corn, what have you)
  • Zatarain's root beer extract (just, wow!)
With all these essentials in hand, I was able to do some holiday cooking today. I made Kittee gumbo and Kittee king cake. (sense a theme here?)



The gumbo called for Julie Hasson's Italian sausage recipe from Everyday Dish, which was wonderful, because after reading everyone rave about these on their blogs, this recipe was something I'd been wanting to try. And you know what? These sausages were really really good. Not only was the flavor wonderful, but more importantly, the texture was just right- chewy without being rubbery, tender without being spongy. Seitan success!



The gumbo came out great, chock full of Tony Chachere's and Tabasco sauce, bursting with flavor. It wasn't too thick, but because of the okra and the roux, it had real body. Daiku, who used to live in New Orleans, loved it as well.



The funnest part of today, however, was baking the king cake! Traditionally, a baby Jesus (king) figure is baked into the cake. Whoever gets the slice with the baby (or bean, as some people use) has to bake the king cake for next year's party. Since my baby is made of plastic, I couldn't bake it, and it didn't matter, since it was just the two of us tonight anyway. Instead, I let the baby hang out on top of the cake and check out the action.



Here's an inside shot - I added some bourbon-soaked raisins to the cream cheese / cinnamon sugar filling, and they complemented the orange zest and vanilla of the cake perfectly. You have got to try this recipe, I don't care that Mardi Gras is over!



In keeping with the spirit of the holiday, here's a bonus: pumpkin bread pudding with bourbon sauce. This bread pudding recipe, from Fatfree Vegan, is one I'd been wanting to try for ages. This weekend, Daiku and I had to take dessert to a party we were going to, so I finally got the opportunity. The best part about this dish is that it's made in the crock pot, so we got to plug it in at our friends' house to ensure that it could be served warm. The bourbon sauce is an invention of Daiku's, veganizing something that usually calls for butter, cream, and egg yolk in addition to bourbon and sugar. He used soy cream, sugar, Earth Balance, vanilla, and bourbon, and thickened the sauce with a bit of cornstarch. This was a really addictive sauce, and perfect to bring out the mild flavors of the bread pudding.

Whether you were celebrating Fat Tuesday or Super Tuesday today (or both, like me) I hope you had a great time. And a delicious one, too.



Here's my Mardi Gras post from last year!


Share/Save/Bookmark

29 comments:

trina said...

YUM! What a festive repast! I ate a burrito and listened to election news on the radio. Now I feel sad. (Because of the comparative lack of thrill in my meal, not the election results - though if McCain becomes our next president, I am starting a community of vegan expats in Canada or maybe on some tropical island.)

bazu said...

Trina, I tell you what: I will join you in that ex-pat community. I can't even fathom the thought of another war-monger president right now...

springsandwells said...

Bazu!
What a great post! Oh man... all those cool special ingredients from Kittee are amazing! I have spent lots of time in the South, but I have never had a chance to go to N.O. - or explore all the interesting flavors. I tried making some of the Mardi Gras recipes from Susan V.'s site, but I think the "cajun" spices I bought at the local Safeway were woefully inadequate. Now I'll look for your special items online and see if I can order some for myself. The root beer extract is especially exciting. Somehow, a few years ago, Musty decided that I should make a "root beer pie" and I have not made any progress on that yet. Maybe now I will!

Also, I just want to give you a special shout out for your amazing king cake!! What recipe did you use? I want to make one!

Oh, it is so nice to be back in the blogosphere!

SusanV said...

Ooooh, crawtaters are the best chips in the world! Truly addictive.

Great post! Love your king cake and I'll have to try Julie's sausage. And it was so sweet of Kittee to send you this great care package. I tend to forget that everyone can't just walk into their local stores and get Tony Chachere's or Zararain.

julie hasson said...

What an incredible feast you had! I love the care package from Kittee and that gumbo, king cake and bread pudding...Yum!!!

I'm so glad you enjoyed the sausages. They look like an awesome addition to that gumbo.

Kittee said...

hey bazoooo!
what a great feast you cooked up! i made the gumbo again this week and added a ton of mustard greens and started with water instead of stock, and it still came out great. adding bourbon soaked raisins to the king cake is a great idea, i'll have to give that a go next time, though i think i really missed the cream cheeze this year (i just baked up one with blueberry preserves). i'm so happy you took pictures!

xo
kittee

Melody Polakow said...

What an awesome care package!.. and omg, everything looks divine.

Seriously, that gumbo is calling my name.

T said...

Woah, that King Cake looks amazing! I was toying with the idea of making one vegan, and now I just might have to. Who got the piece with the baby?!

Ashasarala said...

This is so creative! How fun is that? Though, if I got the slice with the baby, I think I would choke on it. :-/

Anyway, Happy Mardi Gras!

the pleasantly plump vegan said...

what a nice care package! that king cake looks divine. i would love half of that thing.

aTxVegn said...

A perfect southern feast! We loved the sausages too - so many possibilities....

The desserts look especially delish!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

That cake truly is fit for a King.. & how can you not love Kittee?! I always see her use of Tony Chachere's & have been meaning to look for some for my cooking! What a great little care package!
Happy Happy!

dreamy said...

The king cake look delicious! :9

KathyF said...

Hey, looks like the bons temps roullez'ed at your house! I want to try that bourbon sauce. Must get over this stomach bug first!

Rural Vegan said...

I was hoping someone would blog about a King Cake, it looks incredible!

Julie's sausages are amazing, aren't they?

Vegan_Noodle said...

I love your Mardi Gras celebration meal! I remember being in high school and how cool it was to make the trek over to NO for mardi gras... never made it over myself though. But this does inspire me to celebrate it with food in my own home!

selina said...

i dunno know if its because i am extremely tired or what but that last picture made me laugh almost uncontrolaby.

food looks good! especially that gumbo!

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

That bowl of gumbo looks AHHHsome! I feel festive just reading this post. I wana party with you! :)

urban vegan said...

What a phat Fat Tuesday you had--with help of all these blogging divas.

mustardseed said...

What is MArdi Gras? I'm completely clueless reading all the vegan blog posts and this phrase keeps coming up. MArdi Gras.

bazu said...

Mustardseed, Mardi Gras (also known by the different names I used at the beginning of the post, based on different contexts and cultural traditions) is a holiday, traditionally celebrated by Catholics. It marks the last day before Lent.

You can find out all about it using "Google" and "Wikipedia" and similar information sites.

Emmie said...

We celebrated fat tuesday the traditional swedish way, with a cardamom bun with marzipan and whipped 'cream'. The only problem being that I really cannot stomach the vegan whip, soyatoo (and a swedish version we have) is just so damn disgusting. Alex likes it though.

King cake sounds delicious!

textual bulldog said...

I have GOT to try those famous sausages, and the photo of the gumbo is making me swooooon over here. The way that some people feel about chocolate or desserts I feel about soups and stews, and man, do I love me some gumbo!

VeggieGirl said...

happy belated Mardi Gras!! haha, I love how the plastic-baby is just hanging out on top of the cake :0D

mustardseed said...

Oh...no wonder some of my classmates were fasting, or abstaining from meat. I tried to encourage them to make it permanent(:

Oh I think of Mardi Gras now as very colourful, grand with masquerading people and loud bands parading in the street, with confetti all around and people dancing and throwing pies.

Carrie™ said...

Hmmm....I read this post last week and couldn't remember if I left a comment. I guess I didn't. Or blogger ate it, like it sometimes does.
I've never had King Cake and truthfully, never really knew what it was. Now that I know I think it's awesome! I always thought Mardi Gras was a New Orleans thing. Is it celebrated throughout the US? Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Tuesday) is what I have always known it to be. My mother always followed the no meat Wed. & Friday during Lent rule. Now, I don't even have to think about it!

vko said...

damn girl, you know how to throw a feast!

Liz² said...

ooh, all those ingredients look *exciting*! and your subsequent food is making me very hungry-like, what with the sprinkles and pumpkin and plastic baby butts! (hee)

anna/village vegan said...

bread pudding....enough said!