Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mardi Gras!!

Today in cities and towns all over the world, Mardi Gras will be celebrated. Mardi Croix on St. Croix was Saturday. but I bet people are still celebrating and/or recouping today with the fortunately placed Sunday, then President's Day as a gapper...it's a great party which has expanded hugely since I went to the first one in 2002. Thanks for the t-shirt, Lia!

Mardi Croix 2010, Michael Justis bikin' it - photo credit unknown

One of the best drinks I know that has become associated with the New Orleans party, one of the best well known and oldest in the US, is a mojito.

The best mojito to my way of thinking, is a frozen mojito. And the best frozen mojito is from Mamacita's (it took me awhile, but I got us back to Culebra...you have to have faith, grasshopper!) I've watched this being made quite a few times and never really pay attention, except for the final delicious result - to me, this is NOTHING like a regular mojito, which I find sort of boring...or maybe I just like the 7-11 sort of Slurpee thing going on with the frozen one...slurpees for grown ups!.

 So I'll check for sure but this looks sort of close to the recipe: remember, this is for one, a good full bunch of mint is going to be needed and the color should be deep, beauteous green - if it isn't, add more mint!! I can't find a photo online even close to the color - they are mostly a collection of wimpy looking lemonade type colors, rather than the liquid mintiness of my favorite. These are dangerous... just so you know.

Frozen Mojito
(recipe from PBJ)
3 ounces light rum
5-10 fresh mint leaves
1 ounce lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
ice cubes*
1 ounce club soda
Place rum, mint leaves and lime juice in a mixing glass and muddle (bruise the mint leaves to allow them to release their oils). Strain the mixture; place the liquid into the blender and discard the muddled mint leaves. Add the sugar and enough ice to cover the contents of the blender. Blend until smooth. Add club soda and pulse several times to blend. Pour into a serving glass and garnish with mint sprig.
*Let your ice stand at room temperature for 15-20 minutes to let is melt just a little. This will help it to break down better in your blender.
Yield: 1 mojito

And what to eat to stay in the spirit of the day? How about gumbo??? This recipe is taken from the Farmer's Almanac:

4 servings

  • 1 gallon oyster water
  • 1 cup roux (equal parts flour and oil)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 5 pounds hen, cut into large pieces
  • 2 pounds andouille (smoked sausage made with pork and garlic), cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 gallon oysters
  • 2 teaspoons gumbo file (or to taste)
  • salt and pepper
In a large pot, bring the oyster water to a boil. Dissolve the roux in the boiling water, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add the onion, celery, pepper, and parsley. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the hen (hen is used because the tougher meat stands up better than chicken to the long cooking time) and andouille. Simmer for 2 hours, or until the meat is tender. Add the oysters and boil for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the gumbo file and salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice.


I have no idea what's going on in town for Mardi Gras tonight but there is never too far to reach an excuse for a party around here, so I'd bet a bar crawl could be in order - before the seriousness of Lent kicks in, if you are so inclined (which I am not...'giving up' is not in my vocabulary).

However you celebrate, have a great Mardi Gras!


  1. All on a Mardi Gras day! Don't forget to brown up the roux in a skillet over low heat before using...

    On my bucket list: Fat Tuesday in Trinidad.

  2. As you know, I refuse to make mojitos, but I have watched quite a few being made and I have observed that most bartenders use the lemon or lime rum to make them. (don q limon or bacardi limon)


  3. Thanks, Doug! I didn't notice they left out how to make roux! Sheesh.

    Roux Recipe: This is from Real Cajun Recipes (http://www.realcajunrecipes.com/recipes/cajun/roux/44.rcr)

    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Ready In: 25 minutes
    How to make a Cajun Roux for Gumbo or other dishes that "start with a Roux".

    3/4 cup oil (Canola or Vegetable) 1 cup all purpose white flour

    Heat a heavy skillet or cast iron pot and add oil. Once oil is heated, slowly add the flour, stirring constantly until all is blended. Continue to cook over medium to low heat, stirring constantly until flour and oil blend to form a brown roux the color of a dark copper penny. The longer you cook it, the darker the roux will become. Remember don't rush the cooking of the roux; allow the mixture to develop at its own pace. Transfer to cooking pot and add warm water to hot roux for thickness desired.

    The mixture will make 5 quarts gumbo juice or one large fricassee dish. Many cooks add onion, bell pepper, and celery mixture right at the end of the cooking process. This spreads the flavor through out the roux. You can double or triple the recipe and store the unused roux in a covered container in your icebox for weeks to be used for future dishes.

    Roux can be used to flavor or thicken gravies. A dish made with roux always taste better the next day or if frozen the next time it is reheated. If you push the roux too far or burn the roux, the flavor becomes too bitter to use. Throw out and start again.

  4. Kim, as YOU know I just order, so thanks for the mojito tip!!!

  5. Inquiring minds want to know why Kim refuses to make mojitos? In Coconut Grove this weekend, the official festival drink (of the Coconut Grove Arts Fest) was a mojito. Sadly, it was too early in the day for me to imbibe.

  6. You'll have to ask Kim the mojito ? The Grove art show...my oh my, I've not been to that for many, many years....memory flash back (when I first started going, you could actually walk right up to the art work without people five deep...tells you how long ago that was)!
    I think a mojito (if it was frozen) would be an excellent breakfast shake for a stroll around the grove...and the flashbacks keep a comin'....

  7. Speaking of Florida, pitchers and catchers report tomorrow...I'm in favor of the traditional recipe for mojitos...infused booze is so flavor-shallow by comparison.

  8. Doug, I can't even respond to that...literally

  9. Baseball, my dear Watson; it's the only pro sport I give a rip about. I played it from age 5 through high school, and in softball fomat until I was 45. I had no talent but woked hard. The game is tarnished, but I love it still.

  10. It is a game that seems to inspire a whole different sort of passion than football.