Tuesday, January 31, 2012

News from Zatarain's: Bring Mardi Gras to Your Table with Food and Family

Bring the spirit of Mardi Gras to your table this season by creating your family’s very own “Big Easy” flavorful and festive celebration. Revel in the true meaning of celebrating Mardi Gras in the comfort of your home, with good music and good friends, as well as a wide-ranging menu, including everything from classic dirty rice to a twist on jambalaya and the traditional King Cake for dessert. Zatarain’s, the brand serving up New Orleans-Style food for more than 120 years, helps to provide authentic recipes and resources to make your celebration easy and enjoyable.

“Mardi Gras is a true celebration of both food and family,” said John Besh, a New Orleans native and Executive Chef of Besh Restaurant Group, which includes Restaurant August, Domenica and Luke. “With Zatarain’s, it’s easy to create delicious dishes that are unique to each family’s favorite tastes and special traditions. Celebrating Fat Tuesday at home lets you put your own personal stamp on the holiday and get the whole group involved in the food, fun decorations and merriment for a get-together they’re sure to remember.”

A Big Easy Celebration
New Orleans’ Mardi Gras is steeped in the tradition of celebrating amongst family members gathered around a meal at home – even though it may be most associated with parties in the French Quarter. In fact, most families in New Orleans and elsewhere bring the party home and focus on spending time together and enjoying flavorful dishes that are easy to prepare year after year. Tap into the traditional way of celebrating with these tips:

• Lead the Potluck Parade: Create a potluck-style party and ask everyone to bring their favorite Mardi Gras dishes like Jambalaya Maque Choux, Red Beans & Rice Tortilla Casserole and Mardi Gras Dirty Rice. Make sure to have guests bring copies of their recipes so they can swap secrets with friends and find new favorites.

• Don’t Forget the Kids: Welcome young Mardi Gras revelers to the celebration by inviting them to create their own bead necklaces or use shoe boxes to craft parade floats by adding construction paper, feathers and glitter

• Get Your Dancin’ Shoes On: New Orleans jazz isn’t just for listening – it’s also for dancing! Keep lively music playing throughout the gathering from the Zatarain’s free online Pandora station. Ask the kids to start a dance contest - the music is so much fun it only takes one person to get the party started and guests of all ages can enjoy showing off their moves. Plus, it will get everyone’s appetites ready for dessert!

• Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth: Put a tiny twist on the traditional King Cake dessert by making King Cake Cupcakes. Kids can get in on the decorating fun by adding traditional Mardi Gras colored frosting, sprinkles and candy in purple, green and gold.
Celebrate Mardi Gras Anywhere
Zatarain’s helps “Bring Mardi Gras to Your Table” with festive new ways to celebrate with fellow fans on Facebook.com/Zatarains. Check out a variety of new activities and resources, including:

• “Create Your Krewe”: This new interactive application allows fans to select four friends to be in their personal Krewe and receive coupons to keep the good times rolling. (A “krewe” is a group of revelers who celebrate Mardi Gras and ride on the floats in the parades.)

• Turn Up the Tunes: To help bring the spirit of New Orleans into any kitchen, tune in to the free online Pandora radio station on Zatarain’s Mardi Gras Facebook tab. From swing music and stomping jazz musicians to classic Carnival favorites, the station will get your senses sizzling.

• Join the Parade: Be a part of the action and excitement of the Mardi Gras parade with “Zat’s Cams” showing live video footage straight from the streets. You don’t even have to leave your house to claim the best spot on the parade route!

• Cook Up a Celebration: Explore new recipes for traditional Carnival classics with Jambalaya Mix and Dirty Rice Mix, and mix it up with new soon-to-be favorites like a Red Beans and Rice Tortilla Casserole.
Visit www.facebook.com/zatarains for essential Mardi Gras recipes and more, and be sure to follow Zatarain’s on Twitter (@MyZatarains) to let the good times roll!

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