Mardi Gras Necessities: King Cake and Jambalaya

I can’t believe it’s already Mardi Gras, and Ash Wednesday tomorrow.  I first posted this last Mardi Gras, but it’s such a perfect menu for today, I had to share it again….and if you don’t have time to make a King Cake, you really should try the Jambalaya. The hubs told me last night he looks forward to it almost as much as corned beef and cabbage. Now that’s sayin’ something!

DSC_0039 One Mardi Gras tradition we always observe is having jambalaya and King Cake for Fat Tuesday.

DSC_0030 This year I found a King Cake kit at World Market. In the past, I’ve made it from scratch or ordered King Arthur’s kit. Of course, when we lived in the South, every grocery store had them, so I just bought them.

I was a little skeptical of this cake once I read the directions. It came with a heavy duty Ziploc bag, and we were instructed to mix and knead the dough right in that. So we did, and, much to my surprise, it worked wonderfully. It rose the first time in the bag, even.

DSC_0034 After it rose, I rolled it out, mixed up the filling, and spread it on. If you’ve never had King Cake, it’s a little like a cinnamon roll ring, sliced to serve. It’s so much better than cinnamon rolls, though. Really.

DSC_0035 I rolled it from the long side, then the hubs helped me move it to a baking stone. After shaping it into a ring, I let it rise again for about 30 minutes.

Another thirty minutes in the oven, and it was perfectly golden brown.

The kids helped decorate it, and I’ll stick the baby in just before serving. Although, really, who in our house is going to throw next year’s party if they get the baby? Yeah, it’ll be me, no matter what!

If you can’t find a mix nearby, here’s a link to a tasty from-scratch recipe. You’ll just need to pick up purple, green, and yellow sanding sugars…and a plastic baby to stick inside!

My recipe for Jambalaya came from a friend at Fort Polk who was born and raised in New Orleans. I was amazed at how tasty and easy this is to prepare. I’ve taken out quite a lot of fat (the original recipe had a whole stick of butter in it), but it’s just as delicious as Lindsay’s. I serve it with French rolls, honey butter, and a salad.

By the way, there’s no photo because it’s not all that pretty…jambalaya means a mishmash, after all. But what it lacks in looks, it sure makes up for in flavor!

Louisiana Jambalaya

  • 2 cups Uncle Ben’s converted rice
  • 1 can condensed French onion soup
  • 1 can double strength beef broth
  • 1 soup can water
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup green onions, sliced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 12 oz reduced fat Jimmy Dean sausage
  • 3 boneless chicken breast, in 1” cubes
  • 1 lb smoked turkey sausage, sliced 1/2” thick

1) In a large Dutch oven, brown all meats together.

2) Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil.

3) Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Check it at 1 hour…you may need to add 1/2 to 1 cup water if it seems dry.

You can also add shrimp, crawfish, or ground beef, instead of chicken. You just need to end up with about 2 lbs of meat other than the sausage, in whatever combination works for you. If you’d like it spicy, substitute hot sausage for the Jimmy Dean’s.

Click here for the printable recipe

Enjoy your Fat Tuesday, and Laissez le Bons Temps Rouler, Y’all!

2 thoughts on “Mardi Gras Necessities: King Cake and Jambalaya

  1. How fun! I have never made the American version of a King’s Cake. I should do it sometime for the kids. If I got my act together we could do it tonight! Lucie has ice skating though……You don’t see the mix here in California and not many prepared cakes in bakeries either. Maybe in Sacramento. They would love this! Have a fun Mardi Gras!
    Karen

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