Mardi Gras is approaching fast and, with it, the Lenten Season, which means we get to sacrifice that favorite treat for what seems like forever. But before we go into that life of abstinence, we get to live it up and gorge ourselves, culminating with Fat Tuesday, the party of all parties. Time to get the gumbo going and beads strung, it’s time to kick it up, Cajun style.
If you’re going to eat like a true Cajun, you’re going to need spice, rice, peppers, and a whole lot of seafood. Traditional fare includes Gulf Shrimp and the favorite fish of the Gulf, Red Drum – aka redfish. The Shrimp are usually cooked shell-on and I recommend U.S. Brown shrimp for their sweetness and snap. The Redfish are sustainably farmed in Texas to help protect the wild stocks and are harvested to order. This ensures the highest quality product with a clean flavor and sushi quality meat. Keep that skin on when cooking for a crispy bite and don’t forget that this product loves a good blackened seasoning, it can definitely take the heat.
While most of us are planning for the ruckus, our team in Minnesota is taking a different type of plunge into madness. To help raise money for the Special Olympics, brave members of Fortune Minnesota are jumping into a freezing lake on February 29th. I’m sure we all want to support them, but seriously, who in their right mind wants to jump into a lake in February? Luckily there’s a delicious and enjoyable way to support their mission without freezing to death. In honor of these fearless friends, for the next few weeks we are offering the Polar Plunge Oysters. Polar Plunges are harvested from the icy waters of North Rustico, Prince Edward Island, Canada – very fitting. They have firm, briny meats with a clean, mineral finish that will excite and refresh your taste buds. A portion of all sales of the Polar Plunge Oysters will go to benefit the Special Olympics, so, if you are serving oysters, please consider requesting these delicious morsels by name. They are best served on ice, a fitting tribute to those crazy enough take the plunge.
Every Spring, Mardi Gras Krewes (secret societies in Louisiana who organize balls and parades) build extravagant parade floats and dress themselves in purple, gold, and green. They do this to commemorate the original Mardi Gras parades that rolled thru the ‘Big Easy’ in the mid-1800’s. Revelers congregate along the parade route to witness the elaborate papier-mache sculptures on double decker buses and if they are lucky enough, they come home with a handful of beads. We may not get the nice weather and parades just yet, but here at Fortune we know Midwesterners never need an excuse to party, so feast your heart out below on some amazing food options to get you in the mood for Mardi Gras.
Nothing says Mardi Gras like Jambalaya and we have all the ingredients to whip up a delicious dish to impress your guests. Choose from our extensive lists of goodies to enhance your stews, starting with the Chef Martin Andouille sausage. A fully steam cooked sausage utilizing pork shoulder, these plump sausages are lightly smoked with a reddish hue and finish with a hint of sage and red pepper. Chef Martin’s Andouille sausage not only has a noticeable snap when you bite into it, but the all-natural ingredients will have you feeling good about what you are eating.
Looking to spice up your Gumbo or Red Beans and Rice dish? Look no further than Crescent City's Tasso ham. A traditional specialty of Louisiana cuisine and Cajun dishes, Tasso Ham is produced from a pork cut called cushion meat, which is from the pork shoulder. This is a part of the animal that gets a lot of exercise and the meat is very lean with a nice texture. The Red Crescent Tasso hams are tumbled overnight in a spice blend with a serious dose of cayenne pepper and then gently smoked over hickory wood.
Looking for a drink to wash down all these Creole foods? Consider concocting a batch of milk punch. It’s a simple recipe with milk, sugar, bourbon and vanilla. Pick yourself up some Kalona organic milk, sourced from grass-fed cows on small, family farms in Iowa. To offset the bourbon, use Nielsen Massey vanilla extract which is sourced from the finest Madagascar vanilla beans. Their cold extraction process gently draws out and preserves the vanilla’s more than 300 flavor compounds, resulting in a flavor profile that is sweet and creamy.
Whatever you choose to entertain your guests with, let the good folks at Fortune Fish & Gourmet be your Flambeaux to lead the way.