Cooking

Phat Tuesday

10 ways to stuff yourself on Mardi Gras

Healthy eating was so last month. Today is Mardi Gras, which translates literally to "Fat Tuesday." Christian or not, you should embrace all things artery clogging and delightful. We're not the type to seek excuses for "indulgent" food, but when the opportunity presents itself . . . let the good times (and biscuits and fried chicken) roll.

1 Biscuits and Gravy

A long day of revelry ahead requires a solid breakfast as preparation. Keep it Southern with flaky biscuits and velvety sausage gravy. And if you feel like starting the flow of alcohol early, there's no shame in enjoying a Ramos Gin Fizz.

2 Pumpkin and Pecan Pancakes

Mardi Gras is also Shrove Tuesday, a holiday with a tradition of pancakes. You could go with crepes, a Dutch baby or any other type of flapjack, but a stack of these fluffy coins will do the trick. And do not go gentle into that maple syrup.

3 Muffuletta

No sandwich best represents New Orleans like this one. Pile provolone, mortadella and soppressata on a loaf of bread (with the works, of course), and smush it down to oblivion with the heaviest cookbook you own.

4 Croque-Madame

Show your devotion to over-the-top eats with a grilled cheese that's covered in a crust of fried cheddar. Thin slices of Granny Smith apples make an appearance, so you can officially say you got your day's worth of fresh produce.

5 Bacon and Jalapeño Stuffing

What more appropriate way to stuff yourself than with stuffing? Especially this version from Eli Kulp, a spicy, smoky blend that reads as if a loaded baked potato spontaneously combusted into a skillet of toasted bread.

6 Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Start your brine in the morning, and you'll be ready to dredge and fry your way to heavenly crispy chicken in the afternoon. Word on the street is that Champagne is a must here.

7 Dirty Rice

You can't escape a day of Cajun celebrations without making a proper roux. Isaac Toups sends plain rice to the dark (and delicious) side with the addition of ground brisket, brown ale and a bit of butter to round everything off.

8 Rouxed Peas and Tasso

If you're going to eat your vegetables, take them with a side of ham. This is another one courtesy of Isaac Toups, but, here, skip the homemade roux and go the instant route instead.

9 Bananas Foster

Lent starts tomorrow, which for some might mean swearing off booze, sugar, an á-la-mode habit, etc. But tomorrow is a world away, so get your fix now. Sneak in a New Orleans-esque hot milk punch while you're at it to warm up before bed.

10 Bananas Foster King Cake

If normal bananas Foster isn't enough for you, combine it with classic brioche-y king cake, the literal ruler of all Mardi Gras foods.

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