Celebrate Mardi Gras Season with Authentic Jambalaya and Flavors from Zatarain’s
NEW ORLEANS (December 23, 2015) – In New Orleans, Mardi Gras is a major holiday. The season is celebrated during the two weeks prior to Fat Tuesday, (Feb. 9, the day before the start of the Lenten season) and typically includes parades and family gatherings where food plays a major role. Zatarain’s brings authentic New Orleans flavor and makes it easy to celebrate Mardi Gras regardless of where you live with the signature seasonal dish, jambalaya.
A meal in itself, jambalaya traditionally starts with a “trinity” of vegetables, rice and a variety of meats and/or seafood. Many consider jambalaya a New Orleans version of paella, an influence from Spanish rule of the area during the mid- to late-1700s. French, Italian and even African flavor influences are also present in the iconic dish. A go-to meal for large parties, it is not unusual to see jambalaya prepared in large pots often cooked outside.
“Since Mardi Gras day is historically food focused, it’s easy to envision early parade-goers filling up on bowls of steamy jambalaya prior to engaging in the day’s festivities,” said Jill Pratt, general manager of Zatarain’s. “Jambalaya is a really versatile dish and can be personalized based on your favorite add-ins.”
Mardi Gras Beginnings
Prior to becoming synonymous with floats, beads, and parades, Mardi Gras originated from the tradition of feasting before the fasts of the Lenten season. Revelers spent Mardi Gras day having decadent meals and celebrations. By the time Mardi Gras began resembling its modern form, feasts included locally popular and easy to prepare dishes like jambalaya. Even today, jambalaya is an ideal feasting option and remains a favorite dish during carnival season celebrations.
Flavorful Jambalaya Favorites
Versatile jambalaya recipes allow for customizable meals that are great as a side or a stand-alone dish. Mixes from Zatarain’s make jambalaya preparation quick and easy, less than 30 minutes, without compromising on flavor. Try these authentic Jambalaya recipes for an at-home Mardi Gras celebration or for any festive occasion.
• Original Jambalaya: The signature elements included in this dish like long grain rice, onions, bell pepper and authentic New Orleans seasonings make for a hearty Mardi Gras meal that is ready in under 30 minutes. Double the batch to easily feed a large group of people for your Mardi Gras celebration.
• Classic Jambalaya: Fresh ingredients like vegetables, chicken, andouille sausage and, of course, Creole Seasoning simmer away in this homemade version that is rich in flavor.
• Slow Cooker Chicken & Shrimp Jambalaya: Easy slow cooker prep make this an ideal option to feed a crowd. Chicken and shrimp additions elevate the recipe from basic to beyond, making it a must for your party.
• Vegetable Jambalaya: A quick and easy vegetarian option that has all of the flavor combined with a medley of fresh vegetables for a hearty dish that satisfies.
• Creole Jambalaya: Traditionally called “red” jambalaya, this version features the “trinity” of onion, celery and bell pepper, and is combined with tomatoes, a typically Creole addition.
For those that want to jazz up their jambalaya, Creole Seasoning adds an extra layer of seasoned flavor with garlic, onion, bell pepper and other spices.
Find more flavorful jambalaya recipes and cooking tips at Zatarains.com, Facebook.com/Zatarains or Pinterest.com/Zatarains.