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Mardi Gras with Emeril!

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Happy Mardi Gras!  We partied in studio on "Cooking with Emeril" today with Arthur Hardy, publisher of the "Mardi Gras Guide," and a selection of king cakes from three historic New Orleans bakeries. Click through to see the cakes, but first check out these photos of my renditions of Chef Emeril's favorite Mardi Gras foods.  They are all easy to make ahead, so you can kick back and enjoy the party!

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For an appetizer, I made muffaletta sliders by slicing down a whole loaf of semolina bread filled with olive salad, provolone cheese, mortadella, and salami.

1 For an appetizer, I made muffaletta sliders by slicing down a whole loaf of semolina bread filled with olive salad, provolone cheese, mortadella, and salami.

It's best to assemble the sandwich at least an hour before serving so the dressing in the olive salad soaks into the bread a bit.  I also made the salad the night before so the flavors would meld.

2 It's best to assemble the sandwich at least an hour before serving so the dressing in the olive salad soaks into the bread a bit. I also made the salad the night before so the flavors would meld.

Jambalaya is so delicious and easy to make.  A few spoonfuls of Emeril's creole spice mix and a good andouille will put some fire in the tomato-rice base -- you might have to warn the weak of stomach!

3 Jambalaya is so delicious and easy to make. A few spoonfuls of Emeril's creole spice mix and a good andouille will put some fire in the tomato-rice base -- you might have to warn the weak of stomach!

In addition to andouille and shrimp, I threw some country ham trimmings in my jambalaya.  It was great, but if you do it, just be sure to cut back on your salt.

4 In addition to andouille and shrimp, I threw some country ham trimmings in my jambalaya. It was great, but if you do it, just be sure to cut back on your salt.

My red beans and rice got kicked up with some shredded ham in addition to the ham hock for flavor.

5 My red beans and rice got kicked up with some shredded ham in addition to the ham hock for flavor.

Red beans and rice garnished with chopped flat parsley and green onions.

6 Red beans and rice garnished with chopped flat parsley and green onions.

My king cake was nowhere near as delicious as the ones we got from New Orleans, but it still got eaten at my party!  My friends love anything doughy with a cinnamon-pecan filling.

7 My king cake was nowhere near as delicious as the ones we got from New Orleans, but it still got eaten at my party! My friends love anything doughy with a cinnamon-pecan filling.

Today, we also tasted three cakes sent fresh from New Orleans. Haydel's king cake was the favorite of taste testers in studio, who appreciated the moist filling.

Haydel's King Cake

Haydel's King Cake

Randazzo's was my favorite because it was the least sweet of the three we sampled.

Randazzo's King Cake

Randazzo's King Cake

Gambino's bakery lets you add the sugar icing yourself, which could be a fun project for kids.

Gambino's King Cake

Gambino's King Cake

UPDATE: Check out this King Cake photo we got from our listner, Kelli - looks delicious to me!  If you want to share your culinary creations with us, you can always send an email to emerilradio@marthastewart.com.

Listener Kelli's Homemade King Cake

Listener Kelli's Homemade King Cake

Comments (2)

  • I made my first ever King Cake on the weekend from an Emeril recipe off the Food Network site. It had cream cheese filling and everyone loved it. I think I'll try one with the nuts and cinnamon next year!

  • Shellie, that's so funny because I was thinking I'd try to do the cream cheese version next time! King Cake is fun to make.

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