Mardi Gras 2014

February13

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The folks at the RBC Convention Centre are once again helping Winnipeggers get through the long stretch of winter by presenting the 2014 version of Mardi Gras on February 14th &15th.

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At the Mardi Gras preview held recently, D immediately tucked into a Fried Oyster and Provolone Po’ Boy Sandwich.  These are served on every corner in the French Quarter of New Orleans and start with a classic French baguette.  The softness and freshness of the baguette is key and he indicated that this one was perfection.  His was adorned with shredded lettuce, tomatoes and pickles.  A huge fried oyster in a crunchy batter is the prize at the centre of the sandwich.

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We sampled Peel and Eat Shrimp, fabulously Freshly Shucked Oysters and Louisiana Gumbo Soup-all terrific. There are three new fantastic menu items this year.

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The Rose Farfalla Pasta is an assembly of cubed chicken breasts and spicy sausage pan-fried with capicola, red peppers, onions, mushrooms and a charred tomato sauce. The result is hearty and complex.

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I enjoyed the Jambalaya which is also new.  In spite of the fact that I had just made jambalaya for our dinner at home the previous evening, I was willing to dive right in.  Their version of a classic Creole stew was chock full of shrimp, Cajun sausage, grilled chicken, tomatoes, bell peppers, rice and okra. 

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My favourite of the evening was yet to come.  The Bourban Flamed Garlic Pepper Shrimp were expertly prepared before my eyes and pulled off the heat just as they changed colour and texture, which ensures a firm and crunchy shrimp. 

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These had been marinated in smoked paprika, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and old bay spice and then pan-fried in butter, garlic, coarse black pepper and cayenne pepper before the Bourban is added and tipped towards the flame to sear and finish the dish.

Tickets for Mardi Gras 2014 are available at Ticketmaster.ca.  Besides the authentic cuisine, entertainment is provided all night long by Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers.

Kath’s quote: “The great dish of New Orleans, and which it claims having the honor of invented, is the GUMBO. There is no dish which at the same time so tickles the palate, satisfies the appetite, furnished the body with nutriment sufficient to carry on the physical requirements, and costs so  little as a Creole Gumbo. It is a dinner in itself, being soup, piece de résistance, entremet and vegetable in one. Healthy, and not heating to the stomach and easy of digestion, it should grace every table.”-William H. Coleman

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Love-that is all.

 


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