Feb 27, 2014

Mardi Gras 2014 {Cajun Mardi Gras and Artichoke Squares, Crab Artichoke Squares}

Last year The Husband said I should run Mardi Gras before I got too old to do it.

Yes.  He said this to me.  No.  He does not know how to talk to women.

I'm inclined to forgive.
But sure I don't forget.
Which is one reason I'm doing it all over again this year.
Courir de Mardi Gras Basile, LA
Ain't nothin' but a Coke in my hand, Cher.

The Courir de Mardi Gras (Cajun Mardi Gras) is much different from New Orleans Mardi Gras.  Long story short, it involves roaming around rural areas begging for ingredients to make a community gumbo.  This includes chanting (in Cajun French), singing (in Cajun French), dancing, harassing (in fun), and otherwise entertaining the people you are begging.  It also includes chasing chickens.  If you'd like to read more, it's all right here, babe.

Here it is in pictures, taken by my mom and dad who came to witness my Mardi Gras hi-jinks in Basile, LA last year.

We start at dark-thirty at the town barn.  Everyone gathers to pay association dues, register, do some last minute costume tweaking, greet people you may not have seen in a while, drink your first beer (or two) of the day, and maybe eat something.
Courir de Mardi Gras Basile, LA

We load up on wagons and make our way through town.  Many of our stops are at the houses of community elders who once ran Mardi Gras back in the day.
Courir de Mardi Gras Basile, LA

We assume a begging position and begin our Mardi Gras song, led by Mr. Potic Rider.  The song tells our story--what we're doing, what we want, what's going on.  The home owner may give money or something to use for the community gumbo.
Courir de Mardi Gras Basile, LA

Another stop along the way and one of my favorites.  The roof is low, making it easy to climb on (not that I have). There's also a good fence to climb, a garden to "steal" from, a shed with a boat, and all sorts of other things to cut up with.
Courir de Mardi Gras Basile, LA

This may have been my parents' favorite stop too.  They had to watch this video of a chicken chase over and over.

Don't matter if it rains (and it might this year).  The show goes on.
Courir de Mardi Gras Basile, LA
   
At some point, weather doesn't really matter.
Courir de Mardi Gras Basile, LA

One of our Capitaines, complete with whip, for keeping the Mardi Gras in line.
Because if weather doesn't matter, not much else does either.
Courir de Mardi Gras Basile, LA

Another stop and another round of the Mardi Gras song led by Mr. Potic.
Courir de Mardi Gras Basile, LA

Courir de Mardi Gras Basile, LA

More next time (because it's too long a day for one post).


~*~*~*~*~
All that crazy can sure make you hungry.  How about some party food?

These Artichoke Squares remind me of artichoke balls that are often served at parties around South Louisiana.  I started off following the basic recipe.

And they were good.

But Mardi Gras is about excess, so I took some inspiration from my friend Marguerite @ Cajun Delights, who made a Crab and Artichoke Spread.

Crab Artichoke Squares

I liked these even more than the original.

Next, I tried Spinach Artichoke Squares.

I still liked the Crab version better, but The Husband preferred these.
The recipe can be found coming up in a Guest Post at Scarlett's Excellent Adventures.


Miz Helen’s Country Cottage  

Print It!
Artichoke Squares
adapted from Mary Decareaux

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 large eggs

Grease an 8 x 8 baking dish.  Preheat oven to 325 F.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and saute until onion is translucent, about 5-8 minutes.

While the onion cooks, add the artichokes, cheese, bread crumbs, and seasonings to a mixing bowl.  Stir in the onion.  Mix in the eggs, combining well.

Add the mixture to the baking dish.  Bake 30 minutes, or until set.  Cool for about 15-20 minutes before cutting into squares.


Print It!
Crab Artichoke Squares

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 large eggs
3/4 cup cooked crabmeat

Grease an 8 x 8 baking dish.  Preheat oven to 325 F.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and saute until onion is translucent, about 5-8 minutes.

While the onion cooks, add the artichokes, cheeses, bread crumbs, and seasonings to a mixing bowl.  Stir in the onion.  Mix in the eggs, combining well.  Gently fold in the crab

Add the mixture to the baking dish.  Bake 30 minutes, or until set.  Cool for about 15-20 minutes before cutting into squares.

Need more Mardi Gras?
Mufuletta Pinwheels
Beignets
King Cup Cakes
Need more crab?
Crab Dip
Crab Quiche
Crab and Andouille Jambalaya
Linking with:
Yesterfood
Feeding BigThe 21st Century Housewife Hearth and Soul Blog Hop
Full Time MamaMiz Helen’s Country Cottage
Jam Hands
My Turn for us

25 comments:

  1. Anonymous2/27/2014

    coke must have changed their can color....

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  2. What an amazing and fun festival! The artichoke squares look delish!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jasline! It is a lot of fun.

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  3. Great photos and video! You are braver than me, cher! lol And those Crab Artichoke Squares look divine! I could eat a dozen of them. :) Cheers and Happy Mardi Gras!

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    1. Brave. Stupid. Whatevs...it's all good. Thanks for stopping in. Happy Mardi Gras!

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  4. I will admit to watching the Mardi Gras chicken chase and hooting ... got the dogs barking here in the north country! laissez les bon temps roulez, girl!

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    1. Thanks, Susan! Happy Mardi Gras!

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  5. Seems like a GREAT and fun festival
    I have a can of artichoke heart, so I'm planning to try this tart/pie next week :)

    Have a great weekend Michelle

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    Replies
    1. I hope you like it, Winnie. It's good for breakfast, brunch, or an appetizer. Thank you for visiting!

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  6. I'm not worried about you holding a grudge. You'll soon be old enough that you'll start forgetting things, too!

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    Replies
    1. To quote your son: "Dad, You. Do. NOT. Know how to talk to women."

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  7. With or without crab, these artichoke squares sound delicious, Michelle! Cajun Mardi Gras looks like so much fun - what a great way to get to know your neighbours :-) Thank you for sharing this wonderful post with us at the Hearth and Soul hop!

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    1. Thank you for the party, April. It is fun (and exhausting)!

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  8. A colourful and fun festival!
    The artichoke squares looks great, I have never tried artichoke before, would love to one of these days!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Joyce. Artichokes play a big role in dishes down here, especial around New Orleans. After Mardi Gras, I hope to be back cooking with I Heart Cooking Clubs.

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  9. Hi Michelle,
    I just know that you are having so much fun this weekend!!
    This is a great post and your food looks fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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  10. ooo my husband isn't a seafood fan...unless it's crab. And he loves artichokes! I'll have to make this for him. Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friday

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  11. Michelle, both of these sound delicious. I can't choose. I'll have to make BOTH. Darn. ;) I love the festive pictures you shared! Thanks for bringing all of this fun stuff to Treasure Box Tuesday! ♥

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  12. Michelle,
    I am so fasinated by your Cajun Mardi Gras tradition: I love
    the costumes, songs, drinking and eventual eating. Great artichoke squares that seem strangly Italian to me. Thank you so much for posting this on foodie friday. So glad to have you and your great culture back with us.

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  13. Glad to know more about cajun mardi gras traditions. Love Mardigras. Fun filled always. Your artichocke squares looks delicious.

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  14. I haven't ever heard of artichoke squares, but I LOVE artichokes and I'm sure I'd love these. The Spinach Artichoke Squares look amazing!!
    Thank you so much for coming to link up with us this week at Delicious Dish Tuesday!! We hope to see you back this week with another amazing recipe to share! <3

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  15. Thanks for linking up at The Four Seasons Blog Hop! Sandra from Scrumptilicious 3 You!

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  16. Just wanted you to know that your recipe is being featured on foodie friday today. I will be pinning and tweeting it this week too,

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  17. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you are having a great weekend and enjoy your new Red Plate!
    Miz Helen

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments.