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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

A Different Kind of Tradition

Updated: Oct 29, 2019

This article originally ran Feb. 2017

This year, Mardi Gras is on February 28th. On this day of revelry, food plays a big factor in your celebration. Mardi Gras is the last day before the season of Lent begins, the season of fasting to prepare for Easter.

Mardi Gras is spent on the street watching the Rex parade and the others that follow. Over the hours, most people reach for Fried Chicken. Popeye’s is the choice of my family. There are food vendors that sell all types of foods meant to be eaten with your hands.

Corndogs and sausage on a stick are popular treats. So, I wondered how a corndog would taste made with sausage. Here is the results. However, this is not any type of sausage, it is the Cajun Andouille sausage that is in the center of this treat. Next week, I will tell you more about Andouille.

Andouille Corndogs

1 1/2 cups Yellow Cornmeal 2 cups All-Purpose Flour 2 teaspoons Baking Powder 1/2 teaspoon Salt 1/2 teaspoon Creole Seasoning Pinch Cayenne Pepper 2 cups Buttermilk 2 large Eggs, beaten 2 tablespoons Canola Oil 2 pounds Andouille Sausage, cut into 3 or 4 ounce links 1/4 cup Cornstarch 8 (8-inch long) thick wooden Skewers

In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, Creole Seasoning, and cayenne. Add the buttermilk, eggs, and canola oil to the cornmeal mixture and stir to combine. The batter will be lumpy.

Heat a deep fryer to 360℉.

Place cornstarch in a shallow pan, and dredge andouille in the cornstarch, rolling to coat. Spear the sausage links with the wooden skewers. Holding the long end of the skewer, dip each sausage into the batter, turning to coat evenly.

Slip the coated corndogs, in batches, into the hot oil and cook, turning, until golden brown on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve hot with Creole Mustard for dipping.

The only dessert to eat on Mardi Gras is a King Cake, especially since they will not be available again until January 6th. Since I have already written an article on the traditional King Cake, here is a recipe for a French King Cake.

This recipe was given to me by my brother Larry. I am not the only person in my family that enjoys the kitchen. It is a very different type of King Cake. There are not colored sugars or glazes over this cake. It has an almond paste and is topped with powdered sugar. The pastry is also lighter than the traditional King Cake.

Galette des Rois

1/3 cup Almonds 1/3 cup Sugar Pinch Salt 2 Eggs 1 teaspoon Vanilla Few drops Almond Extract 1/2 cup unsalted Butter at room temperature 2 tablespoons Flour 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder 2 sheets Puff Pastry, thawed Egg Wash- 1 Egg beaten lightly with 1/4 cup Water

In a food processor, grind almonds. Add sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extract and process until blended lightly. Then add butter, flour and baking powder and process to make a smooth paste for about 10 seconds.

Place one sheet of the puff pastry on a cookie sheet. Spread mixture evenly over puff pastry, living 1 inch margin around the perimeter. Paint the perimeter with the egg wash. Place second sheet of pastry on top and carefully seal the edges with a fork, egg wash top of cake. Make sure the pastry is sealed well and that there are no holes or all of the filling will leak out during baking.

At this point, you can bake the cake or freeze and bake later. I think that it is better to get the dough really cold and freeze again before baking. Place frozen King Cake in a preheated 400℉ oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. When cooled, dust with powdered sugar.

If there are any recipes you would like to see featured, email me your suggestions.

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