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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Pork Boys Do Mardi Gras 2014

Last week, M.P. and I celebrated Mardi Gras - and his long-awaited retirement from a very stressful job - with a truckload of good food, good drink, and good cheer.  Here are some pics I took that he just forwarded to me, showing what we had for dinner over several evenings, and as you can see, did we have fun - boy howdy!

M.P. is as good an artist as he is a cook - he always sets a beautiful table, and made these fabulous masks just for our Mardi Gras dinner.

The festivities began with our favorite deviled eggs - notice the two at the 9 o'clock position - they came from an egg with two yolks, believe it or not, so each half got two twirls of goo.

And then M.P. served up a platter of sweet, succulent coconut shrimp, tenderized by his own secret process, with spiced pineapple and apple dip.

Naturellement, with the shrimp we just had to have some homemade fried onion rings, done to a turn, and so light and crispy as M.P. knows how to make them. Awfully good with homemade Thousand Island dip, as shown.

Tea candles always add a lovely glow to a special dinner.

Another specialty of M.P.'s is 7-Layer Dip, a southwestern favorite:  for you Yankee boys who have never tasted this crowd-pleasing Tex-Mex dish, you lay hamburger browned with taco seasoning in the bottom of a dish, and top successively with refried beans, fresh guacamole salad you made yourself that day, sour cream mixed some more of the taco seasoning, shredded cheese of your choice, pico de gallo (chopped tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos), more shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, and decorate with some tortilla crisps to give it flair.  I know that doesn't add up to 7 layers, but who's counting?  Just shut up and eat - you ain't never had nothin' this good in your mouth.  I tell you what.

M.P.'s mouthwatering, OMG-I-can't-stop-eating, homemade Cajun jambalaya.  Which is nothing like the nasty, vinegary, inedible crap you get in restaurants, even in New Orleans.

M.P.'s signature variation on the traditional meal is Porkchops Jambalaya - here instead of whole chops, he's cut some pork loin in small pieces and cooked them in a special sauce nice and slow.  So damn good, it will make you want to slap somebody, boys, I guaran-damn-tee it.

Although M.P. is a lapsed Catholic and your Head Trucker is an Episcopalian-on-hold, we decided just for the sake of tradition to observe the first Friday of Lent with a fish dinner. From about 8 o'clock, going clockwise, you see M.P.'s wonderful breaded tilapia, moist, flaky, and done to a turn, all crisp and crunchy on the outside; also M.P.'s incredibly tender and yummy french fries, carefully deep fried; baked beans, the canned variety - my humble contribution - and fresh young asparagus with M.P.'s divine Hollandaise sauce.  
If you don't think this was some sure-nuff good eatin', boys, you ain't never had any.
It wouldn't be Mardi Gras without a King Cake, you know.  M.P. made one from scrach, bien sûr. Lovely.

Of course we washed all the good food down with a celebratory bottle of champagne, as well as our favorite White Zin, and also beer, Diet Coke, and cowboy coffee with our dessert - sugared strawberries over shortcake with vanilla ice cream and a dollop of Cool Whip too - what the hell, you only live once, right fellas?  And as M.P. says, the presentation and decoration of the table is nearly as important as the food - certainly it makes the meal memorable and twice as nice.  So all in all, we had a great time - sorry you boys couldn't be there, you would have enjoyed it too.

P.S. - Be sure to check out M.P.'s latest post on foods and cookery for the season of Lent, over on Phood Filosophie.


Tim said...

Formidable mes amis! Better loosen that belt a notch or two!

Russ Manley said...

Mais oui!

Mike, Studio City said...

It looks so good.

Russ Manley said...

Buddy, it was larruppin' good. I tell you what.

Stan said...

This is one Yankee who loves food like this. Yum!

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