Southern Delights – Hearty Mardi Gras Recipes

Laissez le bon temps roulez! It’s that time again! Mardi Gras is on March 4, which means Carnival season is at a fever pitch. Let Hickory Farms help you to host your own Mardi Gras party with the following suggestions.

Decorations

Purple, green and gold are the colors of carnival season, and each one has a special meaning. Let your decorations reflect justice (purple), faith (green) and power (gold). Making your own Mardi Gras masks is a lot of fun, or you can simply pick some up at a party supply store. No Mardi Gras party is complete without beads, so make sure you have plenty on hand for guests to adorn themselves. Long, lustrous pearls are especially coveted.

Menu

Stick to New Orleans tried and true recipes, like a simmering pot of Red Beans and Rice (don’t forget to make your roux). Cut slices of beef and turkey summer sausage from Hickory Farms Beef & Turkey Hearty Hickory Gift Box into the pot to make it especially savory.

Source: Even the Source Inc.

 

Another Mardi Gras favorite is jambalaya. As andouille sausage can be hard to find outside of south Louisiana, simply substitute Hickory Farms turkey or beef summer sausage to make it hearty and delicious.

Source: Bunky Cooks

The only dessert you’ll need is a King Cake, a delicious, brioche-style pastry topped with Mardi Gras-colored sugar. Don’t forget to stash a tiny plastic baby inside, as according to tradition, the person who gets the baby must host the next carnival party.

Libations

Source: Virginia Switzer via Southern Living

The quintessential New Orleansdrink is the Sazerac, which is said to be the Big Easy’s first cocktail. Another distinctly New Orleans cocktail is the Hurricane, made famous by Pat O’Brien’s bar in the French Quarter. Serve this tasty treat in a signature hurricane lamp-style glass for authenticity.

Music

No party is complete without music, so make sure you add some Mardi Gras songs to your playlist from some of the city’s finest musicians, past and present. The Meters, Professor Longhair and Dr. John are just some of our favorites!

Hickory Farms is proud to be a part of your Mardi Gras celebration wherever you may be. Call 800.753.8558 to place your order today.

Hosting Tips for an Entertaining Oscar Night Party

Every year, the Oscars bring a night of true Hollywood glitz and glamor to our televisions. Rather than letting the stars have all of the fun this year, why don’t you use the Oscars as a great opportunity to host your own fabulous gala? Plan a red carpet event your friends won’t forget with the help of Hickory Farms and these simple entertaining tips.

 

Planning the food and drinks

As with any good party, food and drinks are key components of a successful Oscars gathering. Break out your finest China and champagne flutes and prepare a buffet featuring refined treats, such as a platter of Hickory Farms Smoked and Farmhouse Cheddars, accompanied by Golden Toasted Crackers from our Red Ribbon Treat.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Next, add a couple refined hors d’oeuvres. Try stuffing green olives with our Hickory Farms Reserve Smoked blue cheese before drizzling the olives with fresh rosemary and olive oil, or take meatballs to the next level by adding a crust made of Hickory Farms mixed nuts.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

For a fun cocktail theme, stick with red drinks, such as cherry sangria, to match the red carpet. Starting with the Hahn Pinot Noir from our basket, simply add orange juice, sweet cherries, cherry syrup and orange liqueur.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Preparing your home

To give your party real Hollywood drama, you have to set the scene. Make your home feel like a true A-list gathering with elegant accents, such as large bouquets of flowers, stunning hanging lights, and plenty of candlelight. For the total Oscar experience, find a long red rug or piece of fabric to make your very own red carpet.

Another important part of staging your party is determining the dress code. For an extra special event, ask your friends to come in their finest formal clothing. When they arrive, make your guests feel like the stars that they are by taking their pictures and conducting mock interviews on the red carpet.

By combining these simple decorating ideas and entertaining tips with the delicious cheeses and wine found in our Red Ribbon Treat, you can create an Oscar-worthy experience that’s sure to become an annual tradition.

Featured Basket – Complete Cellar Flight

To get the most flavor and enjoyment from Hickory Farms’ award-winning cheeses, here’s a short guide to our most popular brands. It’s a better taste experience to begin with the younger, milder cheeses and build up to the bolder varieties. We also suggest using separate knives to cut each type to keep flavors from mixing.

 

Classic One-Year Aged Cheddar

Cheddar is the world’s most popular cheese and is made from cow’s milk. It’s a hard variety, and when aged one year, should be slightly crumbly in texture with a rather mild, mellow taste. Color can range from white to yellow-orange.

 

Three-Year Aged Cheddar

The sharper taste of this selection will melt in your mouth. It has an almost nutty flavor that is perfect atop a burger, a piece of summer sausage or a cracker. Our Smoked Garlic Cheddar and Apple Smoked Cheddar with Paprika have interesting layers of flavor that will linger on your taste buds.

 

Smoked Pepper Jack

Originally derived from Monterey Jack, pepper jack cheese gets its kick from an infusion of jalapenos, habaneros, garlic, rosemary and sweet peppers. It makes delicious quesadillas and also works well on burgers. You can also enjoy this semi-soft, flavorful cheese with an array of fresh fruits, including grapes and all varieties of melon. Try it with some salty olives for a different taste sensation.

 

Smoked Blue Cheese

The unique veined appearance of blue cheese is achieved by spiking it with stainless steel rods and allowing the circulation of oxygen to form Penicillium mold. This gives the cheese a bold, pungent flavor. Serve it plain with crackers or with fruits like pears and raisins. This semi-soft cheese is especially good crumbled over a salad of mixed greens.

Take advantage of our discounted prices to snap up some delicious bargains this winter. Shop online 24 hours a day or call 800.753.8558 to place your order today.