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Mardi Gras ~ NOLA in CA ~ Let the Good Times Roll!

Oysters and bubbly for Mardi Gras ~

Oysters and bubbly for Mardi Gras ~ Sheer perfection! I’m lucky to live near several oyster farms, so whenever I want some, fresh from the ocean…

Welcome back, my friends!

Call it “Fat Tuesday,” and somehow it just doesn’t sound quite so, well, sexy.

But that’s what “Mardi Gras” means. It’s the eve of Ash Wednesday, which starts the traditional pre-Easter season of Lenten self-deprivation.

Mardi Gras ~ also called Carnival/Carnaval/Carnevale, depending on where in the world you’re partying ~ is practically synonymous, around the globe, with unbridled, dance-in-the-streets, pull-out-all-the-stops, gorge-on-food-and-“adult-beverages” revelry.

Didn't get enough of 'em raw? Toss a few big ones in a spicy corn meal/cayenne coating and pan-fry. Pour more bubbles while you're at it!

Didn’t get enough of ‘em raw? Toss a few big ones in a spicy corn meal/cayenne coating and pan-fry. Pour more bubbles, like this lovely “Ocean Reserve” Blanc de Blancs from Iron Horse in Sonoma!

In New Orleans, Mardi Gras caps weeks of festivities. The party never stops ~ and the city positively erupts on the day itself.

If you’ve ever been (and whether or not you remember any of it! ;) ), you probably have a drawerful of Mardi Gras beads, which the various “krewes” (social clubs, with mystic names such as Bacchus, Momus and Zulu) throw to the crowds from their parade floats.

I like to trot my beads out once a year (check out the pic below), cook up something with at least a vaguely Cajun flair, put on some Zydeco music ~ complete with washboard and accordion ~ and, as they say, “laissez les bons temps rouler”!

More spiced breading, another round of pan-frying, and voila, tender, tasty pork chops. With a Charles Ellner Champagne and a Roederer Estate sparkler from Mendocino, the good times will *definitely* roll!

More spiced breading, another round of pan-frying, and voila, tender, tasty pork chops, along with a Charles Ellner Champagne and a Roederer Estate sparkler from Mendocino. Et toi!

Tonight I have a couple of friends stopping by, so I think I’ll serve up some oysters (both raw and pan-fried), then breaded pork chops with griddled sweet potatoes and sauteed Swiss chard with leeks.

In NOLA, I’d probably be drinking beer. But here at home, I’m more about bubbles made from grapes. So, with a nod to Louisiana’s French heritage, I’m popping the cork on a true Champagne, as well as a couple of California sparklers.

Now, if I could only find a slice of *real* King Cake…

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Hope you’ve enjoyed today’s taste of Mardi Gras!

Until next time, my friends,
Cheers and happy tasting,
Rosina

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And as always, please be sure to grab your *free download* of “Rosina’s 5 Non-Rules for Wine and Food Pairing.” It’s the best way I know to help you make the foods *you* love taste even better!

You can also email me at Rosina@DrinkWineWithDinner.com with comments or questions. I look forward to hearing from you!

Cheers once again,
Rosina

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