The traditional colors of the masks are purple, green, and gold. These colors capture the essence of the Holy Trinity. In the Christian faith it is related also to the Three Kings of the Orient. The colors represent purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. The Carnival is a colorful, joyful party during which tasty and rich dishes are traditionally prepared. Loved by young and old, it is celebrated with masks that create a humorous and playful atmosphere. Like any self-respecting party, Carnivale is also an excellent opportunity to share something special like the recipes.
Enjoy this hearty shrimp that's served with rice – a wonderful dinner ready in an hour. It is a little thicker, not as soupy, but has all the flavors of Carnevale or Mardi Gras.
“Easy Shrimp Creole”
30-minutes for prep
60-minutes total time
2 lb uncooked medium shrimp in shells, thawed if frozen
1/4 cup butter
3 medium onions, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
2 green bell peppers, finely chopped (2 cups)
2 medium stalks celery, finely chopped (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup Chicken stock
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
2 dried bay leaves
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
6 cups hot cooked rice
Peel shrimp. Make a shallow cut lengthwise down back of each shrimp; wash out vein. Cover and refrigerate. In 3-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook onions, bell peppers, celery, and garlic in butter about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender. Stir in remaining ingredients except rice and shrimp. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Stir in shrimp. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook 4 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are pink and firm. Remove bay leaves. Serve shrimp mixture over rice.
******* Notes: you can add as much heat as you like! You can also add some scallops, or even cut up in rounds some Andouille Sausage.**********
One of the most familiar treats at this time of year are mounds of crispy sugared strips called “cenci,” which are also called rags, but cenci sounds more elegant. These randomly cut pieces of dough are fried and then coated in confectioner's sugar. In Tuscany at Carnivale time this sweet treat is made everywhere and everyone has their fill before the austere Lenten season of denial begins.
3 Tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Grated zest of 2 oranges or lemons
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of unsalted softened butter
About 6 cups of vegetable oil for deep frying
A pasta machine is perfect for thinning the dough
Confectioner’s sugar or honey
In a bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and salt until frothy. Stir in vanilla or almond extract, and the orange or lemon zest. Sift flour with baking powder and gradually add to batter. Add butter and mix well. Turn out on a floured surface: knead for at least 10 minutes. Divide dough into half; then roll each as thin as possible (noodle thickness) Cut into 5” x 1” strips with a knife or scalloped pastry wheel. Preheat oil to about 375°F; then fry strips until golden brown about 1 minute per side. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar or drizzle honey on top. Cookies are best served the same day.
Till Next Time………..
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