I love Mardi Gras and love to make a New Orleans-style dinner for the holiday. There are no pancakes for our Shrove Tuesday. I don't love pancakes in the first place and I can't imagine forgoing jambalaya to eat them for my supper. I also have to have a king cake, whether I make it or pick it up at the grocery or a bakery. Since our area is all about the paczki (seriously, people place orders ahead of time and stand in line in bitter cold, in the middle of the night, to get them---I can't think of any food I like that much!), this year, I made our king cake from the Mam Papaul's mix, the praline filling variety. I added some pecans to the filling for extra crunch---delicious! It always looks so festive, too. I always put the baby in the cake. This year, Jeannene got the baby and was absolutely delighted. In our family, getting the baby means good luck in the coming year.
For our main course, I made chicken & andouille jambalaya from Emeril's recipe. I used to use shrimp, too, but since the wife is squeamish now, I omit it. It's really good, though. You can find the recipe on the Food Network site. One of these years, maybe I'll get brave and make crawfish pie and do the king cake from scratch. By the way, if you're in Dayton, Ohio, for Mardi Gras next year, you should check out the Mardi Gras menu at Rue Dumaine. Chef Anne Kearney makes a superb crawfish pie. Of course, The Winds Cafe in Yellow Springs usually does a glorious table-side Bananas Foster, too.