Mardi Gras: The Feast Before the Fast Slideshow

Barbecue Oysters

Start the feast off with a bang — these Barbecue Oysters have a blue cheese rémoulade and a Kentucky bourbon barbecue sauce. Hoo-ey!

Click here to see the Barbecue Oysters Recipe.

Crab Beignets

These crab beignets are easy to make and delicious. The secret to the batter? A cup of Abita Amber.

Click here to see the Crab Beignets Recipe.

Crawfish Fritters

Nothing screams party like a freshly fried batch of crawfish fritters, and this recipe is sure to please all.

Click here to see the Crawfish Fritters Recipe.

Shrimp Étouffée

While the traditional Cajun version would use crawfish, this shrimp version is easier to make and still delicious — because we doubt that most folks live anywhere near a freshwater bayou.

Click here to see the Shrimp Étouffée Recipe.

Crawfish Stew with Cinnamon Sticks and Star Anise

This crawfish stew takes on complex flavors thanks to the use of whole cinnamon sticks and star anise.

Click here to see the Crawfish Stew with Cinnamon and Star Anise Recipe.

Barbecue Shrimp Po'Boy

You can't have a Mardi Gras celebration without handing out a few po'boys, and this one will surely hit the spot.

Click here to see the Barbecue Shrimp Po'Boy Recipe.

Chicken and Smoked Sausage Jambalaya

Slow cooking, proper Andouille sausage, and a special spice mixture mean a whole lot of love is going on when this dish is simmering away in the kitchen. Fit for serving the hungry masses.

Click here to see the Chicken and Smoked Sausage Jambalaya Recipe.

Creole Seafood Gumbo

This is the famous gumbo from famed New Orleans restaurant Galatoire's.

Click here to see the Creole Seafood Gumbo Recipe.

Rebirth Kickin' Chicken and Wicked-Ass Waffles

Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, it's always a great time for some chicken and waffles, and this version is a mainstay in home kitchens in Tremé, a neighborhood in New Orleans known for jazz and exceptional local food scene.

Click here to see the Rebirth Kickin' Chicken and Wicked-Ass Waffles Recipe.

Blackened Redfish

This recipe is an homage to Paul Prudhomme's hot and spicy dish at Commander's Palace that mixed Creole and Cajun influences that brought about an equally hot and spicy debate about the dividing line between the two cuisines.

Click here to see the Blackened Redfish Recipe.

Suck da Heads and Pinch da Tails Creole Spice

You could put this spice mixture on a bumper and it would taste good. Wait, does Emeril Lagasse have a trademark on that construction? We hope not. Anyway, use this spice mix to give your cooking a distinct New Orleans flavor.

Click here to see the Suck da Heads and Pinch da Tails Creole Spice Recipe.

King Cake

No Mardi Gras celebration would be complete without king cake, of course.

Click here to see David Guas' King Cake Recipe.