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Fat Tuesday complicates eating. Most people opt for sandwiches,
Popeye's chicken, and other munchie food. Early morning gatherings
will invariably have a king cake out with the coffee and donuts.

Anyway, I don't think I've ever eaten a decent meal on Fat Tuesday
in my life. However, I can offer some suggestions for anyone who
wants to go through the trouble to make a few things.

Pete Fountain's Half Fast Walking Club starts the morning at
Commander's Palace before heading out on to St. Charles Avenue. If
you were to have brunch at Commander's or at Brennan's in the Quarter,
you might have Eggs Hussarde:

Eggs Hussarde

2 thin slices of Canadian Bacon, grilled
2 Holland Rusks
1/4 Cup Marchand de Vin Sauce
1 Grilled Tomato
2 poached eggs
1/4 cup Hollandaise Sauce

On a dinner plate, lay slices of Canadian Bacon on 2 Holland Rusks,
then cover each with Marchand de Vin Sauce. top now each rusk with
a poached egg and top with the Hollandaise Sauce. Garnish with
Grilled Tomato. For eye appeal, you may sprinkle paprika and chopped
parsley on eggs.

Marchand de Vin Sauce

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup minced ham
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
2 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
3/4 cup beef stock
1/2 cup red wine

Melt butter in a medium saucepan and lightly saute mushrooms, ham,
shallots, onions and garlic. When onion is golden brown, add the
flour, salt, pepper and cayenne, then brown well, about 7-10 min.
Blend in the stock and wine and simmer over low heat for 35 min.

Shrimp and Crab dips are staples on buffet tables for parade parties,
as well as other appetizer dishes:

Shrimp Dip

1 8oz. package cream cheese (room temp)
1 lemon, juiced
2 pounds boiled shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely ground
10 green onions, minced
1 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
Worcestershire to taste
Tabasco to taste

In a bowl, soften the cream cheese with the lemon juice. Add the
shrimp, green onion, and mayonnaise. Season the mixture with the
remaining ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate the dip for 2 hours.
[Note: I've seen a variation on this dip where Zatarain's Crab Boil
is substituted for Tabasco. Only do this if you are extremely brave :)]

Stuffed Artichoke Hearts

2 14oz cans artichoke hearts, drained
1 1/2 cups Italian bread crumbs
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
3 tbsp. lemon juice

Remove the pulp from the center of the artichoke hearts and cut
each in half. In a bowl combine the bread crumbs, garlic, salt,
pepper, and cheese. Moisten the mixture with olive oil, salad
dressing, and lemon juice. Stuff the artichoke hearts with the
mixture. Place the hearts in a greased baking dish and sprinkle
them with paprika. Bake the dish at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Oyster Patties

1/2 cup butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 pints oysters (reserve liquor), chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
cayenne to taste
3 cups thick White Sauce
3 dozen cocktail patty shells

In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the
onion, celery, green onion, garlic and parsley and saute until
limp and translucent. Add the oysters and cook until the oysters
are curled. Add the salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and
cayenne. In another saucepan, make a thick White Sauce. Add the
White Sauce to the oyster mixture gradually. Thin the mixture
with oyster liquor if necessary. Heat the patty shells at 350
until they are piping hot. Fill the shells with the hot oyster
mixture and serve immediately.

King Cake

Forget it--call Gambino's Bakery's King Cake hot line (1-800-GAMBINO)
from 1/6 until Fat Tuesday every year.


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