Mardi Gras begins on March 1st this year*, we’re tailoring our meals to highlight special Mardi Gras dishes. Start here with 14 Mardi Gras recipes for cocktails, main dishes, sides, and desserts. Plus, there’s a “glossary” of another 14 iconic New Orleans dishes.
We’re adding to the list today with this fusion recipe for Jambalaya Nachos.
Dan decided to make a cheese sauce for the nachos, rather than baking cheese on top, to smother the nachos with cheesiness. As a spicy twist, he added Creole seasoning to the sauce.
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Make a tray of nachos loaded with jambalaya ingredients like rice, sausage, and shrimp, topped with a Creole-spiced cheese sauce.
Prep time is 20 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes.
1. WHISK the milk with the cornstarch until smooth. Cook the milk in a small frying pan over medium heat, whisking constantly until it just comes to a simmer and thickens. Remove from the heat.
2. STIR in the cheese until it melts, returning to the heat once or twice if needed, but being careful not to overheat cause the sauce could separate.
3. STIR in the Creole seasoning and set the sauce aside. Dan’s tip: Put it in a thermos to stay hot until ready to use. If the sauce feels too thick you can add a splash of milk.
4. ADD a little oil to a pot and cook the sausage over high heat to brown on all sides. Remove the sausage from the pot with a slotted spoon, keeping the oil in the pot.
5. ADD the shrimp to the pot and cook about 3 minutes per side until cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon.
6. ADD the contents of the Jambalaya Rice Mix packet along with the water. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and cover, until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.
7. BUILD the nachos starting with a base of tortilla chips. Then layer the rice, topped with the sausage and shrimp. Finish with the cheese sauce. Serve with the extra tortilla chips.
*The date of Mardi Gras changes every year because it’s connected to Easter, which can fall on any Sunday between March 23 and April 25. Mardi Gras day always takes place 47 days before Easter. Ash Wednesday is always 46 days before Easter, and Fat Tuesday is always the day before Ash Wednesday. Easter can fall on any Sunday from March 23rd to April 25th, with the exact date coinciding with the first Sunday after the full moon following the Spring Equinox.