Whisking the roux constantly is the key to evenly browning it for this hearty stew served over rice. See the recipe for Chicken and Andouille Étoufee ». Anna Stockwell

Rarely is the SAVEUR staff together for holidays, but each year I take the opportunity to celebrate my favorite, Mardi Gras, by making the whole office a New Orleans-themed lunch. Last year’s menu of shrimp po’boys with remoulade and fresh coconut ambrosia salad will be one-upped this year by crunchy, decadent oreilles de cochon for breakfast with cafe au lait; then it’s on to lunch with a small starter of Galatoire’s famous crab maison with homemade New Orleans-style French bread, and a spicy, rich chicken and andouille etouffee with rice. The one holdover from last year’s menu is king cake – it wouldn’t be Mardi Gras without it. Since many of the best bakery-made versions don’t take well to shipping, I’ve made my own, stuffed with cinnamon- and lemon zest-flecked cream cheese, and of course there’s a tiny plastic baby baked inside. Whoever the lucky recipient is that finds it won’t have to worry about bringing the next cake – I’ll just let them take care of the dishes.

See our gallery of Classic New Orleans Mardi Gras Recipes »