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Newsletter: Recipes and ideas for Mardi Gras 🥳 and Pancake Day 🥞

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 Getting into the carnival spirit for Mardi Gras

In the Christian calendar Ash Wednesday signals the start of Lent, and the fast that precedes Easter. This year it falls on February 22. The day before, Tuesday February 21, is Shrove Tuesday, or Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) – the feast before the fast. This is celebrated with rich and sweet foods, ostensibly to use up some of those ingredients before they are put away for the duration. But it is also a chance to indulge before the period of abstinence and reflection.
Mardi Gras is traditionally celebrated with a carnival, with suitably indulgent foods to match. Try Mardi Gras Pudding with Caramel Brandy Sauce, or take a look at our collection of Recipes for Mardi Gras, or this collection of Bites from The Big Easy. For a proper feast try Leah Chase’s Oyster Po-Boy, with a side of Mardi-Gras Slaw, and Bananas Foster for dessert. Happy Mardi Gras all!
Pictured above: Mardis Gras Doughnuts from Kaffeehaus by Rick Rodgers

Grab that frying pan and get set for Pancake Day!

In Britain and Ireland Shrove Tuesday pancakes are so much part of the celebrations that the term Pancake Day is ubiquitous. Lemon juice and sugar are the traditional accompaniments, but the simplicity of a basic pancake lends itself to all sorts of treatments and toppings, sweet or savory. Try Crêpes Cherry Jubilee, Buckwheat Crêpes with Smoked Salmon, or any of the recipes in our Creative Pancakes and Crêpes collection.
There is no reason why you shouldn’t join in the pancake flipping if you are vegan, the collection contains a number of recipes for you. And if you are on a gluten-free diet take a look at our Gluten-Free Pancakes collection. A batch of the Bluebird Bakery’s Sunday Morning Pancakes looks very tempting.
Find 340 pancake breakfasts

Consuming passions: Doubanjiang

Beijing-based historian Thomas DuBois has made the vast diversity of China’s food traditions his area of specialist study, and has an upcoming book on the history of food in China. In our latest feature he documents his Consuming Passion: Doubanjiang. The base flavor of Sichuan cuisine, he charts the rich tradition, creation, and culinary use of this complex, hot and salty, fermented bean paste. It adds its fiery, savory depth to traditional dishes such as Yan-Kit So’s Shredded Pork with Fish-Fragrant Sauce.
But DuBois also tells us just what a difference it can make to a great global range of dishes, such as this Chickpea and Cauliflower Tagine. This is a must read for further understanding of the range of fermented bean pastes and sauces, and includes great cooking and tasting tips.

What to eat now: savoy cabbage

There are a great many varieties of cabbage, each lending themselves to varied culinary use. Savoy cabbage, a winter variety with wrinkled leaves and a loose head, is one of the finest brassicas to eat when cooked. The leaves have a delicate flavor and texture, and are full of goodness.
Try them simply steamed with a few cumin seeds and then drizzled with olive oil. Make some nourishing Rambasici - Stuffed Savoy Cabbage Bundles, or let the heat of the oven do its best with this Savoy Cabbage, Mushroom and Blue Cheese Polenta Bake.

For these and 10 other recipes see our 12 Ways with Savoy Cabbage collection.

6 of the best donuts

While getting into the spirit of Mardi Gras, beignets and donuts are not only traditional, but a party right there in the eating. Here are six of the best.

Paczki Jelly Doughnuts

from 52 Weeks 52 Sweets by Vedika Luthra

Raspberry Doughnut Brioche Buns

from Bad Girl Bakery by Jeni Iannetta

S’mores Doughnuts

from The Doughnut Cookbook by the Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

A Couple of Doughnuts

from The Dessert Architect by Robert Wemischner

Double-Dipped Chocolate Donuts

from Donuts by Elinor Klivans

Dulce de Leche Doughnuts

from Sex & Drugs & Sausage Rolls by Graham Garrett