Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Boudin King Cake - Happy Mardi Gras!

As you know, I get to travel to Louisiana about 4 times a year for work.  And I generally try to schedule the first quarter visit so that it overlaps with my favorite Mardi Gras parade--the Scott parade, which rolls past my friends Bonnie & Paul's house, so they always host a big shindig and it's a great chance to see all my old friends.  

But this year, I couldn't make it happen. I had to schedule my trip much earlier in the year, and missed Mardi Gras season altogether.  And was very, very sad.

So sad, that I convinced my coworkers to let me host a Mardi Gras potluck at our office, on Mardi Gras day!  (This really didn't take a lot of convincing.  My coworkers are generally down for anything that involves food and chit-chatting over lunch.)
My colleagues were up for the challenge. Our CFO made gumbo, the compliance team brought red beans & rice, our social media manager (whose wife's family is from Abbeville, LA) made crawfish macque choux...one of my teammates made shrimp cornbread, and a senior scientist (who also lived in Lafayette for a spell) helped me put together a shrimp boil, with jumbo skrimps fresh from the Gulf. We even had bread pudding with bourbon sauce.  Everything was AMAZING.
And me...well, I was so inspired by all the tales I heard of Twin's Bakery making boudin king cakes, I thought I'd give it a whirl.
Now, if I ever make this again, I think I'll use the sheets of crescent roll dough from the refrigerated section.  I tried using pre-made pizza dough with this version and it ended up a little doughy.  But overall, it tasted amazing.  And it was relatively easy to put together!

INGREDIENTS: (makes about 12 servings)
2 rolls of pre-made dough sheets (again, I'd recommend trying crescent roll dough)
1 package boudin (I was able to find Richard's at my local market, which hails from Church Point, LA) - 2 links, casings removed
1 egg
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (you could opt for pork cracklins instead, like the Twin's original)
1/4 cup pecan halves, toasted in butter for about 5 minutes

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, then roll out one of the dough sheets. Place one of the links down the center of the sheet, and then using a knife, cut slits along the sides, and then braid the slits together (over/under).  Leave the first two and last two unbraided, so you can use these to "tie" the two sides together.

Now roll out the second sheet and do the same, with the link curving toward the first braid.  Once braided, curve the two sides together until they meet (you may have to break the boudin link) and then use the unbraided ends to combine the two sides.  Mine ended up a little wonky where the two halves met, but it still baked up just fine.
Heat the oven to 350, and then bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and drizzle with the Steen's syrup, and sprinkle on the bacon and pecans.  Cut into about 12 pieces and serve while warm!
So while I didn't get to spend Mardi Gras season with my LA peeps, we still got to have a great time, eat some great food, listen to some good Louisiana music...
...and enjoy each other's company.  Because Missouri Yanks can pass a good time at work, even while the entire state of Louisiana enjoys their day off. :)  Happy Mardi Gras y'all!  

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