The best recipes for a delicious, shrimp-filled Mardi Gras dinner.
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Shrimp-and-Crab Gumbo
Credit: © TINA RUPP

You don't need to catch beads and slurp down Hurricanes to celebrate Mardi Gras (although that's certainly an option). All you need are some big, sweet Gulf shrimp and one of these delicious Cajun recipes.

There are as many recipes for étouffeé as there are cooks who make it, but this one is so easy that it's sure to become an instant classic in your house.

Shrimp Étouffée

Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty with these peel-and-eat shrimp.

For this tangy salad, Laurent Tourondel looked to the Gulf Coast, flavoring shrimp with both a Cajun spice blend and Old Bay, a mix of ground peppers, celery salt and other seasonings popular in the South and mid-Atlantic.

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How do you make creamy grits even better? Fry them in bacon fat.

This gumbo from chef-owner Donald Link of Herbsaint in New Orleans owes its flavor to the roux, a mix of flour and oil that's cooked until it's coffee-colored.

Donald Link: Shrimp-and-Crab Gumbo  

This bar snack is an ingenious combination of two classic fried foods: crisp coconut shrimp and beignets (fritters).

Instead of tossing shrimp with a mayonnaise dressing, Jacon McCullar reinvents the classic New Orleans dish with a ginger-spiked dipping sauce.

Vermouth-Poached Shrimp with Ginger Remoulade
Credit: © Paul Costello