Celebrating Mardi Gras and Louisiana Cooking

With Mardi Gras festivities and parades cranking up today, Friday,  Feb. 28, I thought we would celebrate Mardi Gras and Louisiana cooking, (pronounced LOO-zee-an-uh with the accent on LOO as per Tony Joe White’s song   “Polk Salad Annie”.

“Down in Loosiana Where the alligators grow so mean There lived a girl that I swear to the world Made the alligators look tame

Polk Salad Annie “

In a previous Tailgating On The Bayou post,  I watched many LSU fans cooking up Gator Tail, Louisiana style.

This fan stirred a pot of Gator Picadillo, a Cuban/Spanish comfort food, usually including raisins and green olives.

Gator tail Picadillo stirred in a big pot LSU tailgating photo by Kathy Miller

After testing several recipes from some of my favorite cookbooks,  “River Road Recipes IV”  from the Jr. League of Baton Rouge and The Columbia Restaurant Spanish Cookbook , I devised this recipe.


Picadillo Recipe, Cuban/Spanish comfort food photo by Kathy Miller

Louisiana Picadillo ingredients tomato sauce, green olives chopped tomatoes, dried cranberries and capers...and your favorite hot sauce photo by Kathy Miller

Louisianan Picadillo with rice photo by Kathy Miller

 I add Louisiana Hot Sauce.  Or choose your favorite one from the state you love!   I love Tennessee Sunshine Hot Sauce.

Favorite Hot Sauces, Tabasco, Louisiana Hot Sauce, Tennessee Sunshine, Crystal, Texas Pete photo by Kathy Miller

Another tailgating favorite is the hammie or slider; that famous ham, swiss cheese, and poppy seed sandwich.  I always change up the ingredients, based on the schools playing each other.  I like to use local ingredients or food indigenous to the area.

In honor of Mardi Gras and LSU I created a Muffuletta slider.  This one is very similar to my Cuban slider.  The difference is in the olive salad verses pickles.

Muffuletta Sliders with olive salad photo by Kathy Miller


  • 12 Hawaiian rolls
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 pound ham, sliced
  • 1/2 pound Genoa salami, sliced
  • 1/2 pound Swiss cheese, sliced
  • 1/2 pound Provolone cheese, sliced
  • 6 tablespoons of your favorite olive salad (like Central Grocery's olive salad)

Homemade Olive Spread

If you prefer to make your own...
  • 1/2 cup giardinera mix (Italian pickled vegetables usually including cauliflower, celery and carrots
  • 1/4 cup black olives
  • 1/2 cup green olives
  • 1 T. dijon mustard
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T red wine vinegar


  1. Slice the rolls in half. Brush with olive oil.
  2. Tear or cut slices to fit the rolls and layer starting with the ham, salami, Swiss cheese, and Provolone cheese.
  3. Top with the olive salad. Replace roll tops. Top each slider with a little melted butter.
  4. Wrap in foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.


These can also be served cold as is the original sandwich. If you would like to try making your own olive salad the above recipe adapted from A Fork's Tale.  

By KathyMillerTime
Home made Olive Salad from A Fork's Tale


Recipe Printed from www.kathymillertime.com

Picadillo & Muffuletta Sliders ala New Orleans photo by Kathy Miller

In New Orleans, the parades will be happening.  The food will be delicious.  The spirits will be flowing as The Carnival Season moves towards Fat Tuesday.  The Day before Ash Wednesday.New Orleans Band Mardis Gras photo by Kathy Miller

Wedding Celebration New Orleans with band, marching down the street photo by Kathy Miller

Old Absinthe Bar in New Orleans photo by Kathy Miller

Louisiana, Florida and Gators.  Polk Salad Annie! My favorite song.  The absolute best lyrics..Please listen to the song and think of me…and Laura…(1:50 mark)

Gator got your Granny, Chomp, Chomp, Chomp!

Watch for upcoming stories from my tailgating travels.  I welcome your comments, recipes and any inside information on your favorite tailgating spots.

Come celebrate with me.  I’ll save you a seat at the table.

1 Comment

  • sec1fan says:

    I had several comments from friends about the Picadillo. They did not like the flavor from marinating the beef with the lemon and wine. I agree! It has been deleted from the recipe! Thank you always for commenting.

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