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Monday, December 5, 2016

Jay D's Bites: Smoky, Roasted Veggies

by Aimee Tortorich


We always try to show the versatility of the Jay Ducote line of products. Jay Ducote’s Spicy & Sweet Rub, which was released earlier this year, has been a favorite among customers and it is a favorite of mine in the kitchen. Not only can it be used with any grilled meats, it adds a nice balance and spice for vegetables as well. The salt content is very low, but it is packed with flavor for those looking for a low sodium seasoning blend. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!



Smoky, Roasted Veggies
Tri-colored carrots and Brussels sprouts roasted with Jay D's Spicy & Sweet Rub
Tri-colored carrots and Brussels sprouts roasted with Jay D's Spicy & Sweet Rub



Yields 6 servings

12 carrots, sliced
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, cut in half
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet Rub

Preheat oven to 425º.

Toss vegetables in olive oil and Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet BBQ Rub. Between three sheet pans or working in batches, pour the vegetables on sheet pan, leaving room for even roasting (and prevent steaming). Roast for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

TX takes LA: Boudin

by Rachel Hamburger, intern

In this installment of TX takes LA, I’m talking about BOUDIN!!! Boudin is something that always intimidated me growing up. I remember hearing a rumor when I was a kid that there were bugs in it… After that I always steered clear.

Beautiful, Bodacious Boudin. Photo Credit: Iverstine Butcher
Beautiful, Bodacious Boudin. Photo Credit: Iverstine Butcher


Once I got to Louisiana, boudin was around me more than ever. It seems like every restaurant here has boudin balls on their menu. Whenever I was with people who ordered them, I never tried them because I was scared of what actually made up “boudin”.

When I let it slip to the rest of the Bite and Booze team that I’d never tried boudin, all their mouths dropped to the floor. It was decided very quickly that I must try boudin. Chuck brought back a box of Tony’s Seafood boudin balls to the office the next week, and I finally got to try boudin.

While boudin balls aren’t boudin in its purest form, it still gave me a chance to try it and the fried version lessened the anxiety of what it was actually made of. I am very finicky about meats, (I even had a brief vegetarian phase for six months last year.) Not finicky about how they taste, but the thought of eating liver and things like that makes me squeamish. As long as I don’t know it’s there, I have no problem; it’s all in my head.


So what is boudin exactly?


It’s typically a mix of pork, rice, onions, green peppers, and seasonings. The Acadians brought boudin to Louisiana from Nova Scotia, although the traditional French “boudin blanc” is much different than the Cajun boudin most know today.

French boudin blanc is made with pork, chicken and/or veal, mixed with milk, cognac and spices; no rice, onions or peppers present. The recipe eventually adapted to the Cajun boudin we know today because the newly migrated Acadians had to be inventive to survive in their new home in Louisiana, and that meant making use of all resources.

They found that you could use many different parts of a hog in sausage, so along came the new form of boudin.



Where did the rice come in?


At the end of the nineteenth century, large-scale rice production began and rice was added to boudin for flavor and filler. There are two types of Cajun boudin: red and white. White is what most are familiar with, the mix of pork, rice, etc., and is pretty much all that is still available today.

Red boudin (blood boudin) is essentially the same as white boudin, but also has a large amount of hogs blood mixed in with it.

All in all, we have the French Acadians to thank for the Cajun boudin many know and love. Their crafty survival skills led to the modern delicacy that is boudin. Personally, now that I’ve tried it, I do think boudin is delicious. Although knowing that some interesting parts of the pig may be used in it does weird me out a lil bit.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Jay D's Bites: Blackened Shrimp with Corn Grits

by Jay Ducote

Shrimp and grits is a quintessential southern dish, so much so that it's hard to avoid it when dining around the Gulf or Atlantic coastlines. In Louisiana we take our shrimp and grits very seriously, but there's no right or wrong way to tackle the dish. A classic New Orleans barbeque shrimp recipe with spiced butter smothering the grits is something to salivate over.

I like to use my Jay D's Spicy & Sweet Barbecue Rub as a blackening seasoning on shrimp as well. The rub adds a nice layer of sweet heat, and the blackening process develops some nice char and smoky flavors. Serve the tasty shrimp over some creamy, buttery grits and you've got a great combination of southern flavors! I used this recipe at the James Beard Foundation's Taste America Event and it impressed all the spectators. Feel free to use it for your gatherings as well.


Blackened Shrimp with Corn Grits


A tasting of my Blackened Shrimp with Corn Grits at the James Beard Foundation's Taste of American event.
A tasting of my Blackened Shrimp with Corn Grits at the James Beard Foundation's Taste of American event.

Serves 8-10 entree portions or around 70 tasting portions

4 cups chicken stock
4 cups whole milk
2 cups stone-ground yellow grits
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
4 oz. unsalted butter
3 lbs peeled and deveined gulf shrimp (21/25 ct)
6 Tbs. Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet Barbecue Rub
1/4 cup canola oil
1 bunch scallions, chopped


In a large Dutch oven, bring the chicken stock, milk, and a pinch of salt up to a boil.

Whisk in the grits and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally for approximately 30 minutes. Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Season the shrimp with Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet Rub. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the canola oil to medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook the shrimp for about 2 minutes per side, or until they’re opaque in the center. Serve the shrimp over the grits and garnish with the chopped scallions.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Jay D's Bites: Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes

by Aimee Tortorich

It’s officially chili season and we love this chili that uses sweet potatoes and black beans! Use your leftover Thanksgiving turkey for a quick and healthy edition of this cozy favorite. A little heat and smokiness from the rub is the perfect touch to give this dish a unique flavor.

Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans




Yield 4-6 servings
1 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper
2 jalapeños
1 ½ lbs shredded turkey, cooked
1 Tbs cumin
1 tsp oregano
2 Tbs chili powder
2 Tbs Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet Rub
1 ½ lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (not drained)
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 quart of chicken stock

Heat a medium pot on medium heat and saute onions, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapenos in olive oil for 3-5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cumin, oregano, barbecue rub, and chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are almost tender. Stir in shredded turkey and black beans and simmer for another 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  

Monday, November 21, 2016

Meat, Smoke and Freedom: A Taste of the Red, White & Que Food Truck

by Chuck P

Back in 2010 it was hard not to find a food truck rolling around the streets of Baton Rouge. These weren’t the old run down, dirty and dingy trucks that once operated everywhere that were affectionately given the title of “roach coaches”. These were clean and well equipped vehicles with names like Taco De Paco, Fleur de Licious, Dolce Vida, Three Bones Catering and by far the most popular food truck, Curbside Burgers.

From lunch pop-ups downtown and Friday night round-ups at Tin Roof to just parking at the entrance of an LSU apartment complex, people were scouring social media trying to find out where their next pit stop would be. The food truck scene thrived...until it didn’t.

In a few short years...it was over.

Taco De Paco changed owners and never seemed to recover. The Dolce Vida pizza trailer was destroyed by a drunk driver and the owner left to open a brick and mortar in New Orleans. Nick Huft, owner of Curbside, also ventured to New Orleans to help open and run the kitchen at Barcadia. Without the powerful following that came with those trucks at events and a lack of organization, the once popping food truck scene had come to a dead stop.

Although there aren’t as many food trucks as long ago, there are a few that still fight the good fight in trying to bring their dishes to the masses. Gone are the food truck round-ups. Nowadays, these trucks can be mostly found at special events like Live After Five or The Baton Rouge Blues Festival or catering private parties. One of the newest trucks in particular I found parked right outside of Brickyard South located right across from the 13th Gate and that is the Red, White & Que truck operated by Kyle Rome.

Kyle’s passion for food started at the early age of 5 when he would stand next to his grandmother in the kitchen. She would let him help with adding ingredients and stirring the stews simmering in her giant cast iron pots. After high school he attended college but soon realized that his mind was on culinary creation and not collegiate studies.

Road House Mac: Pulled Pork, BBQ Sauce and Cracklin' Crumbles
Road House Mac: Pulled Pork, BBQ Sauce and Cracklin' Crumbles


He travelled the south for a while working in different kitchens whenever he could before eventually bringing the skills he learned back home. He created his own dry crawfish boil mix and bought his own trailer to boil crawfish for private parties and company events. Now, after taking a couple of years off from cooking, Kyle decided it was time to return to his true passion. He partnered with his friend Conley Pellerin and his girlfriend Brittany Moreau and the Red, White and Que food truck was born.

Kyle and his team are serving up some really tasty dishes like the Road House Mac with pulled pork, their house BBQ sauce and cracklin’ crumbles, a pork and mac n’ cheese quesadilla, and some really solid tacos such as the Chuck Norris featuring pork and pineapple chutney. The menu also includes nachos, burgers, gumbo and a salad to ensure there’s something here for everyone. 

The Chuck Norris Taco: Pulled Pork, Red Onion and Pineapple Chutney
The Chuck Norris Taco: Pulled Pork, Red Onion and Pineapple Chutney


Make sure to follow them on Facebook to find out which Baton Rouge event or late night dive bar they’ll be parked it. Morning, noon or night there’s never a wrong time to support the Red, White and Que.