Friday, October 24, 2014

Bite and Booze does College GameDay: A post sponsored by The Home Depot


I'm gearing up for another stellar LSU matchup tomorrow! Ole Miss and ESPN's College GameDay are coming to town and I'm pulling out all the stops for a beautiful day in Baton Rouge. In partnership with The Home Depot, I took to the orange aisles to stock up on tailgate supplies. Bag chairs, charcoal, batteries, water, you name it: they've got what you need for a pre-kickoff shindig. I snagged a few sets of tongs and plenty of other barbecuing essentials like a kid in a candy store.

Jay Ducote: a serious shopper.
Jay Ducote: a serious shopper.

In addition to throwing a happening tailgate party with all of my new gear, I'll be bringing you guys an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at College GameDay! Make sure you're following Bite and Booze on Twitter and Instagram (@biteandbooze) and like us on Facebook so you won't miss a thing. See you out there, Tigers!

Team Bite and Booze is ready to roll for College GameDay! Thanks, Home Depot!
Team Bite and Booze is ready to roll for College GameDay! Thanks, Home Depot!

I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in this coverage of College GameDay. As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Celebrity Waiters to Light Up the Night for Red Stick Revelry!

In less than a week, on Wednesday, October 29th, I'll be taking my turn as a "Celebrity Waiter" at Stroubes as Red Stick Revelry works to raise some funds for this year's New Year's Ever Fireworks Show! I'll be partnered up with one of their waiters to serve the guests that are dining that evening. Call Stroubes (225-448-2830) now to make your reservations and request to be in my section. Mayor Kip Holden will serve as the Maitre D' of the night and Paul Arrigo from Visit Baton Rouge will emcee the festivities. There will be two seatings at 6:30 and 8 PM. I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hummingbird Walks into a Whiskey Bar: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Lock & Key

Hummingbird Walks into a Whiskey Bar
Hummingbird Walks into a Whiskey Bar

On a recent trip to the Lock & Key Whiskey Bar I pondered over the new cocktails which they had come up with since my previous visit. Arthur, one of the partners in the bar, suggested the Hummingbird Walks into a Whiskey Bar ($13). Curious just from the name, I queried him about the origins of the cocktail. A hummingbird is a mixture of St. Germain and Champagne, presenting a fruity, floral, and effervescent mixed drink, but not one that I'd really ever want to order. Lock & Key's version added Glenlivet 12 year, a very well rounded single malt Scotch, as well as some orange bitters. I took a sip and then another. The flavors melded together like the colors in a sunset over the sea. Balanced and refreshing, the drink had delicate flavors which opened up more on the way down. I tasted sweet peach making way for bitter citrus. The Hummingbird Walks into a Whiskey Bar comes in a coupe glass garnished with orange peel. Next time you're in Lock & Key, give it a try!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Barbecue Bites: Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Chili

Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Chili
Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Chili

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, Jay D's is a super versatile barbecue sauce. It is, in every sense of the word, gourmet. 18 different ingredients come together to make the stuff chili dreams are made of.

Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Chili
Makes 6-8 servings

2 lb. lean ground beef
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 cup Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Sauce
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 (28 oz.) cans crushed or diced tomatoes
2 1/2 cups, kidney beans, soaked overnight
1 (7 oz.) can chipotle salsa
2 cups, water

In a large sauce pot, season the ground meat with cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper, and brown with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once browned, remove meat from saucepot and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and saute garlic, bell peppers, and onions until soft. Add ground meat back to the sauce pot and add tomatoes, kidney beans, barbecue sauce, salsa, and water and simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Stir often to prevent sticking on bottom of saucepot. If chili becomes too thick, add a half cup of water at a time and let reduce until beans are soft.  

Friday, October 17, 2014

Lodge Cast Iron Nation: Marty Nation Short Ribs and a Giveaway!

Prepping veggies for the Marty Nation Short Ribs
Prepping veggies for the Marty Nation Short Ribs

If you know me, you know I'm a huge fan of cooking but I'm not a fan of the clean up that comes afterwards. This is one of the main reasons I love cooking with cast iron. A quick scrub and a rinse and you're on your way to making something delicious! Lodge Cast Iron has a new cookbook out by the name of Cast Iron Nation. It's a super comprehensive collection of gorgeous recipes from soups and desserts to main events and sides all made with an array of Lodge Cast Iron products.

****You have a chance to win a 12-inch lodge skillet and the Cast Iron Nation cookbook from right here on Bite and Booze - details at the bottom of the post****

Flipping though the Cast Iron Nation cookbook, I noticed a pretty intense recipe for beef short ribs. I happened to have some delicious grass fed beef short ribs from Indie Plate in my refrigerator and my trusty Lodge Cast Iron Dutch oven, so I decided to try out Marty Nation's Short Ribs (pg.144). Indie Plate is such a great resource for Baton Rouge. Put simply, they connect farmers to consumers through an online farm-to-table grocery delivery service.

Marty Nation's Short Ribs from the  Lodge Cast Iron Nation Cookbook
Marty Nation's Short Ribs from the
Lodge Cast Iron Nation Cookbook

While this recipe is a bit time consuming, it comes out very much like a traditional beef stew, and the local, fresh beef really put this dish over the top. I wanted something creamy to go along with the bold flavors of the short ribs, so I also served up an easy whipped cauliflower dish.

Marty Nation's Short Ribs
Serves 4-6

5 lbs beef short ribs, cut into 2.5" lengths
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. canola or other vegetable oil that can withstand high temperature
1 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup chopped carrots
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup hearty red wine
1 1/2 cup beef stock
6 medium russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and halved
3-4 medium yellow onions, quartered
4 large carrots cut in to 1.5" pieces
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 2" lengths
1 cup green peas
  1. Preheat the oven to 375º.
  2. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the oil in a Lodge 7 quart cast iron Dutch oven over high heat until very hot. In batches, add the short ribs in a single layer, and sear until golden brown on both sides. Remove the ribs from the pan, and pour off and discard all but 2 tablespoons of fat.
  3. Add the chopped onions, carrots and celery to the Dutch oven, and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until tender and translucent, 15-20 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir, and reduce until darkened, about 4 minutes. Add the flour, and stir until fully combined with the vegetable mixture; cook another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Add the wine, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Reduce the wine over medium heat by three-quarters, then add the short ribs, pour the stock over the ribs, and simmer over low heat until the liquid is reduced again by three-quarters, about another 15 minutes. Place in the oven, and roast, uncovered, until the short ribs seem to be about 80% done, 1-1 1/2 hours. Add the potatoes, quartered onions, and carrot pieces to the pot. Return to the oven, uncovered, and cook until the vegetables and short ribs are tender. Add the green beans and peas, and cook until they are tender, another 5-10 minutes.
  5. Remove the pot from the oven. Transfer the meat (which should be so tender that it's falling off the bone) to the center of a large platter, and surround it with the vegetables. If the sauce seems too thin, reduce it over high heat on top of the stove. Another way to thicken it would be to purée the chopped vegetable in it using an immersion blender. Pour some of the reduced sauce over the mean on the platter and serve the remainder in a pitcher at the table for anyone who desires extra sauce. 

Whipped Cauliflower
Serves 4

1 head of cauliflower
2 tbsp. half and half or heavy cream
1 tbsp. butter
2 sharp cheese
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of Herbs de Provence

  1. Clean and trim the cauliflower, breaking it into medium sized pieces. 
  2. Place in a microwave safe bowl with 2 tbsp. of cream and 1 tbsp. of butter. 
  3. Microwave, uncovered, on high for six minutes. Stir to coat cauliflower with cream/butter mixture. Microwave for another six minutes on high. 
  4. Remove from the microwave and put into a high speed blender or food processor along with the cheese. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can adjust the cream and butter to your preference.

Marty Nation's Short Ribs and Whipped Cauliflower
Marty Nation's Short Ribs and Whipped Cauliflower

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