Get your Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Sauce, Molasses Mustard and Spicy & Sweet BBQ Rub!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Spaghetti & Gravy: Not Your Mom's Red Sauce

by Marit Schroeder

Although Louisiana food is best known for unique flavors, there are more food styles than just Cajun and Creole.

Independence, a little town in Southeast Louisiana, started as an Italian-American community with many families coming from the island of Sicily. Now famous for its Sicilian Heritage Festival every March, the town is still working hard to remember their roots.

My family roots come from Independence, and we do our best to honor our ancestors by cooking. When my great-grandparents wanted to remember where they came from, they got together with other people in town to make a red gravy-- the Sicilian version of red spaghetti sauce. While there’s no significant difference between red gravy and red sauce, most Sicilian Americans will agree that the correct vocab is important!

I had a really fun time talking to my mom and grandmother about our family history and getting involved in the cooking process. I’ve grown up eating spaghetti and gravy around three times a month and it continues to be a big affair that involves friends and family coming over for dinner. Usually when we have family dinners though, it can take an extra push to convince my grandmother and great aunts that we aren’t tired of spaghetti so they will cook it again. 

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Red Gravy
Spaghetti and Meatballs with Red Gravy

Serves 12-18

Red Gravy:
2 medium onions, chopped
2 Tbs. olive oil
4 (12 oz.) cans tomato paste
8 (12 oz.) cans warm water
1 ½ tbsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
3 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. basil (optional)
Dried spaghetti or linguine

2 lb. ground sirloin
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
Garlic powder (optional)
2 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 cup hard breadcrumbs, moistened
½ cups Romano cheese, grated

Gravy: Sauté onions in heavy pot in olive oil. Add tomato paste. Fry mixture at medium temperature for 10-15 minutes. Stir frequently so that the tomato paste does not burn or stick. Add water and mix. Add salt, pepper, sugar and basil. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning after 60 minutes. If sauce is too thick, add water one cup at a time to desired thickness.

Meatballs: Preheat oven to 375. In a large mixing bowl add ground sirloin, eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley. Soak hard bread in water. Squeeze water from bread and separate bread into small fine pieces. Add this and Romano cheese into beef mixture. Shape beef mixture into 18-24 meatballs, which are tacky. Arrange meatballs on a baking pan with a rack. Put in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until all sides are brown. Drain well and add browned meatballs to sauce. Leave sauce and meatballs at simmer for another 30-45 minutes.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Jay D's Bites: Jay D's Pimento Cheese

by Aimee Tortorich

Looking for a great recipe for pimento cheese? Our version of this Southern favorite is a step above the rest. Featuring a nice balance of cheddar and smoked Gouda cheese amped up with Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet BBQ Rub and Jay D’s  Louisiana Molasses Mustard. Perfect on crackers, sandwiches and burgers, minds will be blown at your next gathering.

Jay D's Pimento Cheese:

Jay D's Pimento Cheese featuring Jay D's Spicy & Sweet BBQ Rub and Louisiana Molasses Mustard
Jay D's Pimento Cheese featuring Jay D's Spicy & Sweet BBQ Rub and Louisiana Molasses Mustard

2 Tbsp Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet BBQ Rub
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp molasses mustard
12 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
12 oz Smoked Gouda Cheese, grated
1, 4-oz jar diced pimentos, rinsed

Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and allow to marry flavors for at least 30 minutes.  Enjoy with crackers, veggies, on baked potatoes, grilled cheese or on burgers.  

Thursday, September 15, 2016

TX takes LA: Beignets

by Rachel Hamburger, intern

As a Texas girl that made the “big move” (4 hours) to Baton Rouge to go to LSU, I quickly realized that Cajun culture was no joke. While mourning the loss of all my Tex-Mex faves back in Houston, I had no choice but to fill the void with some Cajun classics.

I had never really tried most of the Louisiana staples like gumbo, jambalaya and boudin, but there is one staple that I was all too familiar with: beignets. Growing up, I was a frequent customer at Crescent City Beignets in Houston. My go-to order was the beignet strips (which I now know is the non-traditional option) with the classic powdered sugar, and not so classic chocolate and vanilla sauce drizzled on top.

The first time I visited Café Du Monde in New Orleans, I was shocked that they only had beignets in square form. I wanted my beignet strips (beignets that basically look like human fingers… kind of creepy.) After trying the classically shaped pastry, I finally understood why that’s the form they’re typically served. The ratio of golden crunchy crust to doughy steamy goodness is perfection. While the beignet strips from Crescent City Beignets will always hold a nostalgic place in my heart, I have a new found appreciation for their classic predecessor.

Experiencing this classic Louisiana treat at the place of all places got me thinking: What is the origin of this heavenly dessert that has somehow camouflaged itself as a breakfast food?

I did a little research and here’s what I found:

French settlers brought the recipe for the beignet when they migrated to a region called Acadia in Eastern Canada in the 17th century. Some believe it was the French Ursuline Nuns in particular.

So, how did the beignet get from Canada all the way down to Louisiana?
A hundred years after the French settled in Acadia, the British took over and forced them to migrate. Many made their way to Louisiana! They became known as the Cajuns, and brought their food and language with them. Beignets are most associated with the French Quarter in New Orleans, but are a tradition all over Louisiana.

How are these hole-less doughnuts on steroids made?
Beignets are choux pastry (a light pastry dough moist enough to puff up with steam, aka no yeast is needed to make them rise). They are prepared fresh to order, or at least should be because they are so much better that way. They take a nice hot bath in vegetable oil, and are fried until they’re golden brown.

Once they come out of the fryer, they are covered in copious amounts of powdered sugar. Beignets are traditionally served with café au laits (hot coffee mixed with steamed milk) and in some parts of Louisiana there’s also chicory mixed in there. I’ll tell y’all all about chicory in my next post. I highly recommend you dipping your beignet in café au lait.

All this talk about beignets got you hungry for them? Here’s a couple places right here in Baton Rouge where you can go grab some today!

Coffee Call: 3132 College Dr, Baton Rouge, LA 70808 (They’re open till 2AM every night!)

Rue Beignet: 18135 E Petroleum Dr, Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Monday, September 12, 2016

Jay D's Bites: Jalapeño Duck Poppers with Barbecue Cream Cheese

by Aimee Tortorich

Looking for a cool way to use Jay D’s Louisiana Barbecue Sauce? Try these jalapeño duck poppers with barbecue cream cheese! The sweetness of the cream cheese with the smokiness of the bacon and heat from the jalapeño is a perfect bite. They're a great appetizer at tailgates and holiday parties.

Jalapeño Duck Poppers with Jay D's Barbecue Glaze:

Yields 10-12 duck poppers

1 duck breast, sliced into ¼” slices (should result in 10-12 slices)
10 fresh jalapeño pepper slices, seeded
3 slices of bacon, sliced into thirds
¼ cup of cream cheese
½ cup of Jay D’s Louisiana Barbecue Sauce, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Lay bacon on sheet pan for 7-8 minutes.  Set aside and cool.

Combine cream cheese with 3 Tbs. of Jay D’s Louisiana Barbecue Sauce and set aside.

To assemble duck poppers, layer one slice of duck on top each piece of bacon.   Spoon a teaspoon of the barbecue cream cheese mixture on each piece of duck and top with a sliced jalapeño.  Roll up and secure with a toothpick. 

Place poppers on a sheet pan and parcook in the oven for 7 minutes.  Heat grill pan on medium high heat and grill for 3-5 minutes, while basting with Jay D’s Louisiana Barbecue Sauce and enjoy!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Beers with Chuck: Tin Roof Bayou Bengal Lager

by Chuck P.

I remember looking on Facebook in 2011 and coming across an article about a newly opened local brewery here in Baton Rouge that was partnering with Louisiana State University to release an officially licensed LSU beer. That brewery was Tin Roof. Those initial plans got put on the shelf and now, five years later, the marriage of Baton Rouge beer and college sports fandom has finally come together. Behold the Bayou Bengal Lager, the first fully branded LSU beer!

Two great Tin Roof tailgating beers: The Bayou Bengal Lager and Gameday IPA
Two great Tin Roof tailgating beers: The Bayou Bengal Lager and Gameday IPA

Timed perfectly to be released the week of LSU’s first home game of the season, this crisp and refreshing lager is something I can see drinking at all of my tailgates this fall.

I picked up a light hint of lemon that faded quickly into a nice smooth finish. The first one I opened was very cold, went down quickly and had me reaching for another one.

The can design is absolutely perfect. Opposing fans wish their school had something this cool. The colors just pop and the tiger logo looks like it’s about to jump off of the can.

You can find six packs and, for Tin Roof’s first time ever, 12 packs at the usual supermarkets and bottle stores around town.

If you really want a fresh taste of the new brew, you can head over to their tap room this Friday to have a few pints at our “Hot Chicken On A Tin Roof” starting at 4pm. Grab a $10 plate of hot chicken and sides and a cold Bayou Bengal for a good cause. 20% of food and beer sales will go to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. The Food Bank lost nearly everything in their inventory in the recent flood and we’d love your help in getting them back on their feet!

You can hear more about the Tin Roof beers that should be filling your tailgate ice chests this season (Bayou Bengal & Gameday IPA) on this Bite and Booze podcast: