Grab your tickets for The Taste benefiting the Mary Bird Perkins Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center

Check out all of Jay Ducote's products at the online store with free shipping on orders over $50!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Corks & Cleaver Shows Off on the Mississippi Gulf Coast

by Jay Ducote


Chef David Dickensauge used to be a fixture in the Baton Rouge food scene, running the kitchen at Bin 77 with a creative and ever-changing menu as well as participating in numerous charity events by serving up inspired dishes to the crowds. When I got word that he'd be leaving Bin 77 to head to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I knew it would be the capital city's loss and the coast's gain. 

I recently got a chance to check out his first restaurant in Gulfport, MS, Corks & Cleaver. With only a quick glance of the menu, you can evidently see his flair and flavor profile. A friend and I decided to feast on a sampling of small plates along with a bottle of wine, after all, corks is in the name. 

Coffee Braised Veal Cheeks
Coffee Braised Veal Cheeks, Truffled Popcorn Grits, Fermented Greens, Sweet Corn Pudding, Parsnip Volutte

Tender, and packed with flavor, the coffee braised veal cheeks fell apart at the prodding of a fork. That bitterness of the coffee offset the sweetness of the corn while the dish got an acidic bite from the fermented greens. The only thing I would have liked to add to this dish would be a crunch textural element. The grits, greens, corn pudding and veal all had a soft and smooth texture and could have used a snap but the flavors were on point.


Creole Devils on Horseback: Bacon wrapped Boudin and Andouille stuffed Medjool Dates with Piquillo-Tomato Sauce
Creole Devils on Horseback: Bacon wrapped Boudin and Andouille stuffed Medjool Dates with Piquillo-Tomato Sauce

A staple of Chef Dickensauge's arsenal is the Creole Devils on Horseback. He's made these before, he'll make them again and I'll be happy to eat them every time. Boudin and andouille get stuffed in a sweet Medjool date, then all of that is wrapped in bacon and plated atop a piquillo pepper and tomato sauce. The dish is smoky, porky, sweet, spicy and tangy. I need more.


Duck Confit Beignets, Bok Choy Kimchi, Smoked Date Marmalade, Cayenne Powdered Sugar
Duck Confit Beignets, Bok Choy Kimchi, Smoked Date Marmalade, Cayenne Powdered Sugar

We opted for the duck confit beignets as our final small plate, because duck. These crispy, fluffy orbs of fried dough came stuffed with savory duck confit and bok choy kimchi. It's an interesting flavor combination to be sure, but one that works on multiple levels. The tartness from kimchi is just enough to counter the richness from the duck and dough, while the cayenne powdered sugar left just the right amount of sweet and spice.


David Dickensauge's Tres Leches Cake with Blueberries and Blackberries
David Dickensauge's Tres Leches Cake with Blueberries and Blackberries

We had to have something for dessert and our server suggested the tres leches cake. I'm not normally a fan of tres leches as sometimes the textures just don't agree with me, but we were assured that this tres leches cake would live up to the hype.

Earlier this year I had hands down the best panna cotta of my life, and now I can also say that this year I've tried my favorite tres leches cake ever. What Chef David Dickensauge and his team really nailed is the texture. Instead of being a soggy mess, the moist cake held up to the milk and the flavors hit all the right notes.

Hopefully I'll get a chance to get back to Corks & Cleaver at some point. I'm also really excited about Chef David's new seafood restaurant, Brackish. Check it out if you're ever on the Mississippi Gulf Coast!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Jay D's Bites: Smoked CreoleTomato Soup

by Blair Loup

This is not a drill! Chef Aimee Tortorich has concocted the most delicious tomato soup to have ever graced my taste buds. Still processing the loss of the spicy tomato soup at Chelsea's, I have finally found a stand in.

It's spicy, it's smokey and it's everything your grilled cheese sandwich is looking for. If you've got some wood chips and a grill or smoker followed by a few pulses of a blender you're in business! You could also turn your stove top into a smoker if you really wanted. All of these beautiful ingredients can be purchased and sources locally through Indie Plate, a local farm-to doorstep delivery service. Get to ordering and get your soup on!

Smoked Creole Tomato Soup:


Smoked Creole Tomato Soup garnished with Purple Basil
Smoked Creole Tomato Soup garnished with Purple Basil

Serves 4-6

2 lbs whole Creole tomatoes
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp purple basil, chopped
Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet BBQ Rub to taste
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Light the smoker and adjust temperature to 250F. Season whole tomatoes with one tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Smoke until soft (about 30-40 minutes). While tomatoes are smoking, chop onions and garlic. Sauté in olive oil until soft. Season with red pepper flakes, Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet BBQ Rub and dried oregano. Add tomatoes with seasonings and simmer for 15 minutes. Purée in a blender until soft. Finish with purple basil.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Jay D's Bites: Barbecue Bloody Mary

by Blair Loup

I fell in love with Blood Marys at an early age. I wasn't drinking them, but I was helping my dad make the mix. It amazed me at how we could take hum drum bottle of V8 and build this monument of complex flavors. To this day, the taste of a Blood Mary takes me back to simpler times, but just like everything else, our Bloody Marys have changed.

You can buy incredible Bloody Mary mixes on grocery store shelves all around you. They've got all of the levels of flavors that I used to meticulously develop with my dad on our back porch, but what they don't have is Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Sauce. That's right. It's 2016 and we're putting barbecue sauce in our Bloody Mary mixes.

Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Bloody Mary:


Bloody Mary made with Louisiana Sisters Bloody Mary Mix, Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Sauce and Oryza Vodka
Bloody Mary made with Louisiana Sisters Bloody Mary Mix, Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Sauce and Oryza Vodka


Serves 1

6 oz. LA sisters Bloody Mary Mix
2 oz. Oryza Vodka
2 Tbsp Jay D’s Louisiana Barbecue Sauce
Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet BBQ Rub to rim glass

Put Bloody Mary Mix, Vodka and Barbecue Sauce in a tumbler full of ice and shake. Pour into a glass rimmed with Jay D’s BBQ Rub. Garnish with celery, olives, pickled okra and spicy beans. Enjoy!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Tailgate on 12th: Jay Ducote's Tailgate-Inspired James Beard Menu is Heading to the Big Apple

by Blair Loup

It's happening! Team Bite and Booze has officially hit the pavement in the wee morning hours and are on our way to the Big Apple to serve up a tailgating-inspired menu at the James Beard House.

It's taken several months of planning and practicing, but after our preview dinner hosted by the Louisiana Culinary Institute last Friday, I am confident that those who bought tickets to our New York dinner are in for an amazing feast.

Friday night's preview dinner went incredibly smooth. That can be credited, in part, to our amazing team:  Chef Aimee Tortorich, Chef Eusebio Gongora, Chef Shelly Flash, Chuck P and our ever eager intern Drew Broussard, but we could not have pulled it off without the help from the Louisiana Culinary Institute's students, chef instructors and administrative staff who volunteered their time.

I'm happy to say that we had over 100 guests in attendance! We cannot thank those supporters enough. Time and time again, no matter what new venture Jay steers us toward, you're always there to cheer us on and each member of our team appreciates it.


Passed Hors d'Oeuvres:


Red Bean & Rice Balls topped with Jay D's Barbecue Aiolï and Pickled Red Onions
Red Bean & Rice Balls topped with Jay D's Barbecue Aiolï and Pickled Red Onions



Bacon-Wrapped Duck Breast stuffed with Creole Cream Cheese and Jalapeño
Bacon-Wrapped Duck Breast stuffed with Creole Cream Cheese and Jalapeño



Jay D's Molasses Mustard Deviled Egg topped with Pickled Shrimp, Pickled Mustard Seeds and Serrano
Jay D's Molasses Mustard Deviled Egg topped with Pickled Shrimp, Pickled Mustard Seeds and Serrano


Sweet Potato Chips tossed in Jay D's Spicy & Sweet BBQ Rub topped with Iverstine Family Farms Pork Belly and Blackberry Bourbon Jam
Sweet Potato Chips tossed in Jay D's Spicy & Sweet BBQ Rub topped with Iverstine Family Farms Pork Belly and Blackberry Bourbon Jam



Seated:



Quail and Andouille Gumbo over Louisiana Rice
Quail and Andouille Gumbo over Louisiana Rice


Crawfish Etoufée smothered Fried Catfish with Stone-Ground Grits and Mustard Greens
Crawfish Etoufée smothered Fried Catfish with Stone-Ground Grits and Mustard Greens


Blackened Red Snapper with Cajun Tasso Corn Macquechoux and Jalapeño Relish
Blackened Red Snapper with Cajun Tasso Corn Macquechoux and Jalapeño Relish


Venison Tenderloin with Chimichurri and Okra 3 Ways (stewed, pickled and fried)
Venison Tenderloin with Chimichurri and Okra 3 Ways (stewed, pickled and fried)



Jay's Granny's famous Cinnamon Pecan Rolls
Jay's Granny's famous Cinnamon Pecan Rolls



Thanks so much to all of our sponsors for this James Beard Foundation journey:




Additionally, we'd like to thank Indie Plate, Slap Ya Mama, Swamp Pop, Tony's Seafood, the Louisiana Culinary Institute, Caféciteaux, Jay D's and Red Stick Spice Company. We have intentionally incorporated products from these local companies and constantly rely on their help and the support from those who have sponsored our journey, ingredients and beverages for Jay's Tailgate on 12th James Beard Dinner.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sitting Fat and Happy: A Trip to Fat Cow

by Drew Broussard

After a crazy weekend including preview dinners for the James Beard House and viewing parties for Deep Fried America, team Bite and Booze decided that it was high time to for a "treat yo self" lunch filled with one of our favorite foods: burgers!





Following a little bit of deliberation, we decided that we would take our hungry stomachs over to Fat Cow on Highland Road in order to indulge on our beefy cravings. When I walked into Fat Cow, I couldn’t help but be impressed by their huge selection of burgers and burger styles. First off, you can choose a beef, chicken, mushroom, or salmon patty to be the base of your burger. Secondly, the sheer amount of specialty toppings and combinations you can top off your burger with is deliciously staggering. All in all, there are hundreds of flavor combinations that you could come up with.

Fat Cow on Highland Road.
Fat Cow on Highland Road.

While a good sandwich is the fundamental pillar for a burger joint, it always helps to be supported by some tasty side items. So, for the sake of food research, we got an order of parmesan duck fat fries, onion straws, and a “Banana Stand,” shake (Arrested Development, anyone?) to go with our meals.

Onion Straws go great on or with your burger!
Onion Straws go great on or with your burger!

When we got our food, we wasted little time enjoying our burgers’ juicy goodness. My Baja Burger was topped with pepper jack, salsa, avocado, banana peppers, lettuce and a smoked poblano pepper sour cream. The toppings were light and fresh enough to be perfect compliments to the patty. The acidity from the peppers really stood out, and my mouth was never scorched thanks to the sour cream spread. It's a great summertime burger.

Baja Burger is the perfect summertime grub.
Baja Burger is the perfect summertime grub.

Jay’s Wentworth burger took on a completely different flavor profile. His patty was topped with ham, brie, apples and a red onion marmalade. Those are some bold flavors to put on a burger, but the risk seemed to pay off. The melted brie and the sweetness of the apple made this burger so unique that you’d be hard pressed to find something similar to it in the area.

The Wentworth Burger will take you from the Mississippi to the Seine.
The Wentworth Burger will take you from the Mississippi to the Seine.

Chuck P., our Product Czar and Saucer of Sales, enjoyed the 120 Burger. This sandwich was strong with flavors, as it had gruyere, bacon, caramelized onions and a horseradish mayonnaise. Chuck seemed to really dig the mayo because it packed a punch! Combining that flavor with the gruyere helped transport this burger to the specialty category.

The 120 Burger brings it with Horseradish Mayo.
The 120 Burger brings it with Horseradish Mayo.

While all of these sandwiches have been pretty adventurous in the toppings department, Fat Cow still delivered with a classic burger staple. Chef Aimee Tortorich got a Smoke Stack Burger that she said nailed all of the key components. It had a good barbecue sauce, succulent bacon and crispy fried onions that did a great job of adding texture.

And while we all chowed down on the greasy goodness that was in front of us, Blair, our Chief Confusion Coordinator, took the lighter route as she enjoyed the Catahoula Cobb salad with grilled salmon on top. This is a bleu cheese-lovers dream, having both crumbles and a vinaigrette with bleu mixed in. Blair made note of how well the salmon was cooked, and that all of the flavors really complimented each other.

The Catahoula Cobb with Grilled Salmon is a bleu cheese lover's dream.
The Catahoula Cobb with Grilled Salmon is a bleu cheese lover's dream.

And of course we didn't forget about those sides! Fat Cow’s renowned duck fat and Parmesan fries did not disappoint. They were cheesy, savory, and just crispy enough. These guys were truly some top-notch fries. I'm getting hungry again just thinking about them. The onion straws were a great side as well. I found them incredibly addicting, as they were so thinly cut that you could keep on eating away at them. They were also a great little additional topping to my burger. The Banana Stand shake was another hit. While I didn't have much room left to sample a milkshake, Jay took the sacrifice and said that it was a solid summer dessert. It's hard to go wrong with a chocolate, cream and banana trifecta.

Parmesan Duck Fat Fries, need we say more?
Parmesan Duck Fat Fries, need we say more?






























It didn't take long for the fries became sparse, the sips turned slurps and we were reaching the end of our lunchtime burger-fest. After a few moments of silent digestion reflection, we all came away incredibly satisfied.

Regardless of toppings, we all commended the beef patty we had on our burgers. It was very juicy and had a steak like flavor that isn't present in your average burger. We also gave a nod to the bun, which we found to be slightly sweet and buttery enough to keep the sandwich from ever drying out. It might take about a week before I feel the rumbling pangs of hunger in my stomach, but I know that it won’t be long before I return to Fat Cow.

One more for good measure!
One more for good measure!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Jay D's Bites: Smoked Sweet Corn with BBQ Rub Butter

by Blair Loup

You know the feeling when you see a beautiful ear of corn, and you've just got to have it? Local farm-to-table grocery delivery service Indie Plate has produce from farms around the Baton Rouge area that's a feast for the eyes and your belly.

I spotted this corn scrolling through their online produce section and our friend Chef Aimee Tortorich came up with this perfectly summertime dish:

Smoked Sweet Corn with Jay D's Spicy & Sweet BBQ Rub Butter:





Serves 2

Smoked Sweet Corn:

2 Ears of Sweet Corn
1 Tbsp Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet BBQ Rub compound butter (see recipe below)
2 Tbsp queso fresco or feta cheese

Place whole corn in the husks on a grill or smoker (or in the oven) at 275 F for about one hour, or until soft. Remove the husks and silk from the corn. Finish by rubbing the corn with the BBQ compound butter and sprinkling on the crumbly cheese.


Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet BBQ Rub compound Butter:

1 cup softened unsalted butter
1 Tbsp Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet BBQ Rub

In a small mixing bowl, mix softened butter and Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet BBQ Rub until incorporated. Remove butter from bowl and spoon onto parchment paper or plastic wrap. Roll into log and chill for 2 hours before serving.

Friday, July 8, 2016

30a is Feeling the Louisiana Spirit

Donner-Peltier Distillery in Thibideaux can now be found in cocktails up and down the Florida Panhandle! Boasting a line of three different Rouxgarou Rums, Oryza Gin and Vodka and LA1 Whiskey, DPD now has boots on the ground on 30a.

VP of Sales, Johnny Culpepper formed a strong collaboration with Havana Beach Bar & Grill's Corey Jernigan to create a cocktail made for sipping with your toes in the sand: Summer on 30a. When Corey isn't working his magic as Head Bartender in The Pearl Hotel's eatery in Rosemary Beach, FL, he's preaching the gospel of sweet Louisiana sugarcane.

Check out the recipe and let us know if this beach worthy cocktail has your vote:



Ingredients:

· 2 oz. Oryza Gin, or Oryza Vodka

· 1 oz. Fresh-squeezed lemon juice

· .75 oz. Basil infused cane syrup

· .25 oz. Giffard's Vanille du Madagascar

· .25 oz. Elderflower liqueur

· 2-3 Small watermelon cubes

· 2-3 Slices of seedless English cucumber

Preparation:

Combine everything except the spirits, and gently muddle ingredients. Next, add spirits and shake vigorously. Double strain over crushed ice, garnish with a sliced watermelon rind.


Donner Peltier is a locally-sourced, micro-distiller. Located in the heart of Louisiana’s sugar cane country, where it is the only distiller in the world to make vodka from long-grain rice; and rum from Louisiana sugarcane.

Their brands of Rougaroux® rums, Oryza® vodka and gin, and their latest addition, LA1® Whiskey, are handcrafted in small batches using grains and sugar cane harvested from local farms. Remarkably, in the few short years Donner Peltier has been in existence, their spirits have won numerous awards and genuine admiration throughout the region; and enjoy ever-increasing demand.

To learn more about Donner-Peltier Distillers (DPD) & Rougaroux Rum, Oryza Vodka, Oryza Gin, & LA1 Whiskey. Please visit: www.dpdspirits.com

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Five Reasons We Crossed the Road to Celebrate Fried Chicken Day

by Drew Broussard

Let's be honest, given the time, we could come up with an infinite number of reasons to celebrate National Fried Chicken Day. After some deliberation, we rounded up our top five reasons to put on those aprons and get our yardbird on:

1. You can eat it all day



Fried chicken can be eaten at any time of the day. Don't believe me? Let’s start with chicken and syrup (with waffles or pancakes), a southern breakfast staple. The saltiness and spice of the battered chicken compliments those syrupy delights in a way that is stomach-lining and soul-pleasing.

Come lunch time, the chicken sandwich stakes its claim as another mainstay. The golden brown bird sits comfortably between two slices of bread with a couple of dill pickles to top it off. 

When dinner time rolls around, fried chicken remains a dominant presence as a family-style meal. Whether you prefer the drumsticks, breasts, or thighs, there's surely a part to please. Served along side some greens, beans, potatoes or biscuits, this crispy-skinned bird begs to be eaten. 

So really, is there a bad time of the day to eat fried chicken? Trick question, sometimes I make myself laugh.

2. It's versatile in flavor:


Despite having the same base ingredients, fried chicken can take on a myriad of different favors. Spicy or mild, sweet or sour, you name it and you can have it. 

While southern fried chicken is most popular, you can find an inspired take on the dish no matter what cultural background you find yourself eating from. Whether it's Nashville hot or garlicky Korean, this dish knows no bounds. There's hardly a menu I know of that doesn't have some kind of fried chicken variant.


3. At home or on the go, it's a win:


Four, "Two Piece Tuesdays" from Chicken Shack in Baton Rouge
Four, "Two Piece Tuesdays" from Chicken Shack in Baton Rouge








































It doesn't matter where you are, you can almost always find good fried chicken. That's part of its magic. On the road, you are never too far away from a Popeyes. While this classic Louisiana-born chain is considered fast food, it is hard to beat in the fried chicken department. They have a tried and true method that results in a greasy goodness which ranks high on my scale of life-shortening foods.

We are blessed with plenty of  fried food restaurants in Louisiana, such as the Chicken Shack in Baton Rouge or Willie Mae's in New Orleans. Both of these places are sure to please and are great to stop by for a filling, local dish.

While on-the go chicken restaurants rank up there on the "greatest thing since sliced bread," list, homemade fried chicken is one of the finest culinary treats bestowed upon humanity. It's hard to top the nostalgic experience of grandma quartering the chicken, the drenching of buttermilk, and the sound of oil popping from the dutch oven. When it's all said in done, that home cooked delicacy is out of this world! For every year that it takes off your life expectancy, it adds to your soul. Don't be ashamed, eat up.


4. It brings people together:



 

Let's start by picturing a corny thought. Think about the American dinner table. Families talk about their day, how work and school was as they pass around that white and red striped bucket with an old man's face on it. What do they pull from this cardboard vessel? A golden brown drumstick that lands on their plate right next to the baked potatoes, green beans and gravy.

The colonel might not be pulling rank here in Louisiana, but I can recall many after church lunches that my family picked up from Popeyes. Substitute mashed potatoes for a biscuit, green beans for their red brethren, and you are talking a family dinner, Louisiana style. It's communal, cultural, and one of the tastiest ways of catching up. I immediately feel closer to someone after we've shared fried chicken; it's science.


5. It's just darn good:




Chicken is the most popular protein out there. Every menu that you come across has some kind of chicken dish. Baked, grilled or roasted, fried chicken beats them all. It just doesn't get old. It has been around since the birth of this country, and with Independence Day having just passed, there's more than enough reason to keep the celebration going.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Red, White and 'Cue: A Look Back on Barbecue Bites Past

by Drew Broussard

Oh barbecue, where do we start? At Bite and Booze, our appreciation for barbecue runs deep. Three of our products were thoughtfully considered and concocted with the beauty of this "low and slow" cooking method in mind. Whether he's competing or simply taste-testing for the betterment of mankind, Jay has eaten his share of barbecue over the years. 

While spring time in Louisiana may be dominated by seafood, people pivot to pork, chicken and beef when the summer rolls around. Now that July 4th is upon us and we are itching to hit the grill, let's take a look back at some of our favorite barbecued dishes that we've enjoyed over the past few years!





The Best Brisket from Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas




Big Basket from La Barbecue in Austin, Texas





Spare Ribs at Arthur Bryant's in Kansas City









Brisket from the GnarBQ 2015






St. Louis Style Ribs from Pimanyoli's






























Smoked Sausages from Johnson's Boucanière in Lafayette



A photo posted by Bite & Booze (@biteandbooze) on

Sampler Platter from Nola Smokehouse



photo posted by Bite & Booze (@biteandbooze) on

Team Bacon Rouge's Pig from Hogs for the Cause




BBQ Plate from Mitchell's Bar-B-Q in Cheyenne, WY



A photo posted by Bite & Booze (@biteandbooze) on

Jay D's Barbecue Venison Pizza