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Friday, June 22, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Parish's Ghost In The Machine Double IPA

By Eric Ducote

Hello everyone, and welcome to this year's Summer of Ghost!  Last year Parish Brewing out of Broussard, LA decided to treat everyone by pumping out new batches of their signature hazy New England-style Double IPA all summer long and it seems as though 2018 is going to be no different. The guys over at Parish were busy during the month of May brewing up batch after batch of the delicious brew and then spent the first week or so of June bottling it all up and sending it out throughout their distribution area.  On June 14th, all the Ghost was released at once and I had no trouble finding some at Martin Wine Cellar while my wife picked up a pack at Rouse's.  

The three 4-packs I ended up with (so far) were bottled on 6/4, 6/6, and 6/7, but I didn't notice anything different between the three bottlings.  Ghost in the Machine is brewed to 8% abv, and "brewed with obscene quantities of hand-selected Citra hops" according to Parish's website. Citra is known for (and this should be obvious) a distinct citrus flavor, and Ghost is one of the better examples of how strong the citrus notes can be.  The hop profile can vary slightly from year to year and between different hop yards but Citra is always going to give a strong orange/grapefruit profile.  

Summer 2018 Ghost in the Machine

On the pour, this batch of Ghost is the distinct bright reddish-orange color with all the haze in the world and a finger worth of bubbly head.  The aroma is that enticing combination of bitter hops and citrus, with the primary note in this batch being grapefruit, although hints of orange and lemon come through as well.  The joke online is to compare this beer to Sunny D, and although I totally understand where that comes from, the hop oils in Ghost and other IPAs give a much more bitter feel on the palate and then there's the alcohol content to deal with.  Although into the double or imperial range, the 8% abv on Ghost is very well masked by the obscene hoppiness and all the citrus notes, giving the beer a clean pleasant finish.  The finish really just makes me want another sip, and then another beer, and then another 4-pack.  I don't mean to make light of addiction, which is a serious issue, but this is so delicious and drinkable that it's hard to just slowly sip and stop after one.  

As usual, Parish keeps killing the NEIPA game, and I'm thrilled to have Ghost in the Machine as a regular addition to store shelves throughout the summer.  Cheers! 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Tin Roof Barley. Barleywine

By Eric Ducote

Hey everyone, it's time for another Feature Beer Friday here at Bite And Booze.  Today's tasty beverage comes from local brewery Tin Roof, their Barley. Barleywine.  Barley. is named after the brewery cat Barley that for several years frequented the brewery and the taproom.  Barley was always extremely friendly, allowing visitors to give them a pet and frequently enjoying the sunshine on the Tin Roof logo mat by the side door. Unfortunately a few months ago Barley the cat passed away, so in their honor, Tin Roof brewed the Barley. Barleywine.   

Barleywines have long been one of my favorite styles, starting with the Sierra Nevada Bigfoot series, and moving into offerings like the Old Guardian from Stone and the Old Ruffian from Great Divide.  I remember always being excited for a Houston beer run where I could find that offering from Great Divide and if I was lucky an Old Numbskull from Alesmith.  Before too long the Louisiana breweries started getting in on the action, most notably with the Grand Reserve series from Parish, but Abita also put out a select series barleywine and Bayou Teche got into the game.  So, when I heard Tin Roof was putting out a barleywine, well I had to stop in and give it a try, and buy a 4-pack for a later review of course.

Tin Roof Barley.

Tin Roof describes the beer as, "In memoriam: Barley the Cat. Dedicated to our late friend and cat, Barley, this Barleywine features complex malt character from a blend of American, Belgian, English, and German malts. Look for rich flavors of caramel, dark fruits, and sweet malt. All American hops in both kettle and dry hop layer classic aromas of grapefruit and pine. Raise a glass to this special feline, and remember him laying in the sun on the lawn or hanging out in the taproom. RIP little buddy." My first thought on this one is that it's a really dark pour, a little darker than I'd expect for a barleywine which trend more copper colored but this one is closer to a brown.  The head is vigorous and lasting, giving me ample time to snap a picture before pouring the rest of the can.  They definitely nailed the caramel and sweet malt notes, with definite hints of toffee and I do get some of the dark fruit.  The taste is really smooth for an 11%, 70 IBU beer, with those same rich toffee notes underlying an earthy hop bitterness. 

I don't think this is the best barleywine I've ever tried, but it's pretty damn good.  Last I saw, 4-packs were still available in the taproom, so go grab one before they're all gone.  I have a feeling this beer will only get better with age as well.  RIP Barley! 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Wakey Whiskey: Jim Beam 12-Years Signature Craft

By Eric Ducote

Good morning friends, and happy National Bourbon Day to you all! I'd have a hard time naming my favorite type of whiskey, but bourbon is without a doubt on the short list for consideration.  Every June 14th, because every day should be used to celebrate something, is National Bourbon Day, so that obviously requires a ceremonial wakey whiskey! Jim Beam (disclaimer, Jim Beam is owned by Beam Suntory, the third largest distilled beverage company in the world) is the most popular bourbon worldwide, and the second best-selling whiskey brand, but I'm not about to raise a glass with a pour of the regular white label. This morning calls for a pour of their Signature Craft 12-Years Small Batch. 

Jim Beam Signature Craft

The Jim Beam Signature Craft is one of their more premium releases under the Jim Beam name, having been aged for 12 years (minimum) and bottled at 86 proof.  For comparison, the regular white label is a 4-year bourbon and the Devil's Cut is a 6-year.  All that extra time in the barrel helps give the Signature Craft a deeper brown color and a rich caramel and vanilla aroma.  That sweetness is accented with a hint of the booze and a slight leathery note. The taste on this bourbon is exceptional and without a doubt reflects the extra aging with oak, vanilla, and even a little peppery flavor.  

The finish is smooth, although there's a hint of medicinal bitterness at the very last bit of aftertaste.   That's really the only ding on the scoresheet for this whiskey, a great addition to any collection and a fine way to kick off National Bourbon Day! 

Friday, June 8, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Gnarly Barley's Gnarvana Double IPA

By Eric Ducote

Hey everyone, it's another Friday, and another featured beer, but not a  new brewery this time around as Gnarly Barley has made a few appearances always in this space.  I'll be honest though, if a brewery keeps putting out good beer that I have access to, they'll find a way into a post or two of three before too long.  

Not too long ago they put out a special release Gnarvana Double IPA at Gnarfest in honor of the brewery's 4th birthday.  It was hailed as a juicebomb of a Double IPA, and unfortunately I wasn't able to make it out to the party this year, my first year to miss the big anniversary.  Fortunately though, I have some good friends who made sure that I didn't miss out on the beer du jour.  (That's the beer of the day.)

A pour of the Gnarvana Double IPA

The Gnarvana pours crazy hazy, with a grapefruit flesh shade of orange and a bubbly white head that doesn't stick around too long due to all the hop oils. The aroma is pure pineapple... just pineapple on top of pineapple layered with some pineapple juice.  On the taste, you guessed it, more pineapple! There's a little other citrus in there on the taste, some orange and grapefruit to give it a bit of complexity, but the truth is, this beer is a pineapple bomb, which I personally find to be delicious.

Last I saw online, there were still cans to be found at the brewery, so if you're wanting to give this a try, make the quick trip over to Hammond and find yourself in Gnarvana.   

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Jay D's Bites: Molasses Mustard Succotash

by Chef Jenn Breithaupt

“Sufferin' succotash!” Corn, beans, squash, hominy and other vegetables make up this Native American dish. Corn, beans and squash are known as the Three Sisters in agriculture because they grow together in synergy. The corn provides a structure for the beans to climb eliminating the need for poles. The beans give nitrogen to the soil that the other plants use, and the squash spreads along the ground, blocking the sunlight, preventing weeds from growing. Creating a dish with these vegetables allowed for the Native Americans to stay satisfied longer so they can utilize their energy.

I made this succotash with corn maque choux in mind, except heavy cream is added. The addition of Jay D’s Molasses Mustard gives it some color and a tang of acidity.

Molasses Mustard Succotash

serves 2-4

2 Tbs butter, unsalted
25.5 oz can hominy
15.5 oz can butter beans
1 ear corn, cut off cob
1 cup orange bell pepper, small diced
¼ cup jalapeño, small diced
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ cup Louisiana Molasses Mustard
¼ cup heavy cream

In a medium sauté pan, heat butter until bubbling, then add all vegetables. Sweat until soft. Add salt, black pepper, Jay D’s Molasses Mustard and heavy cream. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer for 5-6 minutes. Serve hot with breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Saint Arnold's Pub Crawl Pale Ale

By Eric Ducote

Hello again everyone!  Today I'm featuring another Texas Brewery, Saint Arnold Brewing, to go along with recently featured Rahr & Sons and 11 Below.  Even though they weren't my first Texan brewery featured, Saint Arnold claims to be Texas's oldest craft brewery, shipping out their first keg on June 9th, 1994.  As they approach their 24th birthday late this month, I figured it would be appropriate to try out one of their newer releases, the Pub Crawl Pale Ale.  

This beer debuted in January 2017, but the 6-pack I picked up at Robert Fresh Market were dated 03/05/18, which is well within my comfortable freshness range.  It's described as a bright and sessionable pale ale with a 4.7% abv and 48 IBU.  

Saint Arnold's Pub Crawl Pale Ale

At first, the pour... this certainly fits what I would expect out of "bright and sessionable" with a luminous yellow color and a frothy white head.  On the nose I get mostly citrus hop flavors with perhaps a bit of a floral note and a backbone of crackers or bread from the malt.  The taste has more of the same citrus notes, coming strong from the Centennial bittering hops as well as the Amarillo and Galaxy used in the back end.  All three of those hop varieties showcase citrus flavors so it's no surprise that the beer tastes like it does.  The 4.7% abv makes this one an easy drinker, just a little stronger than a standard light beer, with a clean slightly bitter finish.  

This is a really good option for a summer poolside beer, at a backyard BBQ, or just relaxing after some yardwork.  The weather is heating up, and we could all use a cold beverage or two, right?  

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Jay D's Bites: Oven Roasted Barbecue Pork Chops

by Chef Aimee Tortorich

Last month, our friends at Compart Duroc brought some samples of their high-quality pork products. One that stood out immediately was their premium Frenched Loin that in their words is “the pinnacle of fine pork and is the most flavorful cut of the Compart Duroc line.”

I definitely have to agree, and when you have a badass product like this, the best thing to do is to keep things simple. I did a quick sear in a cast iron skillet, transferred it to the oven rubbed in Jay D’s Spicy and Sweet Rub and finished with Jay D’s Louisiana Barbecue Sauce. The finished product was a moist, flavorful and tender as all get out.

If you can’t find this particular pork chop, that’s okay! Head to your local butcher like Iverstine Farms Butcher in Baton Rouge and get the best looking bone-in pork chop you can find.

Oven Roasted Barbecue Pork Chops

serves 2

1 Tbs avocado oil
2 Pork Chops, bone-in
2 Tbs Jay D’s Spicy and Sweet Rub
½ cup Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Sauce

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a cast-iron skillet over medium high heat, preheat avocado oil. Sear pork chops until a golden brown crust forms. Season liberally with rub. Roast in the oven at 400°F until internal temperature reaches 145°F. Coat pork chop with Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Sauce; turn oven to broil and broil pork chop about 3 minutes; until sauce is caramelized. Remove from cast iron pan and allow to rest for about 4 minutes.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Homebrewed Peach Hoppler Milkshake IPA

By Eric Ducote

Hello everyone, and welcome to my first homebrewed edition of Feature Beer Friday.  Normally I'd never feature a homebrew because it's not something that most people reading this would be able to try, but this instance is a little different.  This beer was brewed by my team for the Iron Brewer competition put on by Brasseurs A La Maison that was intended to take place last weekend.  Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our club's control the event had to be canceled, but there is still hope that it will be back later in 2018.  The event has been put on the last 5 years at Tin Roof Brewing to benefit the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, but ATC rules prohibit a brewery from hosting a special event.  Don't worry though, there's a good chance the event isn't dead, but the late cancellation did mean that I had a whole keg of our beer to drink as it's going to need to be re-brewed in order to ensure maximum freshness when the even returns. 

The Peach Hoppler banner. 

As you can almost certainly tell from the banner above, my team (consisting of myself and Mandi, Brenton Day, Brandon Thomsen, and Marcus Rutherford) was assigned peaches and cinnamon toast crunch as the mystery "iron brewer" ingredients, and we decided to turn that into a peach cobbler IPA, named Peach Hoppler.  We used a box of cinnamon toast crunch in the mash per 5 gallons, added a lot of hops in addition to some lactose, and then finished it off with even more cinnamon, some vanilla, and the peaches.  The result is a peach and cinnamon inspired milkshake IPA, bursting with citrus hop flavors that compliment the peach and cinnamon toast crunch and are supported with a slightly sweet milk and vanilla base, not unlike the ice cream complimenting a peach cobbler.  

A pour of Peach Hoppler.

This homebrew turned out really delicious, so I sincerely hope that we will get a chance to put on a take 2 of Iron Brewer to share this with a lot of the readers out there, and also more importantly to raise a lot of support for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Jay D's Bites: Supreme Rice Salad with Molasses Mustard Vinaigrette

by Chef Jenn Breithaupt

This is one of my favorite salads to make! I first had this salad when I was attending culinary school at Louisiana Culinary Institute. Chef Mike told us we are going to prepare it for our salad course for lunch service and it captivated me; I couldn’t stop eating it. I thought this would be the perfect salad to incorporate Jay D’s Louisiana Molasses Mustard. Another reason why I love this recipe is because of the freshness it brings to my palate; it is perfect for this Spring!

Supreme Rice Salad with Molasses Mustard Vinaigrette

makes 6 cups
3 cups uncooked Supreme long grain rice
1 cup red onion, small diced
¾ cup orange bell pepper, small diced
¾ cup yellow bell pepper, small diced
2 Tbs garlic, minced
1 cucumber, seeded and small diced
¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ cup fresh basil, finely chopped

Cook rice according to package. Lay cooked rice on sheet pan to slightly cool. Combine rice with all vegetables and vinaigrette. Let rice salad marinade in dressing for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. Serve cold or room temperature. ENJOY!

For the vinaigrette:
Heaping ½ cup Jay D’s Louisiana Molasses Mustard
3 tsp salt
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
3 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs Jay D’s Blanc du Bois
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

In a blender or food processor, add mustard and salt. On low, gradually add both vinegars and Jay D’s Blanc du Bois. In a thin stream add extra virgin olive oil. Mix for 1 minute then transfer to salad and mix thoroughly.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Wakey Whisk(e)y: Laphroaig 10-Year Single Malt Scotch

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone, and cheers to you all on the 7th annual World Whisky Day!  This actually makes my second #wakeywhisky post on World Whisky Day, which is celebrated on the third Saturday of May.  The first time around, I went with the Alberta Rye Whisky Dark Batch from Canada, and this year in the interest of keeping it whisky instead of whiskey I'm going to have some of one of my favorite scotches, Laphroaig's base expression, the 10-year single malt.  

Laphroaig is one of the handful of distilleries from the island of Islay off the West coast of Scotland that is unique enough to be considered its own scotch region.  All of the Islay scotches are known for being heavily peated, the flavor derived from smoking their malt over peat fires, which gives a medicinal phenolic flavor in addition to the smokiness.  Laphroaig was founded in 1815 and they do not go light on the peat, which produces a scotch that they claim "is the most richly flavoured of all scotch whiskies." Well, I'll be the judge of that.

Laphroaig 10-year single malt in appropriate glassware.

The scotch pours a typical dark golden color, and as soon as you catch a whiff it's obvious that there is certainly no shortage of flavor.  The smoky peat flavor hits like a campfire, but also with a strong iodine flavor and an ample aroma of honey sweetness.  Yes, it's certainly rich and complex, and the flavor of this 10-year expression holds on to that complexity with a balance of sweet malt flavors, robust smokiness, and unique peat smoke.  I think the best way to describe this one is a campfire in your mouth, and I mean that in the best way possible.  

I hope you are all enjoying a pour or two of your own on this World Whisky Day! 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Clown Shoes' Galacticake Douple IPA

By Eric Ducote

Good morning again everyone and welcome back to Bite and Booze for a mid-May version of Feature Beer Friday!  I have enjoyed writing these posts every week as I try some new beers and dig a little deeper into some old favorites.  This week I'm revisiting a brewery that I used to drink regularly, but seems to have faded a bit as the local guys surged.  Clown Shoes Beer originated from Massachusetts, and although they recently were bought by Harpoon Brewing (or their parent company, if we're getting technical) they retained their independence and "craft" status because Harpoon is itself a craft brewery.

I've always enjoyed Clown Shoes... their Hoppy Feet and Hoppy Feet 1.5 were both outstanding black IPAs when that style was all the rage, they consistently put out excellent creative stouts, and their label artwork is always top notch.  However, it had been a while since I had bought any their brews, so when I saw a relatively fresh (canned 3/8/18, always check the dates on hoppy beers!) 4-pack of their Galacticake Double IPA at Robert Fresh Market, I figured it was time to stock the fridge with a little more Clown Shoes.

Clown Shoes Galacticake Double IPA

The beer pours a rich copper color, clear and filtered, with a frothy bubbly head that took a few minutes to dissipate.  The malt that gives the beer it's deeper color is definitely present on the aroma with some caramel sweetness, but backed up nicely with fruity hop aromas like pineapple and plum.  The taste is well balanced between the caramel sweetness and the bitter fruity hop flavors.  The Galacticake is a 9% abv DIPA, but the malts and hops hide the alcohol very well.  There is an earthiness to the hops, but some fruit as well, and a nice blend of flavors that complement each other to form a bitter bouquet, but not one that lingers unpleasantly on the finish.

In summary, this is definitely an old-school throwback DIPA, aiming for a malt-hop balance and relying on bittering hops more than just all the late addition hops that we're getting from the hazy juice bombs.  However, it's a delicious well brewed throwback DIPA that I'd be happy to purchase again.   Cheers! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Jay D's Bites: Parsnip-Potato Au Gratin

by Chef Jenn Breithaupt

Potatoes Au Gratin are always fun to create because of the layering. The Freret Beer Room in New Orleans was my inspiration for this dish. They serve it as a side, but it’s massive! For me, it had the perfect amount of gruyere cheese. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! For this recipe, I used manchego cheese instead of gruyere fora little extra bite and added Jay D’s Molasses Mustard to tied together the sweetness and add a little tanginess to the dish.

Potato-Parsnip Au Gratin

serves 4
3 potatoes, ¼” rounds
3 parsnips, ¼” rounds
1 whole leek, sliced into half-rounds
8 cloves fresh garlic, minced
3 cups manchego cheese
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup Jay D’s Louisiana Molasses Mustard

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small skillet, sauté leeks and garlic until fragrant. Put one layer of potatoes around the bottom of cast iron skillet. Then pour ¼ cup of heavy cream over potatoes. Next, sprinkle small handful of leek/garlic mixture and 1 cup of manchego cheese over potatoes. Place another layer of parsnips on top of cheese. Sprinkle another small handful of leeks and 1 cup of manchego cheese over parsnips. Pour the other ½ cup of heavy cream on top of parsnip layer. Make another potato layer, then sprinkle leeks/garlic and ½ cup of Manchego cheese on top. Take the Molasses Mustard and drizzle on top, then sprinkle remaining leeks/garlic and ½ cup of gruyere cheese. Press down on the au gratin so that all of the layers are compacted. Cover skillet with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Take foil off and continue baking until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before chowing down.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Gnarly Barley's Korova Milk Porter

by Eric Ducote

Good morning again everyone! It's time for another Feature Beer Friday (#FeatureBeerFriday if you want to join in on Instagram or Facebook!) and today I'm checking back in with Gnarly Barley Brewing out of Hammond, LA.  About a month ago I featured their Jucifer IPA, but this time it's their flagship Korova Milk Porter.  

The Korova has been a staple of Gnarly Barley's lineup for years, it's a baltic porter base with some oatmeal and lactose (milk sugar) added.  They say about this beer, "This Baltic Oatmeal Milk Porter will change the way you think about porters. From its sweet coffee and chocolate flavor, to its silky smooth finish, this is one unique brew. So sit back and enjoy her sultry sweet side." The Korova clocks in at a solid 6.2% abv.

A pour of the Korova Milk Porter, with appropriate glassware.

On to the appearance... Korova pours a deep brown color with hints of chestnut when the light shines through.  The head is a bubbly tan color that recedes over the course of 30 seconds or so.  The aroma is a delicious combination of coffee, dark chocolate, and marshmallow sweetness.  The taste is more of the same, with a creamy mouthfeel combined with a well blended balance of lactose sweetness and roasted bitterness.  

This is exactly what a flagship should be, an easy drinking yet flavorful beer that offers a slight variation on a traditional style.  Delicious, and now I'm ready for another!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Jay D's Bites: Fried Salmon Burger

by Chef Aimee Tortorich

I love cooking burgers at home, but I wanted to create a burger using only seafood. I decided to go with salmon as my protein not only for nutritional purposes, but also the flavor. This Japanese inspired dish was a fun play on a baked salmon roll that you would find in most sushi restaurants. The panko gave it a nice crunch and the Sriracha and Jay D’s Molasses Mustard aïoli added a punch of heat and sweetness. I added some sliced avocado, pickled cucumber and pickled carrot to round out all the flavors. For those looking for a fun fish idea, this one is a winner all around.

Fried Salmon Burger with Molasses Mustard Aïoli

serves 2

2 salmon fillets, boneless, skin-off
½ onion, small diced
2 Tbs fresh garlic, minced
1 Tbs avocado oil
2 eggs
2 cups seasoned panko breadcrumbs
1 cup all purpose flour
2 hamburger buns

For the aïoli:
¼ cup Jay D’s Molasses Mustard
2 Tbs Sriracha
½ cup mayo

Sliced Avocado
Pickled cucumber
Pickled carrot

Heat a sauté pan on medium heat, add avocado oil and saute onion and garlic until soft. Add fillets to the pan and cook salmon on both sides until cooked through and starting to flake (about 10 minutes). Put salmon, onions and garlic in a bowl and let cool. Add one egg and ½ cup of breadcrumbs to the bowl and form into patties. If patties don’t form, add more breadcrumbs until they stay together.

Next, you’ll need to set up a breading station. You’ll need flour in a shallow dish, another dish with the beaten egg and one additional shallow dish for panko.

Dredge patties lightly in flour, shaking off the excess. One by one, dip in the beaten egg, coating completely and then roll in panko to coat.

Fry at 350F until golden brown. Build burgers with garnishes and aïoli and enjoy!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Wakey Whiskey: Familia Partila Reposado Tequila

by Eric Ducote

Yeah, I know... it's not a whiskey.  However, today is Cinco de Mayo, and I'm going to leave the margaritas made with grain alcohol to the amateurs and enjoy some tequila in the way it was meant to be enjoyed, sipped like a fine whiskey. I know to most of us, myself included, tequila is a spirit that traditionally has either been done as a shot or as part of a margarita.  And it's almost always good old Jose Cuervo showing up to the party or if someone was feeling like splurging, then maybe some Patron.  

In brief, tequila comes from a specific region of Mexico that surrounds the city of Tequila, and is made from the blue agave plant.  The plant's leaves are harvested, baked, and pressed to create a juice that is then fermented and distilled.  From there tequila is either bottled as a white "blanco" spirit or aged in wooden barrels to create a rested "reposado" or aged "anejo" variety.  These barrels are almost always second use bourbon barrels, which give color and flavor to the blanco tequila similar to what they do for a white whiskey.  

Familia Partida Reposado Tequila

This particular selection is a reposado tequila from Familia Partida out of the city of Tequila.  It's fermented from estate grown blue agave, then aged for 6 months and bottled at 80 proof.  The 6 months of aging give the spirit a light golden color reminiscent to me of a lighter Irish whiskey or Speyside scotch.  

The aroma is slightly sweet with the trademark tequila smell that comes from the agave plant.  A blend of citrus and oak with an underlying booziness.  The bourbon barrel aging gives off a definite vanilla flavor but the cooked agave is the real star, giving this tequila a bit of a margarita flavor even when drank neat.  Personally, I enjoy tequila a lot when drank neat or over ice, I find that the oak aging gives a pleasant base profile with the trademark agave flavor.

This Familia Partida Reposado makes for a really nice sipping tequila, and an excellent start to this Cinco de Mayo! 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Tin Roof's Even More FOMO

by Eric Ducote

Hey everyone, and welcome to yet another edition of Feature Beer Friday.  Tag your beer posts with #FeatureBeerFriday to follow along and home and share what you're breaking out today!  I'm coming to you all with another beer from local brewery Tin Roof, making this their third appearance on Feature Beer Friday.  I promise that's not just because I used to work there, but it does have a lot to do with all the new releases they have been putting out week after week.  First, I featured their Juju Imperial IPA (now named Santeria) and then the Haze Hunt Triple IPA, and now it's time for the Even More FOMO Wheatwine!

Even More FOMO is a wheatwine, which is akin to the barleywine, except quite obviously, more wheat in the grain bill.  Like a barleywine, a wheatwine isn't actually a wine at all, but a strong ale, falling under the American Strong Ale category by BJCP standards.  They descripe the style as "A richly textured, high alcohol sipping beer with a significant grainy, bready flavor and sleek body." In addition, they acknowledge that the style is relatively new and still being developed, which leads to a "range of interpretations."  

Tin Roof's Even More FOMO Wheatwine
Tin Roof definitely took the hoppy interpretation on their version, which clocks in at approximately 11% alcohol.  The appearance is definitely on par with a hazy IPA but a little darker and into orange territory.  The aroma is citrusy, with a bit of sweetness from the grain bill but primarily just hoppy goodness.  On the tongue though I get more piney resinous hop flavors, along with a silky smooth mouthfeel from the all the wheat.  The 11% alcohol is extremely well concealed, to the point where I feel like this could sneak up on some unsuspecting drinkers.  

Overall though, another winner from Tin Roof, this wheatwine is on the verge of being an Imperial IPA with a wheat base, and will surely satisfy hopheads and traditionalists alike.  As of Thursday (May 3rd) afternoon it was still on tap with plenty of 4-packs available as well, so swing by and give it a try! 


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Jay D's Bites: Chicken Biscuit with Molasses Mustard Butter

by Chef Jenn Breithaupt
(original biscuit recipe by Chef Alex Hamman)

Everyone loves the Honey Butter Chicken Biscuits from Whataburger, but why not make your own at home?! Chef Alex Hamman from the Louisiana Culinary Institute has the most amazing biscuit recipe (seriously, they call him King Biscuit) that he makes every Friday for faculty.

I asked him if I could utilize it to make a Molasses Mustard butter chicken biscuits and he was all for it. The fluffiness of the biscuit is harmonious with the fried chicken breast and the Molasses Mustard butter sends it over the top. The biscuit dough also does very well in the freezer if you want to make a batch of biscuits and save them for a rainy day breakfast.

Molasses Mustard Butter Chicken Biscuit

Makes 15 biscuits, 3½” 

For the biscuits:
4 cups bread flour
3¾ cups cake flour
3½ Tbs baking powder
1 Tbs + 1 tsp kosher salt
3 Tbs + 1 tsp sugar
3 sticks + ½ Tbs cold unsalted butter, cubed
3¼ cups buttermilk

For the chicken:
6 chicken breast, cut in half, flattened
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 eggs, whisked
Canola oil for frying

For the butter:
¾ cup Jay D’s Louisiana Molasses Mustard
2 sticks unsalted butter

For the biscuits:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Keep all ingredients as cold as possible!

In a medium mixing bowl, combine both bread and cake flour, baking powder, salt and sugar from the biscuit ingredients. Using a pastry blender or your hands, cut cold butter into flour mixture until butter is the size of peas. Add buttermilk and mix with your hands until shaggy. Cover and rest for 20 minutes. Roll out dough on a floured surface and fold once (to create layers). Roll out again to 1-1¼” thick and cut into 3½” circles. When cutting biscuits out, DO NOT TWIST CUTTER. Just simply press down and lift cutter back up. Place biscuits about ½” apart on greased baking sheet and bake until golden brown.

For the chicken:
Heat canola oil to 350°F in a skillet or table-top fryer. Dredge chicken in seasoned flour, place in egg-wash, then dredge back through flour. Fry chicken until golden, brown, and delicious (about 4-5 minutes).

For the butter:
Soften butter and mix in Jay D’s Louisiana Molasses Mustard.

Open biscuit up and slather butter on both halves. Place fried chicken breast on biscuit and put the other half of biscuit on top of chicken and enjoy your chicken biscuit sandwich!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Rahr & Sons' Dadgum IPA

by Eric Ducote

Hello everybody, and welcome to another edition of Feature Beer Friday!  No blind side by side tasting this week (will come back to that idea though for sure) but I did recently pick up a few beers from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company out of Fort Worth, TX, and anytime I see a new brewery (to me at least) in our market I think it's worthy of a little exploration.  

As I just mentioned, Rahr & Sons hails from Fort Worth, TX, having opened in 2004 before the craft beer movement really exploded.  Those of you that dabble in brewing, on the homebrew scale or larger, might know the name "Rahr" from the Rahr Malting Company, which supplies malted barley to breweries across the country.  Rahr & Sons Brewing was founded by the great great grandson of William Rahr, the founder of the Rahr Malting Company and Eagle Brewing Company, so brewing is definitely part of the family history. Tragically, William Rahr died from burns he suffered due to falling into a brew kettle during an inspection of his brewery in 1880.  Let that be a less to all homebrewers and commercial brewers alike, safety is important! 

Rahr & Sons' Dadgum IPA

This week's selection is their flagship Dadgum IPA, 6.6% abv and charged with citra and lemondrop hops.  It's a deep golden color, very little haze, with a bubbly white head that lingers for a while.  I find the aroma to be quite bitter, with notes of pine and lemon and a little grainy sweetness.  The flavor is hoppy with a medium bitterness, pine notes still come through as well as more citrus, and there's a definite malty base to support the IBUs.  This is certainly a departure from the haze craze, with a strong lingering bitter finish.  

I'll have no problem finishing off this 6-pack, and if you are looking for a bit of a throwback IPA, this one might in your wheelhouse.  If you're wanting more and more dry hops and haze, this isn't the beer you are looking for. One thing is for sure though, there is plenty of room in my fridge for both.  Cheers! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Jay D's Bites: Duck & Leek Dumpling with Blanc du Bois Blueberry Sauce

by Chef Jenn Breithaupt

These dumplings make an excellent appetizer with a pop of color. You can stuff a dumpling with a plethora of fillings; dumplings are delicious. I chose duck and leek because they pair very well together. The fat from the duck and the acidity from the leek create a great balance. An alternative way to get some color on them is to poach them or quickly sear in a hot skillet.

Duck & Leek Dumpling with Blanc du Bois Blueberry Sauce

makes about 25 dumplings

2 duck breasts, small diced, skin off (reserve skin)
1¾ cup leeks, thin half moons
2 Tbss shallots, minced
½ cup carrots, small diced
1 rib celery, small diced
1 Tbs fresh garlic, minced
⅓ cup Jay D’s Blanc du Bois
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black pepper
25 small wonton wrappers
1 egg
1 Tbs water

For the blueberry sauce:
1½ cups Jay D’s Blanc du Bois
1 tsp honey
1 tsp salt
6 oz blueberries, crushed

Take skin off duck breasts and place skin into skillet. Turn heat to low and allow for skin to fully render fat (this may take a while). Once fat has rendered, discard skin, but keep the fat.
Add small diced duck breasts, shallots, carrots, celery and garlic to skillet with duck fat. Cook until vegetables are soft, duck is cooked and there is no liquid left in skillet. Set aside and allow to cool.

Whisk 1 egg and 1 Tbs of water. Set aside to be used for egg wash for dumplings. Put wonton wrapper down so one corner is pointing towards the top (diamond-shaped) and brush along edges with egg wash. Place 1 Tbs of filling in the middle and take the bottom corner to meet the top corner to form a triangle. Seal on all three sides and brush with egg wash.
In a saucepot, bring water to a simmer. Poach dumplings until dough is soft.
To make the blueberry sauce, combine blueberries, Jay D’s Blanc du Bois, honey and salt in a saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes until thickened and reduced by half. Serve over dumplings or as a dipping sauce.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Tin Roof Blonde vs. Flying Tiger Burma Blonde

by Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone!  This week I'm going for a bit of a departure from the standard review.  I happened to have two Louisiana brewed blonde beers (one ale and one lager) in the fridge, so I figured this was the perfect chance for a little side by side blind taste test.  I had my lovely wife Mandi pour the pair of beers into identically sized glasses and bring them out without me knowing which beer was which.  

In one corner glass: Tin Roof Brewing's Blonde Ale, hailing from Baton Rouge, 5% abv and 15 IBU.  In the other corner glass: Flying Tiger Brewery's Burma Blonde, a blonde lager from Monroe, 5.1% abv and 19 IBU.  Now there's no way I (or anyone) is going to notice the .1% abv difference, and I probably won't even be able to notice the slight difference in IBU especially considering both of these beers rely on Glacier hops, but I figured that I could probably pick up the differences in flavor imparted by the yeast strains.  No promises though, that's for sure.  

Two mystery beers... at this point I didn't know which was which.

After receiving the two beers, both in New Belgium glasses (which are my favorite) it became obvious that there was no was to really tell them apart based on appearance.  Both beers had about the same exact golden tint and fairly equal levels of opaqueness.  On the aroma, the beer on the left had a very clean crisp aroma with just a hint of grainy sweetness, while the right had a similar crispness with just a hint of sulfuric flavor.  Both beers tasted quite refreshing, with the only difference again being a slight sulfuric flavor on the right beer that caused me to give the edge, slightly, to the beer on the left.  With that in mind I cast my vote to the beer on the left and Mandi revealed that that one was the Tin Roof Blonde.

The contestants.

Honestly these two beers are extremely comparable, and I had no problem crushing both and could easily see myself drinking plenty of either of them as the weather heats up in South Louisiana.  While I did lean toward the Tin Roof Blonde, if someone asks me which one to pick, I'd say to support your local brewery.  You can't go wrong either way. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Jay D's Bites: Chargrilled Oysters with Blanc Du Bois Butter

by Chef Aimee Tortorich

The Gulf of Mexico produces some of the world’s best oysters, so it was a no-brainer for this round of recipe development. I picked out a dozen beautiful oysters from a local seafood market, Tony’s Seafood and made a simple wine butter featuring Jay D’s Blanc du Bois that complemented the natural flavor of the oysters. Simple, delicious, and quite the treat!

Chargrilled Oysters in Blanc Du Bois Butter

1 dozen(12) Gulf oysters, shucked and on the halfshell
1 stick butter, unsalted
½ cup Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs chives, minced
½ cup Jay D’s Blanc du Bois
1 Tbs fresh garlic, minced

For the Blanc du Bois Butter:
Allow butter to soften and combine with parmesan, chives, Jay D’s Blanc du Bois and garlic. Mix very well then put in fridge to harden.

Shuck oysters and leave on half shell. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to each oyster and grill or broil until butter is bubbly and slightly browned.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Burgers with Chuck: The Burger Pizza at Rotolo's Craft & Crust

by Chuck P

Ok everyone settle down. I know what you’re saying after reading that title. A hamburger pizza doesn’t qualify as a “burger” Chuck. You’re probably thinking I’ve lost my damn mind. Well folks, let me tell you about the Burger Pizza at the new Rotolo’s Craft & Crust.

First off let’s make it very clear. This is not your standard hamburger pizza by any means. This incredible concoction created by Mitch Rotolo Jr. is a pie straight out of my dreams. A perfect vision of combining two of my favorite foods into one gloriously delicious meal. Like, seriously. Looking at that picture has me craving one right now!

Let’s talk toppings. It’s pretty much everything you’d throw onto a standard burger. It’s got a mustard base, ground beef, grilled onions, mozzarella and is topped off with pickles and french fries-- French fries, people! I mean come on man! If that’s not a straight up burger pizza then I don’t know what is.

Taste-wise, it is completely spot on. Imagine it as if you’d taken the top bun off of your burger and ate it that way. Granted, no one really does that, I’m just trying to make a comparison. If I had one recommendation I would do like a Thousand Island dressing drizzle on it which would give it almost a Big Mac kinda feel or maybe even a garlic aioli or any type of sauce you’d normally add to your burger. And also bacon... LOTS OF BACON.

This was a trial run that our Bite & Booze team got to try , so it’s not available to the masses just yet. We were told that it would either be added to the menu full time soon or served as a special once they were completely satisfied with their final recipe.

Make sure you’re following Rotolo’s Craft & Crust on Facebook and Instagram to find out when the Burger Pizza will be available as well all future specialty pies to come.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Wakey Whiskey: Rogue Spirits Dead Guy Whiskey

by Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone!  Today is a big day around Baton Rouge (if the weather doesn't screw us over) with a few of my favorite festivals taking place.  Kicking off downtown today (and continuing tomorrow) is the Baton Rouge Blues Festival, and over at LSU's Rural Life Museum you can find the Zapp's International Beer Festival.  I've been attending both events pretty regularly over the years, and it's a little (okay, a lot) disappointing that both are starting at roughly the same time, but the good news is that there is plenty of time this weekend to do both if you choose!  That's certainly my plan.  

With a beer festival on my minds, I figured it would be the perfect time to try out a whiskey created by a company primarily known as a brewery, the Rogue Spirits Dead Guy Whiskey. I'm sure most of you out there have heard of Rogue Ales, an Oregon-based brewery that has been around for years with beers like the Dead Guy Ale and Hazelnut Brown.  Well, they also have their very own distillery in Newport, Oregon where they create three different whiskeys and two types of gin.  

Rogue Dead Guy Whiskey
The Dead Guy Whiskey is made from the same malted barley combination that comprised the malt bill on their Dead Guy Ale, primarily 2-Row with some Munich, Crystal 15, and a couple of locally grown malts as well.  This might seem like a departure from American whiskeys which use primarily corn but also wheat and rye, but distilling from a mash of malted barley is extremely common in Scotland and Ireland.  Malted barley is used almost exclusively in the production of both Scotch whisky and Irish whiskey, so with that in mind, I expected some similarities with those spirits in this offering from Rogue.  The Dead Guy Whiskey is then aged in oak barrels for at least two years in barrels exposed to the ocean.  Their barrel aging facility in Newport is exposed to the saltwater in a similar manner to the Lagavulin aging warehouse in Islay, Scotland.  

I'll be honest before getting into the review... I'm not a huge fan of Rogue beers, and I've tried a rum from them in the past that I thought was outright awful, so my expectation going into this one were pretty low.  That said, I'm always willing to give a beverage a chance, and the idea behind this one had a lot of promise, so I poured pretty heavy anyway.  The color is excellent, which was apparent before the pour, a deep amber that appears more rich than the two years of aging... perhaps this was a second use barrel or smaller barrel?  The aroma is much more like a lighter Scotch to me, with a bit of honey, some citrus, some floral notes, and a very pleasant alcohol character.  The taste is more of the honey note, with some vanilla oak character from the barrel aging, with maybe a hint of saltiness, but I certainly don't get the "ocean aging" on this one like I do in a bottle of Lagavulin or Jefferson's Ocean.  I'd bet that a few more years could really change this one for the better with the ocean aging they are going for.  It's really smooth though, very easy to drink with some extremely pleasant Scotch notes that remind me of a good Speyside single malt.  

I was seriously impressed with this whiskey, complex refreshing flavors that kept my attention throughout the pour.  This is definitely worth a purchase if you see it out in the wild! 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Flying Tiger's Heroic Hops IPA

by Eric Ducote

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of Feature Beer Friday! We're staying in-state this week with an offering from Flying Tiger Brewery out of Monroe. This is one of the handful of Louisiana breweries that I haven't yet had a chance to visit, and in fact I don't think I've ever even been to Monroe.  I certainly don't remember ever visiting, and that's something that I'll have to change eventually... and when I do, a visit to the Flying Tiger taproom will certainly be in order.  

Flying Tiger Brewery (not to be confused with Flying Heart or Crying Eagle) takes their name from the Flying Tigers, a volunteer group of American pilots who defended China against Japan during World War II. They were commanded by General Claire Chennault, who grew up in small Louisiana towns near Monroe. 

Heroic Hops is one of four flagship brews produced by Flying Tiger, in addition to a rotating lineup of seasonal and specialty brews in their taproom. The Man At Arms Amber Ale, Burma Blonde, and Warhawk Kolsch (a ULM affiliated beer) round out their flagship offerings. Heroic Hops comes in at 5.8% ABV and 69 IBU, right in the wheelhouse for an American IPA. They describe the beer as, "Citrus, Sauvignon grape, and tropical notes fly forward as these hops blend effortlessly with a strong base of two row and Munich malts. Let there be no mistake, heroism is definitive…as is the beer you drink."  

Heroic Hops IPA by Flying Tiger Brewery

My first impression on pouring this beer is that it's hazier than I expected... I was expecting more of a traditional IPA look to this one but it's got a good bit of turbidity going on. I'm not saying it's as hazy as last week's Jucifer, but it's certainly not a filtered clear IPA either. The color is gold-to-amber, with a bubbly white champagne-esque head. The aroma is definitely strong with the sauvignon grape notes they described. I don't know if I would have picked that out without the description, but now that it's in my head, it's all I can think of when I smell this beer. There are definitely hints of citrus as well, but the sauvignon notes dominate in my opinion. The taste is a great follow through on the inviting aroma, with a fantastic balance of bitterness of tropical flavor, and the malt smartly stays out of the way to let the hops shine.  

All in all, this one really impressed me. I had only tried a few beers from Flying Tiger before, and wasn't sure what to expect from this IPA, but it has all the makings of a fantastic Summer weather back patio beer. Unfortunately this one isn't available in Baton Rouge yet, but next time you are up in North Louisiana, grab some, and bring a 6-pack down for me!


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Jay D's Bites: Barbecue Buddha Bowl

by Liz Courville

Are you trying to reduce your meat consumption? Looking for some meal ideas that aren’t salad or just super bland? Well you are in luck. Because this Barbecue Buddha Bowl is probably one of the most satisfying meals!

The combination of complex carbohydrates from the rice and sweet potato, the high protein content of tofu, plus the vitamins and minerals coming from the leafy greens and tahini dressing creates a well-balanced meal that isn’t a compromise on flavor! Jay D’s Louisiana Barbecue Sauce adds that sweet and salty barbecue coat over the tofu, you won’t even miss the meat! Try this out on your next “Meatless Monday,” or make it like, every day… it’s just that good!

Barbecue Buddha Bowl

serves 2
(Vegan, Gluten-free)

1 (14 oz.) pack of extra firm tofu
½ cup Jay D’s Louisiana Barbecue Sauce
2 cups brown Supreme Rice, cooked
½ ripe avocado
1 cup kale or spinach
½ cup tahini
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup sweet potato, cubed
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp sea salt

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Press tofu for 15-20 minutes to remove excess liquid.

Place tofu into a medium sized bowl and add in ¾ cup Jay D’s Barbecue Sauce. set some aside for drizzling over baked tofu once finished. Mix together gently. (Marinate over night for best results.)

Place tofu on a flat pan lined with parchment paper and do the same for the sweet potato cubes.

Once oven is preheated, place tofu and sweet potatoes in the oven. (Tofu should take 20-25 minutes, sweet potato cubes should take 15 minutes.)

While the tofu and potatoes are baking, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, water and sea salt to create a dressing for the greens.

After tofu and potatoes are finished, scoop out 1 cup of cooked brown rice into 2 separate bowls. Slice the ½ of an avocado into ¼ into cubes or thin slices.

On top of rice, scoop out ½ of the baked BBQ tofu, ½ of the baked sweet potato, ½ cup of greens drizzled with ½ of the dressing, ¼ of an avocado - into each bowl for a completely satisfying meal!