Monday, November 28, 2016

Jay D's Bites: Blackened Shrimp with Corn Grits

by Jay Ducote

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

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

Blackened Shrimp with Corn Grits

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

Serves 8-10 entree portions or around 70 tasting portions

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 25, 2016

Jay D's Bites: Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes

by Aimee Tortorich

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

Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans

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

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

Monday, November 21, 2016

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

by Chuck P

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

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

In a few short was over.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Jay D's Bites: Spicy & Sweet Hasselback Potatoes with Louisiana Molasses Mustard Dipping Sauce.

by Aimee Tortorich

Hasselback or accordion potatoes are trending across the nation and rightly so. Not only do they look impressive on a plate, but they taste like a combination of a crispy potato chip and baked potato in one. We used smaller potatoes that are easy to eat and enjoy with friends, but you could also use any large potato. Our line of products go great in this version with the a Louisiana Molasses Mustard dipping sauce and the rub for a nice, smoky kick.

Spicy & Sweet Hasselback Potatoes with Louisiana Molasses Mustard Dipping Sauce

Yields 4 servings

8 small potatoes, Yukon Gold, Fingerlings, or Red Bliss
1 cup Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet BBQ Rub Butter (see recipe below)
2 Tbsp green onions, chopped

Louisiana Molasses Mustard Dipping Sauce:

¼ cup Greek yogurt
3 tsp Louisiana Molasses Mustard

Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet BBQ Rub Butter:

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

In a small saucepan, melt butter with Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet BBQ Rub until incorporated.

Preheat oven to 425F.

Place a potato between the handles of 2 wooden spoons or 2 chopsticks. Using a sharp knife, make crosswise cuts in each potato, about 1/8-inch apart. The spoon handles will prevent you from slicing the potato all the way through. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.

Pour BBQ Butter in between each slice and bake until golden brown and tender, about 55 to 60 minutes.

To make dipping sauce, combine Greek yogurt and Louisiana Molasses Mustard. Garnish with chopped green onions and enjoy!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Looking Back: Hot Chicken on a Tin Roof

by Marit Schroeder, intern

My first event as a Bite and Booze intern was Hot Chicken on a Tin Roof, and it was such a fun night! I wasn’t entirely sure about the amount of people that were going to show up and how the whole night would go down, but we had such a good time and it was a great start to my internship.

We did recipe testing at the #officehouse for about a week beforehand, so I got to try a bunch of spicy chicken recipes with different blends. I don’t usually get my lunch cooked fresh from a chef so I was living the high life. Some of the recipes were killer fire and some missed a key spice, but the final recipe was the perfect mix.

Hot Chicken Drumsticks
Hot Chicken Drumsticks

On the day of the event, we spent all day prepping food and getting stuff over to Tin Roof Brewing. It was also my first time in a brewery, and all the equipment was super cool to check out. (P.S., head over any time their taproom is open and take a free brewery tour.) I even got to try most of their beers that night and came away with a few favorites.

When the event started, I was pretty blown away with the nearly 400 people that showed up, and 20% of the food and beer proceeds went towards flood relief for the Great Baton Rouge Food Bank. We teamed up with some of the folks over at Roux 61. They helped us source food donations and came out to help cook the chicken and keep it rolling out all night. It was cool to see all the people that came out to Tin Roof and help serve food. I might’ve have dropped a few servings, it’s fine. My parents showed up to the event, too, just to make fun of me a bit while working, but they bought some trays of food so I’ll allow it.

Hot Chicken Plate complete with Mac and Cheese and Greens.
Hot Chicken Plate complete with Mac and Cheese and Greens.

The event lasted for about 4 hours, and there was a steady stream of people coming and going all night. We served up hot or mild chicken, greens, mac and cheese and a dessert option of homemade banana pudding. The mac and cheese was definitely my favorite, and I loved the leftovers we got to take home after the event was over.

Overall, the event was a success and I’m still working here long enough after to tell my tale!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Jay D's Bites: Sweet Potato Pulled Pork Nachos

by Aimee Tortorich

I have never met a person that doesn’t love nachos. They are fun to eat, easy to share and can be created using different proteins and toppings. I wanted to do a little spin on a typical nacho plate that you would order at a restaurant, so I came up with this recipe. Sweet potato chips and pulled pork loaded with colorful and delicious toppings was a hit at the Bite and Booze headquarters and is sure to be a hit amongst your friends as well.

Sweet Potato Nachos with Pulled Pork 

Sweet Potato Pulled Pork Nachos
Sweet Potato Pulled Pork Nachos

2 large sweet potatoes, thinly sliced on a mandolin
1 ½ cups Jay D’s Triple Threat pulled pork
1 cup of canned black beans, rinsed
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup Monterey jack cheese
½ cup sour cream
2 green jalapenos, thinly sliced
Oil for frying
Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet Rub for seasoning chips

Heat a deep fryer to 300 F. Working in batches drop about 10 sweet potato chips at a time (depending on the size of your fryer and parcook for 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let drain. Set heat to 350F. Working again in batches, drop par-cooked chips into oil for about 1-2 minutes or until edges start to brown. Immediately remove from oil into a mixing bowl or on a paper towel lined rack and season with Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet Rub.

To assemble nachos:
Layer sweet potato chips with Monterey Jack Cheese, black beans, and pork. Broil until cheese melts. Top with avocado, sour cream, jalapenos, and a drizzle of Jay D’s Louisiana Barbecue Sauce.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Burgers with Chuck: DIG Magazine's Burgers & Beer Week

by Chuck P

Everyone knows of my undying love of hamburgers. To me, it’s the perfect marriage of meat and bread followed by an accompaniment of any toppings and condiments your heart desires. With so many restaurants in town serving up different types of hamburgers it can definitely put a strain on the ol’ pocketbook to try them all. Thankfully, the great folks at DIG Magazine rolled out their Burgers & Beers Week!

I swear it’s almost like DIG is monitoring my dreams and decided to make them all come true. Over 40 different restaurants participated in the event serving up specialty burgers for only $5 each! And they were featuring specials from Tin Roof, Sweetwater and St. Arnold breweries so you could pair a cold brew with your burger. I seriously had to pinch myself.

Due to a busy week here at Bite & Booze HQ, I wasn’t able to hit every spot on my list so here are the 4 burgers I was able to try and my thoughts on them:

Fat Cow: Praline Bacon Burger

Fat Cow's Praline Bacon Burger
Fat Cow's Praline Bacon Burger

I kicked off the week with the Praline Bacon Burger. I was hoping for a bit more flavor from this one. The house ground patty was a bit overcooked and I barely tasted the garlic aioli. The brie was nice and melted perfectly but I could have used way less arugula. Overall, it was okay, but it had me hoping my next stop would be better.

Stadium Sports Bar & Grill: The Stuffed Burger

The Pimento Cheese Stuffed Slider at L'Auberge's Stadium Sports Bar & Grill
The Pimento Cheese Stuffed Slider at L'Auberge's Stadium Sports Bar & Grill

Unknown to me and apparently a few others who came here, this one was actually a slider and not a full burger. While the patty itself was tasty, the pimento cheese stuffed inside of mine was a bit cold, as if they’d stuffed it after cooking the patty. The bacon bourbon jam was spot on and fries were included at no extra charge. Once again it was okay, but I still found myself hoping the next one was going to be “the one”.

The Overpass Merchant: The El Guapo Burger

The El Guapo Burger at The Overpass Merchant
The El Guapo Burger at The Overpass Merchant

Chorizo spiced pork patty, green chili queso, Fritos, Tapatio mayo, pickled red onions and cilantro. That’s pretty much all that needs to be said right? I This was hands down my favorite and most creative burger of the week. Every component of this burger just popped. Hell, you had me at queso and Fritos! I’m hoping this ends up on the menu there because it certainly needs to. With my burger hopes renewed, it was on to my final stop of the week.

Bin 77: The Bin Burger

The Bin Burger at Bin 77
The Bin Burger at Bin 77

So this burger is pretty much their regular burger that’s featured on their menu, which is fine because my thinking was that maybe they didn’t need to impress with all the bells and whistles. They were confident enough in their house burger to win everyone over.

Not so much.

My burger was well done after ordering it medium, no caramelized onions, 2 very small pieces of fire roasted garlic and barely enough ketchup and roasted bell pepper aioli to make the bread wet. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I had heard good things on this burger and maybe they were just super busy in the kitchen, but it was not the way I was hoping to end burger week.

The Ones That Got Away...

There were places I had on my list that I didn’t have time to try. If anyone had a chance to try any of these comment below or on the Bite and Booze Facebook Page with your thoughts:

Burgersmith, Churchill’s, City Pork, Gouter, Mason’s, Olive or Twist, Thai Kitchen, The Grind, The Londoner and Willie’s

I asked my good friends Brenton Day (, Franz Borghardt (Baton Rouge Burgers) and the man himself, Jay Ducote to pick their favorite burgers from last week in hopes of living vicariously through them. This is what they had to say:

Brenton Day:

Burgersmith's Breakfast DIG Burger. Photo courtesy of Brenton Day.
Burgersmith's Breakfast DIG Burger. Photo courtesy of Brenton Day.

Burgersmith’s Breakfast Dig Burger was coffee crusted, topped with hash browns and a fried egg served on toasted Vienna bread. This one really did it for me. I added sauteed onions and Smith sauce, because I could (and mostly because my server recommended it). I'm a sucker for an egg on a burger, and this one didn't disappoint. The toast was thick enough to stand up to the burger and all the toppings and the patty was cooked to a perfect medium.

Your Mom's BBQ Burger. Photo courtesy of Brenton Day.
Your Mom's BBQ Burger. Photo courtesy of Brenton Day.

Your Mom's BBQ Burger was by far the biggest burger I had all week. The patty was advertised to be 8 oz. and it was huge! Cooked to the requested medium, it was topped with cheddar, a heaping mound of fried onion strings and drizzled with BBQ sauce. The sourdough bun was soft and sweet. This burger was definitely the best bang for my buck.

Franz Borghardt:

Canefield Tavern's Cajun Burger. Photo courtesy of Franz Borghardt

The Canefield Tavern Cajun Burger was spicy but not overwhelming. The portion size was impressive and the jalapeños and Sriracha mayo gave it a giddyup! 

Canefield also offered five different $5 specialty burgers to choose from!

Goûter's Venison Burger. Photo courtesy of Goûter.
Goûter's Venison Burger. Photo courtesy of Goûter.

Goûter’s Venison Burger patty was a mixture of venison and beef topped with smoked cheddar is a combo that can’t be beat. Nestled between an awesome onion Kaiser roll and at only $5 this burger was a steal. Call me the Hamburglar!

Jay Ducote: 

The Two Run Farms Burger at Table Kitchen & Bar.

Table’s Two Run Farm Burger was a solid, classic burger. The salty, beefy patty certainly lived up to the hype and the addition of a fried egg is always a solid choice.

City Pork Deli & Charcuterie's Bayou Bengal Burger.
City Pork Deli & Charcuterie's Bayou Bengal Burger.

City Pork Deli & Charcuterie’s Bayou Bengal Burger was another solid burger. The bun was top notch, the patty was juicy and they added this fiery mustard that really added an unexpected zing-- definitely a great burger for $5.

All in all it looks like the people of Baton Rouge were blessed by the burger gods that week. I look forward to the next time this event comes back to Baton Rouge, but I think it has a little room for improvement.
Some restaurants were only doing the special for lunch, some for only dinner and some doing both. It was kind of hard to follow who was doing what and when. I know a few people who missed out on trying these burgers based on their availability to only go for lunch or make plans for dinner by getting sitters and such. Maybe some clarification for next time will give everyone a chance to enjoy these delicious deals!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Jay D's Bites: Oven Roasted BBQ Butter Turkey Breast

by Aimee Tortorich

Fall in Louisiana is my favorite time of the year. Cool weather, LSU Football, outdoor festivals, and harvest season are enough to inspire any person to spend time in the kitchen. This week I decided to focus on the protein of fall: turkey. Our friend, Galen Iverstine of the newly open Iverstine Butcher donated a beautiful free-range turkey to our team last week, so it was the perfect time to create a new recipe. Turkey always tends to turn out dry because of the leanness of the meat, so I always like to brine my turkey before I cook it. For this recipe, I brined the breasts overnight, then created a nice BBQ butter using Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet Rub. The balance of spicy, sweet and smoky flavors definitely paired well with the natural flavors of turkey. Check out my recipe below and be sure to impress your friends this season!

Oven Roasted BBQ Butter Turkey Breast

Oven Roasted BBQ Butter Iverstine Farms Turkey Breast served atop Cornbread Dressing  with a Cranberry Beet Chipotle Sauce
Oven Roasted BBQ Butter Iverstine Farms Turkey Breast served atop Cornbread Dressing
with a Cranberry Beet Chipotle Sauce

2 whole bone-in turkey breasts
2 quarts of brine (recipe below)
1 cup BBQ Butter (recipe below)

For Brine:

2 quarts cold water
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbs paprika
2 Tbs chile powder
2 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs onion powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp white pepper

Place water in a small sauce pot and heat to simmer. Whisk in salt, sugar and spices allowing them to dissolve, then turn off heat. Transfer cooled brine to bowl or zip lock bag. Add turkey breast, making sure to completely cover, and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.

For BBQ Butter:

½ lb unsalted butter
½ cup Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet Rub

Combine butter & rub in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Once melted, stir and reduce to simmer.

Preheat oven to 325F.

Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle both sides with rub. Place the turkey breast skin side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast the turkey for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours, while basting with the BBQ butter every 15-20 minutes. Turkey is ready when the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers at 165 F when inserted into the thickest and meatiest area of the breast. If the skin starts to over-brown, cover loosely with aluminum foil and allow to finish cooking. Once the turkey is done, transfer to a platter, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest 15 minutes before slicing diagonally on the bias. Serve with the pan juices from the bottom of the roasting pan.