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Louisiana Cookin MayJune 2017

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3 BAYOU STATE ROAD TRIPS • BEST MUFFULETTAS AROUND • SHRIMP R
RÉ
É MOULADE
Louisiana
2017
l
travel
issue
Authentic Cajun & Creole Cuisine
May/June 2017 vol 20, issue 3
$5.99US $6.99CAN
0
74808 01055
06
4
DISPLAY UNTIL JUNE 27, 2017
contents
MAY/JUNE 2017 | VOLUME 20, ISSUE 3
15
9
roux.
first, you make a
Editor’s Letter
Natural Wonders
7
Spillin’ the Beans
Spring Flings
5
by Paul A. Greenberg
Afield & Afloat
Afloat
Woodland Treat
by Jay D. Ducote
3
louisianacookin.com
9
231Culinary Antiques
The Strife of Spice
Light & Fresh
Cool as a Cucumber
by Patrick Dunne
27
In Season
Sublime Succotash
29
Louisiana Foodways
Civil Rights at the Table
by Chris Jay
Chef’s Table
Seoul Food
contents
39
entrées
the main course
Downriver Rambles
New Orleans’ Bywater is a hidden gem
by Patrick Dunne
45
57
Discovering Monroe
Family adventures abound in Monroe
Roaming River Road
Stately mansions are only part of the fun
by Caitlin Watzke
571 Colors of Spring
A vibrant spring menu by Chef Nina Compton
63
Marvelous Muffulettas
Our favorite muffulettas around the state
by Caitlin Watzke
lagniappe
63
a little something extra
7
Sweets
All Hail the Queen
751 Quick & Easy
Rémoulade Redux
77
Local Pantry
Hot Stuff
797 By the Book
Over Easy
851 Cooking with Chefs to Watch
Heads Up
71
9
93
95
97
Event Spotlight
Fa rs, Festivals
Fairs,
Fest vals & Events
Rec pe Index
Recipe
Lagniappe
May/June 2017
Volume 20, Issue 3
EDITORIAL
DIRECTOR OF EDITORIAL OPERATIONS
EDITOR Daniel Schumacher
ASSISTANT EDITOR Caitlin Watzke
RECIPE EDITOR Fran Jensen
COPY EDITOR Marie Baxley
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Jay D. Ducote, Patrick Dunne,
Paul A. Greenberg, Chris Jay
Brooke Michael Bell
GROUP CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Deanna Rippy Gardner
ART DIRECTOR Lynn Akin Elkins
ST YLISTS
Sidney Bragiel, Lucy Herndon
FOOD ST YLISTS/RECIPE DEVELOPERS
CREATIVE DIRECTOR/PHOTOGRAPHY
Mac Jamieson
SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHERS
John O’Hagan, Marcy Black Simpson
PHOTOGRAPHERS
Jim Bathie, William Dickey,
Stephanie Welbourne Steele
ASSISTANT PHOTOGRAPHER Caroline Smith
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Melissa Gray, Nancy Hughes, Kathleen Kanen,
Janet Lambert, Vanessa Rocchio,
Elizabeth Stringer, Emily Turner
ASSISTANT FOOD ST YLIST/RECIPE DEVELOPER
Anita Simpson Spain
CHEFS TO WATCH ADVISORY BOARD
Kristen Essig, Holly Goetting, Jeffrey Hansell,
Chris Lusk, Colt Patin
Randy P. Schmidt
SENIOR DIGITAL IMAGING SPECIALIST
DIGITAL IMAGING SPECIALIST
Delisa McDaniel
Clark Densmore
FOUNDERS
Romney K. and Charley Richard
D I G I TA L M E D I A
MARKETING DIRECTOR Tricia Wagner Williams
ONLINE EDITOR Courtney duQuesnay
DIGITAL GRAPHIC DESIGNER Alana Hogg
DIGITAL CONTENT STRATEGIST Brent Rosen
A D M I N I S T R AT I V E
HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR
Judy Brown Lazenby
IT DIRECTOR Matthew Scott Holt
DEALER PROGRAM MANAGER Janice Ritter
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT/EDITORIAL
Morgan Crawford
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DIRECT RESPONSE Hagan Media/Katie Hagan (251) 621-9748
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CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD/CEO Phyllis Hoffman DePiano
PRESIDENT/COO Eric W. Hoffman PRESIDENT/CCO Brian Hart Hoffman
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VP/DIGITAL MEDIA Jon Adamson
VP/EDITORIAL Cindy Smith Cooper
VP/ADMINISTRATION Lynn Lee Terry
EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING OFFICE
326 S. Broad St.,
New Orleans, LA 70119
Phone: (504) 648-2647
EVP/OPERATIONS & MANUFACTURING
Greg Baugh
VP/INTEGRATED MARKETING SOLUTIONS
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CUSTOMER SERVICE
Louisiana Cookin’, P.O. Box 6201,
Harlan, IA 51593
Phone: (877) 538-8362
Email: LUCcustserv@cdsfulfillment.com
louisianacookin.com
Louisiana Cookin’ ISSN 1096-4134 is published bimonthly by Hoffman Media, 1900 International Park Drive, Suite 50, Birmingham, AL 35243, 1.888.411.8995. Reproduction in part or in
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E D I TO R ’ S L E T T E R
NATURAL
WONDERS
AS I’VE BRANCHED out and explored more corners of
the Bayou State, I am continually astounded by the variety and
sheer number of opportunities there are to experience its natural
beauty. From walking down Bayou Saint John in New Orleans to
the hundred-or-so miles of the Creole Nature Trail in Southwest
Louisiana, or lazing in the shade of an old live oak tree at Oak Alley
Plantation, it’s really just incredible.
While we were researching New Orleans Plantation Country
for this year’s travel story (page 51), we thoroughly enjoyed how
each of the plantations specialized in different aspects of historical
life, from the lush interiors at Houmas House & Gardens to the
intricate portrayals of the lives of the enslaved at Whitney and
Laura plantations, where they played a vital role in the agrarian
planter economy.
But there is more to Plantation Country than stately, historical homes. A lot more. We also had a lovely meal
at Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse and Restaurant in LaPlace (their Andouille chips are amazing!) and enjoyed the
breathtaking view of Lake Pontchartrain from the deck at Frenier Landing after our Cajun Pride swamp tour that
included holding a baby alligator. (I’m thankful for the experience, and grateful I came away with all my fingers.)
Whether you’re hitting the road or gathering with family and friends around the house, this issue has some
exciting things for you. Some of the best dishes I’ve cooked lately were Chef Nina Compton’s carrot ravioli (page
61) and Chef Edgar Chase’s grilled shrimp salad (page 87). They will be hitting my table often this spring.
So before the heat of the summer comes on, let’s all hit the road and visit a few of the places that make
Louisiana great. 3 BAYOU STATE ROAD TRIPS • BEST MUFFULETTAS AROUND • SHRIMP RÉMOULADE
Louisiana
2017
Authentic Cajun & Creole Cuisine
travel
issue
On the Cover
Queen Cake
(page 72)
photography by
jim bathie
styling by
lucy herndon
recipe
development and
food styling by
elizabeth stringer
EDITOR’S PICKS
B E S T
MEAT PIES
FRENCH MARKET
EXPRESS
Natchitoches
FOLLOW US ON
FRIED CHICKEN
MCHARDY’S
CHICKEN & FIXING
New Orleans
VISIT US AT LOUISIANACOOKIN.COM.
9
louisianacookin.com
R O A D
vvv
CRACKL N’
THE BEST TO
SUPERM RKET
Sco
PARMESAN GRILLED CORN
•
•
Parmesan Grilled Corn spiced up with Slap Ya Mama
Original Blend Seasoning is the perfect addition
to any BBQ.
•
4
½
4
½
1
•
1
ears of corn, shucked
cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
tsp dried thyme
Tbsp Slap Ya Mama Original Blend
Seasoning
Tbsp parsley, chopped
•
Preheat grill to 400°.
In a bowl, combine ¼ cup Parmesan cheese,
butter, thyme and Slap Ya Mama Original Blend
Seasoning. Mix well and set aside.
Using a large sheet of aluminum foil, create a tray
for the corncobs to sit in. Lay corn yat inside foil
tray. Coat corn with the butter mixture, making
sure the corn is entirely covered. Using the foil
tray and more foil, tightly wrap corn into a pack,
making sure there are no holes.
Place foil pack on grill and cook for 35 to
40 minutes or until corn is fully cooked.
Carefully open foil pack, sprinkle remaining
Parmesan cheese over the corn and top with
chopped parsley.
ADDING A LITTLE SPICE TO LIFE SINCE 2001
slapyamama.com | 800.485.5217
#slapyamama
SPILLIN’
T H E B E AN S
SPRING FLING
by paul a. greenberg
FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS, readers, because
we’re about to journey statewide to find great food and
big fun because it’s finally spring! I have wanderlust
because that old song by the country trio Rascal Flatts,
“Life is a Highway,” keeps playing in my head. So,
everybody pile in and let’s see what Louisiana has to
offer—food-wise, that is.
Regular readers know that every year about this time
I do my best to persuade you to mark your calendars for
the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival, this year May 5-7.
This is the best way to spend an early spring weekend.
Not only are there bazillions of crawdads, but after the
bravest among you enter the crawfish eating contest, you
can Cajun dance the night away to a string of live bands.
My enduring favorite part of this event is the food—
crawfish boudin, anyone? Yes, please.
That’s the beginning of May, but May 25-28 you
will definitely want to be in New Orleans for the
25th anniversary of the New Orleans Wine &
Food Experience. For four days and nights you can
rub shoulders with renowned chefs, winemakers,
restaurateurs, and folks just like us, who love to eat
and drink.
Paul A. Greenberg is an inveterate local diner who has been covering the New Orleans restaurant scene in regional and national publications for 25 years.
11
louisianacookin.com
TURKEY
AND THE WOLF
There are special wine dinners, tastings, cook-offs, and lots and lots of wine. This has become a
destination event for people from all over the world, but you’re practically next door, so come on
down! Check nowfe.com for details.
As long as I’ve got you in the New Orleans mind-set, let me offer a couple of other good reasons
to visit the Crescent City as soon as possible. The first is Turkey and the Wolf, a new restaurant a
bit off the beaten path, but well worth finding. The menu is divided into “Sandwiches” and
“Not Sandwiches.” (They had me at sandwiches.) Here you can actually
order a fried bologna sandwich on white bread, or even a cabbage salad
with pig ear cracklin’s. I mean it. Oh, and how about those tacos with hogs
head cheese, sour cream, jalapeños, and American cheese?
As long as we’re in the car, let’s journey to Baton Rouge, where Chef
Kelley McCann, an alumnus of Galatoire’s Bistro, has opened Kalurah
Street Grill. I don’t know how to describe the menu, but he describes it as
“modern American” cuisine. That plays out in items such as Jerk Duck Breast
Wellington. Close your eyes and picture that! There is also a stellar smoked
tomato soup, and some full-flavored braised short ribs. It all happens under
sky-high ceilings with exposed brick walls and oversized windows. Nice.
FOND FAREWELL
Meanwhile, we have eaten our last meals at two fine destination restaurants. The first was Tony
Angello’s in New Orleans, where the chef ’s “feed me” menu was legendary. Old school CreoleItalian fare will never be quite the same. Or will it? The buzz on the street is that by the time
you read this, there will already be a new restaurant occupying the former Tony Angello’s space.
Reportedly, the red gravy will continue to flow, but that’s about all we know.
Meanwhile, another notable restaurant has also shut its doors permanently. Friends, the huge
30,000-square-foot Madisonville restaurant that overlooked the Tchefuncte River, is history. We
don’t know yet what will happen to the huge building, but again, rumors are swirling that another
operator has expressed serious interest. Stay tuned.
Louisiana Cookin’ | May/June 2017
12
CHEF CHAT:
At the other end of the spectrum in New Orleans, one of our favorite chefs, Phillip
Lopez, proprietor of Square Root and Part & Parcel, has opened a new Parisian-style
bistro, Petit Lion in the recently opened Troubadour Hotel in the Central Business
District. Lopez offers an eclectic menu, featuring items such as Steak au Poivre, Fried
Chicken with Wildflower Honey Hot Sauce, Crab Stuffed Deviled Eggs (!!!), and for
dessert, a Barq’s Root Beer Float. The restaurant also serves breakfast. For my money,
it’s all about the house omelet with blue crab, asparagus, and blue cheese. With that
said, breakfast just became my most important meal of the day. I sat down with Phillip
to find out more about his new venture:
There is a lot of good buzz around town about your new restaurant, Petit Lion.
Tell us about the concept. It is meant to be a modern Parisian bistro. Lion is my
middle name and my grandfather’s name. As a kid, my father got shipped overseas
and my mother took me to a bistro in Paris. That’s where I fell in love with food. So,
I wanted to bring really good French food to New Orleans, where the city sometimes
gets overshadowed with Creole French food. French food is light, so we’re offering
dishes like steak tartare, beef Burgundy, chicken paillard salad. Our Steak
au Poivre is the best.
Is there a signature dish at Petit Lion? I think every dish we create has the potential
to become a signature dish. We’re continuing to work on recipe development, and
we want to feature the types of things you would find in a Julia Child cookbook, but
brought together with new techniques.
This is your first restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day.
How challenging is that? Well, the challenge is sleep! And, we’re even looking to push
a really good brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. In this part of New Orleans, a good
brunch is missing. We want to knock out great pain perdu, pancakes, omelets, but still
focus on that modern Parisian bistro concept.
Your other recent opening in New Orleans is Part & Parcel, a deli. That’s a
departure for you, too. How did you decide to open a deli? Some guys that have
been with me for a long time are passionate about sandwiches, and we’ve really always
wanted to do a deli. A good chunk of my salary always ends up at Stein’s Deli, and I’m
always trying to find the best deli in any city where I travel. When I lived in D.C., I
would always stop at Dean & DeLuca, so Part & Parcel is sort of a Southern version of
Dean & DeLuca. We’re also working on a retail part of the establishment.
YOU NEED TO KNOW…
The gastropub movement is coming to bustling Oak
Street in New Orleans with the opening of DTB
Social House (DTB=Down the Bayou). Two local
chefs, Jacob Naquin and Carl Schaubhut,
have partnered to offer seafood, a wide array of beers,
and a serious cocktail program.
Chef Jeremy Langlois, the man who put Latil’s
Landing restaurant at Houmas House Plantation and
Gardens on the map, has returned to his original stomping
grounds. Langlois is now executive chef at Chef John
Folse’s White Oak Plantation in Baton Rouge.
Congratulations, chef! NOW, THAT SHOULD KEEP YOU BUSY AND WELL FED UNTIL NEXT TIME. REMEMBER:
BUY LOCAL, EAT OUT OFTEN, AND CLEAN YOUR PLATE.
AF I E L D & AF LOAT
WOODLAND
TREAT
by jay d. ducote | photography by stephanie steele | food styling by nancy hughes | styling by sidney bragiel
AT MY FAMILY’S camp just up the Red River from Simmesport in east-central Louisiana’s
Avoyelles Parish, we mostly hunt deer and squirrel. Every now and then the occasional wild turkey
shows up. Perhaps even more elusive around those woods is the sight of a cottontail rabbit. Much
like you would expect from Br’er Rabbit himself, the cunning bunnies prove difficult to target, even
with a trusty 12-gauge shotgun.
Of course, it’s a little unwise to shoot a rabbit with a rifle because you run the risk of scaring
away any nearby deer. Because of that, rabbits are more a fall delicacy, rather than in the cold of
winter when deer are on the move. Thankfully, a lot of Louisiana markets keep farmed rabbit in
stock all year long.When we do happen to score a rascally rabbit, the conversation always turns to
dinner that night. We know we’re in for a treat!
Typically, our rabbit cooks down in a stew of potatoes and carrots. Sometimes we braise it in a
fricassee. However, one of my favorite ways to eat a rabbit is fresh off a hot grill.
The rabbit cooks up nicely, keeping the flesh firm, yet tender. Each section boasts unique
textures as you move from a leg to the loin. Wash it down with a little white wine or a cold, locally
brewed beer, and you’ve got quite a pairing on your hands.
GRILLED GARLIC AND HERB RABBIT
MAKES ABOUT 4 SERVINGS
1 (3- to 4-pound) rabbit, cut into 8 pieces
8 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked
4 cloves garlic, peeled
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Garnish: fresh rosemary sprigs, fresh thyme sprigs
1. In a large bowl or gallon-size resealable bag, place
rabbit pieces.
2. In the work bowl of a food processor or the
container of a blender, combine thyme, rosemary,
garlic, oil, lemon zest and juice, and honey; process
until smooth. Pour marinade over rabbit; cover and
refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat (350° to 400°).
4. Remove rabbit from marinade, and sprinkle
with salt and pepper. Reserve marinade. Grill rabbit
legs for 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Add loin
and ribs; grill 20 minutes more, continuing to turn
all pieces occasionally and brushing with reserved
marinade. Garnish with rosemary and thyme,
if desired. Note: The rabbit can be served with grilled
vegetables, white beans, or a green salad. It pairs
nicely with a glass of dry white wine, like Jay D’s
Blanc du Bois from Landry Vineyards.
Jay Ducote writes the
blog Bite and Booze
(biteandbooze.com) and hosts
the Bite and Booze Radio
Show on Talk 107.3 FM in
Baton Rouge. Find him online
@biteandbooze on Twitter and
Instagram and at facebook.
com/biteandbooze.
L I G H T & F R ES H
COOL AS A
CUCUMBER
WHETHER YOU’RE AN avid backyard gardener with bushels of fresh cucumbers
to spare or just love the cool, crunchy vegetable—we’ve got just the thing for you. By
marinating seedless cucumber slices in this creamy, herby concoction, you’ll end up with
one of the best side dishes you’ll taste all summer.
BUTTERMILK CUCUMBER SALAD
PICKLED RED ONION
MAKES 6 SERVINGS
MAKES ABOUT 8 SERVINGS
½ cup crème fraîche
¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 clove garlic, finely grated
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Sea salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
3 large English cucumbers, sliced
3 fresh red Thai chiles, very thinly sliced
½ cup drained Pickled Red Onion (recipe
follows)
1
¼
¼
¼
1
1. In a small bowl, whisk together crème
fraîche, buttermilk, mayonnaise, tarragon,
chives, parsley, dill, garlic, and lemon zest and
juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. In a medium bowl, combine cucumber,
chiles, and Pickled Red Onion; toss with
buttermilk dressing. Cover and refrigerate for
4 hours.
17
louisianacookin.com
cup red wine vinegar
cup sugar
cup water
teaspoon sea salt
red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1. In a small saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar,
¼ cup water, and salt to a boil. Cook, stirring
frequently, until sugar is dissolved. Remove
from heat; add onion. Let stand until cool.
Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Store in
an airtight jar for up to 2 weeks. CRISP AND
CRUNCHY CUKES
MARINATING THIS SALAD FOR 4 HOURS
YIELDS GREAT FLAVOR AND CRISP
CR SP
CUCUMBERS. AFTER 12 HOURS,
THE TEXTURE WILL SUFFER.
BUTTERMILK
CUCUMBER SALAD
I N S E ASO N
SUBLIME
SUCCOTASH
LATE SPRING IS one of those favorite times of year. The weather starts warming up, and blue crabs start
running in Louisiana’s marshes, bayous, and inlets. We waste no time figuring out new and exciting ways to
dine on them. Louisiana’s blue crabs have a delicate sweetness that adds a distinct decadence to any meal. For
this Chilled Crab Succotash we opted for lump crabmeat, but you should feel free to use whatever is at hand.
Claw meat will have a stronger flavor and be somewhat lacking in texture, while the other end of the spectrum—
jumbo lump—will be sublime (and quite costly). Bacon on top? Yes, it’s extravagant, but you deserve it.
CHILLED CRAB SUCCOTASH
MAKES ABOUT 8 SERVINGS
1 pound fresh or frozen lima beans
Kernels from 4 ears fresh corn
½ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chiffonade of basil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons pickle brine
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound lump crab meat, picked free of shell
1 (16-ounce) jar pickled okra, halved lengthwise
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
½ cup diced red onion
⅓ cup chopped green onion
Garnish: crumbled bacon
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add lima
beans; reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about
20 minutes. Drain, and let cool.
2. In a medium skillet, cook corn over medium heat
until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together cream,
mayonnaise, basil, lemon juice, brine, thyme, Old
Bay, salt, and pepper.
4. In a large bowl, combine crab meat, lima beans,
corn, okra, tomatoes, red onion, and green onion.
Pour over cream mixture, and toss to combine.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to
24 hours. Garnish with bacon, if desired. Louisiana Cookin’ | May/June 2017
20
PLATE
LUNCH
Paradise
T
hough most visitors to Lafayette may associate
the area with our more famed Cajun and Creole
culinary fare such as jambalaya, crawƂsh, and
gumbo, it is the rice and gravy-centric plate lunch
that fuels the people of Louisiana’s Acadiana region.
Consisting of meat, a gravycovered starch, a pair of vegetable
sides, and a s imple piece of bread
—and often all served on a single plate—the plate lunch
emphasizes speed, affordability, and a high calorie count.
A close cousin to the meat-and-three restaurants found
throughout the South, the history of Lafayette’s plate lunch
houses is rooted in the marriage of rustic, home-style
cooking, with the convenience offered by the buffet line.
Rural meat markets were likely the Ƃrst to sling portable
plate lunches to a hungry working-class crowd. Instead of
disposing of their scraps and other unsold cuts, butchers
smothered these meats in rich, roux-based gravy for
tomorrow’s lunch. With the addition of rice—a regional
commodity—and a stewed vegetable or two, the plate
lunch was born.
At every plate lunch house throughout Lafayette,
variety is crucial. For example, the menu at Landry’s Café
serves up weekly standards, daily specials, side dishes,
and additions. Here, the array of dishes rotate in and out
of availability to the point where frequent customers can
set their clocks to the menu. But here in the land of rice
cultivation and culture, it’s rice and gravy that matters most
to the Café’s dedicated clientele. “It’s rice and gravy, rice
and gravy, rice and gravy, all day long,” says Denise Landry,
who opened Landry’s in 2003. Each plate lunch comes
laden with an over-generous mound of rice (or mashed
potatoes) drowned in Landry’s celebrated gravy, a recipe
that dates back to a restaurant her parents, Norris and
Bootsie, opened back in 1953. Darkened to the color of
roasted coffee and infused with spice, the gravy is made
fresh daily from pork roast drippings.
At the Creole Lunch House, Merline Herbert, who
opened her restaurant in 1983, sees the plate lunch as
nothing less than a celebration of South Louisiana’s joie
de vivre and the comfort that an assortment of ƃavors
can provide. “To me, that’s the joy of eating: to be
able to get a taste of different things,” she says. For
Ƃrst-time visitors, Herbert might Ƃx up what she calls
the Rookie Plate, a sampling of just about everything
on the menu. Long before she opened her restaurant,
these foods sustained her family and countless Lafayette
households for generations. Lunch was always “meat, rice,
and a vegetable, be it beans or greens,” she likes to tell
customers. “And believe it or not, until you’ve had some
meat and rice and vegetables, you haven’t had lunch.”
Discover Lafayette’s oldest plate lunch houses at
L a fay e t t e T r av e l . c o m / P l at e L u n c h
C U L I NARY
AN T I Q U ES
THE
STRIFE
OF
SPICE
by patrick dunne | photography by mac jamieson | styling by kerry moody
THE BOOK OF Revelation is no bedtime story for the faint of heart. If today we take for granted
the ubiquitous spice rack with neat little bottles, greedy epicures of past must have shuddered at
some of the apocalyptic predictions about the pungent flavorings. Among other luxuries and dainties
targeted for biblical obliteration were not just spices, but also the merchants who traded them and
the ships that bore them—all to be wiped out in one fell swoop.
How could this not have sent shivers down the spines of 15th century Europeans, whose insatiable
craving for spice made such fortunes that pepper was referred to as “black gold?” The only parallel
today might be petroleum. There seemed no price too great as supply tightened due to the expense
of middlemen, heavy trade levies laid on by new regimes in the Middle East, slow sea transport, and
avaricious Venetians who exploited their monopoly. Ultimately, spices proved to be the provocation
for the great global explorations undertaken at the end of that century, leading Columbus
to a new world and Vasco de Gama to the ancient.
It is an old but familiar story. From the dawn of time most spices came from India’s
Malabar Coast, where even Neolithic peoples seemed to have engaged in the trade.
Certainly for a millennia it had been the preoccupation of Asian rulers—both on the
subcontinent and the Arabian peninsula—to control the sources of this tasty commodity.
When Sheba’s queen ventured to Judea from her fiefdom in present-day Yemen, one
talking point with wise old Solomon was the spice trade. Since Arabs controlled the
trade routes, they became masters of market manipulation, both regulating supply and
propagating false advertising. Fantastic tales were created about how complicated it was
to harvest spice, all in order to keep prices high. Pepper grew in great reed-like groves
near the plain of paradise, cinnamon was gathered at great risk from the nests of monster
birds that lived on the shores of the Red Sea, ginger was guarded in caves by vicious
serpents. Even the 5th century B.C. Greek historian Herodotus heard these stories, and
recorded some as fact.
Ancient recipes loved pepper and salt, but Rome seemed to use spices sparingly. It was
sophisticated Muslim cookery that applied them liberally and artistically to every dish.
This was imitated by late medieval Europeans, whose rather drab diet needed to be
enlivened, and whose imagination was utterly befuddled by notions of the opulent
exoticism of the Middle East. The pre-Reformation Christian mind, ever able to
reconcile all manner of contradictions, also made a connection between spices and
paradise, a place believed to be suffused with their tastes and fragrances.
THE DAILY
GRIND
The mortar and pestle
is among humanity’s
most ancient and
revered culinary tools;
specimens more than
30,000 years old
have been found at
historical sites. Nearly
all cultures and peoples
devised some means of
pounding and grinding
their spices.
Patrick Dunne is proprietor of Lucullus in New Orleans,
which boasts an international clientele because of the
unique emphasis on antiques, art, and objects with a culinary
connection. He is the author of The Epicurean Collector and a
sought-after lecturer on table style and food history.
From the
Renaissance on,
the presentation of
spices at the table
involved the most
elegant objects.
Salt cellars of
precious metals,
fanciful mustard
pots, and grand
urn-shaped spice
shakers challenged
the imaginations of
fine craftsmen.
In the beginning,
spices were
so rare and so
expensive they
were locked
away and
measured out
carefully.
Spices, however, were not just an issue of snobbery.
They had genuine culinary and even medicinal appeal.
Undeniably, they added flavors to the wretchedly bland
and sometimes rancid-tasting food of the Middle Ages. In
an epoch much given to alchemy, their gilded and jewellike colors insinuated magic, and they were also regular
ingredients to medicaments. Initially insanely costly, they
were less often cooked with and more often passed around
in beautifully wrought objects meant to confirm their
status. A number of sensational spice ornaments called
nefs have survived. These peculiar monumental table
decorations were typically made of gold and silver and
often took the form of a ship or castle tower, reminding
everyone of their difficult origins and subliminally
cautioning to take only a pinch of the rare substance.
Trade and audacity invariably follow profits, and
once new routes were discovered, Dutch and Spanish
merchants made huge fortunes. Gradually prices fell, and
the stuff became accessible to most kitchens. By the 18th
century, nearly every table was equipped with mustard
pots, pepper shakers, and utilitarian and charming
compartmentalized wooden spice boxes. Sometimes
these were larger affairs of painted tole. No household was
without mortar and pestle, and later, with the passion for
gears and inventions, mills and grinders were produced
often in delightful forms. Spices were not just eaten, but
found their way into many mulled wine drinks as well, and
few men of fashion would be caught abroad without their
fancy silver nutmeg grater tucked in waistcoat pocket.
Inevitably sense and sensibility changed. No longer
coveted by princes for their rarity or a symbol of
conspicuous extravagance, the spicy luxury became
ordinaire, within the reach of any kitchen frau. Also,
the sense of what constituted desirable cuisine had
undergone a profound change. The elaborate spiced food
of the Near East gave way to new culinary canons that
emphasized natural tastes and simpler flavors. Almost
all but mustard, salt, and pepper were banished from the
table, while their once treasured sisters were confined to
more anonymous employment. Louisiana Cookin’ | May/Juney 2017
26
LO U I S IANA
FO O D WAYS
CIVIL RIGHTS
AT THE TABLE
THE STORY BEHIND SHREVEPORT-STYLE STUFFED SHRIMP
by chris jay
WHAT, EXACTLY, QUALIFIES a stuffed shrimp as
“Shreveport-style?” Whatever the answer the tasty crustaceans
have an interesting place not only in food lore, but in the history
of the Civil Rights Movement and black entrepreneurship in our
nation. The robust morsels that have been butterflied, stuffed
with crabmeat dressing, rolled in flour, and deep-fried can be
found on menus throughout Louisiana—from Dupuy’s Seafood
and Steak in Abbeville to the Mohawk Tavern Seafood Restaurant
in Monroe. While the stuffed shrimp in Shreveport are larger,
spicier, and more heavily breaded than most, they will be familiar
to anyone who has ever eaten a deep-fried crab meat-stuffed
shrimp in the South.
So it isn’t the cooking method that makes them different, it’s
where you get them. Stuffed shrimp are a house specialty offered
at dozens of black-owned cafés, diners, and plate lunch houses
throughout Shreveport. The dish was originally popularized in
Shreveport by Freeman & Harris Cafe, a black-owned restaurant
founded in 1921 by first cousins Van Freeman and Jack Harris.
The café likely began serving stuffed shrimp in the late 1950s,
when advertisements promoting the dish as a specialty first
began to run in the Shreveport Sun.
During the Civil Rights Movement, Freeman & Harris set
itself apart as a rare restaurant where blacks and whites would
dine together in Shreveport. It also served as a gathering place for
leaders planning civil rights strategy, including a 1958 visit from
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his aides. The stuffed shrimp
were in large part what kept people coming back for more.
Chris Jay lives in Shreveport and blogs about the local food scene at 20x49.com. He and his wife, Sara, produce a podcast about food and drink in North
Louisiana called Stuffed & Busted.
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“When integration came in, Freeman and Harris had just as many
white customers as they did black customers,” says state Sen. Greg
Tarver, whose predominantly black District 39 encompasses much of
Shreveport’s west side.
When the restaurant closed in 1994, it was believed to be the oldest
continually operated, black-owned restaurant in the United States and a
historic marker outside the restaurant boasted this fact. During the years
leading up to the closure, several of the restaurant’s cooks departed to
open their own eateries. These new restaurants all promoted a familiar
menu item—stuffed shrimp.
One of the most popular restaurants spawned by Freeman & Harris
was the Pete Harris Cafe, a center of black life in Shreveport until its
closure in 2006. Brother’s Seafood was opened in 2004 by Orlando
Chapman, the late grandson of Freeman & Harris Cafe co-owner Arthur
“Scrap” Chapman. Orlando once estimated that his restaurant routinely
sold more than 2,000 stuffed shrimp per day.
Perhaps most notable among Shreveport’s stuffed shrimp houses
is Eddie’s Restaurant, founded by Eddie Hughes in 1978. Hughes is
believed by many to have created or helped to create the original recipe
for Shreveport-style stuffed shrimp while working as a cook at Freeman
& Harris. While Hughes died in 1995, the restaurant is still operated by
his children, including daughter Mavice and son Geno. They recently
introduced a line of frozen stuffed shrimp in grocery stores.
“I think the closest that you’re going to get to the original Shreveportstyle stuffed shrimp recipe would be here at Eddie’s,” says Geno.
“Hopefully, it’ll continue for another 60 years. We want it to be around
for generations to come.”
Today, stuffed shrimp platters are served at many black-owned
eateries, lunch counters, and convenience stores in Shreveport. They are
served with buttered toast and fiery tartar sauce at Eddie’s Restaurant.
Across town at Brother’s Seafood, each order is accompanied by a
mountain of rice and gravy. They’re also a popular item sold by vendors
at local music and art festivals. The tradition continues. TRY SHREVEPORT-STYLE STUFFED SHRIMP
BROTHER’S SEAFOOD
4916 MONKHOUSE DR.
318.635.1641
C & C CAFE
1765 MILAM ST.
318.222.8160
EDDIE’S RESTAURANT
1956 HOLLYWOOD AVE.
318.631.9082
Louisiana Cookin’ | May/June 2017
28
C H E F ’ S TAB L E
SEOUL FOOD
ON THE NORTH SHORE of Lake Pontchartrain in
Covington, seasoned local chefs Carl Schaubhut and
Jean-Pierre Guidry are blending local and global flavors
at the casual yet sophisticated Bacobar, their international
street food concept.
The contemporary menu is filled with innovative yet
approachable dishes and cocktails that highlight the chefs’
favorite ingredients in new and exciting ways. They even
offer a “Bacopedia” to help patrons understand some of the
international street food fusions that may be unfamiliar
territory. For instance, there is the bäco, a combination
of an Asian steamed bun, or bao, and a taco. Carl and
Jean-Pierre stretch the limits of Cajun and Creole cookery
by infusing their creations with Asian and Latin flavors,
turning out items like Gumbo Ramen, which combines
a dark seafood gumbo “that any grandmother would
approve” with Asian ingredients such as fermented Korean
chile paste, ramen, and shiitake mushrooms.
“The idea was to take ingredients that we love to use
and cuisines we love to eat, and build a menu off of that
with no real limitations,” Carl says. “What we’re trying to
do at Bacobar…is to be something that people can’t just
find down the street.”
Carl and Jean-Pierre, both Louisiana natives, met while
working at Commander’s Palace under Chef Tory McPhail.
Jean-Pierre worked with Daniel Boulud in New York and at
the Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley after graduating from
the Culinary Institute of America. Carl, a self-taught chef,
helped open Fire in New Orleans’ Lower Garden District
and worked at a resort in Grayton Beach, Florida, before
joining Commander’s Palace as a sous chef. He went on
to become the executive chef at its sister restaurant Café
Adelaide, where he worked until opening Bacobar.
bacobar
70437 Hwy 21 • Covington • 985.893.2450 • bacobarnola.com
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CRISPY OYSTERS
& PORK BELLY
BÄC-BÄC
SHRIMP
5
dishes to try
YELLOWFIN TUNA
POKE TOSTADA
BÄC-BÄC SHRIMP BÄCO
CRISPY OYSTERS &
PORK BELLY
GUMBO RAMEN
VIETNAMESE
COFFEE PARFAIT
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louisianacookin.com
While Carl was at Café Adelaide, he was diagnosed with cancer.
After he went into remission, he had a creative resurgence and
realized the time was right to go out on his own. He and JeanPierre had talked about opening a place together, and although
both chefs have extensive fine-dining experience, they decided to
do something unexpected.
“Given our background, everybody kind of thought we would
open a white tablecloth, fine-dining spot. We said, ‘Let’s do
something that’s fun and hip and enjoyable,’” Carl says.
Bacobar opened in early 2016 and has been delighting diners
ever since. Its rotating menu is filled with playful dishes like Crispy
Oysters & Pork Belly; braised pork Kimchi Debris Fries; and Shrimp
Remoulade Tostones with crispy plantains, cebollitas-tomato salad,
cilantro, red bean hummus, and a wasabi rémoulade.
Then there are the eponymous bäcos. Among the options are the
bäc-bäc Shrimp Bäcos—filled with crispy Gulf shrimp, cucumber,
pickled veggies, Seoul sauce, and sesame seeds—and the ChipotleAgave Brisket Bäcos, brimming with smoky sweet beef debris,
Brussels sprouts, lime onion relish, and crispy shallots.
For their beverage program, the team consulted with New
Orleans bar maven Lu Brow (of Brennan’s), and her menu follows
Bacobar’s culinary esthetic by using fresh ingredients and topnotch spirits. Bacobar's frozen drink menu features fanciful takes
on cocktail classics (including a Caramel Coffee Milk Punch,
margarita, and French 75).
Carl and Jean-Pierre’s dedication to using the best local and ethnic
ingredients and their willingness to push the envelope has resulted in
a menu of fun dishes that have set Bacobar apart.
“People love how unique it is,” Carl says. “They love the creativity
involved. I think they also love that there are chefs in the building
every day…and that we’re always coming up with new and
innovative things.” by patrick dunne | photography by jim bathie
here was a time New Orleans more or less
ended at Esplanade Avenue for many, and
beyond Elysian Fields lay only a forest of
unknown streets called (not quite accurately)
“The Ninth Ward.” It was a destination that daunted
even Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire.
Those were days when the notion of a “Marigny” was
reserved for the cognoscenti, and “Bywater” didn’t
really exist except as a telephone exchange.
T
In the Beginning
(FOR ME, AT LEAST)
Many years ago, I was invited to dinner in this terra
incognita by a brilliant and eccentric professor who
lived in the most charming Creole cottage I ever saw.
Lit mostly by kerosene lamps because it had only one
electric plug, the house was nestled at the end of an
unpaved cul-de-sac called Martinique Alley. United
Cab drivers, who before GPS knew the city better than
the police, had to get out with flashlights to verify its
location off Rampart Street. The neighborhood seemed
so remote, so foreign, so chimerical, I felt I had been
captured in a Jules Verne tale and propelled on a journey
to the center of the earth.
It wasn’t long before this exoticism beguiled me
into buying a house on the Marigny’s margins. I
learned firsthand that while the neighborhood’s private
kitchens had plenty of good food, there were only three
restaurants of any consequence: Mandich’s on St. Claude
Avenue, Jack Dempsey’s on Poland Avenue, and Miz
Turner’s on Royal, where on any given day at lunchtime
the simmering garlic and gumbo was redolent for blocks.
Of the three, alas, only Jack Dempsey’s survives.
Having been a longtime denizen of this area,
which has now become as familiar as my bathtub, I’m
astonished at the effervescence of eateries in this odd
borough at the heart of New Orleans, a nearly perfect
rectangle of city blocks bounded by the River and St.
Claude Avenue, Elysian Fields and the Industrial Canal.
It is a suddenly chic place humming with all sort of
culinary ventures that have transformed old patterns.
Much of what is happening is young, fearless, original,
and yes, sometimes uneven, but never boring. It may be
an annoyance that so few places take reservations, but
all are heavily salted with locals, and there is a palatable
effort to accommodate and coddle regulars, which gives
that cozy “I’m in the right place” feeling that so many
old-fashioned New Orleans restaurants used to have.
The deliberate warmth and intensity in these efforts,
and most of all an underlying horreur de poseur—an
antipathy to overreaching or pretension—disarms the
guest and is ultimately soul satisfying. Here you will
find hard-working cooks, too genuinely food-loving
to be divas; proprietors seriously involved in creating
niches for nourishing moments; cool music; servers with
tattoos and piercings; and mixologists with proclivities
to sophisticated and arcane cocktails.
Do not venture to this rectangle if you are unwilling
to leave behind your ideas of what a modern canteen
should provide or if you are looking for haughty food-aphile atmospheres.
Louisiana Cookin’ | May/June 2017
40
A Grand Quartet
There is a “grand quartet” of restaurants comprising
The Franklin, Cafe Henri, Mariza, and Paladar 511, and
any organized exploration of our rectangle, out of sheer
geographical sense and gustatory joy, ought to start
at Paladar 511 on the corner of Marigny and Decatur
streets. The warehouse décor, presently so very á la mode
everywhere in New Orleans, here is fresh, authentic,
and oddly soothing. It somehow prepares one for the
surprises and comforts of the card. I’ve tried to analyze
what makes this place so successful—certainly the hardworking owners are part of the answer. Jack Murphy has
almost paranormal intuitions about how to organize a
restaurant; his life-partner, Susan Dunn, has the deft
hand of a magician whose wand conjures up intriguing
combinations of seasonal products. Susan’s brother,
Ed Dunn, provides the warm friendly face at the front
and ensures every table hums with satisfaction, and can
slip back on the line and produce one of their slim pizzas
with duck sausage in a flash. Mariza is serious, sleek,
and substantial, with subtle northern Italian flavors.
2
1
THE FRANKLIN
THIS SASHIMI TOSTADA ILLUSTRATES THE FRANKLIN'S
DELICATE FLAVORS AND BRIGHT POPS.
3
1. The Franklin 2. Paladar 511 3. N7 4. N7 5. Bao & Noodle
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4
The Franklin, now shepherded by Chef Benjamin Wicks
(a founder of Mahony’s Po-Boys & Seafood), has a
menu that blends small and big plates with delightfully
surprising flavors, in a moody, clubby atmosphere.
Cafe Henri is the brainchild of the guys who have
launched a few local successes, like Cure and Cane &
Table. They recently enlisted Chef Alfredo Nogueira
to construct a menu that twists on the Franco-favorite
radishes and butter, as well as Southern down-home
comforts like deviled eggs or chicken and dumplings.
Perhaps I should have called for a quintet. Even if it
is an outlier, being a block beyond the boundary of St.
Claude, N7, created by Aaron Walker and his wife, Chef
Yuki Yamaguchi, simply has to be included. Although it
defies exact characterization, the name arouses images
of an auberge on the long road to Provence. The menu
has a distinctly French flair, triumphantly embellished
with Japanese touches. There is outside dining in a
charming back-of-town garden where a gorgeous
vintage Citroën rests, and the background music will as
likely be Ayumi Ishida as Edith Piaf.
Allures of the Orient
By no means is the culinary
happening in MarignyBywater only Eurocentric.
Several cafes offer Middle
Eastern fare, and there are
three committed Asian
establishments that hold
their own: SukhoThai
on Royal Street, Red’s
Chinese (ChineseAmerican) on St. Claude,
and Bao & Noodle (pure
Chinese teahouse fare)
5
on Chartres Street. Bao
& Noodle, by Herbsaint
alum Douglas Crowell, is a must for its delightfully simple
ambiance, small menu, fresh ingredients, and utterly
authentic dishes.
Louisiana Cookin’ | May/June 2017
42
1
1 & 2. Bacchanal 3. Satsuma
The Firmament
Throughout the 114 blocks that make up this rocking
rectangle is a tessellation of brilliant spots where cool
kids are doing their own thing. The list is too long
and too good to dismiss in a few phrases, and almost
every one of them deserves attention. As with any
good culinary scavenger hunt, the persevering will
find their own favorite treasures. For me, Satsuma on
Dauphine is simply the niftiest place for breakfast. Ben
Tabor’s Sneaky Pickle on St. Claude is a vegetarian
thrill where you can take your meat-eating buddy
as well. The Joint’s barbeque can quench the most
gluttonous carnivore. Where else but the back of
Siberia, a bar and music venue on St. Claude, can you
find Matt Ribachonek slinging Slavic Soul Food that
has no match in the city? Some say the pizzas at Pizza
Delicious are the best in the world. Try brunch at Cake
Café & Bakery, brainchild of Steve Himelfarb, who
started out selling slices of cake from a basket up and
down the streets of the French Quarter—and ruined
many a Lenten resolution before settling down to create
a popular bakery and lunch spot. The momentum is
so accelerated that any effort to be comprehensive is
doomed. Just opened is the very edgy Crepe Place
on Poland Avenue that even offers some gluten-free
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choices. Bywater Bakery, which commenced right
before Carnival stacked with a variety of loaves, is a
needed asset to the neighborhood.
In Vino Veritas
Cruising down Chartres Street fifteen years ago, about
to make the turn onto Poland Avenue, I stopped to let a
young man cross. He was struggling with two wooden
wine crates and disappeared into an interesting masonry
corner building with the sign, Bacchanal Wine. In that
moment, I knew things would never be the same in the
old ‘hood, where hitherto the only wines were in corner
groceries. That young pioneer was the late Chris Rudge;
his genius for casual hospitality and deft hand at wines
turned Bacchanal into a place of pilgrimage. Now under
the inspired guidance of Joaquin Rodas, the patio is full
of live music, good food, and racks of bottles from which
to choose. It’s hard to imagine another place quite like
it. A gauge of the recent sophistication taking root, two
new well-curated wine stores have opened, each with
its individual charms: Faubourg Wines on St. Claude
and Grande Krewe on Decatur, which offers delivery in
the area—convenient if one has chosen an eating place
without a liquor license.
Respites
If suddenly this is no longer a ramble but a frenzy, take
a deep breath and find a watering hole, which won’t be
hard because there’s one on almost every corner. I’m
afraid of reprisals that might come with recommending
any particular place, thus spoiling the ambiance for
passionately protective local clientele. If you can fit in
and be inconspicuous, slip into Vaughan’s Lounge on
Dauphine Street. For a flavor of the old Upper Ninth, try
Markey’s Bar, which in my salad days was the hangout
of retired pirates and neighborhood gentry. Rumor was
this establishment sold more liquor than anyplace but
Pat O’Brien’s. Perhaps we’ll cross paths at the AllWays
Lounge & Theatre on St. Claude, where I may have been
the first guy in a bow tie to walk through the doors. It’s
quirky, drinks are solid, and likely as not there will be
a theatrical performance (scheduled or unscheduled)
about to happen.
Makin’ Groceries
2
Want to shop? St. Claude Avenue is the “it” place again!
The original Schwegmann’s may be gone, but the newly
renovated St. Roch Market is a pleasure to plunder.
One should not fail to stop at Elysian Seafood and
sample the irresistible crab cakes. Sprint across the
street to discover Shank Charcuterie, offering hearty
Louisiana cured meats, or saunter down to the sizable
New Orleans Food Co-op at the Healing Center,
which offers a substantial inventory of organic and
specialty foods.
Far from exhausting the possibilities of this odd,
wonderful, and ultimately ungovernable neighborhood,
these are simply hints at its allure. Surely if the deeply
rutted streets (which can rattle even a tank), the stunting
mythology of crime, and the inbred snobbery of zip codes
did not operate so strongly in New Orleans, it would be
a quartier continually overrun by wanderers, curious
and hungry. Louisiana Cookin’ | May/June 2017
3
44
photography by mac jamieson
mong the rolling hills and
ancient cypress trees of northeast
Louisiana, Monroe and West
Monroe offer a wide variety of enticing
activities for the whole family. From
antiquing on Trenton Street and
canoeing on Black Bayou Lake to
hunting and freshwater fishing, Monroe
is full of potential.
In addition to all of those, the area
features restaurants that can fulfill any
craving, whether it’s an overstuffed
shrimp po’ boy, local pasture-raised steak,
or a frosty glass of locally brewed beer.
The Twin Cities of northeast
Louisiana also are home to a collection
of museums and parks that highlight
the area’s unique contributions to the
American experience. You may come
for a long weekend, but you may not
want to leave.
A
Louisiana Cookin’ | May/June 2017
46
Downhome Delights
Monroe offers a diverse and exciting dining scene,
from casual burger and po’ boy joints to fine dining
and everything in-between. For outstanding Ouachita
River views and overflowing fried seafood platters, visit
Trapp’s in West Monroe. Another locals’ favorite joint is
Mohawk Tavern Seafood Restaurant, where they have
been serving gumbo, po’ boys, and oysters on-the-halfshell since 1952 (making it one of the longest-running
restaurants in town). And for those looking for a sweet
treat, the frozen custards at Eskamoe’s are a local
treasure. With locations in Monroe and West Monroe
serving nearly three dozen flavors, their “concretes”
(frozen custard blended with toppings) are some of the
coolest bites in town.
Built on fertile Mississippi delta soil, Monroe has a
few restaurants that pay serious homage to the area’s
agricultural roots. In the center of downtown Monroe,
Restaurant Cotton serves up home-style Southern food
with a serious Louisiana accent. The menu is dotted with
Muscovy Duck Wraps, Pimento Cheese Beignets, and
Buttermilk Fried Mississippi Quail.
Nearby at Restaurant Sage, 2016 Louisiana
Seafood King Blake Phillips has gained notoriety for
his traditional Cajun and Creole dishes as well as his
playful twists on the classics. BBQ Shrimp & Grits and a
decadent Flounder Crab Imperial are served alongside
a delicate Citrus Poached Redfish. Local produce and
pasture-raised Kingsland Ranch beef from West Monroe
feature prominently on the menu. And for a taste of the
Delta, don’t miss Doe’s Eat Place for their hot tamales.
2
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1
After a day of shopping, canoeing, or wandering
museums, there are a quite a few options to spend a
relaxing evening. Monroe and West Monroe are now
home to two breweries: Flying Tiger Brewery and
Ouachita Brewing Company. They are a few blocks
apart and separated by the Ouachita River, but both offer
interesting expressions of popular brew styles. Flying
Tiger Brewery, whose name is borrowed from General
Claire Lee Chennault’s famous WWII flying squadron,
also offers their beers for sale at local grocery stores. And
if getting away from the buzz of the city center is more
your speed, nearby Landry Vineyards in West Monroe
offers monthly outdoor concerts for the whole family.
3
4
1. Restaurant Sage 2. Trapp’s 3. Flying Tiger Brewery 4. Black Bayou Lake
5. Restoration Park
Natural Wonders
5
Northern Louisiana is known as the Sportsman’s Paradise for a
reason. For generations, hunters and fishermen have frequented
this corner of the state, but there is also a trove of natural
wonders for hikers, paddlers, and birders.
Just a few minutes from downtown Monroe, visitors can stroll
through the ancient cypress and tupelo trees at Black Bayou
Lake National Wildlife Refuge. True to its name, there are
dozens of native wildlife species that make regular appearances:
alligators, wood ducks, green herons, and the alligator snapping
turtle. The visitor center, a restored 19th century Acadian house,
features interactive educational exhibits, including an aquarium.
For loads of family fun, you won’t want to miss Lake
D’Arbonne State Park and National Wildlife Refuge, which
is known for its freshwater fishing, waterskiing, hiking, and
canoeing. Intrepid campers can stay in the park in a variety
of campsites, cabins, and lodges. Birders will delight at the
possibility of spotting bald eagles, the red-throated loon, and the
endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.
Closer to the heart of the city, Restoration Park in West
Monroe offers opportunities for a peaceful afternoon walk along
its 1.2 mile stone trail, flanked by moss-draped cypress trees.
True to its name, the park was formerly the site of a strip mine
that has been transformed by nature into a wetland. In its current
state, the wetlands provide flood protection for the area and serve
as a stop for migratory birds and other local wildlife.
Louisiana Cookin’ | May/June 2017
48
Remarkable Histories
While visiting the Monroe area, there are a wealth
of museums and attractions that will educate and
entertain the whole family. From exotic animals and
massive WWII planes to Coca-Cola history and rare
architecture, there is something for everyone to get
excited about.
For an exotic afternoon, families flock to the
Louisiana Purchase Zoo & Gardens. The property
features more than 450 animals including a large
cross section of those native to the original Louisiana
Purchase, such as the black bear, bison, and elk. And
kids of all ages will delight in the petting zoo, which
features a variety of miniature animals (from pygmy
goats to four-horned sheep).
One of the best little-known facts about Monroe: it is
home to the first bottler of Coca-Cola, Joseph Biedenharn.
The Biedenharn Museum & Gardens celebrates that
world-changing event with a rich collection of Coke
memorabilia (including a delivery truck and examples of
those first bottles), as well as tours of the richly decorated
Biedeharn home, and a Bible Museum (which features
an extensive collection of historically significant bibles,
including a Gutenberg leaf).
Long before Delta Airlines became one of the
country’s largest commercial carriers, it began in Monroe
as a crop dusting service. That history, as well as the
contributions of General Claire Chennault and his WWII
squadrons of Flying Tigers, is commemorated at the
Chennault Aviation & Military Museum. The museum
houses a wide variety of military artifacts from each of
the services, as well as riveting first-person accounts of
local airmen from northeast Louisiana.
Architecture fans will not want to miss stopping at the
Cooley House Museum. While the museum itself is not
yet open to the public, it is a stunning example of Prairie
School architecture.
Arts & Antiques
On the banks of the Ouachita River in West Monroe’s Cotton Port
neighborhood, arts and antiques lovers will be drawn to the eclectic
mix of 30 boutiques and galleries that comprise Antique Alley.
The many antiques shops for which the district is named cover
a wide swath of specialties, from art, jewelry, and furniture at
Trenton Street Antiques to rare coins and Coca-Cola memorabilia
at the Cotton Port Antique Mall. There is an unparalleled variety
to pique different interests.
Wandering visitors will also want to peruse the local boutiques
like Miss Persnickety Joon for children’s clothing and Bayou Statethemed apparel at Mojo’s of Louisiana, and the diverse regional
artworks (including woodwork, sculpture, photography, and
ceramics) featured at Ouachita River Art Gallery.
EVENTS
JUNE 4
DoMo BrewFest
downtownmonroe.org
LAST SATURDAY OF
THE MONTH (APRIL TO JULY)
Downtown Cinema
facebook.com/thedowntowncinema
DECEMBER 1
Christmas on the River
monroe-westmonroe.org
For more festivals and events, visit
monroe-westmonroe.org.
by caitlin watzke
long the winding stretch of River Road between New Orleans and Baton Rouge lies Plantation Country, a
beautiful region that provides a glimpse into Louisiana’s past. This National Scenic Byway along the Mississippi
River is dotted with ten historic plantation homes, where tours promise unforgettable experiences that take
visitors back in time to learn about the way of life for the families who owned the homes and the slaves who built
them. This historically significant area also offers one-of-a-kind cultural experiences and authentic Cajun and Creole
eateries, all amid a spectacular landscape.
A
Louisiana Cookin’ | May/June 2017
52
Plantations
Some of America’s most famous plantation homes are
nestled along River Road, but it is their unique histories
that make each of them worth visiting. Start your trip
with a tour of Whitney Plantation in Wallace, the only
plantation museum that focuses solely on slavery. The
90-minute guided tour gives visitors perspective on the
lives of Louisiana’s enslaved people. Tours include visits to
the “Big House,” seven slave cabins, the Antioch Baptist
Church, and the Wall of Honor, a memorial dedicated to
the people who were enslaved at the plantation.
Formerly known as l’habitation Duparc, Laura
Plantation may feature the most thorough presentation
of Creole plantation life, due to the account penned by
Laura Locoul Gore, the granddaughter of the original
owners, in her memoir Memories of the Old Plantation
Home: A Creole Family Album. Guided tours, which
are offered in English and French, include visits to the
restored Creole plantation house, gardens, and the
1
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louisianacookin.com
2
1840s slave cabins, where the Senegalese tales of Br’er
Rabbit (or Compère Lapin) were first recorded by Tulane
University language professor Alcée Fortier.
Perhaps no River Road plantation is more
recognizable than Oak Alley, with its iconic quartermile approach of stately 300-year-old oaks leading up to
“The Big House,” which was built in the Greek Revival
style in 1837 as a gift from a wealthy Creole sugar
planter to his bride. Today, the 25-acre National Historic
Landmark site offers daily guided tours of the Big House
and self-guided walking tours of the historic grounds.
Don’t forget to try one of their famous Mint Juleps.
The oldest documented plantation left in the lower
Mississippi Valley, Destrehan Plantation is a French
Colonial-style house that was built in 1787 by Charles
Paquet, a free man of color whose craftsmanship is
evident throughout the home. Set among a backdrop
of Spanish moss-draped oak trees, Destrehan offers
historical tours led by guides in period dress. Tours
include access to the 1811 Slave Revolt Exhibit, folk life
demonstrations, and the Jefferson Room, which houses an
authentic document signed by Thomas Jefferson.
Known as the “Crown Jewel of Louisiana’s River
Road,” Houmas House Plantation and Gardens offers
a view into the life of the wealthy sugar barons that once
3
lived there. The self-guided tour allows time to explore
38 acres of lush gardens with sitting areas for you to
enjoy the splendor of the season.
It is well worth scheduling tours of the other five
plantations in the area, including St. Joseph, San
Francisco, Ormond, Evergreen, and Poché.
Dining
If you’ve worked up an appetite after walking around
these historic grounds, you’re in the right place. This
is South Louisiana after all, and whether you’re in the
mood for fresh Gulf seafood or Cajun smoked meats,
Plantation Country has something for everyone.
After your tours of Houmas House and Oak Alley, sit
a spell for a meal that you won’t soon forget. At Houmas
House, dine in style at Latil’s Landing Restaurant or
the Carriage House Restaurant, or stop in at Café
Burnside for a relaxed lunch. Oak Alley Restaurant
offers traditional Cajun and Creole dishes, including po’
boys, gumbo, and crawfish étouffée, while the Plantation
Café serves quick bites like wraps, salads, and ice cream.
Next to Laura Plantation is B&C Seafood Riverside
Market & Cajun Restaurant, where the Breaux family
serves home-style seafood dishes and Cajun delicacies,
5
4
6
1. Destrehan Plantation 2, 3. Houmas House Plantation and Gardens
4. Laura Plantation 5. Whitney Plantation 6. Laura Plantation
Louisiana Cookin’ | May/June 2017
54
2
1
3
1, 2. Nobile’s Restaurant & Bar 3. Frenier Landing Restaurant & Oyster Bar
including boudin balls, frog legs, gumbo, and fried
seafood platters. Stop by the market on your way out for
smoked sausage or freshly fried cracklin’s.
Across the river in Lutcher is Nobile’s Restaurant &
Bar, which has been around since the lumber boom of
the 1890s. Today, Nobile’s specializes in traditional River
Road cuisine that draws locals and visitors alike to the
restaurant on Main Street. Don’t leave without trying the
Butter Beans & Shrimp with Fried Thin-Cut Fish or the
famous meringue-topped Ba Ba dessert.
With smokehouses throughout the city turning out
some of the most delicious traditional smoked sausage
Louisiana has to offer, LaPlace has rightfully earned the
title of “Andouille Capital of the World.” Wayne Jacob’s
Smokehouse Restaurant has made some of the spiciest
Andouille in town for more than 65 years. Dine in the
restaurant for a taste of classic Cajun and Creole dishes,
including one of our new favorites: deep-fried Andouille
chips with Creole mustard. Pick up some of Wayne
Jacobs’ famous Andouille, boudin balls, or hot sauce
from the smokehouse before you leave.
For fresh Louisiana seafood with a view, Frenier
Landing Restaurant and Oyster Bar in LaPlace
is the place to be. The waterfront restaurant serves
a mouthwatering variety of classic seafood dishes,
including charbroiled oysters, fried shrimp po’ boys, crab
cakes, and an impressive whole stuffed flounder. Friday
55
louisianacookin.com
and Saturday nights are especially fun with live music in
the restaurant bar.
For truly indulgent Southern comfort food, Truck Farm
Tavern in St. Rose is a must. Here, Chef Scott Bourgeois
turns out playful takes on Southern classics, like his River
Road BBQ Shrimp with house-made Worcestershire sauce;
BBQ Mac and Cheese with pulled pork, smoked chicken,
and brisket; and Crispy Chicken Liver Biscuits with bacon,
fruit preserves, and smoked onion gravy.
What to Do
Get up close and personal with Louisiana’s wetlands on
a swamp tour from Cajun Pride, where there’s no telling
what kind of wildlife you’ll see. During the summer
months, when the bayou waters are warm, the wetlands
are teeming with gigantic alligators that will swim right
up to the pontoon boat in exchange for marshmallows.
Each swamp tour is led by one of Cajun Pride’s captains,
whose knowledge of the swamp and playful personalities
keep guests captivated.
Take a journey through African American life and
music at Historic Riverlands Church in Reserve, which is
on the National Register of Historic Places and Louisiana’s
African American Heritage Trail. Formerly called Our
Lady of Grace, the Roman Catholic church was built in
1936 exclusively for African American parishioners, who
previously worshipped at the
segregated St. Peter’s Church. Visits
must be scheduled in advance
and include a tour of the church
and the Soul River exhibit, which
highlights the influence of African
Americans on music throughout
hundreds of years.
Where to Stay
1
2
3
Several of the plantations in
the area have a variety of onsite
accommodations available for
visitors. Check into one of the
cottages at The Inn at Houmas
House for a luxurious getaway,
complete with breakfast and a
tour of the mansion. Each cottage
is decorated with antiques and
artwork that reflect the style of the
mansion. Relaxation is the name
of the game at Oak Alley, home to
eight cottages featuring the comforts
of home. Settle in for the night
with an in-room dinner prepared
by the restaurant’s chefs. Ormond
Plantation’s Bed & Breakfast is
unique in that it is located inside the
plantation home, where guests may
enjoy the grounds. F E S T I VA L S
J U N E 2 3 –2 5
LOUISIANA CATFISH FESTIVAL
louisianacatfishfestival.com
O C T O B E R 1 3 –1 5
ANDOUILLE FESTIVAL
andouillefestival.com
4
D E C E M B E R 8 –1 0
FESTIVAL OF THE BONFIRES
festivalofthebonfires.org
1. Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse 2. Historic Riverlands Church 3. The Inn at Houmas
House 4. Cajun Pride Swamp Tours’ sighting
Louisiana Cookin’ | May/June 2017
56
CO LORS
photography by jim bathie
recipes courtesy of chef nina compton, compère lapin, new orleans
SPROUTS AND GREENS, blooms
everywhere, and light, clean flavors. That is
what New Orleans Chef Nina Compton of
Compère Lapin thinks of when spring is in the
air. The Saint Lucian chef, by way of Miami, has
been serving seasonal, Caribbean-influenced
dishes in the Crescent City since the restaurant
opened early last year.
Gather your family and friends together
for a brilliant meal designed by Nina that
they’ll be talking about for months to come.
From the remarkably layered Carrot Ravioli
with Carrot Noisette Sauce to the Trio of Pork
(which features supple tenderloin, crispy belly,
and a simple fresh sausage, all under a sweettart cherry sauce), Nina’s combination of easy
techniques, unexpected flavor combinations,
and stunning colors makes this menu stand out.
These magnificent dishes may look
daunting, but are, in fact, made of simple,
smaller parts. Nina, who loved watching her
grandmother in the kitchen, suggests enlisting
a sous chef—a spouse, child, or friend—to help
chop the carrots and roll out the pasta dough.
Those moments shared in the kitchen are some
of life’s greatest treasures.
57
louisianacookin.com
TRIO OF PORK
TRIO OF PORK
MAKES 10 SERVINGS
1 gallon water
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon kosher
salt,
divided, plus more
to taste
2½ pounds pork tenderloin, silver
skin trimmed
2½ pounds skin-on pork belly
2½ pounds ground pork
¼ cup powdered milk
1 tablespoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon minced garlic
¾ teaspoon ground black pepper,
plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon sugar
Fresh rosemary sprigs
35 baby beets, trimmed
22 tablespoons olive oil, divided
5 tablespoons sherry vinegar
10 shallots, peeled and halved
Garnish: fennel fronds, chopped
parsley, Sour Cherry Sauce
(recipe follows)
1. In a large bowl, combine 1 gallon
water and 1 cup salt. Add pork
tenderloin. Let stand for 1 hour.
Remove pork tenderloin, reserving
brine. Add pork belly to brine, and
let stand for 1 hour.
2. In a large bowl, combine ground
pork, milk powder, mustard seed,
garlic, pepper, coriander, sugar, and
remaining 1 tablespoon salt. Shape
mixture into 16 patties.* Cover and
refrigerate until ready to cook.
3. Preheat oven to 300°.
4. Place rosemary in a large baking
dish. Top with pork belly, fat side up.
Roast until tender, about 3 hours.
Cut into 20 pieces. Keep warm
until ready to serve. Increase oven
temperature to 325°.
5. In large bowl, drizzle beets with
5 tablespoons oil, and season with
salt. Wrap individually in foil, and
roast until tender. Let cool. Peel, and
cut into quarters. Marinate beets in
5 tablespoons oil and sherry vinegar.
6. In the container of a blender,
place half of beets; process until
smooth.
7. In a medium baking dish, combine
shallot and 5 tablespoons oil. Season
to taste with salt and pepper. Roast
until tender, about 10 minutes.
Increase oven temperature to 350°.
8. In a large heatproof sauté pan,
heat remaining 7 tablespoons oil
over high heat. Sear tenderloin
and sausages on all sides. Transfer
pan to oven, and bake until a meat
thermometer inserted in sausage
registers 160° and inserted in
thickest portion of tenderloin
registers 145°. Cover and let rest for
5 minutes. Divide pork belly, loin,
and sausages among serving plates,
and serve with roasted shallots.
Garnish with beets, beet purée,
fennel fronds, chopped parsley, and
Sour Cherry Sauce, if desired.
*To make traditional sausages, you
will need 1 hank natural sausage
casing. Transfer pork mixture to a
pastry bag, and pipe mixture into
casing to make 16 sausages. Bring a
large pot of water to a boil. Reduce to
a simmer, and poach sausages until
a meat thermometer registers 165°.
Transfer to an ice bath until cool.
Sear sausages with tenderloin and
bake until warmed.
SOUR CHERRY SAUCE
MAKES ABOUT 3 CUPS
4
1
1
2
cups pitted sour cherries
cup thinly sliced onion
cup red wine vinegar
quarts low-sodium pork or
chicken stock
1. In a large stockpot, heat cherries
over medium heat. Cook for
5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add
onion, and cook for 5 minutes. Add
vinegar, and reduce until syrupy.
Add stock, and simmer until
reduced and thickened, about
1½ hours.
ASPARAGUS W
WITH
TH ROMESCO
AND BUTTERM
BUTTERMILK
LK CREMA
MAKES 10 SERVINGS
2
¼
1
1
½
¼
2
red bell peppers
cup unsalted butter
cup sliced almonds
clove garlic
cup olive oil
cup tomato purée
tablespoons fresh
parsley
2 tablespoons sherry
vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt
2 pounds asparagus
Buttermilk Crema (recipe follows)
1. Position oven rack to highest level,
and preheat oven to broil. Line a
baking sheet with foil.
2. Place bell peppers on prepared
pan. Broil, turning occasionally, until
skin is blackened, about 5 minutes
(watching peppers carefully during
cooking time). Place peppers in a
paper bag, and let stand until cool
enough to handle. Remove charred
skin; halve and seed peppers.
3. In a large sauté pan, heat butter
over medium heat. Add almonds;
cook, stirring occasionally, until
golden brown, about 6 minutes. Let
drain on paper towels.
4. In the work bowl of a food
processor or the container of a
blender, place bell pepper, garlic,
oil, tomato purée, 2 tablespoons
browned almonds, parsley, vinegar,
paprika, and cayenne; process until
smooth. Add salt, to taste.
5. Bring a large pot of salted water
to a boil. Add asparagus, and cook
until just tender.
6. Divide asparagus among serving
plates. Top with pepper sauce and
Buttermilk Crema. Garnish with
remaining browned almonds, if desired.
BUTTERMILK CREMA
MAKES 1½ CUPS
1
(32-ounce) container
whole-milk yogurt
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup buttermilk
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1. Place a cheesecloth-lined fine-mesh
sieve over a large bowl. Add yogurt,
and refrigerate overnight.
2. In a small bowl, combine
mayonnaise, buttermilk, zest, and
½ cup strained yogurt. Add salt and
pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate
until ready to serve.
Louisiana Cookin’ | May/June 2017
60
CARROT RAVIOLI WITH
VADOUVAN CRUNCH
MAKES ABOUT 10 SERVINGS
2
2
½
2
1
tablespoons olive oil
white onions, sliced
cup canola oil
tablespoons crushed red pepper
pound carrots, peeled and cut
into 1-inch cubes
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil,
divided
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons
salt, divided
3 cups all-purpose flour
11 large egg yolks
4 large eggs, divided
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup English peas, steamed until
tender
1 cup thinly sliced baby carrots,
steamed until tender
Carrot Noisette Sauce
(recipe on page 95)
Garnish: Vadouvan Crunch
(recipe on page 95), carrot top
leaves
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louisianacookin.com
1. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil
over medium heat. Add onion, and
cook, stirring frequently, until golden
brown. Set aside.
2. In a medium sauté pan, heat canola
oil and 2 tablespoons crushed red
pepper over low heat for 5 minutes.
Let stand until cool. Strain oil through
a fine-mesh sieve, discarding solids.
Use within 2 weeks.
3. Preheat oven to 375°.
4. In a large bowl, combine carrot,
¼ cup olive oil, cumin, and
1 tablespoon salt. Transfer to a
rimmed baking sheet, and roast until
tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer
to the work bowl of a food processor,
and process until smooth. Let stand
until cool, and transfer to a pastry bag
fitted with a 1-inch tip.
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted
with the dough hook attachment,
beat flour, yolks, 3 eggs, remaining
2 tablespoons olive oil, and remaining
1½ teaspoons salt at medium speed
for 5 minutes. Transfer to a heavily
floured surface, and knead for
5 minutes. Wrap dough in plastic
wrap, and let rest for 15 minutes.
6. In a small bowl, whisk together
¼ cup water and remaining 1 egg.
On a heavily floured surface, roll
dough to 1⁄16-inch thickness. Divide
dough in half, and brush 1 half
with egg wash. Pipe carrot filling
by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart
on dough with egg wash. Place
remaining dough on top, and press
each piece of filling with a 1-inch
round cutter. With a 2-inch round
cutter, cut ravioli, and place on a
floured sheet tray. Refrigerate until
ready to cook.*
7. In a large sauté pan, melt butter
over low heat. Add caramelized
onions, peas, and sliced baby carrots;
cook for 1 minute.
8. Bring a large pot of salted water
to a boil. Add ravioli in batches, and
cook for 2 minutes. Add ravioli to
pan with onion mixture. Add 1 cup
pasta cooking water, and stir gently
until combined.
9. Divide ravioli among 10 serving
plates, and top with Carrot Noisette
Sauce. Garnish with Vadouvan
Crunch and carrot top leaves, and
drizzle with chile oil, if desired.
*Ravioli may be frozen in heavy-duty
resealable plastic bags. Do not thaw
before cooking.
STRAWBERRY “SHORTCAKE
SHORTCAKE””
MAKES 1 (13X9-INCH) CAKE
1½ cups plus 1½ tablespoons
confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour*
½ teaspoon salt
12 egg whites
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 cup hazelnuts
Stewed Strawberries (recipe follows)
Lemon Whipped Cream
(recipe follows)
Strawberry sorbet, to serve
Garnish: microgreens
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Spray a
13x9-inch baking dish with cooking
spray, and line with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together
confectioners’ sugar, flour, and salt.
Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted
with the whisk attachment, beat egg
whites, granulated sugar, and cream
of tartar at medium speed until soft
peaks form. Add vanilla, beating
until stiff peaks form. Fold in flour
mixture in 3 additions. Pour batter
into prepared pan, smoothing top.
Cover pan with 3 lengths of foil to
prevent excess browning.
4. Bake for 25 minutes. Reduce
oven temperature to 300°, and
bake until a wooden pick inserted in
center comes out clean, about 20
minutes more. Let cool in pan.
5. In a large skillet, cook butter over
medium heat until browned. Reduce
heat to low. Add hazelnuts, and cook
for 5 minutes. Let drain on paper
towels.
6. Divide cake among serving plates.
Top with Stewed Strawberries,
hazelnuts, and Lemon Whipped
Cream. Serve with strawberry sorbet,
and garnish with microgreens, if
desired.
*We used Swans Down.
STEWED STRAWBERRIES
MAKES 15 SERVINGS
1
1
quart fresh strawberries, hulled
and halved
cup sugar
1. In the top of a double boiler,
cook strawberries and sugar over
simmering water until berries are
tender.
LEMON WHIPPED CREAM
MAKES ABOUT 4 CUPS
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
Zest of 5 lemons
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted
with the whisk attachment, beat
cream and confectioners’ sugar at
high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold
in zest. NAPOLEON HOUSE
LOUISIANA’S
BEST
Marvelous
Muffulettas
by caitlin watzke
T
he muffuletta is one of New Orleans’ most iconic
and quintessential eats. Traditionally, the colossal
sandwich is stacked with Italian cured meats,
cheeses, and the signature marinated olive salad, all stuffed
inside a round seed–studded loaf. The symphony of flavors
coming from the salty meats, creamy cheeses, and tangy
olive salad makes for an unbeatable combination, especially
as the oil and juices from the olive salad seep into the
sturdy loaf.
This incredible sandwich—named for the bread it
is served on—is said to have been invented in the French
Quarter at Central Grocery, a specialty market that was
opened in 1906 by Sicilian immigrant Salvatore Lupo. At
that time, Italian bakers made round muffuletta loaves that
were peddled by street vendors in the French Quarter’s open
market. Farmers and fishermen who sold their products
in the area would buy the bread from these vendors and
purchase fillings—olive salad, cold cuts, and cheese—from
nearby Italian groceries for lunch. Salvatore got the idea to
sell pre-assembled muffuletta sandwiches to provide his
customers with an easy, portable meal.
Since its creation, the muffuletta has inspired countless
versions throughout Louisiana, and as with any of New
Orleans’ traditional dishes, opinions abound on what
should go on it, whether it should be served hot or at room
temperature, how it should be spelled, and even how it
should be pronounced—some say muff-uh-letta, while
others say muff-uh-lotta, moof-uh-letta, or moof-uh-lotta.
No matter how you slice it, the muffuletta is one of
the best culinary creations to come out of New Orleans.
Today, the Crescent City is not the only place in Louisiana
where you can find one of these superb sandwiches. From
the French Quarter to the Capital City and beyond, here are
our favorite versions of muffulettas throughout Louisiana.
7
· OF LOUISIANA’S ·
BEST
MUFFULETTAS
ANTHONY’S
ITALIAN DELI
COCHON BUTCHER
Locations in New Orleans
5575 Government St.
and Nashville
Baton Rouge
cochonbutcher.com
225.272.6817
anthonysitaliandelibr.com
CANNATELLA’S
TRUE VALUE
421 Landrum St.
Melville
337.623.4211
CENTRAL
GROCERY AND
DELI
DIMARTINO’S
Locations in Terrytown, Marrero,
Algiers, and Covington
dimartinos.com
FERTITTA’S
DELICATESSEN
1124 Fairfield Ave.
Shreveport
318.424.5508
923 Decatur St.
NAPOLEON HOUSE
New Orleans
500 Chartres St.
504.523.1620
New Orleans
centralgrocery.com
504.524.9752
napoleonhouse.com
WESTBANK WONDER
F
or more than 40 years,
DiMartino’s has been turning out
muffulettas, po’ boys, and Italian
specialties on the Westbank of New
Orleans. Owner Peter DiMartino, who
opened his first location in Terrytown
in 1975, fell in love with the muffuletta
not only because of how it tastes but
also because of the fascinating history
behind it.
His love for the sandwich is
evident in DiMartino’s attention to
detail, including sourcing premium
ingredients and ensuring that every
dish is made to perfection. Ham,
soppressatta, mortadella, provolone,
and Swiss cheese are precisely weighed
to ensure each muffuletta is filled
with the perfect mixture of meats and
cheeses. The sandwich is run through a
toaster oven before being topped with a
generous heap of garlicky olive salad. The
juxtaposition of cold olive salad against
the warm interior and crusty bread
creates unbeatable layers of flavor.
Now that it has grown to three quickcasual locations and one full-service
restaurant, DiMartino’s is fulfilling Peter’s
personal mission of bringing classic New
Orleans dishes to more people.
“There’s no other sandwich like the
muffuletta,” Peter says. “It’s the Italians’
contribution to the city of New Orleans.”
CAPITAL CITY SICILIAN
A
ALL THE MEATS
O
ne of the most popular New Orleans muff ulettas is
served at Cochon Butcher, the artisan sandwich
counter and butcher shop offshoot of Cochon
restaurant in the Warehouse District. The Cochon Muff uletta
is made with the traditional meats found on most muff ulettas—
salami, ham, and mortadella—but one of the hallmarks of this
sandwich is that all of the meats are made in house.
“We make our own mortadella and poach it. Our capicola
Baton Rouge favorite, Anthony’s
Italian Deli has been serving
delicious Italian specialties for nearly
40 years. Anthony and Maria Saia opened the
deli in 1978 after they moved to Louisiana
from Italy. Anthony’s operated on Florida
Boulevard for 37 years before moving in 2015
to its new location on Government Street in
the Mid City neighborhood.
The deli is best known for its muffuletta,
which is piled with Italian cold cuts, provolone
cheese, finely chopped house-made olive
salad, and house dressing on homemade
muffuletta bread.
“We do something special with the
muffulettas before we serve them: We panini
toast them,” says Marco Saia, manager and
son of Anthony and Maria. “We toast them to
perfection, and they’re nice and crunchy, so it’s
not all bread, and it evens out with the meat.”
Marco, who grew up with the deli and so
considers himself a muffuletta connoisseur,
believes that Anthony’s Deli stands up to
other versions throughout Louisiana.
“My mother was pregnant with me when
she opened the deli,” he says. “I took my
first steps in our old place. I’ve been eating
these muffulettas since I was a child. I’ve
gone around and I’ve eaten other places, and
nothing compares to this…it’s one of a kind.”
is seasoned and cured for seven days, and we ferment our
salami and then dry and hang it for 90 days. All those meats
are meat that you can’t get anywhere else,” says Chef-Owner
Stephen Stryjewski.
Those meats are topped with provolone cheese and housemade olive salad atop a smaller version of the traditional
muff uletta loaf before being heated in an oven. On the decision
to serve the muff uletta hot, Stephen says, “I just like the way the
flavors all kind of come together when you heat it up. The salami
and the capicola get a little bit more tangy and funky, and the
warm olive salad has a different appeal and a different flavor.”
Louisiana Cookin’ | May/June 2017
66
TRUE FLAVOR
A
long the banks of the
Atchafalaya River lies the
small town of Melville, where
Cannatella’s True Value opened in 1923.
The grocery and general store, which
is now the longest-standing business in
the area, started selling muffulettas in
the early 2000s, when fourth-generation
co-owner Grant Cannatella installed
a kitchen and developed his own
muffuletta recipe in the style of Central
Grocery in New Orleans.
“We bake the bread here at the
store, which makes it unique, because
hardly anybody does that anymore,”
Grant says. “We also developed our own
olive salad, which is the key ingredient
for muffulettas.”
People come from all over to try
the muffuletta, which is served at room
temperature (or hot, by request) with the
traditional Genoa salami, mortadella,
ham, provolone, and Swiss. Both the
top and bottom slices of the bread are
layered with Grant’s special olive salad,
made with green and black olives,
giardiniera, freshly squeezed garlic,
capers, and herbs.
In addition to their incredible
muffulettas, Cannatella’s is also known
for its house-made Italian sausage,
which is made with an original recipe
handed down from Grant’s Sicilian
ancestors.
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VIEUX CARRÉ CLASSIC
N
estled in the heart of the
historic French Quarter
is Napoleon House, a New
Orleans institution that has long
been a favorite for hot muffulettas and
icecold Pimm’s Cups. Joseph “Uncle
Joe” Impastato opened a Sicilian
grocery at the site in 1914, where
he sold sandwiches to dock workers.
Along the way, the grocery morphed
into a tavern and eventually a
restaurant.
In 2015, local restaurateur
Ralph Brennan purchased the
restaurant, which continues to
delight diners with its classic New
Orleans cuisine and welcoming
ambience in a nearly 200-year-old
building. The muffuletta definitely
remains a mainstay of the menu.
“Certainly, two of the most critical
differences are that we use pastrami in
lieu of the traditional mortadella, and
also that we serve the muffuletta hot,”
says Executive Chef Chris Montero.
“Those are the real signatures of
the Napoleon House muffuletta.”
Chris honors the Impastato family
legacy by going back to the original
methods of making the restaurant’s
classic recipes. That includes making
the bread fresh daily, hand mixing the
olive salad in Uncle Joe’s bowl, and
toasting the bread in a toaster oven,
where the edges of the cold cuts crisp
and the cheese melts to perfection.
“We want to do things as
authentically and as originally as
possible since it’s such an iconic
restaurant,” Chris says.
NAPOLEON HOUSE MUFFULETTA
NAPOLEON HOUSE OLIVE SALAD
MAKES ABOUT 2 TO 4 SERVINGS
MAKES ABOUT 3 CUPS
Recipe courtesy of Napoleon House, New Orleans
1
(9-inch-round) seeded muffuletta
bun or Italian seeded bread, halved
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 slices ham
5 slices Genoa salami
2 slices pastrami
3 slices provolone cheese
3 slices Swiss cheese
⅔ cup Napoleon House Olive Salad
(recipe follows)
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Brush bottom and top half of bun lightly with oil.
Layer ham, salami, pastrami, and cheeses on bottom
half of bun. Top with Napoleon House Olive Salad, and
cover with top half of bun. Wrap in foil.
3. Bake until thoroughly heated, about 20 minutes.
Unwrap, and cut in half or quarters.
1
½
½
⅓
¼
¼
1
½
¼
2
1
½
cup pimiento-stuffed Spanish queen
olives, chopped
cup canned chickpeas, drained and
coarsely chopped
cup pickled vegetables,* drained and
coarsely chopped
cup canned artichoke hearts, drained
and coarsely chopped
cup cocktail onions, drained and coarsely chopped
cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
tablespoon capers, drained and chopped
teaspoon minced garlic
cup extra-virgin olive oil
tablespoons red wine vinegar
teaspoon dried oregano
teaspoon ground black pepper
1. In a large bowl, combine olives, chickpeas, pickled
vegetables, artichoke hearts, onions, bell pepper, capers,
and garlic. Add oil, vinegar, oregano, and pepper, stirring
to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
Will keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
*We used giardiniera, a mixture of pickled carrot,
cauliflower, celery, and green pepper.
THE ORIGINAL
Y
ou’ll know you’ve found Central Grocery and Deli when
you see a line winding out of the small storefront down
the sidewalk of Decatur Street, where the old-fashioned
grocery has been located since 1919 after moving from its original
location a block away. Not much has changed at the century-old
business, which is now run by third-generation family members.
“We’re proud of this business,” says owner Tommy Tusa. “It’s
111 years old. You don’t see many stores like these anymore, so we
want to keep with the style it is.”
The French Quarter fi xture is a well-oiled machine,
selling anywhere from 300 to 500 muff ulettas a day. The store’s
quintessential sandwich is stacked with Genoa salami, ham,
mortadella, Swiss, provolone, and chunky olive salad. They are
made ahead and weighted—a step that causes the oils from the
olive salad to seep into the loaf—creating a delightful texture
and flavor.
Muff ulettas are sold by the half and the whole, and can be
enjoyed at one of the store’s barstools or to go. Those who can’t
make it to New Orleans for a taste of this culinary masterpiece
can enjoy it from the comfort of home, as Central Grocery
now ships muff ulettas overnight.
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SHREVEPORT’S
“MUFFY”
T
he oldest family-owned restaurant in
Shreveport is also one of the best places
to find a muffuletta-style sandwich
in north Louisiana. Fertitta’s Delicatessen
first opened in 1927 as the Crystal Grocery
and transitioned into a deli in 1960, where
Sam “PaPa” Fertitta created the now-famous
“Muffy,” his take on the muffuletta.
“We were the first business in Shreveport
to introduce this type of sandwich,” says
current owner Agatha Fertitta-McCall.
Fertitta’s, which is now on the National
Registry of Historic Places, makes the Muffy
with muffuletta bread from Joe Gambino’s
Bakery in Metairie, but similarities to the
traditional muffuletta end there. Instead of
Italian cold cuts, Fertitta’s uses cotto salami and
Danish spiced ham; rather than provolone and
Swiss cheeses, the sandwich has mozzarella.
Additionally, the Muffy is topped with PaPa
Fertitta’s olive salad mix, which is more finely
chopped than that of a traditional muffuletta.
The sandwich is slathered with yellow mustard
and run through a toaster to heat it before
being sliced in half.
In addition to the Original Muffy, Fertitta’s
also offers vegetarian and turkey versions, as
well as a menu of other sandwiches, personal
pizzas, and salads. S W E E TS
ALL HAIL
THE QUEEN
photography by jim bathie | styling by lucy herndon
recipe development and food styling by elizabeth stringer
LOOKING FOR A sweet way to thank
your mother for her years of devotion? Try
this luscious, showstopping layer delight that
combines tender almond cake, ripe spring
strawberries, and a decadent buttercream
frosting. We can never thank our mothers
enough, but this cake is certainly a good start.
QUEEN CAKE
MAKES 1 (8-INCH) CAKE
1½ cups unsalted butter, softened
and divided
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
3 cups cake flour*
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sliced fresh strawberries
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon strawberry
preserves, divided
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
Garnish: Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
(recipe on page 73)
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 3 (8-inch) round
cake pans with baking spray with flour; line pans
with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, beat 1 cup butter and granulated
sugar with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy,
3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each
addition.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and
baking powder. Gradually add flour mixture to
butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning
and ending with flour mixture, beating just until
combined after each addition. Beat in extracts.
Pour batter into prepared pans, and smooth tops.
4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center
comes out clean, about 22 minutes. Let cool in
pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let
cool completely on wire racks.
5. In the work bowl of a food processor, place
strawberries; pulse until smooth.
6. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the
paddle attachment, beat salt and remaining ½ cup
butter at medium speed until creamy. Reduce
mixer speed to low. Gradually add confectioners’
sugar, beating until smooth. Add strawberry
purée and 1 tablespoon preserves, beating until
combined. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a
½-inch tip.
7. Pipe a ring of frosting around inside edge of
bottom cake layer to create a border. Fill center
with ½ cup preserves. Repeat with second cake
layer and remaining ½ cup preserves. Top with
remaining cake layer. Spread frosting on top and
sides of cake. Scrape sides of cake with a spatula
to remove excess frosting to achieve the “naked”
cake look. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
8. In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave
cream on medium until steaming, about 1 minute.
Stir in chocolate morsels. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Starting in center of cake, pour chocolate, working
clockwise to outside edge. (You may have some
leftover.) Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Garnish
with Chocolate-Covered Strawberries, if desired.
* We used Swan’s Down.
Louisiana Cookin’ | May/June 2017
72
CHOCOLATE-COVERED
STRAWBERRIES
In a small bowl, melt
1 (10-ounce) bag chocolate
melting wafers according to
package directions. Dip 16 fresh
strawberries (about 1 pound)
halfway into chocolate, and
place on parchment paper.
Let stand until chocolate
is hardened. New!
Special Issue
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Q U I C K & E ASY
RÉMOULADE
REDUX
SHRIMP RÉMOULADE
is one of Louisiana’s best
summertime dishes. Instead of
boiling the sweet Bayou State
shrimp for this version, we opted
for a quick roast with a flavorful
lemon butter. With bright lemon
acidity and fresh rosemary to
balance it out, this dish will be a
family favorite in no time.
LEMON ROASTED SHR
SHRIMP
MP
RÉMOULADE
MAKES ABOUT 8 SERVINGS
2
½
¼
2
2
1
pounds peeled and deveined
extra-large fresh shrimp
(tails left on)
cup extra-virgin olive oil
cup unsalted butter, melted
tablespoons freshly grated lemon
zest (about 2 large lemons)
tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or
to taste
tablespoon minced garlic, or to taste
1½ teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Mixed greens, for serving
Rémoulade sauce, for serving
1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. In a large bowl, combine shrimp, oil,
melted butter, lemon zest and juice,
garlic, salt, and rosemary. Toss until
shrimp are coated. Transfer to a large
ovenproof skillet.
3. Roast, stirring once, until shrimp
are pink and firm, about 20 minutes.
Remove from pan, and serve
immediately. Serve on a platter of
fresh greens with rémoulade
sauce. LO CAL PAN T RY
HOT STUFF
recipe development and food styling by elizabeth stringer
CAJUN AND CREOLE CUISINES have come to
be known for their affinity for spice. People all over the
Bayou State love adding a dash of Louisiana-style hot
sauce—made from red chile peppers, vinegar, and salt—
to just about everything, including gumbo, red beans and
rice, even eggs and pizza. Local brands have made names
for themselves with the spicy and vinegary product that
can now be found on dinner tables across the country.
One brand that has set itself apart in the hot sauce
landscape is Slap Ya Mama. Throughout the years, the
company best known for its Cajun seasoning blend and
quirky name expanded its product line to include dinner
mixes, fish fry, seafood boil, and hot sauces.
Anthony “TW” Walker created Slap Ya Mama’s
original seasoning blend in 1996 while running the
family deli in Ville Platte, a small town in Cajun country
that’s known as the “Smoked Meat Capital of the World.”
Customers had complained about the saltiness of the
seasoning he was using, so he set out to concoct his own,
experimenting until he found the perfect blend.
Customers went crazy for it, and the Walkers decided
to sell it at the deli. They started blending it themselves,
with TW’s sons, Jack and Joe, rolling an antique pickle
jar back and forth to mix it. Through it all, friends
and family were there to spread the word about the
homegrown Cajun seasoning.
“The community in Ville Platte is really unlike any
other,” says Jack, now vice president of marketing.
“Everybody treats everybody as family, and everybody’s
there to lend a helping hand.”
Slap Ya Mama is still headquartered in Ville Platte,
where friends and family help test new products and
ensure that they meet the standards of the Cajun palate.
Customers are at the heart of every new product Slap Ya
77
louisianacookin.com
Mama puts out, including its line of hot sauces, which
the company decided to create after many requests for it.
Slap Ya Mama offers three varieties of hot sauce:
Cajun Pepper Sauce, Cajun Hot Sauce, and Green Pepper
Sauce. Each sauce is made from peppers, vinegar, salt,
and the same blend of spices in the Cajun Seasoning.
Slap Ya Mama’s Cajun Hot Sauce turns up the heat in
the buffalo sauce in this fun po’ boy, while their Cajun
Fish Fry provides the perfect amount of crunch for the
alligator meat. Top it with the creamy Blue Cheese Celery
Slaw, and you’ve got quite the treat on your hands.
BUFFALO ALLIGATOR PO’ BOYS
MAKES 6 SERVINGS
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup Slap Ya Mama Cajun Hot Sauce
6 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound alligator meat, cut into bite-size pieces
1 (12-ounce) box Slap Ya Mama Cajun Fish Fry
6 (8-inch) New Orleans-style French bread pieces, split
Blue Cheese Celery Slaw (recipe follows)
1. In a large Dutch oven, pour oil to a depth of 2 inches,
and heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer
registers 350°.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring hot sauce, butter, garlic
powder, and Worcestershire to a simmer. Cook for 2 to
3 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat.
3. In a large bowl, toss together alligator meat and fish
fry coating, shaking off excess. Carefully add to hot oil in
batches, and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Let
drain on paper towels. Toss in warm buffalo sauce.
4. Place 8 to 10 alligator nuggets on bottom of each
French bread piece, and top with Blue Cheese Celery Slaw.
Serve immediately.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
SLAP YA MAMA
CAJUN HOT SAUCE
AND FISH FRY
can be purchased at
slapyamama.com and
are available at supermarkets
and stores nationwide. Visit
their website for a list of
vendors near you.
BLUE CHEESE CELERY SLAW
MAKES 6 CUPS
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 handful chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon celery salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ (16-ounce) bag tricolor coleslaw mix
2 cups thinly sliced celery
1 (5-ounce) container crumbled blue cheese
1. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour
cream, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic,
parsley, celery salt, and pepper.
2. In a large bowl, combine coleslaw mix, celery,
and blue cheese. Add sour cream mixture to
coleslaw mixture, and toss to combine. Cover and
refrigerate for at least 1 hour. BY T H E BO O K
OVER EASY
BRUNCH IS
A BELOVED
tradition in
Louisiana,
especially in
New Orleans
where the festive
meal is said
to have been
invented. Indeed,
we all know
Louisianans will
fi d any excuse to celebrate
l b
i h ffood and drink.
find
with
Brunch truly fits the bill as it is meant to be a leisurely
event, where guests linger over poached egg dishes
and mimosas for hours on end.
Many diners will wait in line for an hour or more at
a restaurant to enjoy this special meal—something Joy
Wilson, the creator of the popular Joy the Baker blog,
firmly believes no one needs to do. The New Orleans
transplant is a strong proponent of serving brunch at
home, which is why she penned her new cookbook Joy
the Baker Over Easy: Sweet & Savory Recipes for Leisurely
Days (Clarkson Potter, 2017).
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louisianacookin.com
In Over Easy, Joy offers the makings of the ultimate
brunch, with recipes for cocktails and coffee, eggs,
pancakes, waffles, sides, sandwiches, salads, and baked
goods. The book includes recipes to satisfy every
craving, with simple approaches like Fluffy Scrambled
Eggs and Cornbread Waffles as well as utterly decadent
creations like Fried Chicken and Maple Waffle
Sandwiches, French Toast Breakfast Burritos, and the
exotic North African egg and tomato dish, Shakshuka
with Feta and Parsley.
You’ll also find recipes inspired by the flavors of New
Orleans, including Shrimp and Grits with Poached
Eggs, Muffuletta Brunch Salad, Overnight New Orleans
Beignets, and Praline Bacon.
Of course, any cookbook written by a baker should
feature sweet treats, and Joy delivers with recipes for
everything from Very Sticky Pecan Rolls to Chocolate
Hazelnut Coffee Cake and Brown-Butter Doughnuts
with Brown-Butter Glaze.
If you feel inspired to create a brunch of your own,
try these Onion, Gruyère, and Grits Frittata Muffins
with one of Over Easy’s eye-openers, and you’ll have
a delicious, memorable Sunday meal that you’ll be
dreaming about until next weekend.
ONION, GRUYÈRE, AND GRITS
FRITTATA MUFFINS
ONION, GRUYÈRE, AND GRITS
FRITTATA MUFFINS
MAKES 12
Adapted from Joy the Baker Over Easy: Sweet &
Savory Recipes for Leisurely Days by Joy Wilson
(Clarkson Potter, 2017)
2
¾
½
⅓
1
4
cups water
teaspoon salt, divided
cup finely ground yellow grits
cup grated Gruyère cheese
teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
and divided
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 medium onions, sliced
½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Pinch sugar
4 large eggs
½ cup heavy whipping cream
Garnish: chopped fresh chives
1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water to
a boil over medium heat. Add ¼ teaspoon salt.
Slowly add grits, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring constantly,
2 to 3 minutes longer than package instructions.
(Grits will be thick.) Remove from heat; stir in cheese
and ½ teaspoon pepper. Let cool.
2. Preheat oven to 350°.
3. In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter
and oil over medium heat. Add onion, and stir to
coat. Cook, without stirring, for 4 minutes. Add
thyme, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste; stir. Cook,
stirring every 4 minutes, until onion is browned and
resembles jam, about 12 minutes. Reduce heat if
onion browns too quickly.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cream,
remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and remaining
½ teaspoon pepper.
5. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with remaining
2 tablespoons butter. Add a heaping teaspoonful of
grits to each prepared cup. Divide onion among cups.
Top with egg mixture, filling each cup about ¾ full.
6. Bake until puffed, browned, and cooked through,
20 to 22 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes.
Using a knife, loosen muffins from edges of cups, and
remove from pans. Garnish with chives, if desired. THE JAMMIEST ONIONS
HAVE A CUP OF WATER NEARBY WHEN
CARAMELIZING THE ONIONS, AND ADD A
TABLESPOON IF THEY BEGIN TO STICK TO THE PAN.
CO O K I N G W I T H
C H E FS TO WATC H
HEADS UP
AS THE LOUISIANA shrimp season heats up
in the late spring and early summer, we are faced
with a difficult but fantastic problem—how to cook
them as many different ways as we can? For home
cooks who want the most flavor from their shrimp,
the best option is to buy them head-on. Not only do
the heads make a striking picture, but they also offer
tons of concentrated flavor.
To talk about these Louisiana gems and give
some expert tips, we turned to Chef Edgar “Dook”
Chase IV. The 2010 Chef to Watch has spent his
life in the kitchen learning from his grandmother,
legendary Creole cook Leah Chase at Dooky Chase’s
Restaurant, and last year, he and his cousin Gavin
Goins Jr. opened their first restaurant: Dook’s Place.
The casual café, located outside security at the New
Orleans International Airport, gives travelers and
locals alike a broad and expertly drawn picture of
classic and new Louisiana dishes and techniques.
“YOU WANT TO EXTRACT AS MUCH
FLAVOR OUT OF THAT SHRIMP
AS POSSIBLE. YOU DON’T WANT
TO LOSE ANYTHING. SO, BY LEAVING
THAT HEAD ON, YOU’RE GETTING
A LOT OF EXTRA FLAVOR.”
—CHEF EDGAR “DOOK” CHASE IV
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louisianacookin.com
Q
Let’s start by talking about the dish itself. This is a grilled
shrimp salad? It’s a grilled shrimp salad with citrus and charred
corn, and then you’ll have some candied pecans, mixed with
some goat cheese crumble and pickled red onions. And it’s
finished with a pepper jelly vinaigrette. I serve a version of it at
Dook’s Place.
Q
What do we need to know about cooking with head-on
shrimp? You want to extract as much flavor out of that shrimp
as possible. You don’t want to lose anything. So, by leaving that
head on, you’re getting a lot of extra flavor. All of the juices and
fat coming from the head seeps into that shrimp and soaks.
That’s why at the restaurant, our barbecue shrimp comes with
whole head-on shrimp and we peel the shrimp that we use in
any sandwiches or shrimp and grits so we can make our own
stock out of it.
Q
Tell us about the technique of grilling the head-on shrimp.
I’m peeling [the center section] and deveining the shrimp
before grilling to make it more convenient and a little easier for
the diner. And then we’re brushing it lightly with a little olive
oil and seasoning, and grilling it. My preference is to leave the
whole shell on, because it will maintain even more flavor, but I
understand that people just want to dig into their salad.
Louisiana Cookin’ | May/June 2017
86
Q
These shrimp will cook quickly, how do you know
when to turn them? I would say it’s probably going
to be three to four minutes on each side. But with
anything you put on the grill, whether you’re doing
fish or shrimp, you can actually see the color change
happening. So what I tell all my cooks is: When you
put the shrimp on that flat side, you’ll see it change
colors. Right before halfway is when you flip it. With
that short amount of time, I would say, stay there,
look at it, watch that color change on the shrimp,
and flip it. Wait for it, watch it again, and then pull it
off. Don’t cover your grill.
make sure everything’s looking good, high quality.
So for this particular dish, pick the bigger ones, since
you know they’re going on the grill. And keep the size
consistent to keep the cook time the same.
is it like working at the airport? It’s been
Q What
great, man. We’ve been getting great compliments and
people are buying whole head-on shrimp,
Q When
what should they be looking for? What kinds of
questions should they ask? Look at the size, and
look at the color. Make sure it’s fresh, and use all
your senses. You want to smell it, and it shouldn’t be
smelling too shrimpy. You want to get the freshest,
GRILLED SHRIMP WITH
CHARRED CORN AND
CITRUS SALAD
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
Recipe courtesy of Chef Edgar
“Dook” Chase IV, Dook’s Place,
Kenner, Louisiana
12 large head-on shrimp, peeled
and deveined (tails left on)
2 ears fresh corn, husks removed
Olive oil, for brushing
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
1 (5-ounce) bag fresh spring mix
1 (5-ounce) bag fresh arugula
2 oranges or grapefruits, sectioned
½ cup goat cheese crumbles
½ cup Candied Pecans
(recipe follows)
¼ cup Pickled Red Onion
(recipe follows)
Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette
(recipe follows)
1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat
(350° to 400°).
2. Brush shrimp and corn with oil, and
season to taste with salt and pepper.
87
louisianacookin.com
all that great stuff through not only the travelers and
our guests, but also the employees. So it’s definitely
been a welcome reception. You know, the greatest
thing I love to hear when people come to us is they’re
amazed that this is not “airport food.” What we have
is like any other great New Orleans restaurant.
We’re their first meal coming in or their last, so
we have to definitely hold our end to the hospitality
standard just to make sure our guests get the great
experience on their way in and on the way out, so
they can come back and see us.
3. Grill shrimp for 3 minutes per
side; grill corn, turning frequently,
until charred on all sides. Set aside
shrimp and corn. When corn is cool
enough to handle, cut kernels
from cobs.
4. In a large bowl, combine spring
mix, arugula, orange or grapefruit
sections, goat cheese, Candied
Pecans, and Pickled Red Onion.
Divide salad mixture among 4
plates, and top with shrimp. Drizzle
with Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette, and
sprinkle with charred corn.
C ANDIED PECANS
3. Bake for 5 minutes. Let stand
until cool.
PICKLED RED O NION
MAKES ABOUT 3 CUPS
1
½
1½
2
cup sugar
cup apple cider vinegar
teaspoons kosher salt
red onions, thinly sliced
1. In a medium saucepan, bring sugar,
vinegar, and salt to a rolling boil. Add
onions; submerge, and remove from
heat. Let stand until cooled to room
temperature.
MAKES 2 CUPS
PEPPER JELLY V INAIGRETTE
½
½
2
cup water
cup sugar
cups pecan halves
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. In a large sauté pan, bring
½ cup water and sugar to boil over
medium-high heat. Whisk to break
down sugar. Add pecans, and toss
well; cook until liquid evaporates,
about 5 minutes. Spread pecans on
a parchment-lined baking sheet.
MAKES ABOUT 1¾ CUPS
⅓
⅔
½
⅔
cup pepper jelly
cup seasoned rice vinegar
tablespoon sugar
cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. In the container of a blender,
combine pepper jelly, vinegar, and
sugar; blend until smooth. With
blender running, add oil in a slow,
steady stream until combined. NEW AND IMPROVED
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EVERYTHING:
Kale Cobb Salad
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
1
WHAT YOU NEED
4
cups packed torn kale
leaves
¼ cup ranch dressing
1½ cups shredded cooked
chicken breast
½ cup halved cherry
tomatoes
½ cup chopped cucumber
small avocado, peeled,
pitted, chopped
4 hard-boiled large
EGGS, cooled to room
temperature, peeled
and sliced
½ cup crumbled blue
cheese
1 lemon, cut into wedges
HERE'S HOW
INSIDER INFORMATION
Easy 12-Minute Method for Hard-Boiled Eggs: PLACE eggs in saucepan
large enough to hold them in a single layer. ADD enough cold water to
cover eggs by 1 inch. HEAT over high heat just to boiling. REMOVE
from heat. COVER pan. LET EGGS STAND in hot water for 12 minutes
for large eggs. DRAIN. COOL completely under cold running water or
shock eggs in a bowl of ice water. You can refrigerate unpeeled eggs for
several days if not using immediately. Hard-boiled eggs are easiest to peel
right after cooling.
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per 1/4 of recipe; Calories 370; Fat 24g; Cholesterol 240mg;
Sodium 470mg; Carbohydrate 12g; Fiber 3g; Sugars 2g; Protein 29g
1. TOSS kale with dressing. TRANSFER to serving platter.
2. ARRANGE chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, eggs and
blue cheese in rows over kale. GARNISH with lemon wedges for
squeezing over avocado.
Tip: Add 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion to the salad if desired.
Tip: Use packaged baby kale for added convenience. If
preparing from a bunch of kale, discard the tough stems and
ribs. Tear leaves; wash and spin dry in a salad spinner before
proceeding as directed in recipe. If desired, substitute baby
spinach or a combination of greens for the kale.
www.laeggs.com
Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry
Mike Strain DVM Commissioner
EVENT
S P OT L I G H T
Mudbug Madness
EVENTS
Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo
May 19–21 • New Orleans
EVERY SPRING ON THE THIRD weekend of
May, New Orleanians flock to the banks of Bayou St.
John to enjoy great music, food, and art at the MidCity Bayou Boogaloo. The MotherShip Foundation
started the festival in 2006 as a way to reinvigorate the
people of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane
Katrina, and to bring neighbors and local businesses
together. Now with three-stages, the festival raises
funds for charities and draws 35,000 visitors each year.
Attendees can enjoy delicacies from 30 local vendors
offering traditional New Orleans cuisine and original
dishes as well as peruse local and regional handmade
arts and crafts. The main attraction of Bayou Boogaloo
is the incredible live performances from local musicians.
Past lineups have included acts such as Irma Thomas,
Lost Bayou Ramblers, Anders Osborne, and Robin
Barnes. The weekend also includes kayak races,
hula-hoop lessons, and a bicycle pub-crawl.
For more information on the Mid-City Bayou
Boogaloo, visit thebayouboogaloo.com.
91
louisianacookin.com
May 25–28 • Shreveport
CRAWFISH SEASON has
hit fever pitch in Louisiana,
and the annual Mudbug
Madness festival is bringing
the flavors of South Louisiana
to Shreveport. Over Memorial
Day Weekend, the city will play
host to its annual crustacean
celebration, a four-day
extravaganza in downtown
Shreveport. The event began in
1984 as a two-day street festival
and has grown to become one
of the state’s largest and most popular Cajun festivals,
drawing thousands of visitors each year. Mudbug
Madness offers $10 plates of boiled crawfish with corn
and potatoes, as well as cold beverages and Southern
food from local vendors. Crawfish lovers of all ages can
enter crawfish eating contests and participate in the
festival’s crawfish calling contest.
In addition to great food, Mudbug Madness also
features live music from well-known Cajun, zydeco,
blues, and jazz artists. This year’s lineup includes Wayne
Toups & ZydeCajun, Ghost Town Blues Band, Waylon
Thibodeaux, Memphis Soul, Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. & The
Zydeco Twisters, and more. The festival includes lots of
fun activities for kids, including puppet shows, crawfish
races, and face painting.
For more information, visit mudbugmadness.com. Louisiana
H EART OF THE
C AJUN P RAIRIE
JOIE DE VIVRE—A LITTLE JOY OF LIVING
ACADIA PARISH TOURIST COMMISSION
877.783.2109
aptc@bellsouth.net
www.acadiatourism.org
•Tour Rice and Crawfish Farms
•Visit Kelly’s Landing Agricultural
Museum & Agri-Tour
•Tour The Grand Opera House
of the South
•Visit a Rice Interpretive Center,
J.D. Miller Recording Studio Museum and
Visit Ford Automotive Museum
•Visit a German Heritage Museum
FAI RS , F EST I VALS
& E V E N TS
M AY
April 28 May 7 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival New Orleans | 504.410.4100
nojazzfest.com
4 14 Contraband Days Lake Charles | 337.436.5508
contrabanddays.com
57
bbcrawfest.com
Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival Breaux Bridge | 337.332.6655
11 13 Frog Festival Rayne | 337.334.2332
raynefrogfestival.com
11 14 Cochon de Lait Festival Mansura
cochondelaitfestival.com
18 20 Starks Mayhaw Festival Starks | 337.723.6297
mayhawfest.com
19 21 Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo New Orleans
thebayouboogaloo.com
25 28 Mudbug Madness Shreveport | 318.226.5641
mudbugmadness.com
25 28 New Orleans Wine & Food Experience New Orleans | 504.934.1474
nowfe.com
May 25 June 4 Cajun Heartland State Fair Lafayette
cajundome.com/chsf.aspx
26 27 Jambalaya Festival Gonzales | 225.647.2937
jambalayafestival.org
26 28 New Orleans Greek Festival New Orleans | 504.282.0259
greekfestnola.com
JUNE
2-3
Cookin’ on the Cane BBQ Competition & Festival Natchitoches
2-3
Le Festival de la Viande Boucanee—Smoked Meat Festival Ville Platte | 337.224.3248 lasmokedmeatfestival.com
3
Shrimp Boulette Festival Golden Meadow | 225.413.4414
2-4
Bon Mangé Festival Gheens
gheensbonmange.weebly.com
3-4
Oyster Festival New Orleans
nolaoysterfest.org
natchitoches.net
8-10 Louisiana Corn Festival Bunkie | 318.346.2575
bunkiechamber.net/lacornfest
10-11 Creole Tomato Festival New Orleans
frenchmarket.org
22-24 FestiGals New Orleans | 504.524.1227
festigals.org
23-24 Beauregard Watermelon Festival DeRidder | 337.463.5534
beauregardwatermelonfestival.com
23-24 Louisiana Peach Fest Ruston | 800.392.9032
louisianapeachfestival.org
24
swlashrimpnjazzfest.com
Gulf Coast Shrimp & Jazz Festival Lake Charles | 337.309.2712
24-25 Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival New Orleans | 504.558.6100
NEW ORLEANS JAZZ &
HE
VAL
93
louisianacookin.com
jazzandheritage.org/cajun-zydeco
OYSTER
INDEX &
R ESO U RC ES
Recipe Index
Breakfast
Onion, Gruyère, and Grits Frittata
Muffins, 81
Desserts
Strawberry “Shortcake,” 62
Chocolate-Covered Strawberries, 73
Queen Cake, 72
Lemon Whipped Cream, 62
Stewed Strawberries, 62
Meat, Poultry, and Game
Grilled Garlic and Herb Rabbit, 15
Napoleon House Muffuletta, 68
Trio of Pork, 59
Sauces, Seasonings, and Condiments
Blue Cheese Celery Slaw, 78
Buttermilk Crema, 60
Candied Pecans, 87
Carrot Noisette Sauce, 95
Napoleon House Olive Salad, 68
Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette, 87
Sour Cherry Sauce, 59
Vadouvan Crunch, 95
Seafood
Buffalo Alligator Po’ boys, 77
Chilled Crab Succotash, 20
Grilled Shrimp with Charred Corn and
Citrus Salad, 87
Lemon Roasted Shrimp Rémoulade, 75
Vegetables and Side Dishes
Asparagus with Romesco and
Buttermilk Crema, 60
Buttermilk Cucumber Salad, 17
Carrot Ravioli with Vadouvan
Crunch, 61
Pickled Red Onion, 17, 87
Resources
Spillin the Beans: Pages 11–13:
Photos courtesy of New Orleans Wine
and Food Experience (page 11), Allie
Appel (Kalurah Street Grill, page 12),
Madeline Rose (portrait, page 13) and
Marianna Massey (food, page 13).
95
louisianacookin.com
Culinary Antiques: Pages 23–26:
Antiques courtesy of private
collections in Dallas and New York
City, as well as Lucullus, 610
Chartres Street, New Orleans,
Louisiana, 504.528.9620,
lucullusantiques.com.
Foodways: Pages 27–28:
Photography courtesy of Jim Noetzel
(C&C Cafe and shrimp platter, page
28) and Mavice Hughes Thigpen
(Eddie's Restaurant sign, page 28).
Discovering Monroe: Pages 45–50:
Photography courtesy of Mary Frost
Insayn (tiger, page 45 and sunrise,
page 48), Flying Tiger Brewery (page
47), and Monroe-West Monroe
Convention and Visitors Bureau
(Restoration Park, page 48).
Roaming River Road: Pages 51–56:
Photography courtesy of Houmas
House (Garçonnaire, page 51; Big
House and rack of lamb, page 54).
By the Book: Page 79: Photography
courtesy of Joy the Baker Over Easy:
Sweet & Savory Recipes for Leisurely
Days by Joy Wilson (Clarkson
Potter, 2017).
Event Spotlight and Calendar: Pages
91–93: Photography courtesy Ben
Barnes (Bayou Boogaloo) and Jim
Noetzel (Mudbug Madness).
Lagniappe: Page 97: Photography by
Randy P. Schmidt.
CARROT NOISETTE SAUCE
MAKES 2½ CUPS
VADOUVAN CRUNCH
MAKES ABOUT 3 CUPS
1½ teaspoons butter
1½ teaspoons vadouvan spice or
Madras curry powder
1 cup puffed grain cereal*
1 cup old-fashioned oats
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup dried currants
¼ cup cane syrup
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 300°.
2. In a large Dutch oven, melt butter
over medium-low heat. Add vadouvan,
and cook until fragrant.
3. In a large bowl, combine all
remaining ingredients; add butter
mixture, and toss. Transfer mixture to
a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until
browned and dry, stirring every
10 minutes, about 20 minutes.
*We used Arrowhead Mills Puffed
Kamut; puffed barley or puffed brown
rice may be substituted.
BellaCopper
Solid Copper Heat
Diffusers &
Defroster Plates
1 cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
4 cups carrot juice
Zest and juice of 3 lemons
1. In a small saucepan, heat butter
over medium heat; cook until
browned. Transfer to a small bowl, and
let stand.
2. In a small saucepan, heat oil over
medium heat; cook until hot. Whisk
in flour, and cook, stirring frequently,
until a blond roux forms.
3. In medium stockpot, bring carrot
juice to boil; whisk in roux. Add zest,
and cook until reduced by half. Whisk
in browned butter; reduce heat to
low, and cook for 5 minutes. Add
lemon juice, and let cool slightly.
Serve warm.
∙ Even heating - no hot spots!
∙ Fantastic as a defroster plate!
∙ They really work—copper
conducts heat better!
www.BellaCopper.com
805.218.3241
NeW
BoOk!
SoUtHeRn
This 164 page, hard-cover
book has everything you need
for the ultimate Southern
barbecue. From low-and-slow
smoked meats to quickgrilled favorites like pork
chops and okra, this is the
ultimate guide to Southernstyle barbecue and grilling.
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Hoffman Media Store
P.O. Box 6302 • Harlan, IA 51593
800-361-8059
Total Amt. Due
HOFFMANMEDIASTORE.COM/BBQGRILLING
Allow 2–4 weeks for delivery. *U.S. only. Free shipping applies to orders
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L AG N IAP P E
NESTLED IN THE HEART of Cajun Country is Crawfish Town USA, a restaurant and seafood market
that has become famous for its boiled crawfish. Each year, the Henderson eatery serves more than 500,000
pounds of Louisiana mudbugs. For 21 unbeatable crawfish recipes, visit louisianacookin.com/crawfish21. Louisiana Cookin’ | May/June 2015
98
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