With duck hunting season in full gear in Louisiana, there are more opportunities to see this delicious item on your plate at restaurants. Duck poppers are delicious, and a Louisiana duck season staple, with its creamy, warm cream cheese taking the edge off of the gamey flavor of a spicy seasoned bite-sized piece of duck meat. Wrap it in thick, crispy bacon pop a tangy, crunchy slice of pickled jalapeno in the middle and throw it on the grill….HEAVEN! But, it gets old after awhile and what to do with the remaining duck meat? Louisianakitchenandculture.com recently published a recipe created by Houma’s House Restauraunt Latil’s Landing’s Executive Chef Jeremy Langlois and it is a gem of a down south dinner. Latil’s was named by Esquire Magazine as one of the top twenty best new restaurants in America. There he masterfully creates wonderful dishes in a style that he calls “Nouvelle Louisiane” which focuses on fresh Louisiana ingredients. Using the freshest local meats, vegetables, herbs and spices that Louisiana has to offer, Chef Langlois whips up magic in the kitchen and thrives on delivering his guests an unforgettable experience. In this case, migratory duck species like Mallards, Wood ducks, Pintails, Gadwalls, and Blue and Green Wing Teals are what is typically hunted in Louisiana and incorporated into southern dishes from mid-November to late January. Locals have strong opinions on which species is the best table fare. These wild raised birds are (obviously) free of hormones, antibiotics and chemicals. The meat is very dark and looks almost blue or purple. This is because duck meat is very bloody. If you’ve never had wild duck, it can be a little tough in consistency and have a slightly gamey taste if not prepared correctly. One can soak the meat in salted water, milk, buttermilk or vinegar to remove blood from the flesh and/or age the meat under refrigeration for 3 to 7 days to enhance tenderness. When done correctly, duck can be a real delicacy.
Chef Jeremy Langlois’s pan roasted duck recipe is something new and the pecan sauce is a nod to Louisiana tradition. It’s easy and quick (our favorite kind of recipe!) and serves 6. Pair it with bacon wrapped balsamic green bean bundles and a bananas foster bread pudding for dessert for an authentic, yet new, Louisiana dining experience. It will wow your dinner company!
6 duck breasts Salt and pepper to taste 1 tbs olive oil Pecan Sauce
1/2 cup white corn syrup 1 cup light brown sugar 1/2 stick butter 1 cup pecans (pieces or halves) Salt and pepper to taste
Duck Breast Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Season the duck breast with salt, pepper and your favorite Louisiana seasoning. We love Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning. In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add olive oil. Add the duck breast, skin side down. Sear for 6 minutes. Flip the duck breast over and place the pan in the oven. Roast the breasts for 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the duck breasts to rest 2 to 3 minutes before slicing. Slice each duck breast into 1/2-inch pieces and fan around plate.
Pecan Sauce Combine corn syrup, brown sugar and butter in heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil gently about 5 minutes, stir in pecans and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over pan roasted duck breast.
For more delicious recipes similar to this one, click here.
Louisiana Travel has compiled a list of their Top 10 Louisiana chefs and the list is nothing to blink your eyes at. Louisiana is known for our unique foods and exquisite restaurants that rank in the upper echelon of the entire world, so to make it among the best of the best is a true honor. We wanted to give homage to the chefs that make it all possible. Chefs are the behind-the-scenes magic makers with complex palates that require creative, out-the-box thinking, and maintenance of close-knit, local relationships with food distributors, farmers, and the like. Their job descriptions are varied and far-reaching, including being business savvy, working well under pressure, managing line cooks and servers, hobnobbing with local entrepreneurs and business owners, all while creating the next best dish for the customer. It’s harder to remain a chef than to become one- the industry’s cutthroat competitive nature is made even more difficult by the sheer rate of restaurants popping up every year, every month. Only the good ones survive, and we have compiled a list of the Top 2 Louisiana chefs that have stood the test of time.
1. Emeril Lagasse
Emeril is probably one of the most
widely known Louisiana chefs as his resume includes Television Personality and
even Author. Chef Emeril Lagasse’s passion for food was ignited as a
young boy growing up in the small town of Fall River, Massachusetts, where he
spent time in the kitchen with his mother, Hilda. As a teenager, he worked at a
Portuguese bakery where he mastered the art of bread and pastry baking. After high
school, Lagasse turned down a full scholarship to the New England
Conservatory of Music to pursue his dream
of becoming a chef. He earned a degree from the respected culinary institution, Johnson and Wales
University, and later received
an honorary doctorate degree. Wanting to broaden his culinary horizons, Lagasse
then traveled to France where he honed his skills and learned the art of
classic French cuisine. Returning to the United States, Lagasse practiced his
art in fine restaurants in New York, Boston and Philadelphia until a job offer
from Dick and Ella Brennan lured the young chef to New Orleans, where Lagasse
helmed the kitchen for nearly eight years at their legendary restaurant, Commander’s Palace.
Chef John Folse, born in St. James
Parish in 1946, learned early that the secrets of Cajun cooking lay in the
unique ingredients of Louisiana’s swamp floor pantry. Folse seasoned these raw
ingredients with his passion for Louisiana culture and cuisine, and from his
cast iron pots emerged Chef John Folse & Company.
When Folse opened Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant in 1978 in Donaldsonville, he set out to market his
restaurant by taking “a taste of Louisiana” worldwide. He traveled all over the
world bringing tastes of Louisiana with him. He introduced Louisiana’s
indigenous cuisine to Japan in 1985, Beijing in 1986 and Hong Kong and Paris in
1987. In 1988, Folse made international headlines with the opening of “Lafitte’s Landing East” in Moscow during the Presidential Summit between Ronald Reagan
and Mikhail Gorbachev. In 1989, Folse was the first non-Italian chef to create
the Vatican State Dinner in Rome.
The international success of Folse’s cornerstone property, Lafitte’s Landing
Restaurant, spawned the incorporation of several other Chef John Folse &
Company properties. White Oak Plantation in 1986 established Folse’s catering and events management
division. Chef John Folse & Company Publishing, since 1989, has produced 9 cookbooks in his Cajun and
Creole series, plus a novel, two children’s books and a religious memoir by
other authors. “A Taste of Louisiana” is Folse’s international television
series produced by Louisiana Public Broadcasting since 1990. The Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La., opened in
October 1994 and is dedicated to the preservation of Louisiana’s rich culinary
and cultural heritage. In 2014 a brand new facility was built for the
In August 1996, Folse expanded his professional repertoire and began
broadcasting his radio cooking talk show, “Stirrin’ It Up” which eventually
turned into a television cooking segment.
The bakery division was launched in 1996 to create specialty desserts, pastries
and savories. In October 1998, a fire destroyed the 200-year-old Viala Plantation, which housed Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant, and in May 1999 Folse
opened his former Donaldsonville home as Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant at
Bittersweet Plantation offering fine dining and bed and breakfast
accommodations. In the year 2000, Folse incorporated Digi-Tek Productions, a
full service digital recording studio.
Folse has received numerous national and international accolades including but
not limited to: In 1987, the Louisiana Restaurant Association named him
“Louisiana Restaurateur of the Year.” In 1989, Nation’s Restaurant News
inducted Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant into its “Fine Dining Hall of Fame.” In
1990, the American Culinary Federation (ACF) named Folse the “National Chef of
the Year.” In 1995, Folse was one of 50 people recognized in Nation’s
Restaurant News’ “Profiles of Power.” In 1999, the Research Chefs Association
(RCA) named Chef John Folse & Company “Pioneers in Culinology”
because of the efforts of Folse and his culinary research team. In 2001, Folse
was elected to RCA’s Board of Directors and served as RCA president from
2005-2007. In 2006, Folse was inducted into National Restaurant Association
Educational Foundation’s College of Diplomates. In 2007, Folse served as
the American Judge for the Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest in Lyon, France.
In August 2010, Folse announced his partnership with Chef Rick Tramonto and the
formation of Home on the Range: Folse Tramonto Restaurant Development, LLC.
Their first joint venture, Restaurant R’evolution, opened in June of 2012 at 777 Bienville St. at the Royal Sonesta
Hotel in New Orleans. Restaurant R’evolution offers modern, imaginative
reinterpretations of classic Cajun and Creole cuisine.
More than thirty years of culinary excellence later, Folse is still adding
ingredients to the corporate gumbo he calls Chef John Folse & Company,
which is as diverse as the Louisiana landscape, and he would not want it any
Let’s face it- no one is up early enough on New Year’s Day to havebreakfast. It’s a day of rest and relaxation. A time to reflect on the year that’s passed and create goals for the yearthat’s in front of you. This is a day filled with minimal stress, and lots offootball, and your brunch recipes should reflect that. Here is a brunchspread that is easy, quick and painless, but sure to please a crowd. On thisagenda: Sausage Casserole, French Toast Casserole, and Fruit Salad (Savory,Sweet, Fruit) but for more brunch options, click here.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190
degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch square baking dish. Place sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly
brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside. In the prepared baking dish, stir together the shredded potatoes and butter.
Line the bottom and sides of the baking dish with the mixture. In a bowl, mix
the sausage, Cheddar cheese, onion, cottage cheese, and eggs. Pour over the
potato mixture. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into center of
the casserole comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
French Toast Casserole
1 loaf (1 pound) French bread, cut into 1-inch
cubes 8 eggs, lightly beaten 3 cups 2% milk 4 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3/4 teaspoon salt
Place bread cubes in a greased 13×9-in.
baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt.
Pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Dot with butter. Combine
sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the top. Cover and bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the
center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes. Serve with maple syrup if
10 ounce can pineapple chunks, drained 11 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained 1 medium apple, cored and chopped 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 cup grapes, halved 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut 1 cup mini marshmallows
Add apple to a large bowl and toss in
lemon juice to keep from browning. Add the pineapple, mandarin oranges, grapes, coconut, and marshmallows and toss
to combine. Stir in Greek yogurt, gently tossing to coat. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours prior to serving to allow the flavors to meld
together. Serve chilled.
Thanksgiving: the one time a year for many that they will make delicious food from scratch and veer from the usual “fast and easy” style cooking. Thankfully, if you’re ready to ditch the cans and boxes and tackle a truly homemade Thanksgiving day supper, below is just the menu you need.
Pasture-raised birds tend toward toughness, both because they have the freedom to exercise their muscles more and because they’re culled at an older age than birds that are raised conventionally. There’s really only one reliable way to produce particularly tender results when it comes to cooking pastured poultry, and that’s with long cooking times and low temperatures. That might mean that you simmer birds in water, for bone broth and soups, or that you braise it, or that you slow roast it.
Those long cooking times and low temperatures give the proteins in the bird’s meat an opportunity to break down, and for the fat to melt into meat which also helps it to become tender; moreover, pasture-raised birds tend to have high amounts of collagen within their skin, joints and bones, and slow-roasting facilitates the breakdown of that collagen which then melts into the meat and leaves it impossibly tender.
Slow-roasting is a pretty easy, hands-off approach. Begin by preparing an herb butter, and then slipping that softened, flavored butter between the skin and flesh of the breast. As it roasts, the butter melts into the bird’s meat, and not only helps to make it tender, but also infuses it with the vibrant flavor of fresh herbs. Stuffing the bird’s cavity with lemon, onions and herbs also helps to keep it moist while it roasts.
Beyond that, you just need to pop it in the oven, baste it occasionally with pan juices when you check on it. It’s a fabulous way to cook a turkey overnight, in a low and slow oven, while you sleep. We usually serve Thanksgiving dinner around 1 or 2 in the afternoon, which means that we stay up late the night before drinking hot spiced cider, place the bird in the oven to bake, and then baste it when we wake up. When the bird is done, pull it from the oven and allow it to rest, then carve it where it falls apart into utterly tender pieces.
Slathered with butter, dressed with thyme and stuffed with onions and lemons, this slow-roasted turkey is rich with flavor, succulent and wonderfully easy to make. Slow roasting is a long process with a rewarding result, make sure to plan in advance.
½ cup butter, softened ¼ cup chopped fresh thyme ¼ cup chopped fresh sage 2 teaspoons finely ground sea salt 1 whole turkey, about 16 to 18 lbs, giblets removed and reserved for another purpose 2 large yellow onions, quartered 2 large lemons, quartered 1½ cups dry white wine
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Beat the butter together with thyme, sage and sea salt until well-combined. Rinse the turkey and pat it dry. With a butter knife, loosen the skin of the turkey from the flesh of the breast. Spread the herb butter between the skin and the meat of the turkey breast, and place the seasoned turkey on a rack in your roasting pan. Stuff the turkey’s cavity with onions and lemons. Pour wine into the pan. Roast the turkey for 45 minutes. Remove the turkey from oven, tent it with foil, and then return it to the oven. Turn down the heat to 225 F, and slow roast it approximately twelve hours. Baste with pan juices every 2 to 3 hours. Increase the heat to 375 degrees and continue roasting for twenty minutes or until the skin is a rich brown and the meat has reached an internal temperature of at least 185 F. Allow the turkey to rest for 30 minutes prior to carving.
Ingredients 6-8 medium red potatoes halved and then quartered (gently scrub the skins to remove dirt) 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp black pepper 2 TB chopped rosemary 4-5 garlic cloves crushed, Place the garlic on a cutting board and crush them with the back of wooden spoon-this helps unlock the flavor and fragrance. 2 TB extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
Preheat the oven to 425F–this is the secret to crispy potatoes! Place the potatoes on a greased large sheet pan. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper. Add the crushed garlic and rosemary. I usually add 1-2 whole rosemary sprigs, cut in half, for the extra fragrance–this is optional. Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes, then toss with your hands until the potatoes are coated with oil. Position the potatoes in a single layer so the skins are facing up (yes, some of the flesh of the potatoes will also face up since the potatoes are quartered). Bake for roughly 30-35 minutes (keep an eye on the potatoes at the 25 minute mark), until the potatoes are soft on the inside (try piercing one with a fork) and crispy on the outside.
Veggie Side- Real Food Green Bean Casserole
So, what are the essential parts of any green bean casserole? The green beans, the cream of mushroom soup, and the french-fried onions, right?
This beloved casserole has earned a place of honor on our Thanksgiving table each year, but up until a few years ago, it consisted of opening cans of green beans, opening cans of soup, and yup – opening a can of french-fried onions to whip up and bake to perfection.
But many families have switched to a whole foods journey over the last few years. Green Bean Casserole putting you in a conundrum? What to do with our beloved favorite?
Now, a word to the wise – the evaporated milk takes a while to make. If you want a much quicker version, feel free to use canned evaporated milk, but preferably find a brand that doesn’t contain carrageenan if you can.
However, if you really don’t want to make your own evaporated milk and can’t find an acceptable brand, you can substitute a ratio of one part cream to three parts milk for the evaporated milk when making the cream of mushroom soup, but it won’t have quite the same texture. (It will be yummy, nonetheless!)
Really don’t want to make your own ingredients – or don’t have time? There are more and more acceptable store-bought versions available these days, which even two years ago wasn’t the case. (Yay!) So, if you’re wanting a store-bought organic cream of mushroom soup, try this one or for French-fried onions, these ones are spectacularly delicious. I’ve also seen acceptable French-fried onions at places like Trader Joe’s, so definitely look around in your area.
INGREDIENTS 2 pounds green beans, snapped into 2-inch pieces a dash of traditionally-fermented soy sauce (see where to buy traditional soy sauce) a dash of Worcestershire sauce (see how to make a homemade version in The DIY Pantry 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 2 cups condensed cream of mushroom soup (see recipe below) 2 cups French fried onions (see recipe below)
INSTRUCTIONS Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add the beans. Cook until tender but still bright green, 6-8 minutes. Drain well. Place the beans in a large bowl and add the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and the cream of mushroom soup. Mix well. Place in a square casserole dish and bake until bubbly, 15-25 minutes (depending on whether your soup base was hot or cold). Add the French fried onions on top and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the onions are crispy and golden.
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This vegan pizza is a perfect weeknight fix and is quite the crowd-pleaser. It’s an easy base to add to as well, in case you’re one of those people who eat pineapple on pizza and want to see how it goes with veggie meatballs.
Why go vegan? Several reasons:
For Your Health
Well-planned vegan diets follow healthy eating guidelines, and contain all the nutrients that our bodies need. Both the British Dietetic Association and the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognise that they are suitable for every age and stage of life. Some research has linked vegan diets with lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.
Going vegan is a great opportunity to learn more about nutrition and cooking, and improve your diet. Getting your nutrients from plant foods allows more room in your diet for health-promoting options like whole grains, fruit, nuts, seeds and vegetables, which are packed full of beneficial fibre, vitamins and minerals.
For The Animals Preventing the exploitation of animals is not the only reason for becoming vegan, but for many it remains the key factor in their decision to go vegan and stay vegan. Having emotional attachments with animals may form part of that reason, while many believe that all sentient creatures have a right to life and freedom. Specifics aside, avoiding animal products is one of the most obvious ways you can take a stand against animal cruelty and animal exploitation everywhere. A more detailed overview on why being vegan demonstrates true compassion for animals can be found here.
For The Environment
The production of meat and other animal products places a heavy burden on the environment – from crops and water required to feed the animals, to the transport and other processes involved from farm to fork. The vast amount of grain feed required for meat production is a significant contributor to deforestation, habitat loss and species extinction. In Brazil alone, the equivalent of 5.6 million acres of land is used to grow soya beans for animals in Europe. This land contributes to developing world malnutrition by driving impoverished populations to grow cash crops for animal feed, rather than food for themselves. On the other hand, considerably lower quantities of crops and water are required to sustain a vegan diet, making the switch to veganism one of the easiest, most enjoyable and most effective ways to reduce our impact on the environment. For more on how veganism is the way forward for the environment, click here.
Just like veganism is the sustainable option when it comes to looking after our planet, plant-based living is also a more sustainable way of feeding the human family. A plant-based diet requires only one third of the land needed to support a meat and dairy diet. With rising global food and water insecurity due to a myriad of environmental and socio-economic problems, there’s never been a better time to adopt a more sustainable way of living. Avoiding animal products is not just one of the simplest ways an individual can reduce the strain on food as well as other resources, it’s the simplest way to take a stand against inefficient food systems which disproportionately affects the poorest people all over the world. Read more here on how vegan diets can help people.
Technique tip: For the “mozzarella” sauce, if you are not using a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix, soak cashews overnight or boil for 10 minutes and drain. This will soften them and ensure a silky smooth cream. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to four days or frozen for up to one month and thawed before using.
MEATBALL PIZZA 1 tablespoon cornmeal 1 pound pizza dough 1 cup tomato sauce 3/4 cup mozzarella sauce 1 cup Vegetarian Meatballs Optional toppings: Caramelized onions, fresh basil, sliced tomato, crushed red pepper
“MOZZARELLA” SAUCE 1½ cup raw cashews 1 cup 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1½ teaspoons sea salt 1 clove garlic 1 teaspoon onion powder 2 tablespoons cornstarch
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lightly brush a large baking sheet (approximately 9- x 13-inch) with olive oil.
2. Sprinkle the bottom of the baking sheet with cornmeal. On a lightly floured surface, roll or stretch the dough into a large rectangle. Fit it into the baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Spread enough tomato sauce to generously cover the dough, leaving about a ¾-inch border. Top with meatballs and any optional toppings. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until edges are golden.
3. For the “mozzarella” sauce, in a high powered blender, combine cashews and water. Blend on high until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, salt, garlic, onion powder, and cornstarch and blend until smooth.
4. Remove pizza from oven, lightly drizzle with Mozzarella Sauce, then bake for 1 minute more. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before slicing. If desired, season with crushed red pepper before eating.
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Is there a more classic comfort food than scalloped potatoes? This dish seems to have transitioned from the staple homemade cheese-goodness to a the quicker $1 and a half box recipe over the last few years and it’s time we bring it back to its from-scratch glory. We guarantee you’ll never go back to boxed!
Ingredients 1 clove garlic, smashed 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 1/4 pounds Yellow Finn potatoes or other waxy-style potato 2 cups half-and-half 1 tablespoon kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper Pinch of organic nutmeg
Directions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Rub the garlic and then the butter around the inside of a Pyrex casserole dish and let it dry. This butter garlic rub is non-stick.
Peel and thinly slice the potatoes with a vegetable slicer (about 1/8-inch-thick slices).
In a medium saucepan, combine the garlic, butter, potatoes, half-and-half, salt, pepper to taste, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring, until the mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish. Shake the pan so the potatoes are distributed evenly.
Bake the potatoes, basting occasionally, until lightly browned and bubbly, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Click here for more delicious and easy comfort food recipes and here for lots of yummy recipes of all kinds!