everyday MARCH/APRIL 2016 ROUSES my FREE



GREAT BOILS OF FIRE Lobster, Shrimp, Crawfish & Crab Boils

THE SEAFOOD ISSUE Tips, Techniques & Recipes from the Gulf Coast’s Best Chefs

It’s New Orleans’ most famous dessert captured in a bottle as a sweet, bubbly treat from Abita. Made with pure Louisiana brown cane sugar, this soda has all the flavors of the decadent dessert: banana, cinnamon, vanilla and warm brown sugar. Coming soon to your neighborhood Rouse’s! YOU’LL GO BANANAS

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With four New Orleans-inspired rice cups, it’s easy to go big on flavor even when you’re short on time.

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table of contents MARCH | APRIL 2016





SEAFOOD 14 The Turtle Soup Man of Raceland by Katy Danos 20 Great Boils of Fire 23 Bisque Quick 28 Salt of the Earth 30 Retro Revisited by Suzette Norris 31 The Appeal of Shrimp CHEFS 8 Besh Places to Fish on the Gulf Coast with Chef John Besh by Chris Rose 24 A Chicken in Every Pot with Chef David Slater by Pableaux Johnson 34 Frank Talk with Chef Frank Brigtsen by Brad Gottsegen 38 Compère Lapin with Chef Nina Compton by Pableaux Johnson

42 Strawberry Fields Forever with Pastry Chef Kelly Fields by Pableaux Johnson HOLIDAY 36 The Bunny Trail 40 Green Eggs &Ham 56 Irish Coffee by Boby Childs ALSO IN THIS ISSUE 43 Sippin’ on Strawberries by Nora D. McGunnigle 45 In Full Bloom: Azalea City by Courtney Singer 51 The New Dietary Guidelines 54 The Hard Stuff by Nora D. McGunnigle RECIPES 11 Trout Almandine by John Besh

15 Turtle Soup by White Tavern 17 Corn & Shrimp Stew by White Tavern 21 Boiled Crawfish by Eric Berger 22 Boiled Shrimp by Steve Richard 22 Boiled Crabs by Don Berger 23 Crawfish Bisque by Poppy Tooker 25 Stovetop Crawfish Boil by Emeril Lagasse

29 Salt Baked Shrimp 31 Shrimp Mold 39 Jerk Spiced Butter by Nina Compton 40 Hwy. 1 Double Smoked Ham IN EVERY ISSUE 4 Letters, Posts &Tweets 48 Eat Right with Rouses 44 At Season’s Peak

On the Cover Salt of the Earth on page 28 cover photo by Romney Caruso

Shrimply the Best! We sell nearly three million pounds of wild-caught, head-on Gulf shrimp every year. They’re delivered straight from the dock to our stores.



MARCH 1 9 , 2 0 1 6

DON ' T MI SS THE CUL INARY WEEKEND OF THE YEAR ! Fêtes des Chefs will feature world-renowned Chefs hosting dinner parties in private homes and Fêtes Fest will be a special party featuring local food, free-flowing drinks, and a surprise musical act!



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is important to us. The information that was presented will guide me in making informed decisions when shopping at Rouse’s and cooking for my family. I also appreciate the “EAT RIGHT” signs.Thank you Rouses for everything you are doing for our community. —D. Hebert I walked into the Rouses on Carollton at 9am last Thursday and the cook and team there were able to help me provide a healthy meal by 4:30pm for 30 nervous high school theatre students (including 5 pescatarians) on their opening night when dinner plans fell through at the last minute. I also needed to keep costs low as the production was a benefit for Second Harvest. I appreciated them taking the time when they could easily have said they’d be too busy. Good quality in a timely fashion at a reasonable price. Our compliments.Thanks! —K. Arthurs-Goldberg, Jesuit High School MISSISSIPPI ROAST “Yes, I know this is our Seafood Issue, but when I saw this recipe for Mississippi Roast, I just had to share it. And I’m not the only one eager to spread the love — the recipe, which was created by Robin Chapman of Ripley, Mississippi, has over one million pins on Pinterest! It’s got Ali written all over it: slow cooker, dry dressing mixes, a whole stick of butter, and pepperoncini, that’s it. Sound easy — and perfect for po-boys!” —Ali Rouse Royster, 3rd Generation Mississippi Roast Serves 6 WHAT YOU WILL NEED 3 pound Chuck Roast 1 package of Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing and Seasoning Mix 1 package of Au Jus Gravy Mix 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces 6 Pepperoncini Peppers, whole ¼ cup water HOW TO PREP Place the chuck roast into your slow cooker. Sprinkle ranch dressing mix and Au Jus powder over meat. Toss in butter and pepperoncini peppers. Pour water over meat. Place lid on the slow cooker. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours.

Get our Louisiana crawfish hot from the pot 11am-7pm every day. For larger orders and to reserve sacks of live crawfish for Good Friday, call or visit your neighborhood Rouses. Who is ready for some #Crawfish??? This guy is! —@eatingnola #NOLA, #Rouses #eatingNOLAapproved My favorite season! #CrawfishSeason #Rouses #GreatSeasoning #NewOrleans —urbannola Rouses has the best crawfish. Oh so good. P.S. The employees in the seafood department are the best. —Theresa D. RousesMarkets your crawfish were the best!! —@JoyOfScouting I want to make mention of a very good experience I had one night at Rouses on Baronne (#46) with Michael in seafood. If he is the one making the crawfish, a round of applause.Very impressed with the crawfish.He also gave me excellent customer service. All around a great experience. —E. Von Wald Mike at the seafood section (Rouses #46) was extremely friendly and helpful. He gave me my first NOLA crawfish.—Theresa The crawfish from@RousesMarkets are just as delicious as the crawfish anywhere else and are less expensive —@GeekyTherapist ​EAT RIGHT WITH ROUSES Get a complete schedule of Eat Right events at Email eatright@rouses. com to sign up for our Eat Right e-newsletters or schedule a Dietitian Store Tour. I shop at store #21 about 3 times a week. All the employee are super nice and helpful. The variety and quality of the products are great. Prices are reasonable. Love Chef Nino and Esther the dietitian. Wonderful that Rouses thinks about our health. —Roz L. I attended “Shopping with the Dietitian”at Rouses Epicurean inThibodaux today.The dietitian did a great presentation. I love to attend programs such as this to learn healthier ways to shop, cook and eat. My husband is diabetic and I would like to lose weight. Maintaining good health

JOIN OUR TEAM Our team members share a strong work ethic and dedication to providing our customers the best quality and service. If you’re looking for a career you’ll love, apply online CCA The Gulf coastline spans approximately 1,680 miles. We’re proud to support the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), a marine conservation group that looks after our coastline and protects our fisheries. CCA has chapters and members in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and 14 other states. To become a member, visit


Write Us! Tweet Us! @RousesMarkets Like Rouses? We like you too! Find us on Facebook at Share Photos! @rousesmarkets SIGN UP FOR E-MAILS Hungry for more? Sign up to receive our weekly specials and cooking tips, recipes and special offers in our e-mails and newsletters.



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Fishermen Buying and eating local seafood helps support Gulf Coast fishermen, their families, local fishing communities and our unique seafood culture. ​


For recipes and more, visit

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the Seafood issue

Besh Places to Fish On The Gulf Coast by Chris Rose + photo by Andrew Hetherington

C hef John Besh arrives for his interview rocking skinny jeans, a pastel shirt, a stylish blue blazer and one of those retro, square-bottomed, wool knit ties they’re wearing in Brooklyn these days. He looks like he just walked off Harvard Square, way younger than his 47 years, all fresh-faced and bright-eyed, his hair tussled just so. He is GQ come to life. We’re meeting atWilla Jean, his bright, spacious and energetic bistro in the heart of the New Orleans Central Business District across the street from the Rouses, an area bustling with new residential and commercial construction and a renewed and determined sense of vigor and vitality. Most of his many restaurants are within walking distance of here. His gait is easy and his demeanor wide open.All the hostesses and wait

staff greet him warmly. Diners rush to him to say hello and take selfies with him, and he graciously obliges. His smile is boyish and seemingly permanent, and I understand immediately why every woman who knows that I am meeting with him today is jealous of me. No doubt about it, this guy is dreamy. And successful beyond dreams. He is a restaurant impresario, celebrity chef, cookbook author, philanthropist, environmentalist, motivational speaker, battle-tested marine and doting father of four.He is thoughtful, humble, articulate and attentive; when he talks to you, he talks to you . For many years, I always thought that if I could be somebody else, it would be Jimmy Buffett. But I’m now thinking John Besh would be an acceptable consolation prize. And my bromance truly blossoms when we take up the subject of our interview today: fishing.




(with more planned), and his foundation work, and his family duties and the never ending requests for his time for speaking engagements, charity events and, of course, media interviews — where in God’s name does he even find time to fish? That question, he immediately responds, is non-negotiable. “That’s easy,” he says. “You’ve got to make time for that sort of thing. The swamps and the salt marshes — that’s my sanctuary. I’ve got to hunt, I’ve got to fish; that’s what keeps all of this real. We all need something that keeps us grounded and keeps us stable — and for me it was hunting and fishing. And I haven’t evolved much. I still live literally right down the bayou from where I started.” Indeed, Besh today fishes the same waters he did when he was a kid, on Bayou Liberty right outside of Slidell. It’s where he was born and where he still lives today. There’s a familiarity and nostalgia there, a strong sense of place and an unbreakable bond to the earth and the water that allows him to breathe the sweet air of comfort and contentment. “There’s something that really ties me to this place and ties me to what it is that we do,” he says. “I’d go out and fish (as a kid) and I’d come home with speckled trout. Mom would always turn it into trout meuniére. But if she had some almonds then we’d have some trout almondine. If we had some leftover crabmeat, that would go on top of it.We’d go from trout to redfish to croaker, depending on the season. Nobody eats croaker anymore, but I grew up eating big bull fried croaker. We’d fry it whole.” It was through fishing as a child that Besh got his first taste — and love — for cooking. When he or any of his five siblings would return from a day of fishing on the bayou, the kitchen in the Besh home would turn into a flurry of activity, a cupboard of ingredients and a den of aroma. “With redfish, mom would always want a certain size that could fit into the pan,” Besh recalls. “She would smother it whole with a little white wine and lots of onions and garlic and celery — no bell pepper! — but lots of garlic and celery. And that’s how she’d make her courtbouillon. And redfish weren’t blackened back then; you’d turn them into a stew. There was a repertoire that she would do. And it was all of this that taught me: okay, this is who we are. I fish, we cook, happiness happens.” That there should be the Louisiana state motto. “And so that was just part of growing up,” he says. “Catching fish, bringing them home, cooking them. And that’s what excited me about cooking in the first place.The same thing with hunting. You go out and you shoot some ducks and bring them back and make oyster andouille pintail gumbo — and there’s nothing better than that.” It all sounds idyllic, and in Besh’s eyes, it was. Some of us played baseball in the summers of our youth. Some were on the local swim team. Some went to sleep-away camp. Some played video games. John Besh roamed the backwaters of south Louisiana learning the wonders of the life and ecology of the world around him.The world of south Louisiana and the extended gulf coast. It’s a love affair that began for him as a child and continues to this day. • • •

To suggest that John Besh is passionate about fishing is like saying Nick Saban enjoys football. Which is kind of strange, given his blatantly downbeat, preppy ensemble and decidedly low-key presentation. One would be hard pressed to picture him with a fly rod or a shotgun in his nimble hands, but he is, indeed, one of the region’s great outdoorsmen. As keen with a rod and reel as he is with a chef ’s knife and a skillet, Besh is knowledgeable, protective and committed to the recreational land and waterscapes of his home state and the surrounding region. But the most remarkable aspect of this is — with an interest in 11 restaurants stretching from San Antonio to Baltimore (with more planned), and four hefty coffee table cookbooks under his belt (with more planned), and a rigorous filming schedule for his TV shows


the Seafood issue

“Some of the most memorable times in my life were when we were camping out on the Chandeleur Islands and getting eaten up by gnats and mosquitoes.”

Besh was raised, as the saying goes, by a village. When he was 9-years-old, his father was hit by a drunk driver while riding a bicycle and became paralyzed for life. So it was his grandfather and his father’s friends who

And so everything changed. He went off to St. Stanislaus High School in Bay St. Louis. He joined the Marines and served in Iraq during Desert Storm. He enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America and

took over the job of teaching young John how to work the waters, how to love the land and how to piece together the concepts of recreation, ecology and nutrition. It was, to be sure, a decidedly low- tech, humble schooling. “There were no fishing camps,” he recalls. “That would have been high-falutin’. It was just: you leave your house, you go fish.” One of his dad’s friends taught him how to shrimp. Another how to fly fish. Another how to spear fish. Another how to hunt. They all contributed to the young man’s knowledge, understanding and love of the sport. “I got to live all these different lives through my dad’s friends, all having to do with hunting and fishing in south Louisiana marshes — from Alligator Point all the way down to the Rigolets,” Besh fondly recalls. “Some of the most memorable times in my life were when we were camping out on the Chandeleur Islands and getting eaten up by gnats and mosquitoes and scratching your ass off while catching stringers of trout.” All these years later, he is both reflective and nostalgic about his youth, and cognizant of the specialness and entitlement that growing up on Bayou Liberty afforded him. And about the delicate balance that now holds between recreational and commercial fishing — and the current state of our wetlands and environment.This is where John Besh, the restaurateur, reconciles with John Besh, the sportsman. “I got to grow up in a very naïve time,” he says. “The 1970s and the early ‘80s, where we still got be kids. And I got to be a kid learning who I was in the waters and in the marshes and in the swamps. I didn’t always appreciate it then, but I think each day now, I appreciate it more and more.” It was as a kid, fishing the bayous and then hanging out by his mother’s side in the kitchen afterward, when John separated from his many siblings and became, in many ways, the chosen one among his family. At least as far as food goes. “I think they (his siblings) appreciated it, but they weren’t ignited like I was,” he says. “It wasn’t something inherent in their nature that they just ‘ had to cook ,’ whereas my parents knew at a young age: ‘You should be a chef.’” This family hunch was confirmed when Besh, at age 11, sought out the legendary Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme at a book signing to meet him and get his autograph. It was at the Bayou Lacombe Crab Festival — along with the Pearl River Catfish Festival and the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival, an annual destination on the Besh family calendar. “Seeing this guy, literally bigger than life, the most important chef in the world!” Besh fondly reminisces. “I could suddenly relate to where it was that I came from.” • • •

graduated in 1992. Then his arc of success was blinding. He has opened restaurants at the speed of light; his flagship bistro, August, in downtown New Orleans, is considered one of the great eateries in a great eating town. He wrote his books. He won James Beard Awards. He appeared on America’s Top Chef and The Next Iron Chef and, after Hurricane Katrina, was one of the first guys back in town to cook for first responders and victims of the flood.The New York Times, in a 2007 profile, stated: “His post-Katrina narrative has turned him into a spokesman for his city’s culinary recovery.” He grew a family. He grew a business empire. He grew in stature and wealth and fame. But still …he fishes.That’s where the center of John Besh holds together. Admittedly with more resources than before. He’s got a couple fishing and hunting camps now across the Gulf Coast. He’s got three boats, but only one big enough to have a name: Oui Chef , a nod to the constant response of line cooks in French restaurants who answer to the demands of the head chef by saying, “Oui, Chef.” Yes, Chef. Yes, Sir. But he’s still down home and humble and would rather fish close to home on any given day that in some exotic angling location across the globe. “I’m not gonna drive somewhere and fight if the fish are right here,” he says. “Certain times of the spring and a good portion of fall, there’s nothing better than Lake Pontchartrain.The big trout, they find their way into the deeper holes in the lake. And you can always find redfish in the marsh. And there’s nothing like going out to Delacroix or down to Plaquemine in the spring.” For bait, he likes live shrimp or small croaker or lures made by his favorite fishing mate,Deadly Dudley Vandenborre, a true Louisiana fishing legend.They tie up off the bridges over Lake Pontchartrain




John Besh’s Trout Almandine Serves 6 Browning the butter properly makes all the difference in the world. Don’t rush it; take your time swirling the butter around in the pan so that the milk solids brown in a uniform fashion, creating the nutty aroma that is compounded when the almonds are added. Add lemon and serve while the sauce is still foamy. WHAT YOU WILL NEED 6 filets (5-7 ounce) of speckled trout, skin removed 1 cup milk 1 teaspoon Creole Spices 1 cup flour 8 tablespoons butter ½ cup sliced almonds Juice of one lemon 2 tablespoons parsley, minced Salt and pepper, to taste HOW TO PREP Season the filets with salt and pepper and dip into the milk before dredging the flour that has been mixed with the Creole spices. In a large sauté pan on medium high with 4 tablespoons butter, cook the filets until golden brown on each side. Remove the fish and place of a serving plate or platter. Add the remaining butter and cook the butter so that it is swirling in the pan cooking evenly so that it begins to take on a brownish hew. Once it begins to do this lower the heat to medium-low and add the almonds, allowing them to brown while slowly stirring. Once the almonds are uniformly brown add the lemon juice, parsley and a dash of salt. Serve the butter and almonds over each filet of fish immediately. TROUT MEUNIERE VARIATION For Trout Meuniére, follow the exact same recipe but omit the almonds. In traditional French cooking, the fish would be lightly dredged in the flour and cooked in butter — often a whole fish, but in New Orleans we prefer to use the skinless trout fillet. Dipped in a light egg wash before dredging in the flour, this gives the fish a slightly thicker crust.

photo by Rush Jagoe

on lazy afternoons and cast lines and shoot the bull, and Besh marvels at how Dudley can identify a species of fish on his line before he even pulls it out of the water, just by the way it feels and fights on the line. “He’s a bass fisherman that has adopted a very instinctual style of fishing where he doesn’t need live bait,” Besh says of his angling mentor. “He knows what it is and how to deal with that fish versus — like me — where I’m just yanking and yanking!” For all his years and experience, Besh will not attest to being a top grade fisherman. He jokes that his wife Jenny calls him “Two Fish Besh” for his occasional lack of proficiency. But it’s hard to think anyone loves the sport more than he does, or cares more about the state and health of our waters, estuaries, marshlands and lakes. Behind the aw-shucks demeanor is a man committed to Louisiana lifestyle and Louisiana cuisine. All in all, it seems like a good life to be John Besh. Business is booming. Catfish are jumping. It’s springtime, and the living is easy.

Besh Big Easy

John Besh’s fourth cookbook is available at local bookstores and online. It’s filled with downhome reci- pes for mustard-fried catfish, whole roasted snapper, Grandaddy’s Skillet Cornbread and other meals Besh grew up with. Find all of the ingredients at any Rouses Market.


Help Support the Culinary Library Donate books about food and drink, pamphlets and all things culinary. 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. New Orleans, LA For a schedule of events and classes in the Rouses Culinary Innovation Center visit The National Food & Beverage Foundation is a nonprofit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of food, drink and its related culture and folklife in America and the world. The Southern Food & Beverage Museum • The Museum of the American Cocktail • Rouses Culinary Innovation Center by Jenn-Air • John & Bonnie Boyd Hospitality & Culinary Library



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the Seafood issue The Turtle Soup Man of Raceland by Katy Danos + food photograhy by Romney Caruso




W hen my nephew Henry was six, he requested an apron for Christmas. I was all over it. You see, the men in my family cook. My brother cooks, my father cooked and my grandfather was world famous, or at least famous in my world, for his turtle soup. In the 1950s, people came to Raceland from all over the bayou to dine at his restaurant, the White Tavern. He served heaping platters of fried frog legs, fresh caught catfish, redfish courtbullion and a very popular corn and shrimp stew, but he was legendary for his turtle soup. Papa came from a long line of nightlife entrepreneurs. His great uncle, Philip Guichet, was an owner of Tujaque’s, the second oldest restaurant in New Orleans, and his father and eldest brother, both named Armand, operated the Danos Niteclub and Tee-Lee’s Dance Hall on the bayou from the 1930s well into the early 70s. So when Henry announced his growing interest in cooking, I got right on line and ordered him a child’s size blue apron with his name appliquéd boldly across the front. Chef Henri had arrived, my personal belief in nature over nurture was greatly reinforced, and I shared a good laugh with my brother, sing song-ing our longtime family mantra, “You can take the boy out of the bayou, but you can’t take the bayou out of the boy.” Or girl for that matter. By the time I was born and growing up in Raceland and Thibodaux, the White Tavern was long into its autumn years, but nonetheless my memories are strong. What it lacked in customers at that time, it more than made up in warmth, patina and charm. And Papa ... well, I would describe him in just the same way. He was a tidily groomed man of very few words (if four or five words did the trick, you got four or five words) and little formal education. But his eyes sparkled with a definitive joie de vivre, and his sly smile made you feel like you were the most important person in the world. When I showed him my Tulane diploma in 1985 at his little house behind the long- closed White Tavern, he pretty much said the same thing that he said in 1969 when I proudly showed him my jump rope skills on his carport, “Mais cher, c’est ci bon. You want some turtle soup?”

White Tavern Turtle Soup Courtesy Rosella Bourgeois Bernard WHAT YOU WILL NEED 2 pounds turtle meat (available in Rouses Seafood Department) 3 tablespoons Rouses vegetable oil or lard Rouses salt and black pepper, to taste 2 large onions, chopped 1 large bell pepper, chopped 1 cup celery, chopped 2 garlic cloves, chopped 3 tablespoons flour 4 bay leaves 1 cup of tomato sauce 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce ½ lemon, sliced thinly Optional: potato salad, boiled eggs and sherry, to taste HOW TO PREP Season turtle meat with salt and pepper. Coat a large cast iron skillet with the oil. Render the turtle meat (cook until brown) at a medium to high heat. Remove the meat from pot. Reduce heat to medium. Add onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic and cook until tender. Slowly whisk in flour to make a “roux.” Return the turtle meat to the pot. Add tomato sauce and 1 cup of water. Cook for 30 minutes. Add lemon, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce and 4 quarts of water (you may use stock instead). Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until soup reaches desired thickness. Serve with potato salad, boiled eggs and sherry to taste.

Turtle soup was our little tradition and whenever my dad said, “You wanna take a ride?” I knew he meant to Raceland and to the White Tavern. I loved the twenty- minute drive down the bayou. My dad would tell colorful family stories about an equally colorful cast of characters, and we stopped at tiny vegetable and fruit stands along the way. Creole tomatoes, okra, fresh green beans — my dad would speak French with old man so-and-so or we would just leave money in the tin can provided, an honor system that always mesmerized me. At the St. Charles Crossing, we would discuss if we wanted to switch to the other side of the bayou for the rest of the way, but we never did, unless we were heading to New Orleans. Often, as we neared the turn onto Old Houma Road, we would pull over if a handmade sign on the side of a truck was just too good to pass up. “Fat, fat crabs” was my all time favorite sign, and my dad called me that all through my teens as an inside joke. Of course, this was well before cell phones, and we never called ahead to the White Tavern. We announced our arrival by arriving. And the scene was always pretty much the same no matter the time of day. There would be a couple of barflies on the well worn leather stools drinking little ponies, and my grandfather would reach into a long, gleaming stainless steel fridge


the Seafood issue

a good half hour, beb”), white beans and rice with French-style meatballs, and smothered whatever was fresh from the garden. I often wonder what four or five choice words my grandfather would have for the currently popular culinary phrase from farm to table. Four to five printable words don’t come to mind readily. This is when I would hear all of the amazing stories of the glory years of the White Tavern. Giant seafood platters were $3.00, a little pony was 25 and the place was packed on Saturday nights and Sunday after church.The restaurant opened in 1949 when my grandfather struck out on his own after working for his father and brother at Danos Nite Club and Tee-Lee’s Dance Hall.

where he kept little Cokes, Zatarain’s homemade root beer and large blocks of ice. I instinctively knew that my Yankee uptown mom (she was from Baton Rouge and New Orleans) would not want me behind the bar or looking at the décor consisting of antique rifles and taxidermy, a single old-fashioned slot machine and pin-up girl calendars. So I would quickly hit up my dad for a quarter or two for the jukebox so that my younger sister Gigi and I could twist and shout and later crocodile rock while Papa was in the kitchen. Papa would set a booth up with sparkling silverware, and soon we would be feasting on the most delicious fried potatoes I have ever eaten, fried chicken (“that’s gonna take

Raceland Dancehalls & Bars Raceland was home to several famous dancehalls and bars. A search of www. turned up several 1930s spots, including Danos Dance Club, a bayouside institution, the Tokio Fun Pavillion and popular Tokio Restaurant, and Cheramie’s King Tut Saloon, which advertised curb service and “your best and last chance for fine drinks of all kinds.”

TURTLE SOUP Before I go any further I should say that I have lived most of my life as a city girl. So when Rouses asked me if I would like to write about my family, I jumped at the chance to spend time bolstering the family lore with first-hand facts from the family who lived next door to Papa his entire life. Paul Bourgeois, Mr. Paul as we knew him, was my grandfather’s closest friend, and when we visited, he would show us the turtle cages in the back of the restaurant and let us watch him clean fish or tinker with his various homemade fishing poles and nets. I knew that his children, who were a little older than me, would know so much more about the White Tavern, and boy, did they.




White Tavern Corn & Shrimp Stew Updated by Robert Danos WHAT YOU WILL NEED 1 pound andouille thinly sliced 2 medium onion, chopped 4 celery ribs, sliced 2 medium sweet red pepper, chopped 2 medium green pepper, chopped ½ cup butter, cubed 6 garlic cloves, minced 4 cups fresh or frozen corn, thawed 8 plum tomatoes, chopped 2 cup vegetable broth 4 tablespoons minced fresh thyme or 4 teaspoons dried thyme 1½ teaspoon chili powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined 2 cups heavy whipping cream HOW TO PREP In a large skillet, sauté the first five ingredients in butter until vegetables are tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add the corn, tomatoes, broth, thyme, chili powder, salt, pepper and cayenne. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in shrimp and cream. Increase heat to medium and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Can be served with white rice. me that when Papa routinely brought his ducks to her mother to clean, he always said the exact same thing without fail — “feather four and keep the rest” — no matter how many birds he had in hand. I knew then that she knew him well, as that sounds exactly like the turtle soup man I loved. Since moving to the city, I have only sipped this delicacy at an occasional country club wedding or Commander’s Palace dinner. Now, with the help of the Bourgeois clan, I have the original recipe that they saved for all of these years. I’m not saying I will be hunting for turtles anytime soon, but I sure will be cooking the dish I loved so much as a child. Or requesting it from my brother and Henry.

We emailed back and forth as they answered my many questions and generously shared their memories. I was fascinated by all of the hunting, fishing, and “good eating”stories, but especially the ones about making turtle soup. According to Mr. Paul’s five children (one son, Irwin, worked for my grandfather all through high school), the turtles for the restaurant were caught in Lake Fields by several local men, including Slim Zeringue, Walter Kraemer and Toby Theriot, who fished, caught and cleaned frogs and turtles as their livelihood. Loggerheads could weigh as much as 140 pounds and snapping turtles 35 pounds; they were kept in white wooden pens behind the restaurant until needed. Slim’s daughter Bonnie Morris, who lived across the street from the White

Tavern, vividly recalls polishing silver and dusting tables for 50 cents an hour on the weekends and eating boiled turtle eggs the size of ping pong balls as afternoon snacks. Papa and Mr. Paul hunted and fished together for their personal catch, wading in the marshes in hip boots watching closely for small bubbles on the water, which meant they were in luck. The turtles were caught with a net, cleaned by Mr. Paul and cooked by Papa, a partnership that worked for them for over 50 years. Ducks were hunted on the banks of the lake, or they went out in a pirogue or skiff to their reed and grass blinds. Mallards, wood ducks and teals were used in the restaurant and poule deaus, which were plentiful, were only used at home in a jambalaya or gumbo. Rosella Bourgeois told


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the Seafood issue

Great Boils of fire photos by Romney Caruso



SEAFOOD BOILS Y ou can cook lobsters much the same way you do crawfish. Fill a large pot two-thirds full with water.Add your seafood boil seasonings,potatoes, onion, and garlic. Cover, and bring to a boil on high heat. Uncover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until potatoes start to soften, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the artichokes and lobsters. Cover, and cook until lobster shells are bright red, 5 to 6 minutes. Add corn, mushrooms and Brussels sprouts, and cook for 3 minutes more. Drain and serve with crawfish dipping sauce or drawn butter. “I used to do all of the boiling backwhenwe only had one or two Rouses stores, so these days, I usually just bring the beer. The crawfish recipe is my friend Eric Berger’s, which have been approved by his wife, Mona. Steve Richard contributed his shrimp boil recipe and Don Berger contributed the crab boil recipe. When I go to my camp on Grand Isle, most of the boiling and frying are done by Steve and the Berger brothers” —Tommy Rouse, 2 nd Generation Eric Berger’s Boiled Crawfish WHAT YOU WILL NEED SPICES 1 4½-pound Zatarain’s Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil, Sack Size 1 8-ounce Zatarain’s Concentrated Liquid Shrimp and Crab Boil 3 ounces Rouses cayenne pepper 1 32-ounce bottle of Louisiana Hot Sauce (use ½ in step #2 and the other half in step #3) 3 ounces Rouses garlic powder 1 bag small red potatoes (about 3 pounds) 3 pounds yellow onions, halved 6 lemons, halved 4 heads of garlic, halved 2 stalks of celery, cut into large pieces SEAFOOD One sack of live crawfish (approximately 35-40 pounds) EXTRAS 8 frozen mini corn on the cobs 1 pack fresh white button mushrooms 1½ pounds Rouses smoked sausage, cut into chunks HOW TO PREP STEP #1 CLEANING THE CRAWFISH This is the most important step — wash the crawfish thoroughly! Open the sack of crawfish and pour them into a large galvanized tub. Add enough water to cover the crawfish and allow them to move around a bit. With a gloved hand, pick through the crawfish and remove all of the dead crawfish, baits, sticks and grass. Transfer the crawfish into a slotted tub by hand (you’ll need your gloves for this). Dump the water from the galvanized tub, refill with crawfish and add water to cover. Repeat your earlier check for debris. Remember, the cleaner the crawfish, the better the taste! Keep crawfish in a shaded area while preparing for the boil.


the Seafood issue

STEP #2 BOILING Place the basket in the pot and fill half way with water. (I use an 80 quart aluminum pot.) Add all of the spices except for ½ bottle of the hot sauce. Place the lid on the pot and set propane burner on high. Bring water boil. When the pot begins to steam, set your watch for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, remove the lid and add the seafood and extras. Replace the lid. When the pot begins to steam again, you’ve got 5 to 7 minutes left. When the crawfish are done boiling, shut off the propane flame and remove the lid. STEP #3 SOAKING THE CRAWFISH Add the other half of the Louisiana Hot Sauce and stir with a cooking paddle to release heat from the pot. You can add ice, too, to help the crawfish absorb the seasoning and stop the crawfish from continuing to cook. While the crawfish are soaking, sample a few to see if more seasoning is needed. Soak for 10 minutes, pull the basket out of the water, let drain and toss onto newspaper. Time to eat! Steve Richard’s Boiled Shrimp WHAT YOU WILL NEED SHRIMP 20–25 pounds fresh wild-caught gulf shrimp (I prefer medium size shrimp, 21-25 count) SPICES 1 4½-pound Zatarain’s Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil, Sack Size 1 8-ounce Zatarain’s Concentrated Liquid Shrimp and Crab Boil 1 bag small red potatoes, about 3 pounds 3 pounds yellow onions, halved 6 lemons, halved EXTRAS 8 frozen mini corn on the cobs 1 pack fresh white button mushrooms 1 pack Veron’s smoke sausage (cut in half) HOW TO PREP Fill your boiling pot half way with water. (I use an 80-quart pot.) Add all of the spices. Place the lid on the pot and set propane burner on high. Bring water to a rolling boil. Continue boiling for 12 minutes. Remove the lid and add the seafood and extras. Continue to cook. This is the tricky part. I generally watch for the first signs of the water approaching a boil (when it is just starting to steam and bubble), then check to see if the shrimp are separating from their shells (if they peel, good, they are done), then shut off the flame. Really, you’re looking at only about two minutes. I then immediately add a bucket or two of ice to the pot to stop the shrimp from cooking. Over cooking the shrimp will result in the shells sticking to the meat, and your friend Tommy and the Berger brothers, will yell at you that the shrimp are hard to peel. I know this from experience! Let the iced shrimp soak for 10 minutes before removing the basket from the water. Drain and serve. “I add a bottle of Italian dressing when I boil shrimp, which makes themeasier topeel. I’veheardof peopleputting cooking oil and butter in their shrimp boils for the same reason.” —Tim Acosta, Rouses Marketing Director

Don Berger’s Boiled Crabs WHAT YOU WILL NEED CRABS 3-4 dozen fresh Gulf Blue Crabs SPICES 1 4½-pound Zatarain’s Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil, Sack Size 1 8-ounce Zatarain’s Concentrated Liquid Shrimp and Crab Boil 1 16-ounce bottled Louisiana Hot Sauce 1 bag small red potatoes, about 3 pounds 3 pounds yellow onions, halved 1 bag baby carrots (about 16 ounces) 6 lemons, halved EXTRAS 8 frozen mini corn on the cobs or 3 fresh ears of corn, cut into thirds 1½ pounds Rouses smoked sausage, cut into chunks HOW TO PREP Fill your boiling pot half way with water. (I use an 80-quart pot.) Add all of the spices. Place the lid on the pot and set propane burner on high. Bring water to a rolling boil. Continue boiling for 8 minutes. Remove the lid and add the crabs. Replace the lid and bring water back to a rolling boil. Remove the lid and add the corn and smoked sausage. Replace the lid and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and shut off the flame. Add a bucket or two of ice to the pot to stop the crabs from cooking and help them absorb the seasoning. Crack a beer and wait while the crabs soak for 10 minutes. Pull the basket out of the water, let drain, and serve. “I always add vinegar to my crab boil, which makes it easier to pick them. A bottle of Louisiana hot sauce has the vinegar in it, which does the trick, too.” —Uncle Rob, Rouses Marketing




Bisque Quick!

O n the rare occasion that you have leftover crawfish, Poppy Tooker’s Crawfish Bisque recipe is a great way to repurpose them. The cookbook author and producer and host of Louisiana Eats (Rouses is a sponsor), makes her roux the old fashioned way, but for a quick cooking version of Tooker’s recipe, you can use Karen Rouse’s microwave roux and store bought lobster, shrimp or seafood stock. Crawfish Bisque Makes 8 servings WHAT YOU WILL NEED 12 pounds boiled crawfish ¼ cup flour for roux 4 tablespoons oil ½ large onion, finely chopped ½ large bell pepper, finely chopped 1 stalk celery, finely chopped 1 small can tomato paste 1 teaspoon thyme ¼ teaspoon black pepper ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon salt ½ cup plain bread crumbs 1 cup chopped crawfish tails 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped 1 stick butter ½ cup flour for rolling heads HOW TO PREP Make a dark roux with the flour and oil. Add onions, then bell pepper and celery and cook until tender. Add tomato paste and chopped tails. Add seasonings and simmer on low flame 10 to 15 minutes. Add breadcrumbs, crawfish, parsley and butter. Fill each head with stuffing. Roll in flour and bake for 15 minutes in a 300-degree oven. Set aside.

Bisque WHAT YOU WILL NEED ½ cup flour ½ cup oil ½ onion, finely chopped ½ bell pepper, finely chopped 2 stalks celery, finely chopped 1½ quarts crawfish stock* ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 teaspoons salt 2 bay leaves 2 tablespoons thyme ½ cup tomato sauce 2 cloves garlic finely chopped 2 cups crawfish tails 1½ tablespoon chopped parsley HOW TO PREP

Local Love: Don’s Seafood We love local, especially family business. After all, we’re local and family, too. Don’s Seafood Hut in Lafayette, Louisiana, was a family business from the very beginning. In 1934, 24-year old Don Landry took a $400 loan from his uncle to open Don’s Beer Parlor. Don was an avid fisherman and focused his menu on fresh catches from the Atchafalaya Basin or the Gulf. Prohibition had just ended, and the Parlor was a hit. Don’s brother Ashby joined him at the Parlor in 1939. In 1952, the two brothers merged their business with a third’s business, a corner grocery owned by Willie Landry. The trio opened the first Don’s Seafood and Steakhouse (the restaurant with its neon sign is known as Don’s Downtown). More Landry family members joined the company and helped open more Don’s Seafood and Steakhouses. But it was Don himself, and his two sons, Donny and Tracy, along with two friends, who would ultimately introduce the Landry’s food to fans across Louisiana. In 1973, the five opened a small po-boy shop in Lafayette, which became known as Don’s Seafood Hut. Word spread and so did the restaurant concept. Today in addition to the Lafayette original there are Don’s Seafoods in Denham Springs, Baton Rouge, Gonzales, Hammond, Covington, Metairie and Lafayette on Johnston Street.

Make a dark roux with the oil and flour. Add onion, the bell pepper and celery and cook until tender. Add stock, seasonings, tomato sauce and garlic and simmer for 40 minutes. Add crawfish tails and stuffed heads and simmer another 20 minutes. Add parsley. *To make stock, boil shells from at least three pounds crawfish along with trimmings from onions and other vegetables. Cover with water two inches over the shells and boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain. Karen Rouse’s

Microwave Roux WHAT YOU WILL NEED ¾ cup Rouses vegetable oil 1 cup all purpose flour HOW TO PREP

In a large, deep microwaveable dish, whisk together ingredients until smooth. Microwave on high for four minutes, remove and stir.*

(Be careful, dish will be very hot). Microwave for another three minutes, remove and stir. Microwave for another two minutes, remove and stir. Microwave for another one minute, remove and stir. At this point your roux should be a nice caramel color. *Since microwaves all heat at various temperatures, you might want to start with 3 minutes until you know how powerful your microwave is.


the Seafood issue A Chicken In Every Pot by Pableaux Johnson + photos by Pableaux Johnson




T he double-decker “Truffle Fried Chicken for Two” at Emeril’s is the glorious love child of fried chicken and a backyard crawfish boil. Amazingly tender pieces of fried chicken with shatter-crisp crust are gently stacked atop a bed of familiar springtime staples — half a pound of spicy crawfish, yellow corn, fingerling potatoes and andouille chunks — boiled to perfection. The whole glorious mound is drizzled with a fragrant Crystal-fortified butter sauce and topped with wispy-thin pickled pepper slices and a scattering of fresh parsley. “About three years ago, we were looking for a way to serve a great family-style dish,” said David Slater, the Toronto-raised chef de cuisine who runs the flagship of Emeril’s empire. “Something people would share and maybe eat with their hands.” The original version was envisioned as a picnic-style presentation, with sides like cane-syrup baked beans, a nice coleslaw and a generous hunk of cornbread. But then Slater decided to turn the popular dish into an homage to crawfish season — with all the traditional trimmings. “The chicken itself is a 3-day process,” Slater says with a smile. Whole birds are infused with an Italian truffle-scented mushroom paste (“Not enough to overwhelm the chicken flavor”) and marinated with garlic and thyme, then slow-cooked in a gently heated water bath (the sous vide method). The sous vide cooks the chicken to melting tenderness, and the final frying crisps up the skin and crust.The result is a rich, borderline decadent poultry dish cleverly disguised as a Sunday supper staple. Slater also incorporates contrasting flavors into the dish — a splash of pepper juice on top, a little bowl of tangy pepper-jelly sauce on the side for dipping — taken from sweet/sour memories of Cantonese dishes in his native Toronto.The spicy boiled vegetables change with the season, and once the crawfish disappear from the market, it’s back to a more traditional picnic-style presentation. “We sell a lot of these, maybe 20 or 30 a night,” says Slater. “People come in and order the whole thing for themselves, just so they’ll have leftovers for breakfast the next day. We’ll box up what’s left and it fits in a little hotel fridge. Then next morning, when they wake up, they’ve got this cold fried chicken, and that’s a whole different set of flavors.” And when a few boiled crawfish become a spicy breakfast bonus, what could be better than that? “For a riff on chef Slater’s fried chicken, try adding dry seafood boil to your flour. You’ll need about ¼ cup of dry boil for every cup of flour.” —Tommy Rouse, 2 nd Generation Chef David Slater Says Always use good oil. I prefer peanut oil. Start your first batch of fried chicken at 375 degrees — the temperature of the oil will drop when you add the first pieces of chicken. Keep the temperature of the oil between 280 and 325 degrees while you fry. You want the chicken to be cooked all the way through without burning the outside. Keep a clip-on candy/deep-fry thermometer in the pot and you’ll know exactly where you are on temperature.

Emeril’s Funky Stovetop Crawfish Boil You don’t have to do to a big crawfish boil in order every time. You can whip up a quick batch right on your stovetop. Makes 4 Servings WHAT YOU WILL NEED ⅔ cup kosher salt 1 tablespoon black peppercorns 2 (3-ounce) packages dry crab boil 1 cup liquid crab boil 2 bay leaves 3 lemons, halved 1 pound small red bliss potatoes 4 large garlic bulbs, halved horizontally 2 large onions, peeled and quartered 2 large artichokes 5 pounds live crawfish, purged several times in salted water 1 pound andouille sausage links, cut into chunks 2 ears shucked corn, cut into 2-inch pieces 8 ounces button mushrooms HOW TO PREP Fill a large, 5-gallon stockpot with a basket insert with 3 gallons of water. Add the salt, peppercorns, dry and liquid crab boils, and bay leaves. Add the lemons and oranges, squeezing the juice into the stock as they are added. Cover and bring the stock to a boil over high heat; boil for 10 minutes. When the stock is at a full boil, add the potatoes, garlic, onions, and artichokes. Cover and bring stock back to a boil; boil for 10 minutes. Add the live crawfish, sausage, corn, and mushrooms. Cover and bring stock back to a boil; boil for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the crawfish mixture to sit, covered for 10 to 15 minutes.




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