Don't eat until you're full, eat until you are tired. list of Lean Cuisines consumed this week, may deter some folks from ever coming back.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Mabry House

Last month, Britney and I celebrated our 5th Anniversary at the Mabry House here in Shreveport. I'm embarrassed to say this was my first time there, considering we've lived in Shreveport for almost 4 years now. I've had many friends encouraging me to check it out for some time, and now I can officially mark it off my list.

For those familiar with the place, its needless to say, I've heard a lot of great things and there is a significant amount of hype surrounding it. When I get a lot of recommendations on a restaurant, I always get a little nervous that it won't meet the expectations that continue to build from every new plug. That being said, I can happily say, it was fantastic!

We started by ordering a couple of appetizers, one on the menu and one off (shown above). The crispy duck with a sweet thai sauce was good, but I honestly wouldn't have known I was eating duck, as the batter was pretty heavy and there was A LOT of sauce for how sweet it was. Don't get me was good, but not the "Mabry House" quality I had heard so much about. The second, was a wonton wrapped ahi tuna, sitting on a sesame seed and cilantro curry. The sauce was everything I hoped from the name, but the tuna itself was overcooked and really could have been anything inside the wrapper. The fish was also under salted, which probably wouldn't have been a problem if it hadn't been cooked so much.

For the next course, I had the house salad; a caesar with lots of fresh crushed black pepper. It was very good and wasn't over dressed and soggy. Britney had a mixed greens salad with roasted mozzarella cheese. It was very very good! The cheese itself had been wrapped in greens to hold it together during cooking. Brit also had a cup of tomato basil soup that was by far the best I've ever had. That probably had a lot to do with the fact there was a ton of smoked gouda cheese melting on top of it.

For Britney's main course, she had the crab cakes which were very good, but there was almost too much butter. Now I know...Jordan, that sounds crazy, how can you have too much butter? But there was. It made the cakes almost "greasy." Brit enjoyed them none the less. I ordered the ribeye, which the description read, "with onions." Very understated description of this dish. The ribeye came out pre-sliced on a bed of what appeared to be white-gravy/light roux/sauce, which I later found out was a puree of onions that had been cooked down and pureed until they were creamy. Just to add to it, there were crispy onions on top. That in and of itself, was amazing, but the steak melted in my mouth. It was a typical aged ribeye, but with an additional 30 days of aging. INCREDIBLE! I got home and immediately started researching how to dry age beef this way, so I'm thinking I may have do some experimenting at home to see if I can recreate this miracle. At this point in the meal, any and all flaws or imperfections with the meal, no longer mattered. Absolutely in the top 3 steaks I've ever had.

Usually after eating at a place like this (where I have consumed an estimated pound of butter already) my stomach isn't up for dessert...fortunately, Brit always is. We split a bread pudding with bourbon sauce. It was near perfection as well. It wasn't overly mushy or dry and the bourbon sauce was spot on.

Unique atmosphere, fantastic service, and great food. I won't wait another 4 years to go back...I promise.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

LSU vs. Mississippi State

Last week, I had a few friends over for the LSU vs. Mississippi State game. I made one of my staples, crawfish pie. Crafish PIE is a weird concept for people unfamiliar with Louisiana food, but I've never met anyone who doesn't like it, once they try it.

They are very easy to make, so I'll share a little here:

I start with sweating onion, bell pepper and celery (the "trinity"....lower case "t") in some butter and olive oil. Once cooking, I add fresh garlic to the mix and start on my roux.

My mom has always made her crawfish pie without the roux, but I tried it once to see if I could make the flavor a little richer, and it worked brilliantly, so I've done it ever since. In a cast iron skillet, I heat up 1/2 cup of oil and whisk in 1/2 cup of flour. I cut the heat to medium/high and whisk (don't stop until its done or you'll burn it) until I get the dark brown color I want. Turn the heat off and let it sit.

Once the veggies are cooked, I add in my roux and stir until its throughly mixed in. Once that is done, I add my crawfish tails and seasonings (little salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, bay, thyme, dried basil, Old Bay, and whatever else you might like). Once everything comes back up to cooking temperature, I add a little white wine.

Next, I add a little cream of mushroom soup. This is why I only add a little salt initially, because the soup will add a good bit to the mix. This really helps to give the pie the "creaminess" that is so good. Once the soup is mixed in well and comes to heat, I turn the burner down to low, so all the flavors can marry. At this point, I try a little to make sure I have my salt and seasonings the way I want them.

Once its its the way you want it, turn burner off and let it start cooling a little. I usually put the bottom layer of my pie crust in the oven for a few minutes to get the bottoms cooking so the bottom of the pies are crispy enough. I then fill the pies with my filling, and put the tops on them. Make sure to put some slits or holes so that top does not explode and make a mess in your oven. Cook at 350 for about 20 minutes or until pie tops are golden brown.

I hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Last Saturday, was a good day. We did a "revealing" of the sex of our baby, via cupcake ceremony...its a boy for those that don't know. Here is the blog:

After that, my friend, John, and I cooked and served a 6 course Louisiana themed dinner to introduce a little venture we are working on, called Roost. The idea, is to bring great restaurant quality food and service in to the home. I was super pleased with how everything came out, and think it was a great first run for us.

Here was the menu...

1.) Gumbo w/chicken and sausage
2.) Mixed Greens Salad w/fresh strawberries, havarti cheese & Balsamic Glaze
3.) Crawfish Pie
4.) New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp w/French bread
5.) Grilled Snapper w/white wine sauce, dried chilies & rosemary
6.) Bread Pudding w/bourbon sauce

If you missed out on this one, no worries, you will get a chance. We hope to do several more of these dinners over the next few months. A great night of friends, music and food...doesn't get any better than that.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Best Poor-Boy Ever

Best Oyster Poor-Boy I've ever had! Go to Olde Tyme Grocery and do this.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fresh Salmon Dinner

My good friend, Eric, and I decided to go simple for dinner a couple of nights ago. We picked up a pound of fresh sushi grade salmon, mixed up wasabi and soy, and started slicing up some fish. I roughly sliced up 3/4 of the fish and ate it plain, but for the other 1/4, I dipped it in teriyaki sauce, coated it with toasted sesame seeds and seared it briefly in a nonstick pan.

I sent this pic to a friend in Houston via text, who quickly replied "You ripped me off." (He regularly makes whole meals from raw fish alone) I'm not sure if I ripped Ryan off, or millions of Japanese people...thanks to both.

I could eat this again right now.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chez Nous

Last weekend, we drove down to Houston to spend a weekend with friends. On Saturday night, we revisited an authentic French restaurant that we spent New Year's Eve at a year ago, Chez Nous.

Our last experience there was surprisingly good. Any time I am extremely excited about how a good a restaurant is the first time I go, there is this small, anxious feeling, deep inside me that says "You got lucky, and it probably won't impress you as much the next time." This is NOT one of those places.

The food was just as fantastic as the first time. I started with a fricassee of escargot, brussel sprouts and candied bacon...yep I said it...candied bacon. It was awesome. I asked the waitress how they made the bacon and she was more than happy to ask the chef for me. Apparently its a 6 hour process that involves slow cooking a large amount of bacon, collecting the fat, and then adding a few herbs and honey to it all. The rendered fat is added to the plate with some of the actual pieces of bacon and has almost the consistency of jam....but tastes like sweet bacon (I could use a spoon full of that right now actually).

The next course was beef tartar topped with creme fraiche and caviar. I had a bite of this on my first visit, and had to get an entire order this time around. It is by far the best beef tartar I've ever had. The consistency is perfect (which is important when eating raw meat) with just the right balance of citrus and salt. This is the one thing I will ALWAYS order when I go back time and time again.

For the 3rd and final course (because French food is rich) I had the steak with peppercorn and bearnaise. This was the only part of the meal I expected more on and it didn't deliver. Now don't get me wrong, the steak was great, but I ordered it rare and it was definitely mid-rare. Not something a restaurant of this quality usually gets wrong. I enjoyed my steak regardless.

Most of the table ordered dessert, but I just didn't push it after the pound and a half of butter I had consumed over the last 3 courses. Here is site if anyone is in the Houston area.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

A good friend of mine hosts a Tacky Christmas Party every year at his house with this past Saturday being the 3rd Annual, so I volunteered to cook something.

On Saturday afternoon, I poured myself a glass of Belvenie 12 yr Double Wood and began putting together a couple of stuffed pork tenderloins. I start by filleting out my tenderloins, so that they lie flat like a sheet of paper...a very thick, delicious paper made out of pig. Next, I made a dry rub from anything and everything in my seasoning cabinet that sounded good....dried thyme, cumin powder, onion powder, garlic powder, some greek all purpose seasoning, fresh black pepper, dried oregano, paprika, and probably another couple of thing I'm forgetting. I thoroughly rubbed both sides of my pork with it and then generously salted it with sea salt.

Next, I sauteed 2 large red onions in some olive oil, over medium heat, while they broke down and got all deliciously sweet. Chopped up some sweet and hot pickled jalapenos and cut up a package of cream cheese. I then took those 3 ingredients and filled the filleted pork with it.

Once filled, I rolled the tenderloins back up, and tied them closed with butcher string. I heated up some olive oil in a pot and threw in some fresh garlic cloves, so the oil would grab some of the flavor. Once the oil was smoking hot, I put in the tenderloins just long enough to sear them really well all the way around.

After the tenderloins had a good brown crust of a sear, I placed them on a cookie sheet and gave them a very light sprinkle of brown sugar, and placed in the oven for 45 mins at 350.

They came out pretty close to perfect. I let them rest covered for close to 45 minutes before slicing them up. I was pleased with how the pork turned out, as well were at least a couple of other party goers who I saw go back for 3rds.

Thank you much.