Louisiana Eats: Besh, Black Pots & Beyond

On this week's Louisiana Eats!, we join Chef John Besh in the Rouse’s Culinary Innovation Center, located at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, for a lesson in cooking up some oyster stew. We also talk about John's newly released book, Besh Big Easy, which focuses on traditional dishes that he believes are disappearing from Louisiana dinner tables.

Poppy Tooker and Chef John Besh    SHAUN JOHNSON

Poppy Tooker and Chef John Besh

SHAUN JOHNSON

We'll also meet several talented chefs at the Blackpot Festival & Cookoff held annually in Lafayette's Acadian Village. This gathering of south Louisiana musicians and cooks draws in more and more attendees each year with its come-one, come-all hospitality, and is happening again this October 30-31. We'll hear how community outweighed all the competition at last year's cook off.

And stir your appetite for roux, rice and gumbo with author Stanley Dry. Whether it's cooking for home or feeding a crowd of thousands, we've got a real taste of the state on this week's Louisiana Eats!

Leroy's Oyster Stew
Serves 6
From Besh Big Easy

  • 1 leek, white part, minced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 large tomato, chopped

  • 2 green onions, chopped

  • Go-To Pan Sauce (see below)

  • Pinch dried thyme

  • 3 dozen oysters, shucked and liquor reserved for Pan Sauce

  • Tabasco

  • Squeeze of lemon juice

  • Salt and pepper

Cook the leeks and garlic in the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until softened, about three minutes. Add the tomatoes, green onions, oyster pan sauce and thyme, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, add the oysters and cook just until they become firm and their edges begin to curl. Season with Tabasco, lemon juice, salt and pepper and stir to combine the flavors.

Go-To Oyster Pan Sauce
Makes about 3 cups

The rich flavor of this stew comes from a simple oyster pan sauce. I make it by heating some olive oil in a skillet with a diced large onion, a minced fennel bulb, 4 minced garlic cloves, a heaping teaspoon each crushed red pepper flakes, thyme, and tarragon and 2 bay leaves. Once the vegetables have softened, I add 1½ cups heavy cream, 1½ cups dry vermouth and 3 cups oyster liquor or water. Increase the heat to high and reduce the sauce by half, about 15 minutes.

Boo's Dirty Rice Jambalaya

  • 2 lbs. Ground beef

  • 1 lb. Hot smoked sausage

  • 3 onions

  • 5 stalks celery

  • 1 bell pepper

  • 2 Bay leaves

  • 10 cloves garlic chopped

  • Parsley

  • Green onion tops

  • Salt

  • Cayenne

  • Worcestershire sauce

  • 5 to 6 cups of cooked white rice

First you make a roux.
Add onions.
Add rest of veggies.
Simmer for 1/2 hour.
Brown ground meat and cut up sausage in oven or in skillet.
Add ground meat and cut up hot smoked sausage.
Add at least one package of beef broth or stock (may need to add some water as it cooks).
Simmer for one hour stirring often to avoid sticking.
In another pot, mix well with white rice to desired "wetness."