Making the Most of Louisiana’s Culinary Largesse: The Chef Shares His Secrets | Entertainment/Life

With the back-to-back punch of COVID-19 and Hurricane Ida, chef Jarred I. Zeringue decided it was time to shake things up — and finally release the cookbook he’d been working on for several years. years.

Zeringue’s “Southern and Smoked: Cajun Cooking through the Seasons” was released last month by Pelican Publishing.

Zeringue said the cookbook is coming out at the perfect time — he just got his restaurant, Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse and Restaurant, 769 W. Fifth St. in LaPlace back up and running after the building was devastated by Ida.

Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse and Restaurant is located at 769 W. Fifth St. in LaPlace. The restaurant recently reopened after the building was devastated by Hurricane Ida.

“We started serving plated lunches again in April,” Zeringue said. “A lot of locals come and say, ‘I wish my house was that far away. I’m glad you’re home cooking. I haven’t done home cooking since August because I still don’t have a kitchen. It’s humiliating.

Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse, a longtime stop before there was even an Andouille Trail, is a 72-year-old business in St. John the Baptist Parish.

Prior to COVID-19, Zeringue had other restaurants in the French Quarter, including Eat New Orleans, which closed during the pandemic. The lack of tourists forced Zeringue, a native of Vacherie, to focus his energies closer to his roots and create the comfort food he believed people craved.

Warm salad of okra and Zeringue tomatoes

Most people in Louisiana eat their okra smothered, fried, or in an okra. Chef Jarred Zeringue suggests roasting it in a salad.

The de Zeringue family has lived, worked and farmed in the parishes of the river and nearby New Orleans since the early 1700s.

Her new cookbook also celebrates those same roots. With beautiful images (shot by Denny Culbert and Joseph Vidrine) on nearly every page, the 208-page full-color cookbook has the feel of a coffee table book and features over 80 recipes.

“I wrote the cookbook in seasons – winter, spring, summer, and fall,” Zeringue said. “I tried to highlight seasonal dishes and why we eat what we eat when we eat it. I explain the traditions that explain why we eat okra at Christmas and crawfish at Easter for people who may not be from here or haven’t put the two together.

stone fruit pie

Chef Jarred Zeringue says cooking unripe fruit will release and develop flavors that simply aren’t available by eating them fresh. He recommends this Stone Fruit Pie with Pecan Shortbread Crust as a great way to get the most out of stone fruit flavors.

But Zeringue goes beyond the most obvious Louisiana cuisine.

Whether it’s hunting deer, picking blackberries on the side of the road, or the abundance of Creole tomatoes in late spring and early summer, he dives deep into what’s available. in the river parishes that stretch along the Mississippi levees between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

“Beyond just looking at when these things are available, I’ve also worked to give you something to do with the ingredients beyond what you’ve always done,” he said.

Take for example the guy who sells Creole tomatoes in front of the smoking room and the restaurant in Zeringue.

smoked meats.jpg

Chef Jarred Zeringue owns Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse and Restaurant, a 72-year-old business in LaPlace and a must-stop on the Andouille Trail.

“I give some alternative recipes on what to do with okra and creole tomatoes, as well as other ingredients,” he said.

Additionally, it examines the diverse mix of people beyond Cajun and Creole, including Germans, French, Spaniards, Africans, and Native Americans, whose heritages have intertwined in the heat and humidity. of Louisiana for more than 300 years to produce delicacies from largesse. offered by land and water.

In doing so, he draws on his own family history and traditions, including butcher shops.

“My cousin came and brought photos of my family to a butcher shop in 1950. My grandparents had a date that day,” he said. “I had never seen these photos before. Creating this cookbook helped me research where my own family came from and when they arrived here.

The cookbook is priced at $35 and widely available. Zeringue has granted permission to share the following seasonal recipes.

Grilled prawns

For 4 people. The recipe is from “Southern and Smoked”.

5 pounds (21/25 or more) Louisiana shrimp with shells and heads

5 tbsp Circle Z* seasoning mix

2 tablespoons chilli powder

2 tablespoons paprika

½ cup Worcestershire sauce

½ cup lemon juice

¼ cup minced garlic

2 cups of butter

1 loaf of French bread, sliced

Note: do not shell the prawns or remove the heads, as the dish will be tastier if the shell remains intact.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. Rinse the prawns and arrange them in a baking dish. In another bowl, combine the next six ingredients and pour over the shrimp.

3. Slice the butter and arrange over the seasoned shrimp. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking. When cooked, the shrimp should be rolled up and orange in color, and the shell should separate from the flesh.

4. Serve with fresh French bread and plenty of napkins.

*Circle Z Seasoning Blend

1 part kosher salt

1 part black pepper

1 dose of onion powder

1 part garlic powder

¼ part cayenne pepper

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¼ part ground bay leaf

1. Mix all the ingredients together.

2. Store in an airtight container.

Stone fruit pie with pecan shortbread crust

Makes a pie (12 inches). The recipe comes from “Southern and Smoked”.

1 cup finely chopped pecans

2 cups flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 cup butter at room temperature

½ cup) sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


8 cups of fresh fruit of your choice

3 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons of sugar

½ cup apricot jam

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. For the crust, mix all the ingredients together and press into the bottom and sides of a 12-inch pie pan. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes then prepare the filling.

3. To prepare the filling, combine the fruit with the cornstarch and sugar in a mixing bowl. Arrange the fruit on the crust.

4. Heat the apricot jam. Using a brush, apply the apricot jam to cover the fruit.

5. Bake for one hour.

Warm okra and tomato salad

For 4 people. The recipe is from “Southern and Smoked”.

1 pound okra, sliced ​​lengthwise (from stem to tip)

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

2 cups grape tomatoes

½ cup goat cheese

¼ pound Wayne Jacob bacon

½ cup pecans

Lemon shallot vinaigrette:

1 shallot, chopped

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 lemon, squeezed and zested

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ cup olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.

2. Mix okra with olive oil, salt and black pepper.

3. Place in an ovenproof skillet or black iron skillet and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.

4. While the okra roasts, whisk together all the dressing ingredients except the oil. Whisk the oil to emulsify, then set aside.

5. Remove roasted okra from oven and top with grape tomatoes, goat cheese, bacon, pecans and lemon shallot dressing. Return to oven and roast for another 5 minutes. Serve hot.

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