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Boudin, Beer and Benefits, Oh My!

00:00 October 29, 2012
By: Kristal Blue

The Emeril Lagasse Foundation brings together a few of our favorite things for a good cause

On Friday, Nov. 2, celebrity chef and everyone's favorite BAM-master, Emeril Lagasse, returns to the city that made him famous with his 2nd Annual Boudin & Beer, an indoor/outdoor food and music festival celebrating all-things Louisiana. Emeril hosts the fete with chef pals Mario Batali and our own Donald Link, who also serve as co-chairs of the fundraiser. The Foundry (333 St. Joseph St.) will be the setting for this charity bash where guests will be treated to choice bourbons from Buffalo Trace, craft brews from Abita Beer, cigar offerings from famed cigar maker Nat Sherman, and entertainment by Feufollet, Red Stick Ramblers, and Drake White. Though the event is called Boudin & Beer, there will be an array of cuisine and libations sure to satisfy any palate.

Emeril is kicking things up a notch this year by calling on even more of his culinary cronies to participate in the festivities. "The success of last year's Boudin & Beer was astounding," says Lagasse. "This year we've doubled the number of chefs participating and expect over 3,000 people to attend. It's New Orleans' newest culinary festival and all for a great cause." Over 50 of the nation's most renowned chefs (including a whole slew from New Orleans) will gather to give their spins on boudin, that tasty meat treat that Louisiana is known for around the world. Go for the booze, go for the entertainment, but, more importantly, go for the opportunity to hang out with some of the best culinary minds in the country.

One chef to watch at this year's event is Chris Hastings, recipient of the 2012 James Beard Award for Best Chef of the South and owner and executive chef of Hot & Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Ala. A longtime friend of Emeril Lagasse and even longer-time lover of New Orleans, Hastings is excited to be back in town to support his fellow chef's fundraiser. "We love going to New Orleans and enjoy the entire range of food experiences—from the classics like Galatoire's to gas stations outside of New Orleans where you can find classic Cajun foods like boudin, fresh cracklins, Vietnamese-influenced food, etc., etc…there are just tons of options!" He will be serving up his restaurant's take on classic boudin, so make sure to stop by and grab a bite.

Boudin & Beer kicks off Emeril's Carnivale du Vin weekend featuring the 8th Annual Carnivale du Vin fundraising gala and wine auction on Saturday, Nov. 3. This blacktie affair features an exclusive 5-course seated wine-with-pairings dinner for 700, entertainment by the Preservation Hall Jazz band with special guest Cassandra Wilson, fantastic live auctions, and, of course, the opportunity to rub elbows with Emeril and his famous friends (that's right, Batali is back for night #2, plus Sammy Hagar, Michael Chiarello, Tyler Florence, and many more). Boudin & Beer and Carnivale du Vin both benefit the Emeril Lagasse Foundation. Established in 2002, the foundation has granted over $5 million to non-profit organizations that provide educational programs, life skills development, culinary training, and cultural enrichment to children in New Orleans and the Gulf South. "This city has been wonderful to me since I started out years ago, and I always carry a little bit of New Orleans wherever I go," says Lagasse. Join Emeril and all of his friends for a food and fun-filled weekend to benefit the youth of our region.

For more information about Boudin & Beer, Carnivale du Vin, and the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, please visit boudinandbeer.com, carnivaleduvin.com, and emeril.org.

Emeril's Boudin Pudding

3 tsp. unsalted butter 3 c. yellow onions, julienned 2 tsp. salt ¼ tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper 12 turns fresh ground black pepper 1 lb. boudin, casing removed 1 tbsp. chopped garlic 5 eggs 2 c. heavy cream ¼ tsp. hot pepper sauce 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 8 slices, 1 in. cubed white bread, (+/- 4 cups) ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2 quart glass rectangle pan with 1 tablespoon butter. In a large saute pan, over medium-high heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, about 1 minute. Add the onions, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon cayenne, and 12 turns black pepper and saute for 4 minutes. Stir in the boudin and saute for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and cool. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs for 30 seconds. Add the heavy cream, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, remaining 1 /8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, hot pepper sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk the mixture until fully incorporated. Stir in the boudin mixture. Add the bread cubes and mix well. Pour the filling into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the pudding with the grated cheese. Bake for 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 10 servings

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.

Hot and Hot Fish Club's Boudin From Chef Chris Hastings

1 tbsp. peanut oil 1 ¼ lbs. pork shoulder, cut into 2 in. cubes ½ lb. fresh pork liver, rinsed in cold water, patted dry and cut into 2 in. cubes ½ c. diced yellow onions ¼ c. seeded and diced poblano pepper ¼ c. diced celery 1 bay leaf ½ tsp. finely chopped fresh garlic 3 ½ c.s Spicy Ham Hock Broth 1 ½ c.s cooked medium-grain white rice 1 tbsp. Hastings Creations Ancho Pork Salt or kosher salt 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper ¾ tsp. Hastings Creations Pork Rub or store-bought, salt-free pork rub ½ c. fi nely chopped fresh parsley ¾ c. thinly sliced green onions 1 (½ in. diameter) hog casings, about 2 ft. in length ¼ c. (½ stick) unsalted butter

Heat the peanut oil in a large rondeau or wide saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the pork shoulder and liver and sauté until well browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the onions, poblanos, celery, and bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ham hock broth and stir to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the meat is tender, about 1½ hours.

Remove the bay leaf and stir in the cooked rice during the last 5 minutes of simmering. Cover the pan, remove it from the heat and allow the mixture to steep for 30 minutes or until the rice has soaked up most of the liquid from the meat mixture.

Season the meat mixture with the Ancho pork salt, pepper, and pork rub. Stir in the parsley and green onions. While the mixture is still slightly warm, push it through a meat grinder fitted with a 1 /8 in. die. Either using a feeding tube or a funnel, stuff the sausage into the casings, making 3 in. long links. Sausages can be cooked immediately or chilled until ready to cook.

Before serving, preheat the oven to 375 F. If the sausages have been chilled, allow them to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking. Add the butter and sausages to a large, iron skillet. Place in the oven and roast until the boudin is golden brown and heated through, 17 to 20 minutes, turning the sausages over halfway through. Serve hot. Makes 10 to 12 links.

Recipe courtesy Chris Hastings, Hot and Hot Fish Club.

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