Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

Soft Shell Crabs! Get ‘Em While You Can!!!!!

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Buster Crabs - crabs about to molt


The Soft Shell Crab season is under way here is South Louisiana, so I thought why not share the process with all of our friends. I took a trip to Cypermort Point,  La. to see my friend Joey Edgar with St. Mary Seafood.  He gave me a tour of his facility and a run down of how the molting process works.


Molting Crab

A blue crab will molt its shell in order to grow. The crab normally increases about 1/3 in size on each molt, once it sheds its exoskeleton, or outer shell. The entire process takes about 2-3 hours and within 2 hours the new shell has begun to harden. During that time the crab must be removed from the water so that the shell stays soft.

 I’m going to share a recipe with you so that if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on some fresh soft-shell crab you’ll know what to do with them.


Soft Shells packed and ready to go

First : to prep the crab there are a few things that you must do:

  1. remove the eyes and mouth, i’ve found that the best tool for that job is a pair of scissors, just cut straight across the front of the crab to remove them
  2. Remove the gills… under each side of the points, lift the soft shell and you will see the gills…just pull them out.
  3. Remove the plate under the crab… if it is a male it will look like a point and a female will look like a u shaped plate.


Now your crabs are ready.


Place a large skillet on the stove and pour in enough vegetable oil to fill it up 1/3 of the way and turn to medium/high heat ( heat oil to 350 degrees).


Next in a medium sized bowl add ~ 2 eggs , 1 cup of milk, and a teaspoon of Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning. Whisk all ingredients until together until combined to make an egg wash.


In another medium sized bowl pour in a pack of  Tony Chachere’s Seasoned Fish Fry Mix.


Now take your preped crabs one at a time and place into the egg wash and coat evenly then place into the bowl of Tony Chachere’s Seasoned Fish Fry Mix and coat evenly. Then slowly place the crab into the hot skillet claws first ( be very careful because it is very likely that the grease will pop when the crab is placed into the oil.) Cook until golden brown about 2 minutes and then using a pair of tongs carefully flip the crab and let cook for an additional 2 minutes on the opposite side. After 2 minutes remove the crabs and place onto a paper towel lined sheet pan.


Serve while hot and crispy…. but use caution, the juices on the inside are very hot and can burn.


Soft Shell Getting Crispy

These fresh fried soft shell crabs are unbelievable on their own but for an extra kick serve them with one of our new Sandwich Sauces!

Cochon De Lait (Early 4th of July Celebration)

Friday, June 29th, 2012

A few weeks ago I was approached with the task of preparing the 4th of July luncheon for the staff and Chachere family here at the plant. I know… I know, its not the forth of July yet but there were some scheduling issues with staff being out of town so we decided to do it a week early. The first thing that came to mind for a family type of  get-together was a Cochon De Lait ( literally translates to “pig in milk”) . Basically, it’s a pig roast of a whole young pig.  Its not an easy or quick process , but that’s what makes it special. To me its all about the process- its not something that you can take on as an individual,  you need a crew.  But what a great excuse for family and friends to get together to help out, visit, catch up on current events, shoot the bull,  possibly consume some beverages (not while at work though…haha) and then eat some great food!

Bringing Carl home.

We started early Monday morning with a trip to Kirk Martin’s , the local slaughter house, to pick up the pig.  He was beautiful 120 lb. hog, which we lovingly named Carl Cochon. As soon as we got back we broke out our injectable marinades and started to strategically inject the entire pig with the Honey Bacon & BBQ & Roasted Garlic & Herb marinades and covered the entire cavity with our Original Creole Seasoning.  We placed Carl in the smoker at 5pm, set the temperature to 225 and closed the door. He stayed in until 8:00 the next morning and was perfect. The meat was tender, the skin was crisp and had a beautiful reddish-brown color to him. I lowered the temperature to keep it warm until lunch time for the big reveal. We also prepared dirty rice using our mix and I added the pig’s ground liver, heart, as well as ground pork- it came out great! I started to dismantle Carl right at noon as the line formed and everyone made themselves pulled pork po-boys using our new Sandwich Sauces.


After spending the night in the smoker Carl is nice and tan.


Pulled pork Poboy with our new Zesty sauce


Happy 4th of July!

You can follow me on Twitter here.  Stay tuned for more info and recipes from Chef Jude.



Friday Fun: Cook-off Finalists Revealed Tonight!

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Isn’t this time of year always so exciting?… with the anticipation of cooler weather (more commonly referred to in this area as gumbo weather), fall festivals, school for the kiddos, and  FOOTBALL!! Football is a pretty big deal to us here at Tony Chachere’s with all the tailgating we do in the Southeast region. As many of you may remember we partnered with CSS-Sports to host an SEC tailgating cook-off last year.

Tony Chachere's Chef Kelly watches lines form for a taste of jamabalya at the Tailgate Cook-off!


Fans were able to submit their favorite tailgating recipe for a chance to be one of the 12 finalists representing their school in our SEC Tailgating Cook-off. Out of the 12 finalists, the top 3 with the most votes were sent out to the LSU vs. Ole Miss game in Baton Rouge, LA to cook up their dish! The feature was aired on CSS and a winner was declared by viewer votes. Last year, our winner was Jay Ducote of Baton Rouge, who you may know from his blog, Bite and Booze.



Dubbed Tony Chachere’s Tailgating Champion for his Blackberry Bourbon Bone-in Boston Butt Recipe, Jay was sent home with some pretty dang sweet prizes including, a Big Green Egg, 1-year supply of Tony’s, gift certificate to Walmart, a private Tony Chachere’s cooking trailer event for 25 of his friends, so on and so forth. This year the stakes are even higher with bigger and better prizes! Be sure to tune in to CSS every Friday at 5pm CT/6pm ET for the big reveal of the 12 finalists and watch Chef Celeste Podojil prepare each recipe! Recipes will be featured in alphabetical order and the schedule is as listed below:

Alabama                              8/19

Arkansas                              8/26

Auburn                                 9/2

Florida                                  9/9

Georgia                                9/16

Kentucky                             9/23

LSU                                        9/30

Mississippi State               10/7

Ole Miss                               10/14

South Carolina                   10/21

Tennessee                          10/28

Vanderbilt                           11/4




Be sure to tune in to CSS on Friday nights and keep up with us and our tailgating adventures on our blog and Facebook & Twitter Feeds!!


Happy Friday Spice Nation!


Lunch, Lolcats, and the Ladies Room

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Today I came to work expecting a typical Tuesday, not too much excitement. However, much to my surprise it turned out to be Taco Tuesday! Not a new tradition, just a pleasant treat for employees. This may not sound like much to you, but little things like this get me just as excited as a school kid during a routine fire drill!

Most of you don’t know that we have a food service taco seasoning mix that’s used in school cafeterias, etc. Since we’ve recently revamped the packaging, we decided to cook up a batch.  So, around lunch time we threw on our sombreros  and headed down to the break room for a mini fiesta!

This was actually taken months ago, but I really love the expression here. She refers to this as her "Thinking Cap"

Celeste (pictured above) and I have been on diets so these tasty tacos were a much appreciated break from our usual, plain, low-fat turkey sandwich. (Ok, I’m kind of lying. She’s been on a diet and I pretend to be on one every now and then.)


Meet Shawn. He's pretty excited about Taco Tuesday, too!


On another and more pressing note, it was brought to our attention that SEVERAL of the MALE employees have been using the ladies restroom downstairs. Let me also mention that there is only ONE ladies restroom on this side of the plant and that the men take a long, long, long time in the bathroom and also, it’s just plain inappropriate.

Seems to be self explanatory....

Well, apparently it wasn’t clear enough so we came up with a subtle hint to remedy this problem.

(Me working secretly in the laminating closet)


(photoshop courtesy of Celeste Chachere)


……guess we’ll see if it takes….