Saturday, April 5, 2008

Louisiana Culinary Tour - Day 4

First of all, you HYC gals are awesome! All through the day, your comments show up on my Blackberry email. And although I can't reply to let you know how much I appreciate your thoughtfulness at the time, I want you to know how grateful I am for such amazing encouragement.

Now, to the food. Breakfast at Hub City Diner in Lafayette, La. concluded with this plateful of aromatic comfort food. For appetizers, owner Jason Redmon prepared sweet potato biscuits, blueberry muffins and sweet potato pancakes - all accompanied by butter and syrup. (I ordered oatmeal.)

By lunchtime, we were on Avery Island, home of McIlhenny Co. and TABASCO brands, to attend a press conference to unveil the official Louisiana Culinary Trails Guide and to announce the new website.
The McIlhenny family treated us to this fabulous meal of fried shrimp, crawfish etouffe over rice, green beans and bread pudding. I ate two shrimp, all the crawfish - minus the rice and "sauce" - plus the green beans.

Our evening's exquisite wine dinner at Vic's Chop House in Baton Rouge was jointly sponsored by the restaurant and TABASCO chef Jason Gronlund, and was hosted by the Southern Breeze Wine and Culinary Festival - which we will attend tomorrow.

The five-course meal - each of which was paired with Australian Heath Wines - started with Duck Confit En Croute: tender duck with caramelized shallots, gouda and dill havarti cheese wrapped in puff pastry, served with pepper jelly. The soup course was a Deconstructed Oyster Rockafella Soup, consisting of tender baby spinach nested in a creamy broth, topped with crispy Louisiana oysters and crispy leeks with a dash of TABASCO habanera Pepper Sauce.

Our salad was Parma Chopped Shrimp Salad Cannoli-Style: mixed chopped greens in a light anchovy dressing with La. shrimp served in an aged Grana Pardano cannoli shell with a dash of TABASCO Green Pepper Sauce. (pictured above)

The entree was East-West Surf & Turf: miso-braised pork shank served with lobster eggroll, braised napa cabbage and fuikake mashed potatoes.

Finally, the dessert was a Brule Fruit Kabob with Greek mojito dipping yogurt accompanied by a spiced sangria martini.

I thoroughly enjoyed a bite of duck, a bite of soup, all the salad and about three ounces of pork shank and cabbage. Taking pictures and talking to the chef worked just as I had hoped it would to take the foucs off the fact I wasn't eating complete portions.

By day's end, the total calorie count was once again just under 1200. And the afternoon schedule was loose enough to squeeze in 35 minutes on the hotel's treadmill.

Another day, on the road, on plan. YESSS!


Cammy said...

You're rocking on this trip! One of my favorite things to do in restaurants now is to find ways to order "healthier". Looks like you have it all figured out!

Erin said...

You are amazing...I may have said that before. I surely have never had 90% of the food you describe, but I live in Iowa, so its not entirely my fault. It all sounds and looks so yummy!

Way to go for being ON PLAN!!!!!

Pattie said...

Ditto to Erin's comment: you're amazing! I'm incredibly proud of you for staying on plan and keeping your head. Your self-esteem must be soaring!

Trisha said...

You're doing fantastic!

(BTW, the pictures are great!)

Anonymous said...

I have to give it to you! I would have caved in long ago! Way to go!

Holly said...

You are kickin butt! To be around all of this beautiful food and stay on plan has to be some kind of record!! Congrats :)