While celebrations these days aren't quite back to normal, Labor Day Weekend can still be a food-filled event. No matter where you're spending the holiday weekend, these flavorful recipes from two New Orleans spots are sure to take your dinner or pool day up a notch.
Whether it is a delectable burger from Bayou Bar (currently closed due to COVID-19) or a platter of fried fish from Toups' Meatery, these recipes bring restaurant-quality dishes straight to your kitchen.
Bayou Bar 1&1 Burger
Chef Brian Landry shares his popular burger recipe, complete with cheddar cheese curd and homemade hickory sauce.
Makes: 4 Burgers
4 Brioche Buns
2 lbs Premium ground beef (made into 8 oz each)
8 oz Cheddar Cheese Curd
½ cup Mayonnaise (Blue Plate recommended)
8 oz Hickory Sauce recipe below
1 Vidalia Onion, sliced thinly
4 tbsp Steen’s Cane Vinegar or equivalent
1 head Butter Lettuce, washed and shredded
1 Creole Tomato, sliced for sandwiches
1 cup Sweet & Spicy dill pickle (Mount Olive brand recommended)
4 oz Butter, unsalted, cut in cubes
Ground black pepper
1) Using a cast iron griddle, melt four cubes (about 2 Tbsp) of butter. Season the prepared patties with salt and pepper, and place into hot butter.
2) Sear the patties until a golden-brown crust forms (about 2 minutes). Flip, and cook to desired doneness.
3) In a separate non-stick pan, use the remaining butter to toast the slider buns until golden brown.
4) As the burgers finish cooking, place 2 tablespoons of hickory sauce on each burger and top with cheese curd.
5) As the cheese starts to soften, toss thinly sliced onion with a pinch of salt and cane vinegar and allow to marinate. Coat the insides of the top and bottom bun with mayonnaise. (*to really melt the cheese place the burgers with sauce and cheese on top under the broiler in the oven for 1 to 2 minutes)
6) Assemble the burger starting from the bottom with bun, patty, sliced onion, sliced pickles, tomato slice, shredded lettuce, top bun, and hold together with a toothpick.
Makes: 2 cups
1 Yellow Onion, peeled, julienne
4 tbsp Canola Oil
1½ cup Ketchup
¾ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
½ cup Brown Sugar, unpacked
1 tbsp Black Pepper, ground
¼ cup Worcestershire
½ tbsp Chili Flake
1) Use the oil to caramelize onions in a sauce pan.
2) Once onions are caramelized, combine all other ingredients in saucepan and cook until combined.
3) In blender, starting on low speed and gradually increasing, puree all ingredients until smooth.
Bayou Bar is located at 2031 St Charles Avenue.
Toups' Meatery Fish Fry
This recipe can be made with freshly caught or store bought fillets. In Chef Isaac Toups' words "Forget plates and a table. We shovel it in with one hand, a cold beer in the other, while standing over the pile that’s draining on paper towels."
2 pounds fish fillets (about 1⁄2 inch thick or thinner), skin removed
Deep fryer (or a large, deep cast iron skillet or Dutch oven)
About 2 quarts peanut oil
3 cups corn flour (it’s finer than corn meal and adheres better)
3 tbsp popcorn salt
2 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp ground white pepper
1 tbsp granulated garlic
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp celery salt
1) If using a deep fryer, fill with oil to the fill line. If using a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, fill with peanut oil to a depth of 11⁄2 inches. Heat the oil to 350°F over medium- high heat.
2) In a Ziplock bag or large Tupperware container with a lid (a Ziplock is what we’d have at the camp; it’s one less thing to wash), combine the corn flour, popcorn salt, onion powder, white pepper, granulated garlic, cayenne, and celery salt. Seal the bag or cover the container and give it a good shake to mix well.
3) Add one-third of the fillets to the bag or Tupperware. Seal and give the fish a good shake to coat well with the corn flour mixture. Remove the fish and shake the excess back into the bag. Gently lay the fillets into the hot oil. I lay them in with my hand but the oil will pop a little bit. If you prefer to use tongs, you can; but be careful not to puncture the filets or remove any breading. Cook in the oil for 1 minute, until the fish is crispy and golden brown on both sides. If they’re super thin, you likely don’t need to turn them over, but if they are thicker, you might need to turn them (gently) with tongs to brown them evenly. Cook them until they have an internal temperature of 135°F, but I’ll tell you, I have never once stuck a thermometer into a piece of fish. You just want it golden and crispy.
4) Remove the fish with a spider or a large slotted metal spoon and place it on a wire rack or a plate with paper towels to drain. While the first batch is cooking, bread the second batch so it’s ready to go as soon as the first batch comes out of the oil, and on with the third batch.
5) Serve hot.
Toups' Meatery is located at 845 N Carrollton Avenue.