Bruce Mitchell star of History Channel’s “Swamp People”
along with my husband and yours truly
What do Gumbo, Steak, Gators and AMTRAK Have in Common?
The Southeast Louisiana Gumbo Luncheon at Ruth’s Chris
**Full Disclosure: My husband and I received dinner in exchange for my review. All opinions are mine.
It is always nice to meet new people, enjoy great food and win prizes. Especially when the new people are friendly neighbors from the great state of Louisiana, the food is from Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and the prizes are books with beautiful photographs taken around the state of Louisiana, a Cookbook with recipes using ingredients from Louisiana and a sampling of foods & products from their state.
Six years ago, a group called Southeast Louisiana Gumbo was formed. Southeast Louisiana Gumbo (SELA GUMBO) is a Baton Rouge Marketing consortium that works together to promote tourism throughout the United States.
The group consists of 13 parishes, West Baton Rouge, Pointe Coupee, Ascension, Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, Tangipahoa, St. Charles, St. James, St. John and Washington Parish. Sponsorship assistance from the Louisiana Office of Tourism, Louisiana Fish Fry and AMTRAK has provided assistance in their efforts.
SELA Gumbo attends travel and tourism related events throughout the United States promoting the Baton Rouge Region. They have created their own cook-book, now in its sixth edition, that is given out at each venue as well as a special SELA Gumbo seasoning packet. SELA Gumbo won the Louisiana Travel Promotion award for their special marketing initiative in 2011.
This year the SELA Gumbo Express brought Travel and Tour professionals from the 13 parishes mentioned above to two Texas cities, Houston and San Antonio. I was lucky enough to be invited to attend their event and be treated to fun, food and Louisiana music.
This year they also included a celebrity guest, Bruce Mitchell, one of the cast members from the History Channel series “Swamp People”. If you are a fan of the show, you have probably seen Bruce riding the swamp with his dog Tyler hunting gators. I asked Bruce if he was ever afraid of messing with all those gators. He said, ” No, I am more afraid of coming to the city.” I think he has a valid point given the news lately. We also had the pleasure to meet Burce’s wonderful wife Janet who got to join Bruce on the tour.
I am really hoping to be “riding the rails” on AMTRAK to Louisiana soon and visiting some of the beautiful places all of our new neighbors told us about. And because I like to eat, I can’t wait to chow down on some of that great Louisiana cuisine!
Here is a recipe I wanted to share with you from “Southeast Louisiana Gumbo Spicin’ up Life” Cookbook.
Hopefully after you try this recipe, you will be ready to ride the rails to Louisiana also!
Jacked Up Oysters
24 large freshly shucked oysters on the half shell
2 sticks of butter, melted
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
12 oz. pepper jack cheese or cheese of your choice, grated
1/2 cup bacon cooked, crumbled
can of pickled jalapeno peppers
loaf of French bread (optional)
Preheat a charcoal grill. Put the butter in a pot on high heat and bring to a boil. Make clarified butter by scooping all of the foam the rises to the top and discarding it. Add Worcestershire and garlic powder to the butter and mix. Note: Make sure sauce is well blended. Mix crumbled bacon and cheese in a separate bowl.
Place fresh oysters on the half shell on the center of the grill. Once the water around the oyster begins to bubble and the oyster begins to rise, ladle 1/2 an ounce of the butter sauce on top of each oyster. Place 1 jalapeno on top of oyster and place cheese and bacon on top of jalapeno. Let the oysters cook until the cheese starts to brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove oysters from shell and serve immediately with extra butter, if desired, and with bread or breadsticks.
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About Ruth’s Chris
The Ruth’s Chris Steak House legacy began when Ruth Fertel mortgaged her home for $22,000 to purchase the “Chris Steak House,” a 60-seat restaurant located in New Orleans, Louisiana. More than forty years later, our success continues to be driven by our adherence to Ruth’s core values, which are to deliver the highest quality food, beverages and service in a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Today, there are more than 120 Ruth’s Chris Steak House restaurants, including twelve international franchisee-owned restaurants in Mexico, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tokyo, Aruba, and Canada. Domestically, there are 20 Mitchell’s Fish Markets, two Mitchell’s Steakhouses and one Cameron’s Steakhouse.