Archive for the ‘Beck’s Cajun Cafe’ Category

Po Boys for Pups is Barking Up the Right Tree!

May 10, 2017

 

DONATE to the Philadelphia SPCA 

“Woofin Awesome, “ is what O.Z. and all his furry friends say about #BecksGives campaign supporting the Pennsylvania SPCA every #WoofWoofWednesday.

Each week, O.Z. and his friends wag their tails while their human friends order a Po Boy for Pups.  He loves how Beck’s Cajun Café supports prevention of cruelty to animals and how Beck’s donates 10%  of Po Boy sales on Wednesdays to the PSPCA.org

Recently, O.Z. met with Gillian Kocher who is Director of Public Relations and Marketing at the Philadelphia SPCA.  As O.Z. states, “Gillian always smells wonderful and she loves to pet me.  I really like it when she scratches my belly. But I didn’t always have it so good.  Just like many of my furry friends, I was left on the streets to fend for myself.  Just when I thought I couldn’t go on, the local SPCA picked me up off the street and gave me a warm place to sleep and some much-needed food and TLC. (more…)

Got King Cake? Get Your Mardi Gras On!

February 14, 2017

 

bill-with-king-cake

Order King Cake from Beck’s Cajun Café.

If you have been lucky enough to experience Mardi Gras in person, you’ve probably yelled, “Throw me some beads!” and enjoyed catching lots of treasure.   During this flamboyant, loud and fun-filled carnival atmosphere, one tradition that appeals to all ages: an extravagant and gaudy, multi-colored purple, green and gold dessert called King Cake.

The colors that make up the King Cake include purple for justice; green for faith and gold for power.

If you’ve never had a slice of King Cake, and are lucky enough to have the trinket in your slice of cake, you probably are wondering why is there a baby in your cake?   Tradition dictates the use of a small trinket, usually, a small plastic baby (representing the baby Jesus) which traditionally awards privileges and brings good fortune to whoever discovers it – in the past, it was made of porcelain or even gold.  It also brings obligations including hosting the next King Cake Party.

Quickly place your order for King Cake by calling Beck’s Cajun Café at the Reading Terminal Market (215) 592-0505 or the 30th Street Station (215) 282-2800.  (more…)

Mardi Gras’ Catholic Roots

February 4, 2016

Mardi GrasMardi Gras, literally “Fat Tuesday,” has grown in popularity in recent years as a raucous, sometimes hedonistic event. Its roots lie in the Christian calendar, as the “last hurrah” before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.

What is less known about Mardi Gras is its relation to the Christmas season, through the ordinary-time interlude known in many Catholic cultures as Carnival. Ordinary time, in the Christian calendar, refers to the normal “ordering” of time outside of the Advent/Christmas or Lent/Easter seasons.

Carnival comes from the Latin words carne vale, meaning “farewell to the flesh.” Like many Catholic holidays and seasonal celebrations, it has its roots in pre-Christian traditions based on the seasons. As early as the middle of the second century, the Romans observed a Fast of 40 Days, which was preceded by a brief season of feasting, costumes and merrymaking.

The Carnival season kicks off with the Epiphany, also known as Twelfth Night, Three Kings’ Day and, in the Eastern churches, Theophany. Epiphany, which falls on January 6, 12 days after Christmas, celebrates the visit of the Wise Men bearing gifts for the infant Jesus. In cultures that celebrate Carnival, Epiphany kicks off a series of parties leading up to Mardi Gras.

Epiphany is also traditionally when celebrants serve King’s Cake, a custom that began in France in the 12th century. Legend has it that the cakes were made in a circle to represent the circular routes that the Wise Men took to find Jesus, in order to confuse King Herod and foil his plans of killing the Christ Child. In the early days, a coin or bean was hidden inside the cake, and whoever found the item was said to have good luck in the coming year. In Louisiana, bakers now put a small baby, representing the Christ Child, in the cake; the recipient is then expected to host the next King Cake party.

Mardi Gras came to the New World in 1699, when a French explorer arrived at the Mississippi River, about 60 miles south of present day New Orleans. He named the spot Point du Mardi Gras because he knew the holiday was being celebrated in his native country that day.

Eventually the French in New Orleans celebrated Mardi Gras with masked balls and parties, until the Spanish government took over in the mid-1700s and banned the celebrations. The ban continued even after the U.S. government acquired the land but the celebrations resumed in 1827. The official colors of Mardi Gras, with their roots in Catholicism, were chosen 10 years later: purple, a symbol of justice; green, representing faith; and gold, to signify power.

Why is there a baby in my cake?

February 2, 2016

 

King Cake2Mardi Gras wouldn’t be Mardi Gras without a sweet supply of king cakes. The popular dessert is a cross between a Danish and a cinnamon roll with a sweet filling. It’s topped with gaudy colors of purple, green and gold, representing justice, faith and power.

The cake contains a small trinket, usually a small plastic baby, said to represent the Baby Jesus. In the past, the baby was made of porcelain or even gold.  Tradition holds that the person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket is traditionally awarded various privileges and obligations including hosting the next king cake party.

Beck’s is still taking orders for King Cakes, which may be had at $34.95 for a whole cake or $3.25 for individual portion. Get yours by calling 215-592-0505 or 215-382-2800. The cakes are available for pick up at either the Reading Terminal Market or at 30th Street Station through Mardi Gras on Tues., Feb. 9.

Get yours today, baby!

 

Bill Beck’s Shrimp-Andouille Scrapple

January 20, 2016

Crawfish ScrappleIf you’re a lover of delicious and decadent foods, then you have to come to Scrapplefest at the Reading Terminal Market on Sat. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oh, but I don’t want all that fat you say? Then try this satisfying, surprisingly subtle, lower-fat version made Cajun style with shrimp and Andouille! It’s not too spicy and great with a fried eggs and cheese on French bread as a specialty breakfast po-boy. Take it from Chef Bill Beck, it brings a little “who dat” to one of Pennsylvania’s favorite foods!

Ingredients:

1.25 Lbs. Andouille Sausage
1 Lbs Shrimp, peeled, deveined,and raw
3 Cups Yellow Cornmeal
2 Cups Buckwheat Flour
2 Quarts Pork Stock (use low salt bouillon cubes or make your own from scrapes)
1.5 Cups Onion
2 Tbl Fresh Garlic
0.25 Tsp Mace
1 Tsp Oregano
2 Tsp Beck’s Devil Dust
2 ea Tbl Vegetable oil
To Taste: Salt and Pepper

Preparation:
1. Slice Andouille sausage links into four pieces per link, top to bottom
2. Medium dice onion and garlic, keep separate
3. Heat skillet, add half the veg. oil and lay Andouille sausage out like bacon and lightly caramelize in pan, do all and set sausage a side
4. In same pan while still hot, add rest of oil followed by the onion, cook till lightly caramelized. Then add the garlic, cook two minutes while stirring.
5. Add shrimp to the onion- garlic mixture and let simmer until the shrimp have released their liquid and the pan is dry.
6. Cool mixture for a couple of minutes, then combine with Andouillie and liquefy the mixture in a blender.
7. Put pureed mixture into sauce pan; add the seasonings followed by the cornmeal, buckwheat flour and the stock, add stock slowly stirring all the while.
8. Bring all to a simmer, and reduce for 10 to 15 minutes stirring all the while until the mixture is very thick and paste-like.
9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
10. Butter loaf pans 3-4, pour in mixture, and refrigerate 4-6 hours till firm. Freeze well.
11. When ready to cook, cut and dredge in flour on all sides, cook in grease or oil until crispy and brown.

Mardi Gras King Cake Party @ Reading Terminal Market!

January 20, 2016

 

mardi-gras

Mardi Gras comes early this year at the Reading Terminal Market. Join two-time James Beard guest chef Bill Beck for a King Cake party on Sun., Feb. 7, 2016 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sample classic Nawlins’ dishes, participate in a king cake decorating contest and meet Philadelphia’s Marilyn Russell, host of Mornings with Marilyn on 95.7 BEN-FM and Tony Luke Jr., cheese steak magnate and host of Food Mashups. A $5 donation is requested to support MANNA.

“Let the good times roll with us right here in the Reading Terminal Market,” said chef Beck. “It’s a great way to kick-of Mardi Gras and support an organization that nourishes people’s bodies and spirits.”

The event will kick-off with a cooking demonstration in the market’s City Kitchen. Chef Bill will prepare traditional items such as oyster bisque and smoked collards with ham hocks and Tabasco. He will also introduce new creations like Eggs St. Rita, a take on eggs Benedict with grilled corn bread, shrimp and andouille scrapple, spinach and Creole Hollandaise.

A celebrity judged king-cake decorating contest follows at 12:30. Donors to MANNA will pair off to create their own masterpiece using a special “mystery” kit. Marilyn Russell, Tony Luke Jr., blogger Kass of Philly Food Girl and Jeff Belonger of MyPhillyAlive.com will number among the judges.

Beck’s Cajun Café has become known for King Cakes in recent years, providing the sweet and colorful pastry for Mardi Gras. The cake named for the biblical story of the three kings, is a ring of braided brioche topped with icing and sugar in purple, green and gold, representing justice, faith and power.

The cake usually contains a small plastic baby, said to represent the Baby Jesus. Tradition holds that the person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket is traditionally awarded various privileges and obligations including hosting the next king cake party. Those wanting to order a King Cake are encouraged to call Beck’s Cajun Café at 215-592-0505 or 215-382-2800.

Beck’s Cajun Cafe is known for its exotic and spicy Creole cuisine made with ingredients from the Big Easy. With locations at Philadelphia’s historic Reading Terminal Market and Amtrak’s 30th Street Station, Beck’s offers authentic dishes including gumbos, jambalaya, muffaletta and bread pudding. Beck’s is the home of the Train Wreck, a culinary creation where po boy meets cheese steak with a name the pays homage to the reading terminal markets train shed history.

Find more about Beck’s Cajun Café at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BecksCajunCafe
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BecksCajunCafe
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/s/beck’s%20cajun%20cafe
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=beck%27s+cajun+cafe

Beck’s Barbecued Onion Meatloaf

September 23, 2013

Meatloaf is a perennial favorite. With Beck’s Barbecued Onions it reaches another level.

This was sent to us by a customer and loyal fan of our pantry products…She wishes to remain anonymous, and after trying her meatloaf we can see why.  She might have a crowd outside her house if we revealed her identity.

Desperation often leads to discovery, as is the case with this recipe.  I was planning to make meatloaf for my family’s dinner, but learned rather late in the process that we were out of the onions, carrots, and celery that I usually saute and blend with the meat.  Determined to avoid an evening shop, and short on time if meatloaf tartare was not to be our dinner, I began to search the cupboards.  Thank you Beck’s;  your Barbecued Onion Relish saved the dinner and the day.  Here’s how:

BBQ Onion Meatloaf

1 1/2 lbs 85% lean ground beef

1 jar Beck’s Barbecued Onion Relish, 3/4 jar for blending w/ meat, remaining for topping/garnish

2 eggs

3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

2 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup ketchup

Heat oven to 375.  Thoroughly mix all ingredient except ketchup and 1/4 jar bbq onions.  Shape meatloaf into oblong rectangle in baking pan and top with ketchup.  Bake 45-50 mins til cooked through.  During last 5 minutes of cooking, top with remaining bbq onions if desired.  Let sit for 5 minutes after removing from oven.  Serve and enjoy.    Never bother chopping onions, carrots and celery for meatloaf again!

And The Recipe for Beck’s Bread Pudding Is…

March 10, 2013

Beck’s World Famous Bread Pudding

Bread PuddingThis recipe is inspired by bread pudding that we had at a famous New Orleans restaurant. There’s absolutely no chance that I’ll tell you the name here. We then perfected it for Beck’s Cajun Cafe in Philadelphia and it has been a favorite at the restaurants ever since.

Custard Mix

10 eggs

2.72 cups Light brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

0.25 tsp Allspice

Pinch nutmeg

0.75 tsp pure bourbon vanilla extract

2 qt. heavy cream

0.50 qt. whole milk

8 cups, cubed bread (day old or stale)

Faux caramel & Fruit mix

0.50 cup light brown sugar

1 ea Apple sliced

0.25 cup Raisins or minced dried fruit

2 tbl water

3 tbs butter  (reserve 1 tbl to grease bottom of baking dish)

Equipment needed

9x 12x 1.5 baking dish

chef’s knife

cutting board

large kitchen spoon

high heat rubber spatula

mixing bowls

wire whisk

measuring spoons

measuring cups

1 qt. sauce pot

oven

Procedure:

1)    Skin the bread of exterior crust and cube to 3/4/x 3/4 size .(If it is a little over in size don’t worry about it the custard will break down any excessively large pieces as it rests for twenty minute to a half hour before putting in the oven) Set cubed bread aside.

2)    Custard: Add eggs to the mixing bowl and mix to combine yolks and white of eggs, add rest of ingredients and mix well. Taste the custard to see if you like the way it tastes. You may want to add a little more of the cinnamon or the nutmeg depending on the age and potency of the products and there source.

3)    Faux caramel: Place sauce pot on the stove with the water and sugar on a med flame  and mix , when mixture starts to simmer stir continuously for one minute to reduce and marry the sugar and water fully, turn off the flame , remove from the stove and stir gently the butter (2 tbl ) in to the mix. Set aside for a minute.

4)    Grease the baking dish with reserved amount of butter you have set aside

5)    Leaving the skin on the apples, you will now box cut the apples into 4 pieces…Here’s how. Lay the apple down on your cutting board the fat end towards you. You will take the knife in hand and cut just slightly to the right of the center of the apple just to the right of the steam as well. The goal here is to just miss the core so that we are getting all the useable flesh for our wonderfully homey bread pudding. After cutting you will now have one flat side to the apple, place that flat side downward on your cutting board and repeat same cutting actions again removing yet another piece of apple. Do twice more and you will have nothing put the seeded core of the apple left to discard. The core of the apple if you look at it from top to bottom is now in a box shape.  Slice the four remaining pieces of apple into 1/8 thick slice and place on the bottom of the greased baking dish randomly yet evenly. If you need to hold the apples after cutting for any length of time during the prep of this dish hold them in lemon water so they don’t oxidize ( go brown)

6)    Pour the faux caramel while it is hot, or at least warm( you want the mix to be pliable so that it can be evenly placed over all the apples , additionally you don’t want to lose any to the bottom of the sauce pot because it has cooled to much) You may need to reheat it.

7)    Place bread cubes evenly over the apples/ faux caramel sauce; add custard followed by the raisins. Push the cubed bread into the custard mix so they absorb the custard; do this three times over the next twenty minutes so the bread has evenly absorbed the custard.

8)     Place on center rack of 275 degree pre heated oven for two hours. It is cooked low and slow so that the flavors become concentrated without losing the moister. The top will be light brown and crispy. You can serve this with ice cream, macerated fruit or as we do at Beck’s with a whiskey sauce. Any way you do it, it’s gonna be great, just serve it warm.

Beck’s Cajun Cafe is in the Finals for the City Paper Readers’ Choice Awards

February 21, 2013

City Paper Readers' Choice LogoPhiladelphia’s Cajun Eatery a Finalist for Prestigious Award by the Region’s Largest Weekly Newspaper – Voting Begins Today!

Beck’s Cajun Cafe has been named a finalist for the 2013 Philadelphia City Paper Readers’ Choice Awards. Beck’s is one of only five restaurants to qualify for this prestigious award in the “Quick Bites” category. Individuals are encouraged to visit the City Paper Readers’ Choice Awards and cast their votes for Beck’s Cajun.

“We are thrilled to be nominated us for this prestigious award,” said Bill Beck, chef and owner of Beck’s Cajun Cafe. “Now the hard work begins and we are counting on everyone to vote for us in the final round.”

Beck’s Cajun Café is a popular eatery with locations at the Reading Terminal Market and 30th Street Station. Each restaurant serves authentic Cajun and Creole dishes including jambalaya, alligator gumbo, po’ boys, bread pudding and more.

Back after a four year-hiatus, The City Paper Readers’ Choice Awards honor the best services, establishments and neighborhoods in the Greater Philadelphia Area and southern New Jersey. The winners will be chosen by popular vote and announced in a special section published in the March 28 issue. To vote for Beck’s Cajun Café, please go to www.citypaper.net.

With locations at 30th Street Station and The Reading Terminal Market, Beck’s Cajun Cafe is known for its exotic, flavorful and spicy Creole cuisine with ingredients shipped direct from the Big Easy. Beck’s retails a line of Kitchen Pantry spices and sauces including Beck’s Three Devil Hot sauce, Creole Mayo, BBO onion relish and Angel, Devil and Rub-a-Dub spice rubs. A Best of Philly 2011 winner, Chef Bill Beck’s distinguished career began 25 years ago in his hometown of Philadelphia. He has won acclaim for his deft hand and has twice been showcased at Manhattan’s James Beard House. For more information about Beck’s Cajun Café, visit: www.beckscajuncafe.com.

Beck’s @ 30th Street Featured by Daily Pennsylvanian’s 34th St.

February 16, 2013

Special thanks to Faryn at University of Pennsylvania for this great review!

Beck’s Cajun Cafe: Cajun (Food) Court

Skip the 28–hour train: Beck’s Cajun Cafe takes you to Louisiana in minutes

By FARYN PEARL

Shayla Cole

Becks-Cajun-Cafe-Shayla-Cole-21-300x275It’s strange to get such fine food in a food court. But that’s where the excellent Beck’s Cajun Cafe lies—right between a KFC and a nameless take–out Chinese stand. Of course, most people won’t have the luxury of sitting down and savoring Beck’s Louisiana–style offerings. They’ll be catching a train, grabbing gumbo on the go. That’s right: Beck’s is in the middle of 30th Street Station. While the venue might not scream “some of the best Cajun cooking in Philadelphia,” the food does.

And it’s the food that matters to chef and owner Bill Beck, who owned a Latin restaurant before starting the first Beck’s Cajun in Reading Terminal Market. A chef by trade, he was always attracted to Cajun cooking, an amalgamation of Latin, French and Southern cuisine. In talking to Beck, it was clear that he was passionate about bringing this style of cooking to Philadelphia and about the food he was serving.

So let’s get to the food. Namely, Beck serves alligator, and it is delicious. Honestly, my comrades and I were a little (read: completely) terrified when the Gator Gumbo ($6.95) came out. One bite and we were converts.

Becks-Cajun-Cafe-Shayla-Cole-300x200Alligator meat is surprisingly lean and flavorful, like chicken but more savory. Add that exotic meat (which, by the way, is authentic— they ship it from Louisiana) to a spicy and richly flavored gumbo stock and you have yourself a meal that’s truly crave–worthy. For favorites, the mini–cornbread loaves ($1.25) were a close second. Golden and crispy on the outside, warm and airy on the inside, they were the kind of pastry you read about in Martha Stewart magazines, but can never seem to recreate on your own. Also of note were the beignets ($3.95), a classic Louisiana–style doughnut smothered with fine confectioner’s powder (which got all over my pants but was otherwise totally worth it), and the Train Wreck Po Boy ($7.95), a hulking mass of steak and pork covered in cheese and sandwiched between crispy French bread—an alternate cheesesteak to rival Pat’s and Geno’s. The only disappointment was the Jambalaya Bowl ($6.95), the quintessential Cajun dish. It just didn’t have the spiciness or ingenuity of the other dishes; even the added kick of Beck’s own 3 Devils Hot Sauce ($6.99, part of their new retail line) couldn’t elevate it to the others’ level.

I know it’s no fun to read a gushingly positive review. But with incredible authentic Cajun cuisine—seriously, alligator—and the friendliest service around, it’s hard to find anything bad to say about Beck’s Cajun Cafe. Next time you need to go to 30th Street Station, give yourself a 30–minute head start and check out Beck’s. It will be worth the trip.

 

Shayla Cole | 34th Street