Archive for the ‘Cajun Food’ Category

Add Some Flower-Power to Your Dessert Tonight

March 14, 2017

 

When you walk into The Philadelphia Flower Show fresh scents, clean air and the sound of bee’s just seem to take over.  All five of your senses are instantly awake: Sight, Hearing, Taste, Touch, and Smell.

Enclosed in a glass container to showcase the value of insects to plants are the beautiful bees that make this possible.  When we see flowers, we don’t typically think of them as food, nutrients or antioxidants, but they are.  Flowers, particularly those with deep colors, are natural antioxidants, and the pollen the bees bring to each plant helps fend off allergies.

Many of the merchants highlighted beautiful landscaping designs – with an emphasis on creating green gardens that include hardscaping, soil, sculpture and eco-friendly plants.

Many flowers in a green garden are actually edible.  These flowers are enjoyed more abundantly in the spring and summer months. They have the added bonus of making any dish attractive and magical. Blossoms that make good eye candy in your desserts and meals include Pansy, Rose, Squash Blossoms, Dahlia, Orchid, and Marigold.

Of course, not everyone is keen on cooking with flowers.  One easy way to start introducing edible flowers into your meals is with a dessert that has petals as part of its ingredients.  (more…)

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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…)

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.

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!

Beck’s Cajun Cafe at 30th Street Station Reviewed by Drexel Triangle!

February 12, 2013

Chef Bill BeckBeck’s Cajun Cafe at 30th Street Station was recently reviewed by The Triangle, Drexel University’s newspaper. Thanks to reviewer Jared Ely for the shout-oust about our Cajun Express Delivery service to homes, offices and dorms in University City and Center City and about our delicious King Cakes. Read on… 

Beck’s Cajun Cafe adds unusual kick to traditional bayou recipes

by Jared.Ely on February 8, 2013 in Arts & EntertainmentRestaurant Reviews

Have you ever had the urge to eat something out of the ordinary? That longing that emanates from deep within the pit of your stomach, the one that moans and cries out in agony for a delicacy it knows it wants but just can’t seem to find? The one that begs not only for sustenance but also a certain degree of pizzazz?

Beck’s Cajun Cafe, has become popular in the Philadelphia community for its vast selection of Creole cuisine. Beck’s is also located at Reading Terminal Market, which opened in 2009.

I am, of course, speaking rhetorically. Obviously you’ve had that feeling. Anyone with a functioning pulse has had that feeling. It’s the feeling that drives us to take the subway out into the heart of Center City at odd hours of the night to obtain that one exceptional pizza, that one incomparable cheesesteak, that one special cup of coffee that can placate our raging thirst for cuisine.

We’re lucky to be in University City. We’re lucky to have all types of food from Mediterranean to just about every type of Asian cuisine, not to mention the American staples and frozen yogurt, no more than a mile or so away from us. But with Beck’s Cajun Cafe now at 30th Street Station, we hit the jackpot.

Having operated out of Reading Terminal Market since 2009, Beck’s has become exceptionally popular, and justifiably so. They offer a wide selection of Creole cuisine, such as Po Boys and Jambalaya, and it’s all authentic. Renowned chef Bill Beck, a Philadelphia native who earned such accolades as being the guest chef at the famous James Beard House and three “Best of Philly” awards, truly loves preparing and serving the best Cajun dishes he can make.  Needless to say, his enthusiasm really shines through. When I met with him, it was obvious that he’s incredibly passionate about giving his customers the most authentic Cajun food he can make, not only because he wants the customer to enjoy their meal but also to make sure that the food he serves is true to its roots. He goes as far as importing the shrimp, Community Coffee, Zapp’s Chips and alligator (yes, they actually put alligator in a few of their dishes) all the way from Louisiana to make the food as authentic as possible.

This authenticity is clearly visible in the food, too. It’s not as though the imported foods are similar to what most people are used to; on the contrary, these colorful foods add a special degree of excitement to the dish. For instance, the Community Coffee that Beck’s serves is nothing at all like normal, everyday coffee. Instead of the typical, bitter bite of coffee, this Louisiana blend contains chicory root, giving it a much smoother feel and earthier taste that resolves into just a hint of chocolate after a moment. At first taste I was taken aback, but half a cup later I fell in love with the drink.

In addition to their authenticity, Beck’s has real staying power from the quality that extends throughout its menu. While there I sampled the Beignets and the Train Wreck, a Po Boy sandwich paying homage to the Philly cheesesteak. The Beignets were incredible; they resemble doughnuts with powdered sugar on top, but inside lay a vast network of almost imperceptibly gooey dough, almost akin to an extremely thick funnel cake. With each bite I became more and more aware of how often I’ll be visiting Beck’s in the near future. The Train Wreck was amazing as well, packed full to bursting with a plethora of meats and dripping with a mix of satisfying au jus, the flavor of which most certainly proved the sandwich’s faithfulness to the Philly cheesesteak.

It is Beck’s new delivery system that really puts the restaurant over the edge. Now, any time you have the desire for Creole cuisine, it’s only a phone call away. Its location, within the bustling 30th Street Station, experiences mass commuter traffic and thus is convenient for both University City students as well as frequent travelers. When discussing this new service, the proprietors were excited to finally reach out to the University City area and give students the chance to try some real comfort food.

Overall, Beck’s is a shining example of what restaurants should strive to become. I cannot express how obvious it is that at Beck’s, the customer comes first and the business follows behind. It was not only refreshing to see the servers talking to customers about their dishes, letting them try the food and getting the customer’s opinion of it, but it also showed me just how much Beck’s is about serving the best, most authentic Creole cuisine possible and having the most satisfied customers. If there’s one thing I can guarantee, it’s that you can expect quality, friendly service, and most importantly, a great meal when you go to Beck’s. So next time you’re in the mood for Cajun, be it at 30th Street Station, Reading Terminal Market or pretty much anywhere else, don’t hesitate to try Beck’s. You won’t be disappointed.

http://thetriangle.org/2013/02/08/becks-cajun-cafe-adds-unusual-kick-to-traditional-bayou-recipes/

World’s Biggest Train Wreck Sandwich

June 20, 2012

We set the record yesterday–making our biggest train wreck ever, a 6 foot long sub of Best of Philly sandwich heaven.

We started with a gigantic loaf of hoagie bread…

Then we sauteed steak meat with caramelized onions, salami and andouille sausage and topped it all with American cheese.  While that was cooking up to a delicious blend of spicy goodness, we slathered a healthy dose of our Creole Mayo on the bread. 

And finally, we filled the bread with the steak mixture, closed it up and sliced it up for all to enjoy. And no, there was not a piece left.

Missed it? Come on into Beck’s for a regular sized version of this Best of Philly winning sandwich!

Beck’s Caters Mardi Gras June Fete Benefitting Abington Hospital

June 4, 2012

Looking for a good party?  Look no further.  Chef Bill will be spicing it up at the June Fete Fairgrounds in support of Abington Memorial Hospital Thursday June 7 at 6:30pm.

This event, which features jazz music, a vacation auction, a cash bar (with Hurricanes!), and the best Cajun food this side of New Orleans, benefits Abington Hospital.    Chef Bill will be there cranking out Jambalaya, Etouffe, Gumbo, Shrimp Creole, and other signature dishes.

It’s a great way to have a fun evening and support a worthy cause!  See you there!

Beck’s Rollin’ on the River

May 22, 2012

What a great time we had at the Stotes Regatta last week!

We catered the entire weekend for the BCC team (Bethesda Chevy Chase) and it was a blast.

The theme of the weekend was a “Cajun Tailgate” and we had it covered!  The crew team and their families enjoyed an assortment of po’boys:   grilled vegetable; blackened chicken; even a black angus burger po’boy.

They also had chicken corn chowder and spicy Cajun Caesar Salad.  And for the traditionalists on the riverbanks, we offered hot dogs, potato salad, fruit salad, and all the fixin’s for an all-American tailgate picnic.

We love doing offsite catering!  If you have a party or special event call Chef Bill at 215 592 0505, he’ll knock your socks off .

Creole Turkey Reuben Recipe

April 10, 2012

Sent in by a customer:  Creole Turkey Reuben is a delicious way to use Beck’s Creole Mayo.  Yummmm.

Spread two slices of rye (or wheat) bread with Creole Mayo.  Lay them in a lightly oiled skillet, and top with a few slices turkey, swiss cheese, and a scoop of sauerkraut.  Grill until the bread is toasted, the cheese is melted and the fillings are heated through.  Put the sandwich together, and never look at lunch the same way again.

We can barely keep this stuff on the shelves.  Our customers are crazy for our Creole Mayo, and with good reason.  It provides a healthy dose of New Orleans Jazz to every dish it plays with.

Pralines for Pecan Day!

March 24, 2012

Tomorrow is Pecan Day!  In honor of this momentous occasion, we are churning out batches of  Pralines.

In reading up on pecans for this post, we learned some interesting facts:

  • Pecan trees are the only nut tree native to North America.
  • George Washington planted pecan trees at Mt. Vernon.
  • Pecan comes from an Algonquin word that means “any nut requiring a stone to crack”.
  • Pecans are chock-full of anti-oxidants, are thought to be good for the neurological system, and can lower cholesterol.

We sure hope you’ll stop in and try some of our pecan pralines, but if you can’t make it to Reading Terminal Market this weekend, we’ll share our recipe with you:

Louisiana Pecan Pralines

Makes 2 dozen

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup evaporated milk

2 TBSP butter

1 TBSP light corn syrup

pinch salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 3/4 cups pecan halves

In saucepan, mix sugars, milk, butter, syrup and salt with wooden spoon.  Cook to softball stage (235 degrees).  Remove from heat and add vanilla and nuts.  Beat til mixture thickens, 1 minute.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto buttered waxed paper; allow to cool and solidify.