BOURBON TIP: Bourbon, especially wheated bourbon, pairs particularly well with brown sugar and pecans. Save the Pappy for drinking; for cooking and baking, use Maker’s Mark, Redemption Wheated Bourbon or Heaven Hill Larceny. If you don’t want to use bourbon, you can substitute one part vanilla extract plus two parts water for each tablespoon of bourbon.

CHEF MARC ARDOIN’S Smoked Sausage & Tasso Cornbread Dressing Serves 8

Browned-Butter Bourbon Pecan Pie Serves 6-8

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: ½ cup unsalted butter

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 2 tablespoons canola oil 1 pound smoked sausage, diced ½ pound tasso, cubed 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 large eggs 1 cup sugar ¾ cup light corn syrup ¼ cup honey 1 tablespoon dark molasses 1½ tablespoons bourbon, or 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon salt ¾ cup chopped pecans ¼ cup whole pecans

MR. ANTHONY ROUSE’S Down-Home Oyster Dressing Serves 8-10

4 cups onion, diced 2 cups celery, diced 2 cups green bell pepper, diced 2 tablespoons garlic, minced 1 tablespoon Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Poultry Magic 1 bunch green onions, chopped ½ bunch parsley, chopped 2 tablespoons sage, chopped 1 quart chicken stock 2 pounds prepared cornbread (bought from Rouses Bakery), cut into cubes Heat the canola oil in a large pan over medium- high heat, and cook the smoked sausage to render the fat, around 5 minutes. Add the tasso and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove the sausage and tasso from the pan, reserving the fat. Place the cooked meat on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess grease. Add the butter to the pan of reserved fat from the sausage and tasso; heat until melted. Add the onion, celery and bell pepper to the mixture in the pan, and cook over medium heat. Scrape the bottom of the pan with your spoon to release the “fond” from the bottom of the pan. This will help give a little more color to the vegetables. (You can add a little of the chicken stock to the pan if necessary to help loosen the stubborn bits.) After the vegetables have cooked down and caramelized, add the garlic and Poultry Magic to the pan, and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Combine the cubed cornbread, tasso and smoked sausage, cooked vegetables, green onions, parsley and sage in a mixing bowl. Toss until completely mixed. Transfer the dressing mix to a 9x13 baking pan, and pour the chicken stock over the mixture. Place pan in the preheated oven, and bake the dressing for 45 minutes or until a golden brown crust forms on the top. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. HOW TO PREP: Preheat the oven to 400°F.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 2 cups cooked long-grain rice, covered and kept warm 1 pound lean ground beef ½ pound ground pork 1 16-ounce container Guidry’s Fresh Cuts Creole Seasoning, or 1 large onion and 2 large green bell peppers, finely chopped 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning mix 1 tablespoon dried basil 1½ quarts Louisiana oysters, cut in half if large 1 bunch green onions, white and green parts, finely chopped 1 tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet HOW TO PREP: In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, brown beef and pork. Add Guidry’s Seasoning (or onions and bell peppers). Mix well and cook until onions are translucent. Add Cajun seasoning, basil, garlic and Old Bay, and mix well. Add oysters. Mix in green onions and Kitchen Bouquet. Remove from heat and combine with the rice. Serve. 1 tablespoon granulated garlic ½ tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning

1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked 1 cup heavy cream, whipped

HOW TO PREP: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the butter in a saucepan over low to medium heat and cook, watching closely but not stirring, until golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Pour browned butter into a bowl and set aside. Blend the eggs, sugar, corn syrup, honey, molasses, bourbon and salt in a food processor until smooth. Add the browned butter and blend. Add the chopped pecans, and process with just a few quick pulses. Scrape the mixture into the pie crust. Scatter the whole pecans decoratively on top. Bake for 12 minutes. Lower the heat to 325 degrees and bake for another 40 minutes. Check to see if the crust is browning too quickly; if it is, cover it carefully with a long, narrow, folded-over piece of foil. Pie should be nicely browned and firm at edges, but still a little liquidy at the center. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature before serving.

There’s a reason why a bottle of MAKER’S MARK is instantly recognizable, and that reason is Margie Samuels.The first woman involved in a distillery to be named to the prestigious Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame, Samuels noticed the “maker’s marks” signatures stamped on jewelry, and went on to fashion the distinctive red wax top that distinguishes Maker’s Mark from other bottles on store shelves. Every design element has a story: The mark includes a star to represent the family’s “Star Hill Farm” in Bardstown, Kentucky, and the square-shaped bottle was inspired by Margie’s collection of antique cognac bottles. It was Margie’s husband, Bill Samuels Sr., who created the first batch of Maker’s Mark from an old family recipe, opting for soft, red winter wheat instead of rye to give Maker’s Mark its distinctive taste. (The distillery likes to say that Margie Samuels is why people buy their first bottle of Maker’s Mark, and Bill is why they buy their second.) The Samuels debuted their Maker’s Mark in 1954; in more recent years, the historic Maker’s Mark distillery in Loretto, Kentucky has added to its traditional line by producing Maker’s Mark 101 — 100/101 proof is the sweet spot for many drinkers — and Maker’s Mark Cask Strength, which varies from 108 to 114 proof, depending on the barrels. Bill Samuels Jr. succeeded his family in running the company, and in 2010 also added a line of select Maker’s Mark 46, so named because toasted French oak staves were introduced into the process, and the exact name of the wood is “Stave Profile No. 46.” Bill Jr. retired in 2011, and today his son Rob is Chief Operating Officer of the company. — MICHAEL TISSERAND



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