Sunday, October 20, 2013

Industrial Lunch Box Goes Whole Hog

Industrial Lunch Box goes whole hog
Van Choate caters Cajun flavors to hungry refinery workers, and he can cook you up a whole hog. Or a gator, he says.
“Do I have to furnish the gator?” I asked while enjoying some smoked boudain.
“No, I’ll go get you one,” he reassured me.
Hush Puppy’s Industrial Lunchbox is new on Savannah Avenue in Port Arthur. Choate says he offer his rice dressing, smoked pork and fried fish in an “interesting atmosphere.” Nestled between refineries and a car wash, the venue offers an outside deck and music from Jack Flash on Fridays. Flash plays classic rock on the keyboards and sports a rockin’ eye patch.
Choate said he wanted a site where he could get a couple of hundred hot meals out fast. He said the restaurant was “so cute,” that he decided to get a little steam table going to boot. He’s proud of his spices and “to the bone” flavoring for chicken as well as molasses blackberry chipotle sauce he soaks into meatballs. He aims to stick with what works, but could be inspired to add liver to the menu.
“I want something simple with good taste,” Choate said.
He’s from Orange, but his people are from Crowley, La. Choate says he has run Tuffy’s, Cajun Cookery in Orange, Catfish Kitchen and currently has Hush Puppy Seafood in Vidor. Industrial Lunch Box is open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Trump jewelry
I ran in for a quick look at new pieces of Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry available at Alter’s Gem Jewelry in Beaumont. My favorites are delicate circles of diamonds in a pendant that are at once modest and flashy. A representative asked if it was something I might like as a Christmas gift. I don’t know any women who would say no to it.
The people in Trump jewelry communications have let me know that women who buy Trump’s jewels will be in the company of “red-carpet style icons such as Demi Moore, Oprah, Lindsay Price, Ginnifer Goodwin, Brooke Shields, Natalie Portman, Emmy Rossum and Blake Lively.

Spanish Olive Oil
I’ve read you should stock the best olive oil you can afford. Carbonell, which I’m told is Spain’s top brand, has a distinctive flavor that sets it apart from Italian “extra virgen” varieties (that I also love). The lovely lady on the label looks like she’s enjoying it as much as I do. I use olive oil for lots of things that I used to use butter for, like cooking eggs, and Carbonell is a flavorful option that is affordable and has some flair. This bottle was so good that I began craving new ways to cut back on every other seasoning so I could taste the oil even more. For recipes like the following, visit

Apple and Mango Marinated Chicken

1/2 cup Carbonell Extra Light Olive Oil
4 cleaned free-range, boneless chicken breasts (cut into 3-inch strips)
2 cups fresh apple cider
2 cups mango juice or your favorite equivalent
(guava, pineapple or blend)
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
additional kosher salt and
black pepper for seasoning after the marinating process


1. Remove any fat and cartilage from the chicken breast and cut into small 3-inch strips.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together juices, salt, pepper and Carbonell Extra Light Olive Oil.
3. In a glass baking dish, container or resealable plastic bag, lay the strips of chicken in the marinade and let them sit overnight for maximum results.
4. Remove the chicken from marinade and season both sides of the chicken with a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper (50/50 blend).
5. Heat outdoor or indoor grill to high and place strips on it, quickly grilling each side. Do not overcook the chicken as these little strips will cook in about 3-5 minutes total cooking time (remember some of the acids from the juices have broken down the chicken already).
6. Remove cooked chicken from the grill and place in a new clean container.
7. Cover with plastic wrap or foil and let chicken rest (it will continue to cook slightly). Serve over a simple salad or roasted corn salad.

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