Duhe is used to cooking for crowd

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 27, 1999

DEBORAH CORRAOL’Observateur / September 27, 1999

Brant Duhe is used to cooking for a lot of people. When he makes HogheadCheese, he makes 50 pounds.

“I don’t sell it, though, I give it away,” he says. “But if I’m going to takethe time to make it, I’m going to make a lot.”Duhe, 59, learned how to handle huge quantities of food in the Marine Corps where he served from 1961-65. In boot camp he was assigned tomess duty for a month and learned the basics.

“I love to eat,” he says, “so it was not a job for me – I enjoyed it.”They didn’t teach him how to cook, he says, but he learned how to prepare food for the cooks.

Later on, in Officer’s Training School in North Carolina, Duhe watched the Marine cooks who had been trained at a cooking school on base.

“We started bringing our own food out on maneuvers instead of C-rations,” he says.

During his stint in the Marines, he married his wife Marlene. The couplehas two children and two grandchildren. Duhe retired four years ago fromEntergy, but his wife continues to work.

Duhe does most of his cooking in a kitchen he has outfitted with huge stainless steel appliances in a building behind his LaPlace home. Besidespreparing most of the meals he and his wife eat at home, Duhe is often called on to share his talents for big events.

For 30 years, he has cooked for the VFW, church groups, quarterback clubs and others.

Besides cooking he enjoys gardening, growing both summer and winter vegetables. He’s just planted his winter crop of broccoli, cauliflower,cabbage and shallots.

One of his favorite recipes is one he calls Pork Splits, cut from a Boston butt roast. The pork splits, he says, are like country style ribs you buyfrom the store, but he likes his thicker.

Following are some of Duhe’s favorite recipes, including Pork Splits:

Pot Roasted Pork Splits 6 pork splits or country style ribs (1-1/2″ thick) 1/2 cup oil 1 onion, chopped or cut in 1/2″ chunks 1 bell pepper, chopped or cut in 1/2″ pieces 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped 1 cup shallots 1/4 cup parsley 1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes 1 can golden cream of mushroom soup Lea & Perrin’s sauce Salt, black and red pepper, or all seasoning of your choice Chicken broth 4 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced

Season splits and brown in pot large enough to place all splits on bottom on medium heat for five minutes on each side.

Add onions, bell pepper, garlic. Cover pot and let cook for about 5-8minutes.

Add shallots, parsley, cream of mushroom, Ro-Tel tomatoes, Lea & Perrin’s and chicken broth. Liquid ingredients should be level with pork. Ifnot, add more chicken broth. Cover and cook for 45 minutes to one hour.Check pot after 30 minutes and reduce heat if necessary.

To ensure tenderness, it may be necessary to extend cooking time or increase heat (practice makes perfect).

Pea Rice 2 cups long grain rice 1 onion, chopped 1 bell pepper, chopped 4 cloves garlic, chopped 1 bunch parsley, chopped 1 can chicken broth 1 can cream of mushroom soup 1 can Texas Fair Peas & Snaps (field peas) 1 lb. lean ground beef1 lb. lean ground pork3 tbsp. Lea & Perrin’s3 tbsp. hot sauceTony Chachere’s seasoning 1/4 cup cooking oil 1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes

Season ground beef and pork. Brown in cooking oil until beef and pork areloose. Add all vegetables to pot and saute for 10 minutes.Pour water from peas to measuring container along with chicken broth and cream of mushroom soup. Four cups of liquid is required to two cups ofrice. Add whatever liquid you prefer to total four cups.Add liquid, peas and Ro-Tel tomatoes to pot. Bring to a boil. Taste forseasoning. Gravy should taste very salty. Add rice, stir and cover. Reduceheat to lowest setting and simmer for 20 minutes.

Hoghead Cheese 6 Boston butt roasts 5 gallons water 10 lbs. pig skin4 cooking spoons red pepper 4 cooking spoons salt 2 tbsp. paprika3 bunches shallots 1/4 cup parsley

Boil pig skin in five gallons water. Chop or grind skin when tender. CutBoston butts in 2-inch cubes. Add pork to same water used to boil skin. Also add Boston butt bone to water and cook on medium heat until pork is very tender. Skim grease. Add all other ingredients. Pour in 4-5 lb.container. Let cool, then refrigerate. Makes 50 pounds. Recipe can bealtered for smaller quantities.Back to Top

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