Eats 08-01-12

Every week day during EatLafayette, The Independent will spotlight a Dish of the Day; on Wednesdays, our Dish of the Day also becomes the Dish of the Week and is published in the print edition, along with other features spotlighting the local industry. Read more about The Independent's ongoing EatLafayette coverage and how to participate here.

La Cuisine de Maman's rice and gravy

The epitome of comfort food, a simple dish of rice and gravy has the power to make any day remarkable. This week's Dish of the Week is no different. Served with a biscuit and a choice of either a cup of chicken and sausage gumbo or side salad, La Cuisine de Maman's beef and sausage gravy served over fluffy white rice is a perfect plate lunch. The dish also comes with a side of green beans and bacon or steamed corn, and dessert of apple cobbler or bread pudding.

Located in the heart of Vermilionville, La Cuisine de Maman serves traditional Cajun and Creole cuisine. Vermilionville Living History Museum and Folklife park preserves Lafayette's Cajun and Creole history for both locals and visitors. The museum holds many restored historical items, and also features actors who provide examples of numerous crafts and chores performed by early Acadians.

Tuesday through Friday the restaurant offers plate lunches from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and buffet dining from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the weekend. Mention EatLafayette until Aug. 15 and receive 10 percent off any buffet or menu item. - Katie Macdonald

Four Courses, One Price

Dozo shrimp and filet with a teriyaki sauce

The trio sample plate is the appetizer in the four-course chef's choice dinner.

Dozo, one of the few restaurants in town that features tableside entertainment hibachi dinners, has a four-course chef's choice dinner that offers an occasion to indulge in both white and red wine with different plates. For the appetizer, Dozo serves a trio sample plate of orange-glazed sweet potato with pickled cucumber, chicken meatball with teriyaki sauce and pickled cucumber and a fresh salmon mousse with pepper jack cheese, pesto and a cherry tomato. Your soup choices are chicken corn bisque, beef onion mushroom or traditional miso; for the salad, try Mediterranean Caesar or the strawberry fruit salad. Scott Holmes, the Robert Mondavi wine representative for Republic National, says the 2009 Napa Valley Chardonnay is an ideal choice for the first three courses, because, "The fruit flavors of pear and quince with a pinch of nutmeg spice add to the freshness of the strawberries as well as the zest of the caesar dressing and the corn bisque." For the fourth and final course, Dozo's shrimp and filet hibachi is served with a teriyaki sauce and is complemented by the aromas of juicy black cherries and Italian plums, which provide a "perfect balance" to the seafood and beef. The final course is also served with hibachi fried rice or brown rice and sautéed garden vegetables.

The four-course dinners range in price from $16-$34.

For EatLafayette, Dozo is offering a free glass of house wine or edamame when you mention the campaign. The recipient of a 2011 INDesign Award, Dozo has been open almost two years and is located at 4702 Johnston St., Suite J. Dozo is also a sushi bar, which means you have a choice of two restaurants in one location. It's open for dinner Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. - Elizabeth Rose

The Scent of Cucumbers

Still plentiful, this fragrant fruit makes the perfect summer drink.

By Elizabeth Rose

Cucumbers are one of those miracle plants that aren't often at the front of the mind. Use a cucumber slice to prevent your bathroom mirror from fogging up, to polish your shoes, to quiet a squeaky hinge, to kill bad breath, to clean stainless steel ... the list is impressive. If you're a traditionalist, try consuming the cucumbers instead and use the cucumber peel to erase those accidental pen marks from paper or crayon drawings on your walls.

Cucumbers are an easy choice for novice gardeners and yield enough to experiment with different recipes. Try it in a Pimm's cup, a quintessential summer drink, or experiment with other seasonal ingredients, like basil in cucumber cocktails like the one listed below, courtesy of foodgawker. Basil fares well in the hot Louisiana summer and is simple enough to grow in a small pot with a few starter seeds from the closest lawn and garden section of any store. Find these fragrant fruits at one of our local farmers' markets on a Saturday morning and sit down that evening with a cucumber basil lemonade - add the vodka if it's been a rough day - and savor what's left of summer.

Cucumber Basil Lemonade

1 1/2 cups cucumber juice
7 T basil simple syrup
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
Sparkling water
Limes, cucumber, and basil for garnish if desired

Cucumber juice

**Makes 3 cups
4 cucumbers, peeled and roughly chopped.

Blend the cucumbers in a blender or food processor until liquefied. Set a strainer over a bowl and strain the juice, making sure to squeeze the extra juice from the pulp. Set aside.

Basil simple syrup

**1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
4 large basil leaves

In a small saucepan, heat the water, sugar, and basil over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and allow to cool completely in the refrigerator. Once the mixture has cooled, discard the basil.

Mix the cucumber juice, simple syrup, and lime juice together in a pitcher. Fill a glass with a few cubes of ice. Add 1/4 cup of the cucumber/lime mixture, 1/4 cup of sparkling water, and 2 tablespoons of vodka. Stir to combine and serve immediately.