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Tag Archives: Isle of Capri Casino Lake Charles

Pumpkin cheesecake is the perfect ending for your holiday meal

As you enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving feast be sure to save room for the grand finale…dessert! Our chefs from Isle of Capri Casino Hotel in Lake Charles, La. have given us a recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake. Enjoy and we wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!

 Pumpkin Cheesecake


2 lb. 4 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
15 oz. sour cream
½ tbsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
8 oz. pumpkin filling

12 oz. graham cracker crumbs
1 oz. butter (melted)
1/8 cup sugar


Cream the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Add eggs one at a time. Add sour cream and mix until incorporated. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg, mix until incorporated.

Mix melted butter, graham crackers crumbs and sugar together until incorporated. Press crumbs into the bottom of a spring form pan. Pour filling over crumbs. Bake at 200 degrees for two hours. When cheesecake is cool, remove from pan and top with sour cream.

Add a special side dish to your Thanksgiving feast

We’ve talked turkey. We’ve dressed up the dressing. And now it’s time for the sides.

This recipe comes to us from the food & beverage team at Isle of Capri Casino Hotel in Lake Charles, La.

Mirliton – Shrimp Casserole

According to, the Mirliton is also known as the Chayote, Mango Squash and Vegetable Pear.

10 each mirliton
2.5lb 150/200 count shrimp
2 tbsp. liquid butter
1 lb. diced onion
.5 lb. diced green pepper
.25 lb. diced celery
1 tbsp. granulated garlic
2 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. Chef Paul’s Cajun Magic
.25 cup seafood base
1 lb. grated cheddar
1 cup cream
Seasoned bread crumbs or Panko


Cut mirlitons lengthwise and boil in salted water until fork tender.  Cool, drain, take seed out of the middle, cut the mirliton meat into ½ inch cubes and set aside.  Sauté veggies with seasonings until soft and then add shrimp and seafood base.  Cook until shrimp are just done and take off heat.  Mix all ingredients together. Adjust seasoning if necessary and top with seasoned breadcrumbs or Panko.  Bake at 325° for 20 to 30 minutes until lightly browned.         

Next up…dessert! Watch for that post coming soon.

Is there something that your family considers a “must have” for your Thanksgiving meal?

New Orleans-style BBQ Shrimp

Chef Eric Brenner is busy making the rounds promoting our new Otis & Henry’s in Lake Charles, LA. Here’s a clip from today’s Great Day Houston show on KHOU-TV as well as the recipe for our signature BBQ Shrimp.

New Orleans-style BBQ Shrimp

* 5 Cups Melted Butter
* 2½ Cups Olive Oil
* 5 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
* 5 TBSP Fresh Basil, Finely Chopped
* 5 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
* ½ Cup Hot Sauce
* 5 tsp Coarse Black Pepper
* 5 tsp Kosher Salt
* 20 Cloves Garlic, Thinly Sliced
* 2 Whole Lemon, Thinly Sliced
* 20 Shrimp, Slit in Back, Shell-on
* 2 Whole Lemons, Cut in 1/2 , Grilled
* 4 TBSP Chopped Scallions
* 4 tsp Minced Red Bell Pepper
* 4 pieces Texas Toast, Cut Diagonally

Mix all ingredients – except shrimp, grilled lemons, scallions, red pepper & toast – in container. Stir well, cover and refrigerate for one day.

This recipe should be enough to make many portions of this dish. It will keep in refrigeration for many weeks.

Stir marinade well. Ladle desired amount into a skillet, making sure enough is in skillet to partially cover shrimp. Place shrimp in skillet and cook ‘til pink (about six minutes).

Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped scallions, grilled lemon, bell pepper and Texas Toast.

My Year in Review

As 2010 comes to a close Chef Eric Brenner looks back on all the great work he’s done.

Ask any chef, at many points in their career what they hope to achieve, and they will likely answer “Some day, I want my own little place where I can work with my family & friends, make great food, have amazing service, and actually live off my own labor.”

Well, I pushed through my early culinary years to expand my knowledge, work with the best chefs, ask questions, learning to lead, to taste, and to create. Fortune ushered me openly into the realm of ownership pretty early in my career. I found great success both personally and professionally with my own little bistro. Accolades humbled me while my growing regulars and food fans emboldened me.

So, when a chef “has his own place”, what goals grow from there? What is the trajectory of a chef’s career after this bold move? Most chefs never think beyond that place…my own place…my kitchen.

I loved opening restaurants for others in my formative years. I continued opening businesses for others even while I managed and ran my own business.

Now, I find myself reflecting on the past year. I closed my restaurant and began focusing my energy and experience to create new restaurant concepts, new menus, new dishes, and to collaborating with the nicest group of people I’d ever known: the chefs and managers of the Isle, Isle of Capri and Lady Luck casinos.

I had never considered that I’d be able to move from one fabulous kitchen to another to work with like-minded professionals in the renaissance of a culinary culture. I was able to be a part in developing the great and future iconic brand that is Otis & Henry’s® Bar and Grill, while being able to work with the talented chefs of Farraddays’®, the army of cooks & chefs that produce the buffets throughout the properties; from the many O&H Expresssm, Tradewinds® and Kitt’s Kartsm employees to the bartenders of Lone Wolfsm and others that keep my spirits high.

As of the end of this year, Isle of Capri Casinos has opened four Otis & Henry’s, and more planned for the near future. Lake Charles, LA and Blackhawk, CO added to the successes of Caruthersville, MO and Waterloo, Iowa. There are always opportunities to improve all of the food offerings throughout the country. I am the happiest chef you’ll meet, fortunate to look into the next year with great anticipation and expectation, to be able to cook for a living and help bring new projects to fruition.

So, to anyone reading who wonders how a chef’s career path takes shape, I can answer…with determination, expertise, courage, energy, and drive all mixed with humility, passion, and the ability to learn as well as lead. Luck follows the hard worker and I’m a shining example of that… you gotta have moxie to thrive in this industry and with the Isle’s culinary team, I look forward to growing, working, and collaborating in more adventures in the kitchen.

You can keep up with all of Chef Eric’s work on Facebook.

More Menu Development for Otis & Henry’s

Chef Eric Brenner continues his work developing the fourth Otis & Henry’s Bar & Grill  at Isle of Capri Casino Lake Charles in Louisiana.

We made it half-way through the menu on our first day and decided to start fresh the next morning. Chef Rodrick and his Sous Chef CJ met me early in our temporary test kitchen and schooled me on the locally famous “hamburger steak” which, as it turns out, is a beefier meatloaf that is seared, topped with caramelized onions and finished with Creole mustard and beef demiglace. All I can say is, “Wow.”

At that point, you wonder if you can create anything better. So, we took a shot at a delicious sauce for the filet mignon made with the local Shiner Bock Beer. It is stellar. You’ll have to give it a try.

We experimented and tested various cooking temperatures, times, and marinades for the fried chicken. We’ve got to have the best around, and I believe we do. We tried baking different types of apples to accompany the pork chops. I shared my favorite brandy sauce recipe that has just a hint of cinnamon & honey. And, after working on the seafood dishes and comparing notes on “the best” baby back rib recipes, we moved on to the desserts.

I started by recounting the story of the German baker in St. Louis who stumbled onto the now classic Gooey Buttercake recipe The entire place went silent as everyone dug in to the first sample that I had made with blueberries and a blueberry compote. Then Chef Rodrick did one better with his Donut Bread Pudding made with the all-time favorite Krispy Kreme donuts and topped with a sweet bourbon cream sauce. When you taste it, you’ll wonder what that little flavor is. The secret? Just a touch of Baily’s Irish Cream. As you can imagine, we all felt pretty full and fulfilled at that point.

As we cleaned up for the day, and worked out a few staples such as the Twice-Baked Mac n’ Cheese and Sweet Potato Casserole, we readied ourselves for the next day’s work: the Sunday Brunch menu. Here is where the Creole influence really makes a statement with Eggs Sardou (Artichoke, poached egg, lump crab meat, tomato hollandaise, and creamed spinach), Pecan Crusted French Toast with Maple & Fresh Berries, Creole Eggs Benedict with Andouille Sausage, Crawfish, and sauteed Spinach…I mean, really…does it get any better than that?

The collaborative work that goes into the making of each new Otis & Henry’s reflects the regional character that makes the Isle of Capri Casinos properties such a part of the community. Be assured that wherever the Otis & Henry’s sign is hanging in your favorite casino, there is soul in that kitchen and love in that food.

There’s A Lot of Love Going Into the Creation of a New Otis & Henry’s

Chef Eric Brenner is on the road again to another Isle of Capri property to create a new dining experience. Today, he shares some of what goes into developing the menu.

How many times have you heard someone say that the key to happiness is having a passion for your work and being blessed to love your career. Well, I’ve got to be the most fortunate guy around because I love to cook, to collaborate with other talented cooks, to help develop young cooks, to travel…and more than anything, I love the unique energy and excitement that goes into a restaurant opening.

About two weeks ago, we began the process of developing the fourth Otis & Henry’s Bar & Grill  at Isle of Capri Casino Lake Charles in Louisiana. This weekend, with a rough outline, we began cooking through the dishes, creating recipes, and constructing a perfectly balanced menu. Chefs, cooks, managers, directors, and service staff all chipped in to help in any way the could to get the first look and taste of the new menu items. From my perspective, the most impressive facet of the Otis & Henry’s experience is the process of choosing the menu items. Each Otis & Henry’s is unique to it’s region, yet the common thread of “comfort food” (and a few signature items) shines through.

So, here in Louisiana, the home of America’s first authentic cuisine, we have utilized the most exciting flavor profiles to create some mouth-watering dishes. The property’s award winning chicken & sausage gumbo now sits comfortably on the Starters menu, alongside New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp, a seafood gratin, fresh crab cakes and crispy fried boudin balls (lighly breaded, pork sausage and rice spheres for those of you not from the South). The flavors pop and everything is made from scratch. Even the spinach salad gets special Southern treatment with spicy, candied pecans and a house-made raspberry poppy seed vinaigrette.

Of course, there will be Po’Boys, a cajun-spiced chicken sandwich, and for the Texas spin, a dry-rubbed & smoked brisket sandwich with BBQ sauce and coleslaw. Otis & Henry’s signature Philly Cheese-steak is the only distant import to this part of the menu, but it’s awesome. Plus, you won’t believe how good the Triple Grilled Cheese is, with applewood smoked bacon and sliced domato on a garlic butter brushed boule. Yum…that’s cheesy goodness on a bun!

And that was only the first day! Tomorrow, I’ll let you know what we did on the second day. More delicious dishes to try out.

How happy am I…to get to share my experience and passion with like-minded professionals  The flavors of Otis & Henry’s are familiar and comforting, yet exciting and fresh. The collaborative work that goes into the making of each new restaurant reflects the regional character that makes the Isle and Lady Luck properties such a part of the community. Be assured that wherever the Otis & Henry’s sign is hanging in your favorite casino, there is soul in that kitchen and love in that food.


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