Monthly Archives: February 2015

Calendar of events

With Mid-State Distributors owner Leon Sierra at Envy Wine Room, 317 Gentry, Old Town Spring; 7-9 p.m. Friday; $55 plus gratuity; 832-364-9723.

With Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française, 427 Lovett Blvd.; 7 p.m. Monday; $100 cash/$105.26 credit card; 713-854-7855.

With owners Pascale & Gilles Pons at Mockingbird Bistro, 1985 Welch; 6:30 p.m. March 5; $125; 713-533-0200.

Haute Wheels Houston will gather nearly three dozen of the area’s best food trucks on the campus of Houston Community College Southwest, 5601 W. Loop S.; noon-5 p.m. March 21-22; $16;

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Calendar of events

Burgundy Symphony with Bear Dalton:

At Charivari, 2521 Bagby; 7 p.m. Monday; $200 cash ($210.53 credit card); 713-854-7855.

An Evening with Local Celebs, Top Chefs and Leading SA Restaurants at the San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 Jones; 7-11 p.m. March 5; for tickets and information.

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North Italia to open on Post Oak March 3

The menu offers small plates including zucchini chips, grilled artichoke with lemon aioli, mushroom arancini, burrata, steamed mussels in white wine and garlic, crisp calamari on arugula, bruschetta, and chef’s boards of cheese and meat selections.

Grilled branzino; braised beef short ribs with creamy white polenta; chicken parmesan; rosemary chicken with roasted vegetables, New York strip with smashed potatoes and Swiss chard; Atlantic salmon with roasted mushroom fregola; and prosciutto-wrapped tenderloin with great northern beans and broccolini.

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What we eat at Chipotle, and is it healthy?

How unhealthy is your Chipotle meal? Chipotle, the ever-expanding fast casual restaurants, is one of the most popular chains in the country.

Due to the restaurant’s popularity, the New York Times did a fun investigation with the Tex-Mex restaurateurs on Monday to find out how fattening your Chipotle meal is.

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Magnificent Meyer adds zing to everything

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; set aside.

Use the butter wrappers to grease the inside of a 9-inch springform pan and sprinkle with the flour, rotating to coat the bottom and sides of the pan; discard excess flour.

Add the sugar to the butter; mix at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.

Using a large spoon or rubber spatula, gently fold in the vanilla, lemon juice and zest.

Set the cake pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake 45-50 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the center is set.

Combine the sugar and water in a shallow saucepan and heat over medium-high until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a strong simmer.

Working in batches, add the lemon slices and continue to simmer, turning the slices occasionally, until the peels turn translucent, 6-7 minutes, depending on the thickness of the slices.

Reserve the remaining syrup to mix with mineral water or club soda for a light spritzer, or to add to a citrus-based cocktail that calls for simple syrup.

Per serving: 339 calories, 7 g protein, 30 g carbohydrates, 23 g fat (12 g saturated), 113 mg cholesterol, 108 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.

In a double boiler, or a metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water, combine lemon juice, butter and sugar; stir until the mixture is warm, the sugar dissolves and the butter melts.

Using a measuring cup with a handle, measure out 1-1½ cups of the lemon-butter mixture and drizzle it in a thin, slow stream into the eggs, whisking to prevent them from cooking into clumps.

Slowly pour the entire egg mixture back into the lemon-butter mixture on the stove, again in a thin stream, whisking until fully incorporated.

Spoon the curd into the strainer, then use a rubber spatula to gently stir and scrape across the wire mesh.

Transfer to an airtight container, then place plastic wrap on the surface of the curd to keep a skin from forming.

Per 2-tablespoon serving: 95 calories, 2 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat (2 g saturated), 61 mg cholesterol, 30 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.

Heat the 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat.

Remove from heat and serve hot, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and topped with Parmesan.

Per main-course serving: 699 calories, 20 g protein, 77 g carbohydrates, 38 g fat (7 g saturated), 10 mg cholesterol, 866 mg sodium, 6 g fiber.

Use a slotted spoon or spider to remove them from the water and place in a strainer set over a mixing bowl.

Add the garlic cloves to the water and simmer until easily pierced with a fork, 2-4 minutes; drain.

Remove the lemons and lay them in a single layer on a rectangular glass baking dish, leaving space at one end.

Per 2 teaspoons: 36 calories, 1 g protein, 3 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat (0 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 1 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.

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Clams are so easy to cook, they tell you when they’re done

[…] clams are a twofer – a lean and delicious source of protein and the automatic generator of a tasty, instant sauce.

According to Rick Moonen, one of my favorite seafood chefs, most clams these days are cleansed of excess sand before they’re sold.

[…] if you suspect that your batch might be quite sandy inside, soak them in heavily salted water (¼ cup coarse salt for each quart of water) for 30 minutes.

[…] you should remove each clam as its shell pops open.

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, divided

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ½ cup of broth, rice wine, cornstarch and soy sauce and add the mixture to the saucepan in a stream, whisking.

Serve the clams and broth over rice, then garnish each portion with scallion greens.

If you can’t find fermented black beans, substitute 4 teaspoons drained canned black beans mashed with 2 teaspoons light or red miso.

Nutrition information per serving: 410 calories; 100 calories from fat; 11 g fat; 60 mg cholesterol; 46 g carbohydrate; 6 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 31 g protein; 1,310 mg sodium.

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Calendar of events

At Prohibition Supper Club & Bar, 1008 Prairie, in collaboration with Fleming’s Steakhouse River Oaks; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; $195; 281-940-4636.

Bubbles and truffle tasting:

O’Brien Estate Winery dinner with Bart O’Brien:

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Pleasantly bitter chicory stands up to delightful extras

Years ago, when I was interviewing one of those “let-the-ingredient-speak-for-itself” chefs on a book tour, she launched into a stern lecture as we were eating a salad.

Chicories’ strong, slightly bitter-tasting leaves have interesting characteristics on their own, but they do even better as a vehicle for everything from sharp blue cheese to salty soy sauce – the more umami, the better.

Curly endive, tangled frisee and thick, ribbed radicchio are just a few of the nuanced varieties of these cooler-weather salad greens, which are just hitting their peak now.

The accompanying recipe for a bold chicory salad is topped with other seasonal gems – crisp winter fruit, including juicy Asian pears and citrus, and toasted nuts.

Finished with grated Parmigiano Reggiano, the salad is an unusual combination that might work only with these greens.

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

To make the vinaigrette, place the shallot, tamari, vinegar, mustard, syrup and oils in a tightly sealed jar and shake vigorously to combine.

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