Monthly Archives: April 2015

Carl’s Jr. unleashes messy new creation: Pepperoni pizza fries

All new fast food items seem to spring from a simple formula. This thing tastes good. This other thing tastes good. Let’s combine them – and hope it still tastes good?

That logic applies to the latest Carl’s Jr. creation: pepperoni pizza fries. Through a little bit of alchemy, we can figure out that this product is made up of greasy pepperoni pizza and French fries.

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Calendar of events

Four courses and passed hors d’oeuvres will be paired with Martell Cognac and brand ambassador Jean-Jacques Renault will be on hand with tasting notes, at Mockingbird Bistro, 1985 Welch; 6:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. dinner Thursday; $125 plus tax and gratuity; 713-533-0200.

Scotch, oysters & cigars: “On the Rocks: a Cigar and Scotch Mixer on the Patio” will be at Tony Mandola’s, 1212 Waugh; 5-9 p.m. May 5; $125 per person, includes two dozen oysters on the half shell, two glasses of scotch and your choice of cigars; 713-528-3474.

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Time to indulge in artichokes

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 organic lemon, cut in ¼-inch slices, seeds removed

Pour the olive oil into an ovenproof, 9- to 10-inch skillet that can accommodate the artichokes in a single layer.

Add the hot chiles or chile flakes, lemon slices, bay leaf and wine, then arrange the artichokes cut side down.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Per serving: 185 calories, 4 g protein, 12 g carbohydrate, 14 g fat (2 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 252 mg sodium, 6 g fiber.

Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

To make the aioli, mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, onions and garlic in a bowl until well combined.

Per serving: 334 calories, 5 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 30 g fat, 18 mg cholesterol, 334 mg sodium, 7 g fiber.

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Asparagus: Spearhead a twist on usual spears

Or, rather, my mom thought steaming vegetables in the microwave – with just a bit of water, covered in plastic – was the best thing ever.

[…] I thought that “steamed asparagus” was a bit gray, with an odd texture that was sort of cooked but sort of tough, that I couldn’t latch onto with much enthusiasm.

[…] came my San Francisco life, with its kitchen too small to bother with a microwave and its grassy shaved asparagus salads and snappy stir-fried spears, and an asparagus season lasting from late February well into summer.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste

Chop the asparagus, put the pieces in a food processor and pulse until minced; transfer asparagus to a bowl and wipe out the processor.

Chop the chives and mint leaves; put them in the food processor, add the olive oil and whirl to make a rough purée.

Cut off the upper, tough part of the stalks and place them in a saucepan with the stock and water; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and maintain liquid at a gentle simmer.

Stir in the crème fraîche to combine, then stir in the pecorino.

Per serving: 337 calories, 8 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 31 g fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 373 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.

Peel and mince the garlic, then put in a blender or food processor with the mustard, cayenne and egg.

Transfer to a serving dish, stir in lemon juice and salt to taste, cover and chill.

Either snap off the tough ends by bending each spear until it breaks naturally or keep as much asparagus as edible as possible by cutting off the bottom inch or so of the spears and peeling the lower half of each spear.

Per serving: 234 calories, 3 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates, 29 g fat, 35 mg cholesterol, 206 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and ice water, then whisk in the flour and salt just to combine – it’s OK if the batter is a bit lumpy.

When the oil is 350-375 degrees (use a candy thermometer or estimate by putting the handle of a wooden spoon in the oil – the oil should bubble up around the handle immediately but not violently), put the asparagus and lemon slices in the batter and toss until they’re all coated.

Lift the tempura-ed asparagus and lemons out of the oil with tongs or a slotted spoon and drain on several layers of paper towels.

Per serving: 128 calories, 3 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat, 35 mg cholesterol, 3 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.

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