Monthly Archives: May 2015

Cooking favas in pods bypasses tedious shelling

[…] first shelling, they must be blanched for 30 seconds in boiling salted water, dunked into ice water to stop the cooking and then have their pale green shells removed, revealing the darker green bean within.

Several times every spring, I would sit shelling, blanching and shelling again, as the pile of fava beans on the counter grew slowly smaller, dividing into a tiny portion of beans and a giant pile of compost.

For those who want to put in the prep work, double-shelled fava beans can be used in salads, added to pasta dishes or risotto, or cooked in butter and served with fresh herbs.

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Calendar of events

Monday through June 7; go to wineandfoodweek.com for event schedule and ticket prices.

With more than 50 wines, small bites and live music at Vine Wine Room, 12420 Memorial; 3 p.m. Saturday; $69, plus tax and gratuity (includes a bottle of wine, tote and tasting glass); reservations required, call 713-463-8463.

On Saturday, participants will tour the brewery and later enjoy a four-course dinner with beer pairings at the hotel.

The 18 Houston-area locations of La Madeleine Country French Cafe are participating in the chain’s “Hearts for Hope” campaign.

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Delicious flatbread you can prepare at home

Assil, who was born to a Palestinian mother and a Syrian father, was raised in the Boston suburb of Watertown, Mass., her family part of a small but tightly knit Arab community.

Assil followed her baking education with practical, hands-on experience at a bakery that let her experiment with Middle Eastern flavors.

In Lebanon, the basic version is topped with just a smear of za’atar, a spice mixture made from wild thyme, dried sumac and salt blended with olive oil; cheese versions exist, as well as man’oushe topped with a cured beef sausage called sujuk.

3¼ cups strong bread flour (for a coarser texture, substitute up to 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour for bread flour)

In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine the water and yeast and set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.

Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel and set in a warm, draft-free place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1½ to 2 hours.

Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, then cover with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.

Preheat the pizza stone or a sturdy cookie sheet topped with parchment.

Remove from the oven; if desired, dot with labne and top with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and mint and roll into a flatbread sandwich, or leave plain and cut into four pieces.

Heat it over medium; when the metal is hot (flick a few water drops onto the surface to test-they should sizzle and quickly evaporate) lay a flatbread directly onto the pan and cook, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides.

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Make your own french fries

What makes for the best french fries – before ketchup, mayonnaise or any other condiment?

Texture and flavor are defining factors, dictated by what potatoes are used, how they’re cut and prepped, the frying oil used and how they’re seasoned.

[…] cut potatoes then soak them in ice water for 30 minutes.

At his restaurant, he uses local Kennebec potatoes in season (which is why the fries are short in the winter) and Idaho russets the rest of the year, although “almost any all-purpose potato that makes good mashers will make good fries.”

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Calendar of events

On the Nino’s and Vincent’s Courtyard with more than a dozen Italian wines, small bites and live music, 2817 W. Dallas; 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday; $30; reservations are recommended, 713-522-5120.

At Schilleci’s New Orleans Kitchen, 9595 Six Pines, Suite 1120, The Woodlands; 7 p.m. Thursday; $120 plus tax and gratuity; 281-419-4242.

With more than 50 wines, small bites and live music at Vine Wine Room, 12420 Memorial; 3 p.m. May 30; $69, plus tax and gratuity (includes a bottle of wine, tote and tasting glass); reservations required, 713-463-8463.

The 18 Houston-area locations of La Madeleine Country French Cafe are participating in the chain’s “Hearts for Hope” campaign.

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King salmon is king of versatility

Choose from a plethora of cooking methods and seasonings for healthful fish dish

King salmon season is just getting started in Northern California, but other varieties of this healthful fish are available in Houston-area supermarkets and fish markets year-round, fresh or frozen.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Per serving: 438 calories, 35 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 31 g fat, 112 mg cholesterol, 89 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.

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Calendar of events

The Nice Winery dinner with winemakers Ian Eastveld and Ryan Levy:

Delectus wine dinner with winery owner Linda Reisacher:

Wander the streets of Rice Village and pick up gourmet food samples; during store hours Friday-Sunday.

Participating stores include El Meson, British Isles, Cyclone Anaya’s, Cafe Rabelais, Savory Spice Shop and the B Pop Cart; full schedule at ricevillage.org.

The event will feature three stages of entertainment and more than 60 breweries.

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