If you’ve ever wanted to try Syrian and Iraqi cuisine, Sunday is your chance.
Austin doesn’t have many Middle Eastern restaurants that specialize in these cuisines, but thanks to Hope & Sesame, a nonprofit whose mission is “empowering recently-resettled refugees through opportunities to integrate economically and socially into the Austin community,” a group of Syrian and Iraqi cooks will be preparing a dinner at 7 p.m. Sunday at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 8134 Mesa Drive, to raise money for the organization.
Hope & Sesame has hosted several of these dinners in the past year, including several with a focus on Afghani cuisine.
What’s on the menu? They organizers haven’t said exactly, but guests can expect vegetarian and gluten-free options, as well as some including meat. In keeping with Muslim customs, this event is alcohol-free.
Tickets cost a suggested donation of $70, but the organization has encouraged people who want to attend to come, even if they can’t donate that amount. You can find out more about the organization and find out more about upcoming events at hopeandsesame.org.
At an awards ceremony in December, they’ll give away an additional $60,000, including a new $5,000 Luck, Texas grant from the one and only Willie. That grant will be “awarded to a chef who follows his/her dreams without compromise and whose inspiration and vision have similarly contributed to the American roots narrative by leaving a distinctive mark on culinary culture.”
Past recipients have included farmers, artisan producers, chefs, wine/beer/spirits makers and small culinary businesses/culinary professionals, including Argus Cidery, Salt & Time Butcher Shop & Salumeria, Blacklands Malt, New Farm Institute at Green Gate Farms and Miche Bread.
In addition to hosting several high-profile food fundraiser events throughout the year, the Austin Food & Wine Alliance is hosting its annual Culinary Arts Career Conference next week, which will bring together more than 500 culinary students from the Austin area.
“Being able to support and enable the dreams of so many in our community is truly a heartfelt mission for our organization,” executive director Mariam Parker said in a release. “We are privileged to do this work and are so grateful and inspired by the many chefs, artisan producers, bartenders, wine- and spirit-makers who have contributed to our remarkable culinary landscape.”
I saw a clever snack hack on the internet the other day. With the Texas Craft Beer Festival coming up this weekend and several more UT home games this football season, you might find yourself drinking beer outside and wishing you had a snack.
And let’s be honest, no one will judge if you make a snack necklace for watching Netflix on the couch.
What’s a snack necklace? The Austin-based blogger behind Big World, Small Girl posted a photo of a pretzel- and snack mix-lined ribbon that served as an easy way to snack while drinking beer at the Great American Beer Festival. Like the candy necklaces of our youth, this salty snack necklace provides easy access to a quick nibble on Gardetto’s, pork rinds or even chips whenever you feel like it.
Some things to keep in mind: Thin, oily chips aren’t a good idea for this, but pretzels and the hardier snacks in the snack aisle are. If you’re worried about your shirt getting greasy, don’t use pork rinds. If you don’t care, you’ll be the most popular person at the party. Popcorn isn’t a bad idea, but you might feel like a Christmas tree if you only use popcorn. Cheez-Its will play a prominent role in any snack necklace I make for my future beer festival-going self, but I’d also be tempted to put some beef jerky on there, too.
Caitlin tied Twix bars to her necklace because she wanted something sweet with the savory, but she said she might reconsider it this year because the chocolate melted.
You could use string, thread or ribbon for this, depending on what you’re trying to string together. I use a needle and thread to make popcorn necklaces at Christmastime, but one commenter on Caitlin’s post said they use bamboo skewers to poke holes in artisan bread so they can thread it on butcher’s twine.
Fruit salsa is OK with chips, but the sweetness really shines when you pair it with a savory meat, such as grilled pork or salmon.
This coriander-cumin salmon from Kanchan Koya’s “Spice Spice Baby: 100 Recipes With Healing Spices for Your Family Table” (Spice Spice Baby, $35) benefits from the bright flavors of the salsa. You can make the salsa as spicy as you prefer, and though you can use frozen fruit, the mangoes at local grocery stores are perfectly ripe and inexpensive right now.
Spiced Salmon with Mango Salsa
I adore fruit with fish and meat — mangoes with salmon, peaches with pork, prunes with chicken, pears with lamb, and so on. The spice, citrus and chile are the bridge between the fruit’s sweetness and the meat’s umami flavors. The results are scrumptious. Serve this with a side of white rice and guacamole.
— Kanchan Koya
For the fish:
Four 6-ounce salmon fillets, preferably wild-caught
Salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
For the mango salsa:
1 cup chopped, ripe mango
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeño pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1/2 to 1 teaspoon lime juice
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle the salmon fillets with the salt and spices. Place in an ovenproof dish or sheet pan. Bake in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, depending on how rare or cooked you prefer.
While the fish is cooking, mix together the salsa ingredients. Taste and adjust the salt and lime. Spoon the salsa over the cooked fish and serve right away. Serves 4.
Food & Wine magazine is turning 40 this month, and to celebrate, the magazine compiled 40 recipes that have stood the test of time. They call them the best-ever recipes, but they also reflect how food culture and food media have changed over the past four decades.
I was born in 1983, when they featured a salt-baked chicken inspired by a dish from the Hakka region of China. I’ve never had a dish like this, but I can see that it reflected Americans’ love of Chinese cuisine in the 1980s and its budding interest in regionalism, even within what we then called “ethnic food.”
Many of you might have been born before 1978, but I think you’ll still enjoy this list that tracks the evolution of what we’d call American cuisine, which has always been a compendium of global cuisines.
1978 — Jacques Pepin’s Grand Marnier Souffle, an “ethereal recipe” that is “just as good today as it was 40 years ago.” At 82, Pepin has been a longtime contributor to Food & Wine magazine and he is still involved with it today.
1979 — Potato and Egg Pie with Bacon and Creme Fraiche from Andre Soltner, the chef-owner of an upscale Manhattan restaurant, Lutece, which was open for 40 years before closing in 2004.
1980 — Poulet au Vinaigre from the famed French master chef Paul Bocuse, who died earlier this year at 91.
1981 — Soboro Donburi, a Japanese meat-and-rice dish from Elizabeth Andoh, who has lived in Japan since 1967 and written several cookbooks on the cuisine.
1982 — Poached Eggs with Red Wine Sauce, a French spin on an American breakfast from culinary school founder Anne Willan.
1983 — Hakka-style Salt-Baked Chicken, a dish from southeast China in that a whole chicken is baked in a pot of salt.
1984 — Craig Claiborne’s Ultimate Chocolate Mousse from the esteemed New York Times restaurant critic, who took over as the newspaper’s food editor in 1957 and expanded its coverage of chefs and restaurants. He died in 2000.
1985 —Shrimp Creole from Emeril Lagasse, the former Commander’s Palace chef who was not yet a Food Network star when this recipe published.
1986 — Garlicky Braised Lamb Shanks with Sweet Peppers from Jeremiah Tower, the California chef behind Bay-area restaurants Chez Panisse and Stars, where he served this dish. Tower, Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck are credited with establishing and popularizing California cuisine.
1987 — Deep Dish All American Cinnamon Apple Pie from baking expert Rose Levy Beranbaum, who macerates the apples in sugar before making a syrup from the apple liquid that releases from the fruit.
1988 — Grilled Korean-Style Short Ribs from Linda Burum and Linda Merinoff, Los Angeles food writers who shared this recipe with Food & Wine readers, most of whom weren’t yet hip to Korean cuisine.
1989 — Sizzling Pancakes, a savory Vietnamese pancake the Connecticut-based chef Binh Duong.
1990 — Baked Goat Cheese Salad, Alice Waters’ iconic salad from Chez Panisse in Berkeley.
1991 — Mom’s Citrus Meringue Pie from African-American foodways historian Jessica B. Harris.
1992 — Seared Salmon with Summer Vegetables from Michael Romano, the chef behind Union Square Cafe in New York City.
1993 — Swordfish Sicilian-Style from Marcella Hazan, the legendary Italian cookbook author who was a Food & Wine contributor in the 1990s.
1994 — Julia Child’s Ham Steaks in Maderia Sauce, a recipe that celebrated the humble cut of pork that America’s best-known food personality called a “fast entree for fancy people.”
1995 — Jerk Chicken from Paul Chung, a “self-taught cook of Chinese-Jamaican descent who worked in the Food & Wine mail room.”
1996 — Vegetable Hot-and-Sour Soup from Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, a columnist who covered low-fat cooking for the magazine during the height of the low-fat diet era.
1997 — Catalan Tomato Bread, a Spanish recipe from cookbook author and TV host Steven Raichlen, who continues to write grilling books today.
1998 — Caramelized Black Pepper Chicken from Charles Phan, chef/owner of The Slanted Door in San Francisco, who said this was one of his favorite (and easiest) dishes to make at home.
1999 — Pizza with Smoked Salmon, Creme Fraiche and Caviar, a very Wolfgang Puck recipe from the Austrian-born, California chef who became known as the Oscars chef.
2000 — Fried Chicken with Tomato Gravy and the Best Biscuits from the legendary Southern chef Edna Lewis, who died in 2006, and her longtime assistant Scott Peacock.
2001 — Shrimp and Corn Chowder from Ecuadorian chef Maricel Presilla, who continues to run a restaurant in New Jersey called Zafra.
2002 — Pasta with Sausage, Mustard and Basil from British cookbook author Nigel Slater.
2003 — Chicken Tikka Masala, “the perfect gateway dish to Indian cooking” from Grace Parisi, a Food & Wine recipe developer.
2004 — Breton Butter Cake, a spin on the famed french pastry kouign-amann from cookbook authors Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford.
2005 — Antipasto Salad with Green Olive Tapenade, a recipe from former Best New Chef winner Nancy Silverton.
2006 — Crispy Okra Salad, which calls for thinly sliced strips of okra, a technique from Indian chef Suvir Saran.
2007 — Pan-Roasted Salmon with Tomato Vinaigrette, a “Queer Eye”-worthy dish from “Chopped” host Ted Allen, who was on the original season of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”
2008 — Tiki Snack Mix, a nod to the revived tiki cocktail movement, from Food & Wine recipe developer Melissa Rubel Jacobson.
2009 — Kogi Dogs from Roy Choi, the Los Angeles-based chef who got his start in a food trailer and was the first to win a Best New Chef award without running a brick-and-mortar restaurant.
2010 — Mom’s Chocolate Cake, a moist layer cake whose recipe had been passed down through several generations and ultimately landed in the lands of longtime Food & Wine test kitchen supervisor Marcia Kiesel.
2011 — Kimchi Creamed Collard Greens from Hugh Acheson, the Georgia-based chef who in 2002 was named a Best New Chef for the magazine and has since appeared as a judge on “Top Chef.”
2012 — Baltimore-Style Crab Cakes, a recipe from TV host Andrew Zimmern that has become the most popular dish on Food & Wine’s website since it was published six years ago.
2013 — Farro and Green Olive Salad with Walnuts and Raisins from Heidi Swanson, one of the early food bloggers who turned her website, 101 Cookbooks, into a thriving food writing career.
2014 — Almost-Instant Soft Serve, a recipe from Justin Chapple, who oversees the magazine’s Mad Genius series, which includes videos and articles about smart food hacks.
2015 — Spaghetti with Clams and Braised Greens, a new spin on an old classic from Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Diner in North Carolina.
2016 — Tomatoes with Herbs and Almond Vinaigrette, whose dressing from Dan Kluger of New York City’s Loring Place is what caught the eye of Food & Wine editors.
2017 — Chickpea and Kale in Spicy Pomodoro Sauce, another new spin on an old classic, this time from Missy Robbins, a former Best New Chef winner known for her restaurant, Lilia.
2018 — Miznon’s Whole Roasted Cauliflower, the signature dish at Eyal Shani’s restaurants from Tel Aviv to Melbourne and now New York City.
When you’re growing food in Texas, it’s often all or nothing.
We’ll get months of dry hot weather, which peppers and eggplant love, and then we’ll get weeks of rain, which can delay fall planting but also revive those crops that are barely hanging on.
We are squarely in that in-between season right now. Local farmers are eager to plant those fall crops, but they are also trying to use up (and sell) the rest of the summer bounty.
At Hairston Creek Farm, where Hannah Beall and her husband are working with longtime farmer Gary Rowland to take over his organic farm, they are still slinging more eggplant than they know what to do with. Over the weekend, she posted a recipe for eggplant guacamole that stood out but because it’s good to have recipes to help you use up produce you might not otherwise use.
I understand that the use of the term “guacamole” will rile up plenty of people because this recipe doesn’t contain avocado, but I think we can let this one lie. You can always add avocado in addition to the eggplant, but the goal here is using up a crop that might otherwise sit unused in your refrigerator.
You can find Beall at the Texas Farmers’ Market at Lakeline on Saturdays, as well as @hannahsim86 on Instagram.
3 cloves garlic
3 serranos, whole
1 large jalapeno, seeded
1 1/2 cups peeled and roasted eggplant
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon lime juice
Handful of cilantro
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped onion
In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic, peppers, eggplant, salt, cumin and lime juice. Blend until smooth and then add cilantro, tomato and onion and pulse to reach the desired consistency. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
Lin gives detailed instructions about how to roll up thin slices of apples, and although yours might not look quite as good as his, it’s still a fun technique to practice, especially with the fall holidays coming up.
When I know I have to bust out an impressive dessert, I opt for something like this show-stopping tart, which only requires a little bit of dexterity. Despite the way it looks, this recipe isn’t too difficult, but it’s always a gorgeous presentation dessert for dinner parties. The best part is that it looks like you spent a lot of money at the fancy-pants local bakery. Act all indignant when your guests ask you where you bought it, but secretly know that it actually didn’t take too much effort.
— Irvin Lin
For the crust:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup dark rum
For the browned butter filling:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
6 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
3 cardamom pods
1 star anise
1 large vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Zest of 1 orange
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the apple roses:
2 1/2 pounds (about 5 medium) red-skinned firm apples, such as Braeburn, Gala or Jonagold
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the crumble topping:
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Make the crust: Combine both flours, the sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and sprinkle over the dry ingredients. Toss the butter cubes with your hands to coat, then squeeze until they flatten out, squeezing and tossing until the dough starts to resemble crumbly cornmeal with bits of butter still in flattened chunks. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with the rum, then drizzle the liquid over the flour-butter mixture and fold together. As the dry ingredients become moister, work the ingredients together with your hands until they come together and form a dough. If the dough seems too sticky, sprinkle a little more flour into it. If the dough seems too dry, add a little more rum or cold water. The dough should be soft. Flatten the dough into a disk about 1 inch thick, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough into a 14-inch circle, but don’t worry if isn’t perfect. This dough is really forgiving. Fit the dough into a 10-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom. This recipe makes a little more dough than necessary, so if you need to, use the extra dough to patch up any holes or tears. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork all over, then line with a piece of parchment paper and fill with dried beans, uncooked rice, or pie weights. Freeze the lined pan for about 15 minutes. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Set the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until very lightly golden brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Let the crust cool on a wire rack, and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Make the browned butter filling: Combine the butter, cloves, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, and star anise in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the pan, then add the vanilla pod as well. Add the nutmeg and orange zest. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the butter melts and starts to brown and turn fragrant. Once the butter starts to brown, turn the heat off and let the residual heat bring the butter to the right point. You don’t want to burn the butterfat, you just want it golden brown. Discard the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, and vanilla pod. Let cool to room temperature.
Whisk together the eggs, sugar, flour and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the butter, scraping the brown bits at the bottom of the pan into the bowl. Pour the filling into the crust.
Here’s how to make the apple roses: Cut the apples by placing the apple on its bottom and slicing down near the core, but not close enough to get any seeds. Rotate the apple 90 degrees and slice down again. Repeat two more times until you have a rectangular core, which you can discard, and 4 apple chunks with skin on them. Place the apple chunks flat side down on the cutting board and cut thin lengthwise slices with a sharp knife (or use a mandoline). Each slice should have one flat edge and one rounded edge with a thin piece of red skin. Place the apple slices in a large microwave-safe bowl with the lemon juice. Toss to coat to prevent the apple slices from turning brown. Slice all the apples, continuing to toss the apple slices with the lemon juice as you go. Add the sugar and butter and toss to coat.
Microwave the apple mixture for 1 minute. You don’t want to completely cook the apples, just soften them enough to make them pliable. If they are still too crisp and break when you bend them, cook in additional 15-second increments, testing until they are bendable. The amount of time will depend on how thick you cut the apples and how powerful your microwave is.
Starting with the thinnest, smallest piece you can find, curl the apple slice, with the skin side at the top, into a spiral, forming a rose-like shape. Wrap another, larger slice around the first slice. Build a rose with as many slices as you can. Use a spatula (or the side of a large chef‘s knife) to move the apple rose to the filled tart crust. The filling should help hold the apple roses together. Repeat with the rest of the apple slices, until you have tightly filled the entire surface of the tart. Any gaps in the tart where the roses don’t quite fit can be filled with extra apple slices and smaller roses.
To make the crumble topping: Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and stir together with a fork. Drizzle the butter over the dry ingredients and toss until crumbs start to form and stick together. Sprinkle the crumble in a ring, about 1 inch wide, around the edge of the tart on top of the apples.
Bake until the apples are a rich golden brown and the filling has set and looks puffy and slightly golden, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before releasing the tart from the sides of the pan. Serves 10.
This delightful little gem of dried organic material is housed in the archive of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. It’s shriveled up and brown and not at all appetizing, but it got me thinking about the other pieces of wedding cake that are housed in freezers around Central Texas and the stories they tell.
The tradition of a couple keeping a piece of wedding cake to eat for good luck on their first anniversary dates back to the 1700s, when a cake could be preserved with boozy fruit or wine, but since the advent of freezers, we’ve been keeping them around for a lot longer than a year.
I’d love to hear stories about wedding cakes you might still have or ones you held onto for a long time, but eventually decided to toss. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 512-912-2504.
To get you thinking about love a long time ago, here’s a poem that William wrote to Zollie on their 40th anniversary in 1930:
Forty years we’ve garnered joy,
Along with tears that oft annoy.
Forty cycles, fulsome, sweet,
where sunbeams and the shadows meet.
Forty dividends in life,
Without regrets and without strife.
Forty stars in firmament,
Have blazed the trail to life’s content.
Forty morns of silken lint,
Have twined our lives with love’s imprint.
Forty eves of golden tint,
Coined into years, a precious mint.
Forty hills climbed in the past,
Leading upward, reached at last;
Trails the path to summits crest,
Lengthening shadows in the west.
Forty sighs at set of sun,
Comes the Master’s voice: ‘Well done’
In fact, I haven’t seen a ramen product like this on the market.
Retailing at just a few cents shy of $10 for two servings, it’s a meal kit with a bag of frozen broth concentrate, a small bag of frozen cooked chicken and four “nests” of noodles. After thawing the broth, you add it to a pot with 2 1/2 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Add the chicken and the noodles and heat again until everything is warm, which took a little longer than the two minutes described on the package.
I ended up making some soft-boiled eggs in my multi-cooker while the ramen finished on the stove, and I was surprised by how intensely flavored the broth is and how many noodles came in the package. Some reviewers online have said that the broth is too salty, but you can always add more liquid to thin it out. With a few dumplings on the side, you could easily feed four people with this kit.
My ramen-loving son wasn’t a huge fan of the flavors, but he tends to like the everyday ramen seasoning. But I loved seeing onions and herbs floating around the dark, thick soup. The noodles had just the right bite to them, and the chicken didn’t have any “off” tastes. In fact, the ramen was so good that I’m having the leftovers for lunch today and livestreaming a few more thoughts on why a product like this caught my eye.
The keto diet is similar to the Atkins diet, but its roots go back even farther into dietetics history.
Coconut Veggie Stir Fry
In the 1920s, scientists theorized that a high-fat, low-carb diet might help children with epilepsy, but now the no-bread, no-potatoes, no-beans diet has has a renaissance with people hoping to find a mix of foods that work well with their body’s metabolism.
This stir-fry also includes pattypan squash, although you could use regular yellow squash or zucchini. The coconut milk, coconut flakes and liquid aminos, such as Bragg, lend lots of umami to this dish, so you don’t miss the meat.
Coconut Veggie Stir-Fry with Cauliflower Rice
3 cups fresh cauliflower florets
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
5 small pattypan squash, trimmed and quartered
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup thin slivers red onion
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon liquid aminos
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons refined coconut oil
1/4 cup unsweetened large coconut flakes, toasted
2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
Place the cauliflower in the container of a food processor. Cover and pulse until the cauliflower is finely chopped (about the size of rice). Set aside.
In a large wok, stir-fry the broccoli and squash in the sesame oil over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Reduce the heat to medium if the vegetables brown too quickly. Add the onion and stir-fry for 2 minutes more. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl; cover to keep warm.
To the same wok, add the ginger and garlic. Cook and stir over medium-low heat for 30 seconds. Carefully add the coconut milk, liquid aminos, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the cauliflower rice, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cauliflower is just tender and starting to brown.
Return the vegetables to the wok. Cook and stir for 1 minute to heat through. Spoon the cauliflower rice evenly onto two serving plates. Top with the broccoli mixture and sauce. Sprinkle with the coconut and cilantro. Serves 2.