This Week In Food Blogs: Uni Revolution and Pink Tacos

Categories: Leftovers

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Photo by Mai Pham
Uni is about so much more than sushi.
Hank On Food: Hank attended the Goose Island Preview at Hay Merchant recently and taste-tested a few beers from the brewery. He enjoyed the Sofie, which he says tastes of citrus (even though it is a Belgian-style Saison), as well as the Rasselbock, a dark wheat ale with hints of malt and plum. His favorite was the Bourbon County Stout with Intelligentsia Coffee -- he gave it an A+++.

Food & Wine: Chelsea Morse of Food & Wine explains that more and more chefs and restaurants around the country are using uni in many of their dishes, such as at Provisions in Houston, where you can enjoy the roasted garlic and guanciale pizza topped with raw sea urchin. Could uni be the new bacon?

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Lonely Leftovers: Get More from your Spinach-Artichoke Dip

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Photo by Ninacoco
Spinach and Artichoke Dip in its original form

Someone once told me that it's not a party without spinach and artichoke dip. Keeping this old adage in mind, I made a batch of the gooey three-dairy dip for my recent housewarming. Only I forgot to take the casserole out of the oven until everybody had filled their bellies with Lone Star. Not wanting to put an entire container of cream cheese to waste, I wrapped seven-eights of the stuff up in tinfoil and put it in the fridge.

Unless you're having another party sometime really soon, there is not that much that you can do with old artichoke dip. I can tell you firsthand, it's not like hummus. Snacking on this Super Bowl Sunday staple alone in early April makes you feel pretty bad about yourself.


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This Week in Food Blogs: Make Czech Kolaches at Home

Categories: Leftovers

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Photo by Molly Dunn
The Little Czech Bakery in West, Texas, makes some of the best kolaches in the state.
Texas Monthly: Seriously, what kind of Texan doesn't love kolaches? While we have some awesome places to grab an authentic Czech kolache in Houston (think Revival Market), it's always fun to make your own. Texas Monthly shares a recipe from the Little Czech Bakery in West, Texas, complete with an apricot filling and crumb topping.

Adventures in a New(ish) City: Even though her shirt became covered in barbecue sauce and a fly ball caused beer to spill all over her, Kim enjoyed her time at the Astros game this past weekend, as well as the after party at downtown bars. Minute Maid Park now serves barbecue from Caswell's and Killen's Smokehouse, and Kim ordered the barbecue baked potato topped with all the fixings -- barbecue sauce, chives, bacon and sour cream. Yum! If you're looking for some places to hit up after the game, head to The Pastry War, Bad News Bar or her new favorite Houston bar, Goro & Gun.

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This Week in Food Blogs: Do You Want to Dine Next to a Stranger?

Categories: Leftovers

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Photo by Christina Uticone
The wood-fired pizzas at Coltivare are a must-try.
Texas Monthly: This month, Texas Monthly shines the light on Coltivare, the new restaurant from Ryan Pera and Morgan Weber of Revival Market. Patricia Sharpe writes about the delightful focaccia bread, describing it as "a miracle of springy texture and crunchy crust, luxuriantly brushed with Spanish olive oil and flecked with rosemary and sea salt." She also says the spaghetti in olive oil decorated with black pepper and Parmesan cheese "defined Italian soul."

Zagat Houston: Got a hankering for a sandwich? Check out Zagat Houston's list of the top eight sandwiches in Houston. Rather than using a pretzel bun, 13 Celsius serves its Mortadella sandwich on a real pretzel with ooey-gooey provolone cheese and a fried egg yolk. BB's Cafe has a breakfast sandwich, The Morning Glory, with sausage, scrambled eggs, BB's special sauce and queso all stuffed in a crusty French bread baguette.

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This Week In Food Blogs: You Can Make Pâté From Lentils

Categories: Leftovers

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Photo by Christina Uticone
Enjoy a libation from the new cocktail menu at Coltivare.
Eater Houston: Coltivare, the new Heights restaurant from Morgan Weber and Ryan Pera of Revival Market, now has a cocktail menu after receiving its liquor license. Eater Houston's Darla Guillen shares the new menu and explains that it "weighs heavily on Italian apertivos and digestivos." Sip on a Nardini Crusta made with Grappa Nardini, maraschino, lemon and Boker's Bitters; or a Lilly Langtry, made with Beefeater, hibiscus, lemon and Prosecco.

CultureMap Houston: Eric Sandler explains that cauliflower is the new Brussels sprout, and shares where you can get several cauliflower-centric dishes in Houston. Roost has a cauliflower steak that chef and owner Kevin Naderi roasts in a cast iron skillet and tops with Beluga lentils, peppers, onions, tomatoes and jalapenos. Osteria Mazzantini also has a unique cauliflower dish, the sformato, which is a baked cauliflower flan served with cauliflower crema, pickled apricots, watercress and a cheese crisp.

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This Week in Food Blogs: Chocolate Banana Bread & Doughnuts for Brunch

Categories: Leftovers

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Photo by Leonel Nerio
Pizaro Pizza Napoletana makes incredible brick-oven pizzas.
Eater National: Eater is celebrating Pizza Week, and in honor of this splendid Italian food-centric "holiday," Eater National compiled a list of the 38 essential pizzerias across America, and Houston's very own
Pizaro's Pizza Napoletana made the list. This Memorial Drive pizzeria is loved by many Houstonians. In fact, the Patate e Funghi Pizza topped with potatoes and mushrooms is Kaitlin Steinberg's No. 60 favorite dish on her list of 100 favorite dishes.

Smitten Kitchen: Who doesn't love banana bread? Especially double chocolate banana bread? This week, Smitten Kitchen's Deb decided to listen to her husband's advice and put chocolate in her banana bread, despite her past apprehensions about adding chocolate to something that, in her opinion, was already perfect. It's a simple recipe using all the classic ingredients of banana bread (bananas, butter, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and flour). But, with the addition of cocoa powder and nearly a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, it is transformed into ooey gooey chocolate-banana goodness.


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VegOut! Challenge Takes Over Houston

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Photo courtesy Recipe for Success Foundation
If you've noticed a lot of folks around Houston "vegging out" on Twitter and Facebook lately, it's not an epidemic of complete laziness--it's a pro-vegetable movement. The Recipe for Success Foundation is in the middle of its second annual VegOut! Challenge, to encourage Houstonians to embrace a healthier lifestyle by eating more fresh vegetables. You may have seen the hashtag -- #vegoutrfs - and noticed that some of the city's highest-profile chefs and restaurants are participating in the fun. (Not to mention our mayor.)

Founded in 2005 by Bob and Gracie Cavnar, the Recipe for Success Foundation has brought school gardens, nutrition education, and chefs-to-schools cooking instruction to Houston classrooms. The VegOut! Challenge looks to expand and reinforce the same ideas it brings to students--that healthy eating is easy, fun, and delicious--while adding an element of competition with contests and prizes through the month of March. And with the help of some of your favorite local chefs and restaurants, it's easy enough to VegOut! and dine out at the same time.

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Got Corned Beef? Here Are 5 Delicious Ways to Use the Leftovers

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Photo by Edsel Little
This is pretty much the reason we make corned beef on Saint Patrick's Day.
One of the best things about St. Patty's Day -- besides the green beer, Irish soda bread, and pistachio cake that you convinced yourself was an acceptable breakfast -- is most definitely corned beef and cabbage. Though it's about as Irish as spaghetti, the dish has become a Saint Patrick's Day tradition in America.

It all started when Irish-Americans tasted corned beef at Jewish delis in New York City. Finding the cured beef similar in taste to Irish bacon, the poor immigrants realized it was a much cheaper alternative to the pork dishes favored in their homeland. Cabbage and potatoes were added and cooked in the same pot to make the hearty meal go a long way.

While we loved chowing down on corned beef and cabbage yesterday, we love today's leftovers even more. That's because they are so easy to transform.

Here are five great ways to use your leftover corned beef:

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This Week in Food Blogs: Houston Rodeo Food & Cookie Architecture

Categories: Leftovers

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Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg
Mmmm...cookie parfait.
Zagat Houston: There's a lot of food at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo; some good, some bad and some so incredible that you can't miss trying. Zagat Houston's Amber Ambrose lists the five best foods at the Houston Rodeo this year, beginning with the Pickle Dog from Get Pickled; it's a corn dog-battered and deep-fried hollowed-out pickle stuffed with a frankfurter. Cool off with a Cookie Dough Parfait from Aunt Edmoe's; imagine vanilla ice cream with two chocolate chip cookies, whipped cream and a cherry.

Hank on Food: Hank ventured out to Meyerland to check out the inventive scones created by Rachel Teichman of The Scone Artist. All of them are made in her home kitchen and she treats each like a work of art -- some of them are named after famous artists, such as the Van Gogh, made of sunflower seed butter and chocolate sunflower seeds, as well as other art-related terms, such as the Impressionism, made of dried currants, oatmeal and orange zest, or the Pop Art, made of banana, chocolate chip and Pop Rocks. You can also invent your own creation.

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This Week in Food Blogs: Top-Notch Airline Food & an Upgraded Banh Mi Sandwich

Categories: Leftovers

Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg
Cottonwood's Squirrel Master Burger is a fan-favorite.
LA Times: You might not have to bring a Subway sandwich or Starbucks frappuccino on your flights anymore. The LA Times writes in this post that several airlines are adding tastier and more improved food options to lure passengers to choose them over others. Virgin America offers its first-class passengers a selection of hors d'oeuvres, such as olive and mozzarella cheese skewers and warm mixed nuts; the airline will add a signature ice cream flavor soon, too. United Airlines also serves gluten-free items like sandwiches, salads and snack bars.

Eat More Burgers: I was recently referred to this Houston-based blog on which author Russell Weil writes about burgers in our great city. This week, he took a trip to Cottonwood, where he had never ordered a burger. He chose The Squirrel Master Burger, a spicy and over-the-top poblano-stuffed burger topped with a jalapeño, fried egg, Pepper Jack cheese and bacon. His only criticism was that he wished the bun had offered a slight contrast in flavor to the burger patty and toppings, but that didn't sway him from savoring every last bite. Side note: Eatmoreburgers.com takes you to Chick-fil-A's website, so be sure to include the dashes between eat more burgers (www.eat-more-burgers.com) to read this blog.

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