First you cook the sausage…
This is spicy Parmesan Italian sausage from Hirsch’s Meats. Very tasty. Spoon it out of the pan and saute onions, carrot and celery.
Start the sauce… includes ground beef, tomato sauce, wine, pureed tomatoes and salt & pepper.
Cook for about an hour and then add the sausage back into the sauce along with chopped parsley.
Mix ziti with the meat sauce.
Butter a large casserole and add half the pasta mixture.
Add half the bechamel sauce that I forgot to mention you’ve already made.
Add the rest of the pasta mixture. Top with mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake.
Scoop out the goodness and eat.
Later, wash all the dishes!
Hubbard, my husband, is the maker of great chicken fried steaks. I never order chicken fried steak when I dine out. I’m afraid. Afraid I’ll get some grade-school cafeteria meat patty. Afraid of huge fluffly crusts that have only the vaguest attachment to the meat. I want no gristle. Hub likes to make chicken fried steak. In fact, he likes to make it for other people so much he’s made it for Bill Addison, the former food critic for Dallas Morning News. Last Saturday night, Steven Doyle of CraveDFW.com.
Yes, I’m bragging on my husband. And the fun of having a good stand-by meal that you can feed your friends. Strangers love chicken fried steak, too. We make ours with a Paul Prudhomme gravy. In his book, “Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Seasoned America”, Chef does his take on traditional American food. You know, Cuban Stew and Oklahoma Honey Wings? That kind of American food. We fell in love with the spicy gravy from that book’s Chicken Fried Steak recipe.
Think about it. When was the last you time you had a homemade chicken fried steak? With charro beans and mashed potatoes and gravy? Homemade bread on the side. Butter. Tell me that’s not good.
I know I’m late. I should have written sooner. But, I’ve been thinking about it…
I have always been this huge fan of Restaurant Week. And I mean it. Like “fan” as in “fanatic”. I believe in the good that it does for the North Texas Food Bank and I think it’s a great way to go all out. Discover new food. New styles. New wines and dining rooms. I’ve always felt liberated by Restaurant Week. $35 for three courses in some of the best restaurants in town? What’s wrong with that?
This year, I was unenthusiastic. I always like to try new places during this time. I’ve been to most of them on the list now. Go back to one of last year’s winners maybe? Then I thought, why not go to one of the places I already love? I know The Grape is my kind of place. When I saw their RW menu I decided I couldn’t miss it. The chef, Brian Luscher, came out to say hi before the meal. The food was fantastic. Everyone around us seemed to be having a great time.
Chef explained that he liked Restaurant Week. It showed. The menu was loaded with intriguing choices. The wines were fantastic. And everyone in the room seemed to be genuinely glad to be there, including the people who were working. Sound like a typical RW story? Hell, no. People bitch like crazy about RW. Yet, there they are. Making the reservations and hoping they’ll have a great evening.
The Grape felt just like it has every time I’ve ever been there. Because it’s a great place. Intimate. Wonderful food. Amazing happy hour. Good people. If you just relax and say yes, you’ll always come back.
Delivered by Artizone
Pho Is For Lovers is delicous! The broth was fantastic. The banh mi (sandwiches) were outstanding. Affordable, too. Would make great take-out. Now if they would just deliver!
Another great idea from Central Market. The CM located on Lover’s is surrounded by apartments and very close to SMU. That means small groups of people. Roomates, lovers, married couples, singles, throw in a few dogs and cats and you’ve got the basic idea. Hubbard and I don’t live around the CM. But, we are a two person group. We fall into the married couples catagory. And as much as I love good bread, we have a very hard time finishing a full loaf of bread from CM before it goes south. Not being chock full of preservatives, CM loaves don’t have a long shelf life. These mini-loaves are perfect! I think you have six or seven choices on what type of bread you want. Mine is Roasted Garlic Cheese Bread. Good stuff.
Got my first taste of Redfork yesterday! Yep, Saturday brunch. I love Saturday brunch because I can’t always have it. So many places just serve brunch on Sunday. And since I devoted my Saturday to not accomplishing anything, what better way to start than brunch?
They don’t really have a cheap drink special here. But, the drinks are pretty special. How about a White Bloody Mary? It packs the punch of a regular Bloody Mary, just lacks the tomato. Notes of celery, jalapeno Tobasco, a bit of citrus. This is a seriously good drink and terrific for summer…
Sticking with the white theme on this white hot day, our next round was a caraffe of white Sangria. Again, delicous! Refreshing. Light. Loved it.
The next pleasant surprise was my breakfast. I ordered Eggs Benedict with a side of bacon. I liked the addition of spinach to this dish. Really deepened the flavors. And the eggs…
Probably the most delicately poached eggs I’ve ever had. Nothing worse than a hard poached egg. Well, I guess a lot of things are worse than that. But, I prefer the jiggly egg, myself. The country ham was nice and salty. Potatoes were great. Overall, excellent breakfast.
Hubbard got the Hanger Steak and Eggs with handcut fries. I forget how much I love beef with Bernaise sauce until I taste it again. Excellent. Hub said, “They didn’t ask me how I wanted it cooked. It’s perfect.” I guess if you know how to prepare a hanger steak you don’t need to ask. And look at those fries…
Are those some beautiful handcut fries or what? Served with ketchup and remoulade for dipping. I couldn’t stop eating that remoulade with those fries. So tender and then crispy on the outside.
Loved the meal. The people were friendly. It’s a very comfortable spot. Should be a fantastic addition to the neighborhood. I’m ready to go back for dinner!
Hub’s a frying genius. So, I found this new cookbook. “SAVEUR The New Comfort Food – Home Cooking from Around the World”. I love the magazine. I was excited to see that they had published a new book.
The recipes have been good, sometimes a little too boring for my taste. But, who says you can’t spice it up a little or throw in some cheese? And I must remind myself that a lot of people don’t want spicy when they want comfort. Subtle flavors are good, too.
Anyway, Hubbard is a frying genius. He’s really got it down. So, I suggested he make the Sweet-and-Spicy Korean Fried Chicken. This recipe is made with chicken wings. I love wings. The technique is different, though. You make a batter of water, flour and corn starch. Toss the wings in the batter then fry. Drain on paper towels. Here’s what they looked like…
Could they be more golden and crispy? They’re so perfect. So, while they sit there doing nothing, you make the sauce. Throw five or six ingredients in a small food processor or blender and you’re done with that. Now, or whenever you feel like it, you fry the wings again. Let them drain a while and then toss them with the sauce. Of course, I was so eager to take a bite I forgot to take a picture. Here’s the picture from the book…
Though I didn’t grab my camera, this was one of those cookbook moments. What he had made actually looked better than the picture in the book. And it tasted fabulous! It was the texture that really made it. That double frying and the corn starch produces then most lovely crunch. Even covered with sauce these guys stayed crunchy. So moist and perfectly cooked inside, too.
Forget the Ranch dressing for these wings. I did think that if we made a teriyaki sauce to toss them in, that might be tasty. Or maybe a lemon pepper sauce. Or maybe…
Hubbard took a bite and said, “This recipe is worth the cost of the book”.
I think he’s right.
So, here’s what it looks like when you get your groceries…
There are little frozen cold packs in with the perishables. They’re re-usable, too.
Fish and ginger miso sauce from Rex’s Seafood. Cupcakes from LaDuni. Grilling sauce from Flavor’s from Afar. Let’s do a little close up of those cupcakes. (Which are fabulously delicious, by the way!)
Beautiful mushrooms and salad greens from FM1410, Tom Spicer’s place. Banana peppers from Larken Farms. Scardello’s cheese and charcuterie.
Steaks from Hirsch Meats. Steaks are for dinner today. Looking good!
Here’s my first recipe with an Artizone product…
1888 Dirtiest Martini Dip with Bleu Cheese
1 12-oz whipped cream cheese
1 cup mayo
1 cup sour cream
3/4-1 cup 1888 Dirtiest Martini Mix
1 1/2 cup chopped olives
3/4 lb blue cheese crumbles
2 tablespoons softened butter
Mix ingredient together and refrigerate. (got the recipe at Central Market)
Or don’t refrigerate for an hour! I didn’t and it was delicious. I basically cut the recipe in half. Very tasty! Next, I’m going to make myself a Bloody Mary and splash in a bit of the 1888. Can’t wait for that. That’ll hold me over while Hub fires up the grill.
One more thing. Their customer service is more than outstanding! You can put a little note on your order if you have a question someone will call you right away. I got a follow-up call to be sure I was satisfied. Their people are well spoken and intelligent. They make you feel like they actually care about your satisfaction. I can’t recommend these people enough. And no, I’m not getting any breaks or discounts because I’ve written about Artizone. This is totally my choice.
Happy 4th of July everyone!!!
Posted in food shopping, recipe, Recommendation
Tagged Artizone, eating in Dallas, flavors from afar, food, Hirsch meats, la duni, Larken Farms, Rex's Seafood, Scardellos, Spicer's
You’ll have to forgive me. My camera lens obviously had a little smear of somthing on it that I didn’t notice. But, I’ve got to show you the pictures of the Chef’s Picnic at White Rock Lake’s Centennial Celebration this past Sunday.
If you go around back at the Bath House Cultural Center the place is usually locked up. Not today… it’s ready for a party!
So many great chefs came together for this event. Check out this link for the details. The food was amazing and the open bar wasn’t too bad either.
Look at these beautiful salads…
Add some grilled chicken, sausage, smoked brisket…
A few more sides and you’ve got yourself a damned good lunch!
There won’t be another 100 year celebration at White Rock. But if you see an event like this again, packed with fantastic local chefs, grab a ticket and go! It was well worth the price and a terrfic afternoon.