Friday, October 29, 2010

Wurstfest, New Braunfels: Destination Of The Weekend

Wurstfest, New Braunfels: Destination Of The Weekend

Ah, Texas. It can get a bad rap, but really it's a fascinating place.

Take, for example, New Braunfels, a small town of roughly 50,000 about 30 miles from San Antonio (46 from Austin). The town is home to some of the best water sports in all of Texas thanks to its two rivers, lake, and a huge water park called Schlitterbahn. But its the annual Wurstfest, a 10-day celebration of the sausage that really puts this town on the map.

The festival, which begins on Friday, features endless taste tests of German/Texas (whatever that means) food like potato pancakes, strudel and pretzels, dancing (think the Polka) and basic merriment. Designed to honor the town's heritage--it was founded in 1845 by a German prince--this year marks the 50th anniversary of this event.

So don your dirndl or lederhosen and head on down to New Braunfels to send off the month of October in style.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tavern on the Green morphs into a food court

LA Times:

No more pricey shrimp cocktails and prime rib in Central Park. Now it's trucks serving Turkish tacos and artisan ice cream.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Times Are Tough - The $7 Pizza Oven

Times Are Tough - The $7 Pizza Oven

Scott's Pizza


-1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
-1 lb fresh mozzarella
-1 large bunch Basil
-Olive oil
-Parmesan cheese
-salt and pepper to taste

Dough (adapted from

-21 oz all purpose flour
-14.3 oz water
-0.5 oz salt
-0.25 oz yeast

**This makes dough for two 12 inch pies, but you'll have enough tomatoes, cheese and Basil left over to make at least 4 pizzas, so feel free to double it!)

***You need 14 unglazed ceramic tiles for this recipe


night before:

-Mix dough ingredients and let rest for 30 minutes. Knead the dough for 4-5 minutes, then place it in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with a wash-cloth and let the dough rise for 1-2 hours. When done rising, split dough into two even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and set in airtight container in refrigerator overnight. Remove 2 hours before baking.

day of:

-Rinse and dry tiles.

-Set top oven rack on top oven rung. Set bottom rack about 6 inches below. Place 6 tiles upside-down in the middle of the top rack - it'll form a big rectangle. Set 4 tiles on bottom rack so they form a square. On either side of the oven, place 2 tiles so they're at a diagonal facing inward. You've now made your pizza stone!

-Turn oven to 500 degrees and give it about an hour to get hot.

-Fill a bowl with tepid water and lightly wash Basil leaves. Blot them on a paper towel.

-Slice about 10 slices of Mozzarella very thin and blot them with a paper towel to get rid of moisture.

-Flour your cutting board and roll out the dough.

-Place cheese on dough then add a few spoonfuls of tomato. Grate a little Parmesan cheese on top.

-To move the pizza to the oven: flour the back of a plate or cookie sheet and slide it under the pizza. Once you've gotten a hold of it, slide the pizza into the oven on top of the 4 tiles on the bottom rack. Back pizza about 15 minutes or until it's golden and bubbly.

-Garnish pizza with ripped up basil, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Full spread of retail Outlaw Chef products on shelves by Turkey Day!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Chefs' Top 20 2010 Overall Food Trends

From the Huff Post:

Chefs' Top 20 2010 Overall Food Trends

Sunday, October 3, 2010

OK - I Confess - I Bartended at TGIFriday's

OK - I Confess - I Bartended at TGIFriday's in the early 80s, when flair (please view Waiting for an adequate portrayal) was only superseded by the vast knowledge of the 269 cocktails we were constantly tested upon. There wasn't a Sunday brunch when the incessant whirrr of the Hamilton Beach blender wasn't underscoring the proceedings. Karl Kozel gives a nod to those cocktails in this HuffPost article.

Friday, October 1, 2010

FWPL: The Cadillac Bar in Nuevo Laredo

I love the surprises that the Fort Worth Public Library affords me on a daily basis. Case in point, the last cookbook I picked up (I always judge books by their covers) completely blew me away with an entire chapter about Frozen Margaritas and the Cadillac Bar in Nuevo Laredo. In days of yore when border towns were the perfect weekend getaway for Texicans wishing to augment their purchasing power, The Cadillac Bar provided a perfect place where your body would give out long before your wallet. The back bar mirror claimed that the Sazerac and the Ramos Gin Fizz were invented there yet the menu's heavy reliance upon New Orleans fare (shrimp creole, frog's legs, and crab Newburg) belied original owner Mayo Bessan's time served as a New Orleans waiter. It has been a few years since I have visited Nuevo Laredo ( I don't own any Kevlar) but it certainly did stir the memories and awaken my longing for some shots of plata.

The Tex-Mex grill and backyard barbacoa cookbook /by Walsh, Robb, 1952-

Beginning Tex-Mex cooks will enjoy the introduction to grills, tools you'll need, fuels, starting a fire, how to tell when it's done, and grill seasoning. In addition to lists like "Five Cool Mariachi Requests," "Top 10 Texas Microbrewery Beers," and "Houston's Top 5 Taco Trucks," Walsh (The Tex-Mex Cookbook) shares a large selection of salsas, rubs, margaritas, fajitas, tacos, burgers, and guacamole. Adventurous tailgaters are sure to enjoy Atomic Deer Turds, with jalapeno peppers, cheese, and venison sausage. With a chili glossary and online resources. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal Review
Chili-heads and grill jockeys are likely already familiar with Texas food writer and James Beard Award-winner Walsh, author of volumes (like Legends of Texas Barbecue) that have become textbooks of outdoor cooking. His latest, a kind of sequel to 2004's Tex-Mex Cookbook, is no exception. As in previous volumes, Walsh begins each chapter with a compulsively readable narrative overview of a particular style, region or dish (margaritas, tailgating, taco trucks, fajitas, etc.), followed by a number of recipes illustrating the possibilities of each. Walsh keeps the formula fresh by rolling up his sleeves and digging deep for the secrets of fajita steak (including trips to the butcher and the meat fabricator), the origins of the taco truck phenomenon, and the delicacy that is Texas-style barbacoa-at its purest, barbecued cattle head-with infectious curiosity and enthusiasm. Walsh's prose is balanced with smoky, classic Tex-Mex recipes begging for a turn: the classic bacon-wrapped Sonoran hot dog; the Tortaburger, a hybrid of the traditional Mexican sandwich that serves a beef patty on Telera bread with fried eggs and refried beans on top; and the must-try Beef Short Ribs in Ancho-Molasses Sauce. Those looking for variety will find it in Ancho-Root Beer Hot Wings and Grapefruit Chicken Fajitas, Chile Grilled Pineapple, and condiments like Grilled Tomato Hot Sauce and Texas Red Grapefruit Salsa. (May) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
Publisher Weekly