Category Archives: Recipes

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Eat Your Brussel Sprouts!

I have many a fond memory of the fall.  It’s always a relief when the hot Texas summer days begin to wind down a bit and its enjoyable to take a morning stroll around the neighborhood without facing the dangers of dehydration.   Yes Fall!

One of the vegetables I do love to see appearing in the markets and supermarkets are Brussel sprouts.  Yes, I am fully aware the half of the people out there are excited to see this petit cabbage looking vegetable and that the other half wonder whey one would eat such a thing.  The latter half have undoubtable been scarred by the Brussel sprout during childhood.  I too suffered the mental trauma of forcing down over cooked boiled Brussel sprouts.  There were not enough mashed potatoes in the world to cover up that flavor.  These were dark times. Don’t be afraid though.  Face your fears and take another look at this nutritional and dare I say …delicious vegetable!

The Brussel sprout is a nutritional bomb.  Packing a good amount of vitamin c, vitamin k and folic acid.  They are high in fiber, low on the glycemic index, provide some minerals and there is even some research out there that they may have some anticancer properties.  This is a vegetable you must take another look at.

Brussels were very popular in Europe for several centuries and are in many areas synonymous with Christmas Dinner.  I am no genius but I suspect they were quite popular in Brussels.  Wikepedia tells us that they were brought to the United States by French settlers which I think is quite possible.  Again, I am no genius but the French Master Chef, Escoffier, in his Guide Culinaire lists several preparations for this “Choux de Bruxelles”.  Why not bring some along to the new digs?

Brussel sprouts are best when they are younger and have a firm feel and tight leaves.  They can be eaten raw and are good when thinly shaved and tossed with olive oil, salt and lemon juice.  In the old days, it was common to boil them, but I find sautéing and then a quick braise where the liquid reduces and glazes the sprouts is the way to go!

In the recipe below I do a hard sauté of the sprouts in my wok.  There is no reason you need to use a wok, a sauté pan will work just fine, especially a good cast iron.  Preferably one passed down as a family heirloom!  I just happen to have a personal attachment to my wok, nothing to be concerned about, I brought it back from Hong Kong with me and the years of use have given it a beautiful patina…. and it’s fun to use.

I use two types of oil. A neutral oil for cooking and a high-quality finishing oil for finishing.  Be careful though a bitter olive oil is not a good friend to Brussel sprouts.

Brussel Sprouts with olive oil and lemon

 

Ingredients

1 pound of Brussel sprouts

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 ½ cups stock (vegetable or chicken)

1 teaspoon garlic

Juice of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon of good finishing olive oil

1 tablespoon of olive oil or blended oil for cooking.

 

  1. Clean the Brussel sprouts by rinsing in water.  Trim the bottoms of the thickest part of the base and remove any loose outer leaves.
  2. Mince the garlic, juice and zest your lemon and get ready to cook!
  3. Get your pan nice and hot and add the cooking olive oil. Carefully add your sprouts and let them get some color.  Move in the pan from time to time but not too much.
  4. Once they have the color you like add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds then add the stock. There should be a violent bubbling of stock and sprouts so be careful.
  5. Let everything cook until the liquid is almost gone. Check the sprouts and a skewer or knife tip should go through easily with only the slightest bit of resistance.  You can add a bit more stock and cook longer if you wish.
  6. Add the finishing oil, juice and zest. Reduce for 30 more seconds and remove from heat.
  7. Check your salt and lemon to make sure you don’t want a bit more and then enjoy!

Thyme out!

Jason

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A quick shoot in Owners Box

A Quick Shoot in Owners Box

These images were taken in preparation for a Octoberfest menu in the Owners Box at the Omni Dallas Hotel.  We are working with the good folks at Andrews Distributing, Shiner, Rahr & Sons, Lakewood and Revolver Brewing.  Always great to have good partners and friends! Chef Alex Ayala did a great job on the sliders and I tried to do them justice with my Canon 6d and a 100mm Macro lens.

Thyme to have some fun

Jason

 

Bratwurst Slider, Beer Cheese Fondue, Caramelized Onions, Spice Mustard

Shiner Octoberfest

Ruben Slider, Beer Sauerkraut, Caraway Aioli

Rahr Octoberfest

Chicken Schnitzel, Warm German Potato Salad, Spicy Mustard

Lakewood Punkel (pumpkin pie spiced dunkel)

Pork Schnitzel Slider, Mushroom Ragout, Lemon AIoli

Revolver Red Shift (red ale with ginger and other spices)

https://www.shiner.com/beer/bock

https://www.lakewoodbrewing.com

https://rahrbrewing.com/

https://revolverbrewing.com/

http://www.andrewsdistributing.com

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Banana Split with Marshmallow Ice Cream!

If you happen to be at Texas Spice at the Omni Dallas Hotel be sure to ask about there current “off the menu” special.  Chef Kristina Kent’s Banana Split with Marshmallow Ice Cream, House Made Marshmallows, Chocolate, Caramel and Cookie Butter.

Cookie butter you say?  Yes indeed.  The famous Texas Spice Chocolate Chip Cookie is, in a effort to never run out, occasionally overproduced.  While having the integrity to never serve a day old cookie what is a pastry chef to do wihth the extras? Well . . . I guess you blend them with butter to make a buttery cookie spread.  Genius!

Thyme for Dessert,

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Avocado Margarita At Omni Dallas Up Town Terrace

If you happen to be staying at the Omni Dallas Hotel definitely take the opportunity to try the Avocado Margarita at the pool this summer!  The summer pool menu is featuring Avocados from Mexico.  The Avocado Margarita has avocado muddled into the drink and is garnished with a cilantro lime popsicle this is a must try.

Thyme to relax,

Jason

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Roxor Gin Dinner at Texas Spice

Texas Spice restaurant at the Omni Dallas Hotel recently hosted a intimate Gin Dinner featuring the local artisan gin from the New Artisan Sprits company called Roxor.  Roxor is a deliciously food friendly gin complete with hints of citrus and light juniper.  In the sprit of civic pride I am happy to say its a  Dallas produced gin which is the brainchild of the legendary chef Robert Del Grande.  Chef Robert is one of the “founders of southwest cuisine” along with Chef Dean Fearing and Chef Stephen Pyles.  Good company  to be sure!

Chef Donald Chalko of the Omni Dallas put together a four course menu and each course was pared with a refreshing gin friendly cocktail.  A good time was had by all and another of the Texas Spice Artisan Dinner Series went off with a bang. The two founders of New Artisan Sprits Chef Robert Del Grande and Don Short were in attendance to talk about the gin.

https://www.newartisanspirits.com/

Thanks for all involved!

Thyme out,

Jason

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Spinach, Caramelized Onion, Bacon and Gruyere Dip

Well yesterday was the Super Bowl and I suppose it could be said this post is a day late.  I actually put this together yesterday with out recipe . . . shooting from the hip if you will.  It came out so darn good I wanted to post it! During the game it was hard not to keep getting up and having a little more dip, sometimes on the French bread I took to serve with it and sometimes on a chip.

This recipe is easy to make, the longest part is slowly caramelizing the onions which can take a 1/2 hour or so to do right.  Low and slow wins while caramelizing onions.  This recipe will serve 8 as a appetizer.  Serve with chips or French bread to dip.

Enjoy

Thyme fly’s

Jason

 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, diced

6 ounces bacon, diced

3/4 cup white wine

5 ounces baby spinach

8 ounces cream cheese

1/2 cup mayonnaise (commercial)

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon chopped rosemary

1 packet Hidden Valley ranch powder .4 ounce

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese

  1. Turn your oven to broil and set out your cream cheese to soften.
  2. You will need to have two pans one to render the bacon and one to slowly caramelize the onions.  Begin by rendering the bacon.  Heat a pan to medium and add the tablespoon of olive oil to get started but once the bacon starts to cook it will give you all the fat you need.  As the bacon cooks you will see a good amount of fat rendering off, this is what you will use to caramelize  your onions.
  3. When the bacon is almost crispy pour most of the fat into your other pan and turn on to medium heat. Add the diced onions and start to cook them.  Once they start to sizzle and begin to brown turn it to low.  Then slowly caramelize slowly while stirring every few minutes.
  4. When the onions are golden brown add the spinach and wilt down.
  5. When the spinach is fully cooked add the wine and bring to a boil.
  6. When the wine is boiling add the everything except the gruyere cheese.  Let everything heat until it is all melted together and hot.
  7. Pour into a oven proof dish and top with the gruyere.  Put in oven on broil and cook until bubby and brown.

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Operation Chile – Day 3 “lunch at Casa Silva”

After having wine for lunch, snack and dinner for several days the thought of doing this again is rough. Not! Actually it’s awesome. This lifestyle works well for me! I have a renewed vigor to win the lottery or invent a nutritive cereal varnish that will cure obesity, get rich and travel the wineries of the world.

Casa Silva winery was a bit of a journey for us. At the foothills of the Andes this was one of the more stunning vineyards. It felt different than some of the others and I think the reason is the owner and his family live down the road and still work here every day. There are vines here more than 100 years old! This is a business for them, but also a lifestyle. They eat lunch here in the restaurant every day. . . with a view of the polo field and the mountains. Not too bad!

The restaurant had just changed the menu and we were fortunate to be able to take part!

Empanadas, tuna ceviche, grouper, steak, quinoa pudding, creamed corn, and mango cheesecake is not even a complete list of the menu!

Be sure to look out for the Casa Silva Altura and the Casa Silva Micro Terroir Carmenere. You will be glad you did!

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Operation Chile – Day 2 “Undurraga”

First stop today was a beautiful winery called Undurraga. Opened at the end of the last century this beautiful winery was designed by a renowned designer of the tines, whose name I was told and promptly forgot. The tour of the vineyard reviled a beautiful campus whose design was certainly kept true to the original. There are several aspects of the winery, including a museum, which paid homage to the natives of the area, the Mapuche.

We did a wine tasting in two parts with the master wine maker for the winery. First we tried the TH label, TH standing for Terroir Hunter! A fitting description for these wines which do show so much about where they were grown. They are also a great representation of the fruit. The second tasting was on their Volcanus Line. All grapes grown in the area where the soil was volcanic, which they have a lot of here in Chile. They also have the feel of the soil and are very distinctive. If you can find a TH Carmenere or a TH Syrah you should snag them up, throw something on the grill, preferably meat, and enjoy!

Lunch here was a beautiful mix of grilled meats and salads. The stand out of which was an open air fire roasted lamb. The slow fire roasting gave the lamb a delicious crispy grilled outer crust, but it was moist and delicious.

Next post will be about dinner at Borago, one of the 50 best restaurants in the world.

Thyme out,

JW

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Easy and Spicy Pork Vindaloo

One thing I love about the cuisine of India is the fact that it is so full of flavor.  There is a reason it’s one of the most popular cuisines in the world. . .  It’s awesome.  I have always had a special place in my heart for Vindaloo.  Pork Vindallo, epic dish from the region of Goa.  Tangy, spicy, full of spices and flavor.  A stick to your ribs dish that will really remind you why you love food!

This is a relatively easy dish to make, not completely traditional but very close.  It takes a bit of time on the stove to get done if you use the pork shoulder, which I recommend if you have the time. Nothing compares to the depth of flavor achieved during long slow cooking!  The pork shoulder will take 4 or so hours to get tender.  Time well spent!

A even quicker option would be to make the base and keep in in the cooler.  If you are in a hurry for dinner take some of the sauce out and start reducing it.  Get a few pork chops out (or chicken breasts) of the refrigerator dice them up and add them to the sauce once it is 1/3 of the way reduced.  Cook the meat in the sauce until done and the sauce coats the meat.

Cooking the pork shoulder is a simple process stir it every so often the closer to when its done you will have to stir it more often as the sauce gets reduced.  If the pork is not tender when the sauce it getting too thick you just add a bit of water and continue cooking.

You want to have the meat beautifully tender but not shredded.  If you take your eye off it too long and it does shred, don’t worry, life is still good.  You can make tacos!  Put some of this on a tortilla with cheese, lettuce, tomato and some salsa.  You will be a believer!  Tacos are a great way to use leftovers of Vindaloo.  Another awesome way to use up some left overs is on eggs in the morning with a bit of naan bread or tortilla.

One last note.  Do not skimp on the quality of your spices.  Make sure they are not old.  If you do one thing make sure to buy powdered Kashmir chili only!  Do not even think of using a American style chili powder blend.  Kashmiri chili have a beautiful color and flavor.  They are a must, use 100% Kashmiri chili powder.

Serve with a nice toasted bread or some basmati rice.  I like this with a nice cold IPA or even a pilsner.

Ingredients

Base

2 onions, rough chop

1 inch of ginger (about 1/2 to 3/4 ounce), peeled and rough chopped

1 large can of diced tomatoes (28 ounces)

5 teaspoons ground cumin (10 grams)

2 teaspoons ground cardamom

10 teaspoons garam masala (20 grams)

6 to 8 teaspoons Kashmiri chili powder (100% ground Kashmiri chili), 8 if you like it spicy

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

7 FL ounces  red wine vinegar (200ml)

Main

3 pounds pork shoulder, diced to 3/4 inch cubes

3 curry leaves

Water as necessary

Salt, red wine vinegar, pepper, and  cardamom as necessary

1.  Put all base ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth.

2.  While the main ingredients are being puréed heat a thick bottomed pot, big enough to hold the entire recipe.  When hot add 1/4 cup ghee (or olive oil) and begin browning the pork shoulder, if the pork cools the pan down and it doesn’t brown well don’t worry, just continue with the recipe.

3. Once the pork is browned off add the curry leaves and stir.  Add the entire base to the pork, stir and turn down to a simmer.  Allow to simmer for 3 to 4 hours, stirring every 20 min or so.  The closer to being done it gets more reduced the sauce will be and you will need to stir more often.  Also depending on the size of your pot and the heat you may find the sauce is too reduced and the pork is not tender.  If this happens add 1/2 cup of water, sir and continue cooking.  You can do this as many times as necessary.  You want the pork tender but not shredded so you wild have to watch at the end! (if it shreds make tacos!)

4.  Before removing from the stove adjust seasoning with Salt, red wine vinegar, pepper and cardamom as necessary.  This dish gets even better the 2nd day.

Thyme in,

Jason

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Blueberry – Butterscotch Dump Cake

Once you have Dump Cake on the brain it’s tough to abandon the thought. Such a simple dessert and so many possible variations. I had to get lunch together today and had only an hour to do it. A quick trip to the store produced some nice fresh corn, some turkey burgers, jalapeño, and avocado. . . sounds good so far right?  Got a lot better.

When I was passing the baking isle I thought of Dump Cake, as I am prone to do! I went with a classic made with crushed pineapple, blueberry pie filling and yellow cake. However some butterscotch chips caught my eye so in the cart they went.

Once I got home this was ready to go in the oven in less time than it took to preheat.

Ingredients

1 can crushed pineapple (about 20 ounces), not drained

1 can blueberry pie filling (about 21 ounces)

6 ounces butterscotch chips

1 stick unsalted butter (1/4 pound)

1 box yellow cake mix (about 16 ounces)

Preheat oven to 350f

1.  In a 9 by 13 pan put the pie filling and the crushed pineapple.

2.  Spread 1/2 of the butterscotch chips evenly over the pie filling.

3.  Top with  the dry cake mix, scatter the remaining butterscotch chips evenly over the cake mix.

4.  Slice the butter in 1/8th inch slices evenly top the Dump Cake.

5.  Bake at 350f until golden brown on top.  Typically about 40 minutes.

6.  I prefer to serve dump cake cold or room temperature.  Top with a bit of whipped cream.

Thyme for More Dump Cake,

Jason

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