Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bocconcini App

  • 36-48 Bocconcini (little monz balls)
  • 1/2 lb Proscuitto, Thinly Sliced
  • Grape Tomatoes, Sliced
  • Marinated Artichoke Hearts, Chopped
  • Truffle Oil
  • Black Pepper
  • Toothpicks

Roll each bocconcini in a slice of proscuitto, trim edges. Thread a piece of marinated artichoke heart and grape tomato on a toothpick then spear the wrapped bocconcini. When all bocconcini are assembled, drizzle with truffle oil and a couple pinches of fresh black pepper.

Of all the new experiments in party appetizers, this one was by far the simplest and most popular.

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Smoked Salmon App

  • 1/2 lb Scottish Smoked Salmon
  • 16 oz Sour Cream
  • 1/2 C Dill, Chopped
  • 1 3oz Jar Capers, Drained
  • 1/4 t White Pepper
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 2 Cucumbers
  • Red Onion, Chopped
  • 2 Eggs, Hard Boiled
  • Lemon Wedges
  • Dark Rye Bread, Sliced Thinly

Peel and seed one cucumber then chop finely. Add the chopped cucumber to the sour cream with the dill, half the jar of capers, white pepper and salt. Mix well, place in a serving bowl then regrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Peel and thinly slice the other cucumber. Separate egg yolks from whites and finely chop both.

To serve: on a large tray place smoked salmon, cucumber dill sauce, onion, caper, egg whites, egg yolks, lemon wedges and bread slices.

To assemble: explain to guests that cucumber covers bread, smoked salmon covers cucumber, cucumber dill sauce covers smoked salmon. Capers, onion, eggs and lemon are optional.

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Pesto Cheesecake

1 t Flour
8 Oz Sour Cream
Olive Oil
2 T Bread crumbs
15 Oz Ricotta
8 Oz Cream Cheese
1/2 C Parmesan, Grated
1 - 1.5 C Pesto
1 Egg
Red Pepper

1) Preheat oven to 375

2) Lightly coat 2 7" springforms with olive oil then sprinkle each with the bread crumbs.

3) Mix ricotta and cream cheese with a hand mixer in a medium sized bowl until smooth. Add Parmesan, pepper and egg. Continue mixing until smooth.

4) Place 3/4 C of the ricotta mixture in each pan. Top with 1/2 C of pesto, then another 3/4 C of the ricotta mixture.

5) Bake for 45 minutes or until set.

6) Combine 1/4 pesto, flour and sour cream in a bowl, stirring well. Spread evenly over each cheesecake and continue to bake for 7 minutes.

7) Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

These will store micely in the fridge for a day or two and can even be frozen, if you want to prepare ahead of time.

(Sorry to report that these were gone before I could get a picture of them)

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Sunday, October 26, 2008


Four months after actually moving in I did have a housewarming party. I found out that is about normal if not early since others at the party had moved into their new homes almost a year ago sans party.

We had a great time. It was nice to see the Dallas people mix with the new Houston people. I was also surprised at how many Dallas people actually came.

Thanks to everyone!

I know some people have been waiting for the party food recipes, those are coming soon.

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Friday, October 17, 2008


Sorry again. Been preparing for the party this weekend. And of course there is the ongoing busy work thing. Back soon with party pics and recipes.

Monday, October 06, 2008

4AM @ 23rd & 8th

If you've known me for than a second you know I can't go too long without returning to the ancestoral homeland. Every trip to NYC makes me feel more centered, focused and, I realize how odd it sounds as I write the words, more relaxed.

I try not to do the same things as I did before so this time I tried a new, well, everything. Starting off the new, I stayed at the Chelsea Hotel. If you feel you have a bohemian spirit, staying here will test that theory. The Chelsea has an interesting history, a camp and playground for writers and artists from an era gone by, it always stuck in my mind that it could have been the location where Sid Vicious (allegedly) murdered his girlfriend in the 70's. The hotel is quirky in decor, layout and patronage, although I think the all-night parties and rampant drug use are gone with the new management and an unfortunate upscaling of the neighborhood. Still, The Chelsea will never host the Champagne sipping UES debutinas, nor the investment bankers they begrudgingly marry. Pluses to the The Chelsea are large rooms, incredible location and relatively good rates.

Chelsea Hotel, Entrance

Chelsea Hotel, 8th floor stairwell

Honorable mention for this trip goes to the restaurant/bar called Public in Nolita (Elizabeth & Spring). I was late getting into the city so I didnt arrive for dinner until midnight, about 5 minutes after they stopped serving food. But the Pineapple Pink Peppercorn Caipirinha will be remembered!

The highlights were many for the 48 hours.

Equus, the new play making its opening on Broadway last week, was excellent. If you are not knowing, try renting the movie version circa 1977 starring Richard Burton. Its an intense and interesting pyscho-sexual drama involving the interaction and inversion of a very disturbed and isolated young man and his equally disturbed analyst. The acting by Daniel Radcliffe was extraordinary. He is convincing, clever and he is showing his intent and ability to wriggle out from under his illustrious Harry Potter stigma. He also seemed to be quite at home stripping down to nothing and staying that way.

Equus @ Broadhurst Theatre

Food recommendations for this trip are two:

Empanada Mamas
Hells Kitchen
763 9th Ave @ 51st

I loved this place and went 3 times in 2 days. We have empanada shoppes in Houston, plenty of them but none with the variety EM's has. Personal favorites are the Brasil (ham, potato, cheese and olives) Spicy Chicken (hot red pepper in the dough and the pulled chicken) and the Reggaeton (pork, curry, rice, veggies). Definitely make liberal use of the green sauce that will already be at the table. Service is fantastic and trust me when I say this is one of the few sit down restaurants in NYC where you'll be able to lay down a $20 and walk away with change.

Empanada Mamas, Hell's Kitchen

Meat Packing
835 Washington St @ Little W 12th

Upscale, stylish and trendy but not oppressive. Very impressive Thai fusion, particularly the Ginger Mohito and the Black Thai Tuna Tartar (chopped tuna, basil, orange and thai bird chile). Go early or late for dinner as reservations are not accepted.

The other new place I tried was the NYC Eagle. Waaaay out near 11th Ave where you can almost feel the Hudson, I found where every gay man over 30 with facial hair goes on a Saturday night. I liked it. Its dark, cavernous and crowded. It could've been naughty but that wasnt what I found on the rooftop patio for the hours I was there. The friend I went out with, went away with a lovely Englishman leaving me alone to watch the city and crowd by myself. At 330a I made my way out of the building, crossed the street, passed the strip club, the hip hop bar, every Italian man from Brooklyn and a strip of lonely subsidized housing. At 4am I found myself turning the corner to The Chelsea. And I thought, here I am, 4am at 23rd & 8th with hundreds of other people like me, all quietly walking home, soaking it all in, happy but unaffected.

I love New York.

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