We dropped by Manny’s Uptown Mexican Restaurante in Addison (across the street from Snuffer’s on Midway) to enjoy the patio weather and some lunch. Comida? “What’s Spanish for “lunch” I know milk is leche…?” (That’s a bastardization of a movie quote – good luck guessing that one.)
^We enjoyed the Brisket Queso; ^CK got the #11 – I happily devoured a bite or two.
^I went with the Two Beef Burritos: ^They came with one Sauce and I added another: the Tomatillo, and the Pica-Pica – a nicely fiery and flavorful choice, mealy with dried red jalapeños. Pretty good stuff, I’ll be back. They have half a dozen other interesting sauces… the Chile Vinegar is calling me.
I made these:
Recently a little post over there on SideDish featuring some well-intentioned (but rough-hewn) examples of this classic french confectionery sparked a rather entertaining debate (and here) on whether one is to pronounce them macaron or macaroon – Thomas Keller, Pierre Hermé and I say macaron. Whatever – it inspired me to dig out this story, one that I held from posting.
A few months ago, my friend brought me back a dozen macarons from Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery. I'd never really had a good one before, I guess – 'cause I was floored by the incredible textural experience and almond laced flavor of these little buggers.
As a fun way to thank my friend, I learned how to make them!
^ A key part of the process is to "age" the egg whites needed for the batter – that's right… these sat out at room temperature for 24 hrs. ^Then you need ground almonds or "almond flour."
^ For the classic pistachio macaron, ground pistachios are added along with the standard confectionary sugar. ^ Here, additional granulated sugar is tinted green with food coloring to enhance the appearance of the final product.
^The colored sugar is whipped into the egg whites; then these are incorporated with the almonds, pistachios and confectionary sugar.
^ For a "cappuccino" version of the batter, I added ground espresso beans to the sugar and omitted the pistachios.
^I found out that I didn't have a pastry bag – so I did the baggie trick – meh… imperfect rounds – even after the obligatory smacking down of the trays.
^All this trouble and precise baking are in aid of producing these little "feet" at the bottom of the cookie. I kind of over-achieved on this batch, but the crisp shell and moist, airy interior were well produced. Traditionally, a filling of ganache, buttercream or jam is sandwiched between two cookies.
^I made some blueberry buttercream to fill some of the coffee cookies; ^and a pistachio buttercream for that type.
^I also made a violet buttercream for some of the pistachio cookies – awesome. Far from perfect, but not too shabby!
Sure they have a nice phở (and sometimes you really need a nice phở):
^ Chanh muối, a kind of salted Lime (or Lemon)-ade. ^And these delicious Grilled Mussles – with cream cheese and scallions.
But I’m here for the Banh Xeo.
Bánh Xèo means “sizzling cake.” It’s a savory rice flour pancake/crepe/omlette with pork, shrimp and sprouts. You wrap it up in lettuce leaves and dip it liberally in Nước chấm - a sweet and acidic fish sauce. Frickin’ good.
Ask for the translation of the back page of the menu for the goods. Enjoy!
While I wait to be able to tell you what I know (and why I am excited) about what Tesar has up his sleeve – I thought I would remind everyone about a certain detail lost in the vitriol backing up the local blogosphere: Tesar can cook. Here is some of the food I enjoyed during his previous stint in Dallas:
Here's hoping we will have this stuff locally again, soon.
I was once again slinking around the bar at The Mansion recently…
LK and I sampled some of the tempting new cocktails under development while chatting up chef Bruno Davaillon. When I asked what was new, I was well rewarded:
^ Charcuterie from Bruno’s family recipes. Nothing went to waste from this little piggy – and not a morsel remained on this plate.
^ That Thursday, after enjoying Somm Michael Flynn’s Wine Chat, I was able to enjoy the Head Cheese once again, this time with Black Truffles; along with a little Squab, Foie, and Duck with Sunchoke and Truffle Purées. …Damn…
I was able to run by the International Grand Tasting portion of the 2010 Savor Dallas event last Saturday night. After a maddening parking adventure, I made a mad dash to take some snaps, sample some of the goods, and chat with some of my chef pals. Then I found Jay Liddell at The Macallan table and became distracted discussing the Mac 18, for the umpteenth time… no matter – here are just a very few bites from the over 60 restaurants participating.
^ Dali Wine Bar chef Joel Harloff and his Wild Boar Orecchiette dish.
^ From Suze Restaurant‘s Jeffery Hobbs – Steak Tartare and Grilled Cheese. I want a jar of this relish.
^ Paul Peddle of Pyramid Restaurant at the Fairmont served this Duck presentation.
^ The gregarious Pascal Cayet of Lavendou offered Lobster Bisque and Escargot en Croute.
A couple weeks ago I couldn't help but note two references to Bacon Jam on facebook during the same day. I think one mention was by my pal Claudia Young, an excellent eater – the other from a former Top Chef contestant. Eventually I gave in:
A quick Google yielded some ideas. I did some picking and choosing and came up with a plan.
I diced some thick-cut applewood smoked bacon and sautéed it in butter with some shallots. After the shallots caramelized I added garlic, brown sugar, sherry vinegar and Sriracha. Then some chicken stock…
That cooks down for a while – then goes in some espresso! Man, the house smelled – decadent.
This stuff is crazy good! I leave it to you to figure out what to put it on – I ate most of it straight from the jar! Caramelized pig parts iz goood.
UPDATE: The dish Claudia mentioned that started all this was: sweetbreads, candied kumquats, bacon jam at craftbar, Atlanta. …Dang.