Okay, I skipped last week, but here’s a mega post, featuring some tasty plates from Northeast Texas, where the boy and I spent the Labor Day holiday with family (although I still don’t understand how to play 42!).
Let’s just start with the best stuff, shall we?
I came home from work one Friday to this beauty! It was amazing. I’m not exactly a Scotch connoisseur, but I’m working on it, and I highly recommend the Ardmore Highland Single Malt.
Just kidding. Part of this was breakfast (see below), part of it I saved for a later carbonara dinner.
Saturday morning brunch: leftover grits and collard greens, bacon, fried eggs. Mmm.
Homemade frijoles refritos negros. I make a big pot of these about once a month now. They’re good to have on hand for impromptu tacos or to have with breakfast.
For instance, you could make these deconstructed migas: scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese and crispy fried tortilla strips on a bed of refried beans.
I’ve been on a bit of a prosecco kick lately. Here’s a one dollar brunch Bellini at Sagra.
Sagra’s Sunday brunch bread basket. Sweet cornbread and whipped butter!
Eggs al Diavolo brunch plate: two eggs baked in spicy tomato sauce, mozzarella,
grilled toast, baby arugula. Only $10 at Sagra brunch.
Yep, pasta for breakfast, y’all! Casarecci alla arrabiata, with homemade sausage, salami, olive caponata, mozzarella, spicy tomato sauce. $11 at Sagra brunch.
We got these giant salmon fillets from Wheatsville, so I decided to slather them in lemon juice, garlic, butter, and Dijon mustard and bake them.
I served it with honey mustard glazed carrots and macaroni with mushrooms, butter, and sage.
Standard Chinese take-out, from Hoa Hoa in Dobie Mall. I walk right by here on my way home from work, and sometimes I can’t resist. Their sesame chicken (and sesame tofu) is great, and only $7.00 (and comes with a large helping of fresh, steamed broccoli!). My favorite Chinese dish is veggie lo mein, so I always get an order of that, too.
My kale runneth over.
Pork stir-fry, in progress…
Thrown-together pork curry stir-fry! It was good, but not blog-worthy. Sorry.
Homemade black bean tacos with refried black beans, grated cheese, Cholula hot sauce, and sour cream, on corn tortillas fried in bacon grease. That’s just how we roll.
Another weekday breakfast at Casa Stella! Yet more leftover refried black beans, topped with grated Monterey Jack, and served with crispy bacon, fried eggs, hot sauce, and sour cream.
Y’all know I make this every week, without fail. If you follow Stella Cooks on Facebook or Twitter, you’re probably sick of it (but if you haven’t made it, do it today!). Every time I go to Wheatsville, I pick up some Niman Ranch Uncured Apple Gouda Sausages; sometimes we grill them, but I usually save them for serving with Henry Langdon Sea Salt Rub (Coriander Chilli and Kaffir Lime flavor mix) and my Horseradish Cheese Grits. Dang, now I’m hungry, and I don’t have any.
Aaaand, we’re back at Sagra again! This time for the Pizza Funghi. Eric isn’t a fan of stringy onions, and this pie has a squishy underlayer of caramelized onions, so be aware. I loved it.
Sunday brunch at Polvo’s starts with a chelada!
Huevos a la Mexicana at Polvo’s: two eggs gently scrambled with freshly diced jalapeño , onions, and tomatoes, served with black beans and fried potatoes. $6.99!
New recipe I’ve been working on for weeks: Gluten Free Tex-Mex Fried Chicken. Try it!
Fried Rangoon at Hai Ky on the Drag. Six for $3.00.
#91, Spicy Hai Chicken. Sautéed chicken with assorted vegetables and “Hai’s secret Souther Saigon special seven spices, sucka.” I’ve been trying to branch out from my usual at Hai Ky (the delicious #83 fried tofu), and this did not disappoint. It was kind of like a lighter pad thai sans egg, with more of a kick. See my review of Hai Ky here.
Sour cream cheese enchiladas with rice and black beans at El Mercado Uptown. And a margarita.
The usual. Two tacos al pastor on corn tortillas, Burrito Factory. This may be my favorite meal.
This is one of those Beers of Blessed Memory.
We left Austin at 6:15pm Thursday night to drive to Paris, Texas, for Labor Day weekend. The drive is usually five and a half to six hours, just short of 300 miles. For the past five years or so, taking I-35 through Dallas has proven increasingly infuriating. On this particular trip, it took us nine hours, thanks to the three-hour standstill between Belton and Temple (we later found out it was due to an accident that necessitated rerouting all of the traffic on northbound I-35 around a particular exit in the center of Temple).
When we finally arrived at my mother’s house at 3:00am, we were thrilled to discover that there were exactly two Shiners in the fridge—left from our last trip, the previous Labor Day! (My mother only drinks Miller Lite, you see.)
My ex-stepdad, George, insisted on taking us to the Roxton Cafe (in Roxton, Texas) for their Friday lunch special: the fried catfish plate. I haven’t had this meal in years, so I really enjoyed it. The batter mix was better than most places—a little spicy.
That night, we tried out the new Cattle Drive Steakhouse in downtown Paris. The steak was tender and the batter and gravy were perfect. Believe it or not, I wasn’t able to eat this entire meal, and my mom ended up having part of it for Saturday breakfast!
This was the meal I’d been waiting for (remember, I said I’m not a role model), and I’m so glad I was able to sneak it in between my trip to the auto mechanic and a trip to Oklahoma (I know, I know). Taco Delite is our local fast food Tex-Mex mainstay. Open since the late 70s, their crunchy tacos have an aura of mystery and inspire longing and poetry in expatriate Parisians everywhere.
Pictured above (along with two wrapped tacos) is a Meaty Tostada with Sour Cream. They also have the best Dr Pepper (and, yes, I had one, don’t hate me). Somehow, I’d managed to miss eating at Taco Delite on my last three trips to Paris, so this was a priority. Oh, man, it was so good.
Gumbo! This was the soup of the day at Cowboy and the Captain, by far the best restaurant in Red River County, and a place that I fear is very under-appreciated by the local gourmands. Go there, people! It’s delicious! Real food, prepared right, in a nice atmosphere. Apologies for the low quality photography here, but the place has low lighting and tall, private booths. It’s hard to get a good picture, but it’s easy to get an amazing dinner.
Look at this steak, y’all! It was so good. I swear I ordered an 8 oz. and got a whole pound, though! Max enjoyed the part I couldn’t finish!
We also had some great, homecooked food thanks to my stepmom, Debbie, and my cousins Karon and Sharon, including gluten free lasagna with vegetables and deviled eggs; grilled chicken and beef kabobs; grilled corn-on-the-cob; more delicious deviled eggs; macaroni and cheese; baked potatoes; and homemade banana pudding! Also, margaritas. It was a great trip.
Back in Austin, I popped into Gabriel’s Cafe on the way to work and enjoyed these Tinga Tacos with borracho beans and salsa ($10), along with a view of the Tower, football on screens bigger than my car, and free wifi. I love that place. I should go there more often.
Here are a couple of adorable Delicata squash that I picked up at Wheatsville!
We’re still trying to eat fish at least once a week, so I also picked up a huge fillet of Gulf red drum fish at the Wheatsville seafood counter this week. (It’s not that surprising that the cut was huge, considering this…). Since I’ve been on a bit of a fish taco kick this summer (having never eaten them before in my life), as well as a red pepper flake kick, I decided to make sweet and spicy fish tacos with a carrot and sweet pepper slaw. The recipe will be coming up next week!
Here is the final result. Man, these were good. This whole newfangled fish taco trend has won me over.
Finally, I don’t know if you’ve heard the news, but the Austin Food Blogger Alliance is releasing a cookbook! You’ll have to wait and see which one of my recipes made the cut, but, meanwhile, check out this amazing dish I tested:
Inspired by the Cajun dish gumbo z’herbes, this was easy, healthy, hearty, and hot (thanks to the hot sauce!). You’ll have to wait for our cookbook to get the recipe!
Hope y’all all have a great weekend! I’m off to San Antonio for football watching and a sleepover with my dear friend Shal, followed by a luncheon to celebrate the wedding of one of my key Tour Guide Posse members, Karen. The food better not be too good, or I’ll have to try to sneak a picture! You have been warned!