Three days of food!

For the holiday weekend, my parents decided to come visit.  So it was another long weekend of celebratory food.  Here is some of what we’ve enjoyed here in sunny, beautiful Austin.

Happy hour!  Started the weekend early at 4:00pm at Freddie’s.

Crème brûlée at the Driskill ($6 – and a ridiculous $3 during happy hour).

Breakfast tacos from Arturo’s (now open again for Saturday breakfast, 9:00am – 1:00pm!).

Milanos dipped in coffee!

My new favorite allergy medicine: the Tartufo cocktail at Sagra (regular $10, $8 during happy hour).  Waterloo Gin (from Treaty Oak Distilling Co.), honey, and lemon.

Gin and tonic, expertly mixed by one of my favorite bartenders in Austin, Dred at Clay Pit.

One of the specialties of the house at Clay Pit: Khuroos-E-Tursh.  Khuroos-E-Tursh ($15.00).  Medallions of chicken-breast stuffed with seasoned spinach, mushrooms, onions & cheese, simmered in a rich cashew-almond cream sauce.  Possibly one of my all-time favorite dishes.

Goan Yellow Curry with Shrimp ($15).

Perfect basmati rice.

Aloo Ghobi: braised cauliflower and potato curry  ($10).

Threadgill’s special: Shiner-braised pot roast served over mashed potatoes, with a side of black-eyed peas and macaroni and cheese ($12.95).

Chag Pesach Sameach, Happy Easter, and Happy Spring!

Skillet Paella at Joe’s Crab Shack on Town Lake: clams, shrimp, mussels, scallops, and sausage simmered in a tomato basil sauce served over rice and topped with crispy calamari.

Salmon Orleans, topped with a creamy Cajun sauce and crawfish, shrimp, and andouille sausage. Served on a bed of dirty rice. This was awesome.

Ragin’ Cajun Steam Pot: Dungeness crab, Queen crab, shrimp, andouille sausage, and corn on the cob.


Stella’s Aloo Palak

This is a pretty basic Indian recipe that I tweaked from various versions online, and it was surprisingly easy and filling! I’d never before thought about making a spinach purée, and now I’m thinking of ways to work it into other, non-Indian dishes. As any of you Indian food lovers know, “aloo” means potatoes, and the “palak” here simply means spinach – spinach potatoes! This recipe is characteristically North Indian, and makes a versatile, healthy side dish.

1 lb. fresh spinach
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 green chiles, chopped (I used homegrown jalapeños)
1/2 lb. potatoes, roughly chopped
1 tsp turmeric
4 Tbsp butter, halved
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp fresh cream (optional)
salt, to taste

1. Boil the potatoes in a stock pot with a dash of salt and the turmeric until they are just cooked, approximately ten minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt half the butter over medium heat. Add spinach along with the garlic, ginger, jalapeños, and onions, and cook for about ten minutes until spinach is just wilted.

3. Remove the spinach mixture into a food processor and blend into a purée. Set aside.

4. In the original skillet, melt remaining butter and mix in the coriander seed. Add spinach purée and simmer for about three minutes. Next add the cooked potatoes and cumin. Sprinkle with a little water, and stir. Aloow to cook for a few more minutes, so the flavors will be absorbed.

5. Add cream (if using), stir thoroughly, and serve immediately.

Makes four side servings.

Pictured here with Rum-Spiced Carrots