The Dishrag Newsletter
Issue 227
 
February 10, 2011
IN THIS ISSUE
1.  Houston LFE: Diving Into Houston, The Dining Out Capital of America
2.  Steve Zimmerman on the History and Future of Dining Out in Houston
3.  Technique: Duck Neck Sausage
4.  Chefs Gone Wild: Foraging, Texas Style
5.  The Houston-NOLA Connection
6.  Take the 2010 StarChefs.com Salary Survey!
7.  Sign Up for the 2011 StarChefs.com International Pastry Competition
8.  2011 ICC Tickets: Special Pricing Schedule!
9.  Join Us for the 2011 Houston Rising Stars!
10.  Photo Galleries from Our Recent Tastings
11.  Featured Video: Fresh Gnocchi with Bolognese at Il Casale - Belmont, MA
12. Featured Cookbook: Cooking the Cowboy Way
13.  Top 10 Jobs from the StarChefs.com's JobFinder
14.  Featured Chef to Know: Robert del Grande of RDG + Bar Annie
15.  Recipe for Lemon Scented Bryan Farms Chicken, Fried Brussels Sprouts, Banyuls Vinegar, and Parmesan from Chef Mike Potowski of Benjy's On Washington - Houston, TX
StarChefs.com...the magazine for culinary insiders. Visit www.starchefs.com

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 1. Houston LFE: Diving Into Houston, The Dining Out Capital of America
Packed with local talent, product, and ten-gallon ambition, Houston's culinary cowboys and gals have transformed the Southwestern city into a "Dining Out Capital" of the United States.
http://www.starchefs.com/cook/features/letter_from_editor/vol70/2011-houston-dining-capital
 2. Steve Zimmerman on the History and Future of Dining Out in Houston
How the success of a Texan wine bar (in 1972, no less) and other NOLA-inspired projects in Restaurateur Steve Zimmerman's Houston empire have transformed the city.
http://www.starchefs.com/cook/features/steve-zimmerman-houston-restaurateur
 3. Technique: Duck Neck Sausage
Duck neck repurposed: Chefs Richard Knight and James Silk at Feast in Houston give Daffy a reason to smile with a healthy dose of pork butt stuffing and rebirth as sausage casing.
http://starchefs.com/cook/events/studio/techniques/stuffed-duck-neck
 4. Chefs Gone Wild: Foraging, Texas Style
Bootsie's Chef Randy Rucker gives new meaning to "Wild West" with a menu full of foraged Texan bounty. Yep, that includes lichen.
http://www.starchefs.com/cook/features/chefs-gone-wild/foraging-tx
 5. The Houston-NOLA Connection
Creole Soul Mates: They might not share all the same culinary influences, but Houston and New Orleans share a kinship of hospitality, vitality, and sultry Southern swagger.
http://www.starchefs.com/cook/features/new-creole-houston
 6. Take the 2010 StarChefs.com Salary Survey!
Weigh in on what you're bringing in for a chance to win a Vita-Prep® 3 by Vitamix.
http://www.starchefs.com/cook/features/editors_dish/salary_survey/2010
 7. Sign Up for the 2011 StarChefs.com International Pastry Competition
It's our second year and we're calling all culinary competitors to register for this unparalleled bittersweet battle of the professional pastry world!
http://www.starchefs.com/cook/events/pastry-competition-2011
 8. 2011 ICC Tickets: Special Pricing Schedule!
Early registration is over, but don't miss these discounts! Working Restaurant Passes are going for $250 until March 15 and $350 until June 30.
http://www.starchefs.com/cook/events/icc/2011
 9. Join Us for the 2011 Houston Rising Stars!
Polish your boots, reserve your seats, and join us in honoring Houston's top culinary talent on March 17 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Houston.
http://www.starchefs.com/cook/chefs/2011-houston-rising-stars
 10. Photo Galleries from Our Recent Tastings
Photo Galleries from our recent tastings in Houston, including Beaver's Ice House, Le Mistral, Kata Robata, and more, as well as Dirk Flanigan at the James Beard House in New York.
http://www.starchefs.com/cook/photo-gallery
 11. Featured Video: Fresh Gnocchi with Bolognese at Il Casale - Belmont, MA
Pasta-guru Dante de Magistris makes pillowy, tender gnocchi and "pretty much everything that goes on the plate" with the help of his Hobart at Belmont's Il Casale.
http://www.starchefs.com/cook/videos/dante-de-magistris-gnocchi-recipe
 12. Featured Cookbook: Cooking the Cowboy Way
Recipes Inspired by Campfires, Chuck Wagons, and Ranch Kitchens
Grady Spears with June Naylor
September 2009
Andrews McMeel Publishing

Cowboy-turned-chef Grady Spears presents a focused, food-oriented guide to life lived "the cowboy way." With years spent in the saddle, Spears has intimate knowledge of the grit and gristle of the cowboy life, as well as a keen intuition for the kinds of food capable of satisfying a cowboy's well-earned hunger. Chapters are divided by region, starting with the Brazos River Cowboys of Graham Texas and traveling through cowboy cultures in Arizona, Alberta, Florida, and Missouri. Spears provides authentic recipes for each region, e.g., "Vaquero Migas" (Mexican cowboy scrambled eggs) out of Fort Worth, and even doses out an anecdote here and there to flesh out the cowboy experience. What pervades the book and seems to define the whole cowboy ethos is a healthy respect for the land and the animals that depend on it. Spears demonstrates that cowboy cooking isn't all about hearty portions, smoky flavors, or well-marbled meats. Cowboy cooking at its finest is intuitively sustainable. And as much as the work of a cowboy depends on maintaining a balance with the land, the meal of a cowboy should reflect that-and Spears' book pays homage.

http://www.starchefs.com/cook/cookbooks_keywords/grady spears
Vita-Mix vitamix XL
The Vita-Mix® XL™
1.5 gallon real blending capacity
4.2 peak HP motor
Increase efficiency with only one blending cycle
Click here for more info: www.starchefs.com/vitamix
 13. Top 10 Jobs from the StarChefs.com's JobFinder
Sous Chef
Talented Sous Chefs for Luxury Hotel Wanted
Hotel Za Za
Houston, TX
http://starchefsjobfinder.com/js-jobinfo.php?s=-1&t=j&v=275760&positionid=

Chef de Cuisine
Critically Acclaimed Restaurant Seeks Talented Chef
Interim Restaurant & Bar
Memphis, TN
http://starchefsjobfinder.com/js-jobinfo.php?s=-1&t=j&v=275400&positionid=

Sous Chef
Join Chef Patrick O'Connell's Team in Beautiful Legendary Kitchen
The Inn at Little Washington
Washington, VA
http://starchefsjobfinder.com/js-jobinfo.php?s=-1&t=j&v=275421&positionid=

Chef de Cuisine
Benefits in Our Seasonal, Landmark Kitchen Include Ski Pass & 2 mo. Paid Vacation
Snake River Grill
Jackson Hole, WY
http://starchefsjobfinder.com/js-jobinfo.php?s=-1&t=j&v=275680&positionid=

Executive Pastry Chef
Looking for a creative and Avant Garde Executive Pastry Chef
The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead
Atlanta, GA
http://starchefsjobfinder.com/js-jobinfo.php?s=-1&t=j&v=274463&positionid=

Culinary Instructor
Teach Your Passion
The Art Institute
Austin, TX
http://starchefsjobfinder.com/js-jobinfo.php?s=-1&t=j&v=275381&positionid=

Baking & Pastry Sous Chef
Rising Star & James Beard Nominee Chef looking for Sous Chef
Pura Vida
Atlanta, GA
http://starchefsjobfinder.com/js-jobinfo.php?s=-1&t=j&v=275604&positionid=

F&B Manager
Fine Dining, Wine-Wise Manager for Celebrated, Innovative Restaurant
NINE-TEN Restaurant/Grande Colonial
La Jolla, CA
http://starchefsjobfinder.com/js-jobinfo.php?s=-1&t=j&v=275261&positionid=

Cook
Enviable M-F Schedule at Private Restaurant in Prudential Center
Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP
Boston, MA
http://starchefsjobfinder.com/js-jobinfo.php?s=-1&t=j&v=275720&positionid=

Chef
We're expanding! Come join our growing company.
Barcelona Restaurant Group
Atlanta, GA
http://starchefsjobfinder.com/js-jobinfo.php?s=-1&t=j&v=275668&positionid=
 14. Featured Chef to Know: Robert del Grande of RDG + Bar Annie

1800 Post Oak Boulevard
Houston, TX 77056
(713) 840-1111

CHEF FACTS
Other Restaurants: Rio Ranch, Café Express, Taco Milagro, The Grove
Cuisine: Southwestern
Born: 1954
Began Career: 1981
Mentor(s): I've learned something from just about everyone over the years. To have had the opportunity to observe and to have collaborated with so many fine chefs has been a great form of mentoring.
Protégée(s): Ben and Maryanne Berryhill, Emit Fox.
Awards: 1998 Culinary Award, Chef of the Year; 1992 James Beard Foundation Best Chef Southwest; Who's Who of Cooking in Texas; Food & Wine Honor Roll of American Chefs
Affiliations: JBF, RCA
Languages Spoken: Kitchen French, kitchen Spanish

NOTABLE DISH(ES): Texan Pecan Pie; Crispy Striped Bass with Parsley Lemon Butter

FAST FACTS
Restaurant Recs: Goode Company BBQ for bbq pork ribs, brisket, jalapeno Czech sausages, bbq turkey, and bbq chicken
Kitchen Tool(s): Basting brush, pens
Interview Question: Do you consider yourself lucky? Are you pessimistic or optimistic?
Flavor Combo(s): I love the combination of spicy flavors with anise-related flavors. Shaved fennel and Serrano chilies would be a good example. Add a little ripe avocado and it's perfect.
Fave Cookbook(s): Cookbooks by Diana Kennedy
Chef to Cook for You: I love to watch regional cooks at work, to taste rustic dishes with a long history that are filled with myth and magic and spirit.
Culinary Travel: Any place with a great local cuisine and a great local beach.
Sammic Logo 15. Recipe for Lemon Scented Bryan Farms Chicken, Fried Brussels Sprouts, Banyuls Vinegar, and Parmesan from Chef Mike Potowski of Benjy's On Washington - Houston, TX
Adapted by StarChefs.com

February 2011

Yield: 4 Servings

INGREDIENTS:
2 free-range, de-boned chickens
½ cup duck fat
¼ cup mirin
¼ cup dry vermouth
¼ cup chicken stock
2 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
Zest of 2 lemons
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups soybean oil
2 cups Brussels sprouts, quartered
2 tablespoons Banyuls vinegar
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese


METHOD:
Put the chicken breasts into one cryovac bag and all the de-boned dark meat into the other cryovac bag. Combine the duck fat, mirin, dry vermouth, chicken stock, thyme, bay leaves, and lemon zest and divide between both bags; seal tightly. Put the marinated chicken into a cooler overnight.

Bring 4 gallons of water to 64°C. Submerge the cryovac chicken in the water bath for 1 hour. Remove the chicken from the bags and pat dry. Season the meat with sea salt and pepper. Sear in a hot oiled pan until the skin is crispy.

Heat the soybean oil to 350°F. Fry the brussels sprouts for 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and place on towels to drain. Put the fried brussels sprouts in a medium-sized mixing bowl and toss with the Banyuls vinegar, parmesan cheese, and sea salt. For each serving, plate 1 chicken breast, leg, and thigh over the brussels sprouts.
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