Archive | July 27th, 2009

Daily Dish: Earl Abel’s Adds Key Lime Pie

Daily Dish: Earl Abel’s Adds Key Lime Pie

A good Key lime pie recipe is a joy forever, as owner Roger Arias has discovered at Earl Abel’s. The restaurant is now selling the pie, originally developed for Father’s Day. Arias says it will be on the menu permanently.

Other news from Earl’s includes two meat recipes chosen for San Antonio appetites and added to the menu.  Arias says the Beef Ribs are made with his wife Di-Anna’s recipe for barbecue sauce. The other dish is Kiolbassa Sausage, split and grilled, then served with German potato salad, red cabbage, mustard and horseradish.  Arias expects this dish to have particular appeal to his customers.

Earl Abel’s is open daily at 1201 Austin Hwy.

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Ask a Foodie: Fried Shrimp in Port Aransas

Ask a Foodie: Fried Shrimp in Port Aransas

jean_victor_balin_toque1Q. We are driving down to Port Aransas to find some good fried shrimp tomorrow. Can you tell me a couple of good places to try?  -Kathy

A. I have always enjoyed the fried seafood at Snoopy’s Pier, 13313 South Padre Drive, south of Corpus Christi. Another place worth investigating is Marcel’s Restaurant, 905 Hwy. 361. It is largely known for its fine dining and German cuisine, but people have praised its fried shrimp.

If you have a dining question, e-mail If you have any further suggestions on places to get great fried shrimp in Port A, post them below.

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Griffin to Go: Salsas With Full Fruit Flavor

Griffin to Go: Salsas With Full Fruit Flavor

salsas2The produce section of my neighborhood supermarket has been flooded with fresh fruit lately. And I can’t seem to say no to any of it.

This morning, peaches were 88 cents a pound. And while they may not be Fredericksburg’s finest, they have had good flavor, especially if I wait a couple of days before cutting into them.

Mandarin oranges were under $1 a pound, and while the bing cherries have slipped up a little in price from a rock-bottom under $2 a pound, they were still a bargain.

Watermelon is a staple in my house, as are lemons and limes.

What do you do with all of that fruit? Cobblers? Fruit salads?

I like to make fruit salsas. Oranges chopped up with radishes, mint or fennel. Watermelon with Kalamata olives and feta cheese. Lime juice and a pinch of salt make a perfect dressing when needed.

Here are a few recipes I’ve chopped up recently and a couple I’ve planned for the near future. The first two are adapted from “Salsas: The Santa Fe Cooking School Series,” by Susan Curtis and Kathi Lang. The remainder are inspired by the way the flavors and textures in those recipes have been layered.

Mango Salsa

Great with grilled tuna or salmon as well as fish tacos. Or make a fish salad by added 1 pound of grilled tuna or salmon to the recipe.

2 large ripe mangoes
1/2 English cucumber, cut into ¼-inch dice, or 1 medium cucumber, seeded, cut into ¼-inch dice
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and cut in ¼-inch dice
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1 jalapeño or 2 serranos, minced
Lime juice, to taste
Salt, to taste

Peel the mangoes with a mango cutter or a small sharp knife. Cut the flesh away from the large flat pit in two pieces, then cut it from the narrow edges of the pit. Cut these pieces into ¼-inch dice.

In a medium bowl, combine the diced mango, cucumber, onion, red pepper, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice and salt. Toss gently.

Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Makes 3 cups.

Adapted from “Salsas: The Santa Fe Cooking School Series,” by Susan Curtis and Kathi Lang

Bing Cherry-Pistachio Salsa

Serve this with quail, game, duck or good to garnish a cold soup of melon or cherries.

8 ounces fresh bing cherries, stems and pits removed, or 10 ounces frozen bing cherries, thawed
½ cup shelled, toasted, roughly chopped pistachios or ½ cup toasted pine nuts
¼ cup cilantro chiffonade
1 tablespoon juice from chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
Pinch of coarse salt, to taste
Pinch of sugar, to taste
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, to taste

Roughly chop cherries and stir in pistachios, cilantro, chipotle juice, salt, sugar and lime juice. Serve.

Makes 1 ½ to 2 cups.

Adapted from “Salsas: The Santa Fe Cooking School Series,” by Susan Curtis and Kathi Lang

salsasPeach and Jicama Salsa

This would be good atop simply sautéed white fish or roasted pork loin.

3 freestone peaches, peeled, seeded and cut into ¼-inch dice
½ cup peeled and cubed jicama
1 medium red onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
1 tablespoon mint, cut into chiffonade
1 jalapeño, minced
Lime juice, to taste
Salt, to taste

Combine peaches, jicama, onion, mint, jalapeño, lime juice and salt. Let sit 20 minutes.

Cucumber-Lime Salsa

This would be good on white fish or as a side salad.

1 English cucumber, cut into ¼-inch dice, or 1 1/2 large cucumbers, seeded and cut ¼-inch dice
1 red onion, chopped
Salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes, or to taste
¼ cup flat Italian parsley chiffonade, sorrel chiffonade or mint chiffonade (or a combination of any of the three), divided use
Juice of 1 lime
Zest of 1 lime

In a bowl, mix cucumber, onion and a sprinkling of salt. Let sit for 10 minutes. Drain any juices. Mix in chile flakes, all but 1 tablespoon of herbs and lime juice. Let sit for another 10 minutes for flavors to settle. Garnish with lime zest and reserved herbs.

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Monday’s Contest: ‘Julie & Julia’ Giveaways — Plus Chocolate!

Monday’s Contest: ‘Julie & Julia’ Giveaways — Plus Chocolate!

** UPDATE ** This contest is now closed.

Thank you to everyone that entered, and congratulations to the winners!

First-prize winners:

  • Lisa Calcagni
  • Juliana Perez
  • Mary Anthony
  • David Lent
  • Perny Shea

Second-prize winners:

  • Ashley Harris
  • Sue Duffy
  • Grace Gribble
  • Rachel Benefiel
  • Carryn Sheehan

Third-prize winners:

  • Sandy White
  • Julia Rosenfeld
  • Natalie Barajas
  • Juliana Connolly
  • Jason Carpentier


Think chocolate!

SavorSA and COCO Chocolate Lounge & Bistro have a really sweet deal for some lucky San Antonio moviegoers in Monday’s big drawing.  In addition to free passes for two to the Tuesday, July 28th special screening of “Julie & Julia,” five first-place winners will receive gift certificates for an appetizer or a dessert. The COCO gift certificates will be valid through August.  (The movie officially opens Friday, Aug. 7. )

SavorSA also will give away five more pairs of passes to second-place winners. And just to keep the numbers simple, we’ll give away movie posters to five third-place winners as well.

Giveaway passes to the screening Tuesday will be for a specific time and place (no exchanges available).

If winners visit COCO, at 18402 U.S. 281, Suite 114, the day of the screening and mention SavorSA and their winning tickets, they will get another special treat from the lounge.  (COCO will have the list of the winners from SavorSA Tuesday.)


To see a trailer of the movie, go to

Here’s the synopsis:

Meryl Streep is Julia Child and Amy Adams is Julie Powell in writer-director Nora Ephron’s adaptation of two bestselling memoirs: Powell’s “Julie & Julia” and “My Life in France,” by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme.

Based on two true stories, “Julie & Julia” intertwines the lives of two women who, though separated by time and space, are both at loose ends until they discover that with the right combination of passion, fearlessness and butter, anything is possible.

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