Archive | November, 2010

Cranberry Banana Bread Makes a Welcome Gift

Cranberry Banana Bread Makes a Welcome Gift

Bake dried canberries into your banana bread.

Can’t get enough cranberries this time of year? Try them in this banana bread variation.

The recipe comes from “Southern Plate” (William Morrow, $27.50) by Christy Jordan, who gives away the bread during the holiday season. “I love making quick breads to give away,” she says. “They make the perfect little gift and are always appreciated.”

Cranberry Banana Bread

3 bananas, peeled
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
2 eggs
1 cup milk
3 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (6-ounce) package dried cranberries
1 cup chopped nuts, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease and flour 2 loaf pans or 8 mini-loaf pans.

Place the bananas in a large bowl and add the sugar. Mix until the bananas are liquified. Add the margarine and mix until creamed together with the banana mixture. Add eggs, milk, flour, vanilla, cranberries and nuts, if using, and blend well. pour into the loaf pans and bake for 1 hour for regular loaf pans or 30 minutes for mini loaf pans. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Makes 2 loaves or 8 mini-loaves.

From “Southern Plate” by Christy Jordan

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Garden-Style Frittata

Garden-Style Frittata

A frittata is an open-faced omelet. It is easy to make, and would be a welcome addition to breakfast in the colder weeks to come. Or, serve it as a lunch or light supper dish, along with salad and crusty bread.

Red Gold Tomatoes offers recipes at

The chopped tomatoes and chiles in this recipe are packed by Red Gold Tomatoes, which also developed the recipe. It takes about 15 minutes to prepare. For more Red Gold Tomatoes recipes, visit To order the cookbook, which sells for $12,  click here.

Garden-Style Frittata

8 eggs
1/2 cup finely grated Romano or other Italian cheese(s)
7 fresh sage leaves, de-stemmed and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 medium-sized scallions with tops, thinly sliced
2 (14.5-ounce) cans Red Gold Diced Tomatoes Mexican Fiesta, or other canned diced tomatoes with mild chiles, well drained

Beat the eggs in a bowl with a fork just until blended. Stir in the cheese, sage, salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the scallions Add the remaining scallions to the hot skillet.

Cook for a minute or so until they have wilted. Add the egg mixture, tilting the skillet to ensure even coverage. Reduce the heat to low. Cook for 3 minutes, lifting the edge of the frittata with a wooden spoon to allow the uncooked egg to flow underneath; do not stir.

Spoon the diced, well-drained tomatoes over the top of the frittata. Cooke for 2-3 minutes or just until the eggs begin to set. Sprinkle with the reserved scallions. Broil for 1-2 minutes until the frittata is lightly browned and the tomatoes are hot.

Makes 6 servings.

From Red Gold Tomatoes

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Whole Foods Schedules Free Events, Festive Tips

Whole Foods Schedules Free Events, Festive Tips

Whole Foods, in Quarry Market, 255 E. Basse Road, is gearing up for the holidays ahead with these free events over three Saturdays.

Celebration Starters

Noon-2 p.m. Saturday

Let Whole Foods put you in the mood for what to serve at upcoming holiday parties and get-togethers.  This presentation will give you ideas for some healthy and delicious appetizers.

Enjoy wines for holiday meals, plus chocolate and cheese at Whole Foods.

Wine, Chocolate and Cheese Pairing

Noon-2 p.m. Dec. 11 in the Specialty Department

During the holiday season, the spotlight is often on chocolate, wine and cheese. The Specialty Department will be highlighting these three favorites.

Holiday Top Ten Wine Tasting

Noon – 2 p.m. Dec. 18 in the Specialty Department

This holiday season every sip is a story.  Stock up and pour affordable, easy-going wines around the table with family, and toast the year’s memories with friends when the clock strikes 12.  Let the wine set the mood so you don’t miss a minute of the fun.  From a French bubbly, Riesling and Pouilly-Fuisse to a Tempranillo, Syrah and more — this selection of top 10 wines will have something to please everyone.

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Tips for Making Great Latkes

Tips for Making Great Latkes

Latkes at Roaring Fork

Roaring Fork, 1806 N. Loop 1604 W., will be serving latkes during Hanukkah, Dec. 1-8. The fried potato cakes will be paired with applesauce.

Jewish people traditionally eat fried food during Hanukkah to commemorate the oil that was supposed to only last one night, yet miraculously burned for eight days when the Maccabees purified and rededicated the holy Temple in Jerusalem more than 2,000 years ago following their victory over the Greeks, according to the restaurant.  Fried potato pancakes (“latkes in Yiddish or “levivot” in Hebrew) are a Jewish culinary tradition that dates back at least 900 years.

“Growing up, I looked forward to latkes at the dinner table this time of year, so seeing them at Roaring Fork brings back a lot of memories,” said Barbra Hamil, general manager of the restaurant. “This is the start of a great tradition at the restaurant.”

Executive chef Matt Inouye offers the following tips if you are making latkes at your home:

  • Purée slightly to make the potatoes lacey.
  • Soak the potatoes in club soda to keep them white and crisp.
  • Purée slightly after shredding to give them a more delicate mouth feel.
  • If too loose, use a little potato flour to help them crisp.

For more information, call 210-479-9700.

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Bohanan’s Dresses Up Latkes for Hanukkah

Bohanan’s Dresses Up Latkes for Hanukkah

Latkes come in a host of flavors at Bohanan's.

Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood, 219 E. Houston St., is sparkling for the Festival of Lights this year.

The restaurant is celebrating Hanukkah by serving up a series of gourmet latkes paired with an international array of vodkas.

“This seemed like a very natural pairing because both latkes and vodka are made from potatoes,” chef and owner Mark Bohanan says. “We have hand-selected premium vodkas that will complement the flavors of the latkes beautifully.”

The five-course latke sampler starts with a potato and caraway latke with Gruyère, green apple and garnished with roasted beet purée. It’s is partnered with Chopin Vodka from Poland. Another Polish vodka, Ultimate, is paired with a celery leaf and potato latke topped with house-cured salmon, crème fraîche and fresh dill before being finished with salmon roe.

Potato and fennel latkes with oven-roasted  San Marzano tomatoes and black pepper are served topped with California Reserve White Sturgeon. Zodiac Vodka from Idaho is on the side. Potato and red onion latkes with cucumber tzatziki and Hackleback American Caviar are paired with Luksusowa Vodka from Poland. Finally, traditional latkes with ossetra caviar are served with Monopolowa Vodka from Austria.

The traditional latkes are on the regular menu Dec. 1-8. To arrange a tasting of the gourmet latkes with the vodka for parties of 10 or more, call 210-885-0538. The cost of the tasting is $65 a person. Click here for more information.

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Chefs’ Corner: Bohanan’s Traditional Hanukkah Latkes

Chefs’ Corner: Bohanan’s Traditional Hanukkah Latkes

Bohanan's Traditional Hanukkah Latkes

Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood, 219 E. Houston St., is getting into the holiday spirit by offering a series of gourmet latkes for Hanukkah. Beets, caraway seeds, fennel and red onion are among the ingredients used to dress up the traditional fried potato cakes.

“This is my favorite time of the year,” chef Mark Bohanan says. “I love pulling out all the stops.”

If you prefer to celebrate at home, the kitchen at Bohanan’s is happy to help by providing the following recipe to make your Festival of Lights more joyous.

Bohanan’s Traditional Hanukkah Latkes

1 large baking potato, peeled
1/2 small white onion
1 egg
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon flour
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Oil for pan frying
Sour cream, for garnish
Fresh cut chives, for garnish
Ossetra caviar, for garnish

On a box grater, grate the potato and onion into a bowl.

Squeeze out excess liquid and place the dry potato/onion mixture back into the bowl.

Add egg, parsley, flour, salt and pepper; mix well.

Heat 1/2 cup of oil in a heavy skillet to 325  degrees.

Add 1/2 cup mounds of potato/onion mixture to the hot oil and flatten down to 3/4-inch thick pancakes.

Cook for 3 1/2 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crisp.

Remove from oil and allow to drain on papper towels.

Serve topped with sour cream (mixed with horseradish, to taste), fresh cut chives and ossetra caviar, if desired.

Makes 4 to 5 latkes.

From Heather Nañez/Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood

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More Donations Needed at Food Bank

More Donations Needed at Food Bank

Sean Elliott and Claudia Zapata (center) are joined by volunteers to help the Food Bank.More than 400 San Antonians gave up some of their tiem last Saturday to donate a frozen turkey and help families in need during the annual San Antonio Food Bank Turkey Round-Up.

But more help is needed.

At the Nov. 20 event, former Spurs player Sean Elliott and his wife, Claudia Zapata, joined Security Service Federal Credit Union volunteers to collect 486 turkeys, and the credit union matched the donation with 4,860 pounds of food towards the total goal of collecting a million pounds of food during the Food 4 SA November food drive.

Even with subsequent donations, the Food Bank is behind in its goal. It still needs 200,000 pounds.

The best way to help, according to the organization, is to make an online donation at where you can donate 100 pounds of groceries for $10 or drop off non-perishable food items and monetary donations at any Security Service Federal Credit Union location through the end of November.

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Chefs’ Corner: Frost Pot Pie

Chefs’ Corner: Frost Pot Pie

Frost Pot Pie

Few foods are as comforting on a cold evening as a chicken pot pie with a flaky crust on top and a creamy filling chock full of meat and vegetables. This Southern-influenced version is now available at Frost, the outdoor ice-skating rink at the Westin La Cantera, and throughout the resort at 16641 La Cantera Parkway.

Sous chef John Herdman says you can use leftover turkey in the recipe. Just add it after the cornstarch slurry.

Frost Pot Pie

1 tablespoon clarified butter
1 cup white onion,  diced small
3 bay leaves
4 (6-ounce pieces) chicken breast, cleaned and diced small
1 cup carrots, diced small
½ cup celery, diced small
½ cup parsnips, diced small
2 cups green peas
2 tablespoons sugar
1 quart chicken stock
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
½ teaspoon white pepper
½ tablespoon black pepper
1 ½ tablespoons Tabasco
1 quart cream
1 quart whole milk
½ cup cornstarch (mix with ½ cup of water to make a slurry)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Salt, to taste

For plating:
6 to 8 large mugs
6 to 8 pieces of puff pastry cut into rounds that fit the tops of the mugs.
2 whisked eggs


Bring a heavy bottomed pot to medium-high heat on the stove.

Once pot is hot, add butter and allow to warm for 10 seconds.

Add the onions and bay leaves and then caramelize them for about 4 minutes.

Add the diced chicken and sauté in the pot for 2 minutes.

Once the chicken is sautéed, add the carrots, celery, parsnips, peas and sugar.

Allow to cook together for 8 minutes.

Add the chicken stock to the pot, and bring to a simmer.

Simmer chicken stock until it reduces by half.

Whisk in garlic powder, turmeric, white and black pepper, and Tabasco.

Once spices are fully incorporated, pour in cream and milk, then bring to a simmer.

Once mixture is simmering, slowly whisk in cornstarch slurry, it will begin to thicken.

Thicken pot pie to your desired consistency, I prefer for it to heavily coat a spoon.

Season thickened filling with rice wine vinegar and salt to taste.

To plate: Ladle pot pie filling into large mugs and top with puff pastry round.

Brush tops with egg and place into a 350-degree oven for 6 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes and serve.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

From John Herdman/Westin La Cantera

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Hyatt Hill Country Bottles Its 99 Brand Salsa

Hyatt Hill Country Bottles Its 99 Brand Salsa

If you’ve ever stayed at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, you probably tasted the salsa, made from roasted tomatoes, onions and jalapeños. It’s a taste many of you have wanted to take with you upon leaving.

Well, now you can.

The Hyatt has begun to bottle its 99 Brand Salsa, which the resort’s culinary team, led by chefs Jeffrey Axell and Troy Knapp, have made ready for mass production.

The name is derived from the cattle brands that Texas began registering in the 1830’s.  D. G. Rogers, founder of the Rogers-Wiseman ranch, now home to the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, designed the 99 brand and officially registered it in 1888.

Family legend states that Rogers chose the 99 after a passage in the Bible, where the question was asked, “If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the 99 and go to look for the one that wandered off?” This parable was directed at his son Henry, who preferred to spend time in town socializing in San Antonio’s Produce Row to a hard day’s work on the ranch.

The salsa is the first in a trilogy of products that will be labeled under the 99 Brand. A barbecue sauce and dry rub are in production and will be available soon. The 16-ounce jars of salsa are available in the hotel’s General Store for $6. Call 210-647-1234.

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Use Leftovers in BLT Turkey Tacos

Use Leftovers in BLT Turkey Tacos

Use bacon and leftover turkey in tacos.

Use the leftover dark meat in these little treats, which are best served on small street-size corn tortillas.

BLT Turkey Tacos

8 ounces boneless leftover turkey meat, with skin, if desired
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 large gloves garlic, peeled
Kosher salt, to taste
1/4 cup mayonnaise
About 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
12 (4-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
2 strips bacon, cooked crisp and broken up, or more to taste
1 cup shredded lettuce
4 pickled jalapeños, diced, or to taste
1/2 cup pico de gallo

Preheat a heavy (preferably cast iron) sauté pan over medium heat. Toss the turkey with the oil. Reheat.

Crush the garlic with a pinch of salt to a smooth paste and stir it into the mayonnaise. Thin the mixture with the extra-virgin olive oil.

Thinly slice the turkey, trying to keep some of the skin on each slice, if using. Place a bit of turkey in a warm tortilla; top it with bacon, lettuce, jalapeños and pico de gallo.

Variation: Add crumbled blue cheese or sharp white cheddar.

Makes 12 small tacos.

Adapted from “Amor y Tacos” by Deborah Schneider

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