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Archive | May 4th, 2011

René Bajeux Is Leaving Brasserie Pavil

René Bajeux Is Leaving Brasserie Pavil

Rene Bajeux

René Bajeux is leaving Brasserie Pavil, 1818 N. Loop 1604 W. to return to New Orleans to be closer to his family, a press release from the restaurant says.

“Chef René has helped us assemble one of San Antonio’s most outstanding culinary teams and he leaves the restaurant in very good hands,” said Patrick J. Kennedy, owner of Brasserie Pavil and founder of Watermark Hotel Company. “We understand and respect his desire to be with his family and are very appreciative of what he and the team have accomplished in a very short time frame. The commitment to excellence is a hallmark of Brasserie Pavil and will only continue to grow as we move forward. We wish him all the best.”

For more information about Brasserie Pavil, click here or call 210-479-5000.

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Carne en Salsa de Licores (Pork in Fruit Liqueur Sauce)

Carne en Salsa de Licores (Pork in Fruit Liqueur Sauce)

Use fresh ham, not cured or smoked, in this recipe.

Use fresh ham, not cured or smoked, in this recipe.

This party dish comes from Zarela Martinez’s wonderful “Zarela’s Veracruz,” which is still available in hardcover and paperback from Amazon.com.   You must have fresh ham, not smoked or brine-cured. You can substitute pork loin for the ham, but it could come out dry, so make sure it is well basted.

Carne en Salsa de Licores (Pork in Fruit Liqueur Sauce)

9 garlic cloves, 5 coarsely chopped, 4 left whole
6 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves only, or 2 teaspoons crumbled dried thyme
6 fresh oregano sprigs, leaves only, or 2 teaspoons crumbled dried oregano
10 Italian parsley sprigs
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste, divided use
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 fresh ham, preferably butt half (bone in); about 6 pounds
2-3 tablespoons lard, preferably freshly rendered
1 large white onion, sliced into thin half-moons
6 scallions, green tops only, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups orange liqueur, preferably a low-alcohol brand
1 cup blackberry liqueur, preferably a low-alcohol brand
1 cup cider vinegar

Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, grind the chopped garlic to a paste with the herbs, 1 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. With the top of a sharp knife, pierce shallow incisions all over the ham, and push a little of the paste into each. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Rub a light film of lard all over the meat and season with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Scatter the onion, scallions and whole garlic cloves over the bottom of a large deep baking pan. Place the ham on this bed of aromatics. Combine the liqueurs and vinegar in a medium bowl and pour over the meat. Cover the pan tightly (wrap snugly in several layers of aluminum foil if it has no lid) and bake for 3 hours, turning twice, until tender. Uncover the ham to a platter and let sit for a few minutes before carving.

Meanwhile,, set a medium mesh sieve over a bowl and pour the contents of the roasting pan into it. use a wooden spoon or pusher to force through as much as possible of the flavorful solids.

Carve the ham and pass the pan sauce in a gravy boat.

Makes 8-10 servings.

From “Zarela’s Veracruz” by Zarela Martinez

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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Jalapeño-Lime Marinated Shrimp

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Jalapeño-Lime Marinated Shrimp

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a spicy shrimp dish.

For many, firm, sweet shrimp is a cause for celebration. Then what better way to honor Cinco de Mayo than with an easy shrimp dish, such as Matt Martinez’s Jalapeño-Lime Marinated Shrimp. Serve this colorful dish as an appetizer or as a salad on lettuce leaves.

Jalapeño-Lime Marinated Shrimp

1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 cup chopped or julienned red bell pepper
1 cup coarsely chopped white onion
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar, or less, to taste
1/4 teaspoon crushed leafy oregano (Mexican oregano works best)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Grill or broil the shrimp and let them cool.

In a bowl, mix the bell pepper, onion, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, salt, sugar, oregano and black pepper, and taste for seasoning. Add the shrimp and toss. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

From “MexTex” by Matt Martinez

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An All-You-Can-Eat Buffet, Oysters al Fresco and More Restaurant News

An All-You-Can-Eat Buffet, Oysters al Fresco and More Restaurant News

Oysters at Brasserie Pavil.

The city’s dining scene is bustling with activity and great tastes to tempt all palates.

Oysters on the patio

During Fiesta, Brasserie Pavil, 1818 N. Loop 1604 W., celebrated with an oyster bake on the patio.

Guests seemed to really enjoy the event and, as a result, the restaurant is offering an oyster bake each Thursday.

The menu includes $2 grilled or raw oysters, $2 classic martinis and $2 beers.

Call 210-479-5000.

Start the weekend right

Tommy Moore’s Cafe, 915 S. Hackberry St., is having its monthly all-you-can-eat brunch buffet this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

If you haven’t been to Tommy Moore’s, it’s a haven of home cooking with the fried chicken earning the highest praise. If you have been, then you know what lies in store.

The price is $10.95 for adults and $5.95 for children. Call 210-531-9800 to let them know you’re coming.

Carpaccio at Fig Tree Restaurant.

A mid-week treat

Wanna know the best fine dining secret in town? It’s the Tuesday and Wednesday prix fixe special at Fig Tree Restaurant, 515 Villita St.

Chef Byron Bergeron and his staff prepare a three-course menu that changes weekly. The specials include two choices of appetizer, entrée and dessert for $39. Wine pairings are available for $49.

Recent appetizer options have included smoked duck breast, a summer roll with a peanut sauce or zucchini blossoms with goat cheese and an heirloom tomato coulis. Past entrées options: Steak au Poivre, an oven-roasted prawn, Veal Blanquette with jasmine rice or crispy skin striped bass. Desserts run the gamut from an almond and pear tart to Domino Cake, a creamy house specialty. On a recent Tuesday, it was strawberries flambé prepared tableside.

For reservations, call 210-224-1976. Let your server know you’re interested in the prix fixe.

On the move

Fishland Fish Market, 4941 Walzem Road, is moving. Not far, mind you, just next door. But the new space will be much larger, so more diners can enjoy the kitchen’s seafood specialties. The move should be complete by July.

If you aren’t familiar with this haven of fried seafood, with some of the best hush puppies you’ll ever taste, check out our review. Though it appeared in September 2009, recent visits have shown it to be as good as ever.

Pasha readies second location

Pasha Mediterranean Grill will open a second San Antonio location on Loop 1604 at Blanco Road in June. The restaurant’s original location is at 9339 Wurzbach Road.

Closing

San Antone Cafe and Concerts, formerly Casbeers at the Church, is closing. The owners, Steve Silbas and Barbara Wolfe, have cited personal health reasons and the economy. Whatever the reason, it’s a shame. The owners have helped raised plenty of money for charities over the years through the Gospel Brunch and other fundraisers, while bringing in some fine music.

Many will miss the one-of-a-kind Tex-Mex enchiladas as well as the bean burger, one of the best in the city.

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