Archive | August 31st, 2011

On the Grill: Mojo Beef Kebabs

On the Grill: Mojo Beef Kebabs

Thick sirloin kebabs grilled on a skewer, marinated in a citrusy Mojo Sauce.

Mojo sauce is a classic combination of lime, garlic and oregano. It is also great with whole grilled steaks such as flank or top loin steaks. This recipe is from “The Healthy Beef Cookbook” (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.).


Mojo Beef Kebabs

Mojo Sauce
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon salt

Beef Kebabs
1 pound boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 1 inch thick
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 large lime, cut into 8 wedges
1 medium onion, cut into 8 wedges
1 container grape or cherry tomatoes (about 10 ounces)

Place Mojo Sauce ingredients in small bowl. Set aside. Cut beef steak into 1 1/4 inch pieces; season with pepper.

Alternately thread beef with lime and onion wedges evenly onto four 12-inch metal skewers. Thread tomatoes evenly onto four 12-inch metal skewers.

Place kebabs on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill tomato kebabs, uncovered, about 2 to 4 minutes or until slightly softened, turning occasionally. Grill beef kebabs, uncovered, about 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally.

Serve kebabs drizzled with sauce, accompanied by tomato skewers.

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Spectacular Brilliance: My Pursuit of the Perfect Pairing

Spectacular Brilliance: My Pursuit of the Perfect Pairing

Troy Knapp

By Troy Knapp

The process of winemaking, essentially, is quite simple; these miraculous berries almost ferment themselves, with their natural yeast on the outside and the sugars and juice on the inside. When simply crushed, the elements combine and under the right environment can produce something that is mysterious and seductive.

Such a simple process, and the end result can yield extreme complexity in the glass. “Notes of caramel, butterscotch and honey with hints of orange blossom and baking spices, minerality and tropical fruit backed by racy acidity and a long finish that is dry on the palate” — that’s why it’s wine for me. Don’t get me wrong, a hand-crafted beer or cocktail can be quite delicious; however, wine is unique and its relation to food unparalleled.

The more I’ve learned about wine, the more I was seduced: intrigued to a level of excessiveness. As a chef, I felt this was crucial in the pursuit of a heightened experience. It was clear to me, that even if I perfected a dish, it is void of its overall pinnacle that only wine could provide. It was the theory of 1 + 1 = 3. I needed to know more. I started studying and, of course, tasting, quite a bit! Homework has never been so much fun. I had been in the hotel business for 20 years and had always enjoyed a great glass of wine. I had cooked for my fair share of winemaker dinners, lived close to the Central Coast wine region in California, which I visited regularly.

For all intents and purposes, I thought I was pretty well versed on wine. All that changed when I sat in a Las Vegas classroom with the Court of Master Sommeliers for the level one exam. Two days of high intensity lectures, blind tastings and service skills, all culminated with a theory exam that shook me up pretty good. I passed; however, at that moment I realized that although I had been around wine in a fairly high capacity for years, I had never truly actively studied it. If I wanted to learn and delve deeper into my passion I would have take this seriously and dedicate myself to a strict study regimen. There were doubts. Where would I fit this in to my already crazy life of being an executive chef, where a 65- to 70-hour work week was considered normal and still be a good spouse and a dedicated father to my two young children? My wife was extremely supportive and truly became my coach. I worked like crazy to absorb as much as I could to prepare for the next step.

Flash-forward one year later and I was on a flight to Seattle for the level two certification exam from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Everything I had worked for over the course of the previous year came down to one day of testing. The countless hours of studying, blind tasting and absorbing paid off; I passed the exam and was able to return home with the title of Certified Sommelier. Studying and tastings are now a routine part of my life and continued education will always be important in my passion for food and wine.

Wine pairing can be simple or complex, it all depends on how deep you want to go. A few common “safe” rules can take you far and faithfully deliver a consistent result. However, by delving deeper and taking a leap of faith, you just may create an experience of sheer and spectacular brilliance. This column will explore food and wine pairing possibilities, but more so, inspire you to go outside your comfort zone in the effort to create memorable and lasting experiences.

As the actor W.C. Fields said, “I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.” Cheers!

Troy Knapp is executive chef at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort, including Antlers Lodge. He’s also a Certified Sommelier and Certified Specialist of Wine. 



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Daily Dish: Dady BBQ Sauces Win Big

Daily Dish: Dady BBQ Sauces Win Big

Two Bros BBQ Market, a Jason Dady restaurant at 12656 West Avenue, took two top prizes, and more, at the 2nd Annual Gettin’ Sauced BBQ competition in Austin this past weekend. 

The restaurant’s Sweet Sauce placed first in the Mustard Category and Tamarind Sauce placed first in the Fresh category.

Some 185 barbecue sauces from 26 states, plus Canada and England, were judged by a panel in the competition.

Two Bros. Shiner Black Coffee & Molasses placed second in the Miscellaneous Category and Two Bros. Spicy BBQ Sauce placed 3rd in the Spicy Category.

Two Bros BBQ Market is open daily at 11.

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