Archive | December 30th, 2012

Have a Happy, Productive New Year. SavorSA Wishes You the Best!

Have a Happy, Productive New Year. SavorSA Wishes You the Best!

Looking over the year as it makes its way out can be surprising — not so much at the ways in which one failed, but at the successes.

As we review our year at SavorSA, we thank the many friends who contributed in such positive ways,  whether it was by submitting freelance articles and columns, story ideas, news or events, informing SavorSA about, and inviting us to culinary happenings around the city — and just by staying in touch.

We thank those who have advertised, as well as those who have commented on our website and posts, whether positively or critically. Your words are never taken lightly.

We count among our successes the “Food Lovers’ Guide to San Antonio,” which we started late in 2011. It was published this fall and is now selling well. The fact that our publishers had to cut some of the text we so enthusiastically submitted meant that not every restaurant we reviewed and included in the manuscript made it into the final edition. In fact, a chapter we submitted that included the city’s wine and spirits stores and other wine-related material had to be cut almost entirely. We’ll be looking forward to remedying this in a possible second edition.

Readers, you are our ultimate success. We appreciate those who take the time to read, write, suggest and inform. To you, we also wish a new year full of health, happiness and promise!

Finally, we appreciate the accomplishments of so many in the city’s growing culinary scene. We congratulate and support you in your successes, and wish you a very happy, safe and successful new year. (To read a round-up of culinary milestones in 2012, by John Griffin, click here.)

John Griffin, Bonnie Walker



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Cowgirl Chef: Mom’s Black-eyed Peas

Cowgirl Chef: Mom’s Black-eyed Peas

Ellise Pierce, author of “Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent,” offers her mother’s black-eyed pea recipe, which she recreated during her sojourn as a writer, then cooking teacher, then cookbook writer in Paris. Pierce relates that she can’t remember where she purchased her first sack of black-eyed peas in her adopted home. “It was either at one of the North African stores in Belleville, or at the Filipino grocer in my neighborhood — and when I found them in a hefty, 1-kilo bag, it was like I’d just found a piece of home.”

If the South, here in the USA is your home, or likely even if it’s not, black-eyed peas are a delicious staple on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. If you have the Cowgirl Chef’s recipe for Jalapeno Cornbread, it just gets better.

Happy New Year!

Mom’s Black-eyed Peas

Olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 of a red bell pepper, diced
1/2 of a green bell pepper, diced
About 8 ounces ham, preferably smoked ham but use whatever ham you like, cut into fat pieces
1 pound dried black-eyed peas soaked for 8 hours or overnight
About 6 cups water
A big pinch of cayenne pepper
A few drops of Tabasco sauce
Sea salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Drizzle a little olive oil in the bottom of a deep, large stockpot, add the onions and garlic and turn the heat to medium. Cook until the onions become translucent , just a few minutes. Add the red and green bell pepper and let this cook for a minute or two. Toss in the ham, drained black-eyed peas, water, cayenne and Tabasco. I also add a pinch of black pepper at this point, but not the salt. I add salt later. Let this come to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 2 hours or until the  peas have that nice, perfect “bite” — a pop of the skin with soft insides.

Makes 6-8 servings.

From “Cowgirl Chef: Cooking with a Texas Accent” by Ellise Pierce

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Cowgirl Chef: Jalapeño Cornbread

Cowgirl Chef: Jalapeño Cornbread

A simple Southern meal, says cookbook author Ellise Pierce, is black-eyed peas with ham — and cornbread. In Texas, we add jalapeños. It’s just the way we do things. This bread is crusty on the outside, tender inside, and you can add just as much — or little — chopped jalapeño as you like.

Jalapeño Cornbread

4 tablespoons bacon grease or butter
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup canned corn, drained
3-4 pickled jalapeños, chopped, or to taste
2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. When it is hot put the bacon grease or butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and slide it into the oven. If you are using a baking dish, spread a tablespoonful of the butter or bacon grease around in the dish and set aside while you mix the batter.

Mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add milk and eggs and stir this all up. Fold in everything else — onion, garlic, corn, chopped jalapeños and grated cheese. If you’re using the skillet, pull it out of the oven, pour the grease or butter into the corn bread mixture and quickly mix it up. Then pour the mixture into the skillet. This is how you get that nice, crispy brown crust. Pop this back into the oven tor 40-45 minutes. It’s done when the cornbread is brown and top feels nice and firm.

If you are using a baking dish, melt the bacon grease or butter and put it in the cornbread mixture. Then, pour the batter into the baking dish and put in the oven, proceeding as above.When done and cooled for a few minutes, cut into wedges if you are using the skillet, or into squares if using a square baking pan.

Makes 1 (10-inch) skillet of cornbread.

Adapted from “Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent” by Ellise Pierce

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