Tag Archive | "Lent"

Sunday Brunch at Francesca’s, Mediterranean at Tangeré and More Restaurant Happenings

Graduation night offer from Rainforest Café

High school principals in San Antonio, are you worried about your seniors partying too hardy on graduation night and then attempting to drive? You might want to consider an offer from Rainforest Café, 110 E. Crockett St.

The restaurant is offering you the chance to set up a lock-in with an all-night dance and no alcoholic drinks. General manager Rocco Valentino sees this as part of the restaurant’s mission to serve the community. “I personally visit local schools, day care centers, elementaries,” he says. “We’re here and we want to do what we can to help.”

If you are interested in Project Graduation Night, contact Valentino at 210-227-6300.

RiverTini Pour-Off at Brasserie Pavil

This year’s RiverTini Pour-Off is at Brasserie Pavil, 1818 N. Loop 1604 W. It runs 5-7 p.m. March 31.

Other restaurants competing for the right to claim it makes the city’s best martini include Aldaco’s Stone Oak, Auden’s Kitchen, Boudro’s, the Cork Bar at the Hotel Contessa, Jason Dady’s restaurants, Lüke, Q at the Hyatt Regency, the Grand Hyatt, Quarry Hofbrau, the Vbar at the Hotel Valencia, and the Westin La Cantera Resort.

All proceeds benefit the San Antonio River Foundation. Click here for tickets, priced at $50 apiece.

Tangeré adds a Mediterranean touch

Tangeré is a Spanish word for touch. It’s also the name of a new restaurant at 4230 McCullough Ave. that chef Erick Abrams hopes will touch your taste buds.

Abrams, formerly of Métropolitain in the Quarry, has taken over the spot where Shiraz once was. For his new place, he has planned a Mediterranean menu of varied flavors that cover the map.

The onion soup with Gruyère will remind you of France, while the jamon Iberico Férmin will transport you back to Spain. Gnocchi and duck confit ravioli conjure images of Italy, and tagine of lamb and harissa summons memories of Morocco.

For dessert, sample a limoncello soufflé or an apple tarte tatin made to order.

Tangeré is open Monday-Friday for lunch and Monday-Saturday for dinner. Call 210-822-6644 for reservations. Click here for a menu.

Lobster salad with local Bluebonnet greens.

Francesca’s at Brunch

The Westin La Cantera Resort’s premiere restaurant, Francesca’s at Sunset, is now offering a classic Sunday brunch.

Brunch will be 10:30 a.m.–2 p.m. and will be served a la carte from a menu of appetizers and entrees through desserts.

Look for treats such as berries sabayon, lobster salad, chocolate almond French toast to customized eggs Benedict.  Guests can also explore the restaurant’s house-made Texas strawberry and apple honey jams, and desserts such as seasonal fruit crepes and Limencello berries.

Brunch beverages range from juices, iced and hot Tea Forte, and award-winning coffees.  As well, guests can match their mid- morning meal with a selection of cocktails such as freshly squeezed mimosa’s or Bloody Mary’s, mixed with a combination of fresh ingredients infused with vodka.

Seating is limited and reservations can be made by visiting or

Appetizers are between $6-12 and entrees vary from $12-22. The resort is at 16641 La Cantera Parkway.

The Chicken Pasta Roll at Z'Tejas.

Lobster tacos, aged beef tenderloin on spring menu at Z’Tejas

Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill at the Shops at La Cantera, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, has introduced a new menu for the spring that features some lighter dishes and a few plates perfect for Lent.

The new items include chipotle-sautéed lobtser tacos with avocado, a smoked chicken pasta roll with either picante cream or green chile sauce, and a chicken and goat cheese salad with strawberries, grapefruit and a creamy cilantro vinaigrette.

Flame-grilled mahi-mahi is coated with a charred pineapple rub and topped with mango salsa while the aged beef tenderloin is served with lobster.

A new dessert is Mission Fig Beignets served warm with a raspberry sauce.

Call 210-690-3334.

CPA Special at Morton’s

Morton’s the Steakhouse, 300 E. Crockett St., is having a drawing to reward a certified public accountant this tax season.

April 18 has been designated CPA Appreciation Day. On that day, the winners of dinner for two will be announced.

To enter the contest,  call Morton’s at 210-228-0700 before April 17 to submit your name, phone number and e-mail address. The winner will be notified by phone and will have to bring proof of being a CPA.

Aldaco's Chicken Fajita Cobb Salad

Aldaco's Chicken Fajita Cobb.

Springtime salads at Aldaco’s in Sunset Station

Aldaco’s in Sunset Station, 100 E. Hoefgen St., has introduced a series of salads for spring.

The lineup now includes:

  • Aldaco’s Chicken Fajita Cobb with chopped bacon, shredded cheese, egg and rajas de poblano with a roasted jalapeño ranch dressing.
  • Tres Marias with romaine, rajas de poblano, sunflower sees and queso fresco in a lime-cilantro dressing.
  • Ensalada Nido de Avocado with chicken salad on avocado halves, jícama, and carrots in the lime-cilantro dressing.
  • Boone’s Salad features chicken, beef or grilled shrimp on lettuce, tomato and more with the lime-cilantro dressing.

Lenten specials include fish and chips Aldaco’s style, shrimp or fish tacos,  and   Pescado Aldaco, pan-seared mahi-mahi and two grilled shrimp with a mild chile de arbol garlic butter sauce.

Call 210-222-0561.

For a limited time

  • Marioli, 18730 Tuscany Stone, is offering fish tacos during Lent. Call 210-496-1111.
  • Smashburger, with various locations around the city, has introduced an Oreo Mint Milkshake to its lineup for a limited time.

Bonnie Walker contributed to this report.

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Zucchini Salad Crowns Jamie Oliver’s Tuna on Roasted Salsa

How hot do you like your salsa? Use 2 or 3 chiles in the recipe to taste.

Jamie Oliver’s dish isn’t just appropriate for Lent; it is healthful and very colorful.

Tuna on Roasted Salsa

2 to 3 fresh green chiles
2 green bell peppers
1 red onion, peeled and halved
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
3 medium red tomatoes
Juice of 3 limes
Large handful of fresh cilantro
Olive oil

Zucchini salad:
2 zucchini or yellow squash
Handful of fresh mint, leaves picked and chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon

4-by-7 ounce (1-inch thick) pieces of sustainably caught (sushi grade) tuna
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

First get your salsa going. Prick the chiles all over, then, on a hot grill or grill pan, blacken and blister the salsa vegetables. Once nice and black all over, pop them into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and put to one side. Halve and seed the bell peppers and chiles, then peel the skins off the charred veggies. Don’t wash any of these veggies under the tap or you’ll wash away their wonderful flavors.

At this point, get the tuna out of the refrigerator  so it has time to come up to room temperature. Put all your charred vegetables into a food processor. Add lime juice, cilantro, a generous pinch of salt and pepper, and a few good lugs of olive oil, and pulse until it is  the right consistency for you. Have a taste — it’s important to get the flavors right, so add more salt, pepper or lime juice until you’re happy. Put the salsa into a bowl and set aside. Remember to check the seasoning later, as the flavors may change.

Peel the zucchini or squash lengthwise into thin ribbons. If you’ve got big zucchini, avoid the fluffy center. Put these ribbons into a bowl with the mint leaves, then drizzle with a good glug of extra-virgin olive oil and the lemon juice and toss until nicely coated.

Put the grill pan on a high heat and let it get screaming hot. Drizzle the tuna with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper on both sides. Lay it in the hot pan and sear for 2 to 3 minutes on each side if you like it blushing like I do, or for a little longer if you prefer.

Put a big spoonful of salsa on each of your plates and lay a piece of tuna on top. Give the zucchini salad a good squeeze of lemon juice and another drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, taste it for seasoning, then plonk a nice handful of ribbons over each piece of tuna. Such fresh flavors.

Makes 4 servings.

From “Jamie’s America” by Jamie Oliver

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Don’t Sacrifice Flavor for Lent

Ash Wednesday signals the start of Lent, 40 days of remembrance and self-sacrifice for many.

It is also a time when many give up eating red meat. Seafood sales at markets and restaurants throughout San Antonio skyrocket during this time, as a result.

But preparing seafood dishes is still something many don’t like. They don’t know how to go about selecting fresh fish, and they aren’t comfortable preparing it. Because some seafood is expensive, people are shy about experimenting with it.

The best advice for selecting seafood is to talk with the people at the counter about what you like and what you are willing to make. They will likely have ideas you can follow, tips on handling the seafood and advice on cooking times.

Here are a few tips to remember:

  • Keep the seafood cold. Don’t buy fish and leave it in the car for even 15 minutes before you get home. If you are not going directly home, bring a cooler and have your fishmonger put some ice in the bag to keep it as cold as possible.
  • If the fish is whole and has its eyes intact, look for clouding. Fresh fish will have clear eyes.
  • Smell the fish. Fresh fish does not smell fishy.
  • If you are buying frozen fish, thaw it slowly in the refrigerator, under cold running water or in the microwave.
  • Fish should be cooked to an internal temperature of 140 degrees.
  • Refrigerate any leftovers immediately. Eat within two or three days.

We are also offering three seafood recipes to vary your diet during Lent or any time of the year. Celebrity chef Rick Bayless uses salmon in his Salpicón de Chile Poblano. Or, use mushrooms, if you want a vegetarian version of this zesty salad. TV chef Jamie Oliver makes a roasted vegetable salsa and tops it with seared tuna. There’s also a baked scrod recipe that gets a kick from lemon-garlic bread crumbs.

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Scrod with Lemon-Garlic Bread Crumbs

Use lemon juice in this baked fish dish and serve it with lemon wedges.

If you prefer baked fish to fried, try this easy-to-assemble dish that features scrod. You could also use cod or haddock, if you prefer. What is scrod, you might ask?  This is young cod (0r haddock) weighing less than two-and-a-half pounds.

Scrod with Lemon-Garlic Bread Crumbs

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (about 2 slices bread)
4 pieces scrod, cod or haddock fillets (about 6 ounces each)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In 10-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic; cook until golden. Add bread crumbs, and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted. Remove skillet from heat.

With tweezers; remove any bones from scrod. In 9-by-13-inch baking dish, arrange fillets in single layer; sprinkle with lemon juice and salt. Press bread crumb mixture onto fillets. Bake until fish is just opaque throughout, 10 to 15 minutes.

Sprinkle scrod with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Makes 4 servings.

Approximate nutritional value: 231 calories, 32 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate, 7 g fat,, 89 mg cholesterol, 517 mg sodium.

From “The Good Housekeeping Cookbook”

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Use Salmon or Mushrooms in Rick Bayless’ Salpicón de Chile Poblano

Use oyster mushrooms or salmon in this salpicon recipe.

Salpicón is a light, refreshing salad that can be eaten by itself or on top of tostadas or chalupas. In this satisfying version from celebrity chef Rick Bayless, you can use either salmon or mushrooms.

Salpicón del Chile Poblano (Roasted Poblano Salpicón)

8 ounces (3 medium) fresh poblano chiles
1/2 medium red onion, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
4 ounces smoked salmon (the fully cooked hot-smoked salmon available widely is good, as is traditional smoked salmon), skin removed, flesh broken into 1/4-inch pieces, or 6 ounces fresh mushrooms (oyster mushrooms would be my first choice), touch stems cut off, caps cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips about 1-inch long
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (you may want to use less if you are using smoked salmon)
Salt, if using mushrooms

Over an open flame or 4 inches below a preheated broiler, roast the poblanos, turning them regularly until evenly blistered and blackened all over, about 5 minutes for an open flame, about 10 minutes for the broiler. Place in a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let cool until easy to handle. Rub off the blackened skin, then pull out the  stem and seed pod; briefly rinse to remove any bits of skin and stray seeds. Chop into 1/4-inch pieces and scoop into a medium bowl. Scoop the onion into a strainer, rinse under cold water,  shake off the excess and transfer to the bowl along with the mushrooms (or smoked salmon), oregano and lime juice. taste and season with salt if using mushrooms, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. (If using smoked salmon you won’t need salt.) Cover and refrigerate.

Makes 1 1/2 cups or 12 servings as part of a party.

From “Fiesta at Rick’s” by Rick Bayless with Deann Groen Bayless

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Grilled Tuna Tacos a Meaty Treat

Are you looking for some fresh ideas to incorporate more seafood into your diet? Here’s one dish so tasty that you won’t believe you’re giving anything up for Lent. As Rick Moonen, creator of the recipe, says, “Can I tell you these things rock? Meaty tuna gives the tacos the kind of kick you’d expect from skirt steak.”

Grilled Tuna Tacos

1/4 pound napa or savory cabbage, shredded
Juice of 1 1/2 limes
Coarse salt, to taste

1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 (5-ounce) pieces tuna, 3/4-inch thick
Coarse salt, to taste

12 corn tortillas
Lime wedges
Ripe tomatoes, sliced into half-moons
Coarse salt, to taste
Mango salsa (optional)

For the cabbage: Combine the cabbage and lime juice in a mixing bowl. Salt it well and toss with your hands or a big spoon. Taste for salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you need it.

For the rub: Combine the chili powder, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds in a spice grinder. Process to a fine dust. Pour the rub out into a small bowl.

Heat up your indoor grill or heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat.

Spoon the oil onto a plate and rub the fish in it, coating it on both sides. Season the fish on both sides with salt and the rub. Use all of the rub and work it into the fish.

[amazon-product]061853119X[/amazon-product]Cook the fish for 2 minutes in the indoor grill. If you’re using a grill pan, grill for 1 1/2 minutes per side. Put the fish on a carving board and let it rest while you toast the tortillas.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, or use the griddle you used for the tuna. Toast the tortillas until warmed through and browned in spots, about 30 second a side. Pile them in a cloth-lined basket as they’re toasted.

To serve, cut the tuna into fingers and arrange on a platter with the lime wedges. Pile the cabbage in the center of another platter and surround with the sliced tomatoes. Season the tomatoes with salt.

Set the table with guacamole and mango salsa, if desired; the basket of tortillas, the tuna and limes, and the cabbage and tomatoes, and let everyone dig in.

Makes 12 tacos.

From “Fish Without a Doubt” by Rick Moonen and Roy Finamore

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