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5 Easy Watermelon Treats for a Family 4th


“The hot Texas sun brings on a thirst that can only be quenched by delving into a delicious Texas watermelon,” write the authors of “Lone Star to Five Star: Culinary Creations for Every Occasion” (Favorite Recipes Press, 2004), who are also members of the Junior League of Plano.

How true.

watermelon1They go on to tell you how to pick out the best melon there is, whether you’re at the market or a roadside stand: “At the peak of ripeness a watermelon should be firm, symmetrical and heavy. Another sign of perfection is a creamy yellow spot on the underside of the melon indicating that it was sun-ripened. Watermelons are produced in almost every county in Texas and are harvested and sold throughout the world 11 months of the year.”

Since most of us Texans can’t spend a summer without a few melons, it would seem that cookbooks covering the state’s culinary gifts would be filled with ideas of what to do with this juicy fruit. But that’s not the case. I looked through more than 50 cookbooks, but only a handful of ideas showed up. Here are five simple treats, ranging from aguas frescas and salsa to salad and sorbet, that celebrate Texas at its boldest and most refreshing.

Minty Melon Pops

“Whenever you have melon, you rarely have just a little. You have lots of it,” writes Denise Gee in “Sweet on Texas” (Chronicle Books, $24.95, 2012). “This is a great way to use that leftover melon. Think of it as agua fresca on a stick. (And you know how we love our sticks o’ anything.)”

Mint-Lime Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup losely packed fresh mint
1/2 cup fresh lime juice

Popsicles:
1 cup pureed watermelon (black seeds removed)
1 cup pureed honeydew melon
1 cup pureed cantaloupe

To make the syrup: Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and heat to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Add the mint and set aside; let cool to room temperature. Pour the mint syrup through a strainer into a clean container, add the lime juice and stir to combine. Refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

To make the popsicles: Using three medium bowls, keep the pureed melons separate.

Pour equal amounts of mint-lime syrup into each melon bowl and stir well.

Fill popsicle molds three-fourths full (leaving room for expansion) with individual melon mixes or a combination of them (see note). Set the lids in place and insert sticks through the holes. If you don’t have popsicle molds, fill small freezer-proof cups about three-fours full’; stretch plastic wrap across the top and affix with rubber bands. Make 1/2-inch slits in the center and insert sticks.

Freeze the popsicles until firmly set (3 to 4 hours).

Remove the popsicles by squeezing the sides of the molds or cups and twist slightly to disengage. If necessary, briefly rinse the outside of the molds or cups under hot water.

Note: For a layered, rainbow effect, freeze each mold, fitted with a stick, about third full and keep frozen for about 1 hour or more before adding the second layer of a different juice. Let it freeze for about 1 hour more before adding a third layer of a different juice, then freeze until completely firm.

Makes 16 servings.

From “Sweet on Texas” by Denise Gee

Watermelon Sorbet

This simple sorbet recipe, from Peg Hein’s “More Tastes and Tales from Texas … with Love” (1987), doesn’t require an ice cream maker or any special equipment.

4 cups watermelon chunks
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 egg whites
Additional sugar, if needed

Place watermelon chunks in a food processor or blender bowl. Puree until smooth. Remove seeds with a slotted spoon. You should have about 3 cups watermelon puree.

Add orange juice and sugar. Mix thoroughly and pour into a large flat bowl. Freeze until solid around edges but still slushy in the center. Stir until smooth. Beat egg whites until stiff, adding a little more sugar if needed. Fold into sorbet. Freeze for 1 to 1 1/2 hours without stirring. Serve in individual sherbet dishes or in small dessert bowls.

Makes 6-8 servings.

From “More Tastes and Tales from Texas … with Love” by Peg Hein

Refreshing Watermelon Delight (Refresco de Sandia)

“This fruit-flavored water, or aguas frescas, is especially delicious, and it looks beautiful served in a clear glass pitcher,” writes Diana Barrios Treviño in “Los Barrios Family Cookbook” (Villard, $18.95, 2002).

2 pounds watermelon (see note)
3 1/2 quarters Water
2 cups sugar
Remove the seeds from the watermelon, slice the flesh from the rind, and cut it into chunks. Transfer to a blender, in batches, if necessary, and blend for a few seconds; there should still be some small chunks of watermelon.

Combine the water and sugar in a large pitcher, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the watermelon puree, blending thoroughly. Refrigerate until chilled before serving.

Note: You can substitute cantaloupe for watermelon.

Makes 1 gallon.

Watermelon Salsa

This

2 cups coarsely chopped watermelon
1 cup roasted corn kernels
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 large jalapeño, seeded and chopped
Juice of 1 lime

Combine the watermelon, corn, onions, jalapeño and lime juice in a bowl and mix gently. Chill until serving time.

Serve with tortilla chips, over salads or with grilled chicken or fish.

Makes 6 servings.

From “Lone Star to Five Star: Culinary Creations for Every Occasion” by the Junior League of Plano

Watermelon and Basil Salad with Goat Feta Cheese

“This is a unique summertime salad, especially when the Hempstead watermelons are at the ripe and flavorful best,” writes Terry Thompson-Anderson in “Texas on the Table” (University of Texas Press, $45, 2014). “It’s such a simple, easy-to-make salad, but the combination of flavors and textures is the real essence of a Texas summer.”

6 cups (1-inch) cubes of seedless Texas watermelon, grown in Hempstead, if possible
10 ounces crumbed Texas goat feta cheese
1/2 small red onion, sliced paper thin
1 cup fresh basil, cut in julienned strips
Texas extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt

Combine the watermelon chunks, goat feta and red onion in a bowl and toss to blend. Just before serving, cut the basil leaves and add to the salad. Add just enough olive oil to moisten the ingredients and salt to taste. Toss to blend in the basil and salt. Serve at once before the basil strips turn dark.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

From “Texas on the Table” by Terry Thompson-Anderson

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Hill Country Cookbook Author Earns a James Beard Nomination


Hill Country writer Terry Thompson-Anderson spent three years working on her latest cookbook, “Texas on the Table: People, Places and Recipes Celebrating the Flavors of the Lone Star State” (University of Texas Press, $45).

texas on the table1The hard work has paid off.

This week, Thompson-Anderson found out that she has been nominated for a James Beard Award in the category of American Cooking.

She is up against Sean Brock for “Heritage” and Erin Byers Murray and Jeremy Sewall for “The New England Kitchen: Fresh Takes on Seasonal Recipes.”

Thompson-Anderson has written a number of Texas-themed and regional cookbooks including “Texas on the Plate,” “The Texas Hill Country: A Food and Wine Lover’s Paradise,” and “Don Strange of Texas: His Life and Recipes,” the latter of which she co-authored with Frances Strange.

The photography for her latest book was provided by her sister, Sandy Wilson.

Terry Thompson-Anderson

Terry Thompson-Anderson

The winners will be announced April 24.

Other Texas names to make the list of finalists are four chefs from Austin and Houston competing for best chef of the Southwest. The whole list in that category includes:

  • Kevin Binkley, Binkley’s, Cave Creek, Arizona
  • Aaron Franklin, Franklin Barbecue, Austin
  • Bryce Gilmore, Barley Swine, Austin
  • Hugo Ortega, Hugo’s, Houston
  • Martín Rios, Restaurant Martín, Santa Fe
  • Justin Yu, Oxheart, Houston

Thompson-Anderson will appear at the San Antonio Book Festival April 11. For more information, click here.

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Make Butternut Squash Soup Ahead of Time


If you’re looking for something new to add to your Thanksgiving dinner, think about a butternut squash or pumpkin soup as a first course. This recipe, from Terry Thompson-Anderson’s “The Texas Hill Country: A Food and Wine Lover’s Paradise,” is a true Texas dish with its inclusion of jalapeños and cayenne pepper for the expected heat. If you or any of your guests can’t handle so much spice, leave it out of the recipe and serve it on the side. The cayenne and slivers of jalapeño could be passed around for people to garnish to their own taste.

You can also make this dish in advance and just reheat before serving.

Butternut squash and pumpkin can both be used in this recipe.

Butternut squash and pumpkin can both be used in this recipe.

Butternut Squash Soup

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
1 large baking potato (about 12 ounces), peeled and sliced
1 sweet potato (about 10 to 12 ounces), peeled and sliced
3 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
2 jalapeños, seeds and veins removed, minced (optional)
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
2 teaspoons real maple syrup
Salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
1 cup whipping cream
Sour cream, for garnish
Chopped toasted pecans, for garnish

Melt the butter in a heavy 6-quart soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until wilted and transparent, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the potato, sweet potato, squash, jalapeños, if using, and ginger. Toss to coat with the butter in the pot. Add the flour all at once and stir to blend well. Cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring, until all the flour is blended into the butter. Add the chicken stock and maple syrup. Season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil to thicken the soup, stirring often. Cover the pan, lower heat to a simmer, and cook until all vegetables are very tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Puree the soup in batches in food process or blender until very smooth. Return soup to a clean pot and stir in the whipping cream. Cook just to heat the cream through.

To serve, ladle the sop into shallow soup plates; garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream and scatter a few of the toasted pecans over the sour cream.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Adapted from “The Texas Hill Country” by Terry Thompson-Anderson

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New Cookbook: Chef Ross Burtwell’s ‘Texas Hill Country Cuisine’


After more than 25 years in Texas, I’ve learned that most of us residents, though many of us may travel widely and cook adventurously from many cuisines, are deeply devoted to Texas food.

Count me among them, and count chef Ross Burtwell’s new book, “Texas Hill Country Cuisine: Flavors from the Cabernet Grill” (Creative Noggin Press, $35.95),  as a great source for us all. It’s especially appealing as it encompasses a less-frequently explored area of the state when it comes to cuisine — the Texas Hill Country.

Texas Tarragon Shrimp Scampi

Texas Tarragon Shrimp Scampi

Ross Burtwell and Julia Celeste Rosenfeld will be signing “The Texas Hill Country Cookbook”  Saturday (May 10) at GauchoGourmet, 935 Isom Road from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Also, they will be at the Twig Book Shop to sign on May 31, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Well-known writers collaborated with Burtwell — Terry Thompson-Anderson wrote the forward; Julia Celeste Rosenfeld, freelance writer and “The Food Chick” for San Antonio Magazine, researched, wrote and edited. Food photography, a delectable part of this almost 200-page book, is from Jennifer Whitney.

Cabernet Grill Chef Ross Burtwell

Cabernet Grill Chef Ross Burtwell

The Cabernet Grill, A Texas Wine Country Restaurant, is in Fredericksburg, where the cuisine reflects Burtwell’s lengthy career in the Lone Star State. Here, he explores new flavors and reinvents some of our favorite foods while sourcing the best possible ingredients from “local farmers, vintners and entrepreneurs.”

In his forward, Burtwell says, “I gravitated to these honest ingredients since my early days as a chef in Dallas, just as the Southwestern Cuisine movement took root.”

That cuisine includes wine, of course, as Texas is one of the top five wine-producing regions in the United States and the Hill Country is second only to Napa Valley in popularity among wine tourists.

“Texas Hill Country Cuisine is the ultimate dining synergy for food and wine lovers,” writes Burtwell. And the book’s recipes offer explicit, step-by-step instruction, making the more complex recipes approachable to most cooks.

It was a little hard picking recipes from his repertoire, Burtwell admits. “It’s like picking your favorite children!” After cutting quite a few out of his initial list, the book ended up with about 125 recipes. Otherwise, he’d have had a 400-page tome on his hands.

“We did it all in-house — we had a very, very good team,” the chef says. “I’m on cloud nine — the book exceeded my highest expectations. I’m really overwhelmed.”

Texas Hill Country CookbookA key team member, San Antonio writer Rosenfeld said she enjoyed the process of working with Burtwell and collaborating on the book, a process that took seven to eight months.

“It was a unique opportunity to put my 30-plus years of experience together into one project,” she says.

“I didn’t know Ross and hadn’t eaten at Cabernet Grill,” she says. She was one of several writers whom he interviewed for the project.

“We met for the first time in his restaurant and that night I tried a variety of his dishes. We chatted for a while about the food scene, about our views on ingredients, about preferences, about styles. I was one of three candidates for the job and felt elated and honored when selected.

“Ross is so well respected that it was important to me that I do him justice. He had already done a lot of work on the recipes, reducing them to home-cooking proportions. Now it was my job to make it all cohesive,” she says.

Burtwell suggests that this book is not simply a compendium of recipes, but an “idea book.” It is organized as a menu would be — appetizers, soups, salads, entrées, desserts and extras. (Extras include such accompaniments as the Burtwell Family Table Mustard and Green Peppercorn Horseradish Cream Sauce.)

Cohesive it is. While we all have our favorite ways to plunge into a new cookbook, you’d do well to take Burtwell’s advice and go from the appetizers through all of the sections down to desserts and design your own Cabernet Grill-style Hill Country meal.

Here’s just an example: Appetizer: Warm Texas Goat Cheese (with herbs, kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes and roasted garlic); Soup: Crispy Fried Texas Oyster Chowder with Roasted Hatch Chiles; Salad: Ginger Mango Carrot Slaw; Entree: Texas Tarragon Shrimp Scampi; Dessert: Salt and Pepper Chocolate Panna Cotta.

You can pick up a copy of Burtwell’s “Texas Hill Country Cuisine: Flavors from the Cabernet Grill,” at his restaurant in Fredericksburg, 2805 S State Highway 16,  or at a number of markets in that area. To order directly, go to the website at by clicking here.

Recipes

Texas Tarragon Shrimp Scampi

Salt and Pepper Chocolate Panna Cotta

 

 

 

 

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Easy Jalapeño Chicken Combines Fruit and Spice


Jalapeños

Capture Texas’ love of spice in this easy chicken recipe, which mixes the sweetness and fruitiness of orange juice with the fruit and spice of jalapeño. Hill Country cookbook author Terry Thompson-Anderson has included it in her “Lone Star Eats” (Shearer Publishing, $21.95), which is, as the subtitle says, “a gathering of recipes from great Texas cookbooks.” One bite and you’ll agree.

Jalapeño Chicken

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (6-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, undiluted
1 (8-ounce) bottle Italian salad dressing
2 (2- to 2 1/2-pound) chickens, cut up, or 5 pounds chicken parts
Sliced jalapeños, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine butter, orange juice concentrate and salad dressing. Dip chicken pieces in sauce, coating well. Place in a foil-lined 3 1/2 quart baking pan. Pour remaining sauce over chicken. Sprinkle sliced jalapeños over top. Cover with foil and bake for 45  minutes to 1 hour. remove foil; broil until browned.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

From Jan Leuschner Meeks, “Flavor Favorites”/”Lone Star Eats” by Terry Thompson Anderson

 

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Shiner Bock Rice Pilaf


Give your white rice a Texas twist.

Looking to add a little kick to your boring white rice side dish? Try this Texas treat from Hill Country cookbook author Terry Thompson-Anderson, who includes it in her “Lone Star Eats” (Shearer Publishing, $21.95). “Get creative with your sides,” she writes. “Remember, they’re limited only by your imagination.”

Shiner Bock Rice Pilaf

1 dried ancho chile, seeds and veins removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
2 1/2  cups chicken stock
1/2 cup Shiner Bock beer
1 teaspoon minced lime zest
Toasted slices almonds, for garnish

Place the ancho chile in a bowl of hot water; set aside for 15 to 20 minutes, or until chile is soft and pliable. Coarsely chop the chile and purée with a little of the water in which it soaked; set aside. Heat the olive oil in a heavy sauté pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the onion, parsley and thyme. Sauté until onions are very wilted and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the raw rice and cook, stirring often, to lightly brown the rice. Add the chicken stock, beer, the reserved chile purée and lime zest. Cook, covered or about 30 minutes or until rice is cooked through, but not overcooked. (It should not be sticky.) garnish with toasted almonds and serve hot.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

From “Lone Star Eats” by Terry-Thompson Anderson

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Crab and Avocado Cakes


Fry crab cakes until golden brown.

What better way to dress up crab cakes than with avocado, dill and a pinch of cayenne pepper? The recipe for these easy treats is from Melissa Guerra’s “The Texas Provincial Kitchen Cookbook,” by way of Terry Thompson Anderson’s “Lone Star Eats: A Gathering of Recipes from Great Texas Cookbooks” (Shearer Publishing, $21.95). You can serve them as an appetizer or a main course.

Crab  and Avocado Cakes

1 pound regular lump crab meat, picked over
1 avocado, peeled and chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh dill, minced
3/4 cup bread crumbs, divided use
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Olive oil (about 1/2 cup)

Mix together crabmeat, avocado, shallot, egg, butter, lemon juice, dill, 1/4 cup bread crumbs, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. When well mixed, form into 12 cakes.

Heat oil in a skillet. Gently dredge the cakes in the remaining bread crumbs, and fry in the heated oil, turning once. When golden brown, remove from pan and drain on paper towels.

Note: Use two spatulas to turn over delicate crab cakes. Lift up a crab cake with one spatula, then turn over onto the other spatula, then slide crab cake back into the hot oil.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

From Melissa Guerra’s “The Texas Provincial Kitchen Cookbook”/”Lone Star Eats” by Terry Thomson-Anderson

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Hill Country Wine and Food Festival Set for April 26-28


Pair Texas wines with local foods.

The third annual Hill Country Wine & Music Festival, a celebration of Texas wine, music and food that benefits the Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts in Fredericksburg, will be held April 26-28.

The three-day festival is held at Wildseed Farms on Highway 290 just east of Fredericksburg.

The event kicks off on Thursday, April 26, with a Texas vintners dinner at the Cabaret Grill.

Friday, April 27, brings an evening of Texas food and wine pairings with authors Terry Thompson-Anderson and Russ Kane, who will be signing copies of their latest books. The cost is $100 a person and includes both books.

Saturday festival highlights include tastings from Torre di Pietra Vineyards, Grape Creek Vineyard, Becker Vineyards, Texas Hills Vineyards, Fall Creek Vineyards, Chisholm Trail Winery, Fredericksburg Winery, Cap Rock Winery, Messina Hof Winery and Sandstone Cellars.

Food artisans and restaurants include CKC Farms, Dos Lunas Cheese, Texas Olive Ranch, Texas Hill Country Olive Company, New Bread Rising, Lick Ice Creams, Zhi Tea, Edis Chocolates, Kerbey Lane Cafe and Navajo Grill.

Music by Trevor La Bonte, John Arthur Martinez and Joel Guzman, Almost Patsy Cline Band and Thomas Michael Riley.

For more information on the festival, click here.

 

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‘Don Strange of Texas’ Cookbook Wins Bronze Award


Published less than one year ago, “Don Strange of Texas: His Life and Recipes,” has been selected as the 2011 bronze medal winner of the Independent Publisher Book Award in the South- Best Regional Non-Fiction Category. The book was written by Strange’s wife, Frances Strange and co-written by Terry Thompson-Anderson. Photographs are by San Antonio food photographer Tracey Maurer.

Strange, who died in November of 2009, built his catering business around the wealth of foods available in Texas and served his fare in a down-home style that was well-received at both black-tie events and cookouts held anywhere from the White House lawn to his Hill Country ranch.

"Don Strange of Texas: His Life and Recipes" wins bronze award from The Independent Publisher Book Awards.

“Words cannot properly express how thrilled I am that our book is being recognized by this distinguished  group of professionals in the industry” says author Frances Strange.  “Just being considered for this award is such an achievement.”

Published by Shearer Publishing, the book is filled with the rich history of this high-profile Texas catering company. Anecdotes, more than 100 recipes and dozens of full color food and family photographs bring the story to life.

The Independent Publisher Book Awards, which was first launched in 1996, is intended to recognize excellence among books published by independent authors and publishers. The awards are open to all members of the independent publishing industry. It contains 69 national categories, followed by regional categories, such as the South, and the Best Regional Non-Fiction Award. Judging is based on design, production quality , content, and innovation.

The cookbook is part of the Don Strange of Texas brand which includes the Don Strange Marketplace e-commerce site, the Don Strange Ranch in Welfare, The Waring General Store, The Ropes Course, The Zip Line at Zinc Hill, The Buckhorn Saloon, Catering and Private Dining. The cookbooks are available at booksellers and online at www.donstrangemarket.com.

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Texas Food and Wine — What a Sensational Pair


Chef Kelly Casey (with pastry bag) of Hudson's on the Bend in Austin plates her dinners.

It wasn’t about the prosciutto-wrapped quail, so juicy and tender with each bite. It wasn’t about the cocoa powder and raspberry flavors that mingled so beautifully in each sip of the Inwood Estates Tempranillo-Cabernet blend.

It was, however, about how the lush red fruit flavors of the 2007 Fall Creek Meritus joined with slices of Texas beef tenderloin marinated in coffee and chipotle to reach new  gustatory heights.

That was the point of the first Edible Texas Wine-Food Match, held Friday at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin.

Five chefs, narrowed down from a field of more than 35, were competing to see who could make the most successful pairings of Texas ingredients with Texas wines.

It was clear to both the celebrity judges’ panel and to the audience who did that best: David Garrido of Garrido’s in Austin.

Susan Auler (left) of Fall Creek Vineyards and celebrity chef Jacques Pépin enjoy the Edible Texas Wine-Food Match.

The chef, who once worked for Bruce Auden at the original Biga, took home the $5,000 grand prize as well as the People’s Choice Award. The centerpiece of his meal was the already-mentioned beef tenderloin with the Meritus,  but he also presented a crispy oyster with habanero-honey aïoli partnered with the Fall Creek Vineyards Chenin Blanc 2010 and a pastel de calabaza, or zucchini cake, with lemon crema and spicy caramelized pecans served with the Sister Creek Muscat Canelli 2010.

Patrick James “P.J.” Edwards of San Antonio’s Bin 555 won a second place commendation from the judges for his meal, which started with a crudo of Gulf Coast group with cured Poteet strawberries and Becker Vineyards Provençal Rosé 2009. It was followed by roasted lamb loin with herb-glazed turnips and porcini-raspberry soil, which was presented with the Becker Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009. A Grapefruit “Dreamsicle” with vanilla semifreddo and the Becker Vineyards Clementine 2010 rounded out his meal.

Organizer Marla Camp

Other chefs in the competition included Peter Smith of the JW Marriott in San Antonio as well as Kelly Casey of Hudson’s on the Bend in Austin and Josh Raymer of Navajo Grill in Fredericksburg. Each presented small plate versions of his or her entire menu to the crowd.

Chef Josh Raymer of Navajo Grill's Prosciutto-Wrapped Quail alongisde a Fredericksburg Market Salad with Pickled Peaches.

The local ingredients included a number of treasures worth seeking out at farmers markets as well as grocery stores: Pure Luck cheeses, Round Rock Honey, quail from Diamond H and Texas Quail farms, Shiner Bock, Broken Arrow Ranch Venison, Bluebonnet Hydroponics lettuces, and Texas olive oil. Alongside Casey’s blue cheese cheesecake were figs from her own trees.

Other Texas wines poured included Messina Hof’s Riesling and Riesling “Angel,” Perrisos Viognier and Petite Sirah, Stone House Scheming Beagle Port, and Flat Creek Muscato, Estate Syrah and Port.

Kelly Casey's Hopelessly Blue Cheesecake with her homegrown figs.

The judges included celebrity chefs Jacques Pépin and John Besh as well as Mozzarella Company found Paula Lambert, François Dionot of L’Academie de Cuisine and Michael Bauer of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Proceeds from the evening, planned by Marla camp of Edible Austin and Terry Thompson-Anderson of the Texas Food and Wine Gourmet, will benefit the not-for-profit Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts, which is being planned for Fredericksburg. The goal is to raise all of the money needed to operate the center before it opens in October 2013.

 

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