Terrific Tapas at Austin’s Malaga

I tasted my life’s first tapas in Spain four decades ago – I loved them then, and I love them now. In the interim, tapas have been the “next big thing” in food several times, without ever actually becoming the next big thing. Yet the basic concept – tasting small plates of many foods instead of one big plate of one thing – has worked its way into our ideas about eating. Yes, even here in Texas. Especially at the 13-year-old Austin tapas destination called Malaga.

With Central Market chef-instructor Nancy Marr at my side – she who makes even me look like I know what I’m doing when I teach cooking classes there – we settled in for a long night of radio, eating, drinking and visits from Malaga executive chef Alejandro Duran. Born in Spain to a Spanish mother but dragged through many regions of Mexico as a kid by his Mexican-agriculture official father, Duran seems the best of both Old World and New. And the tapas he served Nancy and me did too.

This metal tower, usually reserved in fancy seafood houses for those $75 shellfish samplers, here delivers my oldest and most favorite traditional tapa along with, as though to underline my point, something the chef probably thought up day before yesterday. Without a Mexican tortilla in sight, the tortilla Catalan (his version of tortilla espanola) is an omelet by way of a frittata. An egg thing, in other words. The bottom dish offers fire-roasted Spanish piquillo peppers stuffed with fresh goat cheese and capers.

Thankfully tending toward the mild side, goat cheese is a favorite for just about any use at Malaga, including contained in these fried cakes served atop some wonderful sweet red onion marmalade and then drizzled with honey. Atop that is something of a surprise, a few crumbles of dried lavender – like the cheese itself, nothing too overpowering. Duran has a real flair for combinations done with equal parts surprise and restraint.

You know your half-remembered high school Spanish is in over its head when the menu promises calcots y setas a la parilla, beyond guessing that something is going on the grill. The dish is actually a symphony of different tastes and especially textures: grilled asparagus, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, fire-roasted piquillos and spring onions, all done up with toasted Marcona almonds, Cabrales bleu cheese and a bit of Romesco vinaigrette for dipping.

I am definitely one of those guys, as I explained to Nancy with some trepidation, who never met a meatball he didn’t like. So of course I dove head-first into Duran’s albondigas en salsa brava. According to the chef, for every one customer who finds these rounds of beef and pork not fried or “Sicilian” enough, hundreds of others keep coming back for more. The tomato sauce is kicked up with cumin and coriander, definitely putting the brava in this salsa.

In a tapas bar like Malaga, it isn’t about the traditional progression from little appetizers to big entrees, since all the plates are small and intended to gang up on you. Still, I did find one of the things I most wanted to gang up on me: the so-called empanadas Salamanca, named after the fascinating ancient university town. Light years removed from familiar Mexican empanadas, these are light turnovers stuffed with spinach, Mahon cheese and mushrooms. There’s roasted garlic-herb aioli drizzled over the top, plus spicy roasted tomato sauce on the side. In an instant, I who was in Spain forty years ago and Nancy who was there a few months ago both found ourselves in the passionate heart of Spain once again.

Chef Aquiles and James Tidwell on DM

NOW HEARD IN THREE GREAT TEXAS CITIES! 

AUSTIN Saturdays 10-11 a.m., Talk 1370

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

This week we check out one of the most interesting and impressive debuts we’ve encountered in a while: the tropical Mexican seafood place called La Fisheria in Houston. We sit down for a tasting and chat with handlebar-mustached chef-partner Aquiles Chavez, who’s something of a food-themed TV star south of the border. And in our Grape & Grain segment, we sample some exciting wines with master sommelier James Tidwell of the Four Seasons Resort at Las Colinas. 

HOUSTON Saturdays 2-3 p.m., News Talk 1070 KNTH

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

This week we check out one of the most interesting and impressive debuts we’ve encountered in a while: the tropical Mexican seafood place called La Fisheria in Houston. We sit down for a tasting and chat with handlebar-mustached chef-partner Aquiles Chavez, who’s something of a food-themed TV star south of the border. And in our Grape & Grain segment, we sample some exciting wines with master sommelier James Tidwell of the Four Seasons Resort at Las Colinas. 

DALLAS Saturdays 7-8 p.m., 570 KLIF

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

This week we check out one of the most interesting and impressive debuts we’ve encountered in a while: the tropical Mexican seafood place called La Fisheria in Houston. We sit down for a tasting and chat with handlebar-mustached chef-partner Aquiles Chavez, who’s something of a food-themed TV star south of the border. And in our Grape & Grain segment, we sample some exciting wines with master sommelier James Tidwell of the Four Seasons Resort at Las Colinas. 

Our 22nd Year of Eating, Drinking and Telling You About It! 

This Week’s Delicious Mischief Recipe

BEJAS GRILL SHRIMP ENCHILADAS 

We’ve always loved this outpost of creative Southwestern flavors at the heart of Fredericksburg. These shrimp enchiladas in a creamy cheese sauce have become a Bejas Grill signature. 

White Sauce:

6 cups heavy cream

4 tablespoons burgundy wine

4 tablespoons corn starch

4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

8 corn tortillas, dipped in oil

2 cups shrimp

1 cup mango

1 cup red bell pepper

Old Bay seasoning

Fresh dill to taste

2 cups Mexican rice

2 cups black beans

2-3 lime wedges

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large pot, heat the heavy cream until it boils. Add the cheese and stir

until blended, then add the wine and corn starch. To make the quick mango salsa, dice equal parts of

mango and red bell pepper. Squeeze the lime juice over the top. Peel the shrimp and butterfly. Marinate

for about 30 minutes using old bay seasoning and dill. After the shrimp have marinated, lightly grill

approximately 2 minutes, turning once or twice. Rough-chop the shrimp.

Moisten the tortillas with a little oil and preheat for 30 seconds on the grill, for greater flexibility in

rolling. Lay out tortillas, add shrimp and roll gently. Place in a ceramic baking dish, folded side down.

Upon completion of all enchiladas, pour cream sauce on top and bake for approximately 10 minutes,

until hot and bubbly. Plate enchiladas with rice and beans, and add a couple of spoons of mango salsa

on top of each enchilada. Serves 4.

NYC, Izkali Tequila on DM This Weekend

NOW HEARD IN THREE GREAT TEXAS CITIES! 

AUSTIN Saturdays 10-11 a.m., Talk 1370

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

We broadcast from New York City this week, catching up on trends and visiting with friends. One of the most intriguing trends goes by the slogan “Asian locavore,” and we settle in to talk and taste with much-praised chef Simpson Wong. We also chat about the future of “hotel restaurants” with Klaus Ortlieb, whose Gotham Hotel includes an impressive eatery called Tenpenny. In our Grape & Grain segment, we zero in on Izkali tequila, based in Texas but made (of course) in the Mexican state of Jalisco. 

HOUSTON Saturdays 2-3 p.m., News Talk 1070 KNTH

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

We broadcast from New York City this week, catching up on trends and visiting with friends. One of the most intriguing trends goes by the slogan “Asian locavore,” and we settle in to talk and taste with much-praised chef Simpson Wong. We also chat about the future of “hotel restaurants” with Klaus Ortlieb, whose Gotham Hotel includes an impressive eatery called Tenpenny. In our Grape & Grain segment, we zero in on Izkali tequila, based in Texas but made (of course) in the Mexican state of Jalisco. 

DALLAS Saturdays 7-8 p.m., 570 KLIF

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

We broadcast from New York City this week, catching up on trends and visiting with friends. One of the most intriguing trends goes by the slogan “Asian locavore,” and we settle in to talk and taste with much-praised chef Simpson Wong. We also chat about the future of “hotel restaurants” with Klaus Ortlieb, whose Gotham Hotel includes an impressive eatery called Tenpenny. In our Grape & Grain segment, we zero in on Izkali tequila, based in Texas but made (of course) in the Mexican state of Jalisco. 

Our 22nd Year of Eating, Drinking and Telling You About It! 

This Week’s Delicious Mischief Recipe

LOBSTER EGG FOO YUNG

New York chef Simpson Wong of Wong in the East Village has attracted attention for many of his “Asian locavore” signature dishes – but none more than his upscaled spin on what may be the ultimate Asian peasant food. Here’s our version of Egg Foo Young made with lobster.

Sauce:

1 1/2 cup vegetable or seafood broth

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoon cold water

1 tablespoon cornstarch

 

8 eggs, beaten

1 cup thinly sliced celery

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 cup bean sprouts

1/2 cup diced fresh mushrooms

1 cup chunks cooked lobster meat

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 

To make sauce, heat broth in a small saucepan; add sugar and soy sauce and blend well over medium heat. Combine cold water with cornstarch in a bowl and then add to the sauce, stirring until thick and smooth. Keep sauce warm. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add the celery, onion, bean sprouts, mushrooms, lobster, salt and pepper. Mix together. Heat oil in a medium skillet or wok and brown egg mixture 1/2 cup at a time until set like an omelet. Serve Egg Foo Yung with sauce spooned over the top. Serves 4-6.

 

DF Grille and Alphonse Dotson on Radio This Weekend

 

NOW HEARD IN THREE GREAT TEXAS CITIES!

AUSTIN Saturdays 10-11 a.m., Talk 1370

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

Only a week after visiting Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House in Houston, we find ourselves (quite happily) chatting with the general manager and executive chef at the brand-new concept called Del Frisco’s Grille in Dallas. And let me warn you: they make us eat way too much. In our Grape & Grain segment, we visit with former NFL player Alphonse Dotson and his wife, who now earn their fame and (at least someday) their fortune growing grapes to fine make wine in Texas. 

HOUSTON Saturdays 2-3 p.m., News Talk 1070 KNTH

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

Only a week after visiting Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House in Houston, we find ourselves (quite happily) chatting with the general manager and executive chef at the brand-new concept called Del Frisco’s Grille in Dallas. And let me warn you: they make us eat way too much. In our Grape & Grain segment, we visit with former NFL player Alphonse Dotson and his wife, who now earn their fame and (at least someday) their fortune growing grapes to fine make wine in Texas. 

DALLAS Saturdays 7-8 p.m., 570 KLIF

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

Only a week after visiting Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House in Houston, we find ourselves (quite happily) chatting with the general manager and executive chef at the brand-new concept called Del Frisco’s Grille in Dallas. And let me warn you: they make us eat way too much. In our Grape & Grain segment, we visit with former NFL player Alphonse Dotson and his wife, who now earn their fame and (at least someday) their fortune growing grapes to fine make wine in Texas. 

Our 22nd Year of Eating, Drinking and Telling You About It! 

This Week’s Delicious Mischief Recipe

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER SOUP

2 heads cauliflower

3 garlic cloves

2 shallots

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cups chicken broth

1 cup water

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 bay leaf

2 cups heavy cream 

Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut cauliflower into 1-inch flowerets (about 10 cups). In a large baking pan toss cauliflower, garlic, and shallots with oil to coat and roast in middle of oven about 30 minutes, or until golden. In a 4-quart kettle simmer broth, water, roasted cauliflower mixture, and herbs 30 minutes, or until cauliflower is very tender. Discard bay leaf and in a blender puree soup in batches until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to a bowl. Return soup to kettle and stir in cream and salt and pepper to taste. Heat soup over moderate heat until just heated through. Serves 6-8.

Houston’s Rodeo Uncorked on DM This Weekend

NOW HEARD IN THREE GREAT TEXAS CITIES! 

AUSTIN Saturdays 10-11 a.m., Talk 1370

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

It’s that time of year again: the season when the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo demonstrates its surprising commitment to class-act wine and food. For three segments, we chat with wine importer Stephanie Baird and Del Frisco’s GM Arthur Mooradian about the annual Rodeo Uncorked wine competition, as well as its food component known as Best Bites. In our closing segment, we launch a new feature titled Samira’s Table, talking about dining in Paris with Samira Anne Salman. 

HOUSTON Saturdays 2-3 p.m., News Talk 1070 KNTH

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

It’s that time of year again: the season when the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo demonstrates its surprising commitment to class-act wine and food. For three segments, we chat with wine importer Stephanie Baird and Del Frisco’s GM Arthur Mooradian about the annual Rodeo Uncorked wine competition, as well as its food component known as Best Bites. In our closing segment, we launch a new feature titled Samira’s Table, talking about dining in Paris with Samira Anne Salman. 

DALLAS Saturdays 7-8 p.m., 570 KLIF

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

It’s that time of year again: the season when the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo demonstrates its surprising commitment to class-act wine and food. For three segments, we chat with wine importer Stephanie Baird and Del Frisco’s GM Arthur Mooradian about the annual Rodeo Uncorked wine competition, as well as its food component known as Best Bites. In our closing segment, we launch a new feature titled Samira’s Table, talking about dining in Paris with Samira Anne Salman. 

Our 22nd Year of Eating, Drinking and Telling You About It! 

This Week’s Delicious Mischief Recipe

BACON-JALAPENO CORN MAQUE CHOUX 

Tasting the corn dish Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House is serving at this year’s Best Bites competition in Houston so inspired us, we reached into our own South Louisiana bag o’ tricks and came up with our version. 

1/2 pound bacon, chopped

6 ears young sweet corn

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onions

1 cup chopped green bell peppers

1 tablespoon chopped jalapenos, or to taste

Salt

Ground red pepper

2 cups chopped, peeled, and seeded tomatoes, or 1 cup chopped canned tomatoes

1 cup milk

1/4 cup chopped green onions 

In a large skillet, over medium heat, render the bacon until crispy. Drain the bacon on paper towels and set aside. Pour off all of the bacon fat except for 2 tablespoons. Cut the corn off the cob by thinly slicing across the tops of the kernels and then cutting across a second time to release the milk from the corn. Scrape the cob once or twice to extract the milk. You should have about 4 cups of corn with the milk. To the pan, over medium heat, add the oil, onions, bell peppers and jalepenos. Season with salt and cayenne. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the corn. Season with salt and ground red pepper. Continue to saute for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until the corn is tender. Stir in the milk and remove from heat. Stir in the crispy bacon and green onions. Serves 4.

Listen Up! Tamarind in New Orleans on Radio Today

NOW HEARD IN THREE GREAT TEXAS CITIES! 

AUSTIN Saturdays 10-11 a.m., Talk 1370

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

This week we travel to New Orleans to visit a chef with a new restaurant that has not only exotic, delicious food but intriguing historical references. Tamarind, part of the stylishly reborn Hotel Modern on Lee Circle, serves French-Vietnamese cuisine, a reflection of the century the Southeast Asian spent under French domination. In our Grape & Grain segment, we taste and talk about the wines from Snowden Vineyards in California’s Napa Valley. 

HOUSTON Saturdays 2-3 p.m., News Talk 1070 KNTH

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

This week we travel to New Orleans to visit a chef with a new restaurant that has not only exotic, delicious food but intriguing historical references. Tamarind, part of the stylishly reborn Hotel Modern on Lee Circle, serves French-Vietnamese cuisine, a reflection of the century the Southeast Asian spent under French domination. In our Grape & Grain segment, we taste and talk about the wines from Snowden Vineyards in California’s Napa Valley. 

DALLAS Saturdays 7-8 p.m., 570 KLIF

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

This week we travel to New Orleans to visit a chef with a new restaurant that has not only exotic, delicious food but intriguing historical references. Tamarind, part of the stylishly reborn Hotel Modern on Lee Circle, serves French-Vietnamese cuisine, a reflection of the century the Southeast Asian spent under French domination. In our Grape & Grain segment, we taste and talk about the wines from Snowden Vineyards in California’s Napa Valley. 

Our 22nd Year of Eating, Drinking and Telling You About It! 

This Week’s Delicious Mischief Recipe

TEX-MEX SOPAPILLAS 

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional if needed
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
1/3 cup hot water 

Put flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and shortening in a mixing bowl. Use your fingers or a pastry blender to thoroughly combine and evenly distribute shortening. Add hot water and stir with a fork until mixture forms a dough. If dough is too dry to mold or knead, add a bit more water. If dough seems too wet add 1-2 tablespoons flour. Knead a couple times, then place in a plastic bag and let rise 1 hour in a warm place.

Lightly flour work surface and roll dough in to a rectangle about 1/8 to1/4 inch thick. If the dough seems too elastic to roll easily cover and let rest a few minutes more, then roll again. Fold the dough in half and roll the rectangle again. Cut the dough into 3-by-4 inch rectangles.  Heat at least 5 inches of oil in a 3-quart sauce pan or deep-fryer to 350 to 360. Fry 1 or 2 at a time, spooning hot oil over the top to encourage puffing.  Drain on paper towels. Immediately dust with powdered sugar and serve with honey. Serves 6.

 

 

Chef Paul Petersen of Vivo on DM This Weekend

NOW HEARD IN THREE GREAT TEXAS CITIES! 

AUSTIN Saturdays 10-11 a.m., Talk 1370

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

For several years, the family-owned Austin restaurant called Vivo was known as the place for “healthy Tex-Mex,” even though that struck many as a contradiction in terms. Now it’s known, more and more, as the Tex-Mex place that has Texas chef Paul Petersen in the kitchen. We visit with Chef Paul while enjoying our tacos and enchiladas. In our Grape & Grain segment, we taste and talk about the terrific vintages of Roy Estate.

HOUSTON Saturdays 2-3 p.m., News Talk 1070 KNTH

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

For several years, the family-owned Austin restaurant called Vivo was known as the place for “healthy Tex-Mex,” even though that struck many as a contradiction in terms. Now it’s known, more and more, as the Tex-Mex place that has Texas chef Paul Petersen in the kitchen. We visit with Chef Paul while enjoying our tacos and enchiladas. In our Grape & Grain segment, we taste and talk about the terrific vintages of Roy Estate.

DALLAS Saturdays 7-8 p.m., 570 KLIF

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

For several years, the family-owned Austin restaurant called Vivo was known as the place for “healthy Tex-Mex,” even though that struck many as a contradiction in terms. Now it’s known, more and more, as the Tex-Mex place that has Texas chef Paul Petersen in the kitchen. We visit with Chef Paul while enjoying our tacos and enchiladas. In our Grape & Grain segment, we taste and talk about the terrific vintages of Roy Estate.

Our 22nd Year of Eating, Drinking and Telling You About It! 

This Week’s Delicious Mischief Recipe

MOROCCAN CHICKEN COUSCOUS 

3 carrots, cut in segments

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 stalks celery, cut in pieces

1 large onion, roughly chopped

4 boneless chicken breast halves, cut in bite-sized pieces

Salt and pepper, or Creole seasoning

Mediterranean (or in a pinch, Italian) seasoning to taste

4 cups chicken broth

¾ cup chunky tomato salsa

1 can chick peas

Cooked quick or instant cous cous, preferably plain 

Cook the carrots in boiling water (or in microwave) until just softening, then saute in olive oil with the celery and onion until vegetables begin to caramelize. Season with both blends. Remove from pan and cook the chicken pieces until golden brown, seasoning with both blends as you go. Return the vegetables to the pan. Add the both, salsa and chick peas. Reduce hit to simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, letting flavors blend and deepen. Serve over warmed cooked couscous on dinner plates. Serves 4-6.

 

New Triniti on Radio in Houston, Dallas and Austin

NOW HEARD IN THREE GREAT TEXAS CITIES! 

AUSTIN Saturdays 10-11 a.m., Talk 1370

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

One of the most buzzed-about restaurants in memory, Triniti has opened its doors (and its kitchen) in Houston. While there may be “too many chefs” (to quote the old saying), the oh-so-contemporary “broth” they produce is making lots of diners happy. We check in with chef-owner Ryan Hildebrand and his gang. In our Grape & Grain segment, we taste and talk about the tequila of Casa Dragones with maestra tequilera Bertha Gonzales Nieves. 

HOUSTON Saturdays 2-3 p.m., News Talk 1070 KNTH

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

One of the most buzzed-about restaurants in memory, Triniti has opened its doors (and its kitchen) in Houston. While there may be “too many chefs” (to quote the old saying), the oh-so-contemporary “broth” they produce is making lots of diners happy. We check in with chef-owner Ryan Hildebrand and his gang. In our Grape & Grain segment, we taste and talk about the tequila of Casa Dragones with maestra tequilera Bertha Gonzales Nieves. 

DALLAS Saturdays 7-8 p.m., 570 KLIF

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

One of the most buzzed-about restaurants in memory, Triniti has opened its doors (and its kitchen) in Houston. While there may be “too many chefs” (to quote the old saying), the oh-so-contemporary “broth” they produce is making lots of diners happy. We check in with chef-owner Ryan Hildebrand and his gang. In our Grape & Grain segment, we taste and talk about the tequila of Casa Dragones with maestra tequilera Bertha Gonzales Nieves. 

Our 22nd Year of Eating, Drinking and Telling You About It! 

This Week’s Delicious Mischief Recipe

TEQUILA-MANGO SHORTRIBS 

6 pounds pork shortribs

1 large fresh ripe mango

2 tablespoons chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup tequila

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

2 tablespoons honey

6 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/4 cup finely minced ginger

1/4 cup chopped cilantro sprigs

Remove the membrane from the underside of the ribs. Then place the ribs in a rectangular dish or baking pan. To make the marinade, peel the mango and cut the flesh away from the seed. Combine the mango flesh and chipotle chiles in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and puree. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and combine with the ketchup, tequila, lime juice, oyster sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, and cilantro. Makes 2 cups.

Coat the ribs evenly on both sides with half the marinade. Marinate the ribs refrigerated for at least 15 minutes. For more flavor, marinate for up to 8 hours. Remove the remaining marinade to serve as a sauce for the ribs. To grill the ribs, if using a gas barbecue, preheat to medium (325 F). If using charcoal or wood, prepare a fire. Occasionally during cooking, baste the ribs with extra marinade, stopping 15 minutes before removing the ribs from the grill. To serve, cut each side of ribs in half, into 3 sections, or into individual ribs. Transfer to a heated serving platter or 4 heated dinner plates and serve at once accompanied by the reserved sauce. Serves 4.

Haddington’s and ‘Wine Media’ on DM This Weekend

NOW HEARD IN THREE GREAT TEXAS CITIES! 

AUSTIN Saturdays 10-11 a.m., Talk 1370

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

Used to be, English “pub grub” had few admirers beyond crusty old fellows looking for their next lager and lime. This week in Austin, we explore the American “gastropub” movement in a place called Haddington’s, where cuisine reaches some dazzling heights while the barkeeps make sure the drinks keep on coming. In our Grape & Grain tasting segment, we chat with Spec’s wine buyer Collin Williams about the ways traditional “wine education” is being expanded across the social media.

 HOUSTON Saturdays 2-3 p.m., News Talk 1070 KNTH

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods

Used to be, English “pub grub” had few admirers beyond crusty old fellows looking for their next lager and lime. This week in Austin, we explore the American “gastropub” movement in a place called Haddington’s, where cuisine reaches some dazzling heights while the barkeeps make sure the drinks keep on coming. In our Grape & Grain tasting segment, we chat with Spec’s wine buyer Collin Williams about the ways traditional “wine education” is being expanded across the social media. 

DALLAS Saturdays 7-8 p.m., 570 KLIF

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

Used to be, English “pub grub” had few admirers beyond crusty old fellows looking for their next lager and lime. This week in Austin, we explore the American “gastropub” movement in a place called Haddington’s, where cuisine reaches some dazzling heights while the barkeeps make sure the drinks keep on coming. In our Grape & Grain tasting segment, we chat with Spec’s wine buyer Collin Williams about the ways traditional “wine education” is being expanded across the social media. 

Our 22nd Year of Eating, Drinking and Telling You About It!

 

This Week’s Delicious Mischief Recipe

PUB GRUB BACON AND ONION PIE

2 cups mashed potatoes

1 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 – 5 ounces bacon, cut into 1″- 2″ pieces

½ stick butter, divided

2 white onions, finely sliced

¼ teaspoon sugar

5 ounces English or other cheddar cheese, grated

1 medium, red-ripe tomato, thinly sliced

Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

Make your mashed potatoes, or warm them through. Heat and cook the bacon in half the butter and all the oil in a medium-to-large frying pan until just beginning to brown and crisp. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. Add the onions to the grease in the pan. Add seasoning to taste, and the sugar. Fry gently over medium heat until the onions are soft and caramelized. Take care not to burn them! Return the bacon to the pan and stir evenly through the onions. Pour the mixture evenly into a 9-inch pie pan. 

Add the remaining butter and 4 oz. of the cheese to the potatoes. Season with salt & pepper to taste and mix well. Preheat the oven broiler to the highest setting. Spoon the potato-cheese mixture evenly over the onions and bacon, sprinkle evenly with the remaining cheese, top decoratively with the slices of tomato and season the tomatoes with just a touch more salt. Place pie under the broiler until the cheese is melted and the top is nicely browned in spots. Serves 4.

New Radio Homes in Houston – and Dallas!

NOW HEARD IN THREE GREAT TEXAS CITIES! 

AUSTIN Saturdays 10-11 a.m., Talk 1370

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

To celebrate the New Year, our new weekly Dallas broadcast and our new station and time in Houston, we turn to Texas culinary legend Stephan Pyles. We taste as we talk with Chef Stephan about his career and his latest Dallas creative outlet, Samar, showcasing the foods of Spain, the eastern Mediterranean AND India. In our Grape & Grain segment, we chat with a family member about the wines of Undurraga from Chile. 

HOUSTON Saturdays 2-3 p.m., News Talk 1070 KNTH

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

To celebrate the New Year, our new weekly Dallas broadcast and our new station and time in Houston, we turn to Texas culinary legend Stephan Pyles. We taste and talk with Chef Stephan about his career and his latest Dallas creative outlet, Samar, showcasing the foods of Spain, the eastern Mediterranean AND India. In our Grape & Grain segment, we chat with a family member about the wines of Undurraga from Chile. 

DALLAS Saturdays 7-8 p.m., 570 KLIF

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

To celebrate the New Year, our new weekly Dallas broadcast and our new station and time in Houston, we turn to Texas culinary legend Stephan Pyles. We taste and talk with Chef Stephan about his career and his latest Dallas creative outlet, Samar, showcasing the foods of Spain, the eastern Mediterranean AND India. In our Grape & Grain segment, we chat with a family member about the wines of Undurraga from Chile. 

Our 21st Year of Eating, Drinking and Telling You About It! 

This Week’s Delicious Mischief Recipe

OLD WORLD CHICKEN POT PIE 

3 whole (6 half) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on

3 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

5 cups chicken stock

2 chicken bouillon cubes

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter

2 cups yellow onions, chopped

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes

1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas

1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves 

For the pastry:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced

1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Coarse ground salt and cracked black pepper 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken. 

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions and parsley. Mix well. 

For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot. Makes 4 pot pies.