In my list of supplies to include in my wheel barrel of fun (after I win the lottery and move to Big Sur) are many things. Lots of beer, bacon, honey, cashmere jumpsuits, chocolate, and cheese, to name a few. Cheese and beer are probably the most important (aside from the framed picture of Jennifer Capriati and the ziplock bag of Rihanna’s hair that I collected (stole) from her tour bus bathroom). Cheese enlivens our wits and encourages our senses to be courageous. I decided I needed some education, though; and having been to some classes at Scardello, I thought it would be a wonderful place for a lesson in pairing beer and cheese. Lance Lynn, Scardello’s most aptly anointed beer master agreed to host me for an evening of beer and cheese pairing. Even though this is a slightly impromptu, organic collection of pairings, the purpose of this post is to showcase some exciting and accessible pairings that are available for you, your friends, and your enemies.
Lance is an interesting cat. His warm smile and effortless, hip style are surpassed only by his knowledge and love for what he does. And it’s very much a consistent attitude throughout the entire shop. Lance reads about beer and cheese, attends seminars, and discusses the two with erudite deftness. I allowed him to choose the cheeses, and we worked together to select the beers. First up is the crowd pleasing, American blonde ale from Southern Star Brewing Company called Bombshell Blonde. It’s a very clean, golden beer with a biscuity flavor profile that goes down easy. Instead of rambling on, I’ll just make a list from here on out.
(Disclaimer: Most of the subtleties that are pointed out with sophisticated vocabulary come from Lance. Fortunately, this allowed me to impart my beer sloppiness while he maintained his disarming, sophisticated demeanor. Lance is a pleasant man.)
Each year Savor Dallas continues to grow, bringing residents from all over North Texas together for a weekend of wine and food celebration. This year, in its ninth, Savor added evening events at Trinity Groves, the Perot Museum, and a special evening at the Dallas Arboretum, bringing Dallas Blooms and wines from all over the globe together. However, the original tasting opportunities still remain the best, pairing some of the best chefs in the city together with wines and a plethora of spirits from all over the world at the big International Grand Tasting. This applies to the the special Reserve Wines tasting just before. I had a chance to attend both Saturday night as a guest of Savor Dallas.
Held for the second year at the spacious Irving Convention Center, the Reserve Tasting started at 5 p.m. with representatives from Moet-Hennessy, Numanthia, Cheval des Andes, and The Puzzle from Newton. Diageo poured incredible Rutherford dust filled BV Georges de Latour Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon; Duckhorn offered its incredible Howell Mountain Cabernet;, and Wrath Wines poured a crisp and luscious, wax-capped San Saba Chardonnay. Some special spirits included a four-year aged Casa Sauza XA Limited Edition Gran Anejo Tequila. Comfortably spread out guests easily meandered from table-to-table, sipping and enjoying, while having the opportunity to talk about the wines with the representatives with ease.2 Comments »
Former D Magazine editor Mary Brown Malouf and I ate our way across town looking for the best one-location-only Tex-Mex joints. We conquered 17 joints in 7 days. Here are our top ten. Yes, we know Tejano was sold after we went to press and no we don’t feel bad leaving Mia’s off the list. Everybody got one shot and the day we ate at Mia’s was not their best. Update: Make that nine, we deleted Tejano.
Let’s begin with two words: processed cheese.
In this age of artisanal, responsibly raised protein, people shudder when they read those words. But you can’t have Tex-Mex—still the most meaningful cuisine to emerge from this state—without it.
We’re all about understanding other cultures and learning to appreciate Mexico’s authentic regional cuisines. Love that stuff wrapped in the banana leaves. Love the million and one moles. But those are, well, Mexican cuisines. Tex-Mex is ours. Its gold standard is the cheese enchilada, and a cheese enchilada requires greasy, yellow cheese. So does a soft cheese taco. So does a platter of nachos. And, of course, chile con queso is nothing but. We’re talking American. We’re talking Velveeta.
Newcomers eager to try Dallas’ most famous cuisine tend to be, if not dismayed, then certainly unsettled the first time a server shoves a platter—“Hot plate!”—of earth-tone glop in front of them. Maybe you had to grow up with it. For sure you have to live with it awhile to love it. But for most of us, Tex-Mex is the taste we crave when we are away and the one that defines “home.” Most of us have a steady relationship with our favorite Tex-Mex place, our go-to joint that makes it just the way we like it. No matter that there’s only one way to make a real cheese enchilada (soften a tortilla in hot, flavored fat, roll it around chopped onions and grated cheese, cover it with thinned chili con carne and more grated cheese). Each restaurant has its own signature flavor. You can argue the superiority of your favorite until you’re azule in the face, but it’s like trying to convince a Philadelphian that Pat’s is better than Geno’s. Or vice versa.17 Comments »
Every year on SideDish, we like to devote our energy to supporting small local food businesses that make DFW a better place to live. For the next consecutive twelve days, we’ll be highlighting jams, jellies, pies, classes, wines, coffees, teas, and basically any food product made locally on Dallas (or close to it) soil. Today is Cheese Day. If you’ve got a product that you want included, send me an email with your information and a picture. This list will often be updated, so don’t fret about deadlines. We’re here to serve you guys.
2944 Elm St., Dallas
Owner Paula Lambert writes: “We have a wonderful variety of cheese selections and baskets that are perfect for the cheese lover on your list. All our cheeses are handmade here in Dallas in Deep Ellum. They are local and they are delicious. Our award-winning cheeses have been part of “tasteful” holiday celebrations for 30 years! We even have a special cheese that we only make at this time of year called “Christmas Cheese.”
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My husband is dying to make his own goat cheese. For his birthday, I’d like to give him the necessary equipment and ingredients to get started. This includes raw goat’s milk, from what I understand. So my burning question is this: where is the best place (preferably near Dallas) to buy raw goat’s milk? I’d love the SideDish team to help me buy raw milk or info on cheese-making in general, as it is completely new to me!
FT33 has barely cracked its door open, and it’s already making waves in the Design District. It’s pretty much at home in the Design District. Eight days after opening mid-October, FT33 couldn’t wait to announce a master sommelier wine dinner series. On day nine, chef/owner Matt McCallister invited media people to taste the goods at his restaurant. Desiree and I, curious, accepted the invite and ate lunch as his guests.
Jump to view more of Desiree Espada’s pretty photos.
The State Fair starts tomorrow. I can’t compete with that. But I always say if you can’t beat ‘em, become a third party candidate, say a bunch of crazy stuff and ride the wave of publicity. So this week I’m going the opposite direction of fair foods. Anti-fair fare. Cheap, not fried, and meatless. Don’t worry, though; it’s filled with ricotta so you won’t become dangerously thin from eating it.
I don’t write a lot about pasta, because I almost never eat it. I’m continuing this trend, considering that this “ravioli” is made from wonton wrappers, not pasta. It’s a substitution that works well – especially if your ambition level lies somewhere between pasta from scratch and pasta from a box. I’ll be the first to admit that this is perhaps not the most attractive ravioli. (It’s in that awkward phase between being ravioli and being a steamed dumpling). In fact, you may run the risk of ridicule if your “cool” friends come by and catch you hanging out with this dish. Adults can be so cruel. But the joke’s on them because this ravioli is delicious, quick and surprisingly light for something made of dough and stuffed with cheese. Plus, it has freaky powers and will enact revenge. Enjoy.
There is rarely a time when it is common to see a group of people congregated outside of a grocery store at the brink of dawn…that is unless a Trader Joe’s is opening in your neighborhood. Actually, it doesn’t necessarily even have to be in your neighborhood, as residents from Duncanville, Denison, Ellis, and Allen will attest while they stand in line at the opening of the new store in Plano.
There is an energy brewing amongst the excited patrons that feels celebratory and relieved at the same time. The store is decorated outside with balloons and employees can be seen inside setting up for the opening, dressed in their classic Hawaiin print shirts. Carts are lined up to perfection and ready, the grand opening banner is being put up, and it’s just a matter of hours before opening.19 Comments »
That was one of the combinations I tried the other night at an unusual Seafood and Cheese tasting at Scardello Artisan Cheese on Oak Lawn. The class was hosted by Scardello and TJ’s Seafood Market. The protagonist’s point of view, which they promoted with the finest techniques of crack marketing, was that seafood and cheese go together like cheese and seafood. The whole is more than the sum of its parts. Surf n’ turf can take forms never envisaged in a steakhouse.
People are impressed when you can make something from scratch that they’re accustomed only to ordering. Most people who even consider making something like pizza dough from scratch, think it’s a complicated process.
And it is. Very. If you’re confused by throwing a bunch of stuff in a food processor, hitting a button and then walking away and waiting*, this may not be the recipe for you, and, in fact, recipes may not be for you. Stop wasting your time.
What follows a pretty basic dough pizza formula, so it’s easily adaptable (I’ve done wheat and oat flour variations). Learn it, tailor it to your taste, and brag to your friends about how much smarter you are**. They’ll be impressed, possibly to the point that they will kinda hate you. But you can make pizza and they can’t.
Pizza envy after the jump Continue reading "Look What I Made: Pizza Dough Recipe"3 Comments »
It’s Friday and you’ve started to rely on my posts to get you through the weekend. This is good. This is very good. Lucky for you, I’ve picked out the best ways you can waste your time actually doing something.
Late Night at Scardello is exactly where you want to be tonight. If you love cheese (and, c’mon, who doesn’t?), drop by Scardello after hours to drink bubbly and builds build-your-own cheese plate. Live jazz starts at 8 p.m.
You guys are probably well aware KRLD Restaurant Week presented by Central Market is next week, but did you know that there’s a “Preview” this weekend from August 10 through 12? These restaurants will offer their same three-course prix fixe menus for $35 a person (with a portion of each meal still going back to charity). To get a preview of Restaurant Week, make a reservation at one of these 48 eateries right here.
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This is a dish I put together late one night because I was both bored and the proud new owner of a Texas-shaped cookie cutter. The specter of heartburn kept me from devouring it on the spot (stupid aging), but it ended up being worth the wait. In fact, it was pretty freakin’ delicious and easily the most adorable thing I’ve ever eaten at my desk.
Ironically enough, this Texas-shaped enchilada is a variation on the stacked enchiladas popular in New Mexico. It’s basically a tortilla casserole, so it’s super easy to make and a fun dish to bring to a party or serve with poached eggs at brunch. Just not in New Mexico.
Jump and get tiny with me.4 Comments »
Do you have a few extra calories to spend this weekend? If so, head over to the The Landmark Restaurant at the Warwick Melrose and order a bowl of burrata fondue. The buttery Italian cheese is whipped with herbs, cream, and olive oil and melted into a thick dip. We dipped into the hot cheese with these crusty slices of grilled bread and pulled out long, messy strings of hot cheese. Chef is Mike Pacheco.
If you were once a poor college student (like me) studying abroad in Russia and you didn’t know how to cook yet, dinner becomes the sorriest meal of the day. Monday is plain bread. Tuesday is toasted bread with raspberry jam and butter or nutella. Wednesday through Friday: more bread. Saturday, you get creative and add a slice of cheese. Sunday, though, is when you really get fancy and treat yourself to the holy grail of homemade dinners on that sad thing you call a stove. You make a grilled cheese sandwich.
Because grilled cheese sandwiches helped me survive cold White Nights, drunk Russians pounding on my door, and the lack of a working heater, I have a special place in my heart for this simple sandwich. In honor of National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, I thought I’d take you through a photo tour of the top three grilled cheese sandwiches I either consumed, ogled, or dreamed about in the past year.
Jump if you eat cheese.4 Comments »
Robin Skinner from Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe alerted me to the fact that today is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day. According to a website called Punchbowl.com, it’s also National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month. So technically, you have 18 days left to eat a grilled cheese sandwich in a celebratory fashion. Ruthie’s isn’t your only option. In Dallas, you’ve got Highland Park Pharmacy. Lucky’s, and The Porch on Henderson as sit-down restaurant options. Norma’s Cafe is also offering a free grilled cheese to dine-in customers who visit either of its two locations, and a portion of the day’s sales will be donated to the American Red Cross North Texas Region to help with the tornado damage. Lee’s Grilled Cheese rolls in Fort Worth.
Ruthie’s will be at the Flagpole at SMU for lunch today and at Celebrate Uptown for dinner. Lee’s Grilled Cheese will be closed today, but open at the Fort Worth Food Truck Park for Friday and Saturday lunch and dinner.
Where are you getting your grilled cheese sandwich fix today?
Few restaurants have received as much pre-opening buzz as Nick Badovinus‘ highly anticipated Off-Site Kitchen. As a fan of his work at the Neighborhood Services ventures, I’m not ashamed to admit that I was as giddy as a school girl every time a shred of news regarding its opening surfaced. Naturally, when Off-Site Kitchen did open, 98% of the blogosphere rushed to see what kind of magic Badovinus and crew had been brewing up for all those months, and appropriately, nearly every food writer got right to work gushing about it all over the internet. And honestly, it deserved every bit of praise that has been thrown at it.
Now that some of the early chatter has started to simmer down a bit, it seems only appropriate to express my love for the humble, working-man’s menu at Off-Site Kitchen, particularly through praise of one of my favorite items on the menu board, the 48-hr cracked pepper brisket sandwich. It took a few visits to be able to mentally pry myself away from their excessively delicious burgers, but when I was finally able to take the plunge into non-burger territory, my efforts were so handsomely rewarded, I no longer fear to stray.
The popular International Grand Tasting at Savor Dallas 2012 took place on Saturday night at Irving Convention Center in Las Colinas. Organizers noted the move from Dallas to Irving was to make it easier for the residents of Fort Worth to attend. Any worry that the change in venue would deter event patrons was quickly dispelled once the doors swung open. The place was packed, people shuffled around tightly, filling the venue as guests got the opportunity to hob-nob and rub elbows with some of the finest chefs in DFW. The food and drink were, of course, spectacular as chefs were well prepared to excite and surprise their guests this year.
While nearly every dish our small group sampled was delightful, we thought we would pay homage to some of the most exciting and delicious dishes presented this year. So here are (in no particular order) our picks of the Top 10 Best Bites of the 2012 Savor Dallas International Grand Tasting…
I used to think that wine and cheese went together because cheese ameliorated some of the deficiencies in wine. It turns out I was wrong. This weekend, two experts in cheese and wine pairing presented a fascinating seminar, “The Perfect Pairing of Wine and Cheese,” to raise funds for the American Institute of Wine and Food. The event took place Saturday afternoon at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. The cheese guy was Rich Rogers. He and his wife founded Scardello Artisan Cheese in Dallas three and a half years ago. The wine guy was Michael Flynn, wine and beverage director of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. He also contributed to the 2011 book A Food Lover’s Guide To Wine. So these guys have a lot of experience to contribute to this subject. And I learned more than I possibly thought I could.
Jump for the pairings. Continue reading "Report From 2012 Savor Dallas: How To Pair Wine and Cheese"1 Comment »
Oh, boy. This boy is asking the impossible. Perhaps you can talk him off the ledge. He’s got a hankering for a REAL Philly Cheesesteak sandwich.
Do you know anywhere in Dallas that makes a good Philly cheesesteak? Gandolfo’s uses cream cheese, so I couldn’t even bring myself to try it, and the people who suggest Texadelphia have no idea what a Philly cheesesteak is supposed to be. Thanks!
A real Philly cheesesteak? The last two I ate in Philly (Max’s and Gino’s) were made with Cheese Whiz.18 Comments »