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Thursday, April 28, 2011

A First Taste of San Antonio

Sometimes you visit a place and experience just enough to know you want to come back. That's how I feel about San Antonio, famous for the Alamo, Tex Mex food and the riverwalk. Moments after arriving as I saw the flat barges on the river, I immediately thought of Mexico, and indeed, Mexico is just a few hours away by car. But Mexico isn't the only influence, San Antonio has German heritage too since Germans settled in Texas Hill Country starting in the 1830's. That's why you find German style beer, which it turns out is awfully refreshing with spicy food or humid weather or both. So it actually makes a lot of sense that John Besh would open up an outpost of his NOLA restaurant Lüke in San Antonio. The food is inspired by the Swiss, German and French food he learned to cook while living in Europe and the New Orleans style food he grew up eating, and of course a focus on what's local. At Lüke you can dig into Texas raised chicken or gulf shrimp "en cocotte...
Monday, April 18, 2011

Teatulia

With more tea companies popping up everyday, it can be a bit of a blur trying to distinguish one from another, but earlier this year I got a chance to try tea from Teatulia and noted the brightness and freshness of the product. Not long after I met Linda Appel Lipsius, a co-founder and CEO of the company and was even more impressed by the lofty goals of the company. The reason the tea tastes so fresh? With tea there are generally lots of middlemen, but with Teatulia because it's all estate grown, there are none so you can be assured of the quality. The company is equally committed to environmental sustainability and the economic well being of their workers, in particular to the women who are growing the tea and managing the estate. Teatulia tea comes from a single estate in Northern Bangladesh, which was founded in 2000. They sell black, green, white and herbal teas, all produced and certified organic. Teatulia is a tea garden, but with the goal of being an enterprise that gives t...
Monday, April 04, 2011

Sautéed Mixed Greens Recipe

Bags of organic arugula at the store always tempt me. "Buy me!" they say, "Eat salad for a week, it'll be great!" Of course after three or four days the bag is half full and the contents start to look rather wilted and sad. Then comes regret. Why did I buy that bag in the first place? Recently I found the solution to the problem of wilting greens, a problem that I'm guessing may also be yours. It turns out arugula is quite wonderful when lightly sauteed in olive oil. It's somewhat bitter and earthy but in a good way. It's even better if you mix it with some other greens. I use a bit of frozen spinach which is mild but silky and some fresh escarole which has a lovely spring flavor and juiciness when it's cooked. The mixture of flavors and textures creates a compelling dish that isn't just a terrific side dish, but begs to be layered in a grilled cheese sandwich. With or without ham or bacon, this is good stuff! I buy arugula a lot. But y...