Friday, June 26, 2009

New Dinner Menu

Come in and see what's cooking on our new dinner menu!

Dry Rubbed Rack of Lamb
Blueberry Sea Bass
Porcini Pork Chop
Duck with Balsamic Roasted Grapes
Orange Tarragon Grilled Trout
Two minute Calamari and Seafood Stew
Southern Fried Quail and Farm Fresh Scrambled Egg Salad.... and lots more!

Chef Sheena

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Voted Best Neighborhood Gem

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in Open Table's voting in the DFW Metroplex!
We appreciate all of your feedback!

We were voted Best Neighborhood Gem in our area. Other categories where we placed in the top ten of DFW include: Best patio, and Best Overall Dallas Suburbs. Click on the link above to visit Open Table's Diner's Choice Winners!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

One story of a Chef, living off the land

I call it my old youth. When I tell these stories to people who have grown up in the city or more suburban areas they always say that these are the stories that their grandmothers use to tell them. That it doesn't seem like the youth of someone who is in her 30's, but where I grew up, time runs a little slower and people move a little differently than the way they do in Dallas. The only things to rush to are church and school.

Hunting and gathering for me as a child seemed natural. I had no concept that every child in the world was not doing the same and even though all of my friends and their families may not do it the same as my family, they certainly understood it and had their own family traditions of living better off the land around them.

Living in Florida, even as rural as where I grew up, you are only ever two hours away from a coastline. We went deep sea fishing, snorkeling for scallops in Steinhatchee, flounder in Suwanee and redfish in Horseshoe . The sight of sting rays and hammer heads flipping around in the bottom of my dad's boat is still a fresh memory. Fried squares of shark tail, snapping turtle and stingray were my chicken nuggets. I don't think I even ate at a fast food place or had even seen one until my cousin had a birthday party at Burger King in the next County over. Paper crowns and everything.

Gathering sassafras with my grandmother for gumbo seasoning, marking the Florida Bays in blossom in the summer so that we could find them all year round, squirrel hunting, digging for fresh water mussels; all of this seemed natural.

Once when visiting my friend at her family's deer camp (hunting camp ) we were riding in the back of an old pick-up truck when her father suddenly slammed on the brakes. He grabbed a shovel and an axe out of the truck bed and marched about twenty yards into the woods. He started to cut down what looked to me like an overgrown Palmetto bush and dug up the root. He said "this is good eatin" as he threw it in the back with us.
Later I watched carefully as he cleaned the layers and chopped them up with bacon and onion and boiled it. He called it swamp cabbage and so my love was born for hearts of palm.

That same family introduced many wonderful foods to me over the years including blue crab fingers and homemade wine. They grew the best cantaloupe I've ever tasted and showed me how to harvest and spin honey. After 30 some odd years the oldest daughter and I are still the best of friends and we enjoy many culinary traditions each time we are together. It is how we celebrate, how we mourn and how we mark the passage of the years. Our traditions allow food to transport us to memories long forgotten, until by some magic, a whiff of the once familiar can take us back in time.


P.S. The above image is the Telford Hotel in White Springs Florida, my hometown.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Texas meets Montana Wedding

It's June, and along with the Copper River Salmon and Texas Blueberries, it is the season for Weddings! Just last night we had a rehearsal dinner for a Garden themed wedding here in our private dining room, complete with lots of candlelight, bright pink vincas and maiden hair ferns, just lovely.
I wanted to share with you a past wedding that I have done, for a Denton regular (also mother of a previous employee at Hannah's). She and her soon to be husband loved Hannah's so much, that they honored us with a trip to their Montana home to cater their wedding. Texas style I guess you could say with a shared Cowboy theme and a little bit of Scotland Heritage thrown in for good luck!

The Setting: a large cabin on the Blackfoot River just outside of Missoula, Montana

The Couple's lovely home on 9 mile road...Triple Rock Ranch

Deborah and Jerry O'Connell

A little bit of Texas...Cactus Pear and Lime Margaritas...

A little bit of Scotland...The Bride and Groom were serenaded by bagpipes over the hills...

A little bit of Montana....nothing in Montana is little!

The Groom hand painted river rocks gathered from the property in lieu of place-cards

The Couple requested a Crudite and bread table to go along with a large wheel of "Roaring Forties" bleu cheese that was given to them as a last minute wedding gift.

This was the main stove in the cabin, where me and my "sous" chef cooked through the week, however the garage was turned into a main staging and cooking area on the big day, with rented stoves, six foot tables, coolers and Missoula's six best waiters!

Watching the Big Blackfoot go by...

All dressed up for the occasion.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Brunch Menu

These were our best sellers this past Sunday as we introduced a new Brunch Menu! Honeycomb Banana Pancakes, these beautiful Texas Blueberries in Buttermilk Pancakes, and Hermalinda's Chicken Tamales topped with Locally pastured Scrambled eggs from Dominion Farms, Cotija Cheese and Two Salsas! See you Next Sunday!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Farmer's Market Bounty

I just could not wait to write about the wonderful things I found at the Denton Farmer's Market today. When I see the first table, or in this case tailgate of a beat up pickup, I get so excited, and worried that someone might buy things that I want for the restaurant. I become very protective of every squash and onion I see. Looking quickly down the row to gauge what is available, I can then take my time to pick out the best of what there is to offer. Scooping up the last of the early summer cucumbers and late spring garlic,before anyone else even has a chance, thank you. Those are mine! It is a full on contact sport, don't be fooled, I go knowing full well that I might come back with an empty wallet, a market bag overflowing and perhaps a bloody knee!

However, there are some things you don't do at the farmers market. You don't try to pay with a debit card. Come on people! You don't haggle over prices. These guys work hard for what they offer and they are probably already underpricing what they have, and you don't buy from those guys with tons of boxes of tomatoes from Chile in the back of their U-Haul! Those tomatoes are not local!

Some polite do's..... You can ask where their farm is, they are only too happy to tell you. Sometimes this may take more than a few minutes, location, acreage, what is coming out of the ground soon, but it is part of the charm of our little farmer's market.
Do bring your own market bag, or at least use one bag from a vender to fill up from everyone else, do try to buy at least one thing from every local vender, and if the beet greens look a little wilted it is OK to ask if they have anymore in the back (i.e, the floorboard of the truck, under the table or coming tomorrow).

Today's Treasures are leeks, onions, garlic ( I am thinking of a totally local three onion soup!)
Daikon radishes, yellow squash and cucumbers ( Roasted Daikon Scallops with squash frittata and curry cucumber yogurt ) and
Round Zucchini- sliced thin and fried , layered with cheese and bacon ( we are in Texas, it will sell). Enjoy!

Chef Sheena

Friday, June 5, 2009

June already!

We are in Texas and it was Spring for about a week, but with our first forecast of temperatures in the 100's looming over the next couple of days, it may not be officially Summer, but it already feels like it here in the Lonestar State!

For Hannah's, June signifies the beginning of a few things other that hot weather, first of which is Texas local blueberries! Expect to see these blue beauties on the menu for the next month.
Come in this Sunday for our new Brunch Menu where you will find Buttermilk Texas Blueberry Pancakes!

Also coming in right now is Copper River Salmon. These guys only run for a few weeks every year, so enjoy them now! This weekend we featured Crispy Skin Grilled Copper River Salmon with Cherry Tomato and Baby Spinach Risotto and Apricot Lemon Buerre Blanc. Sad to say that this feature sold out on Thursday and Friday night, but we look forward to getting it in again this next Thursday the 11th.

See you soon, and don't forget to have an Iced Tea Sparkler, made with ice cold Lemon Sorbet, perfect for what's ahead!

Chef Sheena