Thursday, July 23, 2009

Small Plate Thursdays

Coupled up with our Beer Specials on Thursdays I wanted to offer lots of small plates in the dining room tonight...Here is our specials menu for this evening!

White Truffle Kettle Corn

Romaine Heart with Pepperoncini and Feta Vinaigrette with Crispy Fried White Anchovies

Amberjack Crudo with Apricot Soy Sauce, Green Chilies and Micro Cilantro

Duck Liver Ravioili with Blood Orange, Balsamic and Brown Butter

Locally Made Mozzarella Cheese Toast topped with Pasta Pomodori

The Porco- Three Pork Flatbead with Locally made Sausage, Bacon, Fennell Seeds and Crispy Prosciutto

Elderberry Wine marbled Cheddar with Local Blueberries and Honeycomb

Chocolate Mousse topped with Espresso Granita and Giant Almond Biscotti

Come by and enjoy!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sharp Chef Competition

I had some great fun last Saturday afternoon judging the Sharp Chef Semi-finals Mystery Box Competition. The event was held at Dogwood Estates at Unicorn Lake. 5 Chefs from the Around the US competed against each other and the clock to see who would go on to the finals in Colorado!

My fellow Judges...

Monte came all the way from Oregon to officiate the competition. It was such a pleasure to have all of the Chefs in the restaurant on Friday night!

A "pantry" was selected for all of the contestants to choose from, they could use any of these ingredients along with their choice of one or both of the "mystery box" proteins.

The competing chefs are revealed. Three from Texas, one from Florida and one from Colorado.

and the mystery proteins are.....

Tofu and Pork Collars!

The Chefs had 45 minutes to prepare their dish before presenting it to the judges.

A huge crowd of over 400 waited for the results!

The winner is Jason Swab from Colorado Springs! His winning dish was Spice Crusted Pork Collar with Sweet Potato Mash, Flat-bread and Spaghetti Vegetables. It was delicious!

Click (here) to visit Holiday Sharp Chef and to see Jason's Winning Dish!

What a great way to spend a Saturday!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Farmers Market and Denton Community Market

There was a very productive meeting tonight about the Denton Community Farmers Market held in the basement planning room of City Hall. I arrived shortly after the meeting had begun to a great surprise of standing room only! I will try to post updates on where the planning stages are for this new endeavor as things progress. Tonight was mostly about introductions, gauging interest and floating ideas.

Before I got away from the kitchen though, I did manage to put a totally local salad together...We featured 5- 6 tomato varieties from the Farmers Market, locally grown basil and locally made fresh mozzarella cheese for a really tasty Caprese. MMMMM!

Varieties included; Pink Cherries, Celebrity, Fourth of July's and Yellow Pears.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fourth of July Weekend Specials

We got our first crate of sweet corn in today for the season, along with 30 pounds of snow crab legs, a bag of little neck clams and a crate of Candy cots (these are the smallest, sweetest apricots on planet Earth!).

Come in Friday and Saturday dinner for a few of our dinner specials including:

Roasted Salmon with Sweet Corn and Littleneck Clam Chowder Sauce...

Steamed Snow Crab Legs with Parsley butter Yukon Potatoes and all the fixins'...

Chilled Candy Cots with Ice Wine Granita.

We will have drink specials all weekend. Try a Texas Tea Sparkler with Bergamot Infused Iced Tea, a scoop of Lemon Sorbet and a splash of Tito's Texas Vodka.

See you there!
Chef Sheena

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What a Chef does on her day off

I am pretty much jaded by food shows. I have been going to them since I was young and in Culinary School in Florida. After so many years, there just isn't enough "new" product out there to make me want to see 40 different ways to bread chicken fried steak and eat all day from one color group....shades of brown.

Yesterday however was the Southwest Food Expo and it is better than average.It only comes around every three years. I don't expect much and the day did not start off well, but I did find a few things I wanted to share.
First let me say, I love driving into downtown Dallas. I get excited coming over the last curve by the W Hotel and seeing the skyline spread out before me. It feels like the beginning of a fish out of water movie. You know the kind, where the country girl makes good in the big city!

Anyway,the food was ok. A few surprises, like truffle infused salt and Thai ginger salt...must have those. Also, Katz's was there with some really spicy tuna rolls with all kinds of caviar. They had huge fish on ice and were cutting it up in the booth! Pretty great for a food show. But I have to say that the biggest finds were in the alcohol section of the convention center called Cafe 21.

A few of my favorites were mostly Texas spirits. I spent some time talking with Mrs. Kelleher. She and her husband Gary make Dripping Springs Vodka. A truly great spirit with a sweet corn flavor that really imparts some nuance that you just can't find with traditional vodkas. I am not a huge fan of vodka cocktails. I think a great cocktail should showcase and enhance the flavor of the spirit, and most vodkas taste like nothing to me, so why am I drinking it? I usually stick to gin or rum, but this one tasted wonderful, subtle and substantial at the same time. Mrs. Kelleher also told me about Paula's Texas Spirits. Paula and her crew make some of the best lemoncello and orangecello out there. They have such a dedication to quality, all of their fruit is hand zested for the liqours!

She cited her favorite Sunday Brunch Drink for me...Texas Rio Ruby Grapefruit Juice, fresh squeezed of course, with Dripping Springs Vodka and a splash of Paula's Texas Orangecello! Where is my glass?

Another booth where I spent a good bit of time was Treaty Oak Platinum Rum. The owner was there to talk up his great product and to hand out quite a few samples... a couple for me! Wow, what a wonderful flavor, earthy and sweet on the nose, "like gingerbread" I said. That's when he told me that they use molasses for the alcohol base. Actually they use only local products, incorporating molasses from the last operating sugar mill in Texas.

I really hope to have some of these products at Hannah's soon, make sure to ask the next time you are in and tell me what you think!

Well after a trip through Cafe 21, I went round again to hit up some more of those tuna rolls, some more focaccia with olive oil and truffle salt, and a kobe burger with gorganzola from the Sysco booth. Not a bad day afterall.

Chef Sheena