Archive for the 'Austin' Category

11
Apr
10

shrimp salad with serrano-mint sauce.

My longest term relationship has been with the gym, and I have put a LOT of time into making it work. We first got together in high school, had a trial separation in college, and got back together right before I moved to New York. We’ve been going strong for four years now, and I am bored out of my skull. I’ve tried different things to keep it interesting, but there are only so many options within those confined walls. As a result, I’ve been looking elsewhere for satisfaction. The track and I have had a well publicized affair, but that’s not the only time I’ve strayed. I recently went to Mexico, and the pool and I had some really good times. We’re talking handstand contests, somersaults, et al. Also, what better way to rehydrate than with a swim up bar and giant frozen cocktails? Sorry, Poland Spring. I appreciate a good sport cap, but Pina Colada won this round.

gym assassin

Also, is it any accident that all the girls with the sickest bodies in Mexico were major yogis? Methinks not. I’m all about the yoga now. I was warned that it would change my body, muscle-y-wise, and I’ll be damned if it hasn’t already. I’ve gone maybe five times in the last two weeks, and I honestly look longer and leaner. Seriously, I think my spine went off and elongated itself. Or maybe it’s all in my head, but I’ll take it.

As far as the food goes, I had something like 20 Mexican meals in a row. Not only was I in Puerto Vallarta eating beer battered fish tacos daily, but then, without skipping a beat, I headed to Austin and had street truck tacos and queso for three days straight. Eventually, I returned to NYC with habanero swimming in my veins, and met a friend for brunch at the legit Mexican place down the street. Two days later, I met another friend for dinner and had – wait for it – Mexican food. Think I’ve had my fill? Nah. Although if my metabolism could talk, it would say, “Listen, my dear. Throw me a bone and deprive yourself of chips and salsa for, like, one day.” And I’d say, “You can handle this. Take it all, bitch.” And it would get all pouty and defiant, and I really hate when it’s like that. So to maintain peace, I’m taking a brief departure from all the huevos rancheros and the like.

I made a beautiful little salad the other night that had a fair amount of Mexican flavors, though. It called for:

Ingredients:

1/4 lb pre-cooked shrimp

2 cups baby spinach

1/4 sliced avocado

5 sliced roma tomatoes

chopped cilantro

1/4 lb baby portabella mushrooms, sliced

It started with some shrimp that I bought pre-cooked at Whole Foods. I sauteed some baby portabella mushrooms in olive oil, salt and pepper, and then heated the shrimp in there as well. I sliced the avocado and tomatoes, threw those on top of the spinach, and then added the mushrooms and shrimp as well. I topped the whole mix with the chopped cilantro, and then made this Bobby Flay serrano-mint sauce to use as dressing. It was the spiciest thing I’ve made in ages, and it calls for:

Ingredients:

1 c mint leaves

2 serrano chiles, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

2 teaspoons Agave nectar (Bobby calls for sugar; I didn’t have)

1/4 c white wine vinegar

salt

You throw all ingredients in a blender and pulse until mixed. I drizzled it atop the salad. Even after my two week Mexican food bender, I found it to be just slightly too spicy. I added a little more agave nectar, but the mint, ginger, white wine vinegar and chiles quadruple-teamed each other to make a pretty potent sauce. Anyways, see below for the delicious final product. It may have sacrificed half my stomach lining, but what a way to go:

shrimp salad with serrano-mint sauce

Advertisements
06
Aug
09

Austin eats.

I just took my first big girl vacay, and I think I fell a little bit in love. I visited my lady Lauren in Austin, TX, where she and fiance Dave have lived for the past year. That city is crammed full of Mexican food and fitness lovahs, and I’m a little into both myself. And by “a little into,” I mean that I’d like to die by means of salsa and avocados after a nice outdoor jog. I haven’t worked out the specifics for that amazing/slightly morbid fantasy, but what a way to go.

Lauren let me tag along while she did her grocery shopping at the organic red light district-esque Central Market. You know, if the red light district offered free samples and was about food, rather than prostitution. Just look at the fish counter:

fishes.

fishes.

How sexy is THAT? She didn’t come outright and say that she was challenging my loyalty to Trader Joe’s, but I could see it in her eyes.

One of the things I love most about TJ’s is the customer service, but the employees at Central Market are above and beyond. They pretty much stop just short of going home with you and preparing the food while you watch Days. Maybe if coaxed? I think they could be talked into it.

Lauren and I were all, “Hmm maybe we’ll make crab cakes. How does one prepare those?” And the employee was like, “Hold please, I’ll go print a recipe for you.” And then he DID. And it was an Ellie Krieger recipe! It’s like he sensed we’re Food Network addicts, and we both totally took care to cover our track marks.

We were in Central Market to buy breakfast burritos ingredients, which is one of Lauren’s specialties. We went back and she prepared, while I sat stove-side and observed. She started with a couple of russet potatoes and one yellow onion, which she chopped and threw in a pan with a little canola oil. She added about a clove of chopped garlic, some cumin, paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste. Those sauteed for about 10-15 minutes, and she covered the pan for most of the time to expedite the softening:

breakfast burrito master

breakfast burrito master

She then scrambled about five eggs in a separate skillet, which she prepares by heating the skillet on high and adding the eggs immediately. She scrambles for about a minute, and then turns off the burner to let it cook a minute or so more. Although Sunny says cook eggs low and slow, I totally approve of this method. Who doesn’t love fast and easy? No one. No one doesn’t love it.

Lauren heated the tortillas in yet another skillet, which is kind of great because it snubs the microwave. I get such a thrill out of that. When everything cooked up all delicious-like, she threw them all in the warmed tortillas and dressed with salsa verde and hot sauce.

They were so spicy and flavorful, and I’m taking her recipe without shame. Meanwhile, see below for the final product:

Lauren's breakfast tacos.

Lauren's breakfast tacos.

I spent four days with Austin, and by the end of my trip we realized we forgot to make the crab cakes that the fish counter man was so committed to!

We were too busy having the most amazing Indian food in life, excellent mushroom pizza at The Alamo, and great $10 brunch that kept me full for like 12 hours. Oh yeah, and cinnamon and nutella crunch gelato. I had that also.

Come Tuesday, I tried to leave Austin, but the city like wouldn’t have it. My flight was supposed to leave at 1 p.m., but it delayed, delayed, delayed and was eventually canceled by 6 p.m. Not one airline wanted to fly anywhere near NY at that point, so I called Lauren and filled her in on the situation. The quickest flight out was this morning, so I crashed for one more night with my favorite Texans.

We made our collaborative crab cake dinner, meaning Lauren made the cakes (the important part) and I cut sweet potatoes into fry-like shapes. She made the cakes by mixing lump crab, a diced red pepper, and chives with some worchester sauce, hot sauce and dijon mustard. She then mixed in one egg, rolled them in bread crumbs, and pan seared them in a little oil for about five minutes. I cut the sweet potatoes, brushed with olive oil, salt and pepper and baked them at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

I’m an unapologetic grill fiend, so I was all ready to grill the corn on Lauren’s indoor grill. Rather, she wet the corn still wrapped in its husks, and microwaved it for about 8 minutes. They steam when nuked that way, and they came out perfectly done. Also, the husks just shed right off that way, which is pretty convenient for the husk-challenged.

The meal was delicious and totally reaffirmed Jetblue’s decision to ground me for one more night. See below:

clockwise from right: sweet potato fries, crab cake, corn on the cob and green onion garnish.

clockwise from right: sweet potato fries, crab cake, corn on the cob and green onion garnish.




December 2017
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Categories