… brains …

Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

More Clever AddWords

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

This landed in my RSS reader. If those whales would just learn to eat krill like their big blue cousins, they wouldn’t be in this predicament.

Screen shot 2010-03-11 at 11.27.07 PM.png

Cheesy Promotion

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Kraft Foods is now the official sponsor of the implosion of Texas Stadium.

Have we run out of new stadiums to promote, so we have to promote the demolition of old ones?

Update: Wow.

My Daughters Made Cookies

Saturday, December 26th, 2009
Spock? What does it want?

Things (I Think) I Heard from Kitchens of Seattle Restaurants Last Weekend:

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

Elliot’s Oyster House:

Voice 1: “First rock salt, and now this? No!”

Voice 2: [inaudible]

Voice 1: “I’m not telling you her name.”


“The zombies were good, but sometimes they fight.”

(Both restaurants were excellent, BTW)

Camel-milk Chocolates

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

A Dubai company plans to expand its line of camel-milk chocolates into the US, Europe, and Japan.

This is Not Tequila

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

I ran by the liquor store this evening, in search of a bottle of tequila. To my dismay, I found they were out of my usual, El Tosoro Anejo–and it was too late to make it to another store before closing time.

So I figured I would salvage the situation by trying something new. I googled for some ratings, and ran across Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Anejo. It was highly rated, and they had a bottle that was cheap by highly rated anejo tequila standards.

I got it home and cracked it open, and immediately realized this was something different. A bit of googling turned up the fact that Sotol is a completely different spirit. (I remember thinking Chihuahua was not usually associated with mezcal.)

This stuff is extremely smooth for its price, or any other price for that matter. It has sort of an oaky butter-pecan and leather flavor, with floral, spice, and herbal notes in the finish. I’m still deciding what I think of it, as I was in a tequila mood tonight, and this is not tequila. But it’s interesting enough that I recommend the adventurous of taste to try it and tell me what you think.

Buddhacello, intermission

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Yes, there will be a part 2 to the Buddhacello post, as soon as I have time to do so. I believe I have a free weekend sometime in May. :)

For the curious, the everclear/Buddha zest mixture smells incredible at this stage, like an overpowering mix of lemons and flowers.

Buddhacello, part 1

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

After I mentioned to Phil my success in making Limoncello using Persian limes (would that be limettacello?), he kindly offered up a Buddha’s Hand for me to try the same thing with. Buddha’s Hands are truly odd beasts — they’re a citrus fruit, but they have no pulp. It’s all zest and pith. And they look like an elder god. They smell somewhat lemony, but with strong floral notes — similar to the smell of some roses.

After a bit of research, I discovered that the pith of the Buddha’s Hand isn’t bitter, which means I didn’t need to be anywhere near as careful in removing zest as you do with lemons and limes.

So, for the first set of steps, I needed to get as much zest as practical off the Buddha’s Hand, and get it soaking in 190 proof grain alcohol. Here’s the basic setup:

Buddhacello Setup

The strange looking thing is the fruit itself. The knife is to get at the hidden surfaces on the fruit; the white scrub brush is to remove any wax, dirt, or other undesirable stuff from the fruit; and the tool on the right is a microplane, which is one of the best ways to zest a lot of citrus.

Here, you can see the inside of the fruit:

Yep, it’s pith all the way through. Here, you can see the stem sticking down into the pith:

After about 30 minutes of chopping and zesting, the entire Buddha’s Hand is reduced to a pile of chunks and about half a cup of zest:


Finally, we add about half a liter of Everclear. This is just a few seconds after I poured the alcohol in; you’ll notice that the liquid has already taken on a distinct yellow hue:


So, now we let it sit for a week — I’ll report back on the final product when it’s done.

Rotten Brains

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

As the year draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on times past.

Back in September of 1997, when the media found out about the various transmissible spongiform encephalopathies that can arise from eating neural material of infected animals, CNN ran a story specifically about the eating of squirrel brains as a delicacy in certain southern US states.

The best part is the graphic they ran along with the story, which helpfully points out what part of the squirrel one should avoid eating:


Have a pleasant new year, and watch out for those squirrels.

Now We Have a Bailout for Parmigiano-Reggiano?

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008
Parmigiano-Reggiano (piece)

As reported in the Wall Street Journal (Hard Times for Parmigiano Makers Have Italy Ponying Up the Cheddar) and linked to from serious eats (Serious Cheese: Tough Economy Hits the King of Cheese), one of the all-time most popular (and tasty) cheeses is having financial troubles.

I, for one, will definitely be doing my part and having some of the tasty cheese this weekend!

Restaurant Review: Cyclone Anaya

Monday, October 13th, 2008

I remember Cyclone Anaya from my occasional day trips to Houston back in the college years. It was a rather down-scale Tex-Mex place with what I considered then, the second-best fajita’s in Houston. By down-scale, I mean metal-table Taco Cabana ambience, but with table service, a trendy menu, and a full bar. When I saw that one was opening in Addison, I had to try it.

There is very little relation between this new version and the Cyclone Anaya of memory. This is not down-scale in any way–it is one of the fancier (and pricier) Tex-Mex places in the area. Think Mi Cocina or Cantina Laredo, not El Fenix. The menu had enough unusual items to distinguish it from those two. In particular, they have a number of fancy enchilada dishes.

Candace had their Lobster Enchiladas ($21), and said they were very good, except for the sauce being just a touch to salty. (We tend to like less salt than most people, so this is probably not a bad thing.)The lobster meet was tender, and, well, lobstery. My Enchiladas Anaya ($16, I think) were excellent–chicken enchiladas with a sweetish-smokey ancho chili and mushroom sauce. They were also available in beef. Both were served with Tex-Mex rice, and choice of beans (1 of 4 combinations of pinto or black, refried or soup)

They also have a very nice patio, which is always a plus for us.

The only real downside is that the drinks were pricy but just pretty good. Candace’s Mojito was okay, but does not compete with the best in the area in any way except for price ($12 for one.) I had their “perfect” Margarita: Patron Silver and Patron Citronage, but with a margarita mix no where near worthy of the liquors. A large was $14, and a small (read–really small) was $10.

The one other minor downside was that they have lots of TVs, and had the sound up for the football game in progress. The patio was free of TVs, but they had the sound from the game playing over their outside sound system. It was a Sunday after noon during peak game-time, so we realize, of course, that this would be a plus for a lot of people. I merely bring it up in protest of the trend over the last several years where every restaurant pretends to be a sports bar.

Don’t read too much into the down-sides. We enjoyed our meal immensely, and plan to go back.

What would you do with 16 million?

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

How long would this last in your house?

TAM Habeneros

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

Texas A&M, not content with merely messing up Jalapeños, has now created the TAM Mild Habenero.

Not just no…

Sunday, February 3rd, 2008

Digging around to see if maybe the pain in my head is more than just my second cold this year. Wandering through various pollen count sites lead to wandering through allergists and other specialists. On more than one site I’ve found a link to this:

I’m a capsaicin junkie, but this is nuts. If you really want more info, its at

Immort Ale

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Dogfishhead has done it again with another incredible seasonal ale. This time they tried to out-pun the Monty Python’s Holy Ale people with Immort Ale.

It’s on tap at the Addison Flying Saucer. It comes in small glasses. Flavor-wise, I would have guessed a barley-wine. It’s good, with a perfect balance of sweetness and hoppiness, with vanilla, maple syrup, and juniper berries. (Adam can pretend it’s gin.)

It’s a perfect followup to last year’s Midas Touch.

Good Cheese

Friday, June 15th, 2007

Millefoglie al Marzemino

Try it.


Monday, June 4th, 2007

Several of our dear readers will remember me referring to the “hottest dish I have ever been served at a restaurant” being something called a Lamb “Fall” at India Palace in Dallas. Of course, no one had ever heard of “fall” as a curry dish.

Well, I found it–it’s Phaal , not “fall.” And according to wikipedia, it’s either an entirely made up concoction from NYC, possibly intended to be used to punish inebriated customers, or perhaps Bangladeshi in origin.

Where ever it is from, it has to date come the closest of any chile-based dish to defeating me.

Pyrat Rum Pictures

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

I promised in a comment to Phil’s post about Pyrat Rums a while back to post pictures. It’s been a few months, but I finally got around to processing the pics. (I apparently just like playing with cameras–not actually processing pictures :-) )

Also, we cracked open the bottle of Cask 1623 the weekend before last. All the hype is, in fact, justified.

Pyrat Distillary

Pyrat Distillary

Intrepid Expedition to the Pyrat Distillary

Texas “Body Farm” on Hold

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

Sometimes the news is breath-takingly weird.

It seems that Texas State University in San Marcos, TX, had to put their “body farm” project on hold. What’s a body farm, you ask? It’s a location to study the decomposition of, well, bodies. Human ones. For forensic research purposes. There are a couple of these in the USA already, but Texas has a different enough climate to warrant one of its own.

But that’s not the really weird part. The reason this is being put on hold is not the obvious “not in my backyard” argument. Rather, it is the concern that the resulting buzzard density might endanger traffic at a nearby community airport.

Restaurant Review: Chic from Barcelona

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

This is probably only of interest to our Dallas readers, but Julie and I recently tripped across a restaurant in the north Dallas area that is really worth mentioning. It’s name is Chic from Barcelona. The owner, Rafa (who was quite friendly, and spoke with us as we showed up, after we finished eating, and as we were leaving) started a similar restaurant in Barcelona (which he still owns), and decided to take the concept to the US.

The menu is fairly focused, with only three main entrees (although many of the salads could pass for a meal with the addition of chicken). The dish from which the restaurant presumably takes its name is a rotisserie chicken with a mix of Spanish spices and a mild curry. It is served with roasted apples, basted in the same spices used on the chicken. The meat is roasted to the point of being very moist and flavorful.

The other dish we had was effectively a carpaccio of beef tenderloin sprinkled with a white truffle oil and whole green peppercorns, then broiled just long enough to meld the flavors without actually cooking the beef.

Both main courses came with crispy fried potatoes. I don’t usually eat potatoes, but these were tempting enough that I had to make an exception.

There’s also a cannelloni on the menu, although we didn’t try it.

They have an interesting selection of Spanish wines. We had the Viña Esmeralda with the meal, which is a mix of Gewürztraminer and Muscat grapes. As you can probably surmise, it was a relatively sweet wine, with floral and grapefruit overtones. They also had a couple of sherries to go along with their desserts, including Lustau’s “San Emilio“, which was very sweet and had a strong flavor of raisins.

The ambiance was bright and colorful — stylish without being intimidating. Although we didn’t have the kids with us, it seemed well equipped to deal with children.

So, for you Dallas folks — or people visiting the area — I’d strongly encourage you to go check this place out. It’s just north of the Preston and Forest intersection, on the west side of Preston. It’s also quite reasonably priced — we had dinner for two, including salads, entrees, dessert (for one — Julie didn’t find anything she wanted for dessert), and wine (both with the meal and with dessert), and the whole bill came in right around the $60 mark (before taxes and tip).

Skysa App Bar