Big Green Egg: Pork (Tenderloin) and (Black) Beans

Posted by johngl

I can’t believe how long it has been since I’ve posted anything food related; celebrating the longest day of 2013 seemed like a good enough reason. We’re also experiencing the largest full moon of the year, which is probably exerting its gravitational effects upon the fluids in my brain. You could call it high tide I suppose. Maybe just high.

Anyway, yesterday afternoon I walked into the kitchen and most glorious spousal unit took it upon her fine self to thaw out some whole pork tenderloin.

Wait, let’s back up to last week.

myboneistoobig

This is pork shoulder bone. It was destined for a waste receptacle. That ain’t right.

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Happy Anniversary to Us!

Posted by johngl

On this date in history quite a number of important life events — for me anyway — occurred:

  • 21 years ago, Most Glorious Spousal Unit and I became a legally sanctioned Mrs & Mr Most Glorious Spousal Units
  • 8 years ago, I began work in the MMORPG world which changed my career path completely
  • 5 years ago, my Russian (now American) friend Maksim and I launched the Alcoholian
  • 1 year ago, most glorious spousal unit and I celebrated 20 years of shared life experiences and I finally completed my life-long quest to visit all 50 States of the USA (Hawaii)

September 13 appears to be a great day!

Happy Day! (JohnGL of Alcoholian fame, delirious with joy!)

Fourth of July Prime Grade Grilled Ribeye

Posted by johngl

It’s my favorite “holiday” and for it, I cooked up an all-American meal: Prime-grade American farm-raised ribeyes, American farm-raised sweet corn, American-grown bing cherries, all topped off by a premium-grade American red wine. A few of you might even think I’m sounding a bit like a patriot…and you’d be right.

Speaking of patriots, back in the late 1700’s a rather small group of folks took it upon themselves to substantially alter the course of history by telling a King to shove it. Things have never been quite the same since. I admire people with, well, balls.

Prime-Grade Dry-Aged Ribeyes
All American Prime-Grade Dry-Aged Ribeye Steaks — seasoned with salt and pepper

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Just a Chicken Sandwich

Posted by johngl

One of my favorite food things is a chicken sandwich. Not that reconstituted, glued, formed, and neatly sliced stuff, but real chicken. It is one of my favorite pedestrian foods.

For this one, I started with toasted sourdough. The sourdough was then coated with chunky blue cheese salad dressing.

Wonderful Chicken Sandwich

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Uchiko Executive Chef Paul Qui Nominated for FOOD & WINE’s “People’s Best New Chef”

Exec Chef Paul QuiAustin, TX (March 5, 2012) –- Today Uchiko Executive Chef and recent Top Chef winner Paul Qui was nominated for  FOOD & WINE The People’s Best New Chef, a program now in its second year. The award, an extension of the FOOD & WINE Best New Chefs program, honors talented up-and-coming innovators who have run their own kitchens for five years or fewer. The dining public will determine The People’s Best New Chef winner via online vote on foodandwine.com/peoples-best-new-chef, beginning today and continuing through March 11.

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Chef Paul Qui: Bravo’s “Top Chef: Texas” Winner!

Posted by johngl

Executive Chef Paul QuiUnless you live under a cactus, anyone who’s been in Austin for a while has to have heard of Paul Qui. Between his work at food trailers, doing cooking classes, and running the show as Executive Chef at Uchiko, I don’t know where he finds the time and energy to do things like appear on Bravo’s Top Chef: Texas series.

Having eaten just short of a metric ton of Chef Qui’s offerings over the years, there was no doubt in my mind who was going to win that competition.

Congratulations Chef!

Austin Food & Wine Alliance Announces New Board, Key Supporters & Website

Austin Food & Wine Alliance

New Culinary Non-Profit to Benefit Community with Grants, Events & National Outreach

AUSTIN (February 21, 2012) – Austin Food & Wine Alliance (AFWA), Central Texas’ newest culinary non-profit, which is dedicated to fostering awareness and innovation in the Central Texas food and wine community, has named the organization’s first Board of Directors after an overwhelming response from the city’s top culinary advocates. The AFWA formed this year after transitioning from the former Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival.

A selection committee composed of former board members and key culinary professionals vetted dozens of applicants to select the board members who will lead the organization’s key initiatives including providing grants to community nonprofits, individuals and businesses based on culinary innovation; continuing the legacy of hosting dynamic culinary events to showcase Austin’s top talent in the food, wine, spirit and craft brew industries; and providing ongoing educational opportunities through seminars and tasting events.

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Such A Cheezy Afternoon

Posted by johngl

About a week ago, the most glorious spousal unit and I enjoyed a great afternoon around Austin: We first hit the brand new Penzey’s Spice store just south of 45th on Lamar, then cruised over to Antonelli’s Cheese Shop in Hyde Park, then popped into Asti Trattoria for a glorious birthday (mine) dinner.

We’ve been Penzey’s Spice catalog shoppers for years and their selection of peppercorns is fantastic, but walking into an actual store is something I’ve never experienced. There are around 250 herbs, spices, and other foodie whatnots around the store and they have “sniff me” jars for most of them. Consequently, upon entering, you are hit full in the nose with the most incredible aroma imaginable.  It is impossible to describe in print…you will just have to go there.

Penzeys

Antonelli’s Cheese Shop has been open just over a year and a half and has a magnificent selection of cheeses that you can actually sample. In fact, we were taken on a bit of a tasting excursion, but I will elaborate on that a bit later since it is actually the subject of this post.

Antonelli's Cheese Shop

For dinner at Asti, we simply threw ourselves at the feet of Owner and Executive Chef Emmett Fox and begged him to select our menu for us. Actually, it didn’t take a whole lot of begging.

Asti, which has been a fixture in Austin’s Hyde Park area for around a decade, has not only held its own during a period of extensive change in the Austin restaurant scene (where many restaurants have come and gone during that time), it is thriving: the place was packed. Our dinner was fantastic and I don’t use that term lightly.

Asti Trattoria

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The Great Noble Pig Expansion!

Posted by johngl

Noble Pig
This photo is from the Original Pig Opening a very short year ago

Regular readers know that I am a huge fan of the Noble Pig. Well, they’ve had a really great first year and, due to high demand for their decidedly hand-made fare, they are getting piggish and assimilated the space next door.

Here’s their press release:

Noble Pig Launches “Noble Pig Deli and Charcuterie” Next Door November 25th

Offerings Include Broad Selection of Artisan Delights, Available to Take Home

Austin, TX John Bates and Brandon Martinez, owners of artisan sandwich shop Noble Pig, are excited to announce the opening of a retail deli and charcuterie counter in the space next door to their current location. The Noble Pig Deli and Charcuterie will be open on November 25th 2011 and will offer a variety of meats, spreads, pickled items, breads, sweets, and more.

The newly renovated space will have different hours than the restaurant, opening at 10am and closing at 7pm. The Noble Pig Deli and Charcuterie will also expand its seating with additional indoor and outdoor areas.

Items Available in the Noble Pig Deli and Charcuterie

  • Jarred items-relishes, mustards, jams, pickles, a line of bread puddings
  • House prepared meats, pates, terrines, sliced tongue, beef and duck pastrami, bacon, ham, smoked pork belly, smoked turkey, roast beef, sausages
  • Bread-white, wheat, ciabatta and brioche
  • Sweets -tarts and other seasonal desserts
  • Grab and go ciabatta sandwiches from the Noble Pig catering menu

We want to be the space that people can drop by to pick up what they need for their parties, for their dinners, for their day. More house-cured meats, new freshly baked breads, and a wider variety of house-prepared condiments will all be available, comments Chef/ Owner John Bates.

About Noble Pig

From the bread to the pickles to the meats cured in house, Brandon Martinez and John Bates are dedicated to the artisan sandwich. Across America-from New York to Chicago to Seattle- every city has a delicatessen where pastrami sandwiches or homemade rye bread are legends in their own right.  Bates and Martinez emulate these celebrated places but with their own style, looking through an Austinite’s lens. The Noble Pig philosophy is grounded in the timeless approach of making quality food from quality ingredients, and this age-old artisan attitude is making a refreshing splash in the Austin community.

Noble Pig
11815 620 N. Suite 4
Austin, TX 78750

The Blissful Adventurer

Posted by johngl

Fellow cooking enthusiast, budding photographer, philosopher, world traveler, travel guide, serious  wine guy, and friend — it’s difficult to pigeon-hole this guy — began blogging about his adventures several months back. He’s also working on a book. His name is Michael Housewright.

Michael Housewright

I met Michael about eight years ago. As I recall, I was doing some cooking (a prime rib) at a friend’s house. It was just prior to the Fourth of July and he started talking about a fireworks display he was prepping. There is no quicker way to get my attention than to mention explosives (except maybe food, wine, classic cars, wooden boats, white sand beaches, Impressionist Art, and nekkid women — not necessarily in that order). Professionally, he was a wine guy at Central Market at the time. He has an outstanding palate and diligently works to keep it sharp.

He also loves Italy. In fact, he co-founded a company there called Southern Visions, folks that conduct bicycle tours around Puglia. He’s been doing this wine, food, and travel thing professionally for about 15 years.  I’m actually a little surprised he doesn’t have his own show on PBS. Perhaps that will be his next gig.

In the meantime, he’s settled on The Blissful Adventurer — Adventures in Eating, Living, and Photography as the outlet for his boundless creative energy. I highly recommend joining him for his “observations of the absurd and the sublime mostly viewed through the eyes of a well fed wanderer.”

Two Guys and a Tricycle

Unlike the Alcoholian, you’ll see pictures of stuff other than food.