Category Archives: Around Town Feature

Shady Grove’s Tortilla Crusted Queso Catfish

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This is one of my favorite comfort food dishes! After moving quite a ways away from Shady Grove in Austin- Evan and I started making our own (about once or twice a year). If you can’t make it there this should cure your craving!

 

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It’s worth the work! Trust me on this… Just make sure you go for a longggg walk before you have it so you don’t feel too guilty ;)

 

Prep Time:  30min

Cook Time: 10-12 min per batch of fish

Serves: 4

 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1oz Franks Hot Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 4  5-6oz Fish Filets, you can use catfish or cod, we like both. Cod is really nice and substantial for frying…
  • 2.5 C. Flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • 2.5 C. Buttermilk Full Fat
  • 2.5 C. Corn Tortilla Strips, sliced thin.
  • Peanut Oil for Frying
  • 6 oz Chili Con Queso, I like to make a green chili variety.
  • 4 oz Pico de Gallo
  • Lime Wedges to garnish

Instructions:

  1. Whisk the lemon juice, hot sauce, salt, and pepper together in a shallow bowl. Dip each fish fillet in the lemon juice mixture. Dredge fish in seasoned flour, followed by buttermilk, and then corn tortilla flakes to coat completely.
  2. *I make the hubby my Fry Daddy, and usually request him to do it outside… :) Pour peanut oil into a large, deep saute pan until it comes about halfway up the sides of the pan. Heat oil to 350 degrees F. When oil is hot, carefully add fish fillets to pan, in batches if necessary, and deep-fry until golden brown, about 10 minutes total. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
  3. Place a drizzle of queso on top of each fried fish. Then top with pico de gallo on top of the fish. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.

Enjoy!

Outer Spice Roasted Garlic and Goat Cheese Spread

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You are going to LOVE this spread, it’s super simple to make and so delicious!!! It’s good on crackers, veggies, or toast. Bring this to a party or event and people will love you… seriously be prepared to make it over and over.

The highlight of this recipe is the Outer Spice Seasoning, it’s amazing and I have been having fun playing around with it ever since I got a bottle of the Original Blend. So far it’s great in this dip, chicken, and shrimp. I think it might just be good on ANYTHING… :)

Outer Spice is a locally owned business from Austin Texas that makes blends from the finest, quality ingredients that they hand select themselves, from around the world. They combine fresh herbs and spices in small artisan batches to create the most versatile combination of flavors. Their  products are all-natural, Gluten- free, rich in antioxidants and have NO MSG!  They are also Fair Trade, doing business with farmers and traders that practice Fair Trade!!! My kind of company! 

So many spice blends out there have MSG in them, beware of it’s full name:  monosodium glutamate, it’s bad stuff! You can rest assured of the quality behind this blend. 

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Prep Time: 35 – 45 min

Cook Time: 35-45 min

Makes: Approx 1 1/2 Cups of spread.

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Ingredients:

  • 8 oz Farm Goat Cheese
  • 3 Garlic Bulbs
  • 1 TBS Outer Spice Original or more to taste.
  • Oil (you can use olive, coconut, whatever you prefer).
  • Foil

Instructions:

  • Preheat Oven to 375 F.
  •  Cut tops of garlic bulbs and add a little oil to the tops.
  • Wrap in foil and I place in the oven for 35-45 min or until golden.
  • Let cool when done or use paper towel to handle as you squeeze out roasted garlic cloves. Watch for bits of the outer layers.
  • Mix goat cheese, garlic, and Outer Spice.
  • ENJOY with friends and family!

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The Food Experiments: Austin TX Smoke Experiment TICKET GIVEAWAY

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ZestyBeanDog Blog is giving away a FREE ticket

to The Food Experiment’s ATX Smoke

Experiment !

Need a lunch break during SXSW? Last year Matt Lillard ate our Taco on his lunch break…

Want to try  several badass dishes prepared by Austin’s top amateur chefs and drink Brooklyn Beer while your at it!? Join us this Sunday at Clive Bar from 1-4pm. Things may get a little crazy (they always do) but we try to keep it weird and crazy here in ATX so come witness the delicious culinary madness in person! We’ll be waiting for you!

#teamZBD has placed each year:  2011 3rd place judges pick : 2012 1st place judges pick: 2013 WE SHALL SEE! This year we have put so much love into our dish it’s sickening, in a juicy, fatty, goodness kind of way! We know it’s all going to be damn good and a great time so cheers to that! Let the fires get started!

Ways to win:

Spread the word by sharing this post on/and:

  • Facebook, linking us in the post. via https://www.facebook.com/Zestybeandog
  • Twitter  #zestybeandog
  • Leave a comment here telling us your favorite smoked dish

We will pick a winner by Friday March 8th at 10pm CST. Your ticket will be available by pick up at will call using your name!

Good luck and CHEERS!

Grilled Shrimp with French Green Lentils and Roasted Carrots, Fennel, and Shallots

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This healthy and earthy dish is very satisfying and simple to make. You will be happy you tried it :) I used the carrots and fennel from our CSA from JBG

 

Prep : 25 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Serves: 2

Shrimpy

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup cooked green lentils
  • 10 Large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, leave tail on.
  • 1/2 Cup carrot, cubed
  • 1/2 Cup fennel, shaved
  • 1/4 Cup shallots, shaved
  • 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • Pinch of dill pollen
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions:

  1. Make a vinaigrette with balsamic, 1 TBS olive oil, pinch of dill pollen, pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well.
  2. Roast veggies on foil lined pan with 1 tbs olive oil and salt and pepper pinch for 20-25 min. Reserve in foil to keep warm. 
  3. Heat medium skillet to high and saute shrimp in a TBS of olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
  4. Mix roasted veggies, lentils, and vinaigrette together and serve shrimp on top.
  5. Enjoy!

I’m Baaaaack! Evan’s 10 Course Dinner Birthday Surprise – The Fawn House

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I’m done studying! My brain feels like mush but I’m finally finally done… From Sanskrit to anatomy to chakras… I know it all…well most of it anyways. It’s been 10 months of yoga yoga and more yoga and I will graduate (fingers crossed) next Tuesday! I have not however been slacking in the kitchen, in fact I have been going crazy in the kitchen.

I decided to make Evan a VERY special birthday surprise by creating my own restaurant at home (called The Fawn House, hence all the new fawn roaming in our yard) and cooking a 10 course meal! It was so awesome and I’ve never cooked so many awesome things all at once in my life EVER. I invited 3 of our closest friends and got to work on planning the menu a week in advance. I was so incredibly excited it wasn’t even funny! The few days before I mapped out my course of action and started collecting my goods. Last Friday I made it all come to a reality. I based the menu off “The odd parts/bits” of animals and used as much local and farm fresh ingredients as possible.  Here’s how it went down!

Each course was paired with a special libation. The food was wonderful and it definitely was a night to remember.  I can’t believe I pulled it off… I want give a big thanks to Liz for making the awesome dessert portion! It was amazing!

Well it’s good to be back on the blog-o-sphere!

For some final- VERY exciting news… Yesterday I received an email from the casting director of Chopped encouraging me to apply for the Amateur Special in Austin! I was recommended by the Food Experiments! I’m in the process of applying as we speak! Wish me luck everyone! Stay tuned for more on that.

I missed all of your blogs like crazy so I have a ton of catching up to do! Cheers to you all!

Green Tomato and Bacon Pizza Pie

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I bought some green tomatoes from Johnson’s Backyard Garden last Saturday and decided these babies are either getting fried or going on a pizza… Pizza it was and it was fantastic! Also today is the last day to vote for my Morel and Bacon Egg Rolls! If you haven’t voted yet ( I know many of you have, Thank you so much) please do! Vote here.

Prep: 1 hr

Cook Time: 20-25 min

Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

Toppings

  • 4 slices of Bacon, cooked until almost done
  • Green tomatoes, 3-4 sliced (enough to cover pizza will depend on size)
  • 8 oz Fresh Mozzarella, sliced into medallions.
  • Olive oil, about 3 TBS
  • Salt, pepper, fine herbs (whatever you like).
  • 1/4 C. Parmigiano reggiano, the GOOD stuff!

Crust/Dough

  • 1 (1/4 ounce) Package active dry yeast
  • 1 C. Warm water
  • 1 TBS. Sea salt
  • 2 tsp Olive oil
  • 2 1/2-3 1/2 cups Bread flour
  • 1/4 C. Cornmeal

Instructions:

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed bowl.
  2. Add sea salt, olive oil, and 2 1/2 cup flour.
  3. Attach bowl and dough hook, turn to speed 2 and mix 1 minute.
  4. Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to dough hook and cleans sides of bowl. Knead on speed 2 for 5 minutes. If making 2 pies split dough into 2 balls.
  5. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top.
  6. Cover, let rise in warmest place in house away from draft until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).
  7. Punch dough down each ball.
  8. Roll out dough as you like and place on your cooking surface. (stone, tin, pan, etc.)
    To Top: lay down oil, herbs, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then place mozzarella on top, Then tomatoes, then bacon, Finally sprinkle with Parmigiano reggiano.
    Bake for 20-25 min until bubbly and golden
    Enjoy and Cheers!

Zesty Black Bean & Chicken Nacho Mammas

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I’ve been craving nachos lately, good nachos, not the nasty greasy restaurant kind (although there is a time and place for those as well). :) I figured I’d make us this today for a good Saturday lunch at home. It’s super easy and ALMOST impossible to f’ up! ;)  

Prep Time: 10-15 min

Cook Time: 15-20 min

Serves: 2-3 (Pictured: is just one plate, it makes two).

Ingredients

  • 1 Chicken breast, cubed and cooked in the seasoning of your choice. I do a chili powder, granulated garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin. Lime is nice too.
  • Tortilla chips
  • Cheese, your choice. I like a blend.
  • 1 C. Black beans, cooked
  • 1/2 C. Tomato, diced
  • 1 Serrano, sliced (you can use japs if you like less heat).
  • 1/4 C. Onion, diced
  • Green onion, chopped
  • Limes

The rest is simple:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Cook chicken until done.
  3. Lay out chips on an oven proof plate or pan. Sprinkle lightly with cheese, add beans, chicken, and more cheese.
  4. Bake for 10-12 min.
  5. Top with veggies and squeeze lime on top.
  6. Serve with your fav sauce or crema.  We used our friends award winning Salsa Verde, she was in the Taco Experiment with us and placed first audience pick, and for good reason! 

Enjoy and Cheers!

Team Zesty Bean Dog Takes FIRST PLACE Judges Pick in The Food Experiments Taco Experiment in Austin Texas!!!

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Wow! I’m still so freaking excited that Evan and I won first place in the professional judges panel! I’m even more excited to announce that my two best friends (Liz and Kyle of Sous Me Alchemy) placed first in the public vote AND they will be going to Brooklyn to compete in December (we may have to pack it up and be your food groupies Liz and Kyle)! We both competed last year in 2011- ZestyBeanDog winning 3rd in Judges Pick. Ever since that day I knew I wanted to win first place!!! Our friends the Holy Smokers took 2nd Judges and 2nd Public this year, last year they were the Public champions and went to Brooklyn! Way to go everyone!

ZestyBeanDog made taco that was the “buzz of the afternoon” according to the judges. We made a Pecan smoked duck taco, topped with a duck egg and Brooklyn Lager aioli, a Yuzu Serrano quick pickle slaw, and corn tortilla crispies fried in duck fat all on the bed of a warm homemade flour tortilla (made at 5am that morning). We used all local ingredients from Austin TX. We were even told that our taco was a “smokey, ducky, juicy, crispy BLT of a taco which made the judges swoon”.

The days leading up to the big event recap:

  • Friday, we started preparing things and collecting our last min needs like charcoal and wood chips, etc.
  • Saturday I made a final shopping round to the Cedar Park Farmer’s Market, prepped even more evan deboned the ducks, I popped a pork shoulder in the oven (because we all have to eat too and that was the dish we made last year). Yes I know that may be crazy to cook two major dishes at once but it was worth it and the pork shoulder cooks itself basically! ;) Smoked 4 ducks over the evening. Made the duck egg aioli and duck fat crispies! Even made a duck liver pate with all of the innards from the duck (thanks for that Lori)! Then sweet sweet SLEEP! (with a time change)….
  • Sunday 5am = tortilla making time (it took me 5 tries to get these little things down over the course of 2 months). Slice 4 ducks, chop slaw, make yuzu sauce, and pack it all up! I know I must be forgetting something oh yes my camera (Lori and Dave go get it). Set up table and food, crack open first Brooklyn Lager… and prepare for the calm before the storm! Over 300 people came, the event sold out and reached capacity! There was even a CELEBRITY there Matt Lillard, from Scream, Scooby Doo, Ect… apparently he’s now producing his first movie: Fat Kid Rules the World and he tried our smoked duck tacos AND said it was amazing, he tried to come back for seconds… but we were out, I hope he voted for ZBD! Keep in mind this is event is going on all at the same time as SXSW, Austin’s Biggest event each year!
  • When we got home we celebrated by opening a Brooklyn Black Ops (we won 3 last year at this event) and I made a pizza from scratch, sometime you just have to have pizza! Then we crashed hard! Competitive cooking takes it out of you! I’m still tired!

I put a lot of thought and effort into the vision of this dish as soon as I got that email from The Food Experiments telling me that Taco time was nearing! After several experimentations (some being slight failures and almost even changing our dish) we decided we had to do smoked whole ducks. My husband Evan was my biggest critic and that helped us win no doubt about it (even though I wanted to stab him with a fork a couple of times…). We work great as a team and when I want to give up or take an easy way out, he won’t let me no matter how much I fight it! Thanks for that E! Also thanks for rolling out of bed first thing in the morning and deboning 4 whole ducks :) I’d also like to thank our friends and family that came to support us and watch it all go down, we really couldn’t have done it without you and of course the Brooklyn Brewery Food Experiments team led by Theo Peck- you are all amazing!

We totally took this competition on at full force and it it paid off, big time. I couldn’t be more happy with our placing in this event, to me judges first place is what I wanted all a long, the top pick by well known food critics in Austin. They know food, they know what makes it balanced and successful, and they know how to talk about it! I truly feel ecstatic that they chose our dish because they thought it was the best of them all- and to me that’s worth more than any trip or prize. The judges panel consisted of Addie Broyles from the Austin-Statesman, Claudia Alarcon of The Chronicle and Zagat, Virginia Wood, Food Editor of The Austin Chronicle, and local Austin Food Blogger Stella Floyd of Stella Cooks . Thanks to all of them for their hard work!

We did win some pretty sweet prizes though from the oh so gracious sponsors: A 12″ Anolon Skillet, a 4.5 Quart Le Creuset French Oven, a WHOLE brisket from Franklin BBQ (the BEST BBQ in Austin), a Wusthof knife, the Trailer Food Diaries Cookbook, a Microplane, T-Shirts, some SWEET Chameleon Cold Brew, and BRAGGING RIGHTS!!!

I’d also like to give a shout out to Marx Foods for expediting me some Yuzu at a great price! Thanks guys!

We made it in the media:

Culture MAP

Food Experiments

MSNBC

Brooklyn Brewery

Austin American Statesman

AustinFoodBlogs.net

To All My Fellow Bloggers…. Thank YOU for giving me inspiration and supporting me through reading and commenting on my blog you are what fuels my fire! Sorry for neglecting my blog over the past month and not being as active as I’d like on your incredible blogs! Cheers and MUCH LOVE!

ZestyBeanDog Has Been Deep In The Test Kitchen…

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Sorry I haven’t been around much, I’ve been experimenting as you may already know. This is my second year to be involved in The Food Experiments Culinary Battle. I cannot wait for my husband and I to compete against Austin’s best amateur chefs!  This stuff isn’t easy but it sure is FUN. Last year I was not on top of my game at all, this year I’m more than ready- so look out! :)

Last weekend we went to the Houston Experiment because my friends Lori and Dave were competing. It was a great time and we tried so many great dishes and some not so great dishes ;) They made an awesome beer braised pork belly on a bed of drunken slaw. They didn’t place this time but I’m sure next year they will bring the heat  x100! The winner of the Houston Experiment were actually our table neighbors at the Austin Pork Experiment on 2011: Magic Hops / Pork & Grits Under the Influence. They had a great dish, and the public thought so as well! They will be coming to Austin to root on the Taco Experimenters as well as going to Brooklyn to compete! My friends Lori and Dave and my parents will also be coming up from Houston to support the ZBD, among many others in Austin! Much love to them!

Evan and I have been experimenting for the last month and half and I must say we are quite happy with our taco! It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser-no doubt! Tomorrow we will meet at the Gingerman for our “Meet and Greet” (aka sizing the competition up) with the other chefs. The grand prize is a trip to Brooklyn to compete with all of the other winners from around the world.

I wonder what’s in that smoker… You will find none of our secrets here so stop looking! ;)

If you live in Austin/or are going to SXSW this is the place to be on Sunday buy tickets in advance. You pick the winner, enjoy 25 sweet sweet samples of topnotch food and beer from Brooklyn Brewery. See you there! Now back to the kitchen (and work).

Everything you need to know about Austin’s Farmers’ Markets

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I truly feel blessed to live in a city that has so many great farmer’s markets at my dispose. Just about any day of the week there is a market open to get those farm fresh goodies you have been craving…rain or shine I might add! What’s your favorite market?

I’m going to list and talk about these by area, enjoy!

Photo Courtesy of: Johnson’s Backyard Garden

♦South Austin’s Markets:

Barton Creek Farmers Market 

Hours: Saturdays

9:00am to 1:00pm rain or shine.

Location: On the back side of the Barton Creek Square mall parking lot overlooking the city—at the intersection of S. Loop 1 (Mopac) and S. Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360). 

Details:

This is a great market that’s fun for the whole family and your pups! They carry a wide range of locally raised meats, locally grown produce, internationally prepared food, artisan breads and baked goods, as well as artisan crafts and gifts.

SFC Farmers’ Market at Sunset Valle

Hours: Saturdays

Open Year-Round, Rain or Shine
9 am to 1 pm September – April

8:30 am to 12:30 pm May – August

Location:

3200 Jones Road, at the Toney Burger Center
Plenty (17 acres!) of free parking
Off Hwy. 290/71 eastbound access road, just east of the intersection of Brodie Lane and Hwy. 290/71 East Follow signs for the parking area (plenty!)

Details:

  • Dog freindly
  • This market has plenty of great finds, a few of my favorites are:

Austin Sea Veggies

Oma’s and Opa’s Farm

Pate Letelier

Photo Courtesy of :Rebeccamendations

South Austin Farmers Market

Hours: Saturdays

8am-1pm, year round

Location:  Parking lot of El Gallo Restaraunt on South Congress Avenue, across the street from St. Edwards University.

♦Central Austin’s Markets

Hope Farmers’ Market

Hours: Sundays

11am-3pm

Location: 414 Waller St. They are located in the heart of East Austin at the historic Pine Street Station. You can find them at the corner of East 5th and Waller St, just north of the train tracks.

Details:

The Sunday HOPE Farmers Market is a weekly gathering space for the Austin community to share:

  • fresh vegetables and healthy prepared food
  • artistic creations and live music
  • wellness workshops
  • community organizations and volunteer opportunities

SFC Market Downtown

Hours: Saturdays
9 am to 1 pm September – April

8:30 am to 12:30 pm May – August

Location: 400 W. Guadalupe, Republic Square Park
Plenty of free parking at surface lot next door and State Parking garage across the street.

Details:

  • Meats, produce, prepared foods, and artisan goods
  • Dog Friendly
  • Live music
Photo courtesy of: Melanie Haupt
Photo Courtesy of: From Maggies Farm

♦North Austin Markets

SFC – Triangle

Hours: Wednesdays

Open Year-Round, Rain or Shine
March – September, 4 pm to 8 pm
October – February, 3 pm to 7 pm

Location:

4600 Lamar (46th Street and Lamar), Triangle Park at The Triangle
Plenty of free parking at surface lot next door and The Triangle retail parking garage down the street.

Details:

  • Meats, produce, prepared foods, and artisan goods
  • Dog Friendly
  • Live music
Photo Courtesy of: SFC Owner

SFC – East Austin

Hours: Tuesdays OPENS MARCH 20th 2012

Open Year-Round, Rain or Shine  10 am to 1 pm

Location:

51st and Hwy 183 – YMCA East Communities Branch – 5315 Ed Bluestein
Plenty of free parking in the Y Parking lot and overflow parking near the golf center.

Details:

This market — and only this market – has a Double Dollar Incentive Program/Doble Dolares Programa. Come purchase $10 in fruits and vegetables with your SNAP – Lone Star Card, or your WIC Lone Star Card cash benefits f/v, and the Market Information booth coordinator will give you $10 DDIP / Doble Dolares money to spend on more fruits and vegetables. We will match your fruit and vegetable purchases every week!

There will be at least 10 fruit and vegetable farmers at this market on a regular basis, along with meats, eggs, cheese, honey, plants, and breakfast/lunch food vendors for a quick coffee and scone, or healthy lunch.

♦Cedar Park and More

Cedar Park Farms to Market

Hours: Saturdays

9am-1pm year round rain or shine

Location:

Lakeline Mall Parking Lot – Behind Sears and Dillard’s

Details:

This is my market (I live in Lago Vista). I love the variety here, it’s really great.

Some of my favorites are:

Johnson’s Backyard Garden ( I do a CSA with them and it’s great).

Smith and Smith Farms

CountrySide Farm Products

K & S Seafood

Razor Sharp will be there sharpening knives and tools.

Round Rock

Georgetown Farmers Market

Hours: Saturdays

8am- Noon the first Saturday in April, (4-7-12), through the week before Thanksgiving, November,(11-17-12), in the Scott & White Hospital Parking Lot at the corner of Oakmont & Univ.

Locations:

SEE WEBSITE FOR CURRENT LOCATION

Here are some great recipes using local farm fresh ingredients, enjoy!