A passion for food + fashion

Posts Tagged ‘texas’

Playing with Fire: Smoked Habanero Garlic Chicken

In Food, Recipes on December 13, 2010 at 9:16 pm

When I walked into my kitchen yesterday afternoon it was like I’d been sucker punched by Manny Pacquiao—that is if the Pac-Man were made out of garlic. Here was the scene: My husband and his friend Francis (who is shooting a totally AMAZING docu-series on Homeboy Industries—more on that soon!) were in the kitchen at the beginning of a three-hour cooking odyssey. Francis was teaching him how to smoke Habanero Garlic Chicken over hickory chips on the grill, a recipe Francis learned from a dude in Austin, TX, upon whom the character of  David Wooderson in Dazed & Confused is said to be based. And in Texas, it’s all about slow and low. Trust me, this is man’s work. What follows are Mr. Foodinista’s photographs of this burly business. Outside, hickory chips were soaking in our toddler’s bucket:

Inside, Francis had lost feeling in his fingers deveining and seeding the hotter-than-hell habanero peppers before pulsing in the food processor. You want to end up with about a cup of minced peppers.

Meanwhile, my husband was peeling six HEADS of garlic.

They also got pulverized, and then mixed in with the habaneros and at least two cups of olive oil. Francis chopped up what amounted to a large handful of fresh rosemary and tossed it into the mix.

Me? I would have used gloves for this part, but Francis was feeling no pain. Starting at neck end, he put his hand between skin and breast meat to loosen skin of each chicken. Then he spooned several tablespoons of the habanero mixture over breast meat under skin, and also brushed remaining mixture over the outside of the two chickens. (For god’s sake, if you try this at home, do NOT touch your eyes after handling habaneros.)

Inside each cavity he placed half a lemon to keep the birds from drying out. Outside my husband loaded up the smoker box on his beast of a grill with soaked hickory chips. The boys placed the birds on the grill over indirect heat and smoked ’em at 250-275 degrees for close to three hours.

During which time beers disappeared. If it sounds like we’re in the middle of summer over here, there’s a reason for that. I hate to share this with people living in places where sports arenas are collapsing under the weight of snow, but we’re having a heat wave in Los Angeles. Yesterday was in the mid-80s. But the truly scorching news was how crazy good these chickens were. Smoky and juicy with a fiery heat that slowly builds. Just totally hot in every sense of the word.

Do try this at home, preferably at mine.

Mansion on Turtle Creek

In Food, Media, Out of Town on June 7, 2010 at 2:32 pm

© Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas TX

This past weekend my husband and I flew to Dallas, TX, for a dear friend’s 40th birthday bash. I fully expected the weekend to be a blast. I mean, come on, this is Billy Fong we’re talking about. But what I didn’t expect was how much I would LOVE the city of Dallas. And who wouldn’t, checking into the Mansion and being greeted at reception with a cookie and iced latte?

Every last detail of this hotel is first rate (it’s a sister property to the San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara), and the hotel’s restaurant boasts the only Michelin-starred chef in Texas, Bruno Davaillon. My husband and I chose to celebrate our anniversary dinner there on Friday night before joining the party on the terrace to fête Billy. I think it incredibly rude to photograph food in a posh restaurant as it disturbs the experience for other diners. However, since we were eating so early and alone in a corner I asked our server if he would mind and he said snap away! So here is a taste of a most memorable meal, starting with oysters served with a spicy cocktail sauce and wasabi caviar. What I love is the gorgeous bed of rock salt and peppercorns on which the oysters were served:

Then there was this grilled asparagus and mushroom risotto with shaved parm and meyer lemon emulsion. I love risotto passionately, but find that only about 1 out of every 10 you order is worth it. This was one of those sublime risottos that keeps me coming back for more.

I might start getting emotional if I talk too much about my main course, it was so beautiful. Coconut poached Maine lobster with madras curry and hearts of palm:

Meanwhile my husband turf-ed while I surfed, and he was every bit as smitten with his duo of braised short ribs and prime filet with potato fondant and MARROW BUTTER.

And then it was out to the patio to celebrate. Here’s a sneak peek at the chic of Billy’s entourage. L to R, Minnesota ballroom dancing champion Anna, NY art consultant Meredith, the Birthday Boy, and PaperCity‘s Dallas co-editor and social editor, Brooke Hortenstine.

Foodinista, Phone Home

In Fashion, Out of Town on June 6, 2010 at 11:59 am

No trip to Dallas, TX, would be complete without a trip to the Mother Ship—Neiman Marcus’s flagship store at 1618 Main Street. It’s enormous and filled with immaculate and friendly staff, but interestingly the ladies shoe salon is only a fraction the size of its Beverly Hills counterpart. Which didn’t stop me from picking up a little memento as sunny as Dallas itself.

More details—from brisket tacos and hotel pools to Donald Judd and seersucker shorts—to come…