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Showing posts from January, 2011

Thai favorites Bento

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Thai, who doesn't like a good curry? Coconut milk, fresh ingredients and simple preparation makes Thai food an easy favorite to include as a theme. To make things even easier I even had a sous chef and taste tester to help things along. Ok, running short on time so no more yammering.


Panang Curry. Thai curries all have a start point of the basic curry paste, whether that be green, sour, red, massaman, yellow, or panang. They all have the same thing in common, a lot of work on a mortar and pestle. Savvy cooks and restaurants know that the best bet is to use some canned curry paste as a base. Yes I've made my share of homemade paste and I have the giant mortar and pestle to prove it, but a good canned paste is the home cook's best friend. The curry is pretty simple, I fried up the paste in some coconut cream and added the rest of the ingredients. And you can put pretty much anything in, I went with beef and bell pepper, but I've seen onion, bamboo shoots and baby corn. I…

Foodblogger Event: Trace at the W hotel

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It's been a while since I've been to one of these blogger events, and I was really excited when I took a look at the menu and started reading up on the restaurant. Trace restaurant is located at the W hotel here in downtown Austin. It's a beautiful restaurant featuring four different themed "lounge bars". It has a nice and quiet atmosphere. Trace takes great pride in sourcing as much of their food from local farms. I spoke with Valerie Broussard their resident "forager" (pictured below) and she explained that they worked with the Sustainable Food Center on a token system which enables farmers to quickly get paid and bills the restaurant and hotel which pays on a more regular business cycle. Sounds like a win win proposition there. The menu changes a bit depending on what and where they can source various items. For instance our winter garden salad came from Springdale farms, where as on the website menu it says Animal Farms. And a few of the items we di…

New Years Resolution Bento

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Sorry for the lack of posts, the holiday season and some other issues cropped up. In fact this week's bento was suppose to be for last week. (the theme made a little more sense since everyone was just returning to work) I figured everyone probably made the same new years resolution of eating healthier and losing a bit of weight, so I decided to help everyone off to a good start with New Years Resolution Bento. I was inspired by a slew of nice and healthy recipes a little bit of tinkering and I came up with this menu.

First up, a DIY Chicken Pita sandwich with Salsa Verde. I saw a neat recipe for grilled chicken breast and another for a pita sandwich. I liked the idea of fusing the two together as the flavor for the salsa sounded like a nice burst of flavor. I sous vide'ed the chicken breast for maximum moisture and finished them on an indoor grill to get a bit of char. Eating lean doesn't mean losing a great tasting meal, the trick is to substitute fat for flavor. Yeah it&#…