Tessa Halstead has been carrying on her dad’s chocolate legacy in Austin for several years now.
Well, at this point, after three years of running a high-end chocolate business in Austin, Halstead is creating her own legacy, but when you’re the daughter of a legendary Dallas chocolatier, you’ll always be tied to your mentor.
Halstead’s Chocolaterie Tessa opened on Burnet Road in 2014, and this month, she opened a second location at the Domain Northside, 3211 Palm Way, where you’ll find her small-batch chocolates and treats.
The new store is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
In coming weeks, you’ll find several events at the new Chocolaterie Tessa location, including a wine and chocolate pairing at 6 p.m. on Nov. 9 and a bean-to-bar-to-bon bon class at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 30 with Srsly Chocolate. At 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 6, you can meet Lawren Askinosie, who recently co-wrote a book with her father, the founder of Askinosie Chocolates.
At 6:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Halstead is hosting a chocolate and cheese class with Antonelli’s Cheese Shop followed by a 10 a.m. chocolate and coffee class on Dec. 9 with Caffe Medici.
I can’t think of much that wouldn’t be good with Parmesan and brown butter, actually, but the combination is especially good with roasted winter squash. Use leftovers for a baked pasta — layer the squash with rigatoni or penne cooked firmly al dente, and then shower with grated cheese and bread crumbs.
— David Tanis
2 pounds peeled Hubbard or other winter squash, cut into 1/2-inch slices or a bit thinner
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter
Pinch of crushed red pepper
12 large sage leaves, roughly chopped, or a handful of smaller sage leaves
Arugula or chopped parsley for garnish
A chunk of Parmesan for shaving
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the squash slices in a large bowl, season with salt and black pepper, and drizzle with enough olive oil to coat. Toss the squash with your hands to distribute the seasoning, then transfer to two baking sheets and spread out the slices. Roast until the squash is cooked through and the edges are browned here and there, about 15 minutes. (You can roast the squash up to 3 hours in advance and hold it at room temperature.)
Arrange the squash on a warm platter or on individual plates, then quickly make the brown butter sauce: Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the crushed red pepper and sage, season with a little salt and black pepper, and whisk the butter and aromatics as the butter begins to bubble and brown. When the butter is foamy and nutty-smelling, in a minute or so, spoon it over the squash. Garnish with a few arugula leaves or chopped parsley and use a sharp vegetable peeler to shave Parmesan over the squash. Serve with lemon wedges.
Makes 6 to 8 servings as a main course, 10 servings as an appetizer.
Thanks to an influx of Japanese yakitori restaurants, Americans are becoming familiar with the skewered meats typically served there. In many places, you’ll find strips of meat threaded onto a skewer, but this yakitori is a good example of tsukune, the meatball-like chicken patties you can grill on sticks.
Tim Anderson, the author of “JapanEasy: Classic and Modern Japanese Recipes to Cook at Home” (Hardie Grant, $29.99), recommends finely chopping the chicken thighs rather than grinding with a food processor because you don’t want a meat paste in the end. You can cook these as meatballs or flatten them to make patties. The skewers allow you to flip them easily on a grill, but you can sear them in a pan if desired.
A note about sweet soy sauce: You can buy sweet soy sauce at Asian markets and specialty stores, but you can also make a version at home by heating 1 tablespoon sugar with 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1/4 cup water and 1 tablespoon peanut oil. (A dash of sesame oil never hurts.) Some dark soy sauces are sweetened with ingredients like molasses, so they’ll require less sugar to sweeten for a dish like this.
Chicken Patty Yakitori
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of cartilage
3/4-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped, plus 1 extra, finely sliced, to garnish
4 shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped (optional)
Big pinch of freshly ground pepper
Big pinch of salt
Scant 3/4 cup sweet soy sauce
Cut the chicken thighs into small chunks, then mince them – you can do this by hand or with a food processor. Either way, make sure they’re not too processed – the mince should hold together when you shape it, but it shouldn’t be a paste. Little chunks of meat are what we’re after.
Heat a grill on high or, alternatively, turn your broiler on high. If using a broiler, place the rack 4 to 5 inches or so away from the heat.
Combine the chicken mince with the ginger, garlic, chopped spring onions, mushrooms, pepper and salt, then form into oblong patties and thread them onto skewers. Wrap the ends of the skewers in foil and apply the sweet soy sauce to the meat with a spoon or pastry brush. Grill or broil on high for about 10 to 15 minutes, turning the skewers and re-applying the glaze frequently. Garnish with the sliced spring onion. Makes 8 patties.
Black licorice isn’t high on many people’s list, including the FDA’s.
Today, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about everybody’s least favorite candy, warning that too much black licorice can cause abnormal heart rhythms, as well as high blood pressure, edema (swelling), lethargy and congestive heart failure.
Black licorice is so strongly flavored that it’s widely yucked, but not everybody hates it. In fact, apparently some people eat so much they have serious health issues.
How much is too much? According to the FDA, two ounces a day for two weeks straight, and it has to be the real stuff, not this fake anise-oil flavored licorice that you might find in some plastic pumpkins tomorrow.
The FDA specifies that this warning predominately applies to licorice-lovers over the age of 40. It turns out that black licorice contains the compound glycyrrhizin, which is the sweetening compound derived from licorice root, and glycyrrhizin can cause potassium levels in the body to fall.
From the FDA:
Licorice, or liquorice, is a low-growing shrub mostly grown for commercial use in Greece, Turkey, and Asia. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says the plant’s root has a long history of use as a folk or traditional remedy in both Eastern and Western medicine. It has been used as a treatment for heartburn, stomach ulcers, bronchitis, sore throat, cough and some infections caused by viruses, such as hepatitis; however, NIH says there are insufficient data available to determine if licorice is effective in treating any medical condition.
Licorice is also used as a flavoring in food. Many “licorice” or “licorice flavor” products manufactured in the United States do not contain any licorice. Instead, they contain anise oil, which has the same smell and taste. Licorice root that is sold as a dietary supplement can be found with the glycyrrhizin removed, resulting in a product known as deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or DGL, NIH says.
The agency went on to recommend the following “if you have a fondness for black licorice”:
No matter what your age, don’t eat large amounts of black licorice at one time.
If you have been eating a lot of black licorice and have an irregular heart rhythm or muscle weakness, stop eating it immediately and contact your healthcare provider.
Black licorice can interact with some medications, herbs and dietary supplements. Consult a health care professional if you have questions about possible interactions with a drug or supplement you take.
If you’ve experienced any problems after eating licorice, contact the FDA consumer complaint coordinator in your area.
If you’re hoping to catch some of the cookbook authors coming to town this week, here’s a look at the food and cooking authors who will be in attendance and any related events they are hosting.
At 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the Central Market Cooking Tent, located on 11th Street on the south side of the Capitol, Terry Thompson-Anderson will talk about her latest book, “Breakfast in Texas,” with Texas Monthly’s Patricia Sharpe.
The Austin-based social justice activist Raj Patel and California peach grower Mas Masumoto are among the contributors to a new book called “Letters to a Young Farmer” that they’ll discuss at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the Capitol Extension Room E2.012.
Mexican ice cream will be the subject of a session at 11:45 a.m. in the Cooking Tent on Saturday with Fany Gerson, the New York City-based pastry chef who has written a number of books about Mexican desserts. Gerson will have another presentation in Spanish at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the Ahora Si tent.
What is American food? That’s a mighty question that a new book called “America: The Cookbook” tries to unpack. Several of the book’s contributors will be at the cooking tent at 1 p.m. Saturday to talk about this new megabook from Phaidon.
“Homesick Texan” author Lisa Fain will talk about her new “Queso” cookbook at 2:15 p.m. Saturday, followed by a session at 3:30 p.m. with Sarah Penrod, author of “Cookin’ With the Urban Cowgirl.” (Fain will stop by BookPeople at 7 p.m. Thursday for her book signing event with Edible Austin.)
At 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Austin restaurateurs Tom Moorman and Larry McGuire will talk about their new book, “Elizabeth Street Cafe,” which features French-Vietnamese recipes from the popular South Austin eatery.
Simmons also has a public event at Lake Austin Spa, 1705 S. Quinlan Park Road, at 5:30 p.m. Sunday that will feature wine, cheese and a book signing with Simmons, who is also teaching a private cooking class for spa guests the following day. The event costs $30, which does not include the cost of the book. You can find tickets at lakeaustin.com.
Honey is a magical elixir. It’s the only food that doesn’t rot. It’s antibacterial. It’s sweet and thick and useful at every meal.
The folks at Texas Keeper and Two Hives Honey know how special honey is. For the second year, they are teaming up to host a Honey Festival, which will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, at the cidery at 12521 Twin Creeks Road.
The event will double as a release for Texas Keeper’s new Honey Thief Cyser, a bubbly fermented beverage made with apples and honey. Guests will also get to try meads from all over the world as well as other local products made with honey and bee-friendly ingredients.
Tara Chapman of Two Hives Honey will also give tours of a hive on the property so you can learn about beekeeping. Ten percent of ticket purchases go to the Houston Beekeeping Association to support the rebuilding efforts of beekeepers affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Not pumpkin spice cookies or pumpkin pie smoothies, regular ol’ pumpkin recipes that don’t have any cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice or ginger.
There’s nothing wrong with pumpkin pie spices, of course, but sometimes you want to let pumpkin’s natural sweetness shine in a recipe like this roasted pumpkin poblano soup.
This dish comes from Mariana and Ian McEnroe, the bloggers behind Yes, More Please! I met through through #Austin360Cooks, and they’ve been regular contributors for months. I was grateful that they let me publish this pumpkin soup recipe because it’s a solid pureed soup recipe that could work with so many root vegetables and squashes.
Mariana McEnroe knows that the secret to a creamy vegetable soup that doesn’t taste like baby food is adding multiple textures. In this case, it’s charred corn and crunchy tortilla strips, with a cooling dollop of cream.
For the past few years I’ve been making my vegetable soups under one principle: “Do not add chicken stock.” I don’t want, under any circumstance, my broccoli soup to taste like chicken (or my potato, carrot or any vegetable soup to taste like chicken instead of the star vegetables). It is certainly a challenge to follow this principle because our inner chicken stock-flavored souls desperately want to add more “depth of flavor.” I add that depth by roasting, grilling and braising; all these cooking methods bring out the qualities in the vegetables and enhance the sweetness and flavor concentration to the soup.
Pumpkin has a delicate flavor, so it is easy to accidentally cover up if you’re not careful. For this soup, I roasted the pumpkin and then added caramelized sweet onions to bring out the similar flavors in the pumpkin. The finished soup shines with crunchy tortilla strips and charred poblano and sweet corn. If you want to use canned pumpkin puree, make sure it is the plain pumpkin puree, not one with the pumpkin pie spices already added. You’ll need either one large or two small pumpkins to make two cups of puree. You can freeze any extra pumpkin puree for smoothies or other uses, and this soup also freezes well.
— Mariana McEnroe
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small sweet yellow onion
2 cups roasted pumpkin puree
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon of butter
2 poblanos, roasted, skinned, deseeded and cut into strips
1-2 ears corn, charred on a comal or cast-iron skillet and then kernels removed from husk
2 corn tortillas thinly cut into strips, baked or fried
1/4 cup cream or Greek yogurt
Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium high heat. Cook the onions with a pinch of salt until they are soft and translucent. Lower the heat and let them become brown and caramelized, which will take at least another 20 minutes of cooking.
Add pumpkin puree, water, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper and nutmeg. Let it simmer until bubbly hot. Adjust the liquids for desired consistency. Add the tablespoon of butter and stir until melted and incorporated.
Serve warm in a soup bowl and garnish with the poblanos, charred corn and thinly fried tortilla strips. You can add a dollop of Greek yogurt or swirl of cream. Serves 2 to 4.
In one cake, a fox pulls back its own skin with its teeth. Another cake — commissioned by a cardiologist office — looks like a replica of an actual heart covered in blood. For their wedding cake, the Sideserfs made a cake sculpture that looked like their severed heads.
It wasn’t until Jess Pryles’ released her Hardcore Carnivore product that activated charcoal entered my house, and now I used that pitch-black meat rub on just about every steak I sear.
I haven’t started using activated charcoal in baking, but there are lots of bloggers who are way ahead of me on that trend. It looks like you can add a small amount to many different batters and doughs to get a darker color in the finished product. Most cooks say the charcoal adds more color than flavor, while others have mentioned a slightly charcoal-y taste.
Our beer/wine/spirits columnist Arianna Auber has a story this week featuring local spirit-makers who are using activated charcoal for spooky drinks this October.
Well before bartenders began co-opting it for pitch-colored cocktails, activated charcoal was popular with those who say it provides myriad benefits in the fields of health, beauty and science. Far more porous than the charcoal that barbecues your steaks, the powder traps toxins and chemicals, so whether it’s in your gut in the form of a capsule or on your face as a mask to flush out your pores, activated charcoal is both a bona fide poison treatment method and a popular home remedy.
Even though we’re all eating bugs (and parts of bugs) pretty much every day of the year, there’s a growing entomophagy movement afoot to get more people to eat insects, including crickets and mealworms.
Two local organizations are at the forefront of this effort. The non-profit Little Herds has been around since 2012 and is now a co-host of the Austin Bug-Eating Festival, a 10-year-old summertime event that encourages the exploration of insects as food.
In 2014, Austin became the official home Aspire Food Group, an international company focused on producing and promoting the consumption of insects. In addition to a farm in Ghana, they run a cricket farm south of Austin that supplies insects to some of the many companies now making insect products. They also sell their own line of cricket flour and protein powder called Aketta.
Many of the products available on the market contain the insect powder and don’t look like bugs, but Aketta sells roasted crickets that are fun — to me, at least — to pop in your mouth, especially this time of year.
You can find those whole crickets at Ingredients, the small grocery store store on Manor Road that sells a handful of insect brands, including Chirps and Seek Foods. Wheatsville sometimes carries Chiridos, a cricket chip, and Fresh Plus and Natural Grocers have carried cricket bars, according to Robert Nathan Allen of Little Herds.
The local chocolate company Delysia makes a cricket bark, and La Condesa serves the classic Oaxacan dish of chapulines, but it’s a off-the-menu, request-only kind of thing, so you might call ahead.
Be sure to check out the FAQ on Little Herds’ site to find out about why people with a seafood allergy should be careful and how to make sure you’re getting insects raised for human consumption.