Monthly Archives: June 2010

Trattoria Lisina


Tonight we went to Trattoria Lisina in Driftwood for some Italian food. Ive wanted to try it for a while and we finaly made it there. The restuarant is in Driftwood on FM150 about 3 miles from the intersection of 1826 and 150. Its on the ground of the Mandola 9soom to be Dutchman) winery.

Tara and I shared the antipasto plate. It had 3 large sheets of prosciutto,some ilalian salami,mozzarella balls, artichoke hearts,sqaush,olives and caramelized onions. It was excellent although I thought the salami was a little to hot for my tastes,at least as salami goes.

For main courses I has the Osso Bucco and Tara had baby back ribs glazed with honey. My dish was 2 veal shanks on a pile of garlic mashed potatoes. Taras came with roasted potatoes. tara really liked her ribs,I thought they were good but with the Salt Lick near by,if Im going to have ribs thats were I’m going. My Osso Bucco was excellent. its one of my favorite Italian dishes and I hadn’t had it since we came to Texas.

Overall for the 2 entrees,appetizer,ice tea and diet coke the bill was $70 including tax and tip.
Id rate it as the best Italian we’ve had yet in Texas. Very recommended


Mustard brined pork chops


This is an Alton Brown recipe that I made.  very good

for the brine

3/4 cup Kosher salt (must be kosher salt)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp mustard powder
2 cups apple cider vinegar

4-6 thick pork chops

Heat the vinegar until boiling and add the rest of the ingredients except the ice
stir until dissolved and let sit 20 minutes
pour the brine into a large plastic bowl and add 4-5 handfuls of ice. you want to cool the brine until its cold. if needed use more ice. let the ice melt

Put the pork chops into the brine making sure they are covered by the brine. cover the bowl and refrigerate 2 hours (no more than 2)
cook your favorite way ( i grill mine 8 minutes a side)

Cedar Plank Grilled Red Snapper


Heres the recipe for my first attempt at grilling a whole fish. it was great

cedar plank same size as the fish or larger soaked in water for at least an hour
set the grill up for indirect heat if you have a thermometer heat the grill to 375-400 or so

1 whole snapper 3 lbs or so fins removed but head and tail on
4-5 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tbsp lemon juice
greek seasoning
olive oil

cut 3-4 slits in the fish on one side
stuff cavity with rosemary sprigs
coat  the plank with olive oil so fish doesnt stick
put the fish on the plank and sprinkle with the lemon juice
sprinkle the fish with the greek seasoning inside and out
place the plank on the grill and cook 30-40 minutes until the fish is no longer translucent.
remove to a platter,cut the head and tail off and remove the fillets from both sides to serve.

Mexican Rice


today i made beef fajitas with mexican rice. The fajitas were good but still need work,I havent found the perfect marinade for them yet but the rice was very good,just like a mexican restuarant. heres the rice recipe

1 1/2 cups rice
1/3 cut oil
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
14oz can diced tomatoes drained
1/4 onion roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic roughly chopped

Pour the rice in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let sit for 5 minutes. pour off the water and rinse in cold water then pour into a strainer and set aside a few minutes before shaking the water out.
meanwhile take the tomatoes,onion and garlic and puree in a food processor.

Heat the oil in a pan at least 9″wide and 3″ deep (I use a paella pan)
pour the rice into the pan after given it one last shake (it will spatter when you pour it into the hot oil)
cook over high heat stirring often until the rice starts tur turn a light golden brown (8-10 minutes). Add the tomato mixture and keep cooking until dry (4-5 more minutes) stiring occasionally. stir in the chicken broth,cover and cook on medium heat 10 minutes. remove from heat and keep in a warm place for 20 minutes. ( i stick the paella pan in an oven preheated to warm and turned off)

Fluff before serving

If anyone has a good beef fajita marinade let me know

Stir fry shrimp with eggplant


Heres a recipe I found in cooks illustrated and modified

6 cloves garlic,5 thinly sliced 1 minced or pressed in a garlic press
1 lb extra large or jumbo shrimp peeled and deveined
1 medium eggplant peeled and diced
1 baby bok choi,chopped
1 bunch scallions whites thinly sliced green part cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 cup unsalted cashews
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 Tbsp oil

2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp Oyster sauce
2 Tbsp sherry
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp vinegar
pinch cayenne
2 tsp cornstarch

combine minced garlic with the shrimp,salt and 1 Tbsp oil in a bowl and let sit 30 minutes
mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside
heat 2 Tbsp oil in a wok until just smoking,add eggplant and stir fry 5 minutes until eggplant i slightly browned. Add Bok choy and green scallions and cook 1-2 minutes longer.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in wok until smoking. Add garlic slices and cashews and cook 30 sec. Add shrimp and stir fry 90 seconds. re stir sauce and add to shrimp. cook 1-2 minutes more until sauce has thickened and shrimp is fully cooked. stir vegetables into shrimp and cook 30 sec more.

Serve over rice

Grilled Chicken


When making chicken on a grill I always have a debate with myself  Do i use direct heat with the problems of flareups or do i use indirect heat which solves the flareup problem but you dont get the crunchy skin I like.  heres my simple solution

Heres what I do
Take a cut up chicken. Sprinkle your favorite rub on it and let it sit for 20 minutes or so
while its sitting prepare the grill for direct heat
When the grill is hot put the chicken skin side down over the  heat.  Cook for 10 minutes. after the 10 minutes are up take them off the grill and go to indirect heat If using a gas grill use the side the burners arent lit on. If using charcoal use can use a pizza stone placed directly on grate. place the chicken back on the grill and using indirect heat cook for 30-35 minutes more until the juices run clean. Baste with your favorite sauce for the last 15 minutes.