A few months ago I wrote about some possible design plans for our dining room, and I wanted to do a full reveal of the room including sources for all of the items we purchased for the space.
Life has a funny way of happening to prevent things like this, so I thought I would leave you with this little progress photo of how the room looks now. See that fiddle leaf fig in the corner, he’s going to be replaced in a couple of weeks because he’s a shell of his former self. This home + high maintenance plants do not mix.
The chandelier is from Park Studio LA, the wall color is Benjamin Moore’s AF-560 Flint, the dining table is from Restoration Hardware, the chairs are vintage from a dear friend of mine (I found them at her grandmother’s pre estate sale last year and had the seats recovered), the benches are from World Market, the rug is vintage Kilim from Turkey, and the shelves in the back are the Vittsjo shelves from Ikea. All of the shelving accessories are vintage pieces I’ve acquired from thrift stores and estate sales, and food and wine books I’ve collected over the years.
The room is far from finished (in my mind, nothing is ever finished), but I’m happy with where it’s at.
Julia Child may have made Coq au Vin famous, but it’s not my favorite way to braise chicken. Not anymore at least.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against Coq au Vin. I’ve made it a handful of times by request, to celebrate an occasion for somebody special in my life. It takes the entire afternoon, and a myriad of pans to make happen. Peeling pearl onions, one by one, is nobody’s idea of fun. Not even Julia’s.
So when I came across this recipe in Food and Wine Magazine, I made it the first chance I could, which turned out to be last winter. It’s hard to pass up on something that includes all of my favorite things in one dish: Riesling, mushrooms, crème fraîche, and lemon. This flavor combination is deeply savory, rich and bright all at the same time.
I made it again this past weekend, and it was just as good as I remembered. It’s a favorite in our home, and it’s bound to be a favorite in yours. I don’t know if I’ll ever make Coq au Vin again. Not if I don’t have to.
Now if you’re wondering what kind of Riesling to use, look for ones from the Alsace region of France or ones that are labeled dry. I found an affordable bottle of Trimbach Riesling at my local grocery store, and it was perfect to cook the chicken, and for drinking with dinner.
Coq au Riesling
4 pounds chicken legs, divided into drumsticks and thighs
¼ cup canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
2 medium shallots, chopped
1½ cups dry Riesling
1½ cups chicken stock
4 thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound mixed mushrooms, sliced
½ cup crème fraîche
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Finely chopped tarragon, for garnish
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large, enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil. Add half of the chicken and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Cook the remaining chicken, then pour off the fat from the pan.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil in the casserole pan. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and shallots and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the Riesling and simmer for 1-2 minutes, scraping up the brown bits from the pot. Add the chicken stock and thyme and bring to a boil.
Nestle the chicken into the casserole; cover and braise in the oven for 1 hour, until tender.
While the chicken is braising in the oven, melt the butter and olive oil in a very large skillet. Add the mushrooms and cook over high heat, without stirring, until well browned, about 5 minutes. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until tender and no longer squeaky, 3 – 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Once the chicken is tender, transfer it to a plate. Strain the braising liquid through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl, pressing onto the solids. Skim off as much fat as you can. Return the braising liquid to the casserole dish and boil until reduced to 1½ cups, about 5 minutes or so. Whisk in the crème fraîche and lemon juice and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms and the chicken to the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes. Garnish with fresh tarragon and serve. I like to serve this with a crusty baguette to mop up all of the delicious sauce. Egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or rice will work too.
Combine the gin, raspberry syrup, fresh lemon juice, and egg white into a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously to froth the egg white, about one minute. Remove lid and add ice, and shake contents until they are very cold, about 30 seconds.
Double strain into a coupe glass and garnish with raspberries. Serve immediately.
Earlier this summer we joined Comeback Creek Farms Summer CSA Program. For eight weeks, I drove to Local Restaurant in Deep Ellum and picked up my assorted produce box. June, July, and August were known as the months of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and zucchini. Lots and lots and lots of zucchini.
One dish I made that I just loved was this Cucumber Salad from Food and Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs of 2015 issue. The minds behind this simple yet delicious dish are chefs Michael Fojtasek and Grae Nonas of Olamaie in Austin. Like all great working relationships, the chefs met while cooking together at L.A.’s Son of a Gun where they shared their passion for classic Southern cooking.
Texas is meat country, so eating composed vegetable dishes like this is a real treat for me. I loved everything about it: cool refreshing cucumbers, buttermilk dressing, pickled onions, and sunflower seeds. It’s crunchy, creamy, and the perfect dish to make when it’s 100+ degrees outside and you don’t want to turn on your oven.
Cucumber Salad with Buttermilk Dressing and Pickled Onion:
1 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced tarragon
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 garlic clove, finely grated
3 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
3 Kirby cucumbers, cut into thin wedges
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Sunflower sprouts, roasted sunflower seeds, and tarragon leaves, for garnish.
For the pickled onion: In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, water, and salt and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat; add the onion. Allow to cool in the warm liquid, then refrigerate until chilled.
For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together and season to taste with salt and pepper.
For the salad: In a medium bowl, toss all of the cucumbers with the vinegar and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the cucumbers with salt and pepper and allow to stand for 5 minutes.
Spoon the dressing into the bottom of a shallow serving bowl, and top with the dressed cucumber salad. Drain the onions from the pickling liquid and scatter over the cucumbers. Garnish with sunflower sprouts (if you’re using them, I found them hard to find at the grocery store), sunflower seeds, and tarragon leaves. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and top with finishing salt. Serve immediately.
While having brunch a couple of weeks ago with some friends, I found myself struggling to choose between two delicious yet different dishes: the Duck Egg Shakshuka, and the Cornflake Crusted French Toast.
Did I want savory or sweet? I ultimately went toward savory, and it was delicious. The Shakshuka was unlike mine, the tomatoes were really fresh and light. I enjoyed it immensely.
Flash forward a couple of weeks later and I still hadn’t shaken the idea of cornflake crusted french toast. It stayed with me, so this weekend when I opened the pantry and spotted my lonely box of cornflakes, I decided to acquire all of the ingredients so I could make a version of it at home.
I used Ina Garten’s French Toast recipe as the base, because it’s one of the best renditions of French Toast I’ve eaten. Her custard is eggy and not sweet, and the orange zest and vanilla really perfume the Challah bread beautifully.
Once the bread has soaked in the egg mixture, I breaded each piece in a mixture of crushed cornflakes and sliced almonds. It added a really great crunch to the finished toast. Two pieces, along with some coffee, was enough for the two of us to share.
Cornflake Crusted French Toast
1 loaf day old Challah bread, sliced into 3/4″ to 1″ thick pieces
6 large eggs
1½ cups whole milk
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups partially crushed cornflakes
½ cup sliced almonds
grade B maple syrup
raspberry preserves or apple butter (optional)
fresh berries, to garnish (optional)
sifted powdered sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
I find this recipe works best when the Challah is a day old and pre-sliced the night before. You wan the pieces to be a little on the thick side, so anywhere between 3/4″ to 1″ is the ideal width.
In a large shallow bowl (I used a pyrex baking dish) whisk together the eggs, milk, orange zest, vanilla, salt, and honey. In another large bowl combine the cornflakes and almonds and partially crush them with your hands. Soak all of the bread pieces in the egg mixture, turning once until the custard is absorbed, about 3-4 minutes. Place the bread in the cornflake mixture, and bread each piece, making sure to press the cornflake and almonds into the bread.
Heat 1 tablespoon of butter, and 1 tablespoon of canola oil into a large skillet (I used nonstick) over medium heat. Add the bread to the skillet and cook for 2 – 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. I like to drain my pieces on paper towels before popping them into the oven to keep warm while I finish making the rest of the french toast pieces. Continue adding butter and oil to the pan as needed to cook the remaining slices of bread.
Serve hot with maple syrup, preserves or apple butter, and powdered sugar, if using.
My name is Stacy and I have this thing with textiles from far away places.
I posted a photo of our current living room design last week on Instagram, and the space is starting to come together, for the most part. The room is far from finished. My first task is finally ordering new pillows for our sofas, so when I stumbled across Danielle Oakey’s Shop last week while searching for mudprints on Etsy, I immediately fell in love with the designs.
Here are some of my favorite pillows from her shop. Pillow inserts are sold separately, but Restoration Hardware sells really full and fluffy pillow inserts that are reasonably priced (for Restoration Hardware, that is).
I love tacos in just about any form. I can eat them everyday and never, ever tire of them. Now that I’ve been in Dallas for a couple of years, I finally feel like I’m starting to find my regular places, the ones that always deliver something delicious and keep me coming back for more.
The styles vary greatly between the establishments: two are classic Mexico City taco spots, two are modern interpretations of Mexican and global cuisines, and one is old-school, iconic Tex Mex, a place that helped me to see why this regional cuisine is something to write home about.
In no particular order, here are five of my favorite taco places in the city:
A few months after moving to Dallas, we asked our server while dining out one night what are must try Dallas dishes. The Brisket Tacos at Mia’s Tex Mex were the first thing he recommended. He said they were slap your momma good. And he was right. This dish is iconic Dallas. Tender roasted brisket topped with melted cheese, sautéed onions and poblanos, and a delicious brisket pan gravy just seals the deal. I’ve tried other brisket tacos around town and I haven’t had one that compares to Mia’s. No place has come close.
Here you get no frills, deliciously simple tacos topped with onions and cilantro. One of my favorite spots for breakfast tacos. The salsas are really spicy. With locations peppered across the metro area, it’s easy to get your fix wherever you are.
When we first moved to Dallas we ate here all the time. Now that we reside on the other side of town our trips are less frequent, but it’s one of the most consistently delicious places we dine at. Whether you’re having tacos (get the al pastor a la tuma), the baja caesar salad, grilled cebollitas, or mango jicama slaw, it’s always fresh, well seasoned, and delicious. Half price tamarind and passion fruit margaritas on Thursdays sweeten the deal.
By far the most creative tacos around. The combinations span the globe: chicken tikka tacos, British fish and chips taco, rotisserie chicken and potato salad tacos, they have it all. It’s also open late into the night on weekends, making it popular with the drunken bar hopping crowd.
Trompo’s tacos are some of my very favorite in the city, and I think it’s because they remind me of the tacos I had while I was in Mexico earlier this year. They’re simple, yet flavorful fillings of pork, steak, or poblano and paneer topped with cilantro and onion. What really stole the show for me here are the quesadillas. A griddled flour tortilla with crispy melted cheese topped with your choice of meat, onion, and cilantro. Unbelievably delicious.
If you have a favorite Dallas taco spot by all means please let me know. I’m always looking for new places to check out.
This month’s Mixology Monday theme, hosted by none other than Frederic of Cocktail Virgin Slut, is about exploring the possibilities and the art of Mashups. Not just for radio stations these days, bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts everywhere are discovering the infinite possibilities when two drinks come together to form one magical beverage.
While visiting New Orleans last year, I had a mashup cocktail at The Sazerac Bar that I’ve been thinking about to this day. Most tourists eschew the New Classics for Sazeracs, but I took a chance on an unknown cocktail. Their A Good Rusty Rhubarb features Sazerac rye whiskey, Drambuie, fresh citrus juice, and rhubarb bitters. A mashup of a Rusty Nail and a whiskey sour, the results were outstanding. I only wish I had the recipe.
Since it’s been unseasonably warm in Texas this year, I ultimately decided to combine the classic Clover Club cocktail with the fizzy refreshing build of a Tom Collins. I omitted the egg white (I wasn’t too keen on the idea of taking this into Gin Fizz territory), and topped it with some club soda and raspberries.
Fizzy, fruity, and refreshing.
Clover Collins Cocktail
2 ounces Gin
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
3/4 ounce raspberry simple syrup (recipe below)
2 – 3 ounces club soda
raspberries, for garnish.
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup raspberries
1/2 cup water
Combine gin, lemon juice, and raspberry syrup with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake ingredients vigorously until everything is cold, about 20-30 seconds. Remove lid, add the club soda, and strain ingredients over fresh ice into a collins glass. Garnish with raspberries and a straw. Enjoy immediately.
Raspberry Syrup Instructions:
Combine granulated sugar and water in a 2 quart saucepan, and heat over medium, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Once the sugar has melted, add the fresh raspberries and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally for about five minutes. Allow to cool slightly before straining. Store in fridge until chilled.