The blog the Bitten Word listed the 10…no, 13…no, 15 best things they made and ate last year Bitten Word: 10 Favorite Food Magazine Recipes. This got me thinking. I should do something similar. So here are my top five things I made and ate. I have also included the top ten dishes I ate but didn’t make.
TOP 5…ok, 6 DISHES I MADE
1. Seafood and Rice Bisque Interestingly this creation started off as a Cooking Light recipe with oysters. When we couldn’t find oysters due to the BP oil spill during a visit to the Texas coast in September, I substituted locally caught gulf shrimp and lump crab meat. Then I went off the deep end and added butter and more bacon, nixed the whole milk and used half and half, and then added more bacon. The result was my husband’s favorite dish of the year. Definitely not light cooking but calories don’t count on vacation. Right?!
2. Cheesy Mashed Potatoes My holiday mashed potatoes. And by holiday, I mean a stick of butter, eight ounces of cream cheese, a cup of heavy cream and a sprinkle of white cheddar. SO YUMMY! If it makes you feel any better, I garnish them with chopped chives. But they, of course, are optional.
3. Bourbon Balls This recipe is close to my heart. The recipe comes from my Great Aunt Veronica. She too was a lover of all things food. She was the food editor of the Pittsburgh Press, a feminist before that word was either en vogue or dirty, and an excellent cook. There is no question my passion for food is coded in my DNA. It is not just what I do. It is who I am. Thank you Aunt Ronnie.
4. Rustic Tomato Sauce with Olives and Artichokes. I have to say this is probably one of my favorite dishes I ever make. It is a standard at our house. It is simple and delicious. I would not change a thing about it (except for adding some Hot Italian Sausage every once in awhile to it to appease my husband).
5. Cauliflower and Bacon Au Gratin I used pancetta. It’s still bacon. And come on…everyone knows, EVERYTHING is better with bacon. And cheese. This has both. You barely even know the cauliflower is there. Delicious.
6. Anglo-Asian Lamb Salad I love this recipe by Nigella Lawson not only because I just adore Nigella Lawson but because it was the first lamb recipe I ever made. Crazy right? Prior to this attempting this recipe, even during the preparation of this recipe, I was incredibly intimidated by cooking lamb at home, despite adoring lamb. It is so rich and flavorful. And easy to cook as I found out! How ridiculous that I hadn’t cooked it before. I have since cooked lamb a number of times. So glad that silliness is over!
TOP 10 THINGS I ATE I DIDN’T MAKE (#1 is Number 1, the rest are in no particular order)
1. Burrata Caprese Dough Pizzeria Napoletana Hands down the winner. Perfect in every way. Delicious, addictive, dreamy, creamy, incredibleness. If you have not eaten at Dough or eaten this at Dough, go. Now.
2. Oak Roasted Mushroom Bruschetta Dough Pizzeria Napoletana Order both the Oak Roasted Mushroom Bruschetta and the Burrata Caprese. Combine. Expect your mind to blow.
3. Fried Quail drizzled with Sage Honey Luke San Antonio Crispy, salty, crunchy, sweet. I could eat dozens of these incredible little birdies!
4. Shrimp and Grits Luke San Antonio Admittedly at the preview I was on the fence about this dish, but at the Grand Opening it became one of my favs. The grits were perfectly prepared, the shrimp cooked flawlessly, the sauce wonderfully spicy hitting all the right spots. Love this dish.
5. Lily’s Cookies Lily’s Cookies Almost too beautiful to eat, these works of art are so good. In October, I was honored to meet the owner, artistic muse, the brains and the brawn behind Lily’s Cookies, Christine McCrae Kelly. She was even more delightful than her cookies and that says a lot!
6. Rather Sweet Sweet Rolls Rather Sweet Too (Fredericksburg, TX) Sweet rolls as big as Texas. From award winning baker and cookbook writer Rebecca Rather, Rather Sweet Bakery and Café turns out some of the best baked goods and café food you will ever get in the hill country. But it’s definitely worth a trip to Fredericksburg just to go to Rather Sweet and eat these amazing sweet rolls.
7. Spicy Grilled Eggplant Thai Dee Thai Dee is one of my favorite San Antonio Restaurants, Thai or otherwise. The Spicy Grilled Eggplant is just so full of flavor. Layers of rich, smoky, depth of flavor, so good my mouth is watering as I am writing, remembering. If you have not ventured out to discover this little gem of a restaurant, Google map it (it is in the most unlikely of places) and experience the treasure that is Thai Dee.
8. Coffee and everything else Olmos Perk Friendly. Fun. Fantastic coffee and atmosphere. This place makes me just plain happy.
9. Crab Cake Silo Elevated Cuisine Maybe it is because every time I go to Silo it is for a special occasion that I so love this place. Maybe it is their crab cake. Either way I always leave blissful (wink) and satiated.
10. Marfalafel Food Shark (Marfa, TX) Ok, it is a trek to Marfa – no doubt. But if you find yourself in this neck of the woods…uh, desert, do yourself a favor and eat at Food Shark. No one should be scared to eat at food trucks anymore. Some amazing things are coming out of food trucks these days – case in point, the falafel at Food Shark. I craved them for days.
Lastly, the dish I wish I hadn’t eaten and am SO happy I did not make: Baba Ganouj Zorbas Mediterranean Cuisine. Sticky Floors and funky ashtray. Bottom line: gross. Consider yourself warned.