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Everything posted by JPipes

  1. My wife and I had a 5 burner Diva Induction stove put in during our kitchen remodel, and we absolutely love it. It heats up faster than anything I have ever seen, and the temp. control is fantastic. I can't imagine that we will ever go back to gas. The only downside that we have is that we couldn't use it in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike....no electricity for a while. I can't tell you what setting is best for your cooktop, but I can tell you that we sear meats on "11", cook bacon at "6", simmer on "2-4" depending on the pot size, caramelize onions on "4" or "5"....the options are endless. The power range on our cooktop is from 1-12. I only braise in the oven, not on the cooktop. Play around with your cooktop and see what works best. Josh
  2. Things are definitely growing, for better or worse. These two places are diamonds in the rough, in my opinion, and I sure hope that they last.
  3. It's off 1092 (murphy rd.) closer to highway 6, right next door to Aura. Best, Josh
  4. My wife and I live in Sugar Land, and have long been a fan of Aura (http://www.aura-restaurant.com/) as there isn't much in the way of good quality non-chain dining out this way. Frederic Perrier has a gem out this way, and I have yet to have a poor meal there. The wait staff is excellent, the food is quite good, and the chef is always there to shoot the bull and talk food and wine. Even my 8 month old son is welcome there, a big plus in my book. A few months ago, we were talking with the Chef about his business and mentioned his idea for a European style butcher shop that has sandwiches, and various high quality pantry items (dried beans, pasta, honey, jams, etc...etc...). The soft opening happened last week, and we absolutely adore this place. Great meats, great supplies, and Chef Brandon guiding you through everything. We've rotisseried a bone in pork loin that turned out fantastic, and my son just loved chewing on the bone. Tonight my wife stopped by and picked up some coffee rub, hanger steaks, and recommendations as to how best cook it....turned out better than I could have imagined. Alll in all, a great resource for those of us in Fort Bend County. The prices are very good (much cheaper than Whole Foods), the meat is of higher quality, and the company is second to none. I have no vested interest, just passing on the data... http://www.meatandgreetboutique.com/
  5. Hi all! My wife and I are on the board of directors for the "Young Friends of The Ronald McDonald House", and we have volunteered to take over making dinner once a month for all of the residents, starting in January. We are really looking forward to it! The kids, their parents, and siblings are going through hell, and what better way to take their mind off of everything than by having a great home cooked meal? We love cooking and entertaining, but I can't say that I've ever prepared dinner for 60 to 70 people at a time. So I task all of you with this: Help a young couple pick some recipes and strategies for success! Thanks, Josh and Tracy
  6. 6 Hours to Go: I'll wait until the end to post more pics.... I took Woodburner's advice and re-rubbed my meat. Chileheadmike, you and I are in the same boat. I live in Sugar Land (Houston, basically), and it just started raining. The pit temp dropped about 25 degrees, so far. I tried to plan ahead and add one more log for insurance. Pam - No sauce! Here in Tejas, people have been killed for less than that. By the way, I'm using regular old post oak, from a tree that was downed on my deer lease. It's been stored for about two years. Good stuff.
  7. The concept: My new Father-in-Law challenges me to a Brisket cook off to celebrate this holiday. I graciously accept, knowing the consequences when (not if!) I win this thing. He is a proud man. The Equipment: This is my pit as of 4:30 this morning, I lit the fire at midnight. This peice of art was custom made for my wife and I, we named it "Blackwater". Many animals have seen the inside of it. The Meat: This is the brisket, pre-rub. It is a 10-pounder, select cut. Note the 8-inch Chef's knife for a size reference. This is the hunk of meat post rub, ready to sit overnight. I made the rub out of brown sugar, kosher salt, paprika, pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, and onion powder. After rubbing my meat (heh.), I wrapped in plastic wrap, and set the meat in the fridge for the night. Meat on the Pit: I put the brisket on at 5:00 a.m., knowing that I want it in the pit for 10-12 hours. I'll try and keep the temp between 250 and 275 degrees, and I will compensate an extra 10 -15 minutes for each time I lift the lid. Smoke level is important too, as I don't want to oversmoke the brisket. I'll have to keep and eye on it. A few hours into it: So far, so good. Time - 7:45 a.m. 7 Hours to Go: It's starting to shrink, and blacken. Time - 9:45 a.m. O.K. So the plan is to have this sucker off by 5:00, sliced at 5:45. Beer drinking to commence at 1200 hours, maybe a bit earlier. I'll update this post as the day progresses.
  8. Thank Jeebus for The Swinging Door, that's where my rehearsal dinner will be. I was pretty damned surprised at the quality of the grub there too.
  9. I'd love to be there this year. Alas, I am to be married on the 22nd....priorities and all that jazz.
  10. No, I didn't brine them...that's a good idea. Next time I'll keep the temp down and smoke 'em for 6 hours. I used the rub recipe from "How to grill Everything", only slightly modified with some ancho cile powder, and I can give glowing reviews for it. Damn good.
  11. The fiance (sp?) and I got a brand spankin' custom pit as a pre-wedding present from her parents, and it is sweet. Of course, being from Texas, my worth is measured by my skill with the meat. Allright, that sounds bad, but you get my drift. I spent friday afternoon curing the pit with vegetable oil and plenty of smoke, all in preparation for Monday. Come Monday, I rubbed two slabs of Spareribs with a homemade concoction, slapped 'em on the pit, shut it, and let them do their thing for 4 hours. I tried keeping the temp between 250 and 275 using a digital thermometer. Needless to say, much beer was consumed while I "tended the fire". Really I just didn't want to do dishes. 4 hours later, I pulled the ribs off and the flavor was incredible, nice and smoky, with some heat from the rub. The only problem: tenderness, I don't know what I did wrong, but they are just not as tender as the ribs I have had at good BBQ joints. Klink, I need your expertise! I should have taken pictures....next time, I guess.
  12. Thanks for the well wishes. I would love to do indian food, but my guests would kill me. I am seriously thinking of hitting up the Swinging Door for barbecue. What could be more fun than that?
  13. Well, I popped the questions the first night that we were to stay in our "new" old house in Sugar Land. She said yes, thank God, and now we are on to the planning stages. We both have a ton of family and out of town guests, and I want to include them in the rehearsal dinner...I just don't know where to go!! Any tips are welcomed with open arms. Bonus points for any marriage tips. P.S. we want to keep everything in Sugar Land.
  14. Great pics! The market (among other things) is something that I really miss since moving to Sugar Land. Anyone know if the farmer's market near Richmond and Kirby is still around?
  15. http://www.thegrandwineandfoodaffair.com/ Did anyone else go to this thing??? I had the opportunity to go to the Grand Tasting and the Sienna Sip and Stroll, and I have nothing but great things to say about this event. My god was it good! The Grand Tasting was located at the Marriot in the Sugar Land Town Square, and it was packed full of poeple. The grand ballroom was lined on the perimeter by these restaurants and chefs (http://www.thegrandwineandfoodaffair.com/chefs.php), while the inner portion of the room had three (or four, too many glasses of wine that night to remember) sections for wineries from all over the world to showcase their wines. The food was unbelievable, I honestly did not find anything that I didn't like. I can't even begin to accurately describe the amount of food and wine that was at this event. Hell, even Tyler Florence was there...much to many of the single girls delight. The Sip and Stroll was like the grand tasting, on a smaller scale...it was obviously marketing for Sienna Plantation. But the Fiance and I went to learn how to properly taste wine from Kevin Zraly. His class was great, fun and interesting at the same time. Kevin is a wealth of knowledge on wine! All in all, it was awesome, and I highly recommend that everyone go next year. It's worth the price!
  16. - using "garbage bowl" as a verb - "I want my pan waiting for me, not the other way around" - "Right in the regular grocery store" - "Mom always yells at me for not making more than one trip" - "I like to use my cooking as a passport..." - Using absurdly ridiculous scenarios to introduce the show such as "So it's close to dinner time and you find out you have to throw a dinner party for your boss and his 5 children, and it has to be ready in 30 minutes" then proceeding to have every ingredient on hand - Insisting on washing produce when you get home from your "big shopping day" - "I live in the mountains" - "I don't like to bake" - "Just eyeball it" there are many more... ← Or you can take a shot every time she orgasms over the way the food tastes one millisecond after she puts it in her mouth. My god, that woman squeals.
  17. Awesome. Too bad you can't buy it. I love unique things like this.
  18. I lived in Fort Worth for about 5 years while at TCU, and I have to say that Kincaid' s Hamburgers rock my world. Man, I dream of those suckers.
  19. Easily, the biggest change for me has been the testicular fortitude to try new things...that includes getting as far away from frozen dinners, and dinners-in-a-box, as possible. In doing so, I have learned to appreciate foods that I just took for granted when I went to the "Fancy Restaurants". Moreover, I get to use the creative side of my brain...you know, the one that is asleep while I work in the office all day. Insurance ain't the most creative thing in the world....
  20. I've got a great girlfriend. Her parents set me up with the cast iron dutch oven I wanted; she gave me Bourdain's book, Alton's book, a mortar and pestle, a microplane and some homebrew equipment...I love her. My parents gave me a Rabbit corkscrew, Beer steins, and.....new tires. What a great haul!
  21. I second Lanny Lancarte. Great, great food. Plus, Fort Worth is pretty cool. Josh
  22. Nothinig makes me think of the fall like carne guisada. I have been craving it for a few months now, and tonight was the perfect night for it. Rainy, about to turn cold, and the girlfriend was getting off work late. She is in for a surprise. Tamales always remind me of Christmas eve, and this will be the first time in my life to make them...so wish me luck. We'll be making those very soon.
  23. Thanks to all, this is exactly what I was looking for!
  24. Other than the massive Central Market (and those guys ain't much help!), where is a good butcher? I'm in the Buffalo Speedway/59 area, but a good butcher might be worth the travel...and traffic. Do me proud guys, you didn't dissapoint on the breakfast taco recommendations.....
  25. JPipes

    Breakfast Tacos

    Thanks for the tips everyone. I've tried Goode Company Taqueria, Berry Hill, and this awesome taco truck next to my office this morning (I love that I have to order in spanish). I just couldn't find the obscure mom and pop shop that I would want to frequent. It sounds like Villa Arcos is the place to be. One more reason to look forward to the weekend!
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