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Tag Archive | "Pearl Brewery"

Adan Medrano’s Chile Ancho Albondigas (Meatballs)


Adan Medrano, CIA culinary grad and chef, was at San Antonio’s Nao on Thursday night. The meal was good from start to finish, and best of all, we got copies of his book, full of recipes such as the one below as well as others that we’ll share here on SavorSA soon.

Adan Medrano Chile Ancho MeatballsMedrano started San Antonio’s Chicano Film Festival back in the 1970s,  and wrote  “Truly Texas Mexican: A Native Culinary Heritage in Recipes” (Texas Tech University Press, $29.95), to get the recipes of his people on paper. The dinner at Nao served recipes made from his book, under the kitchen guidance of chef Geronimo Lopez. The book is a combination of social history and cookbook. These meatballs were served as appetizers on skewers, but we’d suggest them as a dish, with freshly made gorditas and some of the velvety frijoles that Nao served inside squash blossoms, another appetizer from this book.

See SavorSA’s article on Medrano, by John Griffin here.

Chile Ancho Meatballs (Albondigas)

For the adobo:
4 chiles anchos, seeded and deveined
1 white onion
3 garlic cloves
2 teaspoon fresh Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups tomatoes, diced
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tablespoon white vinegar

For the meatballs:
1 pound ground pork
1 pound 96 percent fat-free ground beef
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
3 ounces large bread strips or pieces (to make about 1 ½ cups)
1/2 cup milk
To make the meatballs:  In a saucepan, add water to cover the chiles and bring to a boil.  Turn off the heat, let the chiles cook for 15 minutes and then drain.

Place the chiles, onion, garlic, Mexican oregano and salt in a blender and purée until completely smooth.  If there are any flecks or small bits in the purée, strain through a fine mesh sieve.  The chile purée should be velvety smooth.

Heat the canola oil in a dutch oven, add the chile purée and fry it for 10 minutes.  It will splatter a bit. The color will deepen and the purée will thicken. Set aside.

In a bowl, pour the milk, add the bread and set aside. Mix together the pork and beef.  Squeeze excess milk from the bread and add it to the meat, along with the beaten egg.

Add 8 tablespoons of the chile ancho purée to the meat, add the salt and mix thoroughly.

Form the seasoned meat into 40 1-½- inch meatballs and place them on a large cookie sheet.

Roast the meatballs in a 400-degree oven for 12-15 minutes until browned and crispy on the outside. Remove from the oven and allow the meatballs to rest for 10 minutes.  They are ready to serve with the adobo.

To make the adobo:  To the remaining purée add the tomatoes and the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cook for 30 minutes until the adobo begins to thicken.  Taste and correct the salt.

The meatballs can be served as in the picture, or the adobo can be served on the side for dipping.   They are moist and delicious the second day and will keep in the fridge for five days.

Ay, Dios mío, these food pathways are full of deliciousness!

Makes 40 1-½ inch albóndigas

From Adan Medrano

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Hotel Emma to Open at Pearl in ‘Early 2015′


The four-star boutique hotel at Pearl is slated to open sometime early in 2015, according to Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. Located in the 119-year-old Pearl brewhouse, Hotel Emma will have 146 rooms as well as a restaurant, bar, catering and in-room dining service.

Drawing of the kitchen at Hotel Emma

Rendering of kitchen at Hotel Emma

The hotel will have an “authentic place” on the Pearl campus in the 119-year-old brewhouse. Its name was chosen in honor of the wife of Pearl Brewery founder Otto Koehler.

Emma Koehler is credited for keeping the brewery afloat during Prohibition after her husband’s death. She converted brewery operations to function as a dry cleaner, for making near-beer, ice cream and sodas, and managed to keep the entire staff at the brewery employed during these “dry” days.

When Prohibition ended in 1933, she was there to direct the staff as they rolled out cases and kegs of beer to an eager public awaiting their first glass of real beer.

Kimpton also named the new hotel’s general manager, Steven André. He is former general manager of Hutton Hotel in Nashville and Hotel Derek in Houston; and Director of Sales and Marketing Beth Smith, formerly of the Watermark Hotel & Spa, La Mansion del Rio Hotel, and Valencia Group in San Antonio.

John Brand was brought on to the Hotel Emma team as executive chef and culinary director. Formerly of The Mokara, Omni La Mansion and Broadmoor, Brand brings to Hotel Emma over 20 years of experience in the culinary industry.

According to material provided by the owners, Hotel Emma’s architecture and interiors, designed by Roman and Williams, “embrace the extravagance of the iconic 19th century brewhouse as well as the shirtsleeve industrial aesthetic of the brewery’s ‘back rooms.’”

Brewery building at Pearl will house Hotel Emma.

Brewery building at Pearl will house Hotel Emma.

 

 

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Restaurant Notes & Quotes: Pearl Gets Boehler House; Luke, Barbaro


Pearl acquires Boehler property

Minnie'sPearl has announced its plan to proceed with the purchase and restoration of the Boehler property at 328 E. Josephine St. The most recent occupant, Minnie’s Tavern and Rye House has closed, but the famous leaning structure will stay in its place. It also, for many years, housed the Liberty Bar.

Boelers liberty bar sepia“We regrouped and everyone felt like it’s a very special and historic structure,” said Elizabeth Fauerso, a spokeswoman for the Pearl. “You don’t find often a building that has such a place in San Antonio’s history and such an emotional connection to so many people.

“Our objectives are to restore the historic building,” Fauerso said, “and also to think about the streetscape and try to improve it. We want to think about how to add more green space, outdoor space or seating space; to think about how to add more parking so that it can actually support that establishment; and then to think about a really cool and interesting use for the little house.”

Silver Ventures plan to work together with the HDRC and its neighbors in Tobin Hill to preserve and repurpose historic assets bringing them new life within the San Antonio community.

Spicy crawfish from Luke sizzled with flavor.

Spicy crawfish from Luke sizzle.

Lüke at Fredericksburg Crawfish Festival

As part of the Fredericksburg Crawfish Festival this weekend, Luke San Antonio’s chef John Russ will be hosting a special Creole Brunch on Sunday (May 25) from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Marktplatz.

Russ’ festival menu features Crawfish Po-Boys, Crawfish Etouffe, and Cajun Eggs Benedict among other New Orleans-inspired items. Tickets cost $55 per seat and $450 for a table of eight.  Brunch and festival tickets can be purchased online at www.FBGCrawfish.com

Menu for Luke’s Creole Brunch: Passed Hors d’Oeuvres: Crawfish Summer Rolls with Petite Herbs and Spicy Mayo, Mini Crawfish Pies with Smoked Tomato Sauce. Action Station 1: Crispy Fried Softshell Crawfish Po-Boys. Action Station 2: Crawfish Étouffée Popcorn Rice, Pickled Vegetables. Action Station 3: Cajun Eggs Benedict Buttermilk Biscuits, Tasso Ham, Crawfish Hollandaise. Buffet: Seasonal Lettuce, Boiled Crawfish, Creole Mustard Vinaigrette, Fried Bread, Hard Eggs, Bacon Deviled Eggs, Heirloom Tomato, Fresh Pulled Mozzarella, Herbs, Sugarcane Vinegar. Dessert: Classic Banana Foster, Rhum Cake, Vanilla Cream.

 

Barbaro 1Barbaro’s new hours, late night menu

Barbaro, 2720 McCullough Ave., serving craft pizza, cocktails and beer, has extended its hours on Friday and Saturday nights, until 2 a.m.

The restaurant also has launched a late-night menu for these weekend nights when they’re open late, see below for a sample of a recent menu. The menu changes each day, but here are some ideas of types of things they’ll be serving.  Late night menu runs from Friday and Saturday, 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.  On the menu are items such as  Fried Bread, House Ricotta, Roasted Tomatoes, and Chives; Chicken Liver Mousse, Apricot Jam, Toast; Seared Lasagna, Mornay, Fried Egg; Roasted Bone Marrow, Truffled Tomato Jam, Basil Salad, Toast; Fried Chicken Livers, Piperade, Mahon, Toast; Pizza Bianca- Fior De Latte, Beef Fat, Roasted Green Onions; Cheese Pizza.

Also, Barbaro has launched a new cocktail menu created by bar manager, Elisabeth Forsythe. The menu includes some unique and delicious concoctions, such as the Rhubarb Mule and IP- Yay! (gin, lemon, grapefruit, IPA syrup). See new items here.

Domaine Carneros Wine Dinner at Fig Tree

Fig tree logoT.J. Evans, winemaker for Domaine Carneros, will be at Fig Tree restaurant on Wednesday, June 18, for a wine dinner that begins with a reception at the Dashiell House, 6:30 p.m.  The price is $115 per person, including tax and gratuity. For reservations, please call Pat at 210-225-2111.

On the menu:  Reception: Le Reve Blanc de Blancs 2006 with Foie Gras Terrine and Apple Ginger Chutney; Brut Vintage Cuvee 2009 with Poached Langostino Tails, Crab Tortellinis, Lemongrass Broth; Brut Rose Cuvée de la Pompadour NV with “Blanquette de Veau,” Rice Pilaf, Baby Carrots, Seasonal Mushrooms;  Estate Pinot Noir 2011 with Domestic Cheeses; Fonseca Porto, Tawny 10 years old with Mixed Berries “Gratin” and Madeleines, along with coffee service.

Luca Della Casa at GauchoGourmet

Luca della CasaGauchoGourmet, 935 Isom Road hosts a tasting event on May 31, from 10.30 a.m. 1.30 p.m. featuring Silo & Nosh’s Executive Chef Luca Della Casa. Della Casa will be seen very soon competing on national TV to become a future “star chef” and have his own TV show. (The show, “Food Network Star” is on the Food Network at 8 p.m. June 1. This is the show’s 10th season. Finalists will have to impress mentor-judges Alton Brown, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis.)

Della Casa will present samples of different Italian appetizers with some of GauchoGourmet’s best ingredients featuring Sicilian fruit peels and Piedmontese hazelnuts; two risotto recipes using exclusive 7-year aged Carnaroli rice; and share cooking techniques to prepare an authentic Italian meal. Customers who purchase tickets will also enter a drawing for a dinner for two at one of Luca’s restaurants.

Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased online at www.gauchogourmet.com/events.html .

 

 

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Notes & Quotes: Dinners, Balfour New Resto at Pearl


Join Hotel Havana’s Ocho and Shiner Beers for an evening celebrating Texas’s agricultural bounty. On Friday, June 4, at 7 p.m. Ocho will team up with Loncito Cartwright, a sixth-generation Texas rancher who will share the story of his family’s ranching evolution.

Peaceful PorkOcho’s executive chef, Toby Soto, designed a special five-course menu featuring offerings from Loncito’s Twin Oaks Ranch and seasonal ingredients of the region. The dinner features beer pairings along with each course selected and presented by Terry Fagan of Shiner Beers.

First Course: Texas redfish taquitos with roasted tomato and cilantro slaw served with avocado and queso fresco salad. Second Course: Smoked carrot bisque with sweet pea crema and melted leeks
. Third Course: Charred broccoli and roasted beet escabeche
. Fourth Course: Cast-iron seared sweet potato and purple kale pork roulade, Michelada gelee, herb-battered mushrooms, shaved asparagus, white cheddar fonduta
. Fifth Course:  Buneulo banana cheesecake and caramelized strawberries on a cocoa crisp drizzled with Cajeta de Cabra

Ocho is at 1015 Navarro St. Dinner is $75 per person, including tax and tip. Seating is limited and reservations are strongly recommended. Call 210-222-2008.

SA chef Jeff Balfour will open Southerleigh this fall at Pearl

Chef Jeff Balfour’s new restaurant, Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery, that is set to open on the ground floor in the historic Pearl brewhouse in fall 2014.

Influenced by the coastal classics of Balfour’s upbringing in Galveston and married with the comfort of southern cuisine, Southerleigh will be a culinary intersection of cultures that make up the historic cuisines of Texas. ”

Guests at Southerleigh will be able to enjoy seasonally-shifting and playful menu items including: hand-rolled pretzels, Texas Longhorn jerky, wood-fired meats, traditional shellfish boils, beer braised meat and more.

Jeff Balfour at Paella Challenge

Jeff Balfour at Paella Challenge

Balfour will craft a cuisine of both modern wit and famous Southern charm,” according to Pearl.

Southerleigh will also house a custom manufactured brewery designed by Portland Kettle Works. Brewer William Les Locke Jr. developed his philosophy for beer and ability to create drinkable art as the former head brewer of Branchline Brewing. The brewery will have a 15-barrel brew house, six serving tanks, and an extensive firkin/wood barrel-aging program. Southerleigh plans to offer up to 21 different beers on tap, including one hand engine, that will be sold by the glass, bottle, or growler.

Austin-based architects Clayton & Little and Interior Designer Joel Mozersky of Austin’s One Eleven Design, have worked together to honor Pearl’s historic brew house while also reflecting Chef Balfour’s coastal southern cuisine.

Frederick’s on Broadway hosts 3-day Joel Gott wine dinner

Joel Gott’s wines will be featured from June 2 through June 4 at Frederick’s on Broadway, 7701 Broadway. The price is $95 per person plus tax and gratuity.

A representative from Trinchero Family Estates will be on hand to discuss the wines. Joel Gott wines served with the five-course meal from chef de cuisine Javier Landaverde. Call for reservations at 210-828-9050.

Aldaco’s Dominion opens today

Aldaco shrimp enchiladasAldaco’s, on Dominion Drive, has opened. Two soft openings on Tuesday and Wednesday nights brought in owner Blanca Aldaco’s many fans and showcased the new restaurant. Colorful art, a stylish bar and rustic, oak-shaded patios were some of the highlights of the new restaurant.

Dishes such as Shrimp Enchiladas, Queso Flameado, Grilled Queso Panela, Chile Relleno and Fajitas, paired with two of Aldaco’s famous avocado margarita and prickly pear margarita are the same favorites you find at the two other Aldaco’s restaurants in San Antonio.

 

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The Weather’s No Challenge for This Year’s Paella Challenge


Don Pullum, recently seen on "The Taste," and his assistant assemble their paella.

Don Pullum, recently seen on “The Taste,” and his assistant assemble their paella.

A last blast of winter didn’t stop hundreds of hungry people from turning out Sunday to the fifth annual Paella Challenge at the Pearl Brewery Sunday. But the gray skies and perpetual threat of rain did force the chefs and the sellout crowd under the 281 overpass for some protection.

Jesse Perez of Arcade Midtown Kitchen is the people's choice winner.

Jesse Perez of Arcade Midtown Kitchen is the people’s choice winner.

The new location  may have put a crimp into the parking, but people really enjoyed the more intimate space in which chefs from cross the city and across the country competed against each other to create the best and the most unique variations on paella, the classic Spanish dish that generally starts with some olive oil and garlic and finishes with a hefty dose of culinary magic. And on a cold, damp Sunday afternoon, what could be more welcome than a plate of steaming hot food laden with everything from scallops to roasted pig to clams and mussels?

David Gilbert of Tuk Tuk Taproom

David Gilbert of Tuk Tuk Taproom

Quite a few people stopped by Don Pullum’s table to talk with the man who recently finished a season on ABC’s “The Taste.” His final dish on that cooking show had been paella — and he didn’t survive the round intact — so the Mason chef and winemaker was looking for a chance to redeem himself. People loved his combination of lobster, crawfish, shrimp, and more over rice seasoned with plenty of saffron and other seasonings, as they did creations from a host of chefs, including Susanna Trilling, Robbie Nowlin, Stefan Bowers, Angie Bridges, Zach Lutton, Steven McHugh and Jason Dady. Chef James Canter of Victoria County Club, who has taken top prize several years in a row, became a judge this year, but he also managed to have a booth out of the competition.

The end result was a tasty way of raising money for scholarships, which will go to local culinary students, organizer Johnny Hernandez reminded the crowd before handing out the awards to the following winners:

Cesar Cervantes of El Bucanero joined Jeff Balfour to create a winning paella.

Cesar Cervantes of El Bucanero joined Jeff Balfour to create a winning paella.

High school:

  1. Robert E. Lee
  2. Brennan
  3. Sam Houston

Classic:

  1. Tim Rattray, the Granary
  2. Michael Sohoki, Restaurant Gwendolyn
  3. Michael Skibitcky, H-E-B

Non-traditional:

  1. The winning team from Robert E. Lee High School.

    The winning team from Robert E. Lee High School.

    David Gilbert, Tuk Tuk Taproom

  2. Jeff Balfour, an upcoming Pearl restaurant, and Cesar Cervantes of El Bucanero
  3. Jordan Mackey, Las Ramblas, Hotel Contessa

People’s choice:

  1. Jesse Perez, Arcade Midtown Kitchen

By winning their division, the students from Robert E. Lee High School will be traveling to New York City and on to the Culinary Institute of America main campus at Hyde Park, N.C.

Susana Trilling makes paella with her team.

Susana Trilling makes paella with her team.

Paella from Stefan Bowers of Feast.

Paella from Stefan Bowers of Feast.

Members of the Memorial High School team prepare their paella.

Members of the Memorial High School team prepare their paella.

Paella from Tim McCarty of Rochester, Minn.

Paella from Tim McCarty of Rochester, Minn.

The folks from Acadiana Cafe stage crawfish races.

The folks from Acadiana Cafe stage crawfish races.

Paella from chef David Delgado of the San Antonio Food Bank.

Paella from chef David Delgado of the San Antonio Food Bank.

 

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Finer Dining: Scotch Dinner, Passport New Zealand, Karbach at Boiler House


Scotch glass illustrationCrumpets’ Single Malt Scotch Tasting and Dinner

Join other lovers of single malt Scotches in this dinner and tasting at Crumpets Restaurant & Bakery on Friday, (Jan. 31) at 7 p.m.

Chef Francois Maeder will prepare each course to serve with a different Scotch. The menu includes: Aperitif — Oban 14 year; Glenkinchie 12 year served with Baked Brie; Talisker 10 year with Smoked Salmon Canapes; Cragganmore 12 year with Prociutto-stuffed Mushroom; Lagavulin 16 year with Lamb Chops with fresh rosemary and Dijon mustard; Dalwhinnie with Chocolate Florentine for dessert.

Reservations are required. The price is $55 per person plus tax and gratuity. Please call 210-821-5600. Crumpets is at 3920 Harry Wurzbach Road.

Sandy Oaks Passport Dinner sets sail for New Zealand

Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard invites you to come out and enjoy an evening of pairing olive oils, wines, cheeses and typical dishes that best display the gastronomic arts of some of the worlds finest olive-growing regions.

oliveoilThe next dinner features the food of New Zealand, renowned for its bountiful fresh produce, lamb and of course, olives and world-famous wines.

The dinner will be on Feb. 7, at Sandy Oaks, 25195 Mathis Road, Elmendorf. This is just a 25-minute drive from downtown San Antonio. The dinner begins at 7 p.m. and costs $65 per person. To make reservations call (210) 621-0044. For photos, information on the olive tree nursery, gift shop, the Kitchen at Sandy Oaks restaurant and more, visit the website at www.sandyoaks.com.

Boiler House has fun and Karbach on tap

Boiler House at the Pearl, 312 Pearl Parkway, is having a Karbach beer dinner at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

In honor of the dinner, chef Jeff White has created five courses of playfully named dishes to go with the playfully named beers.

beer icyThey include Jonny’s Beer Nuts and Deconstruction Zone Pastrami Sandwich with duck pastrami and foie gras spread paired with Karbach Hopadillo Negro IPA, followed by Strong Man Chowder with Karbach Weekend Warrior Pale Ale.

That’s How Jeff Rolls, a lobster salad with cider beer bacon on a bun, will be served with Karbach Weisse Versa Wheat, while Pig in a Poke, melted pork shoulder, will be with Karbach Rodeo Clown Double IPA. An Ice Cream Manwich and the Karbach Hellfighter Imperial Porter close out the meal.

The price is $55 a person plus tax and tip. For reservations, call (210) 354-4644.

 

 

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Local Coffee Opens at the Pearl


The popular Local Coffee has opened its third location. It’s at the Pearl Brewery.

Local Coffee has opened at the Pearl.

Local Coffee has opened at the Pearl.

Known for its commitment to keeping things simple but of high quality,  Local Coffee will continue to be a multi-roaster shop and will work with some of the top national roasters including Stumptown Coffee, Madcap Coffee, Intelligentsia and others.

There’s a dedicated area for up to three rotating weekly offerings from Texas roasters such as Tweed in Dallas or Cuvee’ and Flat Track in Austin.  They also offer brewing and palate education, brewing equipment, logo wares and retail bags from all their roasters at their Pearl location.

“I am really pumped to be partnering with the Pearl,” said Local Coffee owner Robby Grubbs. “I have always felt we were a natural fit, but the timing of the development and our location was worth the wait. Our negotiations and collaborative effort in designing our space has been a true organic process and I cannot wait to see it come together. We chose Pearl for the opportunity to have people walk in just because it said coffee on our sign. We then have an opportunity to turn those folks’ ‘coffee light’ on, especially since most people have no idea what they’re missing!”

A latte from Local Coffee at the Pearl.

A latte from Local Coffee at the Pearl.

Local Coffee’s menu items include espresso, slow pour and decaf drinks. Currently, Local Coffee is working with a new roaster to create a house coffee that will rotate every three to four months.

Located out of Dallas, Tweed, which is owned by the owner of Houndstooth Coffee in Austin, will collaborate with Local Coffee to have a seasonal single-origin coffee. This will be a Local/Tweed collaboration coffee that their customers can buy per cup or in retail bags at the Pearl location.

Local Coffee will be located at 302 Pearl Parkway, Suite 118. For more information about Local Coffee, please visit here.  For more information about Pearl, please visit here.

Pearl is also home to the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio; some of San Antonio’s top restaurants as well as culinary shops and gift shops, a Saturday farmers market and much more.

local coffee2

 

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Cured to Open at Pearl Before Christmas


Kit Goldsbury and Stephen McHugh cropped 2

Kit Goldsbury of Silver Ventures and chef Steve McHugh at preview of Cured, the Pearl restaurant to open soon.

Chef Steve McHugh’s new restaurant, Cured, will open before Christmas, a restaurant spokeswoman said today.

McHugh, the farm-raised chef who has worked in several legendary New Orleans kitchens and also served as the chef de cuisine of Lüke San Antonio, says his new restaurant will feature house-made bitters for the bar, vinegars for pickling, and cured meats for charcuterie.

The dishes at Cured will make use of the purest regional ingredients, paired with the organic methods that McHugh credits, in part, for his own renewed health as he was diagnosed with and recovered from non-Hodgkins lymphoma. McHugh’s menu is built on a foundation of lovingly hand crafted, time-consuming, cured foods, from charcuterie to pickles.

The pickles — essentially cured vegetables — are everywhere, from the Masa Fried Oysters with Tarragon and Pickled Tapioca; to the Cabrito Sliders with Chayote Pickle and Onion Sprout; even the Brewery Frank boasts an accompaniment of Nopalito Relish and House Made Ketchup.  Eleven different cured meats grace the Charcuterie list, from South Texas Heritage Pork Coppa to Hogshead Cheese to Bacon and Frog Leg Rillettes — order selections of three, six, or nine choices to sample a good range of McHugh’s passion.

One dollar from the price of each charcuterie board is donated to a different charity rotating on a quarterly basis.

The restaurant’s renovated historical building, built in 1904 as Pearl’s Administration Building which included the president’s office, will embody the perfect blend of a contemporary and historical atmosphere.

Cured is located at 306 Pearl Parkway, Suite 101, San Antonio, Texas 78215. For more information, please visit Cured’s website here.

Pearl, located north of downtown San Antonio, provides a unique experience as a top culinary and cultural destination. The mixed-use space features retail, dining, picturesque green spaces and paseos, a riverside amphitheater, and the third campus of the Culinary Institute of America.  As a former brewery operating from 1883 to 2001, Pearl reflects a vivid past while embracing the future with LEED-certified complexes mixed with historic architecture. 

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At Pearl: Chilly Day, Hot Tamales!


Tamales at Pearl Cold Crowd cropped

A robust crowd, intent on sampling a generous supply of not only tamales but pupusas, menudo, tacos and more, came out on a frigid Saturday for Tamales! at Pearl.

By frigid, we mean temperatures in the mid-30s in San Antonio.

The holiday spirit was alive, there were lots of good things to eat, music and even a pair of walking “tamales” to keep the bundled up crowd moving from booth to booth.

“This is my third trip to the hot cocoa booth,” said a man pushing a stroller with a 2-year-old girl bundled up in a pink blanket. The booth, in fact, was a lemonade stand, but we’d bet most of the people standing in that long line weren’t ordering anything served on ice.

Tamales at Pearl 2013 TrayMeanwhile, a panel of judges were sequestered in a room at the Culinary Institute of America, having tamales of many shapes, sizes and flavors brought to them on platters.

Shelley Grieshaber, the Pearl’s organizer of the event, welcomed judges Charles Gonzales of KSAT-TV, chef Johnny Hernandez, food writer Edmund Tijerina, CIA San Antonio Director David Kellaway and myself. It was going to be a tough task, but made a little easier — Grieshaber had already done the screening by culling through 240 different entries.

The winners who each took home $1,000 for the top tamales were Maria Martinez for her chicken tamal; Maria Shaw in the pork tamales category and Courtney Stone for her pumpkin praline sweet tamal in the wild card category.

What came to the judges were five  finalists in each of three categories — pork, chicken and the “wild card.”

“(The wild card category) could be the most difficult category to judge — there are very different styles, but you need to judge each on its own merits,” Grieshaber said.

When all was said and done, many good tamales tasted and the difficult task of choosing the very best had been met, it was time to head back outside. And we were pretty sure it was even colder than we came in.

But, as Grieshaber mentioned earlier, “We couldn’t cancel. There wouldn’t have been a good date coming up (in December).

“It never really let up until 5:30 — many of our vendors sold out. I had so many emails from vendors thanking us for not canceling, thanking us for everything,” said Grieshaber, who estimated attendance at between 12,000 to 15,000.

And, it was a good time for the attendees as well. We asked a number of people if they were glad they came and answers were always “yes.” Featuring some of the city’s best chefs, caterers and favorite restaurants, Tamales! was a great way to open the holiday season.

 

 

 

 

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Make Corn, Poblano and Crab Tamales at Home


Because Christmas is coming up, lots of San Antonians will be following their family tradition — making tamales, or just being sure they order from their favorite suppliers well in advance.

This is an unusual recipe, but one that has won Lisa Wong’s Rosario’s Mexican Cafe 7 Cantina admiring recognition. They aren’t any harder to make than the more traditional variety — and take our word for it, they’re delicious!

Rosario’s is at 910 S. Alamo St.

Maurer Rosarios Poblano Corn Crab resizedRosario’s Corn, Poblano and Crab Tamales

7 ears of corn

Pepper Mixture:

5 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, deveined and diced
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peel, deveined and diced
1 cup yellow onion, finely diced
2 cups roma tomatoes, small diced
½ teaspoon fresh garlic puree
2 tablespoons lard
2 tablespoons chicken stock

Masa:

5 pounds prepared masa

Filling:

10 ears of corn; boiled, grilled, kernels taken of cob
2 cups heavy cream
2 pounds lump crabmeat
2 cups queso fresco, shredded
½ cup cilantro, chopped
Zest of 2 oranges

For Corn Mixture:

Boil 7 ears of corn for 5 minutes. Remove kernels from cob. In a food processor, pulse just until chunky.

Pepper Mixture:

Sauté garlic and onion lard. Add tomato, poblano, red bell pepper and stock; simmer 10 minutes.

Filling:

In a large sauté pan, bring cream to a boil and add corn. Add salt to taste. Simmer until cream has thickened. Add crab, queso fresco, cilantro and orange zest.

In a large bowl, mix masa, baking powder and salt. Slowly add melted lard. Add Corn Mixture then Pepper Mixture. Add the cheese. Knead until masa is firm.

Forming Tamales:

Lay each husk tapered end towards you. Spread ¼ cup of masa onto husk, leave a small border around the edge. Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling down the center. Fold one side over the filling then fold the other side over that. Fold the pointed edge under. Repeat.

Steaming:

Use a large steamer or tamale pot. Line the bottom with a few extra husks. Place finished tamales folded-end down in a spiral formation starting on the outer edge of the pot. Do not pack tamales; they need room to steam. Cover the tamales with several extra husks. Fill pot with water until right below tamales. Cover and steam tamales on medium about 1 ¼ hours. If necessary, refill water in pot with boiling water. Let tamales stand in the steamer off the heat for 15 minutes to firm up.

 

Makes 6 dozen tamales.

Recipe courtesy Lisa Wong, owner of Rosario’s

Cover photo of wrapped tamales courtesy Tracey Maurer Photography. Tamales from Johnny Hernandez, La Gloria and styling is by Mary Ellen Rose.

Photo of Corn, Poblano and Crab Tamales by Tracey Maurer Photography.

About this photo: Local members of Les Dames de Escoffier from Rosarios ( Lisa Wong, owner, and Nancy Fitch, chef ) asked for a couple of tamale recipes to shoot during our Texas Tamale shoot and we also showcased these tamales at an LDEI conference ( we had a tasting along with our food photography presentation ).  We created a series of 7 tamale recipe cards for the presentation with recipes from Dames across Texas and handed these out to dames who attended. (T.M.)

The credits for these images:
Photography by Tracey Maurer
Food Styling by Julie Hettiger and Carla Buerkle ( from Houston )
Assisted by Casey Howell and Gidget White
Special thanks to CIA and their students

 

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