Posts Tagged ‘texas’

Celebrate Texas Flavors with Smashed Guacamole from Jack Allen’s Kitchen and My Baja Fish Tacos with Chipotle Lime Crema

Unique Southern-Inspired Cuisine infused with Southwest flavors 



Several years ago when I lived in Austin, I discovered one of most amazing and culinarily creative restaurants in Austin (very close to my house),  Jack Allen’s Kitchen. JAK is a southern-inspired restaurant with southwestern influences using local ingredients from Texas Farmers that “reveals the rich history and evolution of Texan cuisine.”  Every dish that was eaten was a culinary experience including the Bacon-wrapped Texas quail with jalapeño jam, Cark Miller’s Layered Chunky Queso with green chile pork, Chorizo-stuffed Pork Tenderloin with a Chipotle Cream Sauce and especially the chunky, Smashed Guacamole. I find myself frequently longing for that Austin culinary experience, so once I got my hands on the cookbook, I have been recreating some of the dishes that I loved so much. The chunky fresh guacamole is not a complicated dish and the less manipulation to the guacamole the better! At the restaurant, it’s made to order and sprinkled with cotija cheese and roasted pumpkin seeds. My extra touch is fresh, juicy sweet-tart pomegranate seeds!

My Baja Crispy Fish Tacos with Chipotle Lime Crema

Each taco is filled with crispy cornmeal-coated and fried slices of Mahi-Mahi, a cool slaw, pico de gallo and topped with Chipotle Lime Crema.

You don’t even need a recipe for frying the fish. Just toss the slices of fish in seasoned corn meal and fry. Fill a tortilla with the above ingredients and top with this easy to make, homemade Chipotle Lime Crema:

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

2 T Chipotle Adobo Sauce or more to taste

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

3/4 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon grated lime rind

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 garlic clove, minced

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix and chill for 30 minutes.

Pair this meal with a great summertime Sparking Grapefruit Tequila Cocktail! Follow this LINK to the cocktail recipe!

Smashed Guacamole Recipe BELOW!



This is a great base recipe but you WILL have to TRIPLE it when serving to guests!

Smashed Guacamole with Pomegranate and Pepita Seeds
Recipe type: appetizer
Cuisine: southwest
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 2 ripe avocados, cut in half,peeled and pitted
  • ½ cup Pico de gallo
  • 2 cups small-diced tomatoes, ¼ inch
  • ½ diced white onion, ¼ inch
  • 2 T seeded and minced Jalapeño
  • 1 T cilantro, chopped
  • Fresh Lime, juiced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • s/p to taste
  • 2 T grated Cotija cheese
  • Fresh Pomegranate seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds (Pepita)
  1. Make Pico de Gallo in a separate bowl
  2. Smash avocado, pico and seasonings together to form a chunky dip
  3. Toss pomegranate seeds lightly
  4. Top with Cotija cheese and pumpkin seeds


04 2015

Get Ready for a Texas-Sized Culinary Experience at the 2015 Austin Food + Wine Festival April 24-26!

You don’t have to be from Texas to have that “Texas state-of-mind.” Come.Eat.Drink.Sip.Savor and Repeat!



Experience Texas music, artisanal food, wine, local spirits, craft beer! Rub elbows with some of today’s most celebrated top chefs from Austin and Central Texas as well as renowned celebrity chefs from all around the country! Sip on local wine as well as wine from from around the globe. Talk with the winemakers and chefs from Texas and those with the Texas Culinary spirit!

The festival officially kicks off on Friday morning April 24th with Sips and Sweets and the evening will be filled with the Taste of Texas presented by Rioja, held at Republic Square Park in the heart of downtown Austin, with a live musical performance by Jamestown Revival.

Get your tickets here! 2015 AUSTIN FOOD + WINE FESTIVAL April 24-26  Auditorium Shores


In just a couple of weeks, this popular public park, Auditorium Shores, located on Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin, Texas will be transformed into a culinary event with Texas-sized flavors in an intimate setting. White tents and outdoor kitchens will line the grounds for a culinary adventure to enjoy under that big Texas sky!

This festival is one of the most unique festivals I have ever experienced and I just can’t get enough! My heart will forever be an Austinite and a chance to experience this unique lifestyle and culinary culture is the highlight of my year!

100 food, lifestyle, wine, and spirits exhibitors will be satisfying your culinary cravings and quenching your thirst throughout the Grand Tasting with a feast of flavors! Taste what makes Texas so unique with the local spirits, wines and enjoy the 2015 Chef’s Showcase , Hands on Grilling with Chef Tim Love, Feast Under the Stars, Rock Your Taco! and Fire Pit.

Here are just a few of my favorite memories from last year! Get your tastebuds ready for a Texas-style feast and make your own memories!


Enjoy savory bites and sips next to the silhouette of gorgeous downtown Austin in the background!






Charring vegetables in ashes brings out the intense flavors and subtle sweetness at Gardner.



  Andrew Zimmern  is a three time James Beard Award winning TV personality, chef, writer and teacher, and  regarded as one of the most versatile and knowledgeable personalities in the food world…. creator, executive producer and host of the Bizarre Foods franchise on Travel Channel (including Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World, Bizarre Foods America and the new Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations), Andrew has explored cultures in more than 150 countries.

04/25 | 2:30 – 3:15 | Mystery Challenge
04/25 | 7:00 – 9:30 | Rock Your Taco


Chef Tim Love  Lonesome Dove Western bistro, Woodshed Smokehouse, Queenie’s Steakhouse, Love Shack and White Elephant Saloon

04/23 | 6:30 – 9:00 | Feast Under The Stars
04/25 | 7:00 – 9:30 | Rock Your Taco


 Fire anyone?


Chef and TV personality Richard Blais:  winner of Top Chef All Stars, restauranteur, and last year’s winner of Rock Your Taco!

04/25 | 7:00 – 9:30 | Rock Your Taco
04/26 | 1:00 – 1:45 | For Goodness Steak


 “Murf” aka  David Murfeld is the winemaker of world class Washington state wines of Northstar Winery  who rocks the grapes! Make sure to stop by and say HI!


It’s so Austin to sit under the Live Oak trees especially after a full day of indulging!




03 2015

Join Half Step’s New Year’s Eve Celebration to Ring in the New Year and their One Year Anniversary with a BANG!

Dance and Twist the night away into the New Year’s with a first-ever Twisting Contest!


On December 31st, Half Step will be grooving into 2015 with sweet soulful style. Guests should be sure to wear their dancing shoes as DJ’s Cha Na Na & Dug Fresh will be digging deep for the finest in Soul and Funk Classics all night. After midnight, Half Step will round out the night by hosting their first ever Twist Contest, where there will be a cash prize to the winning couple!

A ticket gets you in the door, light fare in your belly, entertainment, access to drink specials, as well as a complimentary glass of punch for guests upon arrival and a Champagne toast at midnight.

Please see below for additional details:

NYE Soul & Funk at Half Step Austin
When: Wednesday, December 31st, 7pm-2am
Where: Half Step (75 1/2 Rainey Street, Austin, TX 78701)
Details: DJ’s Cha Na Na & Dug Fresh serving up Soul and Funk, post-midnight Twist Contest for couples, complimentary glass of punch to start, and a Champagne toast at midnight.

Tickets start at $80 (table for 2)


12 2014