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FATHER’S DAY DINING IN DALLAS June 10, 2011

Posted by jwdineline in Savor The Flavor with Jim White.
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Thanks, Dad

No!  Bringing home a slab of beef for Dad to grill is not acceptable for Father’s Day!  Take Dad to the slab instead.  Treat Dad to a special meal on June 19th, to show him you appreciate all the love, guidance, allowance, education, clothes, oh, and overlooking that fender-bender when you drove his car, and some of the other youthful indiscretions you surely foisted on him along the way.

Great meals abound for Dad.  So, let your conscious, your budget and your geography be your guide.  I’ll just do a stream of consciousness now on some of my favorite beef emporiums in the area.  Let your fingers do the walking through OpenTable.com and setup something (right away) to make a reservation:

  • Pappas Bros. Steak House
  • Stephan Pyles (that 21 oz Cowboy bone-in ribeye is a show stopper)
  • Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House
  • Charlie Palmer at the Joule
  • Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse
  • Perry’s
  • The Place at Perry’s
  • III Forks
  • Morton’s
  • Al Biernat’s
  • Bob’s
  • Kirby’s in Southlake
  • Ranchman’s Cafe in Ponder is always a favorite.  The steak is free.  You pay for the baked potato.  At least that’s the way the story used to go.  The pies are outstanding, too.
  • Dunston’s

Just a thought starter.  Now, if Dad is intent on staying-in and cooking-out and wants something besides beef, remember it’s Copper River Salmon season.  This is some of the yummiest wild salmon anywhere, and it’s only around for about a month.  The flavor is outstanding this year, and the price is pretty good.  Averaging around $23 a pound.  That may sound expensive, but it’s about half the price as it was when the season started last year, and it easily serves two.  If you follow the federal dietary guidelines four people could each have 4 ounces.  You’d pay upwards of $30 for a 5 or 6 oz portion in a restaurant.  So, be the hunter gatherer and bring home some of this great Alaskan salmon for Dad, splurge on a nice bottle of wine to go with it.  I suggest a Carneros or Santa Barbara Pinot Noir.  Other thoughts on this delicacy:

  • Make sure your fishmonger removes the bones–they are tiny but not very savory
  • Leave the skin on!  It helps keep the fish moist and pulls off easier than plastic wrap on a dish once the salmon is cooked
  • Leave the fish in one piece (one pound, two pounds, whatever).  It also helps keep it moist and prevents the fish from falling apart on the grill.
  • Don’t cook it too long.  This is personal preference, but for a one pound fillet I (about an inch thick), I never cook it for more than 8 minutes, or about 4 minutes per side.  Of course, remember the chefly quarter turns about every two minutes to produce those cool grill marks on the flesh.  Cook the skin side first.
  • I use a great fish seasoning from Hawaii that my wife and I love.  It’s an organic seasoning and rub from Aloha Spice Company.  You can order it online and have it here in time for Father’s Day.  It also comes for chicken and pork, and for beef and lamb (just in case Dad is intent on cooking his steak for Father’s Day).  Maui Wowie notwithstanding, a very simple seasoning for this (or any fish) is to oil as mentioned above, and then sprinkle Kosher Salt and fresh ground pepper on the fish.  Then, add a healthy dose of tarragon on the skin free side and pat it down.  After it’s grilled I add a lemon-butter and caper sauce.  If you’ve got particularly briney capers, use less Kosher salt, or your fish will be too salty.  Delectable.

Here’s a grilling tip that Chef Chris Ward taught me:  mix 2/3 cup of canola or other high heat oil (I use grapeseed oil) with1/3 cup olive oil and then toss in your favorite herbs, spices, and garlic cloves.  Brush the mixture on whatever you’re cooking before it goes on the fire, and continue to baste the product every time you turn it.  This keeps it moist, tender and delicious.  Try it.  One word of caution, this can cause flareups when you turn the meat or fish, so be ready to spritz the flames or move the protein to another part of the fire so your prized entree doesn’t scorch.  Also, be sure to keep the oil refrigerated between uses.  It should be OK for at least a month, but I use it so quickly in the summer, it never has a chance to turn rancid.

Grilled peaches for dessert-Go Texan!

Now, since it’s peach season, be sure to get some Parker County peaches and try this while the grill is fired up.  Cut the peaches in half; as many of them as you’d like to have.  They’re small.  Have at least one whole peach per person.  Spray the peach surfaces with a little non-stick cooking spray (canola, etc.) and grill for about 3 minutes per side (skin side first).  But first, reduce about a quarter cup of balsamic vinegar and add some Texas honey to it (couple of tablespoons is fine).  Then, baste the peaches lightly as you grill them, and then drizzle the remaining mixture over the peaches when you serve them.  I like to add some fresh Texas blueberries to the plate to add additional flair and taste.  Oh, and the sauce is larrapin, so you will need to adjust the amounts mentioned above if you are grilling more than about 4-6 peaches.  You can add your favorite vanilla ice cream, but believe me the peaches and the sauce are sweet and delightful on their own.  Even better if  you get some peach balsamic vinegar from Texas Hill Country Olive Oil Company.  By the by, the Parker County Peach Festival is July 9th.  Enjoy!

Savor the Flavor with Jim White, The Wining and Dining Guy June 14, 2010

Posted by jwdineline in Home, Savor The Flavor with Jim White.
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“Any man can be a father.  It takes someone special to be a Dad.”

Not sure to whom goes attribution on that salient message. It hits home, though, no matter who first said the words.  Father’s Day, June 20th, is getting first-class treatment in some top establishments. Here is an interesting, but by no means definitive listing.  We’ll add more as we receive them.

Charlie Palmer at the Joule is doing some tasty sounding pairings made with and paired with beer.  What could be better than a beer and a Brat (as in Bratwurst)?  Bratwurst and braised white beans highlights the appetizers section on the full Dad’s Day menu offered below:

Appetizer Specials

BEEF TARTARE

HERB AIOLI / CELERY CROSTINI

SHINER BOCK BRATWURST

BRAISED WHITE BEANS

Entree Specials

ALASKAN KING CRAB

PAULANER MUSTARD PAN SAUCE

KUROBUTA PORK CHOP

BLACK PEPPER SPAETZLE / FAT TIRE GLAZE

Dessert Specials

GUINNESS CHOCOLATE STOUT

GUINNESS ICE CREAM/ DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE

Featured beer: Estrella Damm 750 L

Charlie Palmer at The Joule
1530 Main Street
Dallas, TX 75201, Tel: 214.261.4600

Rafain Brazilian Steakhouse is offering a “Dad deserves more than one steak” promotion.  Of course, their menu features the multitude of great Churrascaria style meats, as well as pork and chicken treats and the salad bar that goes on for days.  They are featuring a lunch special for $35 and a dinner special on the sumptuous spread for $32 (not valid with gift certificates or other offers).  Limited seating, so call for reservations: 972-733-1110.

Rafain Brazilian Steakhouse
18010 N. Dallas Parkway
Dallas, TX 75287

Similar treatment, and equally tasty Churrascaria, is available in Grapevine at Boi Na Braza for $37.99 on Father’s Day.

Boi Na Braza

4025 William D. Tate

Grapevine, Texas 76051, 817-251-9881

Master Chef Morris Salerno knows how to make fancy cookin’ taste down home and dazzling all at the same time.  His ever popular The Grotto Restaurant in Highland Village is offering a prime peppered New York Strip with a brandy cream sauce served with asparagus and cottage fries that is making my mouth water just thinking about it!  It’s $22.50 and just one of the Father’s Day specials at the restaurant.

The Grotto

2300 Highland Village Road, Suite 500

Highland Village, TX 75077

Call 972-318-0515

Or, if dad is into Italian, take him to family style Salerno’s in Flower Mound.  One of their Father’s Day specials is a 10 ounce tenderloin with sauteed mushrooms in a Burgundy sauce with veggies and a baked potato for $28.95.

Salerno’s Italian Restaurant
3407 Long Prairie Road
Flower Mound, TX  75077
972-539-9534

Regular menu available at both locations on Father’s Day.

If Dad is a “Beef! It’s what’s for dinner!” at home kinda guy…

Then, the godfather of Texas Cowboy Cookin’, Tom Perini, from Perini Ranch in Buffalo Gap has a solution:  his enormously popular mesquite smoked peppered beef tenderloin.  They’ll deliver dinner to dad’s doorstep.  All you have to do is supply the fixin’s and his beverage of choice.  This product won the Fancy Foods “best of show” category about 15 years ago in New York and put Perini’s on the map.  People all over the world order this tenderloin like it’s going out of style (it isn’t, thankfully).   Tom was chuckwagon choice for the Bush W. White House.  His cookbook “Texas Cowboy Cooking” (with forward by Robert Duvall) is a perennial best seller.  He’s been honored at “Savor Dallas” with the Lone Star “Culinary Award” in 2006.  All the accolades aside, it’s damn good beef.  Check it out online or by phone at the link above, or for the real deal in person:  Visit Perini Ranch Steakhouse in Buffalo Gap.   Named one of America’s “Best Rural Restaurants” by Gourmet Magazine in 2004.  The popular establishment is only about 3 hours west of DFW outside of Abilene.  They’ll bring you all the good peppered tenderloin you want, plus a full menu of steaks and other great entrées.   Plus great country side dishes like Green Chile Hominy, Cowboy Potatoes and Zucchini Perini.  Dine on a working cattle ranch and enjoy a taste of the real West at Perini Ranch.  They even throw a big city style wine and food event every April called the Buffalo Gap Wine and Food Summit. Big names in the industry and lots of hungry, thirsty folks make the annual trek.  We’ve been a few times ourselves.  It’s the best way to have oak with your wine, as the late, great Fess Parker used to say.  Outside under the stars sippin’ wine under the Live Oaks at Perini Ranch.

Side note about Buffalo Gap:  Had it not been for a little railroad re-routing way back when, it would have been the big city in the Big Country and Abilene would have been an afterthought. Buffalo Gap is an interesting historical slice of Texas and offers features some great local artists, in addition to some pretty darn good dining.
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