Chef Jose Garces Focuses on Quality and Versatility at This Year’s Sold-out South Beach Wine and Food Festival

Pork to make a cameo at prestigious event

Smithfield Fresh Pork is proud to partner with the National Pork Board and 20 award-winning chefs at this year’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SOBEWFF). These chefs will create high-quality pork dishes for attendees featuring Smithfield Prime Fresh Pork, an all-natural premium line of fresh pork. Each recipe will showcase the superior quality and versatility of the Smithfield Prime collection and inspire consumers to cook with only the best ingredients at home. Event-goers will have the opportunity to experience these recipes at the following NPB-sponsored events: Tacos After Dark on Thursday, February 22; Burger Bash on Friday, February 23; Spanish Dinner on Saturday, February 23; Swine, Wine & Spirits and Coca-Cola Beachside BBQ, both on Sunday, February 25.

Chef Jose Garces, one of Smithfield’s Chef Partners, will host two pork-centric events at SOBEWFF. Garces, a James Beard award winner and Iron Chef, prefers to cook with Smithfield Prime Fresh Pork due its high quality and flavor.

“As a chef, there is nothing more important to me than the quality of the ingredients I choose for my dishes,” said Garces. “That is why I love to work with Smithfield Prime Fresh Pork. They understand that quality leads to flavor and flavorful dishes create the best experiences and memories.”

The most discerning chefs, championship pitmasters and home cooks alike seek quality, flavorful fresh pork, and that is why they trust Smithfield Prime Fresh Pork. Smithfield Prime Fresh Pork is a line of premium, all-natural fresh pork that is certifiably 20 percent more tender than other leading brands of all-natural pork. The Smithfield Prime collection is hand-trimmed and sourced from America’s most trusted farms, using a specialty breed of Duroc hogs and some of the most stringent quality standards in the industry. Thus, Smithfield Prime Fresh Pork products naturally have exceptional color, increased marbling and enhanced flavor, creating an elevated eating experience.

You can catch Chef Garces in action at the Spanish Dinner event taking place Saturday, February 24; and at the Coca-Cola Beachside BBQ on Sunday, February 25. For those who want to take a page out of Chef Garces’ book and try their hand at cooking up one of his signature dishes, below is a recipe he crafted specially for Smithfield. 

Grilled pork chops with cognac butter, mustard aioli and mushrooms

For the pork chops:

4 Smithfield(R) Prime Bone-In Pork Chops (1-inch thick)

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh thyme

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary

1/4 cup finely chopped garlic

Directions:

Mix oil, thyme, rosemary and garlic in large mixing bowl. Add pork chops and coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Heat grill to medium using hickory wood charcoal. Remove chops from marinade and grill 7 to 9 minutes per side until internal temperature reaches 145 F to 160 F. Remove from heat and immediately brush with cognac butter. Let stand 3 minutes before serving. 

For the cognac butter:

1 cup good-quality cognac

1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots

1 cup butter, room temperature

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Combine cognac and shallots in a small saucepan. Simmer until cognac is reduced by two-thirds. Strain and let cool. Mix together with butter and parsley; let stand at room temperature until ready to use. 

For the mustard aioli:

3 eggs

1 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup whole grain mustard

3 cups vegetable oil

Directions:

Combine eggs, Dijon mustard and lemon juice in food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Slowly drizzle in vegetable oil, while food processor is running, until emulsified. Remove from processor and fold in whole grain mustard. Season to taste. 

For the mushrooms:

2 lbs. mixed fresh wild mushrooms (such as chanterelle, hen of the woods, porcini and morel)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh thyme

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

Toss together mushrooms and olive oil. Place in grill basket and grill until tender and cooked through, turning occasionally. Remove from heat and toss with remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.

This recipe yields four servings; total prep time is 25 minutes (plus two hours marinade time), and total cook time is expected at 35 minutes.

Visit SaborSmithfield.com for more of Chef Garces’ recipes and inspiration for your next meal and to learn more about Smithfield’s quality and freshness. And visit sobewff.org for more details on the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. For more information about National Pork Board, visit porkteinspira.com. (BPT)

Shake Up Your Dinner Routine

If you find yourself stuck in a rut with the same recipes, remember a little change can add a lot of flavor. By simply using fresh pork in dishes that usually consist of chicken or beef, there are countless ways to switch up your dinner routine.

Whether grilled, roasted, slow-cooked or sautéed, Smithfield Fresh Pork is available in a wide variety of cuts as well as pre-marinated flavors, making it versatile and convenient for any night of the week. Try out these recipes for Smoked Bacon Pork Alfredo and Grilled Pork Loin Fajitas to shake up your next meal.

Find more recipe ideas at Smithfield.com/ShakeItUp.

Smoked Bacon Pork Alfredo

Prep time: 8 minutes

Cook time: 22 minutes

Servings: 6-8

  • 1          Smithfield Applewood Smoked Bacon Marinated Fresh Pork Loin Filet
  • 3          tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1          pound penne pasta
  • 1          package (8 ounces) sliced mushrooms
  • salt, to taste
  • 2          jars (15 ounces each) Alfredo sauce
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/4       cup finely chopped green onion (optional)
  • grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Cut pork loin into 1/2-inch thick slices then into 1/4-inch wide strips. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Stir-fry half the pork loin 7-8 minutes until well browned. Set aside on separate plate and repeat with 1 tablespoon oil and remaining pork.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  3. In skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining oil; add mushrooms and sprinkle with salt, to taste. Cook 3 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. Drain pasta and return to pot; stir in pork, mushrooms and Alfredo sauce. Stir over medium heat about 4 minutes until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Sprinkle with green onions and Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Grilled Pork Loin Fajitas

Prep time: 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes marinade time

Cook time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4-6

  • 1          Smithfield Prime Boneless Fresh Pork Loin, cut into 1-inch thick steaks
  • 1 1/2    cups water, divided
  • 1          cup soy sauce
  • 1          can (6 ounces) pineapple juice
  • 6          cloves garlic
  • 1/4       cup white wine
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1          cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2          large onions, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
  • 1          tablespoon corn oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 12        tortillas
  • guacamole (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • pico de gallo (optional)
  • shredded cheese (optional)
  1. Using meat mallet, pound pork steaks until 1/2-inch thick; place in 1-gallon re-sealable plastic bag. Pour 1 cup water, soy sauce and pineapple juice over pork; seal bag and lay flat in refrigerator 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
  2. In blender, pulse garlic, white wine and salt until thoroughly blended. Whisk butter and slowly incorporate garlic and wine mixture. Reserve at room temperature.
  3. In large skillet over high heat, saute onions in corn oil 2 minutes until they turn deep brown. Add remaining water to skillet and lower heat to medium-low. Cook and stir, scraping bits from bottom of pan, 15 minutes until water has evaporated and onions are caramelized. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat grill to 300 F for indirect cooking. Lightly grease grates.
  5. Remove pork from marinade and place on grill over indirect heat 4-6 minutes per side, until internal temperature reaches 145 F. Remove pork and brush garlic butter on both sides. Let stand 5 minutes; slice into 3-inch long, thin strips.
  6. While grill is hot, grill tortillas individually. Wrap four tortillas at a time in aluminum foil with a little garlic butter.
  7. In skillet, reheat caramelized onions and serve with fajitas. Top with guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo and shredded cheese, if desired. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Smithfield

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

  • 1/2 cup Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 4 teaspoons Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine mayonnaise with cheese in medium bowl. Arrange chicken on baking sheet. Evenly top with mayonnaise mixture, then sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  3. Bake 20 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

SOURCE:
Culinary.net

Beat Winter Blues with a Little Help From Vitamin D

Wholesome ingredients can help up your intake during the dark days of winter

Staying indoors and wrapping up in a blanket is one way to avoid winter’s frigid weather, but less exposure to the sun can also put you at risk of a vitamin D deficiency. Milk is the primary source of vitamin D in the American diet, according to research published in the FASEB Journal, making it a great choice on dark winter days.

An 8-ounce glass of milk provides 30 percent of the daily value of vitamin D, so just three cups of milk each day will provide 90 percent of your body’s recommended daily requirements. Milk is also an easy way to get other essential nutrients like B vitamins for energy, high-quality protein for lean muscle and vitamin A for a healthy immune system.

When you need a quick way to warm up on a cold day, try this creamy chicken corn chowder recipe that can be made with a pressure cooker. Cooked with wholesome ingredients like milk, chicken and potatoes and topped with bacon and green onions, it’s an easy and delicious addition to your weekly meal rotation. For more recipes to warm up your winter, visit milklife.com.

Pressure Cooker Corn Chowder

Servings: 12

  • 6          slices (6 ounces each) thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1          small yellow onion, diced
  • 3          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          pound boneless skinless chicken breast, diced
  • 1          bag (16 ounces, about 3 1/3 cups) frozen corn kernels
  • 4          cups chicken broth
  • 1          pound unpeeled or peeled Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/4-1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/2       teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional, to taste
  • 1/2       teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, plus additional, to taste
  • 2          tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2    cups fat-free milk
  • 2-3       green onions, sliced (optional)
  • 1          tablespoon heavy cream or half-and-half (optional)
  1. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped bacon and cook until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked bacon to paper towel-lined plate and pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat.
  2. Return skillet to stove. Add onion and garlic; saute 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add diced chicken and frozen corn; saute for an additional 3 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Remove skillet from heat and transfer contents to pressure cooker. Add chicken broth, potatoes, salt and pepper. Close and seal pressure cooker, making sure the vent is in the sealed position. Cook on high 8 minutes.
  4. While the chowder cooks, make a slurry by whisking cornstarch (or flour) into milk. Set aside.
  5. When done, remove pressure cooker from heat. Allow pressure to release on its own or carefully quick-release pressure after a few minutes. Stir in the cornstarch-milk slurry. Cover and allow chowder to thicken for 10-15 minutes before serving.
  6. Portion soup into bowls and generously top with bacon. Garnish with green onion and cream or half-and-half, if desired. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

Nutritional information per serving: 190 calories; 5 g fat; 1.5 g saturated fat; 35 mg cholesterol; 14 g protein; 20 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 530 mg sodium; 52 mg calcium (6% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat-free milk. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
MilkPEP

Power Up with Plant Protein

When it comes to getting energy from the food you eat, it’s no secret that protein packs a powerful punch. However, research shows certain plant-based proteins, like peanuts, may carry additional benefits.

According to a Harvard School of Public Health study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, substituting plant-based proteins like peanuts for animal proteins and low-quality carbohydrates can result in lowering diabetes risk by 7-21 percent. Because peanuts are known as a low glycemic index food due to their slow digestion that causes sugar to gradually be released into the bloodstream, they can have positive effects on blood sugar control.

Find more nutritional information and ways to include peanuts in your diet at gapeanuts.com.

Chicken Pad Thai

Servings: 4

  • 1 pound chicken breast
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 medium zucchini, spiralized (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium carrots, spiralized (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup cooked pad thai stir-fry noodles
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. Season chicken with pepper, to taste. In large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil and cook chicken until fully cooked and juices are clear. Remove chicken from pan and allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing.
  2. To make sauce: In small bowl, whisk together honey, chili garlic sauce, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, peanut butter and water.
  3. Add zucchini, carrots, rice noodles and chicken to pan; pour sauce over and toss to coat. Toss in bean sprouts and cabbage. Serve with lime wedge, crushed peanuts and cilantro.

Nutritional information per serving: 295 calories, 12 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 792 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 27 g protein, 109% vitamin A, 46% vitamin C, 7% calcium, 10% iron.

Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats

Servings: 2

  • 1/4 cup powdered peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons ground chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup small banana, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon peanuts, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  1. In medium bowl, stir together powdered peanut butter, oats, chia seeds, coconut milk and vanilla extract.
  2. Divide evenly into mason jars or storage containers and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Before serving, add banana slices, chopped peanuts and peanut butter to each.

Nutritional information per serving: 280 calories, 12 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 135 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrates, 7 g dietary fiber, 8 g sugar, 10 g protein, 8% vitamin A, 4% vitamin C, 35% calcium, 13% iron.

Baked Salmon with Peanut Butter Glaze

Servings: 4

  • 1 pound salmon
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • 1/4 cup 100 percent orange juice
  1. Heat oven to 400° F and line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place salmon on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with pepper, to taste. Bake salmon 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
  2. In small saucepot over medium-low heat, whisk together peanut butter, chili garlic sauce and orange juice, and cook until warm.
  3. To serve, pour peanut butter glaze over salmon.

Nutritional information per serving: 334 calories, 23 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 173 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 27 g protein, 8% vitamin C, 4% calcium, 3% iron.

Vegetarian Nourish Bowl

Servings: 4

  • 1 cup large, diced butternut squash
  • 16 ounces Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 medium red onion, large diced
  • 1/2 can (8 ounces) reduced-sodium garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 head garlic (about 10 cloves), peeled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped peanuts
  1. Heat oven to 400° F and line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. On prepared baking sheet, arrange butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, onion, garbanzo beans and garlic; toss vegetables in olive oil and season with pepper, to taste.
  2. Roast 30-40 minutes until slightly golden in color. Halfway through baking, shake vegetables or turn over to ensure even browning.
  3. To make dressing: Mix together lemon juice, water, Sriracha sauce and peanut butter.
  4. To serve, top quinoa with roasted veggies, crushed peanuts and drizzle of lemon-peanut butter sauce.

Nutritional information per serving: 323 calories, 14 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 308 mg sodium, 42 g carbohydrates, 11 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 13 g protein, 92% vitamin A, 197% vitamin C, 11% calcium, 28% iron. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Georgia Peanut Commission

Festive Fun for St. Patrick’s Day

Turn your St. Patrick’s Day celebration into a chance to enjoy Irish heritage with hearty foods and a lively atmosphere. When it’s the one day each year it’s acceptable to pinch non-conforming friends and family, it’d be a shame not to go all out.

These few simple tips can help you put together the perfect party to revel in all things green – and tasty.

  • Decorate with purpose. Everyone knows that green is the color of the day, but go one step further by incorporating it into different items. Banners and streamers work fine, but setting out green candles or even adorning your light fixtures with green bulbs can help you take an extra step forward.
  • Create active fun. Instead of limiting your guests to dining and conversation, plan some simple activities to help the fun flow. Games like a “treasure hunt” for gold coins, limerick-writing competitions or even just turning up Irish-themed music can help get the party started.
  • Eat festively. Turn your party’s food and drinks into true Irish dining with some delicious recipes like this American Irish Stew, which includes beef, onion, carrots and potatoes for a tasty cultural meal to fill all of your hungry guests.

For more hosting tips and the perfect themed recipes for any occasion, visit culinary.net.

American Irish Stew

Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research

Servings: 6

  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4    pounds beef, top round, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 3          cloves garlic, minced
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1          medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3          medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2          medium parsnips, cut into large chunks (optional)
  • 3          cups low-fat, reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 4          medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1          tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1          leek, coarsely chopped
  • 2          tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  1. In large pot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add beef and garlic. Cook, gently stirring until meat is evenly browned. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add onion, carrots and parsnips. Cook 3-4 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 75 minutes, or until meat is tender.
  3. Stir in potatoes and simmer another 30 minutes. Add rosemary and leeks. Continue to simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender. To avoid potatoes falling apart, do not overcook.
  4. Serve hot and garnish with parsley, if desired.

Nutritional information per serving: 370 calories, 8 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 43 g carbohydrate, 32 g protein, 6 g dietary fiber, 427 mg sodium. (Family Features)

Sway Launches New Cocktail Program

Specialty Drinks Celebrate Traditional Thai Flavors

Photography courtesy of Travis Hallmark.  

Sway, the award-winning Thai restaurant located in South Austin, is now offering liquor and specialty cocktails in addition to its wide selection of wine, beer and sake. The new program features Thai takes on classic cocktails, using fresh herbs, housemade syrups and local ingredients to create a signature menu.

Bangkok Sling

Bangkok Sling

“Developing each cocktail was an exercise in flavor balance and celebrating the distinct flavors of Thailand,” says Mandi Nelson, Beverage Director of New Waterloo. “They can hold up to the heat of Sway’s cuisine without getting lost or be overpowering. Our cocktails are as lovely as they are delicious, and they serve as the perfect complement to our food menu.”

In addition to specialty cocktails, guests can also now enjoy mixed drinks or add a spirit of their choosing to Sway’s housemade sodas and drinking vinegars.

Cocktail Menu

bangkok 75
gin, secret garden tea, lemon, sparkling wine

monk water
vodka, pineapple, lime, cucumber, mint, cilantro, soda water

same same tonic
gin, galangal, lime, tonic

lotus margarita
tequila, combier, tamarind, lime salt

tuk tuk sling
butterfly tea infused gin, benedictine, combier, cherry heering, pineapple, lime, blackberry

koh koh breeze
vodka, combier, lemon, raspberry-lychee, coconut cream

the emperor
whiskey, aperol, lemon, chai tea

to magnolia city with love (proceeds benefit Hurricane Harvey Relief; cocktail now made with rum)
rum, lychee, fresh orange, cherry

Sway is located at 1417 South 1st Street and is open Sunday – Wednesday, 11am – 10pm and Thursday – Saturday, 11am – 11pm. For more information, visit www.swaythai.com, or call (512) 326-1999.

Additional locations, West Lake Hills (3437 Bee Caves Road) and Domain NORTHSIDE (Rock Rose), are scheduled to open in early 2018.

ABOUT SWAY

Sway is a modern Thai restaurant located in Austin, Texas, that serves lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Inspired by an Australian style of Thai cooking, Sway is an interpretation of a traditional northern Thai-style lanna house. For more information, please visit http://www.swaythai.com. Follow Sway on Facebook (Sway Thai) and Instagram (@SwayThai).

Beat Winter Blues with a Little Help From Vitamin D

Wholesome ingredients can help up your intake during the dark days of winter

Staying indoors and wrapping up in a blanket is one way to avoid winter’s frigid weather, but less exposure to the sun can also put you at risk of a vitamin D deficiency. Milk is the primary source of vitamin D in the American diet, according to research published in the FASEB Journal, making it a great choice on dark winter days.

An 8-ounce glass of milk provides 30 percent of the daily value of vitamin D, so just three cups of milk each day will provide 90 percent of your body’s recommended daily requirements. Milk is also an easy way to get other essential nutrients like B vitamins for energy, high-quality protein for lean muscle and vitamin A for a healthy immune system.

When you need a quick way to warm up on a cold day, try this creamy chicken corn chowder recipe that can be made with a pressure cooker. Cooked with wholesome ingredients like milk, chicken and potatoes and topped with bacon and green onions, it’s an easy and delicious addition to your weekly meal rotation. For more recipes to warm up your winter, visit milklife.com.

Pressure Cooker Corn Chowder

Servings: 12

  • 6          slices (6 ounces each) thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1          small yellow onion, diced
  • 3          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          pound boneless skinless chicken breast, diced
  • 1          bag (16 ounces, about 3 1/3 cups) frozen corn kernels
  • 4          cups chicken broth
  • 1          pound unpeeled or peeled Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/4-1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/2       teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional, to taste
  • 1/2       teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, plus additional, to taste
  • 2          tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2    cups fat-free milk
  • 2-3       green onions, sliced (optional)
  • 1          tablespoon heavy cream or half-and-half (optional)
  1. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped bacon and cook until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked bacon to paper towel-lined plate and pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat.
  2. Return skillet to stove. Add onion and garlic; saute 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add diced chicken and frozen corn; saute for an additional 3 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Remove skillet from heat and transfer contents to pressure cooker. Add chicken broth, potatoes, salt and pepper. Close and seal pressure cooker, making sure the vent is in the sealed position. Cook on high 8 minutes.
  4. While the chowder cooks, make a slurry by whisking cornstarch (or flour) into milk. Set aside.
  5. When done, remove pressure cooker from heat. Allow pressure to release on its own or carefully quick-release pressure after a few minutes. Stir in the cornstarch-milk slurry. Cover and allow chowder to thicken for 10-15 minutes before serving.
  6. Portion soup into bowls and generously top with bacon. Garnish with green onion and cream or half-and-half, if desired. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

Nutritional information per serving: 190 calories; 5 g fat; 1.5 g saturated fat; 35 mg cholesterol; 14 g protein; 20 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 530 mg sodium; 52 mg calcium (6% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat-free milk. (Family Features)

Le Politique Patisserie Offers French Pastry Classics

Featuring Fresh-Baked Viennoiseries, Macarons, and Tarts from New Waterloo Corporate Executive Pastry Chef Amanda Rockman and Le Politique Pastry Chef Alyssa Hurlstone

Photography compliments of Le Politique.

Le Politique is excited to announce its expansion of offerings with the addition of a patisserie, now serving French pastry staples and a selection of beverages in an intimate neighborhood spot located adjacent to the brasserie at the corner of 2nd Street and San Antonio.

Inspired by her travels to Paris, New Waterloo Corporate Executive Pastry Chef Amanda Rockman remains true to the classics. The selection of sweet and savory pastries features an array of French standards, including brioche, croissants, palmiers, tarts, sweet rolls and macarons, as well as sliced-to-order pound cakes.

“Le Politique is rooted in traditional French food, and the patisserie is an extension of that concept,” says Corporate Executive Pastry Chef Amanda Rockman. “We don’t mess with tradition, but rather honor it to provide Austin with some of the best, scratch-made pastries they can find in the city. I’m looking forward to working with Alyssa as we continue to grow and evolve our offerings.”

Pastries can be taken to-go or enjoyed inside the shop, along with a variety of espresso drinks, teas and sodas. The patisserie serves coffee blends from Apex Coffee Roasters and teas from Austin-based Zhi Tea, both of which are available for retail sale at the shop.

Within a limited footprint, the patisserie houses a variety of experience for guests, from people-watching by the window to working at the bar or enjoying the downtown bustle with outdoor seating. A sequence of sketches featuring an American woman’s visit to Paris in the 1950s line the walls, and classic marble and brass accents grace surfaces.

“The patisserie draws people in with its vibrant wallpaper and colorful pastry displays, but it’s the tiny details I particularly love, the ones that require you to take a second look – or a second visit – to notice,” says Melanie Raines, New Waterloo’s Director of Design.

The patisserie is open daily from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is available for private events in the evening.

For more information about Le Politique and its menus, please visit lepolitiqueaustin.com, or call 512-580-7651.

ABOUT LE POLITIQUE: Le Politique (110 San Antonio St., Austin, TX 78701) is a classic French brasserie in downtown Austin. Its menu features traditional French fare, including an extensive raw bar and a separate patisserie and coffee shop. For more information, visit lepolitiqueaustin.com or follow on Facebook (/lepolitiqueaustin) and Instagram (@lepolitiqueaustin).

ABOUT NEW WATERLOO: New Waterloo is an Austin-based hospitality management and development company. Projects include award-winning restaurants, event spaces, and boutique hotels, including South Congress Hotel, Hotel Ella, La Condesa, Sway, Pao, Le Politique, La Matta, and the forthcoming Il Brutto. For more information, visit newwaterloo.com or follow New Waterloo on Facebook (newwaterloo) and Instagram (@newwaterloo). 

Comfort Food Made Quick and Easy

A steaming bowl of savory soup is the perfect comfort food when the wind is howling, rain is falling or the temperature is dropping. It’s a time to cozy up and enjoy the warmth of being inside while indulging in some of your favorite flavors.

The rich, hearty tastes and textures of a soup result from the seasonings, spices and melding of different ingredients while it slowly simmers to perfection. However, when there’s no time for lots of prep and cooking, there are shortcuts that don’t sacrifice taste.

For example, when time is short, a can of READ Southwestern Bean Salad gives you a head start. The robust mixture of black beans, corn, hominy and kidney beans in a slightly spicy, chili-lime accented tomato sauce is just right in recipes that boast Tex-Mex flavors like this Chicken Enchilada Soup. Just add a few pantry staples and some sauteed chicken for a warming pot of soup in about half an hour.

For more quick and easy recipes for the season, visit readsalads.com.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Recipe courtesy of Dinner, Dishes and Desserts on behalf of READ Salads

Servings: 6

  • 2          teaspoons olive oil
  • 1          pound chicken breast cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1          small onion, finely chopped
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          can (10 ounces) enchilada sauce
  • 2          cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
  • 1          can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 2          cans (15 ounces each) READ Southwestern Bean Salad
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • crispy tortilla strips (optional)
  • shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • diced avocado (optional)
  1. In large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and onion. Cook 5-6 minutes, or until chicken is browned and onions are soft, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, until fragrant.
  2. Stir in enchilada sauce, chicken stock, tomatoes and bean salad. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with tortilla strips, cheese and avocado, if desired. (Family Features)