Dinner Lab Austin – North Korean

Dinner Lab (http://www.dinnerlab.com/) is a concept that is brand new to Austin and only  exists here and in New Orleans.  It’s a membership-only dining experience that showcases up-and-coming and relative unknown chefs by letting them cook a multi-course meal in an off-the-beaten path type of setting.

I first heard about Dinner Lab from my friend Jen (who by the way has now bought a shaker for her apartment) who got wind of it from living in New Orleans.  I took barely a glance and their website before I was PayPal-ing the $100 annual membership fee and had signed up for the inaugural dinner.  The theme was “North Korean” with food by Chef Jae Jung who currently cooks in New Orelans.  The location of dinner wasn’t released until the night before the event and as my friend Kelly and I pulled up to the specified address we were a little confused:  Delta Lumber Millworks, a wood shop and lumber mill on East 5th Street.

Click to make it larger.  Now.

Click to make it larger. Now.

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Cucumber Jalapeño Margaritaz

So being the supportive girlfriend I am, I have committed to at least watch the first two (premiere) episodes of So You Think You Can Dance.  So naturally, I need a drink.

Cucumber Jalapeño Margaritas

So you think you can drink?  Yup.

So you think you can drink? Yup.

Here’s what we got:

  • Simple syrup (just heat some sugar with water and let it boil until the sugar melts and gets all syrupy)
  • Limes
  • Lime juice
  • Cucumber
  • Jalapeño
  • Salt
  • Triple sec
  • Tequila
  • Club soda

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Cereal Milk Panna Cotta

SO I went to the Austin Food and Wine Festival two weekends ago and I found this cookbook.  This magical, unicorn-like cookbook that I started reading with a glass of wine in my hand and IMMEDIATELY purchased.  “Milk” is by Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar in New York.  You can buy yours here:  http://www.shopmilkbar.com/shipping/shop/milk-bar-cookbook-signed-by-christina-tosi/

New bible?

New bible?

Anyways this is like the single greatest dessert/pastry cookbook I’ve ever seen and I have fallen in love with Christina and her desserts.  So I’m going to try my hand at doing that blogger thing and cooking every recipe in this book.  We’ll see how it goes.

Christina’s trademark is her Cereal Milk.  Think the milk leftover in your cereal bowl after you’ve eaten the last of the cornflakes.  And then make that into dessert.  Today I’m trying the first two recipes:  Cereal Milk and then using that to make Cereal Milk Panna Cotta.

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Did I mention I went to Barley Swine recently?

Barley Swine is the best restaurant in town.  Here’s how I’ll prove it:

A few weeks ago 6 of us went and ate the entire menu plus some.  And every single dish blew our minds.

Barley Swine, April 16, 2013

Broccoli, cheese custard, almond, fermented chili

Carrots, goat feta, ancho chile, fried chickpea cake



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Poached Cod in Tomato Mushroom Broth

So as it turns out having a part time Adult Job isn’t much less time out of my week than a full time Adult Job.


Last week I traveled to Memphis for the better half of the week for said Adult Job, then was raging at the Austin Food and Wine Festival (post forthcoming) and this is the first time I can get to some cooking.

I did have some wonderful barbecue in Memphis at The Bar-B-Q Shop (http://www.dancingpigs.com/ – look how awesome THAT domain name is.)


Dry and wet pork ribs, a heap of pulled pork, and sides of baked beans and cole slaw.  I also couldn’t resist trying their famous “BBQ Spaghetti” which was spaghetti doused in barbecue sauce and topped with a heaping of pulled pork shoulder.  Washed it all down with a Ghost River Golden Ale (http://www.ghostriverbrewing.com/), one of the only local brews around town. Great beer and a great dinner.


Now back to the cod and broth and stuffz.  Something about me:  I spent the first 17-something years of my life in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.  A small-ish waterfront town in southern New England.  And us New Englanders LOVE their seafood.  Like I shun everyone who doesn’t like any sort of crustacean or fish.  Hard.  Anyways, it’s tough business to get great sustainable fish in the middle of Texas but I went for it.

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