It's been raining and chilly for the past several days in Houston. When the weather's like this, some of us just want to stay indoors and cook at home. A Southern Fairytale is ready to accommodate that wish with an easy broccoli and beef stir fry . It includes plenty of garlic, hoisin and fresh ginger and there's also some chili sauce to warm you from the inside out. Make plenty so there are leftovers for lunch the next day.
If you're going to cook at home, you need spices. Sugar & Cloth has a guest post from Morgan of The Foodie Chef http://thefoodiechef.com/ on 10 spices that you really need in your kitchen. There are, of course, some expected ones but a few are unexpected, like the spice blends from Penzey's. Thanks for giving us an excuse to go shopping!
Urban Swank checks out Amalfi Ristorante Italiano & Bar at 6100 Westheimer and describes some of their favorite dishes there, like the Polipo Arrostito Con Scarola Arola Ai Capperi (octopus roasted with rosemary, garlic and herbs) and the Paccheri AL Ragu Di Maiale (Paccheri pasta served with a ragù of braised Berkshire pork ribs). They won't talk about their favorite dish because the first rule of branzino is you don't talk about the branzino. (Branzino is European sea bass.) We think it's because they're just afraid we're going to go in and order it all. There's a photo gallery as well to feast your eyes on.
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The H-Town Chow Down blog has received a facelift that includes a nice header that rotates through its recent stories. It also has the first part of a review at Robard's Steakhouse at 125 Autumnwood Way in The Woodlands. It all looks quite ritzy. The first part of this review focuses on the appetizers and seafood, but they promise to return and check out more of the offerings.
How about some beer to wash all of that food down with? The All Good Beer blog examines Alpine, a brand that just arrived in Houston. It used to be an independent brand, but a relationship with Green Flash Brewing Co. turned out to be so simpatico that Green Flash bought them. (Green Flash had already been brewing three of the brands since Alpine lacked sufficient resources to brew everything they wanted.) Flying Saucer's downtown location is tapping a different Alpine keg every day this week.
Hank On Food makes his way to Midtown to check out Gray's Public House, a gastropub that specializes in canned beer. If you scoff at cans, you might rethink that. Cans do a great job of preserving freshness thanks to their ability to reduce air and light exposure. Hank pretty much likes everything about this place, including the art deco look and the Everything Burger and fries.
That's it for this week, as we're going to go perform some tribal rituals to summon the sunshine. If you have or know of a Houston blog that you think should be featured here, leave a note in the comments or send us an email!