Phaedra Cook is eating her way through Houston and counting down her 100 favorite dishes of 2015. It's a collection of personal favorites that is also indicative of Houston dining. It's a scene where a vast range of dishes coexist: highbrow and lowbrow; local and international; cheap and expensive; modern cuisine and beloved tenets — and everything in between.
Who ever thought carrots would make a great pizza topping? Well, apparently Weights + Measures chef Richard Kaplan did. Sweet orange carrots, sliced so thin as to be translucent, firm up and char a bit on the edges in the oven, which intensifies and deepens the flavor.
Indeed, this is far from an ordinary pizza, freed almost entirely from traditional Italian moors. It uses sauce soubise, an onion Béchamel. The cheese is an off-the-beaten-path choice, too. Rather than turning to traditional mozzarella cheese, they use Veldhuizen Redneck Cheddar.
Bright red rounds of Fresno chiles lend some brilliant color and dashes of pleasant heat while picked cilantro leaves speckle the top with lively dashes of green.
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The crowning touch is dukka, an Egyptian seasoning mix that incorporates sesame seeds, ground nuts, coriander and cumin. It not only delivers a flavor punch but adds delicate texture.
Perhaps the most important aspect, though, is the crust. Chewy, elastic and tender all as the same time, it exemplifies the benefit of having Slow Dough bakery in-house. It’s a worthy foundation for such a creative combination of flavors.
The List of Top 100 Dishes of 2015 So Far:
No. 74, Jalisco Wings at El Big Bad
No. 75, Mussels at Cafe Brussels
No. 76, Cresta di Gallo at The Pass & Provisions
No. 77, Beef Fajitas at El Real Tex-Mex
No. 78, Chicken Tikka Masala from the Tandoori Nite truck
No. 79, Chocolates at Cacao & Cardamom
No, 80, Hummus Supreme at Al's Quick Stop
No. 81, Red Oil Dumplings at Mala Sichuan
No. 82, Tex-Cajun Fries at BB's Café
No. 83, Mac & Cheese at The Oceanaire Seafood Room
No. 84, The Principal Burger at Bernie's Burger Bus
No. 85, Hunter's Honey-Roasted Duck at Brennan's Of Houston
No. 86, Fish & Chips at Good Dog Houston
No. 87, Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit at Blacksmith
No. 88, "Saucy Balls" At Brooklyn Meatball Company
No. 89, Perry's Steakhouse/Perry & Sons Pork Chop
No. 90, General Tso's Chicken from The Rice Box
No. 91, Eggs, Refried Beans, Hash Browns and Hugo's Sauce at 59 Diner
No. 92, Shipley Do-Nuts Plain Glazed
No. 93, Housemade Bologney at Public Services Wine & Whisky
No. 94, Bo Luc Lac at Cheno's (formerly Chino's) Fast Food
No. 95, Combo #5 at Soto's Cantina
No. 96, Carnitas Salad At Chipotle
No. 97, Pickled Shrimp At Punk's Simple Southern Food
No. 98, Lobster Roll At Maine-Ly Sandwiches
No. 99, Chili-Cheese Coneys At JCI Grill
No. 100, Corned Beef Hash And Eggs At House Of Pies