Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Homemade Chips and Salsa

Nathan is the salsa man of the house. I can do guacamole with my eyes closed (not really at all with eyes closed), but my salsa is mediocre really. Nathan has been experimenting with different kinds of peppers (his latest are pequin and habanero). He's a natural! I don't have a recipe, and I don't know that I ever will...


Chips are actually incredibly easy to make. All you need are some corn tortilla chips, olive oil (but it's not necessary), and salt! Anything else is just extra, and probably delicious.

We didn't use any kind of oil in this, but if you do you can add it just before the pieces go in the oven. About the oven, you'll cut the corn tortillas into triangles, put them on a cookie sheet and pop 'em in the oven (450 degrees) for about, um, 5-10 minutes? You want them to be crispy, like chips. It's an art once you get to the point where you just know, but this part takes a little bit of trial and error. Once they are out of the oven, sprinkle some salt and you are good. Delicious chips all for you.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

La Cocina de Consuelo

Doesn't that look AMAZING? Well, it is. SOOOOO good. La Cocina de Consuelo, on Burnet and 45th, is my current favorite breakfast place in Austin. It's my favorite for a number of reasons. While I do like the fillings better overall at Mi Madre's, La Cocina de Consuelo takes the upper hand with their homemade tortillas, which are crazy killer. Crazy killer, I said.

For me, a taco is all about the tortilla. If the tortilla is rockin', it almost doesn't even matter what's inside. When I was a kid, my grandmother used to make tortillas and I'd just eat them by themselves. Growing up, I'd eat tortillas from HEB (they have a neat tortilla-making machine in their stores and the tortillas are actually really good) with just salt and butter. Yeah, I wasn't so healthy. Anyways...you'll find slightly crispy and made-with-love tortillas here, just like my grandma used to make (if not better! gasp!).

The restaurant itself is incredibly cozy. Clearly a renovated home, the building is intimate and familiar upon a first visit. You'll probably see Connie, the talented cook, and her niece or nephew or both, maybe her daughter, helping out in the kitchen or eating at a table. They are all very friendly and accommodating. You might notice a picture of Connie and her family with Ann Richards, ex-governor of Texas. She's catered for many a hotshot in her time, and for good reason. This lady can cook a freakin' meal.

Migas, Yum!

This picture is about a month old, but I just had it again this morning, so I feel like I can talk about it in confidence. While migas are often tasty in a restaurant, they are NEVER as good as how I make them at home. These, though, are at least the best migas I've had outside of my kitchen. The totilla chips are not too soggy, and the red sauce is delicious; it really makes the dish. Their aren't too many eggs, and it's not drenched in cheese, thankfully. Oh! And the potatoes and beans are SOOO GOOD! Kind of greasy, the whole thing, but a nice treat, omg, especially with the tortillas.

I go to this restaurant almost every time my parents visit town, but I usually get the breakfast tacos. One taco will suffice at this restaurant, though every now and then my hungry tummy wants more. They almost touch the burrito standard, as they are fairly hefty, and what I like about them the most after the tortilla (and, note, flour is superior to wheat here, and the corn is also good), is that they offer a lot of choices of filling. You can pick up to three things from this list: Egg, Potato, Refried Beans, Black Beans, Beef Chorizo, Turkey Bacon, Calabasita, Avocado, Machacado, Cheese, Nopalitos, and Rajas (sauteed roasted chiles and onion; I just learned this today). I can't seem to stray away from the potato, egg and avocado combination quite yet. It beckons me.

Unfortunately, breakfast tacos are not served after 11am, which is why I had the migas plate (shown above) my first visit. Everything I've had here has been exceptional, and I can't wait to try more. They just recently have become open for dinner, too! I hear the enchiladas are pretty tasty...

Check out the menu!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

New Jobs, Old Foods

I started a second job today! I will be working in two very different places, and I'll have a pretty packed schedule, which I do to myself anyways, so now that I _actually_ will be busy, it's very exciting. I am in the process of figuring out my food regimen for the next week. This is going to be one of those things where I have to, like, think ahead. Eek. I can do this!

Anyways, above is another picture of what has become Nathan and my default meal - the taco bowl. This one in particular was especially nice, because I used some of my leftover tempeh fajita stuff, which was just tempeh crumbled and mixed with spices and garlic and love, of course. Also, the beans are spiced and thrown in with corn, which is one of my favorite ingredients. Lately I've been forgetting I have it though. It's hard for me to keep up with what's in the freezer for some reason. Heh.

And, below...a beer I am very fond of. It's not absolutely amazing; it's just a solidly good beer. And it's local! Woo!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Busy Month

I have been super busy this month and haven't been even thinking of posting for awhile now. I apologize. I just started a new job and will be starting another job next week, and I am starting to actually get a social life, so I've been a bit distracted. I still am thinking of food all the time, and one of my jobs has very much to do with food, so the blog is not in too dire of circumstances. I enjoy gussing about good eats and whatnots, so I'm going to continue to try and keep this blog running, despite my busy schedule!

This picture is actually of leftovers. I was so hungry at the Thai restaurant, Titaya's, and so antsy for thai food, that I just kind of inhaled the food as it hit the table. I failed to take a picture of the Tom Kha soup, of which I will talk about shortly.

In Portland, I was hella spoiled with Thai food. There are a ton of options, and they are almost all good and each one distinct and varied in prices (Baan-Thai and Khun Pic's are my all-time favorites), so I was pretty hesitant to venture into the uncharted territories of thai food in Austin. I'd been to Thai Kitchen on Guadalupe and was absolutely not impressed. There was no love in the food, not one bit, and this is an essential ingredient in Thai cooking, at least for me. Hmph.

The picture above is of the Pad Sen Mee, vermicelli noodles stir-fried with yummy things. I was pressured to get this from my boyfriend and the waitress, both of whom agreed I needed to start with something totally new and not try to judge from my staples. This ended up being a great suggestion, as each of my staples that I've tried thus far (aside from the soups) has been less than impressive and just okay.

By now I've had the Pad Thai, the spring rolls, and the Pad Kee Mao, and they were all alright, but not nearly, nearly as good as the following: The Beef Waterfall (picture below), my boyfriend gets this every single time we go, and, I have to say, it's absolutely the best thing I've had on the menu so far. It's super spicy and still very flavorfull; it makes you want to get up and dance. It's giddy-inducing good. The Green Curry is surprisingly good also. I think my parents got it once and I was reminded of why I like curries. I used to avoid green curries because they tended to be weak in a lot of restaurants, but this one is very decent. The Tom Kha and Tom Yum soups are AMAZING. Jeebus, these are essential starters; so much better than Thai Kitchen's.

I can't wait to try more here. Really, I'm happy to say that there is good Thai in Austin. There's another restaurant I've been told to try, and I'm still a total novice when it comes to restaurants here, but this is a solid place. Even the just okay food is...at least okay, though I would avoid the spring rolls and Pad Thai. Try new things here, as that route seems the most promising at this place. Yay, new things!

Oh, the house red wine was unfortunate.