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  July Edition   ::   THE OH SO INDULGENT NEWSLETTER
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Rants and Raves

REVIEW / SCOOP - Noe'

The Noe' That Will Be

An inside source at Noe' says that this month they will start featuring an all new menu. No longer will they focus on the fabulous multi course menus that have made them so popular among gourmands.

The all degustation menu at Noe was first introduced by high profile Concept Chef Robert Gadsby and delighted reviewers nation-wide. The current and highly acclaimed Chef is already on his way out in just two months with hardly a mention. The naming of next official Executive Chef has been widely gossiped about and had the culinary world on the edge of seats.

I had the opportunity to sample some of the desserts that are intended to be on the menu. My first taste was of the "Crème Brulee with Brandied Cherries." I was served a nicely presented plate of bitter fruit and some kind of whipped cream with what i can only assume contained no more than one egg in it. Furthermore there was no richness or flavor to the "custard" whatsoever.

Dramatically better was the Chocolate Bomb with Vanilla Shake. The only problem was it was more of a taste of dessert than an actual dessert. The milkshake was served in a shot glass and the chocolate bomb made with bittersweet chocolate was acorn sized. Both give an ominous prospect of what is to come.

 

If the management expect to obtain the prestige once held and to book tables once reserved for the swankiest clientele I fear they have a laborious journey ahead of them. For my lot, I hope they succeed because Houston can't afford to have another gastronomy pillar fall.

by Chef Natasha Treú

Omni Houston Hotel
4 Riverway
Houston, 77056
713-871-8177

Hours
* Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm
* Fri & Sat 11am-11pm

HIGHLIGHTS - June 16, 2007 7pm

Zoë Imaging & Vintage Inspired Fashions Launch Party


Zoë Jackson-Jarra
- known for her adoring talents as a vocalist and sense of great style launched her boutique! If you weren't there here is what you missed!

Zoë featured 60 reworked vintage fashions on the runway to the unbelievable vocal styling's of Vocalist/Composer - Hanq Neal. Aubrey Sellers featured beautiful one of a kind jewelry designs that wow 'ed all and perfectly accompanied the designs by Zoë

Guests indulged in a feast of hors d'oeuvres by Chef Natasha of Indulgence. Cedar Plank Roasted Sockeye Salmon Basted in Tabasco Reduction in Endive Boats w/ Chili Flag, Spanikopita and Tarragon Chicken Salad in Puff Pastry.

Seated guests enjoyed four course dinner of Lemon Thyme Rolls, Pear Gorgonzola Salad, Raspberry Cognac Sorbet Main Course: Fresh Lamb and Pork Meat Loaf with a Mint Gelee, Radish au Jus and Garlic and Herb Potato Salad. Desserts were Pears Poached in Sin Zin Red Zinfandel with spices topped with Honey Mascarpone and a Hot and Heavy Dark Chocolate Fondue; spiced w/ cayenne; Served with skewers of succulent fruits and shameful sweets to dip.

STUDIO 34 3400 Montrose Suite #801, Houston, TX 77006

Download the invitation

 

Tips and Tricks

Working with Wild Game
Copyright 2007 Chef Natasha Treu’ Fletcher

wild game cooking is fun and nutritious

This guide aims to take the wild out of the game.

Don't be afraid to cook with Wild Game. More humane than farmed meats, far more natural and most likely free of hormones and antibiotics. The rich flavors are a compliment to any table. And you will be surprised at the simple preparations.

1 - Where to Shop
If you aren't a hunter there are some great places in Houston for getting Game Meat. My favorites are:
Pete's Fine Meats and Deli

5509 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX 77056
(713) 782-3470
McCains Market
550 Heights Blvd.
Houston, 77008
713-869-0011

For hard to find meats try: http://exoticmeats.com

Any game found in commercial markets is federally inspected

2 - Choices Choices Choices
There are so many great meats to choose from:
Poultry (Mostly farm raised if bought in supermarket):Chuckar, Quail, Dove, Pigeon, Pheasant, Grouse, Duck, Goose , Ostrich, Guinea Fowl, Squab, Wild Turkey

TX Game Fish: Bass, Catfish, Cobia, Crappie, King Mackerel, Blue/White Marlin, Pickerel, Red Drum, Sailfish, Auger, Spotted Sea trout, Sharks, Snook, Long bill Spearfish, Broadbill Swordfish, Tarpon, Tripletain, Brown/Rainbow Trout, Wahoo, Waileye

Red Meat: My personal favorite is kangaroo! Lean, juicy and flavorful (recipe to follow). Also great are venison, bison, buffalo (often farmed), elk and antelope. Less popular but if you are up for a challenge are bear, yak, moose and wild boar.

Small Game: Most popular and tasty is rabbit. Squirrel, frog legs and turtle are also quite popular, followed distantly by beaver, muskrat, opossum, raccoon, armadillo and even porcupine. Something I enjoy is rattlesnake available in abundance in Texas and alligator with its accessible chicken-like flavor is also a good meat to test out your skills on.

 

3 - The Best Cut
The tenderness of a particular cut of meat from large game animals is similar to the corresponding cut of beef and pork. In general, wild game is less tender than meat from domestic animals because the wild animals get more exercise and are therefore leaner. What fat there is generally rank-tasting and should be removed.

4 - Tender Viddles
For maximum tenderness, most game meat should be cooked slowly and not overdone. It can be cooked with moist heat by braising, or with dry heat by roasting.

5 - Is is good for me?
Texans have been serving wild game to their families for generations. Wild game is the original low-carb, low-fat, all natural food. From venison to dove, turkey, or quail, it's a healthy choice the whole family can enjoy.
Click here to view a study by the MEAT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CENTER Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University. Meat samples from wild game were taken from the latissimus dorsi muscle.

6 - Be a Whiz in the Kitchen
Always season your meat. Season it so that every bit will have seasoning, season it so that you think its over seasoned because most of it will cook out. Also choose a marinade or dry run or both. A marinade will tenderize your meat. There are lots of great recipes on the internet for each type of meat if you google them. Dry rub it with salt and pepper no matter what!

Cook any game meat, from rare to medium rare, no more.
As I mentioned above, game is very lean meat easily trimmed. This basically means that if it’s overcooked, not rested or improperly carved, the meat is more likely to be dry and tough. I always recommend medium rare as the preferred doneness so if you like your meat well done, I’d suggest you avoid it and stick to high fat meats.

 

Recipe of the Month


Garlic Broiled
Fillet of Kangaroo

I am often asked to prepare kangaroo for my clients,
with good reason.

There is an increasing popularity in this healthy red game meat as well as a growing appreciation of the environmental benefits of managing the animal over beef and sheep;
and people are now trying to understand how to cook kangaroo meat to perfection.

To learn more about the benefits of kangaroo as a meat
click here.

Original Recipe - Copyright 2007 Chef Natasha Treu’ Fletcher

kangaroo fillet

Ingredients:

 

2 Kangaroo Fillets (thawed)

extra virgin olive oil

2tsbsp dry garlic flakes (or fresh chopped garlic)

1 1/2 tsps crushed or ground dried or
1 tbsp whole fresh green peppercorns
2 tsps kosher salt
1tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • Directions:

    1. Preheat broiler to HI
    2. Place a pan or foil in bottom of oven or place broiler pan in broiler
    3. Mix together spices for dry rub and rub into meat and let sit at room temp for 10-30 min's
    4. Rub with a little olive oil and place directly on oven rack or broiler pan
    5. Broil until outside it crisp and inside is med-rare (this meat is much redder that steak!, don't over cook or it will be tough) Use a knife to cut and see if it cuts like cooked meat.
    6. Remove and let rest 10 minutes before slicing into medallions.

    Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: aprox 10 min's

SEASONABLE SELECTIONS
Why eat seasonal?  

From a Chefs view:

Seasonal food is at its peak of flavor.
Its fresher and so it tends to be tastier, more
colorful, easier to work with, less expensive
and more nutritious.

Buying seasonal produce also provides
an exciting opportunity to try new foods
and to experiment with seasonal recipes.

 

From the Earths view :

By purchasing local foods in-season, you eliminate the environmental damage caused by shipping foods thousands of miles, your food dollar goes directly to the farmer, and your family will be able to enjoy the health benefits of eating fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables.

It also helps to to reduce the energy (and associated CO2 emissions) needed to grow and transport the food we eat.

July: What's In Season

Apples
Asian Pears: Pick Your Own - Matt Family Orchard
Blueberries : Pick your Own - Hockley Blueberry Farm
Cantaloupes
Figs : Pick Your Own - Matt Family Orchard
Honeydew
Watermelon

Cabbage
Cucumbers
Leafy Greens
Herbs
Mushrooms
Onions
Potatoes
Squash
Tomatoes
Turnips
FOOD FACTS

Did You Know…?

  • Lemons contain more sugar than strawberries.
    It has been traditional to serve fish with a slice of lemon since the Middle Ages, when people believed that the fruit’s juice would dissolve any bones accidentally swallowed.
  • The onion is named after a Latin word meaning large pearl.
  • Half of the world’s population lives on a staple diet of rice.
  • Fast Food Isn’t New! The remains of fast-food shops have been found in ancient ruins – so it seems even ancient Greeks enjoyed take-out. The only thing that is new is the mass production, standard menus and recipes of fast-food “chains.”
  • Potato crisps were invented by a North American Indian called George Crum.
  • Ice Cream Is Chinese Food! When the famous explorer Marco Polo returned to his homeland of Italy from China in 1295, he brought back a recipe for a Chinese desert called "Milk Ice." However, Europeans substituted cream for the milk, and voila! "Ice Cream" has been a hit ever since.
  • Frankfurter sausages were first created in China.
  • The dish chop-suey does not come from China. It was created by Chinese immigrants in California.
  • The founder of McDonald’s has a Bachelor degree in Hamburgerology.
  • In France, people eat approximately 500,000,000 snails per year.
  • Carrots Really Can Help You See In The Dark! Vitamin A is known to prevent "night blindness," and carrots are loaded with
    Vitamin A.
  • The first breakfast cereal ever produced was Shredded Wheat.
  • There are about 100,000 bacteria in one liter of drinking water.
  • The Word "Salary" Comes From "Salt!" Salt, our oldest preservative, was extremely rare in the past. So rare, in fact, that it was often used as pay for a hard day’s work. Today, salt is so common that restaurants give it away for free, and packaged food contains so much that it’s far too easy to eat too much salt.
  • Cream is lighter than milk.
  • Sometimes Frozen Fruits and Vegetables are More Nutritious Than Fresh! The longer that fruits or vegetables sit around waiting to be sold or eaten, the more nutrients they lose. But fruits and vegetables grown for freezing are usually frozen right after they’re picked. Therefore, they have less time to lose their nutrients.
  • Instant coffee has been in existence since the middle of the eighteenth century.
  • You’re more likely to be hungry if you’re cold since temperature can affect your appetite.
  • Within 2 hours of standing in daylight, milk loses between half and two-thirds of its vitamin B content.
  • Have A Tomato With Your Burger! When a source of Vitamin C (orange, lemon, grapefruit, strawberry, tomato, potato, etc.) is eaten with meat or cooked dry beans, the body makes better use of the iron in the protein food.
  • A portion of the water you drink has already been drunk by someone else, maybe several times over.
  • Bakers used to be fined if their loaves were under weight, so they used to add an extra loaf to every dozen, just in case. Hence, number thirteen is often called a "baker’s dozen."
  • It Takes 3500 Calories To Make A Pound Of Fat! So, as long as you’re active, and burning of calories, calories shouldn’t have too much of a chance to turn into fat.
  • Peanuts are used in the manufacture of dynamite.
  • During a lifetime the average person eats about 35 tonnes of food, which works out to almost 1500 Pounds Of Food A Year! On average, that can be thought of as 150 pounds of meat, 290 pounds of milk and cream, 35 pounds of eggs, 48 pounds of chicken, 68 pounds of bread, 125 pounds of potatoes, and 80 pounds of fruit. That should be enough to fill your stomach!
 

Great Gift Ideas:

  • Treat a friend or family member to their own Chef For the Day!

  • Gift them a weeks worth of personal chef services .

  • Plan a catered party in their honor .

  • Surprise them with a gift certificate for gourmet cooking classes for the two of you to do together.

Sharing food is a great way to
have fun with those you love!
Family Dinner

 

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Copyright 2007 Chef Natasha Treu’ Fletcher