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September Edition   ::   THE OH SO INDULGENT NEWSLETTER
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CHEFS TIPS FOR FALL
Autumn Leaf

THE CHANGING COLORS OF FALL

September 23 is the First day of Fall.
Time to switch gears from the fresh tastes
and bright colors of Summer,
to the earthy hues and warm flavors Fall has to offer.

Fall Food Group

Now offering the extraordinary Fruit Carving talents
of Chef Rocky!

Chef Rocky's Watermelon Carving

Let us know in advance if you would like
his unbelievable talents available to you
for your next party or dinner!



Watermelon by Chef Rocky

HARVEST BOUNTY
FALL BRINGS EXCITING NEW CROPS AND WITH THEM EXCITING EVENTS. HERE IS SOME OF WHAT TEXAS IS OFFERING UP:

James Beard

The James Beard Foundation's - Taste America Dinner
September 28, 2007 7:00 PM
Up to 250 guests will enjoy a private evening with six of the area's most acclaimed chefs. The five-course dinner begins with a wine reception among the fish and tigers and then moves to the upstairs ballroom for a sit-down feast. Special guest chefs for the event are Café Annie's Robert del Grande, Mockingbird Bistro's John Sheely, 17's Ryan Pera, Landry's Signature Restaurant's Kathy Ruiz, Ibiza's Charles Clark and T'afia's Monica Pope. Each chef will create his or her own dish for the evening.
Tickets are $200, available at (713) 524-8351.


The Old PECAN STREET Festival
26th Anniversary — Fall Festival Sep 29 & 30, 2007
Saturday 11am to 10 pm
Sunday 11am to 8pm
DOWNTOWN AUSTIN

Zoo FeastFeast with the Beasts
October 12, 2007 7:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
The zoo's innovative epicurean food festival returns for a second year. Features more than two dozen of Houston's hottest independent restaurants with their specialty food items along with live performances on three entertainment stages. All set against the Houston Zoo’s naturally wild backdrop!
Ticket prices are $75 for members and $80 for non-members.

 

TX Mushroom Fest

The Texas Mushroom Festival
October 19-20, 2007
Madisonville - Mushroom Capital of Texas

 

Fall Fest

3rd Annual TEXAS FALL FEST & WINE AUCTION
At Horseshoe Bay Resort Marriott Hotel
Marble Falls, Texas
Friday, November 2nd - Sunday, November 4th, 2007

PICK OF THE CROP

THERE ARE MANY LOCAL GROCERS & FARMERS' MARKETS IN THE HOUSTON AREA THAT SELL FRESH ORGANICLY GROWN FALL FOODS.
HERE ARE A FEW:

McCain's Market

Houston Organic Farmers' Market
Location: Onion Creek Coffee House
3106 White Oak between Studewood and Heights Blvd
and
Location: Rice University Campus

Midtown Local Farmers' Market
Location:t'afia restaurant / 3701 Travis St
Houston, TX 77002

Bayou City Farmers' Market
Location:the intersection of Richmond and Eastside

Market Street Farmers Market
Location: 9595 Six Pines Dr. The Woodlands, TX
Saturday 8 to 11 a.m.
Phone: (281) 419-4770
E-mail: jtaylor@trademarkproperty.com

CLICK HERE For a limited list of certified markets in other cties by the US Dept of Agriculture

OR IF YOUR IN THE MOOD YOU COULD GRAB A BASKET AND PICK IT YOURSELF:
CLICK HERE for a list of 22 Texas Orchards Worth Visiting

Cooking Classes

SHARPEN YOUR SKILLS
Fall is a great time to take gather with friends. Why not throw a cooking class. Invite five or ten friends over and have a cooking class. Chef Natasha can plan a menu that focuses on the places you would like to be the strongest whether it be knowing what items to keep on hand and how to use them to make quick meals or wowing guests with a fabulous go-to party dish.

AND YOUR KNIVES
One of the biggest secrets to looking like a pro in the kitchen is sharp knives. If you have been chopping for over a month on those bad boys by now the edge on your blades has worn dull, or is in need of repair. Don't let your local meat man butcher your knives. Be sure to use a skilled professional. I recommend Bob Nagode; he operates a first class expert sharpening business and can even repair the damage that cooking or a prior sharpener may have done.

Gardening

GET DIRTY!
One of the best things about Autumn is the weather. This is a great opportunity to do all that gardening you've been talking about, or at least plant a few things. Planting a few simple veggies can really pay off in Spring.

To extend your season, start seeds indoors in "GrowLabs" during those last few weeks of summer heat, and then transplant them into the garden when temperatures begin to cool. Another option is to plant in containers — these can be moved inside if an early freeze is predicted.

To help speed the process, choose plants that mature quickly. If possible, find varieties that take less than 40 days from seed to harvest. Fall vegetables to try include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, green onions, kale, lettuce, peas, radishes, spinach, swiss chard, and turnips. You can with dress up your garden by adding plants with edible flowers, such as pansies. Check with your local Cooperative Extension office for recommendations for your area.

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Recipe Of the Month

Fresh Eggs

Savory Bacon Quiche
There are few things more charming than a fresh baked quiche. Its delicate flavors and elegant simplicity are always a winner at any luncheon, brunch or snack time.

Original Recipes - Copyright 2007 Chef Natasha Treu’ Fletcher

fresh cream

Ingredients:

Chopped fresh herbs (suggested: oregano, thyme &/or basil)

1 1/4 c cream

1 garlic clove chopped
6 lg eggs 1/2 purple onion diced and sauteed
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled (grease strained and reserved) 1 tbsp butter
1 c fresh grated parmesan cheese 1 pie crust, fitted into a 9-in greased pie plate
1/2 c feta (in brine) crumbled
1 tsp fresh black ground pepper and kosher salt to taste
  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
    2. Combine the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender.
    3. Sautee’ onion in butter and 1 tbsp bacon grease until translucent and caramelized, then add garlic until just toasted.
    4. Layer the onion, bacon, and ½ the Parmesan cheese in the bottom of the piecrust. Add fresh chopped herbs if you like.
    5. Pour the egg mixture on top.
    6. Top with remaining cheese.
    7. Bake for 35-45 minutes until center is just set and cheese topping is medium golden brown. Let cool 20 minutes before slicing.

    Makes 8-10 serving. Prep time 10 minutes. Cook time 40 minutes

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Rants n' Raves

REVIEW- BABA YEGA

Cursed Cuisine

Baba Yega has been one of my favorite dining establishments for several years now. A true Houston healthy eating and breakfast institution; that is why it pains me to write this Rant. But I am reminded of the words of Oscan Wilde, “The truth is … never simple.”

On this particular Sunday morning the sky was gray and thunderous. My husband wanted breakfast so a few names were tossed out, but we quickly settled on Baba Yega. Though we had dinner several times recently it had been a few months since we had brunched there and we were pretty excited. The drive there was dreary and the sky kept warning to go home but as we arrived the clouds parted, birds began to sing their songs and we were seated on the covered verandah. How lovely this brunch would be.

Baba Yega had to our surprise expanded and taken over the Herb Shop next door; now a charming nook for the brunch buffet. They enlarged the omelet and waffle bar with cooks and the buffet had many more choices including more fruits and platters of desserts. This was going to be great!

The line at the fresh foods bar was extremely long so I went for the chafers and dished out a cube of some kind of veggie frittata, home fries, soft bacon and then injected into the line and asked someone to pass me an Eggs Benedict (my favorite) and just before the door piled on some of their famous fresh fruit. I sat down, raised my fork with excitement, thunder echoed through the cloudless sky, I looked over my shoulders, took a sip of my mimosa and raised my fork again. I tried to dig in to my favorite breakfast item, but something was wrong, I couldn’t cut through it! I examined.

“What could be wrong”? I thought to myself.

After a quick dissection I discovered the problem. Uncooked Canadian bacon; an untoasted, fresh from the package, English muffin; topped with a lovely poached egg and chunky lemon-less hollandaise! I tasted it. Oh my! I gulped down another sip of four-dollar champagne, with a touch of concentrated orange juice.

“Blah! Surely this is an oversight”, I think as I move on to the next item.

I first eat the odd tasting bacon, then on to a square of dry lukewarm  “frittata” with barely chopped broccoli heads and stems and no taste of cheese, herbs, spices or salt,  and last the soggy under seasoned potatoes. Now the jig is up, quality has been sacrificed for a larger dining crowd and bigger profits. My husband encourages me that surely the omelets and waffles will be fine.

“Honey, who can mess up these two breakfast staples,” (thunder again and a slight mist of rain).

As we get up our waiter makes his second appearance, asking if we would like to order more drinks (even though our glasses are half full).

“No, thank you.”  We have more delicious food to sample!

I wait ten minutes to get to the front of the line before I get to my cook. Once I arrive I ask for a waffle. I’m about to be accept a halfway raw, half of a waffle when I ask for a fully cooked one.

“Sir, can you toast it a little more for me? I like it really brown ,tee hee.”

 He throws it in a warmer for the people behind me, grumbles something in Spanish, ours the batter and walks off. The man in line behind me is beginning to lose his patience and now two ladies have skipped the line. These are the makings of a fiasco… The cook returns and the gentleman to my right explains for me in Spanish about the waffle and about the ladies skipping in line. The cook argues and leaves again. The ladies to my right order omelets from the other cook who just finished with two other people. Now I’m losing my patience. Fifteen minutes have now passed since I came for an omelet. The cook is now arguing with a lady in the kitchen. Five more minutes. The man to my right takes the half cooked waffle and leaves The other cook starts my omelet and eventually the cook returns and finishes it and starts another and my waffle as well.

Then I discover there are only two waffle  toppings: nuts and banana sauce. Only nutty banana sauce. No whipped cream or sliced fruit or anything a person might want. I search the buffet items to put together something palatable and by then my waffle is cold. I eat it dejectedly and chase it with the rest of my orange champagne shooter. My husband and I pay our forty-five dollars after waiting another fifteen minutes for the check(thunder, lightning) and leave.

On the rainy ride home we reminisce about when restaurateurs in Houston had passion. When they were loyal to the customer and the craft. I think of the great meals I’ve had at so many places that have now turned into chain locations dishing out monotony, or into glorified fast food establishments. I call out to these restaurants and all those still holding true to the culinary arts and challenge them to be original, bring Houston back to the luster and flavor it once had. Make this city a culinary destination because of you! And when you do, make me a reservation, because I am hungry and ready to eat.

by Chef Natasha Treú

2607 Grant St.
713-522-0042
Reservations Not Needed under 10 ppl

Hours
*Sunday 10am-10pm
*Mon-Thurs 11am-10pm
* Fri & Sat 11am-11pm
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Take Advantage of Our Rewards Program!

For all our current clients that are telling their friends, family and colleagues to use Indulgence we just want to express our appreciation. We will now be offering a $50 referral bonus toward your next service, whenever anyone books and gives your name as a referral; or when you show us that you gave us a good review on Citysearch.

Just our way of saying thanks.

 

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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.

September: What's In Season Locally in Harris County

HERB / FRUIT

Lavender (year round) Pick your own
Mix Herbs (year round) Cut your own

Apples Pick Your Own
Cantaloupes
Honeydew
Lemons Pick Your Own
Limes Pick Your Own
Oranges Pick Your Own
Persimmons Pick Your Own
Golden Raspberries
Watermelon

PEPPER / VEGETABLE

Bell Peppers

Cabbage
Carrots
Celery
Cucumber
Greens
Mushrooms
Onions
Potatoes
Squash
Sweet Potatoes
Tomatoes (year round) Pick Your Own
Turnips

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Great Gathering Ideas:

  • Cooking Classes With the Gals

  • Enjoy the last few beams of sun and have a fun Sunday Brunch with out the stress of cooking.
    Hire an omelet chef and have breakfast by the pool!

  • Feeling stressed? Order up A Romantic Four-Course Dinner for Two Prepared at home by a Personal Chef

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

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