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Roam Ranch / Simple Holiday Sides / Take a Dive / Celebrations No. 67 Nov/Dec 2019

Cel eb ra ti n g Cen tra l Texa s fo o d cu lt u re, sea so n by sea so n

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W E S T O N TA B L E . C O M



6 tablespoons fig jam preserves

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

1 tablespoon water

2. Place the fig jam preserves and 1 tablespoon water in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave for 30 seconds to thin (the jam should remain heavy but pour easily). Add more water to thin if necessary.

2/3 cup dried figs, Mission & Turkish, sliced as thinly as possible

Brie with Figs, Pistachios & Walnuts SERVES 6

1/4 cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped 1/4 cup walnut hearts, roughly chopped 9 ounce wheel mild French brie

3. In a small bowl, combine the sliced dried figs with the nuts. Add half of the fig jam and mix well to coat the nut mixture. 4. Place the room temperature brie in an oven safe dish sing a small spatula or spoon, coat the brie with the remainder of the jam. 5. Top the brie with the fig and nut mixture. Toss the fresh figs with a small glug of olive oil if using and put over and around the top of the prepared cheese.

Two fresh figs, sliced thinly, if available

6. Place the brie dish on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the brie starts to ooze, but not melt.

Olive oil, if using fresh figs

7. Serve warm with sliced baguette or crackers.


10 What’s on Our Counter 12  N otable Edibles





Neighborhood bars where everyone and no one knows your name.

Holiday gifts perfect for





everyone in your life.

The Seed Collection. Heard.

16  W hat’s in Season 18  E dible Endeavor Heritage Seafood.

21  S potlight on Local Herbal Healing.

24  C ooking Fresh Festive Fusion Foods.

48  E dible Varietal Big and Bold Texas Tannat.

50  E dible Ink Cookie Smarts.

On the Cover

Roam Ranch / Simple Holiday Sides / Take a Dive / Celebrations No. 67 Nov/Dec 2019

Celebrating Central Texas food culture, season by season

Honey glazed winter squash on page 44. Photography by Rachel Johnson.

Home on the epic range, where the bison truly do roam, and the deer certainly play.

Simple holiday sides for this year's table. / 7


A Grateful Farewell


or over 12 years, Edible Austin has given me the honor of telling beautiful and inspiring stories from our community while promot-

ing local businesses and their unique causes to our


audience. Each issue of Edible Austin has allowed

Jenna Northcutt

me to learn, explore and share stories about the people and places that make our local food scene so rich and vibrant.

EDITOR Darby Kendall

We at Edible Austin have won national and local awards for our photography, writing and website. I would not have been able to publish these hundreds of stories without our tiny but


mighty staff and all of the amazing writers, photographers, editors and advertisers

Sarah Welch

featured in each issue. I’ve been so fortunate to work with this inspiring group of people, including the magazine’s founder, Marla Camp.


Publishing a bi-monthly magazine is demanding. And eight days after I took over as

Claire Cella

the publisher/owner, I was thrown a giant curveball when my family experienced a

Dena Garcia

life-changing medical emergency. In an instant, I needed to refocus my attention on my family. Thanks to the help of an amazing support system, I’ve been able to contin-

Stacey Ingram Kaleh

ue publishing Edible Austin for two years, but now it’s time for me to make a change. This will be the last issue I publish, but I am hopeful that this is not the end of Edible Austin. Our region continues to grow and thrive with plenty of stories left to tell.

DISTRIBUTION Craig Fisher, Flying Fish

I am in conversations with people who are interested in being the next publisher of Edible Austin, searching for that local food champion who is ready to take what we’ve started and bring it to the next level. If you, or someone you know, is interested, I would like to talk to you. You can reach out to me at And while you’ll no longer see my words here in the publisher’s note every other month, I’ll still be around town supporting the local restaurants, farmers and artisans that make our region so vibrant. I am so grateful to have been able to help build this

CONTACT US 1101 Navasota St., Ste. 1, Austin, TX 78702 512-441-3971

amazing community. Thank you!

Edible Austin Mission To transform the way Central Texans eat by connecting them to the local food growers, producers and makers, thereby strengthening the local food economy and creating a sustainable local food system. Edible Austin is a locally owned media company and the authority on the local food scene as captured in print and digital and through our community events.

8 /

Edible Austin is published bimonthly by Edible Austin L.L.C. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used without written permission of the publisher. ©2019. Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings and omissions. If, however, an error comes to your attention, please accept our sincere apologies and notify us. Edible Austin is a member of Edible Communities.

Ashleigh Amoroso Photography

Shy Laurel Photography / 9

W H AT ’ S



10 /

Take a look at what our staff is enjoying this month.

AUSTIN EASTCIDERS This local cider company has been a favorite among our team for some time now, but when they came out with their Brut Super Dry Cider, we were completely smitten. This Champagne-inspired cider has a tart apple taste with a dry flavor that doesn’t leave any residual sweetness on the tongue. The taste is what originally attracted us, but the fact that each can contains just 100 calories doesn’t hurt, either. Find Austin Eastciders at restaurants and grocery stores around the city, and enjoy the ciders at their tap room in East Austin. 512-538-0126; 979 Springdale Rd., Ste. 130

CREDO FOODS Whether you’re dairy-free, vegan or just looking to consume fewer animal products, every Texan deserves to enjoy some delicious queso. Enter Credo Foods’ Cashew Queso, a vegan queso that is extraordinarily similar to its classic counterpart. The color, texture and flavor are virtually indistinguishable from what you’d be served at a Tex-Mex joint — all you need is a bag of chips to round it out. The queso comes in Medium, Spicy and Choriqueso. Find it at Central Market, Peoples Rx, Dia’s Market and online at Farmhouse Delivery.

SPRINGDALE HANDMADE Dependable skincare products are essential for chapped Texas winters. Of course we go local when buying body products, so the soaps, salves and balms from Springdale Handmade are beloved around our office. Founders and longtime Austinites Paula Foore and Carla Crownover source the herbs and flowers in their products from local organic farms and their own gardens. When you cozy up indoors this winter, we highly recommend lighting one of their soy candles to complete the comfy vibe. Find their products at Boggy Creek’s farm stand, Dai Due, Two Hives Honey, Confituras and online at Farmhouse Delivery.

SAP’S VER FINE THAI CUISINE A versatile go-to condiment is crucial in any kitchen, whether you want to add some extra flavor to a dish or give your meal a little more spice. For such a staple, we turn to Sap’s Ver Roasted Chili Oil. This all-purpose condiment is composed simply of chili, vegetable oil, salt and garlic, and it gives an irresistible roasted flavor to everything you put it on — it works perfectly in stir fries, soups, salad dressings, rice and more. The roasted chili oil is made in-house at local restaurant Sap’s Ver Fine Thai Cuisine. Find it at Sap’s two locations and online at Farmhouse Delivery. 512-419-7244; 5800 Burnet Rd. 512-899-8525; 4514 West Gate Blvd. / 11

notable EDIBLES



f you’re looking to grow a garden, the Austin Public Library’s

that are known to grow well in our area. “Our climate and soil

Central location has the perfect resource to help get you

conditions in Central Texas are extremely unique to this partic-

started. A repurposed card catalog on the sixth floor of the

ular place,” Dieter says. “When choosing plants — not just food

library contains enough flower power to establish over 30,000

crops but also herbs and landscape plants and cut flowers — it's

plants and is totally free to the public.

really important for us to protect the plants that grow well here,

Known as The Seed Collection, this card catalogue acts as a seed

because a lot of them don't perform well in other places.”

library, where patrons can both “check out” and “return” packets

“Knowing that someone in the community has experience

of seeds. Thanks to the combined efforts of the library and the

growing these seeds, and that they did well for someone else,

Central Texas Seed Savers group, visitors can take home four pack-

takes some of the initial risk out of trying something new,” Dieter

ets of seeds per visit (with each packet containing 10 to 20 seeds,

says. “It makes you feel a little more brave because they were en-

depending on their size), including unique varieties grown by

dorsed by another local gardener.”

home gardeners that are rarely available for purchase at nurseries.

Because donations or “returns” to the seed library come in a va-

Local gardening educator and founder of Central Texas Seed Savers,

riety of forms, from pods to large amounts of seeds that need

Colleen Dieter, started the seed library after hearing about the

to be parsed out, Central Texas Seed Savers hosts seed sorting

idea from an attendee at one of her seed saving classes at the SFC

volunteer nights at the library, typically on the first Monday of

Farmers’ Market Downtown. “In October 2018 we had our first

every month. Dieter encourages any gardeners or folks interested

seed swap at the Central Library, and that was before the seed

in gardening to stop by so they can learn about the handy practice

library even opened,” Dieter says. “People just visiting the library

and methods of seed saving.

stopped in to check out the swap, and they couldn't believe that there were free seeds there … All it takes is a few gardeners saving their seeds to make enough seeds for everyone, because the plants are so prolific. That's one of the really fun things about it, too, is that I think it gets people feeling a sense of abundance.” In addition to the delight that comes from scoring gardening stock for free, The Seed Collection gives visitors access to seeds

12 /

“It's empowering for everyday people to take something tiny like a seed and plant it and watch it grow and enjoy that experience,” Dieter says. “That's all part of the richness of life, and being able to share that with other gardeners is important to me.” For more information, visit


Spotlight on cheese

Antonelli’s Cheese Shop Exceptional eats and events


mpress your guests this holiday season with the cheese trays, tastings, classes and events from Austin’s essential cheese institution, Antonelli’s Cheese Shop. John and Kendall Antonelli opened the shop in Hyde Park in 2010, with a focus on sourcing the highest quality cheeses from around the world, often traveling the globe themselves to meet cheesemakers before carrying their products.

“As trite as it may sound, we love what we do,” says Kendall. “Coming to the rescue with a cheese tray, treating folks in our shop and just letting them escape in one of our tasting tours or classes — every day we get the opportunity to put a little positive energy in people’s lives and spread joy through cheese.” If you’re looking to host a private party in a one-of-a-kind atmosphere, Antonelli’s Cheese House, located across the street from the shop, is the perfect venue. The hub of Antonelli’s events is a beautiful home with over 100 years of history, and it can host up to 50 guests! The Antonelli’s team also offers private cheese tastings at the house, or you can attend one of their public classes, covering tasty subjects from Cheese 101 to Perfect Pairings with chocolate. If day trips are more your speed, the Antonelli’s team hosts popular dairy farm tours and cheese-centric Lady Bird Lake cruises. For fans of dairy and local goods, a trip to Antonelli’s Cheese Shop is simply a must. As one private tasting attendee ardently put it, “I’ve lived in Austin my entire life and, hands down, that was one of the coolest things I’ve done in this city. The cheese was delicious, the pairings were carefully chosen and the whole evening emanated a love of one’s work and sharing it with others.”

Visit to book your event today.

notable EDIBLES

Being Heard by DARBY KENDALL


ddiction recovery is a difficult path to navigate. But as

industry, in a lot of places — not all of them, and the culture is

with many things in life, the journey is exponentially eas-

turning around — but in a lot of places, it's still not only accepted

ier with a good guide at your side. For Austinites working

but encouraged to drink on the job and to drink in the kitchen

in the food and beverage industry who struggle with addiction and

… When talking about mental health and talking about addiction

mental illness, Joel Rivas wants to be that guide.

recovery in the industry, it has to be approached differently,

Rivas, founder of San Antonio’s Saint City Culinary Foundation,

because it's not the same as anywhere else.”

expanded the foundation’s addiction recovery and wellness pro-

After expanding Heard from San Antonio into other Texas cities

gram, Heard, to Austin this past spring. Offering support groups

including Austin and Houston, Rivas says the feedback from local

for individuals in the service industry, Heard’s Austin chapter

industry members has been powerfully positive. “That's been a

meets weekly. The groups are open to all food service profession-

breath of fresh air. It's been overwhelmingly fantastic,” Rivas says.

als, even those who simply want to talk about their days.

“We have Callie Speer [of Holy Roller], who's come on as a culinary

“Heard serves as a hub for people in the service industry to come and feel supported and talk about what they're going through,” Rivas

director for the foundation … We’ve just had this immense amount of support from other chefs and owner-operators in the area.”

says. “Sometimes it's addiction recovery; sometimes it's dealing

For those interested in Heard but unsure about attending a meet-

with mental health issues. It's giving them a safe space around peo-

ing, Rivas says he’s happy to answer questions about the program.

ple they're familiar with, who have the same issues they have.”

Aided by a team of volunteers, Rivas makes sure everyone who

The food and beverage industry historically has higher rates of ad-

contacts Heard receives a personal response.

diction among workers, making Heard a much-needed resource for

“We don't want to force anything; we just want to be there and

those in the trade seeking help. Rivas himself worked in the industry

open for whenever that time comes,” Rivas says. “Our meetings

for several years and is now 23 years clean, so the cause is near and

are really just a place where people can come and share about

dear to his heart. Rivas says one of the main goals of Heard is to equip

how their week is going, share about struggles they're having.

people with the tools they need to continue working in the industry

People can talk about what's working for them in terms of self-

while learning to maintain their own boundaries and stay healthy.

care and getting balance back in their lives. If anyone has any

“What's acceptable and allowed in the service industry is unlike any other industry in the United States,” Rivas says. “In the

dine in the wine garden • happy hour specials

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questions, please, please reach out.” For more information, visit

812 Justin Ln., Austin 512-520-5115

Mon-Sat 8am-9pm Sun 9am-8pm

grocery / fresh sandwiches / deli / wine and beer / pint night

THE LEANING PEAR H ill Country -inspired C uisine

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Decorating Classes

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W I L D FLOW E R .O RG / 15

W H AT ’ S



Looking for some seasonal recipes? Flip to page 44 to find simple holiday side dishes for your table, or visit us online at to discover recipes for a full holiday feast.

Arugula Beets Broccoli Brussels Sprouts Cabbage Carrots Cauliflower Celeriac Chard Chervil Cilantro Citrus Collards Dandelion Greens Dill Endive Frisée Escarole Fennel French Sorrel Kale Kohlrabi Garlic (Green) Green Onions Leeks Lettuce Mustard Greens Parsley Pecans Potatoes Radicchio Radishes Spinach Sweet Potatoes Turnips Winter Squash

16 / / 17

EDIBLE endeavor

EDIBLE endeavor

Heritage Seafood by NATHAN MATTISE // photography by JENNA NORTHCUTT


y the time most of us wake up, Ben McBride has already

function much better than those that end at that time. “I get to

finished his workout. Maybe that doesn’t sound impres-

be with my kid five nights a week,” he says. “It’s awesome.” And

sive, but this isn’t a-roll-out-of-bed-and-head-to-the-gym

being able to stay in Austin rather than bouncing around annually

situation. McBride’s warmup involves a three-quarter-ton pickup

as a chef has been a relief. Compared to keeping his Turkish kitch-

truck and several hours of Texas highways. His routine centers on

en staff safe from tear gas during protests over Istanbul's Taksim

shovels and snapper, not sit-ups.

Gezi Park, what’s a few early mornings?

“My shoulders are destroyed — shoveling ice, picking up

Heritage Seafood has already built quite the industry reputa-

150-pound containers of ice or fish, loading everything in and out of the tailgate,” says McBride, the fishmonger behind Austin’s Heritage Seafood. “Everyone laughed at me when I started. ‘You been working out?’ But it’s fishmonger-fit; we don’t need CrossFit.” A provider of dock-to-kitchen service for restaurants, Heritage Seafood is composed of McBride and his two employees. Each week, McBride drives fours hours to Gulf destinations like Freeport and Houston and sometimes Galveston, too. Once there, he meets Captain Jason and other fishermen he knows on a first name basis at the dock. McBride helps them sort and unload catches that total up to 12,000 pounds, and then he makes the return trip to Austin to deliver orders for his clientele of 25 to 30 restaurants, including local destinations like Intero. McBride will sometimes even unload fish directly into a restaurant's back of house or train staff on how to break down a tuna or branzino. (Who knew tuna spinal fluid was a delicacy?) If the work sounds gruelling, well, it is. But for McBride, it just fits at this point in his life. Growing up in tiny Stowell, Texas, just miles from the Gulf, his passion for regional seafood practically began at birth. Fish only became more of an obsession throughout McBride’s nearly two-decade culinary career that started with burger-flipping at Posse East, built to a higher level of fish learning at Uchi and included unique experiences leading kitchens in places like Singapore, Istanbul and Miami.

tion over its three years of operation. Where does California’s three-star Michelin spot Manresa go for crawfish? Who else can get gooey duck seemingly out of nowhere? But McBride still has bigger plans. He wants to go beyond dock-to-kitchen. He envisions adding seafood concierge service soon. McBride has been talking with a group of fishermen interested in bringing ikejime — a Japanese method of slaughter involving spiking the fish through the brain for a more humane kill and better preservation — to the Gulf. The practice could potentially double the freshness time of fish for restaurateurs, and McBride wants Heritage to be an exclusive partner (possibly even to the point of integrating the fishermen into the business to ensure fair wages). As for those who’d be on the other end of such fish, McBride’s big near-future wish is for Heritage to have its own permanent facility in Austin, a place beyond the truck bed to do fish processing, scaling, gutting and maybe even filets and portion cuts. “It’s currently like a concierge service — I can handle your entire seafood order for the restaurant, whether it’s incredible scallops, live Santa Barbara sea urchin or the best damned snapper from Freeport. The direction I’d like to go is focused on quality, not quantity,” he says. “So I would like a space. And the chef in me is like, ‘If you’re going to be there during the day, you might as well cook lunch. And if you’re there cutting fish and someone comes in who wants to buy fish, sure.’ In my mind, it’s a small retail counter

But logistically, McBride finds his current fishmonger lifestyle

where local fish nuts who aren’t in the industry can come in and

preferable. He has a young son now, so shifts that start at 2 a.m.

get some really cool stuff. And I think it’s going to happen.” / 19

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Located in Historic Downtown Buda 308 South Main Street at Buda Mill & Grain Co.

spotlight on LOCAL

Herbal Healing by MELISSA CLAIRE / photography by MELANIE GRIZZEL


ucked away on West Mary Street in the busy South Congress district, The Herb Bar is easy to pass by if you don’t know where to look. With a humble façade covered

in ivy, it seems to blend into its surroundings on the residential street corner. Upon entering, you are greeted by friendly smiles, faint chimes and the smell of incense. The shop’s shelves are stocked with curated, holistic self-care products like massage oils, handcrafted teas, tinctures, supplements, mineral baths, healing books, crystals and more. Twila Willis has owned and operated The Herb Bar since 1995, taking over from its original owner, who started the business in 1986. One can only imagine the changes this Austin staple has / 21

lick honest ice creams

Born and raised in Austin. Making honest ice creams and supporting local farmers and artisans since 2011!


The Fonda San Miguel Cookbook

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2330 W. North Loop | Austin, Texas | 512.459.4121 | 22 /

spotlight COOKS on LOCAL at home

witnessed — a humble constant in the middle of an ever-changing city. Willis remarks on how the city of Austin has made her story possible and why she chose to start a business here. When she came here in 1995, Austin was one of the healthiest cities to live in and one of the best places to own and operate a small business. “Independent business,” she corrects, because, “there’s nothing small about it!” Though she does lament some of the changes, like insufficient parking and box stores pushing locally owned businesses to the outskirts of town, the growth of Austin has allowed her business to thrive and expand from one part-time employee to eight. Willis adds that what makes Austin so appealing is the plentiful access to nature right here in the city. One of Willis’ most common prescriptions is to send people to Barton Springs, to “put your feet in that cool water and surround yourself with nature.” Willis traces her fondness for the outdoors — and the physical and spiritual nourishment it can provide — back to summers she spent on her grandmother's farm as a child. “I began to notice that eating food from her garden shifted my perspective and mood,” says Willis. She learned from an early age to treat food as medicine, noticing that thoughtfully prepared foods tended to make her feel better. After graduating from the University of Arizona, Willis set out for Seattle, where she worked in the restaurant industry, always seeking out restaurants that prepared homemade, fresh food. After some years in Seattle, Willis landed in Austin, and the opportunity to purchase The Herb Bar presented itself. She trusted her instincts and hasn’t looked back. Since then, her life has been a continuous pursuit of knowledge to inform and grow her business. She attended culinary school and business school and completed herbalism and nutrition studies. It seems Willis has always been developing herself to more fully contribute to her community and customers. Now, she supports and honors the same for her staff — hiring a team of nutritionists, herbalists and aromatherapists who have a deep understanding

education sessions where they invite local healers to talk to the community. Weather permitting, the talks are offered in their outdoor garden among the flora and fauna. The classes are always free and “always empowering,” says Willis. Another aspect Willis believes has helped her store continue to stand out is her focus on quality. The Herb Bar doesn't have a stock room, so “what you see on the shelves is what you get,” says Willis. They order fresh ingredients every two weeks, and she is adamant about tracing the sources of her suppliers from field to shelf to ensure everything is up to her standards. The Herb Bar makes more than 200 products in-house, including teas, mists and essential oil blends, and Willis also seeks to support independent and local makers as much as possible, representing 38 different craftsmen and craftswomen among the merchandise.

and passion for the store’s offerings. Each month, the staff are

Willis remarks that the efforts have proven worthwhile. “People

paid to complete one hour of continuing education. Willis be-

come back to say thank you when their broken heart has been

lieves the staff ’s education ensures that the store’s slogan rings

healed, or they got off hundreds of dollars of medication after

true: “The Herb Bar is the best place to cure what ails you.”

visiting us. Our staff here is kind and caring. We have everyone's

And it’s not just staff education The Herb Bar emphasizes. In addition to the goods they sell, The Herb Bar offers seasonal

highest good in our minds and hearts.” For more information, visit / 23

24 /

cooking FRESH

Festive Fusion Foods by LOUISE RODRIGUEZ // photography by JENNA NORTHCUTT


olidays are all about embracing tradition, so sticking to

Make It Sweet also offers other classes dedicated to interna-

grandma’s cookie recipe is a safe bet for any shared meal.

tional foods, from Czech-style kolaches and strudel to Mexican

But by fusing together different elements from around the

sweet bread pan dulce, with instructors putting their own spins

world with a creative embellishment or unique spice, the usual holiday go-to foods can take on fresh dimensions. In Austin, chefs are experimenting with new flavor combinations and techniques that

on classics. For Shridhar, learning about a food’s origin is key to understand-

put a multicultural sparkle on seasonal favorites.

ing how to combine flavors. Lately, she’s been eager to experi-

Culinary offerings continue to expand in Austin to meet the area’s

an cuisines share a lot in common, she says. Because of extreme

evolving taste for more adventurous fare. And that craving of di-

climates, both cultures have to make food last longer through

verse foods is one of the features that attracted local chef Deepa

preservation techniques.

ment with Scandinavian cooking. In many ways, Nordic and Indi-

Shridhar to the city in 2011. “When you want to be part of something more, culinary-wise,” she says, “you go to Austin.” It’s an exciting time, says Shridhar, who started her Texas-Indian fusion food business, Puli-Ra, four years ago and now co-hosts monthly Supper Club SZN events with The Austin Winery. But with the number of restaurants constantly entering the marketplace, she admits it can take awhile for locals to embrace new concepts. To make a mark in Austin’s bustling culinary scene, Shridhar says it’s important to consider cultural integrity when creating foods. “When we’re talking about Szechuan cuisine, are we talking about a couple of peppercorns here and there?” she asks. “Or are we going to find out what that [really] means?” Blending two cultures’ foods is nothing new for Shridhar. Ask any immigrant, she says, and you’ll find it’s a “homegrown” thing. Her family came to the United States in 1990 from India — Shridhar was born in Pune, Maharashtra — and she describes how her parents often mixed South Indian flavors with Italian, French, Chinese or American ingredients. “We ate Wonder Bread with urga, a very spicy, oil-based pickle usually made out of mangoes and chiles,” she says.

Indian and Nordic foods are also often seasoned with cardamom, a bright, citrus-scented spice that Jasmine Briggs, manager of local specialty food store Savory Spice Shop, says was first traded among ancient Asian, African and European people on the Eastern spice route. “It’s very vibrant and very common to add to coffee as well,” says Briggs. Spirits play well with the seasoning too — Shridhar’s cardamom-scented pecan sandie Mysore cake is soaked with The Austin Winery’s bourbon barrel-aged Lone Cloud port and topped with coconut cream, torched honey comb and edible flowers from La Flaca urban farm. Fluff Meringues & More owner Kristin Collins finds reasons to incorporate cardamom into many of her desserts. “Cardamom is fantastic in pretty much everything you put it in,” she says. Collins fell in love with meringues while living abroad, and when she noticed they weren’t commonly sold in Austin, she decided to try her hand at making the light, mallowy treats. Tarts, madeleines and mini-cakes can also be found in Fluff ’s bakery case. Their cardamom-cream-topped olive oil amaretto tea cake with a crunchy brûléed crust makes for an enticing mix of flavors on

To create effortless tasty fusion dishes, Make It Sweet owner and chef

one’s taste buds. “People are a lot more open these days to different

Jennifer Bartos says the simplest combinations, like filling empanadas

flavor combinations,” says Collins.

with tomato jam, can produce a surprisingly complex flavor. The tomato-and-brown-sugar jam has its origins in 19th century American

Just like the holidays, the magic of cross-cultural food brings

cooking, and Bartos says its sweet acidity perfectly complements the

people together. This winter, at your next gathering of family or

buttery flake of the Latin American-style pastry. The hand pies are the

friends, consider serving a dish that highlights the delicious fla-

perfect addition to a holiday menu.

vors that result from the fusion of cultures. / 25

cooking FRESH

Ginger Cake with Chai Spice and Stout Beer courtesy of JENNIFER BARTOS, MAKE IT SWEET


The cake is delicious plain, but to spice it up, serve with ice cream and whipped cream, add finely chopped dried fruits or nuts or add a powdered sugar and lemon glaze. For a lower-fat version, substitute half the oil with unsweetened applesauce. 1 ½ c. stout beer 3 t. baking soda 6 oz. fresh ginger, finely grated 1 ½ c. molasses 1 ½ c. granulated sugar 1 ¼ c. vegetable oil 5 ¼ c. all-purpose flour 1 ½ t. cinnamon ¾ t. ground black pepper ½ t. ground cardamom ½ t. ground cloves ½ t. ground nutmeg 3

large eggs

Preheat your oven to 350°. Prepare 2 circular 9-inch cake pans with spray, or grease with butter. Bring beer to a rolling boil. Put the baking soda into a large heat resistant bowl, and slowly pour in the boiling beer. It will bubble up. Add the ginger and mix. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the molasses, sugar and vegetable oil. Add the ginger mixture, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside. Combine the flour and all of the spices. Stir half of the dry mixture into the molasses ginger mixture using a wooden spoon or whisk. Add the other half once the first is fully incorporated. Mix well. Add eggs 1 at a time after all of the flour is mixed in. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 50–60 minutes. Wrapped in plastic, the cake can be stored at room temperature for a week or in the fridge for 2 weeks.

26 /

cooking FRESH

Pecan Sandie Mysore Cake courtesy of DEEPA SHRIDHAR, PULI-RA


I love setting things on fire; that’s a fact. The holidays are a perfect excuse to do just that. 1 c.

butter, softened

1 c. ghee, room temperature ²/³ c. jaggery or cane sugar 1


2 T. water 1 t.

baking powder

3 c. flour 2 c. chopped pecans 1 T.

ground cardamom

1 t.


½ c. port, seperated (I prefer The Austin Winery’s Lone Cloud port)

Preheat your oven to 300°. Line a circular 8-inch cake pan with parchment and grease. In a mixer, cream the butter, ghee, sugar, egg and water. Add the baking powder and flour slowly, then the pecans and cardamom. Let it all homogenize. Pour batter into the pan and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 60–70 minutes. Once the cake is removed from the oven and is still hot, add ¹/3 cup of the port to the cake and let it soak in. To make the coconut whipped cream, whisk the coconut cream until stiff peaks form. Top the cake with whipped cream, and drape the

13 oz. canned coconut cream

honeycomb and flowers on top. Pour the rest of the port on top. With a

½ c. honeycomb

butane torch, carefully torch the honey, letting it brown and melt into

the cream. Serve immediately.

Edible flowers / 27

cooking FRESH

Lemon Honey Cardamom & Pistachio Madeleines courtesy of FLUFF MERINGUES & MORE


For the madeleines: 1 ¼ t. lemon zest 2c.+1 T. cake flour 1 ¼ t. baking powder ½ t.

ground cardamom

1 c.

butter, melted

2 T.

honey, liquid




egg yolks

1 c.


1 t.

honey, granulated

For the glaze topping: 2 c.

confectioner’s sugar, sifted

2 T.

butter, room temperature

1 t.

ground cardamom

1 t.


2–3 T. milk 1 c.

pistachios, crushed

Preheat your oven to 350°. Combine lemon zest, cake flour, baking powder and cardamom in a bowl. Mix and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter and liquid honey. Mix and set aside. In a stand mixer, whisk eggs, yolks, sugar and granulated honey together until batter is a lighter pale yellow and is noticeably thick. Fold in the flour mix and whisk. Fold in the butter mix and whisk until thoroughly blended. Spoon into madeleine form pans. Bake for 8–10 minutes. To make the glaze topping, combine all the ingredients, except for pistachios, and mix together. Add more sugar or milk until you get your preferred consistency. Dip madeleines in icing, then sprinkle on crushed pistachios and let sit to set.

28 /

A Uniquely Texas Experience! Come Celebrate with Us! Our cellar or reception hall is perfect for your next meeting, holiday or birthday soiree. Winery Tasting Room

464 Becker Farms Road, Fredericksburg

— or — Tasting Room on Main

307 East Main, Fredericksburg Hours: Mon - Thurs, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Fri & Sat, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Sun, Noon – 6 p.m. Main Street open an hour later except Sundays. Last wine tasting, 30 min before closing. 830-644-2681 / 29

neighborhood BARS

Clockwise from top: The Grackle's bar. Barfly's pool tables. Barfly's iconic entrance. The Grackle's "No Hatefulness" entrance artwork.

30 /

neighborhood BARS

Take a Dive by KELLY STOCKER // photography by NATHAN BEELS


here’s a funny overlap of camaraderie and competition

They don’t have a cocktail menu. They don’t have live music.

among people who love neighborhood watering holes.

They don’t do jerks. What they do have are strong drinks, super

Dive bar aficionados are a tribe of people who appreciate

fast bartenders and a set of stairs you may decide not to navi-

and seek out those gritty, dark, unpretentious havens where no

gate after enough of those strong drinks. It’s the quintessential

one (and also everyone) knows your name. As befits our city’s

neighborhood bar, and its patrons are often walking in from the

dedicated approach to drinking early and often, Austin is a place

surrounding houses, starting or ending their evenings with a

where the barroom crowd can choose their own adventure any

stiff drink. Belly up to the bar, sit downstairs on their covered

night of the week.

patio or grab a booth for a good view of people sharking it up at the pool and foosball tables. Barfly’s jukebox is the old-school


CD kind with a 100-disc selection that’s so much fun you spend more than the first fiver you put in the slot. Just like at its sister bars (Mugshots, Violet Crown, Pour House, Hideout and Bender) the TVs scattered about the bar play cult classics for your

Named after the winged aggressors that cover our power lines

viewing pleasure.

and patios, the Grackle has stubbornly occupied the same spot since its opening in 2011. Amid the spate of condos and cocktail bars on E. 6th St., it has remained comfortably itself. Dimly lit and always cool, the space is home to a pool table, some darts and


a sweet jukebox, along with a couple of banquettes. The bar eschews the stereotypical well liquor and low-brow brew selection

The Legendary White Swan was a staple of the 12th and Chicon

you might expect in favor of a number of craft beers on draft and

landscape before current owners Billy and Colette Hankey turned

an extensive collection of whiskies, including some rare finds that

it into the King Bee. They revamped the layout, scrubbed it down,

make a whiskey lover’s heart beat a little faster. The sprawling

fixed the bathrooms and created a cocktail menu. Despite these

covered deck outside is groaning with picnic benches populat-

additions, the black walls, flickering red table candles and car-

ed by tattooed regulars, off-the-clock service industry folks and

peted makeshift stage area evoke that same old, familiar feeling.

Austinites who know where to go for an inexpensive drink. Aug-

It’s a neighborhood bar with surprises like hand-crafted cocktails,

ment your beer-and-a-shot routine with a banging (vegan!) bacon

an impressive mezcal collection and an ever-present frozen Bees

cheeseburger and tater tots from the on-site food truck, Arlo’s.

Knees (featuring gin, lemon, honey and an edible flower) on tap. Fans of blues music will find themselves here late on Monday nights for an outstanding weekly jam session with the Little

BARFLY’S Airport Blvd.

Elmore Reed Blues Band. When the weather’s nice, their stringlight-covered patio is a popular spot for a smoke, a chat or one of their delectable house-made pizzas. The perfect combination of

If there’s a place that’s fully committed to its dive bar status, it’s

crispy and chewy, these thin-crust pizzas are topped with inven-

Barfly’s. Their motto is “Our drinks are cheap so you don’t have

tive seasonal ingredients (often from other local businesses) and

to be.” They don’t do beer on tap. They don’t do table service.

are just the thing to soak up some of those delicious drinks. / 31

neighborhood BARS

32 /

Opposite Page Clcokwise from top: Billy Hanky of K ing Bee Lounge. The entrance of K ing Bee Lounge on E. 12th St. The Little Darlin's outdoor patio. Above: Skylark Lounge's stage.



S. Congress Ave.

Airport Blvd.

Every once in a while, a bar comes along that nails it on every

Antone’s may be the official home of the blues in Austin, but Skylark

level. The Little Darlin’ in way South Austin is one such bar.

Lounge is giving them a run for their money. Housed in what was

Housed in what was once the beloved La Fuente’s, they’ve taken

formerly Bernadette’s, Skylark is a glorious semi-hole-in-the-wall

this surprisingly big piece of property and transformed it into a

off eastern Airport Blvd. Leather booths, wood-topped tables and

neighborhood joint that appeals to all ages and stages. Their bar

cocktail rounds jostle for space inside the barely lit shotgun-style

selection mixes it up with craft beer, infused liquors, a rotating

bar that leads up to a corner stage with a prominent retro neon

frozen beverage and delightful surprises like their Sanchez

sign reading “Skylark.” That stage is graced by purveyors of soul,

Michelada, a beer with a bloody mary popsicle. They’ve also

funk, blues and jazz. You can catch a happy hour show here from

captured the lunch, brunch and dinner crowds with substantive

Margaret Wright, a get-up-get-down from Birdlegg, a vocal thun-

and creative menus. Snack on a burrata caprese or some pimen-

derstorm from Rochelle and the Sidewinders or shows from

to cheese croquettes, share a summer salad of watermelon, que-

Austin originals like Miss Lavelle White, Soul Man Sam and oth-

so fresco and candied jalapeños along with a 44 Farms flat iron

ers. Follow the line of funky artwork to the nondescript door

steak, or start your Sunday with some fried chicken and waffles.

at the back of the bar to discover the real secret: their fantastic

Their sprawling dog- and kid-friendly patio has become a go-to

patio. Mismatched seating plus picnic benches, a firepit, pop-up

location for special events, benefits and group outings. It offers

canopies and vintage signs make for an eclectic and easy-sittin’

tons of seating for diners or drinkers, cornhole and an elevated

spot. After having a couple tasty beverages, track down the soul

wooden stage that regularly features an artist in residence. It’s

food sandwich guy, Phil Rome, from onsite People’s Soul Food

an ideal locale to hang with friends, imbibe solo and even

Kitchen, and get yourself one of the best fried chicken sandwiches

impress a date.

and side of fries in the city. / 33

DEC 13-24






austin g i ft s / / pa r ty i d eas / / and mo re


Boutique Wines Housemade Charcuterie Artisanal Cheeses Local Bread

Contemporary Italian, focused on using “whole� local ingredients

Specialty chocolates & coffee

Happy Hour, Dinner, Late Night Dining and Sunday Brunch

Vegetarian & gluten-free friendly

312 E Austin Street Fredericksburg

2612 E Cesar Chavez 512.599.4052

12521 Twin Creeks Rd.

Private dining room available


Taproom Open Thursday Thru Sunday Check Out Our New Taproom Kitchen!

Gourmet German Fare Intimate, Neighborhood Spot 316 E Austin Street Fredericksburg

36 /


GIFT IDEAS for the locavore.

Desert Door Texas Sotol Desert Door Distillery

woom 3 16" Kid Bike woom Bikes; $389

Coffee Traders Gift Box

Texas Coffee Traders; $40

Cornucopia Popcorn Tins

Cornucopia; $25–$80

Rawsome CBD

Rawsome CBD; $5–$480

Hemp Soap

Springdale Handmade; $7


GIFT IDEAS Shop these gifts and more at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar.

Rough Cut Basket Earrings Lisa Crowder Jewlery; $325


Spako Clay; Contact for pricing

Geode Bath Bomb Set Latika Body Essentials; $34.95

Brahmin Moth Draped Kimono

The Art of Flip Solomon; $90

Activated Charcoal Soap Black Hatchet; $7.95

Half Radient Sun Necklace Ornamental Things; $68

The Original Toy Dinosaur Planter The Plaid Pigeon; $20

Retro Austin T-shirt Gusto Graphic Tees; $25

Meal Planner

This Creative Life; $14

Christmas Tree Soy Candles


shopping destination Art. Gifts. Live music. Local food. Two full bars.

Luna Tigre Candles; $9–$16

brought to you by

Make holiday shopping fun. December 13–24 at Palmer Events Center


Roam Ranch by ADA BROUSSARD // photography by MELANIE GRIZZEL


est of Austin and just east of Fredericksburg, nestled

of their ranch-mobile that reads, “What Good Shall I Do Today?”

between wineries and hay fields, is a tract of savanna

It’s this attitude that seems to have fueled the couple’s leap into

grassland — an ecosystem defined by grasslands dot-

regenerative agriculture.

ted with oak trees. Historically, the movement of large ruminant animals and unrestricted wildfires helped architect this fertile region. Today, Katie Forrest and Taylor Collins, owners of Roam Ranch, are helping to restore this region through the practice of regenerative agriculture. At their 700-acre ranch, the bison truly do roam, and the deer certainly play.

The nuances of regenerative agricultural are complex, but the basic idea is simple. Model your operation after nature by increasing biodiversity and reducing mechanical and chemical disturbances to the soil. Farmers who use these methods treat their soil and pastures like another member of the herd and are just as concerned with the health of microorganisms as they are with

Forrest and Collins, both Austin natives, began their foray into

their bison calves. It is a holistic system that can actually sequester

food with Epic Provisions, a company producing high-quality

carbon and regenerate the land it occupies.

meat snacks that are sold nationwide. When searching for ingredients to put into their Epic bars, they got a peek into regenerative agriculture. Forrest recalls the feeling of first meeting those farmers: “I wish this was my life ... I want to wake up like you. I want to have the purpose you have.” When the couple sold Epic, they eagerly picked up a pair of ranch boots, bought a parcel of land in the Post Oak Savannah and started Roam Ranch in 2017. “There was this missing link, which was actually participating in the solution to all of these problems we were witnessing within our agricultural space,” says Forrest. “We always knew that one day we wanted to do this.” There is a plaque zip-tied to the back

And on Roam Ranch, regenerate it has. Stepping onto the parcel of pasture that Forrest and Collins’ bison currently occupy is like stepping into a scene from “The Lion King” (during Mufasa’s reign, to be clear). There is an astounding amount of life there, and the area’s classification as a savanna suddenly makes sense. The green vegetation in this pasture is waist-high. When you walk through the grass, surprising clouds of grasshoppers and other winged insects jump out before you. It’s the heat of the day, and the bison are lethargic, but above them a large flock of brown-headed cowbirds dart around, flying from a fence post / 41



to a bison’s hindquarters and then back again. By the afternoon, the cowbirds will be replaced by sparrows, which will eventually make way for swarms of bats — all there to feast on the insect life that the herd has stirred up. And that’s just the beginning. Once the bison “migrate” to another section of pasture (they are moved about once a day), ranch managers Cody and Julia Spencer help Forrest and Collins bring in Roam’s flock of chickens and an impressive group of turkeys sporting breed names like Royal Palms and Chocolate Turkey. These birds eat worms and parasites from the bison patties and do some general scratching around, dispersing the freshly plopped fertility as well as the recently deposited grass seeds. Conveniently, the seeds land on topsoil that was already aerated by the tromping of 400 bison feet, priming them for germination. The iconic bison, the noisy chickens and even the guardian dog, named Cabbage, are working in synchronicity at Roam Ranch. Land stewardship is at the forefront of Forrest’s and Collins’ minds, but they’re also running a business. “The animals are the tools to make this ecosystem function better. All of our management decisions are based on that. But recently, our ‘tools’ started getting mature enough that we had to start making harvest decisions.” Roam Ranch sells their bison meat through Farmhouse Delivery, Central Market and Wheatsville, where they even offer an “Ancestral Blend” that features ground bison mixed with liver and heart meat for a true nose-to-tail experience. Forrest and Collins host tours as well as harvest-your-own chicken and turkey events, and they sincerely want to share their savanna with consumers. Collins and Forrest do not dream small. They dream in thousand-pound increments, and they have big plans for the future of Roam Ranch. Collins says they hope to become prominent advocates for the regenerative movement, contribute to scientific literature around the subject and do it all on an epic scale. “The more supply chains we can affect,” he says, “the more positive animal impact we can create.” If you’re lucky, a trip to Roam Ranch might include a sunset mission of moving the bison herd. For ranch managers Cody and Julia Spencer, coaxing this ambling group of giants is unusually usual. In between operating a vehicle and some casual conversation, Julia whistles to the bison, patiently waiting for the herd to follow her. What starts off as a slow shuffle escalates to a full-on run as soon as the animals see their fresh pasture. As the Texas sky explodes in pinks and oranges, bison wallow and frolic amid a blanket of green grass, and everyone truly seems at home on the range. / 43







e had big camping plans for Thanksgiving with a large

and engaged in an animated discussion about the best movie of

group of friends last year. We planned to drink cowboy

2018. We had all made plans to be together for the holiday and

coffee early in the morning and play cards in lantern

looked forward to it for months; I was so thankful for that. I had

light until howling coyotes scared us into our sleeping bags. As the

made the decision a few days prior to apply for an extended intern-

self-professed “food person” in our group, I was really looking for-

ship in Boston, confident that temporarily leaving the state would

ward to it; I had furiously Googled how to rig a string of turkey legs

reset my career compass. But, sitting at the table as I made my

over an open fire and considered recipes for mashed potatoes on a

friends cheesily recite what they were thankful for that year, I real-

propane stove. Of course, Texas had a different plan. We were rained

ized that I already knew where my roots were meant to be planted.

out of the state park but were still determined to have a good, old-fash-

I came back from the internship four months later, embraced by my

ioned time in “nature.” A last-minute booking led our ragtag group of

chosen family, and we are currently booking this year’s weekend

inside kids to a farmhouse about an hour outside of town, fitted with

in Wimberley. Even if this year’s table doesn’t look the same as it

acres of sprawling pasture, a stack of 1000-piece puzzles and, luckily,

did a year ago, I know it’ll be in Texas with a big salad on the table.

an oven for the turkey. The bottomless beer cooler was fully stocked with Texas’ finest craft, and the coyotes kept their distance. The backup plan wasn’t all that bad. It was a true vacation for the urban millennial: Instagram reluctantly refreshed while the fire pit crackled, the kombucha flowed while the knitting marathon commenced and no one mourned the lack of Wi-Fi. We were happy with the entertainment of coaxing a herd of cows to the fence with carrots (spoiler: it didn’t work), and we didn’t miss the city one bit. It was bliss.

Honey-Glazed Winter Squash SERVES 4

Coated in glossy, honeyed sauce, this vegetable dish is only a half step above candy-coated. Use any winter squash you’d like, preferably one with edible skin (like acorn or delicata). 2 medium winter squashes (any variety), sliced in half

In true Type-A fashion, with my menu spreadsheet at the ready, I

with seeds removed

was fully prepared to cook my first “adult” Thanksgiving dinner,

3 T. extra-virgin olive oil

start to finish. I laid out the oven schedule to accommodate our

2 t. kosher salt

18-pound bird, with cornbread dressing and sweet potato casserole

1 t.

on deck. Potatoes and green beans bubbled away on the stovetop, an endless snack plate kept everyone happy and the dog waited patiently at the kitchen entrance for the occasional scrap. The table was packed to the brim with dishes of honey-glazed winter squash, warm challah dinner rolls with obscene amounts of butter, an or-

black pepper

¼ c. honey ¼ c. orange juice 2 T. unsalted butter 1

sprig sage leaves, torn into pieces

Crunchy seeded topping, for garnish (page 47)

ange-scented cranberry sauce and pie. So much pie! The turkey

Preheat oven to 350°. Slice the squash into ½-inch-thick quarter

turned out a little dry, but I blame it on the spatchcock technique I

rounds. On an aluminum baking sheet with a lip, toss squash rounds

attempted at the last minute. It was nothing a little gravy couldn’t

in the olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast for 20 minutes or until just

fix. But my favorite dish on the table? The salad. With all of the

soft. Allow to cool slightly.

rich flavors on the table, a bright and fresh element was essential. Don’t get me wrong, mashed potatoes took up significant real estate on my plate, but a palate-cleansing salad helped curb the eating exhaustion before we moved on to second helpings. Our Thanksgiving salad was packed with plenty of crunchy vegetables, sweet-tart fruit, fresh local greens and a zesty, mustard-based dressing that never made it to the designated leftover container.

Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat, and add honey and orange juice. Allow to bubble and thicken, about 5 minutes. Finish with butter, and pour mixture over squash, tossing gently to coat. Set oven to broil. Return baking sheet to the oven, and broil on the lowest oven rack for 2–3 minutes, or until edges are charred and caramelized. Finish with sage leaves and crunchy seeded topping.

It was when I was sitting around an unsteady table in a farmhouse,

Thanksgiving Tip: To make this dish in advance, slightly un-

miles from my inbox and reliable streaming services, that I looked

der-roast the squash the day before. Instead of broiling, finish the

around and realized the fruition of my chosen life in Texas — a

dish in a 425° oven for 10 minutes so the squash comes back up to

boisterous gang of late twenty-somethings surrounded by food

temperature and caramelizes at the same time. / 45


Big Thanksgiving Salad SERVES 6

For the salad: ½ lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed 1

fennel bulb, core removed


small red onion

1 T.

extra-virgin olive oil

2 c. curly kale, torn into bite-sized pieces 1 small head red oak leaf lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces 1 green apple, chopped into cubes or shaved into slices ½ c. unsweetened dried cherries ½ c. crunchy seeded topping (recipe left) For the dressing: ¼ c. rice vinegar 2 T. fresh lemon juice 1 T.


2 t. Dijon mustard

Crunchy Seeded Topping


clove garlic, grated

½ c. extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt, to taste


Using a mandoline or food processor fitted with slicing attachment, A decadent mix of caramelized seeds, this topping can be sprinkled

shave Brussels sprouts, fennel and red onion. In a large bowl, mas-

onto a big salad, roasted vegetables, creamy mashed sweet potatoes

sage olive oil into kale until the leaves have darkened in color. Add

and any other holiday dish that could benefit from some texture.

lettuce, shaved vegetables and apple.

¼ c. raw pumpkin seeds, unsalted 2 T. sunflower seeds, unsalted 2 T. raw sesame seeds 1 t.

nigella (black carraway) seeds

1 t.

cumin seeds

1 T.


Kosher salt, to taste

Spray a parchment-lined baking sheet lightly with nonstick cook-

To make the dressing, whisk rice vinegar, lemon juice, honey, mustard and garlic together in a bowl until smooth. While whisking, slowly drizzle olive oil into the vinegar mixture until dressing is completely emulsified. Season with salt. Toss the salad with ¼ cup of salad dressing and top with dried cherries and crunchy seeded topping (break up any large pieces). Serve with extra dressing on the side.

ing spray and set aside. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat, and

Thanksgiving Tip: To prepare this dish ahead of time, make the

toast pumpkin and sunflower seeds until light and golden in color,

dressing up to 1 week in advance. The day before Thanksgiving, keep

about 2 minutes. Add sesame, nigella and cumin seeds, and toast until

all of the shaved vegetables packed in water in deli containers so that

fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add honey, and stir immediately for

they don’t turn brown. Drain just before serving and toss with fresh

about 1 minute; clumps will form as the honey heats. Remove skillet

greens. If you pass the extra dressing with the salad instead of toss-

from heat, and transfer the mixture to the parchment, spreading out

ing the entire dish, the undressed salad can be saved for the inevita-

in an even layer. Season topping with salt, and allow to cool com-

ble leftovers. The greens will wilt over time as they sit, so allowing

pletely. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

guests to dress their own will ensure that they stay fresh the next day. / 47


Big and Bold Texas Tannat by KRISTI WILLIS // photography by JENNA NORTHCUTT


hen founding his winery 10 years ago, Dr. Bob Young

But the grape can require a deft hand. While tannat produces in-

of Bending Branch Winery in Comfort, Texas, want-

tense, inky red wines with high tannins that can help the wines

ed to make a big, bold red wine. “I did a lot of re-

age, the tannins can also give the wine a harsh astringency when

search comparing grapes with a spreadsheet of all the characteris-

it’s young. In Madiran, it is common to age the wines for eight

tics I was looking for, and tannat was a good fit,” says Young. “I had

to 10 years using oak barrels or to speed up the aging process

a hunch it was going to do well here.”

with the micro-oxygenation method to mellow out the taste of the

Originally from Madiran in Southwest France, tannat is not one

wines before releasing the vintages.

of France’s best-known varietals. The wines of Madiran were not

“Tannat has more tannins than almost any other grape, and tan-

historically sold widely on the international market, overshad-

nins really provide the backbone and structure of the wine,” says

owed by the more famous region of Bordeaux just a few hours

Young. “Where winemakers used to have to age the wines for long

north. In the 1800s, French immigrants took the tannat vine with

periods of time, now we have the winemaking techniques to keep

them to Uruguay, where it has thrived, becoming the country’s

the tannins but smooth them out.”

most planted grape. The success of the grape in South America

Young’s bet on tannat has paid off. Bending Branch Winery has

piqued the interest of American winemakers like Young.

won more than 50 awards for their tannat-based wines since their

48 /

Est. 1986

512-444-6251 Mon-Sat 10:00a-6:30p

first vintage in 2008. Each year, they have significantly increased their production, with the 2019 harvest coming in at 70 tons from nine different vineyards. In addition to their dry red wines, Bending Branch produces other styles using tannat, including a port-style dessert wine, a cabernet sauvignon and tannat red blend and an award-winning

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rosé. “Tannat rosé is trending up in France a little bit, so we thought, ‘Why not?’” says Young. “This year we are going to triple the production because we can't keep the rosé in stock.” While Bending Branch has been the champion of tannat in Texas, other winemakers are adding the varietal to their portfolios. Westcave Cellars won Bronze at the 2019 TexSom International Wine Awards for their 2016 tannat, and several other wineries are producing stellar wines from this grape that seems to be tailor-made for Texas. The deep red and black fruit flavors of tannat perfectly complement the wild game, steak and fatty meats that are so popular on Texas

1500 SOUTH LAMAR BLVD 512.473.2211

grills. The French traditionally pair the wines with cassoulet, a rich casserole of beans and sausage, but a sizzling plate of fajitas with a side of charro beans would be a nice Lone Star substitute.

Where to Find Texas Tannat 1851 VINEYARDS

2016 LOC Red Blend 2016 Reddy Tannat


2012 Tannat, Bending Branch Estate Vineyard 2013 Tannat, Bending Branch Winery Estate Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon/ Tannat, Bending Branch Estate Vineyard 2016 Texas Tannat 2018 Tannat Rosé, Tallent Vineyards






2016 Texas GSM Mélange


2016 The Tempest Reserve Blend


2016 Estate Tannat


IS NOW OPEN For special event booking

FOLLOW US @gati.icecream to see our truck location

see you this summer at 1512 Holly Street 78702 / 49

Edible ink

kies. r coo ou started. a g u s ty iced to ge ants few tips p y nc a re's th fa ig wi oks—he d n i h it lo day s Wow 'em at your holi asier than e s i s Making these beautie Royal icing is made from icing sugar, egg whites and water. Fresh egg whites can be used, but egg white powder can be found at specialty baking shops. Start with 2–3 Tbsp and 4 cups of icing sugar. Sift together, then add water until the desired consistency is reached. (Set some sugar aside in case you need to thicken the icing later.)

This snowflake is piped with thick icing, then dropped onto a flat plate of sanding sugar while wet.

Adding a bit of pure vanilla extract enhances the flavor. If you'll be using a lot of white, skip the vanilla, as it can discolor the icing.

To fill your icing bag, insert a coupler inside the bag, then place the tip on the outside. This way you can swap tips without having to empty the entire bag.

Be sure to separate the icing into bowls if you plan to make several colors!

Once the outlines have set (2 hours or more), you can flood the inside of the cookie. Icing should be thin enough that it spreads out on its own, but thick enough that it doesn't run over the outlines. Use a small offset spatula to coax it into the corners.

Use a wide, flat tip (a ribbon or leaf tip) for quicker flooding.

If squeezing the icing bag is difficult, the icing is too thick; if it falls out of the tip without being squeezed, it's too thin.

Patience is a virtue! Allow the flooded cookies enough time to harden before adding details, to ensure the colors don't run. Leaving them overnight is ideal.

Set the bag inside a large water glass and flip the edges over the rim to hold it upright while you pour in the icing.

A squeeze bottle (like the kind used for mustard and ketchup) also works well for flooding.

This guy is first outlined with a #2 round tip. Icing for outlining should be thick but still smooth and glossy. It should fall very slowly from a spoon, and sit on the surface of the icing before gradually blending in.

Hot Chocolate 1 oz Tito’s Handmade Vodka 4 oz hot chocolate Just add Tito’s Handmade Vodka and hot chocolate to your favorite mug. Garnish with whipped cream and nutmeg.



Profile for Edible Austin

Edible Austin Nov/Dec 2019