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Feb. 20th Radio Shows

The Guys Who Give Us Yelapa

SATURDAY 11-NOON ON NEWSRADIO 740 KTRH

MUY COASTAL, MAN

Everybody around here knows what Tex-Mex food looks and tastes like, and overall, we’re pretty happy when it does. But we’re always open when somebody jumps with both feet into Mexico’s regional cuisines and comes up with someplace and something we haven’t tasted so often. So it is with the new Yelapa Playa Mexicana, which concentrates on the fresh (and even light!) flavors of Mexico’s Pacific coastline. Our guests take us from the world of enchiladas beneath gravy and cheese to the world of ceviches and grilled fish kissed with fresh-squeezed lime. And amazingly enough, we can’t wait. 

FOLLOWING THE BRANCH

If you go back far enough, a branch was a clean-water offshoot of a river. A little bit closer in, in the hinterland of America, it was the part of a river system favored for making whisky – or its even more country cousin, the moonshine sometimes known as “white dog.” Today in Houston, Branch Water Tavern is building upon that tradition as the newest restaurant to attract national media attention. We visit with chef-owner David Grossman and Branch Water’s wine/whiskey guru Evan Turner. 

MS. MIXOLOGIST

Charlotte Voisey started creating hip, cool cocktails in swingin’ London – though quite a few years after Austin Powers and I were there trying to be swingin’ too. After that, she took her show on the road to New York City, riding in on the current renaissance of classic American cocktails with a contemporary spin. And now, Charlotte pretty much travels the known world teaching bartenders how to best use her favorite products, including one British traditional that’s often-overlooked, gin.

Meats Made While You Wait at Branch Water… Sort of!

‘DELICIOUS MISCHIEF’ IN AUSTIN, Austin’s Talk 1370 AM and 95.5 HD2 

You’ll be joining us in shouts of “Viva Espana” after touring this very ancient but recently revitalized wine country with wine guy Collin Williams of Spec’s. Collin, you see, has the unpleasant task of visiting Spain time after time, sitting down with wine producers at a table filled with bottles – and tasting to see what’s best. And since he can’t drink – I mean, taste – 24/7, that means there’s plenty of time left for adventures in Spanish cuisine and Spanish culture. Any place that has a style of operetta and a signature casserole dish both called “zarzuela” is definitely our kinda place. So if you can’t tell a rioja from a ribero del Duero (or for that matter, a Duero in Spain from a Duoro in Portugal), if you can’t tell an albarino from a tempranillo, Collin Williams is the guy for you. We’ll also, as we’re talking with Collin, do something similar to what he did, except on a much smaller scale. We’ll taste our way through four or five wines that he particularly came to love during his travels through Spain. 

In the opening and closing segments of the show, we’ll also look at a trend in Austin restaurants that we find heartening. Rather than emphasizing food and offering a decent list of wines as an afterthought, more and more contemporary restaurants are building out from the wines to create the food. And if you think such a place has to be snobby, think (or drink) again. We check out the new Max’s Wine Dive downtown in the Convention Center area, where the nachos come with fried oysters on top and the “dogs” are more “haute” than hot. Lovers of comfort food, unite!

This Week’s Delicious Mischief Recipe

SAINTLY CRAWFISH ETOUFFEE 

2 sticks butter

4 cups chopped onion

2 cups chopped celery

1 cup chopped green bell pepper

3 teaspoons minced garlic

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

¼ cup tomato salsa

¼ cup dry white wine

2 pounds peeled crawfish tails, preferably with fat

½ cup whole milk

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup water

2 teaspoons Creole seasoning

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon Louisiana pepper sauce

4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

¼ cup chopped green onions

Steamed white rice 

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, celery and bell pepper until transparent, about 10 minutes. Then stir in the garlic, red pepper, tomato and salsa for about 3 minutes. Pour in the white wine and bubble until incorporated in the butter sauce. Add the crawfish tails, along with the milk and the bay leaves. Combine the flour and water until dissolved, then stir into the crawfish mixture. Add Creole seasoning, garlic and onion powders, and pepper sauce. Bubble until thickened, about 4 minutes. Add the parsley and green onion and cook for 2 minutes longer. Serve over steamed white rice. Serves 8-10.

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About John DeMers

I've been a journalist and author forever. My favorite single word in the English language is "foodandwine." This spirit drives my 45 published books and my weekly radio show heard in Houston, Dallas and Austin.

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