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New Orleans and Charivari on Weekend’s DM

Our 21st Year of Eating, Drinking and Telling You About It! 

HOUSTON Saturdays and Sunday 4-5 p.m., NewsRadio 740 KTRH

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

SATURDAY: Visiting New Orleans this week, we check in with one of our favorite chefs, Dominique Macquet. While awaiting the new iteration of his highly awarded Dominique’s on Magazine, Macquet is launching a restaurant called Tamarind that celebrates the oh-so-French flavors of colonial Vietnam. Or is it vice versa? We also spend quality time with Randy Fertel, whose mother founded Ruth’s Chris Steak House, about his just-published New Orleans family memoir.  

SUNDAY: When the weather turns cool, we think of Charivari in Midtown Houston – it’s just a cool-weather kind of place, with a French-techniqued German chef who grew up in Transylvania. Even so, chef Johann Schuster always has a few surprises coming out of the pan. We also taste (and talk about) the wines from one of our favorite American actors of all time, the late-great Fess Parker of Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone fame. 

AUSTIN Saturdays 10-11 a.m., Talk 1370

A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 

Visiting New Orleans this week, we check in with one of our favorite chefs, Dominique Macquet. While awaiting the new iteration of his highly awarded Dominique’s on Magazine, Macquet is launching a restaurant called Tamarind that celebrates the oh-so-French flavors of colonial Vietnam. Or is it vice versa? We also spend quality time with Randy Fertel, whose mother founded Ruth’s Chris Steak House, about his just-published New Orleans family memoir. 

This Week’s Delicious Mischief Recipe

AUTHENTIC VIETNAMESE PHO 

5 pounds beef knuckle, with meat

2 pounds beef oxtail

1 white (daikon) radish, sliced

2 onions, chopped

2 ounces whole star anise pods

1/2 cinnamon stick

2 whole cloves

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 slice fresh ginger root

1 tablespoon white sugar

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon fish sauce 

1 1/2 pounds dried flat rice noodles

1/2 pound frozen beef sirloin 

TOPPINGS:

Sriracha hot pepper sauce

Hoisin sauce

Thinly sliced onion

Chopped fresh cilantro

Bean sprouts (mung beans)

Sweet Thai basil

Thinly sliced green onion

Limes, quartered 

Place the beef knuckle in a very large (9 quart or more) pot. Season with salt, and fill pot with 2 gallons of water. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 2 hours. Skim fat from the surface of the soup, and add the oxtail, radish and onions. Tie the anise pods, cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns and ginger in a cheesecloth or place in a spice bag; add to the soup. Stir in sugar, salt and fish sauce. Simmer over medium-low heat for at least 4 more hours (the longer, the better). 

At the end of cooking, taste, and add salt as needed. Strain broth, and return to the pot to keep at a simmer. Discard spices and bones. Reserve meat from the beef knuckle for other uses if desired. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Soak the rice noodles in water for about 20 minutes, then cook in boiling water until soft, but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Slice the frozen beef paper thin. The meat must be thin enough to cook instantly. 

Place some noodles into each bowl, and top with a few raw beef slices. Ladle boiling broth over the beef and noodles in the bowl. Serve with hoisin sauce and sriracha sauce on the side. Set onion, cilantro, bean sprouts, basil, green onions, and lime out at the table for individuals to add toppings as desired. Serves 6.

 

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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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