A Hungry Texans Easter Brunch

Happy Easter, y’all!

It’s been too long since I’ve posted here. 2014 has been a year of new adventures- new jobs and a new apartment in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn! Our kitchen is big and bright, so expect a few more recipes on Hungry Texans!

Welp, nobody told me that Easter is the one holiday that can clear Brooklyn out- it seemed like all of our friends were home with their families. Luckily, my darling friend Therese also missed the memo, so we enjoyed the day together! Gin cocktails + biscuits + apple pancakes + sun? I’ll take it.

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So what did we make? Click through for links to the full recipes!

Rose Lemonade Gin Cocktails

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Buttermilk Biscuits & Salted Molasses Butter

Thinly Sliced Maple-Glazed Ham (not homemade, thanks Boars Head!)

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Arugula Lemon Salad with Shaved Parmesan

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Naturally Dyed Purple Cabbage Eggs

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German Apple Pancakes

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Try this menu at home for your next brunch and let us know how it turns out!

Love,

Liz

Hungry Texans

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

Coloring Easter eggs is a tradition, but using artificial dyes doesn’t have to be! From carrot tops to beets to red cabbage, there are plenty of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables that will color your eggs naturally.

I used beets and red cabbage for this year’s Easter eggs.

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You’ll need:

1/2 head cabbage, sliced
4 small beets, sliced
12 eggs

To dye the eggs:

Boil your eggs for 10-15 minutes. Remove and let cool.

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For the “dye,” simply boil the vegetables in a saucepan with water for 15-20 minutes.

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Strain the veggies and you’ll be left with vibrant water. Once it cools, add the eggs and let sit for about 1 hour (the longer the eggs soak, the deeper the hue).

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You’ll be left with beautifully dyed eggs- the Easter Bunny will never know the difference!

Hop Hop,

Liz

Hungry Texans

German Apple Cake

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For Easter brunch, our friend Therese brought over this recipe and it was a delight. Not only is it surprisingly easy, but the texture is so perfect. The batter that you pour over the apples is really thin, so it rises almost like a popover. And while she added sugar and cinnamon, we both agreed that this could be made savory with crumbly sausage or pancetta. I can’t wait to bring this to the next potluck/brunch!

You’ll need:

4 eggs
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
2 medium apples
1/4 cup sugar (omit if you’re going to make this savory)
1/4 tsp cinnamon

To make the cake:

Preheat your oven to 400 F. Put the butter in the bottom of a rectangular glass pan and let it melt in the oven for 2-3 minutes. Slice the apples thinly, then layer them over the butter in the pan.

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In a bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, milk and salt. Pour this mixture over the apples. Mix together sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle over the apple mixture.

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Bake uncovered for ~20 minutes until the crust is golden and risen.

Nom!

Liz

Hungry Texans



Rose Lemonade & Gin Cocktail

These yummy gin cocktails are the perfect addition to any Sunday brunch. We wondered for a slight moment if Easter was a drinking holiday, and quickly settled on “duh,” so these made an appearance on our Easter Sunday brunch table. Check out the full brunch menu here!

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You’ll need:

1/2 oz lemon juice

2 oz rose lemonade

2 oz gin

Mint to garnish

 

To make the cocktails:

Combine the lemon juice, lemonade and gin in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a champagne glass. Top with ice and garnish with mint.

Gin-Cocktail

Happy sipping!

Liz

Hungry Texans

Buttermilk Biscuits & Salted Molasses Butter

Sam and I celebrated my birthday at Seersucker in Carroll Gardens this year. Robert Newton, Seersucker’s chef/owner, is from Arkansas, so he makes incredible southern food. We ate fried oysters and red eye gravy and grits. It was heaven. Dinner started with these delicious biscuits and MOLASSES BUTTER. We gobbled them up and I knew I had to recreate them soon!

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We topped these biscuits with thinly sliced maple ham for an Easter feast. You can see our whole Easter brunch spread here.

Buttermilk Biscuits

You’ll need:
7 cups cake flour
3 tbs baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cups vegetable shortening (or lard if you’re into it)
3 cups cold buttermilk
4 tbsp melted butter
To make the biscuits:

Preheat your oven to 425˚F. Line a sheet pan with foil and brush that with butter (or spray!).

In your stand mixer, add the dry ingredients and mix. If you’re worried about cake flour, here’s a tip: Cake flour is just all-purpose flour with cornstarch. Replace 2 Tbs per each cup of flour with cornstarch and voila! Once the dry ingredients are mixed, add the shortening, mixing until the flour looks like pebbles. Add the cold buttermilk and mix well.

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Turn your dough out onto a well-floured surface. The dough will be wet, but I didn’t even need to use a rolling pin to get these to the right thickness. You want your dough to be about half-inch thick.

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Use a biscuit cutter (or a cup if you’re a simple girl like me) to cut out ~12 biscuits.

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Place the biscuits on your foil-lined sheet pan, allowing them to touch just slightly. Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter and sprinkle with kosher salt.

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Bake at 425˚F for 12 to 15 minutes until the tops are golden brown and yummy.

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Salted Molasses Butter

You’ll need:

1 stick of unsalted butter

1 tsp robust molasses (I would love to make this with sorghum if I could get my hands on the stuff!)

1 tsp sea salt

 

To make the butter:

Ok y’all, this is easy. Soften the butter, put it in your stand mixer, and mix it until it’s whipped. Add the molasses and salt and mix until combined.

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Spread the butter onto wax paper and shape into a cylinder. Wrap it up and twist on both sides, then pop this in the fridge to harden!

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Happy eating!

Liz

Hungry Texans

Heirloom Tomato & Roasted Beet Gazpacho

This recipe is featured today in Luri & Wilma, a smart magazine for smart ladies run by native Texan Charlie Heck.  I love the way they shot and featured this recipe, and just as much, I love this Tomato & Beet Gazpacho!  Click through the article below to read the whole issue online (there’s great stuff about fashion, body issues, and vintage duds inside) and scroll down for the full recipe!

Gazpacho Luri Wilma

 

Heirloom Tomato & Beet Gazpacho

Aside from being the perfect make-ahead, quick-cleanup recipe, I love this gazpacho because it relies on fresh ingredients for a bright and complex flavor.  The raw veggies lend a subtle spice to the cold soup, and garden herbs leave it freshly flavored.   Red and golden beets impart a deep magenta hue while keeping the soup slightly sweet.  Plus, this silky staple requires zero cooking and limited utensils, so you can stay cool in the kitchen while impressing your guests with a light supper.  This recipe will serve two as a main course or four as an appetizer.

You’ll need:

  • 3 large heirloom tomatoes
  • ½ large cucumber, seeded
  • ½ red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 beets (try for a mix of red & golden)
  • Handful of fresh herbs: basil, parsley, lemon thyme, chives.
  • 3 tbs red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil

First, finely dice the cucumber, red onion, and garlic.  Seed the tomatoes and dice them as well.  When it comes to tomatoes for this gazpacho, I opt for heirloom, but any blend of particularly juicy ones will do- Green Zebras and Brandywines are favorites.  Combine the vegetables in a large bowl and use an immersion blender to puree the veggies until smooth, adding the olive oil slowly.  To flavor the gazpacho, use any herbs you have on hand- I snipped a handful of basil, parsley, garlic chives, and lemon thyme from the window box.  Add 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, then cover the bowl and pop it in the refrigerator.

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Because the flavors of this gazpacho intensify with time, I like to keep it in the fridge for up to two days, then strain it using a fine sieve when I’m ready for a quick weeknight dinner.  Of course, if you don’t want to strain the veggies, you’re welcome to serve it chunky, but I’m always impressed with silky soups.  Serve it up in bowls with roasted shrimp, a creamy burrata, or toasted ciabatta for a simple supper.

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xoxo,

Liz of The Hungry Texans

HungryTexans Flour Tortillas


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Y’all, something fun happened this weekend- the HungryTexans took their talents off the interwebs and into the District Flea (brought to you by the kind folks at Brooklyn Flea and gracing DC for the next few weekends).

As hungry Texans, we are huge proponents of the breakfast taco- eggs, cheese, savory meats and veggies, all rolled up into a perfectly fluffy flour tortilla.  The breakfast tacos at Chacho’s in Houston have capped many nights out (as well as nursed our headaches the morning after).  But when I find myself reaching hungrily for a breakfast taco in DC, I come up empty-handed.  So what better to bring to the denizens of our great district than these breakfast treats?

Of course the eggs are important.  Cheese?  Essential to a proper breakfast taco.  But what really makes our breakfast tacos special is the homemade flour tortilla, the perfect vehicle for savory goodness.  And because I promised plenty of market-goers the recipe and top-secret-super-secrets for a tortilla that stays soft and pliable and tasty, I want to share it with all of our readers!  It really is extremely simple and quick to make a tortilla, if not labor intensive.  This recipe uses all vegetable shortening to make our veggimatarian friends happy, and makes exactly 16 tortillas (counting helps visualize the size they should be).

You’ll Need:

2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 generous cups vegetable shortening (you could use lard, but we’re accommodating the masses here)
1 cup hot water

Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl or a stand mixer.

Add the shortening in small handfuls and use the mixer (or your hands, which I did for 180 tortillas on Friday- not sure if I can recommend doing this to our readers- it’s quite cruel) to combine until the mixture looks like sand.

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Slowly add a cup of hot water (I do 3/4 cup first, then add as necessary).  You want the dough to seem a bit moist and definitely not crumbly.  Knead the dough ~30 times (or let the Kitchen-aid do this work for you) until the dough becomes a ball.

Let this dough rest, covered with a tea towel, for 30 minutes (up to an hour).  Once the dough has rested, pinch off golf-ball-sized pieces of dough and roll into balls, and set on wax paper.

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Using a tortilla press or a rolling pin, flatten the dough balls into thin, round discs.  I try to get these as thin as possible with a tortilla press by using my hands to flatten the dough against the press.  Also, breaking news: my grandfather just mailed a beauty of a tortilla roller and I cannot wait to try it out.

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You can store these tortillas between wax paper for a few hours in the fridge before cooking them.  When you’re ready, just pop a disc of dough onto a hot cast iron skillet or an electric griddle and cook for 20 seconds on each side.  Keep warm in a…tortilla warmer!

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Happy pressing and, if you can’t make your own, we’ll be at the District Flea every Saturday until October 18th, slinging tortillas!

Raw Corn & Tomato Salsa

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If you’re a member of a CSA or just get carried away at the farmers market, then you probably have a surplus of tomatoes and corn in your kitchen.  Put them to good use with this quick and tasty Raw Corn & Tomato Salsa.

Freaked out by raw corn?  Feel free to char the summer kernels over an open flame, but when corn is this fresh and sweet, I promise it is just as delicious raw!

I make a few cups of this salsa on Sundays and top my salads with it for lunch throughout the week.  It stays colorful, fresh, and healthy for days.  Or spoon it over eggs and black beans for a perfect brunchy treat.  This recipe makes ~6 cups.

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You’ll Need:

  • 6 ears fresh corn
  • 4 small tomatoes
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • Juice of two limes
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • S&P, to taste

To make the salsa:

In a large bowl, shave the corn kernels off of the cob.

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Dice the tomatoes (removing the seeds), jalapeno, bell pepper, and onion, and combine with the corn.

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Add the juice of two limes and olive oil, and season with salt & pepper.  Finish the salsa with a handful of cilantro.

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You can use this salsa immediately, or store for up to 5 days in jars or tupperware.  I do both!

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xoxo,

Liz

Gingered Peach Mason Jar Cobblers

Four Pies Finished

In honor of my darling best friend Julia’s birthday and in honor of peaches being abundantly available and ripe this weekend, I knew a fruity dessert was in order.  Since we had made plans to visit a couple vineyards on Sunday with our sweet friends Amy and Ryan, this dessert also had to be easily portable.  And it had to be adorable.  Whew- no pressure!

As it turns out, a perfectly peachy, easily transportable dessert was well within my reach (and yours!).  All it takes is a trip to the farmers market, a quick spin in the Kitchen-Aid, and a few mason jars to make these Gingered Peach Cobblers.

For the Filling (makes 4 individual pies):

  • 4 peaches
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs fresh ginger

For the Pastry Dough:

  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup ice water
  • 1 stick cold, unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs sugar

To make the Dough:

I have to admit, I’m no baker- I usually leave the sweet treats up to Julia.  But I’ve been pushing myself to mix flour + water instead of trudging to the store for some mediocre pre-made dough, and this recipe couldn’t be simpler.  Just combine your flour and sugar in a food processor or stand mixer.  Add the cold butter (with the mixer on a speed-2), one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture resembles sand.  Then, add your ice cold water and mix for ~15 seconds.  I made my pastry dough the night before the wine tour, and refrigerated it in plastic overnight.

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To make the filling:

When you’re ready to make your cobblers, grease the insides of four mason jars with butter.  Slice your peaches and place them in a sauce pan with 2 tbs sugar and 1 tbs ginger.  Give them a good stir and let them simmer over low heat for ~10 minutes until they’re syrupy and delicious.

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While those peaches are simmering, let’s talk produce!  Since there are really only 4 ingredients in this recipe- flour, butter, peaches & ginger- you can have some fun with the fillings.  I got three different peach breeds- Donut, Yellow, and White- from the farmers market.  And I was inspired to add ginger after finding this incredible baby Hawaiian variety.  No peeling necessary?  I can freeze you?  Hello, new favorite ingredient.

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Once your peaches are finished simmering, take them off the heat and let them cool a bit.

Peach Cobbler, Assemble!

Cut the pastry dough into two unequal parts.  Roll out the smaller half, then use the mouth of a mason jar to cut 4 rounds.  These should be thinner, because they’ll be on the bottom of the cobblers.  Roll out the larger half, which should be the thicker cobbler-toppers, and cut four more rounds.  Place the thin rounds of dough carefully in the bottom of your mason jars and bake at 400° for ~5 minutes.

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When the dough is a bit cooked, fill the jar up to the top with peach filling, and finish with the thick round on top.

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If you want to be really cute, and who doesn’t, use some leftover dough to form hearts or initials to pop on top.  Brush the whole thing with an egg wash and place in the oven (on a baking sheet!) at 375° for 30 minutes, or until the crusts are golden brown.

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I pulled these out of the oven about 2 hours before eating them and screwed the lids on for easy transport.  Not only did this make them easy to get to the vineyards, but would you believe that they were still warm when we ate them?  Just plain peachy!

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xoxo,

Liz

oh what?  you wanted to see a photo of the birthday girl on her vineyard trip?  so happy you asked:

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watermelon mint julep popsicles

This recipe is featured today on Fortique, a fun DC startup that offers an online marketplace for local talent and creative services.  When Stephanie, their founder, asked me to dream up a Fourth of July cocktail, my mind immediately went to grenadine and blue curucao.  But you don’t need a sugary mess to show your stars & stripes!  Opt instead for a fresh, cool cocktail that highlights America’s bounty.

Nothing says “America” like watermelon.  Except for maybe bourbon.  Okay, let’s face it: together, they’re like the Star Spangled Banner in a glass.  And on a scorching Fourth of July, these polar pops are worth their weight in A/C, packing punches of watermelon, mint, and bourbon, all frozen to summery perfection.  title page

You’ll need:

  • 4 cups of seedless watermelon (about half of a medium watermelon)
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup (1/2 cup sugar dissolved in 1/2 cup water)
  • 3 sprigs mint
  • 1 lime
  • 1 cup bourbon (adjust to your desired strength)
  • 24 Dixie Cups
  • 12 Popsicle Sticks (cut in half)

Makes 24 lil’ pops.

This recipe is so simple, and most of your time is spent waiting for the pops to freeze.  Dice your watermelon and add it to a pitcher (or a blender if you’re not using an immersion mixer).  Want to know the key to finding the sweetest watermelon amongst mounds of the fibrous fruit?  Search for the melon with a large, white spot on it’s side.  You want a watermelon that has been ripening on the ground for a while, and the larger the white spot (that’s where the sun couldn’t hit it), the juicier and sweeter your fruit will be.

Alright, Farmer Liz, we’ll get back to the recipe.  Add your simple syrup and juice of a lime to the pitcher.  I also added a couple extra tablespoons of sugar on top.

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Using an immersion blender on high speed, mix the contents of your pitcher until your watermelon looks like melon-colored-water.

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Add your mint and bourbon, give the whole thing a quick stir, and you’re ready to fill your popsicle molds!  While there are a slew of modern gadgets designed to pop out the perfect popsicle, you don’t need a store-bought popsicle mold to dazzle your Fourth of July crowd.  Use 3 oz Dixie cups and wooden sticks to make perfectly miniature frozen treats.  The wooden sticks keep the look classic while the small size ensures your guests don’t overindulge on the sweet nectar too early in the afternoon.

Fill the dixie cups with your watermelon-mint-bourbon goodness and pop the ‘sicles in the freezer for about 45 minutes.  Once they are semi-frozen, stick the popsicle sticks in the center of each one and then let the popsicles freeze over night. Depending on the amount of bourbon you use, these little guys could take up to 24 hours to get good and frozen, so plan ahead!

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When your guests are ready, just tear off the disposable cup and watch the fireworks fly!

watermelon mint julep popsicles

Whew, was that easy.  And you didn’t even have to break out the blue curucao & grenadine to capture the spirit of Independence Day.

Love,

Liz & The Hungry Texans