Lunch with Ross Fontenot, Monday, August 29, 2011.
Bonnie Bell’s Bistro is quickly becoming one of my favorite lunch spots. The fact that they’re open on Mondays is a plus, since most other lunch spots downtown are closed the first day of the work week.
We split the Bistro Mini Crab Cakes served over fresh spinach sauteed in roasted garlic olive oil.
The special was slow roasted pulled pork in a Southern Comfort mango barbecue sauce topped with avocado coleslaw on a big brioche sesame bun, served with sweet potato fries.
Leftover black beans and peppers, fresh cilantro and hard goat cheese stuffed omelet topped with Linda Jo’s hot salsa and a side of roasted tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
My secret omelet ingredient is a pinch of buckwheat flour added to the egg and almond milk mixture, which helps keep the folded egg from splitting and spilling out the goodness too early.
The tomatoes placed in a baking dish, sprayed with olive oil, topped with black pepper and sea salt and roasted for 10 min at 450F. They were then broiled for a minute or two and then drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
My Sweet Chili Soy Sauce- 1 big clove of garlic (chopped) 1 cayenne pepper (seeds removed and chopped) 1 half shallot 1 tbsp olive oil 1 oz rice vinegar 1/3 cup soy sauce 6 tbsp honey 1 tbsp Siracha Hot Chili Sauce 1/2 tsp sesame oil
My sauce is a trial and error sort of thing right now with a lot of taste testing. So you can either follow what I’m about to tell you or just grab a bottle of sweet chili sauce, while you’re at the Asian market getting your spring roll squares and vermicelli.
In a small sauce pan brown the shallot, garlic and cayenne pepper in the olive oil. Add the rice vinegar and soy sauce next. Simmer on a medium heat while adding the Siracha, sesame oil and half the honey. Allow the mixture to simmer for 5 min stirring occasionally. Taste what you’ve got going on. Then add the rest of the honey if desired and top it off with sesame seeds and allow the sauce to simmer for another few minutes.
Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- convoluted sauce recipe by denny
Spring Rolls by Katie- 1 pack firm tofu (slice into 1/4” thick pieces and press dry with paper towel. I even baked mine at 350F for a 5 min to dry them more before frying.) 1 cucumber (peeled) 1 red bell or other sweet pepper 1/2 red onion hand full of bean sprouts (quickly sauteed in oil) 1 avocado 1 jalapeno pepper 1 cayenne pepper 1/2 head romaine cilantro thai basil 2 rice vermicelli nests 7-10 square spring roll wrappers Vegetable oil for frying tofu
Thinly slice various vegetables…..I prefer those lovely long sweet red peppers found at the farmers market right now, cucumber, red onion, bean sprouts, avocado, cilantro, Thai basil, fresh hot cayenne and jalapeno peppers from the garden, and crisp romaine lettuce. Boil your vermicelli this should only take 2-3 min, drain and set aside to cool in strainer. Deep fry in vegetable oil 1/4” strips of tofu until they’re golden brown, set aside on paper towel to soak up the excess oil.
Once everything is prepped and neatly in place….begin. The most important trick I learned is everything needs to be ready and available to make the process easy and almost Zen like. First dip the rice paper in warm water for 5 seconds. Lay the square on a flat surface, a cutting board works perfectly. Add ingredients across the middle of the sheet, making sure to leave at least an inch on either side. I preferred starting with the romaine, adding the vegetables next, followed by the herbs and peppers, and topping off with the tofu, rice noodles, and a generous spoonful of sauce.
We have Thai basil growing like crazy in the front yard so I used a ton of Thai basil……but you really can’t go wrong with any combination. Sometimes I loaded on the peppers, other times I excluded the tofu. No matter what, it always turns out delicious (or depending on how many peppers you add REALLY spicy and delicious). Once the filling is in place, fold over one end, tuck in the sides and roll like a burrito. The quicker you go the better since the rice paper is quickly becoming more sticky and harder to work with. My first three were sort of ok (picture not included), but by my fourth, I had mastered the rhythm and each one came out magical.
With plenty of the sweet chili soy mixture left over, we dipped and spooned more sauce on to each bite, crying from the oh-so-good heat of the peppers, as we savored the perfect rainy Sunday lunch for two.
Spring roll recipe and text by Katie Frayard Photos by Denny Culbert
I hope you enjoyed the first look into the Shoot. Eat. Repeat. kitchen. Much more to come.
I grilled three beautiful little eggplants until they were brown all over (about 30 min) then scrapped out the inside for a salad. It featured the eggplant insides, cucumber, red onion, capers with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.