Dressings, Sides

Orange Herb Vinaigrette

Update from the garden…

Well, we dodged another “frozen bullet”. Temps hit the mid 20’s the other evening. No damage. However, we can’t relax yet. Work continues on the garden project. Liners were added for weed protection. 11 yards of top soil was delivered. Mixing in some fertilizer, worms, compost….good start for our veggies. Blooming continues to catch the eye: peonies are on the verge of opening, Russian olive trees are sprouting, honeysuckle is thriving, ground cover is thick and lush and grasses sway. PVC pipe makes a hoop-like frame for the raised bed covers. Progress. Stay tuned!

Broiled Salmon with Teriyaki Glaze

This meal was a hit the other night.

Oven broiled salmon with teriyaki glaze

Jasmine rice with chives and cilantro

stir-fried vegetables (sweet peppers, crimini mushrooms and blanched green beans)

Marinade recipe:

1/4 C soy sauce

2 T honey

2 T rice wine vinegar

2 T fresh squeezed orange juice

1 T minced garlic

1 T minced fresh ginger

Combine ingredients and whisk until honey is well incorporated. Place salmon filets in a zip-lock bag using half of the marinade. Reserve the other half. Marinate salmon for about 20 minutes. Remove salmon from marinade and brush off any pieces of garlic or ginger. Place salmon on a foil-lined cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Thinner ends of the filet can be tucked under to create a more uniform thickness. Place salmon under a broiler on high setting about 10 inches from the heat source. Keep an eye on it. Broil until filets are just firm to touch.

Reduce remaining marinade over high heat until thickened.

Place vegetables in a preheated large skillet. Using high heat, add about 2 T of olive oil to the pan. Throw in veggies (these are what I had on hand), and spritz with salt and pepper. Resist the urge to stir a lot. Allow them to brown a bit before moving them around. Once good color has developed, add about 1 T of dark sesame oil. This gives great flavor. I also added about a tablespoon of the reduced marinade.

Cook Jasmine rice according to instructions. Add fresh herbs at the very end.

A sprinkle of black sesame seeds and a spoonful of reduced marinade make a nice finish.

ENJOY!

 Don’t forget to enjoy the process! Pour yourself a glass. I recommend this wine, purchased for $8.99 at Trader Joe’s, for the meal. It is delicious and I’m sure available at other stores.

One for the cook…

dry with subtle fruit, perfect for the meal…

Tomatillo Chow Chow

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Great on beans, hot dogs, burgers, fish, grilled pork…many uses!

(recipe can be cut in half)

3 tri-colored bells peppers, finely diced
2 small yellow onions, finely diced
2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed, washed, finely diced
1/4 C finely chopped fresh ginger

2 C apple cider vinegar
1 C sugar
1 T dry mustard
1 T ground turmeric
1 T mustard seeds
1 T celery seeds
1 t cayenne
2 t salt

Combine all ingredients in a stainless steel pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened and most of the liquid has evaporated. Cool and refrigerate for later use. This, stored in the refrigerator, has a long shelf life.

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Meet Daryn Petermann

Have you met our new General Manager?

 

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Welcome to Daryn Petermann. Daryn grew up in Comfort and is a graduate of Comfort High School and Saint Mary’s University.  She brings energy, professionalism, maturity, positivity and a “can do” attitude  to our team. She looks forward to meeting the High’s family of customers. As Daryn gets acquainted with all aspects of our business, we hope you will have the opportunity to meet and welcome her . We are thrilled she is with us.

 

We salute our “Employee of the Now”

Bianca De La Torre

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Bianca is highly competent. She displays great customer service,

energy and smarts.

We are lucky to have her. Great job Bianca!

 

Baba Ghanoush

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(serves 4-6, as an appetizer)

1 large eggplant, pricked with a fork all over
1/3 C tahini
5 roasted garlic cloves
Juice from one lemon
1 t cumin
2 T Greek yogurt
1 t salt, or more
1 T garlic oil
Chopped parsley

Place eggplant on a preheated grill pan. Grill mark the entire eggplant. Careful not to rush this process. It takes a while. Once thoroughly marked, place eggplant on a foil-lined cookie sheet.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until eggplant is soft and yielding to the touch.

Let eggplant cool. Slice eggplant lengthwise and scoop out the “meat”. Discard the skin. Place eggplant “meat” into a food processor along with remaining ingredients. Pulse machine until ingredients are well combined. JUST PULSE. Some texture is nice to have.

Adjust seasoning with lemon juice or salt. Place dip into the refrigerator for several hours allowing flavors to meld. Before service, allow baba ghanoush to come to room temperature.

For roasted olives and grapes: Use 1 C each of red seedless grapes and pitted kalamata olives. Toss with fresh chopped rosemary, red pepper flakes and olive oil. Roast at 400 degrees in a Pyrex dish or roasting pan for about 30 minutes. Rotate pan halfway through cooking. Grapes and olives should be shriveled and slightly browned.

For roasted garlic: Place cloves in a small sauce pan. Cover with olive oil. Simmer until cloves are golden. Save oil for brushing naan and drizzling over baba ghanoush.

 

Comfort Table Musicale is Monday, July 25th

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Alien minstrels landing in a Hill Country Burg spreading their messages of:

Interconnectedness

Home

Reaching out to the other side

What a wonderful world

Cowboy sweethearts

Unspoken assurances

& Simple gifts

Join professional musicians from all over our state as they play and sing their way into your very core. Live updates from Comfort’s own solar-powered radio station will keep you informed of their latest sightings. Your $50 ticket (available at High’s Cafe & Store in Comfort / 830-995-4995) is a 100% donation to the feeding arm of Comfort – The Comfort Table & Pantry. Join us for our 7th annual presentation. Following the concert at Spinelli’s Event Center (formerly Gaddis UMC), a rollicking good time for all will be had at High’s complete with wine,beer, tasty nosh and more music!

Purchase your tickets today. Limited seating. Checks (made payable to The Comfort Table) or cash accepted. We always sell out. Don’t be left out of this alien invasion. 

Tickets should be purchased in advance at High’s. (7 days, 8am – 4pm)

Goose bumps, laughs, misty eyes…all guaranteed.

Let’s gather and remind ourselves of our shared humanity.

See you JULY 25th, 7 PM.

(cue the weird music)

 

 

Mango Ginger Teriyaki Dressing

(recipe makes about 2 1/2 cups of dressing)

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3/4 C HEB Orange Teriyaki Marinade

1/4 C rice wine vinegar

1/2 t salt

1/2 t red pepper flakes

Zest from one orange

1 ripe mango, peeled and cut into chunks

1/2 a bunch of cilantro sprigs

1 inch piece of fresh ginger

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1 1/2 C olive oil (not EVOO)

Place all ingredients (except olive oil) in a blender and puree until smooth. Turn blender on lowest speed and carefully remove the shoot cover. Drizzle in olive oil while blender runs on lowest setting. Puree until smooth and well incorporated.

A weekend in the country…

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For 13 years, owners Robert and Laurie Williamson have quietly created their slice of paradise on 300 acres just outside of Valera, Texas. Rancho Loma has been on my radar for some time now. Dear friends Bruce and Jana Colgate and Tom and I finally made the effort to book a two night stay there. We also booked a seating for a wine dinner which was held at their pizzeria in nearby Coleman. Rancho Pizzeria serves very fine pizzas, salads, appetizers, desserts, wine and beer. An old repurposed warehouse makes a great backdrop for this minimally stylish restaurant. Adjacent to the pizza space is El Centro, a retro-vibed coffee shop serving cookies, muffins, scones and sandwiches. Future plans for the ambitious couple include a wine making facility, wine bar and brew pub. Back at the ranch, a short drive from Coleman, are 300 acres, an old rock house (where Laurie serves a fixed price menu Friday and Saturday evenings), six super cool rooms (think Dwell magazine) for lodging and a vineyard (now under construction). Ancha and Rio, brother and sister canines, supervise the ranch overseeing a bevy of chickens, roosters, pigeons, longhorns and more.

Let’s just say our stay there was lovely and warrants a repeat visit when temperatures will be warmer making their soaking pool more inviting.

The wine dinner featured Texas wines including Comfort’s much admired Bending Branch Winery. Chefs Laurie and Cliff served the sold out crowd a well executed palate of flavors.

This is a place to go for reflection, for culinary adventure, and for slowing down a bit. Enjoy the photos. Highly recommended.

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White Bean and Chorizo Soup

(serves 8-10 with leftovers)

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olive oil

3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary

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1 1/2 yellow onions, diced
5 carrots, diced
5-6 celery stalks, diced
8-10 garlic cloves, minced

3 T tomato paste
1/2 C white wine

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1 pound Northern beans, soaked overnight and drained

1 t red pepper flakes
4 whole cloves
5-6 bay leaves
2 pieces of parmesan rind, 2”-3” pieces
8 C chicken stock

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1 package dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 4 C hot water

1 package Spanish style chorizo, links cut into smaller pieces

3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, cut into thin strips
3-4 handfuls of kale

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“The Soul of The Soup”:
Place about a 1/4 C of olive into a preheated soup pot. Place rosemary into oil and allow some sizzle. You are perfuming the oil! Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Add a generous spritz of salt and pepper. Sauté vegetables until they soften. Add tomato paste and continue to sauté over medium heat. Some sticking to the pot is desirable. Just no burning. Once the color darkens and sticking occurs, add white wine for deglazing. Increase heat and bring mixture to a boil.

Lower heat and add beans, red pepper flakes, cloves, bay leaves, parmesan rinds and chicken stock. Through a fine mesh strainer, add mushroom soaking liquid to pot. Chop softened mushrooms and add to pot. Bring this mixture to a boil. Lower heat and cover. Cook until beans soften.
Once beans soften, add chorizo, sun-dried tomatoes and kale. Continue to cook over low heat until tomatoes soften. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve soup with an additional sprinkle of parmesan cheese and chopped fresh rosemary.