Sunday, December 28, 2014

Chocolate Raspberry Grand Mariner Mousse!

Friday, Saturday and today have been great, because they have been quiet and peaceful out here. I've needed the peace and quiet, because leading up to Christmas day it was a lot of fun, but was also pretty hectic to say the least.

Basically, I've spent the past few days resting, writing, taking long naps cuddling with our dogs, reading and listening to music, if I wasn't over at the Lodge visiting with Kinky and The Friedmans or over here making delicious, healthy juices for Chet, Tony and me to try.

Speaking of juicing, I pretty much "fell off of the wagon" this past week, because of all of the holiday treats presented to us. Seriously, Tony and I have had our fill of delicious sugary cookies, cakes and pies and my now tight-fitting 501 Levis can vouch for that, too.

I don't regret eating any of those tasty treats and desserts and I am glad that I did. But starting January 1st I plan to jump-start the new year by doing a 3 - 5 days raw fruits and vegetables only fast. And I am seriously looking forward to doing it, because it is so easy to do.

Last month when I did my very first fast ever, I did those 6 days of eating raw fruits and vegetables only and I was never hungry and I was so full of energy. The reason that I am waiting to start my super healthy fast on New Year's day is because New Year's Eve Tony and I are going to The Hunt Store's New Year's Eve dinner show, which includes entertainment by Kinky, Little Jewford, Chet O'Keefe and Sean Rima, with Big G being the host of the early dinner show.

After Kinky telling us several times how delicious the food will be at the dinner show and then reading Donna Hatch's great article, in The Kerrville Daily Times, about The Hunt Store's chef and his planned menu for New Year's Eve is the other reason that I am waiting to start my fast, because the menu already has my mouth watering.

In case you missed reading Donna's article, earlier this week, on the 24th, about Chef Blas Gonzalez, The Hunt Store Cafe's fabulous executive chef, I have cut and pasted it here for you to read. Or you can click here to read The Kerrville Daily Times.

The Hunt Store Café chef promises feast for the senses

Blas Gonzalez creates special New Year’s Eve buffet menu

By Donna Gable Hatch
Features Editor
HUNT — Chef Blas Gonzalez, executive chef at Hunt Store Café, said he’s created a menu for the restaurant’s New Year’s Eve celebration that brings to the table something for every taste and sensibility — from savory to sweet and everything in between.
     Gonzalez’s love of all things culinary — and all things Texas — sets the stage for a New Year’s Eve feast that includes wild axis fingers, wild boar longanisa stuffed pork tenderloin and more.
     The menu is part of an evening extravaganza that includes entertainment by singer-songwriters Kinky Friedman and Chet O’Keefe, Texas outlaw poet Sean Rima and Jeff Shelby — aka Little Jewford, an accomplished concert pianist and comedian who has been described as “a Liberace and Victor Borge cocktail, with a twist of the Marx Brothers.”
     The dinner concert, which is from 6 to 9:30 p.m., is hosted by radio host Gordon“Big G” Ames of radio station KERV-AM 1230. 
     A late show follows with entertainment by Josh Murley and Someone Like You.
     Tickets are $100 per person for the dinner and late shows or $35 per person for the late show only.
     “When I first me Blas, he turned me onto his fried axis tenders, and they are still my favorite,” owner John Dunn said. “We source our game locally from Broken Arrow Ranch, so it is the freshest available. We tenderize it and marinate overnight in Blas’ special buttermilk mixture, and it is always melt-in-your-mouth tender.”
     The evening begins with an hors d’oeuvres and cocktail reception.
     “The menu Chef Blas has created for New Year’s Eve offers a wonderful mix of his regional wild game classic,” Dunn said.

The buffet also includes:
• Lobster bisque
• Lolla rosa radicchio salad made with green and red butter lettuce mix, candy pecans, honey baked pears and balsamic reduction
• Chateaubriand with a béarnaise sauce served with garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables
• Wild boar longanisa stuffed pork tenderloin with mango jalapeno sauce served with wild rice and sauté fresh seasonal vegetables
•  Macadamia nut-crusted mahi mahi, served with wild rice and sautéed fresh vegetables, drizzled with pineapple sauce and dotted with fresno chili puree. 
The meal is topped off with chocolate raspberry grand mariner mousse.

Add ambition and stir
     Born and raised in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Gonzalez hadn’t planned to spend his life creating memorable meals, but it was in his blood.
     “I didn’t intend to be a chef, I just loved to cook,” Gonzalez said. “I came from a family where my mother and my grandmother loved to cook. One of the first food I remembered that I helped cook was the traditional Mexican mole sauce.”
     In 1980, Gonzalez emigrated from Mexico and found work at Olive’s Pizza Restaurant in Plano.
     Five years later, he relocated to Austin, where he worked at the Austin Courtyard Restaurant under the tutelage of chef-owner Guert Rush. There, he worked at nearly every station in the kitchen, from a steward to cooking on the line and pantry station. 
     “In the year 1989, I went to work at Hudson’s on the Bend, also in Austin, where I worked alongside chef-owner Jeff Blank. This is where I learned the art of cowboy cuisine.”
For 15 years, Gonzalez honed his skills and rose the kitchen ranks from pantry cook to executive sous chef. 
     “I started working first in the pantry making salads, dressings, plating up desserts, cold plate presentations and smoking of the entire specialty item that we had on the menu from lobster, shrimp, scallops, duck, quail, venison and buffalo,” Gonzalez said. “Then I moved to the sauté station, where I learned the art of sautéing, flambéing and cooking food in high heat with little oil and pan frying perfecting such food dishes as escargots with a lemon beurre blanc, pan seared ahi tuna with lime cilantro oil, wild boar schnitzel with apple presidente glaze and Southwest flavored seafood pasta.”
     In 2004, Gonzalez accepted the position of chef de cuisine at another Texas landmark, Ocotillo Restaurant at the Lajitas Resort and Spa. 
     In 2007, he was named executive chef. During his tenure, both Gonzalez and Ocotillo were recognized with the Four Diamond Award for three consecutive years.
     Four years later, prominent Houston businessman Tom Fatjo Jr. recruited Gonzalez to launch a new restaurant at his luxury development, Stablewood Springs Resort in Hunt. The resort’s Antler Grill restaurant closed in 2013, but Gonzalez quickly found a new home where  he could work his culinary magic — The Hunt Store Café, 1634 Texas 39.
     “I’ve known Chef Blas since he launched Antler Grill in 2011 and have been one of his biggest fans ever since,” Dunn said. “Bringing him to The Hunt Store was a no-brainer and allows us to continue to improve and grow our food service.  
     Dunn said bringing Gonzalez on board has allowed the café to  expand its menu, “as well as our event catering business. We have already done several large private events and look forward to growing this part of the business even more in 2015.”
     In addition, the café also packages and sells Gonzalez’s most popular sauces, including his Pecan Praline Sauce, Mango Serrano Sauce, among others.
     “These sauces will be available in the store and online at the beginning of the year,” Dunn said.
     For more information about the New Year’s Eve event and to make reservations, visit or call 830238-4410.

Chef Blas Gonzales shares his recipe for Southern hot-n-crunchy shrimp:

Southern hot-n-crunchy shrimp

3 jumbo Gulf shrimp (per serving)
6 ounces of The Hunt Store Mango Serrano Sauce
2 ounces ofTexas aioli
3 slices of green tomatoes (per serving)
1/2 ounces jicama, 1/2 ounce tomatillo, 1/2 ounce shredded carrot, 1/2 ounce cilantro
1 ounce of The Hunt Store Honey Ginger Lime Vinaigrette
4 cups of hot-n-crunchy mix
4 cups of regular flour
Egg wash
Ancho aiola, a provençal sauce made of garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, usually egg yolks and seasonings.
Bread the tomatoes, shrimp and place in the fryer (oil temp at 360 degrees).
Make salad with jicama, cilantro, carrot, tomatillo tossed with The Hunt Store Honey Ginger Lime Vinaigrette. Serve the shrimp on top of The Hunt Store Mango Serrano Sauce and garnish with ancho aioli. Serve the tomatoes on top of Texas aioli sauce and garnish with ancho aioli.


And that is about it for tonight, because there is only one slice of leftover pecan pie, on the kitchen counter, with my name on it and if I don't eat it right now—Tony will, when he comes into the kitchen for a snack. And that's also why my fast starts next year.  :  )

Y'all have a great evening!


Fay said...

Sounds like a great way to ring in the New Year, Nance! Enjoy and can't wait to read your blog after the event. Wish I could be there too!

Wishing you and Tony, Kinky and all the friends and volunteers at Utopia Rescue Ranch the most Happy New Years ever and may 2015 be your best year yet!
Fay xoxo

cousin nancy said...

Hi Fay! It will be a blast and we wish that you and Ian could be here, too. All of us at the rescue ranch wish you and Ian, your sweet girls and Blake/Ranger the best New Year ever!