Boiled Peanut Hummus

Now that I live in Texas, boiled peanuts are a little harder to come by. I often complain about not being able to find raw green peanuts for boiling here in Austin. Last week, my sweet brother-in-law mailed me a big bag of them, direct from Georgia.┬áHe also suggested that I should try Hugh Acheson’s recipe for Boiled Peanut Hummus from his cookbook, A New Turn in the South.

After 6+ hours of boiling, I shelled a cup and mixed them with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and a little bit of cumin and cayenne. The hardest part of this process is not eating all the peanuts as you shell them. The result is a savory, salty hummus that has a satisfying hint of peanut butter. It tastes amazing on a celery stick.

The hummus was a tasty new experiment, but it’s hard to beat the classic.




Bachelor Night: Steak au Poivre

Perfect at Perla’s

How have I not posted this yet? A couple of months ago, I had a near perfect meal, featuring the holy trinity of sausage, egg, and oysters. When you think Austin, you don’t think seafood, but between Perla’s and Uchi we seem to have our bases covered.

Anthony Bourdain apparently visited Perla’s when he came to town a while back. I can’t say that Perla’s is on my go-to list for people visiting Austin, but maybe it should be.

What could be more All-American than a chili dog and a baseball game on Father’s Day? I don’t know, but I can tell you without a doubt that the trio of Dad, dogs, and dugouts is tough to beat.

I had been wanting to visit Ben’s Chili Bowl ever since Anthony Bourdain went there. Luckily, it wasn’t hard to convince my dad–not to mention the rest of a partial family reunion–to come along for the ride.

The “half smokes” are the main event here: a half pork, half beef smoked sausage. Here they are calling my name out as we walked in the door.

I’ve never met a chili dog I didn’t like, and these were no exception. On the other hand, they didn’t seem drastically different from any other dog, despite what Bourdain had to say. After downing our dogs, we headed across town to the Nationals game. Here we are on our way in.

Ok, maybe there’s one way we could have amped up the America factor: if this guy had showed up:

Every time I’m tempted to get upset about the de-Austinization of Austin (i.e., Second Street), I think about House Pizzeria, which is one of the most quintessentially Austin places around. Unassuming, unpretentious, and a little rough around the edges, it’s also some of the best pizza in town.

One of my favorite salads anywhere.

I keep wondering: How does no one know about this place? Why does no one talk about it? Well, okay maybe one guy talks about it. A co-worker of mine told me: “Get the one with the stilton.” I didn’t know what stilton was, but I went for it and I’m glad I did.