Monday, August 1, 2011


Do you ever feel the need to just escape?

I think of this notion in terms of epicurean adventures. Often I find my self dreaming of wandering the spice markets in India or passing through the streets of Paris devouring crepe, after baguette, after croque-monsieur.

But what happens when your boss is not interested in funding your trip around the world? Or your dog let's you know that she is not going to walk, feed, and brush herself during your hiatus?

Let's be honest, the upside to living in this star spangled country is that we have a wide variety of international fare to choose from. In Austin specifically, we are so blessed to have the world's cuisine at our finger tips (most of which can be found in air stream trailers).

Fortunately, It's easy to find yourself in a far away land by simply incorporating a few new ingredients into your pantry. I have a couple of favorite cuisines at the moment from which I can't escape. The flavors and smells are so powerful that it's hard to imagine eating a hamburger ever again.

  • Favorite Indian Eats in ATX: G'Raj Mahal, Tandoori Bistro, and Tarka
  • Customary Ingredients: rice, vegetables, many (many) spices (including: garam masala, cumin, turmeric, chili pepper, coriander, garlic, ginger, saffron, etc.)
  • How to incorporate it into your cooking: McCormick makes an amazing "Chicken Tikka Masala" spice packet. If you're going the vegetarian route, replace the chicken with your favorite vegetables.
  • Favorite Mexican/Tex-Mex Eats in ATX: Torchy's Tacos, Papi Tino's, Chuy's, Zandunga Bistro
  • Customary Ingredients: rice, cilantro, tomatoes, garlic, lime, onion, cumin, beans
  • How to incorporate it into your cooking: McCormick also makes a taco seasoning that adds amazing flavor to meat, rice, and beans. To make colorful Spanish Rice, finely chop onion, tomatoes, garlic, and cilantro and mix into rice along with taco seasoning. Add in corn or black beans for a more complete dish and always squeeze fresh lime juice over the rice.

I will honestly say that I miss Italian food dearly. The Italian fare in Austin is limited, so if I'm craving pasta or gnocchi I typically make it at home. Ross and I dabbled in Ethiopian fare briefly, and it was quite enjoyable. Next on my list is lebanese food!

Isn't it amazing how far your taste buds can venture from meat and potatoes?

Happy eating!

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