Hawaiian Poke Co, Spring | Great Poke in Houston

Poke (pronounced po-kay, let’s get that out of the way first!) is currently a huge craze here in Houston, and actually nationwide. There are poke restaurants springing up all over the place as this tasty way of serving seafood takes off. Talking of ‘springing up’ there is a new poke restaurant in Spring, just north of Houston and south of The Woodlands. Spring is part of the Houston-Sugar Land-Woodlands metropolitan area. Hawaiian Poke Co, Spring, is one of the newcomers to this seafood lovers’ arena.

This poke restaurant opened just a few weeks back, occupying Howie’s Tiki bar until 9pm when Howie’s opens. Hawaiian Poke Co serves traditional poke, Hawaiian fusion food and other tasty treats during the daytime and early evening, and then you can stay on for the cocktails and cool Tiki atmosphere.

I’m quite a newbie to poke, although I’ve loved sashimi for years. I like my sashimi very, very cold and very, very thinly cut – typically Japanese. But poke is not prepared like that. Instead you can expect larger chunks of fish and different flavors than sushi dishes typically offer. Poke isn’t the same as sushi or sashimi and you need to try it for yourself to enjoy what this delicacy really has to offer.

Head to an authentic restaurant offering classic poke and they will take pride in using fresh (not thawed) Hawaiian-caught tuna to make their poke. Hawaiian Poke Co uses only the finest fish, since that is the main ingredient in poke, and it’s a shame not to use the best if you want to get the best tasting poke. Continue reading

Lunch at the Manor House at the Houstonian | A Review

Before I move on to my experience at the Manor House at the Houstonian, allow me to share just a little bit of background. My husband and I moved to Houston last year, in July to be precise, and we wasted no time diving into Houston’s amazingly diverse culinary world.

We ate at so many different places, trying to get a feel for what was popular locally and, well, simply enjoy these gastronomic experiences. We tried chain restaurants, Mom ‘n Pop places, Japanese, Korean, Southern, French… well actually, a little bit of everything.

And you know what I realized first? Two things. First… Texans like their food. Whether it’s barbecue, fast food, takeout, whatever – the portions need to be hot and they need to be satisfying. Second… there is a lot of competition in Houston. A lot of options. Open a mediocre restaurant and you’re not going to be in business for long, because we locals know what’s what. Since last summer I’ve had the pleasure of dining at many local eateries. And yes, you’d better offer great food if you want to do well. Continue reading

Chicken Tortilla Soup with Rotel Tomatoes

Chicken tortilla soup is one of my favorite soups. I love everything about it – the juicy chicken, the tomato-ey broth, the crisp tortillas on top, the cheese, just… everything! I like to keep my soup recipes simple, so you will see the following is as streamlined as I could make it. Grab the ingredients you need and make this. I promise, whether you want a light lunch or simple supper, you’re going to love it. There are lots of different chicken tortilla soup with Rotel tomatoes recipes to try but I happen to like this one just because it is so easy.

What You Need to Make It

Along with the cooked chicken and Rotel tomatoes you will need refried beans, chicken broth, corn and either some fried tortilla strips or broken tortilla chips, whichever you have.

If I am jazzing this up, I might add a scoop of sour cream and some avocado on top, and I like to add a good amount of shredded Mexican blend cheese as well. Those additions to the basic recipe make all the difference, but they are purely optional. So just add what you want to have.

This chicken tortilla soup with Rotel tomatoes makes a great meal and it’s surprisingly filling too. There are crockpot chicken tortilla soup recipes too, but honestly if you’re using leftover shredded chicken you might as well simply mix the ingredients together in a pan and cook the soup in a matter of minutes. Continue reading

Monterey Style Sweet Corn Recipe

Corn is always good especially when you cook the fresh kind and slice it off the cob in sweet, juicy slices. I love this Monterey style sweet corn recipe as a side dish because it seems to complement just about everything from chicken or seafood to steak or game meats.

Why You Should Make This Monterey Style Sweet Corn Recipe

This dish is easy to prepare, attractively bright colored and is sure to appeal to even the youngest members of the family – those who are normally picky about vegetable-based sides!

I find about a tablespoon of jalapeno enough to give the the Monterey style sweet corn a bit of a bite, but of course some people prefer to add more while others want to omit all traces of spice from their food, so you be the judge here and adapt it to suit your own palate.

If you need to rustle this up in a hurry, you could use well-drained canned corn but honestly that doesn’t really do this south of the border inspired dish justice, so get some fresh ears of corn and make it from scratch. That way you will have a real explosion of flavor in your mouth with every mouthful.
Continue reading

Easy Pasta Salad with Parmesan Cheese

Pasta salad is always a winning dish. It is cheap to make, you can use leftover cooked pasta or cook some in about 10 minutes, and there are all kinds of flavors you can add to this easy pasta salad with parmesan cheese.

In this recipe we are keeping with the Italian theme (although you might like to look at our Indian pasta salad for a wonderful fusion idea!) by incorporating parmesan cheese and sun-dried tomatoes.

Dressing Tweaks

Although the tangy red wine vinegar dressing is good, sometimes I prefer to just use mayo for a super-simple dressing which boasts a lovely creaminess everyone is going to love. You can add other flavors to the mayo too, like mustard, spices or dried or fresh herbs, as you like.

Use white pasta for the best result – perhaps penne, shells or another favorite. For pasta salad, avoid the long kinds like spaghetti or linguine, and go for something that’s easy to pick up on the fork or scoop up in a spoon.

This recipe can be made quickly and easy, and it is an excellent pairing for everything from grilled chicken to burgers, steaks or even fish. Why not make a big batch for your next barbecue event or party? Continue reading

Pastel de Choclo Recipe from Chile

I first tried this amazing corn pie in Chile and immediately fell in love with it. The ingredients might sound a little strange but it’s really good, I promise! Some people use beef while others use chicken. The corn topping on this pastel de choclo recipe is crisp, sticky and sweet and the eggs, black olives and other ingredients lend authenticity.

Side Dish Options

What is a good side dish for our pastel de choclo? Well, I like it with a simple tomato, garlic and onions salad on the side, or you might want to steam some broccoli or another favorite vegetable instead. This keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days and is easy to reheat in the microwave.

What Kind of Corn to Use

Although some people prefer to use fresh corn when making a pastel de choclo recipe, I usually just use the canned kind which is fine in this corn pie as long as you drain it properly. Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar. It helps with the caramelization but my husband is diabetic so I usually use half sugar and half sweetener. Continue reading

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