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Food Matters: New farmers market opens in Lakeway; tapas offering at Alamo

Staff Writer
Austin 360

At the Drafthouse, cine con tapas

Tapas and a movie, anyone?

In honor of the release of Pedro Almodóvar's "The Skin I Live In," Alamo Drafthouse executive chef John Bullington has created a tapas menu that will be served during the screenings of the film at the Alamo South Lamar through Nov. 25.

Almodóvar's movies are quirky, complex, sexually charged and provocative, and in every scene, he captures the offbeat, vibrant side of Spain. Bullington and Drafthouse beverage director Bill Norris have teamed up to create a tapas and wine menu, which includes roasted oyster mushrooms with Spanish chorizo, calamari with romesco sauce and a Castilian garlic soup, recipe below, to capture that spirit.

Also, there are still tickets available ($75, including food and beverage pairings) for tonight's Iron Chef-style contest that I'll be helping judge between Bullington and 24 Diner (and current "Top Chef: Texas" contestant) Andrew Curren. The challenge? Pair foods with the classic Thanksgiving comedy, "Planes, Trains and Automobiles."

Castilian Garlic Soup with Roast Shrimp

For seafood stock, making your own is the best. It's easy to ask the fish market in the morning to save you bones that you can pick later for a nominal price. The stock freezes well, too. Make sure, though, that when cooking seafood stock to only cook it for a half an hour after it comes to a simmer or else it will have an ammonia aroma. The bread should be a day old and torn into small pieces. You may lightly pulse it in a food processor to reduce its size. You can also substitute quail eggs for the whole eggs on each individual serving of soup

12 large shrimp

1 Tbsp. sweet paprika

1/4 cup Spanish extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 quart fish or shellfish stock

2 /2 cups crusty bread, torn into small pieces

Pinch saffron

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 Tbsp. Italian parsley, finely chopped

Sherry, for garnish

Peel the shrimp, slice in half and dust with paprika. Set aside.

In a sauce pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring once in a while, until the garlic begins to lightly brown and darken. Do not let it blacken. As soon as it browns, add the stock, bread and saffron. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with kosher salt.

In a lightly oiled sauté pan or under a broiler, cook the shrimp until bright pink. While the shrimp is cooking, ladle the egg into the pot of hot soup while gently stirring so it forms ribbons as it cooks. Ladle into 12 small cups or bowls. Set one shrimp atop each bowl of soup. Drizzle a few drops of sherry over the shrimp and soup. Sprinkle with parsley. Serves 12 small, tapas-sized portions.

— John Bullington, Alamo Drafthouse executive chef

Lakeway market has Steiner Ranch roots

Central Texas farmers aren't letting the drought get the best of them, and neither are the people who manage the many farmers' markets in the area. And now, customers have another market to choose from. For the past month, Richie Romero has been running the Lakeway Commons Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays at the corner of RM 620 and Lakeway Boulevard in the Lakeway Commons Shopping Center. "I moved out here from California, so I'm used to every town having a nice farmers' market," says Romero, a video-game artist who was also looking for a project that didn't involve a computer. Romero had run a farmers' market in nearby Steiner Ranch for more than a year but decided to move it to a more visible location. The Lakeway Commons market has between 25 and 30 vendors right now, he says, including a number of farmers and food companies, including Kala's Cuisine and Dad's Premium Granola.

No animals were harmed in making of these chilis

It's finally chili weather around these parts, and on Sunday, some of the state's top chili makers will convene for the 23rd annual Lone Star Vegetarian Chili Cook-Off, benefitting the Texas Humane Legislation Network. From 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock, contestants will show off their best pots of chili to both judges and the audience, which gets to pick a fan favorite. Christy Morgan, former Austinite who wrote the recently released "Blissful Bites: Vegan Meals That Nourish Mind, Body, and Planet," will be demonstrating some of the recipes from her book. If you want to sample the chili, tickets cost $8 for anyone 13 or older or $4 for kids ages 6 to 12.

Blissful Two-Bean Harvest Chili

1 cup filtered water

2 cups kabocha squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes with skin on

Pinch sea salt

1 cup celery, diced

1 cup bell pepper, large dice

1 cup fresh corn, off the cob

1 clove garlic, chopped (optional)

2 Tbsp. cumin

1 Tbsp. oregano

2 Tbsp. chili powder

Dash cinnamon

Dash black pepper

1 cup tomatoes, diced

1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce

1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans, drained and rinsed

2 cans (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed

Sea salt, to taste

Cilantro, for garnish

Heat 1 cup water in a medium skillet over medium flame. Cook kabocha with a pinch of sea salt, covered, until almost tender. Add the rest of the veggies, spices, tomatoes, and sauce. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for five minutes. Stir in beans. Season to taste and simmer another five minutes. Serve hot, garnished with cilantro. Serves 6 to 8.

— Christy Morgan, "Blissful Bites: Vegan Meals That Nourish Mind, Body, and Planet" (BenBella Books, $19.95)

Openings, closings & coming soon

• Chef shuffle: Plinio Sandalio, the James Beard-nominated pastry chef who moved to Austin last year, is leaving his position at Congress to take on the job at the Carillon, located in the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center. He'll start at the Carillon on Monday. While Congress looks for another pastry chef, chef de cuisine Rebecca Meeker will oversee the pastry program.

Change: After 24 years of co-owning Eastside Cafe, 2113 Manor Road, Elaine Martin and Dorsey Barger have officially split ways. For the past few years, Barger has been running HausBar Farm in East Austin, and all of the eggs and produce were going to the restaurant, but now that Barger has sold her share of Eastside to Martin, she's selling the goods to Farmhouse Delivery and to other restaurants and has plans to turn the house on the HausBar property into a B&B. Martin will continue to operate Eastside Cafe as well as the on-site garden. Eventually, she's hoping to open a breakfast-and-lunch diner in Austin modeled after Brown Sugar Kitchen, one of her favorite restaurants in Oakland, Calif. She and partners Dee and Gary Kelleher of Dripping Springs Vodka haven't settled on a name, but all of the options so far contain the word "pie," which will be a fixture on the menu.

Open: Another Broken Egg Café, 3016 Guadalupe St. 777-4482, anotherbroken

Renamed: Under new management, Mirabelle is now Bistrot Mirabelle.

Food Briefs

After four years as a program within YouthLaunch, the youth agriculture program Urban Roots has broken off into its own independent nonprofit organization. To celebrate the move, the group has teamed up with Whole Foods Market and Greenling for a Fall Harvest Festival fundraiser at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Whole Foods' rooftop terrace above the downtown store, 525 N. Lamar Blvd. Urban Roots' new website is, but tickets ($30) can be purchased at

Buddy Valastro, star of the TLC show, "Cake Boss," is starring in a one-man live show on Thursday at the Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave. He'll be talking about the show, doing a cake demonstration and taking questions from the audience. Tickets and info at austin

• From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday at Central Market, 4001 N. Lamar Blvd., explore cultures around the world at Austin's Cultures Give Back, an event with food, dance performances and live music from all over the world benefiting the American Red Cross of Central Texas. At each of the culture booths, there will be a craft or activity that kids and adults can participate in for a small donation. Email austins for more info.

The Pearl Brewery in San Antonio, which has become the hotbed of food culture in the city, is hosting a tamales competition on Dec. 3, but the deadline for home cooks to enter is Thursday. Three first-place winners (pork, chicken and wild card) will get $1,000 each and the title of best tamal in the land, a mighty honor considering the tamal fever we all seem to get this time of year. It's free to enter and registration is at

Cafe Josie is hosting its last Flites and Bites event until March on Nov. 16. The seasonal-beer-and-small-bites dinner costs $30, and you can call 322-9226 or visit for information or reservations.

In celebration of 11/11/11, the newly opened Eleven Plates & Wine is hosting a slew of events on Friday, including $11 lunch specials and a $111 four-course wine dinner. Eleven percent of sales will go to the nonprofit Partnerships for Children. Details at

The newly launched Bread & Circus Supper Club is hosting a Charlie Brown Holiday Feast dinner on Nov. 16, complete with a live jazz band playing Peanuts tunes. Tickets ($40 or $60, with wine) and info at

For the month of November, Santa Rita Tex-Mex Cantina at 5900 W. Slaughter Lane. is collecting toys for SafePlace of Austin. A special event with live music, a silent auction and food and drink specials will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. santarita

In a sense, every recipe is a winner

For more than two years, longtime New York Times contributor Amanda Hesser and fellow food writer Merrill Stubbs have been crowdsourcing recipes (and recipe testing) with hundreds of home cooks across the country for their online project, Each week, users would submit recipes and the community would test and vote on their favorites. The winning recipes, including more than half a dozen from Austin cooks, have been compiled into a book, "The Food 52 Cookbook" (William Morrow, $35), which came out last month. Hesser will be in town on Monday for a sold-out book launch potluck at Boggy Creek Farm, but the book is an interesting hybrid of digital innovation and old-school publishing that's worth checking out. (Many of the recipes are available online, too.)