Dallas Cowboys go Organic at Tom Spicer’s

Went to Tom Spicer’s on Saturday. Went looking for salad greens but he was out. So instead of sending me packing he said, come on out back. He took his kitchen knife with him and bundled up a plastic refrigerator crisper and went to the garden. Started going down the rows and steadily cut a little here and little there. By the time he was finished the bin was completely full and he had put in 5 or 6 types of mustard greens, 3 different lettuces, baby radish greens complete with radishes smaller than a pearl onion, radish flowers, fennel flowers, fennel greens, basil, small amount of mint, micro greens and arugula. (I have probably forgotten something he put I there and who knows if some common weeds made it into the mix. If it did, they were spectacular).

Tom Spicer's Dallas Mart

When the bin was full he took it over to the water spicket and thoroughly washed it but warned us we would want to do a final wash before using. After the rinse he placed it into a fine mesh bag (similar to a ladies laundry bag for lingerie) and used a badminton racket to strain the last of the greens out of the crisper. After twirling the bag around a couple of tomes in order to get most of the water out, he went over to the side of the garden where a GE washing machine (had to be 30 years old) and put the greens inside and set the machine to the SPIN cycle. After about a minute took the bag out, all the moisture was gone and we had fluffy beautiful greens. Doesn’t get much more organic or fresh than that!

Tom SpicerWent inside and he had just received some heirloom tomatoes. They really reminded me of the backside of a baboon they were so ugly but the taste was so sweet and juicy I got over it pretty quickly.  I bought 5 tomatoes, 4 Zephyr squash (gorgeous golden color in the shape of a zucchini), a couple of red onions, 2 watermelon radishes (when you cut into them they have a green rim and red heart that look just like a watermelon), two pints of just picked cherry tomatoes (both red and gold) and a ½ lb. of Sea Beans. If you have never seen or had sea beans you need to Google them. They are grown in marshy areas or seaside and are a great slightly salty, crunchy, stringy bean type creation that is wonderful.

When I got home used the mandolin to thinly slice the squash, onions and radishes, cut up the tomatoes to bite size, threw in the sea beans at about an inch long, tossed with balsamic vinegar and EVOO, added Maldon salt and freshly ground pepper and had one of the best fresh veggie salads ever.

Took a pork loin- butterflied it and stuffed it with fresh cherries that I had marinated with a little OJ and orange marmalade, and rubbed on salt, pepper, garlic powder. Trussed it up and put it on indirect heat with three pretty good chunks of Pecan for about two hours around 300 degrees. It finished off beautifully with a nice bark, pink ring and was juicy as it could be. The cherries kept their shape so when cut the pork was really a sight with the bark, pink ring, whitish meat, dark cherries and a speckle of orange rind. Great presentation piece.

The Pinot wasn’t bad either!

David Pinson

Rick’s Chili: A Swiss Avenue cookoff winner

Rick's Swiss Avenue Chili

When people in Texas get bored, they generally have a chili cookoff.  Last year the award-winning chili on Swiss Aveue (Dallas) was “Rick’s Chili” by Michelle Baus.  (Editor’s Note:  There is no relationship between the “Rick” of the aforementioned “Rick’s Chili” and he himself “Rick” of GourMay.  Nevertheless, GourMay Rick has tasted “Rick’s Chili” and has been pushing me to submit the recipe to Gourmay readers).  Minor revisions have been made to the original recipe and I strongly recommend using  Benton’s bacon if you want to earn a Blue Ribbon for your Chili.

Enjoy!

Rick’s Chile of Swiss Avenue

Ingredients (serves a bunch of folks)

2 29 oz. cans tomato sauce
2 28 oz. cans peeled and diced Rotel tomatoes
2 cups diced onion
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
1 lb bacon, diced   (Benton’s Bacon makes the difference)
2 lbs. Owens sausage, hot
3 lbs. lean ground beef
12 oz. bottle hickory smoked BBQ sauce (original recipe called for 36 oz. which we believe makes it too sweet)
½ cup chili powder
4 15.25 oz. cans undrained kidney beans
2 1 oz. squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped

Preparation

  • In a large pot or Dutch oven over med. Heat, combine tomato sauce, tomatoes, onions, and Italian seasoning.
  • In a large skillet, over medium heat, cook bacon, until slightly crisp.  Drain and stir into the pot.
  • In the same skillet, over medium heat, cook sausage until brown. Drain and stir into the pot.
  • In the same skillet, over medium heat, cook the beef until brown. Drain and stir into the pot.
  • Stir the BBQ sauce and chili powder into the pot, taste and adjust the seasonings.
  • Stir in the kidney beans and chocolate and simmer until flavors are well blended.

Grated cheddar or Monterrey Jack and a few chips add a nice finishing touch. 

David “Double-Bogey” Pinson