I have a little problem. I'm addicted to cookbooks, food writing, recipe collecting, and cooking. I have a lot of recipes waiting for me to try them, and ideas from articles, tv, and restaurants often lead to new dishes. I started losing track of what I've done. So now I'm taking photos and writing about what I've prepared—unless it's terrible in which case I forget it ever happened.
We took a nice drive west of Austin yesterday to attend a vineyard luncheon as part of the Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival. The luncheon was held at Stone House Vineyard in Spicewood, Texas. The bluebonnets were putting on a show as they do at this time of year, and there was even some rain throughout the day to keep the flowers happy. The luncheon featured Stone House wines, and each course was prepared by a different local chef. At the Stone House property, Norton grapes are grown and are used in their Claros wine. It’s a dry, medium-bodied red with a little earthiness that I liked. It was served with our second course which included a fantastic truffle polenta, but the dish that was our favorite of the meal was the shrimp from the first course. The hot and crunchy shrimp was prepared by the chef from Hudson’s on the Bend. The crispy, plump shrimp were plated with a tomatillo and jicama salad and were topped with a zingy mango and jalapeño aioli. It was served with a Viognier that had a little sweetness and paired well with the jalapeño heat.
There’s more to the story of the hot and crunchy shrimp. The recent popularity of food trailers continues in Austin, and on South Congress Avenue, you’ll find The Mighty Cone which was created by chefs from Hudson’s on the Bend. Their famous hot and crunchy coating from the restaurant menu has been adapted and used on chicken and avocado in addition to shrimp. The crunchy items of choice are used in wraps with mango slaw which are served in snow-cone cups, and the recipe appeared in the January issue of Food and Wine. The cone version is a lot of fun and delivers the same mix of bold flavors, but the nicely plated hot and crunchy shrimp eaten with a fork and knife and served with chilled wine were delicious in their own refined way and far less messy to eat.