Smoked in Texas

Smoked in Texas: TJ’s Smoked Salmon

When you think of smoked salmon, it might be thin slices of rosy meat that come to mind. That’s the smoked salmon common on deli menus or vacuum-packed on a grocery store shelf which is generally a cured and cold-smoked product. Jon Alexis at TJ’s Seafood Market in Dallas does it a little differently, and it’s fantastic. Instead of cold-smoking, which is generally done at temperatures around a hundred degrees, Alexis hot-smokes skin-on salmon filets…

Smoked in Texas: Smoked Sturgeon Headcheese

In the video above, chef John Tesar of Spoon in Dallas raises the smoked-filled glass dome to reveal one of his signature dishes. It’s a headcheese made of apple wood smoked sturgeon. The presentation is dramatic, but the that’s only the beginning. The smokiness of the fish is deep. It seeps into the gelatin which allows the flavor to coat your mouth as it melts on the tongue. The dollop of caviar is an uneccessary…

Smoked in Texas: Southern Star Rauchbier

Schlenkerla in Bamberg, Germany makes what is probably the most famous smoked beer, or rauchbier, in the world. Recently they started selling it in the US, so I was able to get a bottle at my local Spec’s. On the same shelf was another rauchbier, but it came from just down the road in Conroe, Texas. Southern Star Brewery has been operating in Conroe, just north of Houston, since 2007. Their first foray into smoked…

Smoked in Texas: Fort Worth Cheesesteak

Hans Peter Muller is a second generation baker. His father came over from Switzerland and started the Swiss Pastry Shop in 1973. While Hans is a great baker and I’ve enjoyed every pie and cake he can dish out, he also has a passion for barbecue. He runs probably the only shop that sells homemade Swiss pastries and has a giant offset smoker sitting out back. Its name is Q-Zilla. Hans fires us Q-Zilla for…

Smoked in Texas: Nolan Ryan Brisket Sausage

The sausage section at our local Kroger is well-stocked with dozens of sausages. Several weeks back my wife brought home a gift of the latest option: Nolan Ryan Beef Brisket Sausage. It was introduced to Kroger shelves back in July, and as Nolan Ryan Beef CEO Charlie Bradbury noted “We believe this is the first brisket sausage developed by a company and sold in mass retail.” In fact, I only know of two barbecue joints…

Smoked in Texas: Jester King Beer

Southwest of Austin is a farmhouse brewery called Jester King. They make unconventional beers with unique names and sometimes sinister looking labels. It’s considered a farmhouse brewery because they allow their beer to take in wild yeasts floating in the air during the brewing process. Their facility also looks a bit like a farmhouse. The building itself was an old machine shop in Victoria that the owners moved here to Ceres Park where they makes…

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