A few weeks ago I made my way down to Austin, TX for the second time in as many years. My last trip was to celebrate the marriage of two of my favorite folks and bake them a wedding cake, on a ranch no less! This go-round was a more urban adventure because I was lucky enough to tag along with my boyfriend when he went down to work at SXSW.
He and his crew had lots of work to do recording bands during the day, so I busied myself listening to music, eating tacos and bbq and drinking Micheladas wherever I went. I also dutifully stood by the gear while the guys went to get the van and occasionally fed the parking meter, you know, to earn my keep.
Instead of a hotel, we all stayed together in a little cabin compound with cool modern furniture, outdoor showers for the adventurous and a white fluffy rug whose fibers I am still finding stuck to my clothes, like sand from a beach vacation. Tough life, I know.
After a long week of work, those guys earned themselves a boozy, bacon filled breakfast and since we were staying in a house with a full kitchen and I love cooking a morning meal for a crowd, I was happy to oblige. It's always a little disorienting cooking in someone else's space so I decided to keep it simple: soft scrambled eggs, a heap of crispy bacon, my favorite fluffy buttermilk biscuits, some Texas citrus, and lots of coffee and Micheladas. Have you ever had a Michelada? They are spicy beer cocktails that I've had a pretty serious love affair with since the last time we visited Texas.
I spent the rest of our trip falling so in love with a man named Sam, some Moonpies, the White Horse and beer koozies that I'll forgive Austin for what it's humidity did to my curly hair. Can't wait to see you again, Austin.
Bonus dog photo! You can call him Dude, or maybe His Dudeness, or Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing. Special thanks to Shawn, Pete and Ellie for taking some of these photos while I was cooking for the crew.
adapted from Alton Brown
yield 1 dozen
2c flour (White Lily brand if you can find it)
4t baking powder
1/4t baking soda
2T butter, chilled
2T non-hydrogenated shortening (or butter), chilled
1c buttermilk, chilled
Preheat oven to 450º
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. With your fingers, or a pastry cutter, mix the butter and shortening into the flour mixture until it looks crumbly.
3. Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the buttermilk, mix until just combined. The dough should be sticky.
4. Dump the dough out onto a well floured surface and gently fold the dough over itself five or six times. Pat the dough out 1'' thick and cut with a 2-3'', floured biscuit cutter.
5. Place biscuits, barely touching, on a sheet pan and bake for 15-20 min or until golden brown on top and cooked through.
Michelada (Beer Cocktail)
This isn't really a recipe, but this is how I like to make them.
Take a chilled pint glass and rim it with salt (lime salt would be great here if you have it), if you have something larger than a pint, even better. Fill the glass half full of ice cubes and add a few tablespoons of tomato juice, the juice of a lime, a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce, as many shakes of hot sauce as you can stand (I like Cholula or Tapatio), a few grinds of fresh black pepper and a pinch of salt. Top with a 12oz Mexican beer (I like Modelo Especial) and half of one of the limes you squeezed for their juice, give it a gentle stir and enjoy. You won't be able to fit the whole beer in a pint glass, so if you use one just add the rest of the beer in as you drink the cocktail. I've also heard a few shakes of Maggi Seasoning are a delicious addition, but haven't been able to find it.