After Foo Swasdee closed her nearly 30-year-old pioneering restaurant, Satay, last summer, she knew she wasn’t leaving the food business altogether.
The culinary concept taking over the former physical location of Satay is called Sumptuary, where chefs can try out new concepts or host pop-up dinners in the rented space. That space won’t open until later this year, but over the holidays, Swasdee and Fischer & Wieser Specialty Foods announced that they had partnered to create Dr. Foo’s Kitchen, a new line of Thai cooking sauces that is now for sale.
The Fredericksburg-based Fischer & Wieser produces more than 150 sauces, jams and jellies under its own brand, and the five new Dr. Foo sauces — Thai Sweet Garlic and Ginger, Tamarind Pad Thai Stir-Fry, Thai Peanut Coconut, Bali BBQ and Thai Red Curry — aim to help home cooks re-create the flavors they might have only had in a restaurant like Satay. (You’ll remember that Swasdee earned her food science doctorate from Texas A&M nearly 40 years ago, which is where the “Dr.” part comes from.)
You can use them for dipping and stir-frying or as a sauce for vegetables, meat or seafood. They cost $7.99 each and are available at Central Market (and Tom Thumb and Albertson’s stores elsewhere in the state), online and in the Fredericksburg store.
Also of note about Fischer & Wieser: Last year, they opened a new cooking school at their popular Das Peach Haus tasting showroom and store in Fredericksburg. The classes last about two hours each and cover a wide variety of subjects. You can find the schedule and sign up for one at jelly.com.
Dr. Foo’s Pad Thai
4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra if needed
1 cup sliced pork
1 cup medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tsp. chopped garlic
1/2 lb. medium-size dried rice noodles (soaked 60 minutes in cold water and drained)
1 cup Dr. Foo’s Kitchen Tamarind Pad Thai Stir-Fry Sauce
1 to 2 Tbsp. Thai fish sauce (optional)
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped peanuts
3/4 cup sliced green onion
3 cups bean sprouts, rinsed, plus more for garnish
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 large lime
Heat the oil in a wok. Add the pork and shrimp and keep stirring until the shrimp changes color. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Remove the mixture to prevent overcooking. Add the noodles to the wok. They will stick together, so stir fast and try to separate them. Add a little water, stirring a few times. Then add the Pad Thai sauce and fish sauce (if using), and keep stirring until everything is thoroughly mixed. The noodles should appear soft and moist. Return the cooked shrimp mixture to the wok.
Push the contents of the wok up around the sides to make room to fry the eggs. If the pan is very dry, add 1 more tablespoon of oil. Add the eggs and spread the noodles over the eggs to cover. When the eggs are cooked, stir the noodles until everything is well mixed, resulting in cooked bits of egg, both whites and yolk, throughout the noodle mixture. Add crushed red pepper, peanuts, green onions and bean sprouts. Mix well. Remove to a platter. Garnish with cilantro, squeeze lime juice over the top and serve. Serves 4
— Foo Swasdee
Austin Registered Dietitians Alliance to host one-day symposium
If you’re always bummed to have to miss out on the food programming at South by Southwest Eco or SXSW Interactive, here is your chance to nerd out about global and local food issues for a fraction of the price.
The Austin Registered Dietitians Alliance is hosting its annual wellness symposium from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 11, with speakers including state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez and Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance Executive Director Judith McGeary. This year’s theme is “World Food and Hunger: Think Globally, Act Locally,” and the speakers will cover urban farms, soil and water, food access, the food system, school gardens, public health during disasters, the global network behind the Red Cross and a workshop about what dietitians need to know about GMOs and ethics. (That’s a lot of food knowledge to be gained in one day, if you ask me.)
Pre-registration ended Feb. 5, but day-of registration, while seats are available, will be $90, including lunch. Find out more at atxrd.org/2017-wellness-symposium.
Low-waste grocery store Ingredients raising money to keep doors open
After making national news when it opened in 2012, Austin’s (near) zero-waste grocery store, Ingredients, is having a tough time.
Like Black Star Co-op, Ingredients’ sales have slumped as Austin’s food economy slows down. The market, at 2610 Manor Road, sells local produce and dozens of pastas, beans, grains, vinegar, oil and honey in bulk, as well as some packaged dairy products and meats. They also sell beer and baked goods and have a cool place to hang out in front of the store. Last year was Ingredients’ strongest year in sales to date, but as property taxes have doubled and even more specialty corner markets have opened, the store is struggling to stay open, owners say.
In an effort to raise $30,000 to invest in the weatherizing the pergola outside, improving the playground and other things like adding espresso service, Ingredients is hosting an IndieGoGo campaign that started last week. You can learn more about it and find upcoming events at in.gredients.com/indiegogo.
Cured salmon, black garlic puree among Good Food Award winners
Austin food products always do pretty well at the Good Food Awards, an annual competition in San Francisco that started in 2011 and draws thousands of entries from across the country.
This year, nearly 200 products earned some kind of recognition, including a handful from Texas. The entries are judged in September by a panel with 250 food and beverage professionals who assess the products in 14 categories for not only taste but also social responsibility and sustainability.
The Texas products that won this year:
- Hops & Grain Brewing won for two of its beers: the One They Call Zoe and A Pale Mosaic.
- Lox, Box & Barrel, the deli and smoked salmon retailer on U.S. 290 west of Austin, was honored for its hot-smoked honey salmon.
- In San Saba County, you’ll find the Yates Pecan Company, which won a Good Food Award for its extra-virgin pecan oil.
- The San Antonio-based company Texas Black Gold Garlic earned honors for its black garlic puree, a pungent ingredient you can buy at farmers markets in San Antonio or online.
- From Dallas (but with ties to Austin), the Jelly Queens took home a prize for their lemon lavender curd.