In Stubb’s v. Stubb’s, the grocery company comes out on top
In a world where restaurants and chef culture seem to rule the food industry, how did a spice company beat a storied restaurant and live music venue? That was the case last week when Stubb’s, which runs one of the most popular stages in downtown Austin, lost the rights to use the name to a company that makes grocery store products.
How’d that happen? Well, Stubb’s barbecue sauce is sold in nearly every grocery store in the country, and so are McCormick spices, marinades and sauces. When McCormick and Co. bought Stubb’s for $100 million two years ago, the Maryland-based food expanded its presence in a lucrative section of the supermarket. It also stepped into a trademark battle with the restaurant Stubb’s that ended last week with the spice-and-sauce company coming out on top.
After the restaurant company Stubb’s opened up new locations outside its venerable downtown space, the McCormick-owned One World sued, saying the expansion was a violation of an oral agreement between the two parties. Gary Dinges reported on Thursday that the consumer packaged good (or CPG) company and the restaurant company had come to an agreement: the iconic stage and restaurant would drop the Stubb’s name.
We don’t yet know what the owners of the restaurants are going to call their new business, but One World, which employs two of C.B. Stubblefield’s grandsons, will keep the headquarters in Austin. One World also announced it was considering opening its own line of Stubb’s restaurants. A grocery giant getting into the restaurant business? That’s a twist to this ever-intertwining food industry that I hadn’t seen coming.
Iced coffee gets an extra boost from espresso, hazelnut syrup
It’s almost always iced coffee season in Austin, but in summer, the line grows long at Jo’s Coffee on South Congress and Second Street for a beverage they call the Iced Turbo.
The milky coffee drink has a powerful boost of caffeine that’s laced with hazelnut and chocolate and sweetened with condensed milk. Kevin Pang at the AV Club had it a few years ago, and after the flavor memory wouldn’t leave his brain, he decided to try to recreate it at home based on a blog post from a customer way back in 2010.
After seven attempts, he was happy with the result, a mixture of both espresso and cold-brewed coffee with a dash of hazelnut syrup, chocolate milk and condensed milk. He created this copycat recipe, which includes instructions for combining the mixture in a cocktail shaker for peak froth.
Iced Coffee a la Jo’s Iced Turbo
5 ounces espresso
2 ounces cold-brewed coffee
1 teaspoon hazelnut syrup
2 ounces whole milk
2 ounces whole-fat chocolate milk
1 heaping tablespoon condensed milk
Mix espresso, coffee, hazelnut syrup and whole and chocolate milk in a large glass measuring cup and set aside. In a small cup, add a splash of hot water to the condensed milk. Stir until the milk has thinned and then add to the other ingredients.
Whisk for 30 seconds, or, you can add to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
Pour into a glass filled with ice and stir. The drink is best after it has had a chance to dilute for a few minutes.
— Adapted from a recipe by Kevin Pang, AV Club
Coconut water is the secret to this crispy gluten-free fried chicken
If you’re celebrating National Fried Chicken Day all month long, here’s one more recipe to throw into the mix. It’s a gluten-free fried chicken from “Leon Fast & Free” by Jane Baxter, Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent. The coconut water adds a delicacy to the dish that your guests will go nuts for, and the spices add a subtle heat that will keep them coming back for seconds.
Coconut Water Fried Chicken
1 3/4 cups coconut water
1 clove of garlic, crushed
3 shallots, chopped
1 (3/4-inch) cube of ginger, grated finely
2 red chiles, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
8 to 10 chicken thighs, (about 2 3/4 pound)
Canola oil (or vegetable oil), for frying
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup cornstarch sprigs of cilantro, to serve
1/2 a lime, to serve
Coarsely blend the coconut water with the garlic, shallots, ginger, chiles, and spices. Place the chicken in a shallow container and add the coconut spice mixture. Massage the mixture onto the chicken with your hands to coat well. Cover and let marinate overnight. Place the chicken and its marinade in a large pan.
Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the chicken cool down in the marinade. At this point the chicken can sit in the fridge, still in the marinade, until needed. Heat about 2 inches of oil in a pan until it’s approximately 350 degrees. Sift together the 2 flours and tip them onto a platter or plate. Remove the chicken from the marinade and toss it in the flour.
Gently lower into the hot oil with a slotted spoon and fry for about 10 to 15 minutes over medium heat, until golden brown. It is best to do 3 or 4 thighs at a time. Overcrowding the pan will cause the temperature of the oil Any leftover marinade makes a great base for a spicy chicken noodle soup.
— From “Leon Fast & Free” by Jane Baxter, Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent (Conran, $29.99)