Chuck’s first stop is Underbelly to meet with chef and owner Chris Shepherd, who professes to use all parts of the animal in his cooking; it is called snout to tail. So he jumps in the truck with Chris to visit Felix Flores at the Black Hill Ranch. First, they had to help move some sows to fresh fertile ground, to keep them healthy, by giving them a new place to graze. Felix breeds pigs specifically for Chris and his restaurant. Today they will be making ham ribs. He made the brine that the ribs will swim in for a week, making sure to ice it down before adding the ham so it does not start to cook. Taking ribs that were on hand, he deep-fried them and added his sorghum mustard glaze, Chuck was ready to wrestle Chris for the last of the ribs.
At Osteria Mazzantini, chef and owner John Sheely, has a dish that Chuck will love. It is a red snapper with Savoy cabbage, acorn squash and squash sauce. His mother’s family came from Italy and gave John his inspiration to cook. They owned restaurants, and some even moved to Napa to open wineries. The snapper was cooked skin down first to keep it on the fish. Then turned over and cooked through, the dish was served with the squash and cabbage, the sauce made with the squash and a pea shoot salad. Yum!
At Indika, Chuck met with chef and owner Anita Jaisinghani. She collects recipes from all over India and then gives them a Gulf Coast interpretation. She made a recipe for Chuck that is served for brunch; it is Indian street food, mainly for breakfast, a crepe with veggies and fried egg. Chuck said it was the best breakfast he had in a long time.
At Hugo’s, he found chef and owner Hugo Ortega, who gives Houstonites a taste of Mexico. He made chapulines, otherwise known as grasshoppers. To a pan with a bit of oil, he added chopped onions and the grasshoppers, with fresh cilantro and chopped garlic. He then made blue tortillas and guacamole. On the tortilla, he added guacamole, grasshoppers, tomotillo salsa and ate this Mexican treat. Chuck had a great time eating this street on this episode of “Chuck’s Eat the Street.”