Texas Real Estate Commission Consumer Protection Notice
Home » Blog » General » Mouthwatering Melting Pot Cuisine (Part 2)

Mouthwatering Melting Pot Cuisine (Part 2)

This article was written by Kristel Matousek and was featured in our May issue of Home By Design magazine. Recipe and photographs by Kristel Matousek from www.photoricalfood.com. To visit the original Home By Design article, click here.



Serves 4

  • 3 strips bacon, chopped (2 tablespoons bacon grease, retained)
  • 1 pound fresh green beans
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, small diced
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper as needed

Preheat a skillet over moderate heat. Cook the bacon until crisp, remove from the pan and set aside. Once cooled, chop the bacon into smaller pieces. Retain 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease in the skillet and return to moderate heat.

Trim your green beans and add them to the skillet along with the red bell pepper.

Season with cayenne, salt, and pepper, tossing them in bacon grease to coat. Cover with a lid to steam and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir and repeat for another 2 minutes. Garnish with the bacon bits and remove from heat. Serve immediately.

Omit bacon and use olive oil or butter to sauté.


Serves 4

  • 4 (4-ounce) Tilapia or other white fish fillets
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 (6-ounce) can lump crab meat, drained with liquid reserved
  • 4 ounces shrimp meat, fresh or canned
  • ½ (2 ounces) small yellow onion lyonnaise cut
  • ½ (2 ounces) red bell pepper, julienned
  • ¼ cup (2 fluid ounces) reserved crab liquid
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) fresh Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • Pinch oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Crystal hot sauce

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Fold 4 (14×12-inch) pieces of parchment paper in half and cut the edges into a half heart shape. Open the cut parchment and place a fillet of fish on one half of each, then season with salt.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over moderately high heat. Add the crab and shrimp, tossing in the butter to coat. Brown slightly, then add the onions and bell peppers, cooking to soften. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Deglaze the pan with the reserved crab liquid, then add the white wine and garlic. Cook and reduce to almost dry. Decrease to moderate heat and add the cream, Parmesan, oregano, and hot sauce, stirring to combine. Cook to reach sauce consistency and coat the back of a spoon. Divide the sauce 4 ways, pouring it over the seasoned fish on the parchment, then top with the sauteed seafood-and-pepper mixture.

Fold the parchment over the fish to enclose. Working from one end to the other, fold the paper’s edge to seal. For a tighter seal, brush the edge with egg whites before folding.

Gently transfer the parchment pouches to a sheet pan and place into the preheated oven to bake. Bake for 10 minutes.

For grandiose effect, cut open the parchment pouches in front of your guests, allowing the steam to escape. Serve immediately.


Serves 4

Makes 24

Café au Lait

  • 2 tablespoons chicory coffee mix (1 part ground chicory + 2 parts ground French roast coffee)
  • 2 cups (16 fluid ounces) brewed chicory coffee
  • 2 cups (16 fluid ounces) steamed whole milk


  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • ½ cup + 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon yeast
  • 4 fluid ounces butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature, beaten
  • 4 cups (550g) flour, additional for dusting surfaces
  • Oil as needed, for frying

To make the chicory coffee blend, combine 1 part ground chicory to 2 parts ground French roast coffee.

Brew 2 cups of coffee using 2 tablespoons of the chicory coffee blend. Divide the brewed coffee 4 ways. Stir ½ cup steamed milk into each ½ cup of coffee and top with steamed milk foam.

For the beignets, heat the evaporated milk to 110 degrees F. Stir in 1 teaspoon sugar and the yeast. Let the yeast dissolve and ferment for 10 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, combine the yeast mixture, melted butter, ½ cup sugar, and egg. Slowly add the flour, mixing until fully combined.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and let rest to double in size, approximately 1 to 2 hours.

In a fryer or saucepan, preheat the oil to 375 degrees F.

On a well-floured surface, roll the dough ball to form a rectangle, ¼-inch thick (for crispier beignets, roll the dough to ⅛-inch instead). Cut into 1×2-inch pieces and use a bench scraper to transfer them to the frying oil. Once browned on one side, turn them over and brown the other side. Remove from oil and transfer to a wire cooling rack to drain off excess oil.

Serve warm, and generously dust with powdered sugar.