Aunt Bea's Potato Salad
A killer recipe for mayo-free potato salad from the owner of Taqueria Nueve.

By Billy Schumaker

I normally make this dish by just throwing stuff together until it's tastes the way I like it— the same way most of our families probably used to make potato and pasta salad. Aunt Bea's secret was poaching the potatoes in oil instead of water. This gives the potatoes better texture, keeps them moist and omits the need for mayonnaise.

Ingredients

• 3 hardboiled eggs

• 1½ lbs. yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into
quarters or halves depending on size

• 3 cups extra virgin olive oil

• 3 stalks of celery, finely diced

• ½ red onion, finely diced

• 2 baby dill pickles, finely diced

• ¼ cup Dijon mustard

• ¼ cup oil, reserved from poaching the potatoes

• 2 tablespoons pickling liquid from baby dills

• 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

• ½ bunch parsley, finely chopped

• ½ bunch dill, finely chopped

• Salt and pepper

1. Put the three eggs into a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Cook on high until boiling. Immediately cover and remove from heat. Let the eggs cook for 9 minutes, drain and chill in a bath of ice water. When completely cooled, peel and chop the eggs

2. Combine the potatoes and olive oil in a small sauce pan. Cook over a low heat until tender. You want to slow-poach the potatoes so that they do not fry. When the potatoes are tender, drain the potatoes, season with salt and cool on a sheet pan. Reserve a quarter-cup oil for the recipe.

3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the celery, red onions, baby dill pickles, mustard, oil, pickling liquid, apple cider vinegar, parsley and dill.

4. Dice the chilled potatoes into smaller pieces and add to the mixing bowl with the mustard and oil mixture. Add the hardboiled eggs. Fold the mixture together and season with salt and pepper to taste.

East Texas Baked Beans
Pork-centric baked beans from the chef of the forthcoming Bullard and our 2015 Restaurant of the Year, Imperial.

By Doug Adams

In East Texas barbecue, where pork is king, the sides are just as important as the meat. It's a very different mindset from the 'cue in Central Texas and Lockhart, where it's all about the beef.

Beans may be the most iconic side to in the region. My favorite thing about a dish like this is using lots of things left over or whatever you have around, and hopefully bits from the smoked meat you're serving with it. The beans should lightly echo the notes in your sauce—vinegar, sweetness, spice and smoke.

Ingredients

• 1 smoked ham hock

• Stock

• 1 quart dried beans soaked overnight. Navy,
great northern and pinto work well. You can
even mix them (just match the sizes).

• 2 Walla Walla or sweet yellow onions

• 1½ bulbs of garlic cleaned and peeled,
then chopped

• 1 poblano pepper

• 1 jalapeño pepper

• 16 oz. light lager beer

• 1 bottle of Mexican Coke (no corn syrup)

• 1½ cups molasses

• ½ bag dried guajillo peppers

• 1 tablespoon toasted and ground cumin

• ½  tablespoon toasted ground coriander

• Powdered cayenne to taste

• Crystal hot sauce to taste

• 1½ cups apple cider vinegar

• Bacon fat
1. Put the ham hocks into the stock and bring to simmer. This not only adds flavor to the stock, but also tenderizes the hocks so you can get the meat off.

2. While the stock and ham hocks are simmering, cut the onions in half and peel them. Place the onions over low heat on a charcoal grill and cover. The idea is to smoke the onions and slowly roast the peppers. The peppers should take about 30 minutes, the onions longer until caramelized and tender.

3. Seed and peel the peppers when they are cool enough to handle, then cut into small chunks.

4. Start a large pot on medium with bacon fat, and add the garlic and onions. Cook for 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper.

5. Add the chopped peppers and stir for 2 minutes, then season.

6. Add the beer and vinegar, then slowly simmer until half the liquid is gone.

7. While vinegar is reducing, pull ham hocks from the stock; they should be starting to fall apart. They are more easily handled when hot, and the idea is to get all the meat and skin from them. Chop into bite-sized pieces, without any bits of bone. Do not discard the skin—it will add a really nice gelatinous quality to our beans when chopped up. The meat from the ham hock should be picked into bite-size pieces, being careful not to include any bones. Add the meat, skin and large bone into the pot.

8. Once the vinegar is reduced, add the strained beans and Mexican Coke. Cover with at least an inch of stock. Cook the beans low and slow. Keep an eye on the amount of liquid and add stock or water if needed. The beans will cook evenly only if they have enough liquid to cook in.

9. In a small pot, cover the dried peppers with water. Simmer until they are tender (about 10 minutes), remove from pot and keep any left-over liquid. Remove the stems from the peppers and place them in a food processor or blender with the molasses and a pinch of salt. Pulse until smooth and then add this paste to the beans.

10. Once the beans are tender, add the spices and hot sauce. The finished product should not be watery, but also not dry. The beans will be even better if you can let them sit overnight, which improves the texture. They store well and will be good for several meals.