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Aww, Shucks – It’s National Oyster Day!

Posted on: August 5th, 2013 by fcasio No Comments
Posted in Recipes

Celebrate National Oyster Day with one of our most popular appetizers, the Oyster BLT.

Ingredients:

Brennan's Oyster BLT

Brennan’s Oyster BLT

As needed – grapeseed oil
12 ea Gulf Coast oysters
1/2 lb corn masa breading (see recipe)
12 ea French bread slices 1/4″ (toasted)
2 tbl Creole seasoning
1/2 c three mustard glaze (see recipe)
5 wt. oz. bacon mousse (see recipe)
5 ea cherry tomatoes, sliced and light smoked
1 ea shallot shaved thin
12 ea baby arugula leaves
1 tbl sugar cane vinegar

Corn Masa Breading

1 wt. oz. masa harina (Maseca)
1.5 wt. oz. corn meal
2 wt oz. all purpose flour
1 wt. oz. corn starch
2.5 wt. oz. corn flour

In a mixing bowl, mix all ingredients and set aside

Three Mustard Glaze

1 c corn syrup
1/2 c Creole mustard
2 tbl prepared horseradish
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Dry mustard

Add all ingredients to a heavy bottom pot at medium heat. Reduce the mixture by 1/3 or until it reaches a syrup consistency. Let the glaze cool before using then transfer to a squeeze bottle.

Bacon Mousse

1 c yellow onion (julienne and caramelized)
1 ea roma tomatoes (halved, smoked and skins removed)
2 tbl bacon fat
1/2 c rendered bacon pieces
1/2 lb Philadelphia cream cheese
to taste – salt & pepper

In a food processor puree caramelized onions, bacon pieces, bacon fat and smoked tomatoes until fully ground. Then add Philadelphia cream cheese and puree until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste, then chill to stiffen the mousse.

Method:

  1. Heat the grapeseed oil in a heavy saucepan or deep fryer to 375 degrees. The oil should be about 3 inches deep. Dredge oysters in the corn masa mixture. When the oil is to 350 degrees, fry until they reach a golden brown, about 3 minutes. Season well with Creole seasoning.
  2. Spread the bacon mousse (about 1/2 of a tablespoon) on the crustinis, place one oyster on top. On the plate, squeeze the three mustard glaze in a zig zag motion and then place the oyster crustinis on the plate.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the baby arugula, shaved shallots, cherry tomatoes, sugar cane vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Garnish each crustini with one leaf of baby arugula shallot and cherry tomato; also squeeze a few drops of the three mustard glaze on each of the oysters.

 

Recipe: Grillades and Grits

Posted on: July 31st, 2013 by fcasio No Comments
Posted in Recipes
Brennan's on Fox 26 Making Grillades and Grits

Brennan’s on Fox 26 Making Grillades and Grits

 

If you missed chef this morning Fox cooking up grillades & grits from our Houston Restaurant Weeks menu, you can make it yourself at home with our recipe below. Enjoy!

If you want to see chef in action, you can see him here:
Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston
 

 

 

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 lbs veal or pork cutlets, pounded thin
3 medium red bell peppers, julienne
2 tbs garlic, crushed
1/2 lb crimini mushrooms
2 large tomatoes, peel, seeded and chopped
1 bunch green onions, thin sliced
1 leek cut, 1/2 moons
1 qt veal stock
2 tbs fresh thyme, chopped (reserve 1 tbs for grits)
1 tbs fresh oregano, chopped
8 cups cooked grits
1 cup Lone Star Chevre (your favorite)
1/2 cup canola oil
Creole Seasoning – to taste
Salt & Pepper – to taste

Method

To prepare the grillades, place seasoned flour in a bowl. Sprinkle the cutlets with a salt and pepper and dust them with the flour shaking off any excess. Heat up 3 tbs of canola oil in a dutch oven on medium high heat. Saute a 1/4 of the cutlets in the pan until golden brown. Turn the meat and cook the second side. Remove the grillades and any particles left on the bottom that may burn. Cook the remaining meat in the same manner adding more oil if needed. After all the meat is sauteed, in the same pot, add garlic, peppers, onions, leeks and mushrooms, stir and cook until wilted. Add chopped tomatoes and heat through, dust the vegetables with 1/4 cup of the remaining seasoned flour. Stir in the flour and caramelize the vegetables.

Gradually stir in the stock making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add grillades back to the pan, bring back to a boil and then to a slow simmer. Add fresh herbs and cook until meat is tender and the sauce will coat the back of the spoon. Taste and season.

For the grits, fold in goat cheese and 1 tbs of fresh thyme. Serve the grillades over the grits.

A Peach and Blue Wedding with Cinematic Flair

Posted on: July 18th, 2013 by fcasio No Comments
Posted in News, Wedding

Republished from WeddingChicks.com

 7.18.2013
wedding gown by Sottero & Midgley

Larissa and Rob both work in the field of media and are passionate about their jobs, which is how they met. Because of this they incorporated unique details into their special day that we know you’re going to love! Read on to hear more from Larissa about their wedding day, especially their full budget breakdown. For more details from this peach and blue wedding with cinematic flair check out the full gallery here, all beautifully captured by Duy Khang Photography.

brown lace bride dress

white wedding bouquet

From the Bride:
We wanted our wedding to be low key, but elegant. I’m a big believer that weddings need to reflect the people throwing the party-because after all that’s all it is-a party to celebrate your marriage. Brennan’s was the perfect location for us because we could have a laid back ceremony in the courtyard, followed by an AWESOME meal (good food and lots of delicious drinks were a MUST for us).

We also wanted details that represented something important to us-our job. We met at work and are passionate about the media field. That’s why we added interesting surprises…everything from a youtube video save the date (which you can totally check out below), the applause signs and the countdown numbers during the ceremony, to the newspaper lined petals on our bouquets.

 

wedding invite by Minted
wedding ceremony sign

signature cocktails for wedding ceremony

If I could do anything differently I would have done a first look. I know this is a controversial topic, but I really, really, really wanted to see my husband for the first time at the ceremony and that’s why we made the choice not to have a first look. But the truth is, seeing him earlier in the day would have eased a lot of my “nerves” (I was very nervous to be the center of attention).

It was nerve racking walking down the aisle and I think I would have been a little more “in the moment” if I had already had seen him. Obviously, it would also have also allowed us more time for pictures of he and I. We had an AMAZING photographer, but we had limited time in between the ceremony and reception for pics of us.

ceremony countdown
Showtime sign
patio wedding ceremony

applause sign at wedding ceremony

From Jennifer Laura Design:
Larissa and Rob were dream clients. Giving me free reign to make decisions allowed me to go above and beyond our original concept and even whittle in a few surprises for Larissa. I took the news theme and ran with it – borrowing Larissa’s mother’s vintage typewriter, using typewriter key escort cards and corresponding table numbers, I wrapped books in old newsprint, and even used old newspapers to stack centerpieces on. It was a theme that didn’t hit you in the face, but was subtle, a little whimsical, and kept reminding guests of exactly where they were…at Larissa at Rob’s wedding!

Take A Seat sign
guest book ideas

chalkboard reception menu
vintage table decor ideas

Advice From the Bride:
Sometimes newlyweds offer some wedding advice, so here goes:
1. Don’t play by rules. I didn’t stress out because my husband’s sister was in the grooms party, that my flower girls were full grown adults, I didn’t have a bouquet toss…etc. I figured no one else would care if I didn’t stress over the rules I wanted to break.

2. Enlist the help of a really good planner/coordinator. I know this seems like a no-brainer, but find someone who shares your style. My planner worried about all the details. I trusted her taste – and so I trusted her to make decisions on my behalf. It saved me a ton of stress.

cake table ideas

wedding cakes by DaCapo\'s Pastry Cafe

desert table ideas

paper mâché YUM cake table decoration
midnight snack and exit flags

View Entire Gallery

Photographer: Duy Khang Photography
Coordinator & Event Designer: Jennifer Laura Design
Venue & Caterer: Brennan’s
Hair & Makeup: Beautique
Flowers: Pam Bates of Fleura Bella
DJ: Victor of The Wedding Show
Dress Designer: Sottero & Midgley
Jewelry: BCBG
Stationery: Minted
Prop or Furniture Rentals: Swift & Company
Band: Polk Entertainment
Bridesmaid Dresses: Adrianna Papell from Nordstrom
Bridesmaid Jewelry: Modeets
Flower Girl’s Green Dresses: BHLDN
Tissue Paper Pom Poms: Simply Nesting
Officiant: Neel Singhal | Cake: DaCapo’s Pastry Cafe

Read on to see how much this peach and blue wedding cost. Please note that costs change as the years go by, and prices are subject to change. This is just one couple’s breakdown to give you a rough estimate on how much a wedding like this may cost you.

 

We went a little over our 25K budget. We only had 100 people which helped limit the costs but still have top shelf alcohol etc.

Ceremony & Reception Venue: $14,000 (this covered food & drinks)
DJ: $1,200 (ceremony & reception)
Photography: approx $2,500
Decor approx $2,000
Flowers approx: $2,000
Dress: $1,500

Recap of Snoball Fight for Charity

Posted on: July 10th, 2013 by fcasio No Comments
Posted in Uncategorized

SnowInJune-12 SnowInJune-11 Carl and Jose SnowInJune-14 SnowInJune-19 SnowInJune-18 SnowInJune-17 SnowInJune-25 SnowInJune-27 SnowInJune-28 SnowInJune-29 SnowInJune-30 SnowInJune-31 SnowInJune-32 SnowInJune-34 SnowInJune-36 SnowInJune-35 SnowInJune-37 SnowInJune-38 SnowInJune-39 SnowInJune-40 SnowInJune-41 SnowInJune-42 SnowInJune-44 SnowInJune-43 SnowInJune-45 SnowInJune-46 SnowInJune-47 SnowInJune-48 SnowInJune-49 SnowInJune-50 SnowInJune-51 SnowInJune-52 SnowInJune-53 SnowInJune-54 SnowInJune-55 SnowInJune-56 SnowInJune-57 SnowInJune-58 SnowInJune-59 SnowInJune-67 SnowInJune-68 SnowInJune-70

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crawfish Reigns Supreme on Brennan’s 7-7-7 Happy Hour Menu

Posted on: June 4th, 2013 by fcasio No Comments
Posted in Cocktail, News, Wine

Republished from Houston Press

Crawfish Reigns Supreme on Brennan’s 7-7-7 Happy Hour Menu

By Mai Pham Tue., Jun. 4 2013 at 6:00 AM

 

Brennanscrawfish.jpg
Photos by Mai Pham
During happy hour, this $7 crawfish enchilada is fantastic

Brennan’s of Houston may not come up in conversation as a go-to place for happy hour, but it should. During happy hour, which takes place in their Courtyard Bar, Brennan’s offers a 7-7-7 menu that includes seven cocktails, seven wines, and seven appetizers, all for just $7.

And the great thing about it? Unlike other restaurants where happy hour only happens during odd hours and only on weekdays, Brennan’s 7-7-7 is offered daily from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. — plenty of time for you to relax, unwind, and get happy.

 

Brennansbar.jpg
The bar area is well appointed with attractive chairs

Three of my friends and I stopped in on a random Friday evening around 5 p.m., and were greeted enthusiastically when we arrived. Right inside the door, Brennan’s famous house-made butterscotch pralines were piled up on a plate to welcome us as well.

The bar area was lightly occupied at that time, so we got our pick of where to sit, choosing a four-top table by the window, where we started off with cocktails, including a Tom Collins, made of Segram’s gin, club soda, and fresh lemon and lime; a Deep Eddy Daly made of Deep Eddy Sweet Tea and lemonade; and a Smoky Mary, the Brennan’s version of bloody Mary made with smoked Poblano pepper infused Svedka vodka.

For food, we literally tried everything on the menu. I’m told the menu changes seasonally, but right now, all the happy hour offerings are crawfish themed, which means we had Crawfish Remoulade, BBQ Crawfish, Crawfish and Andouille Empanadas, Crawfish Boudin, Crawfish and Corn Fritters, Crawfish Enchilada, and Crawfish and Tasso Waffles.

brennanswaffle.jpg
Yep, that’s a waffle underneath all that crawfish

When they came out, the tapas-sized portions were all delicious, though some stood out more than others. My favorite out of all of them was the Crawfish enchilada, which I ordered a second order of because I didn’t feel like one shared bite was enough.

The Crawfish and Corn Fritters were fun and lighthearted, crispy fried balls pierced with skewers and served a dark piri piri sauce. My friends quite enjoyed the rich Crawfish and Tasso Waffles, which were full of flavor due to the sweet sugarcane smoked tasso. The Crawfish Boudin was also a hit, and went surprisingly well with the kimchi and crackers that it came with.

Brennansboudin.jpg
If you love boudin, you’ll love this crawfish and andoille version

We ordered a second round of drinks while feasting on the huge, well-priced spread, but saved room for dessert, which is one of those things you just have to save room for if you go to Brennan’s.

The chef decided to show us what their dessert was all about and brought out a sampling of some of their desserts: strawberry shortcake, pecan pie, two types of bread pudding, chocolate mousse cake, and key lime pie. My girlfriend’s eyes grew as big as saucers and she had to hold her hands underneath her legs while I took pictures. “Can I eat yet?” she asked impatiently before starting to do some heavy damage to the spread before us.

Brennansdessert.jpg
The dessert spread. Worth. Every. Calorie!

That was before a smiling server wheeled a cart over to our table and started preparing bananas foster table-side. The smell and the sizzle of the dessert was almost my undoing as we watched him perform an elaborate, fire-enhanced culinary mini-show . Talk about decadent. And mouthwatering. And absolutely positively unbelievably amazing!

 

Texas Wine of the Month: May 2013

Posted on: May 31st, 2013 by fcasio No Comments
Posted in News, Wine

Republished from Texas Monthly.

Wed May 29, 2013 2:15 pm

Inwood Estates takes a Chardonnay grape and blends it with the less well known Spanish Palomino grape commonly used in Sherry to create a white wine that balances crisp acidity with bold fruit and complexity.

The Wine:
Inwood Estates Palomino-Chardonnay Blend 2010

The Grape:
This is a blend of about sixty percent Palomino and forty percent Chardonnay. Palomino, native to Spain, is widely used to produce sherry in the southern part of the country. This is a contrast to Chardonnay, which is planted all over the world and responsible for the great whites of Montrachet, Chablis, and some of the best sparkling wines made in Champagne.

Who Likes It:
Jason Sherman, an Advanced Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, is the Wine Director for Brennan’s of Houston . Prior to Brennan’s, Sherman was a sommelier at Morton’s Steakhouse, but was lured from the more corporate feel of a national steakhouse to a restaurant with more than forty years of history as a Louisiana-inspired, family-owned operation. “I feel very blessed to work for a company with such a great legacy of sommeliers and chefs in this city,” Sherman said.

Why He Likes It:
“While most great wines from Texas source fruit from the Panhandle area, the majority of the fruit used for this wine is sourced from Hunt County, right outside the Dallas area. It’s proof that great wines can come from all over our large state. It’s also a big, rich, full-bodied white wine, and we all know Texans love ‘em as full-bodied as possible.”

Suggested Pairings:
“With its rich flavors of hazelnut, spice and crisp golden apples, this wine would pair well with fish, like our pecan-crusted redfish. Another great pairing would be to go down to your local farmer’s market and get some honey and cow’s milk cheese.”

On Down the Road:
“I am constantly impressed at how well-made some of the wines [in Texas] are, from Duchman Family Winery Vermentino to Becker Vineyards Viognier , and how much better they get every year. I think Texas wine has a long road ahead, but it’s on the right track. The use of purchased grapes from California has caused some confusion with the public on what’s really Texas wine and what is not, but lower price points and esoteric varietals leave room for trying new things.”

Note from the Winemaker:
Dan Gatlin has been making wine in Texas since the early eighties. As one of the pioneers of Texas wine, Gatlin’s devoted research to making premium-quality wine has garnered him a reputation for being a top Texas winemaker. The Palomino-Chardonnay is a special blend he’s been making for some time because of his belief in making good Chardonnay in Texas—a grape that hasn’t always been successful across the board. Gatlin has recently added a single-variety Chardonnay to his portfolio with all of the grapes for this wine being sourced from within Dallas County that yields a crisp, minerality that many might find mimics a more French white Burgundy in style.

“The world of white wines tends to break down into three categories. First, there are high perfume whites such as Riesling, Muscats, Gewurtztraminer and Viognier. Second, there are high pyrazine or ‘grassy’ wines like Sauvignon Blanc. Third, there are more neutral whites like Chardonnay,” Gatlin said. “Reviewing the stats for wine sales across America, there is almost total domination by Chardonnay and the next runner up is far, far behind. My 35 years of experience in the wine industry tells me that people will drink perfumed or grassy whites for a while, but they always return to more neutral whites in the end.”

“The choices for neutral white grapes are shockingly few,” Gatlin continued. “After Chardonnay, Palomino turns out to be one of the very few, truly neutral grapes in the universe of choices. I have found that the Palomino is a perfect blend for Chardonnay with denser body and honeyed, tropical nuances, with an overall neutral finish. The Palomino-Chardonnay fills a very unique, but widely sought-after market demand.”

“The problem is the extremely low yield of the Palomino in Texas. At about one-sixth of the yield it takes to be economically feasible, it is hard to justify any increased plantings. We work very hard for less than two barrels of wine each summer.”

Availability: Due to low production quantities mentioned above, this wine has limited availability but can be ordered online through the winery.

Price: $80

It’s National Mint Julep Day. Celebrate with your own.

Posted on: May 30th, 2013 by fcasio No Comments
Posted in Cocktail, recipe

Brennan’s Mint Julep Recipe

Brennan's Mint Julep

Brennan’s Mint Julep

Ingredients:

2 Springs of fresh mint

0.5 oz Simple Syrup*

2 oz Bourbon (your favorite)

Method:

In the bottom of a julep cup or old fashion glass muddle one mint sprig with simple syrup. Fill cup with crushed ice, add bourbon & swirl with bar spoon till the glass is frosty. Top with more ice. Garnish with sprig of mint. Dust with powdered sugar.

*Stir together equal parts of granulated sugar and boiling water. Stir until sugar is dissolved and liquid is clear. Chill before using. May be stored for several weeks if refrigerated.

Honey, raise that Julep cup in a toast to a good old Gulf Coast breeze & enjoy!

 

A Derby Party Recap

Posted on: May 14th, 2013 by fcasio No Comments
Posted in Uncategorized

Featured on NRN: Chicken-fried ‘Lot 42′ Cauliflower Steak

Posted on: May 7th, 2013 by fcasio No Comments
Posted in News

Republished from: Nation’s Restaurant News

Chicken-fried ‘Lot 42′ cauliflower steak

Brennan’s of Houston, Houston
May 3, 2013 Bret Thorn

Chef Danny Trace offers this item as part of his two-course, $25 Farmer’s Corner menu at lunch, as well as part of his $80 six-course vegetable dinner.

Lot 42 is a section of Gundermann Farms near Houston, where this cauliflower is grown. Trace cuts the cauliflower into half-inch slices without coring it. He drizzles the vegetable with grapeseed oil and sprinkles it with sage, thyme and oregano, and roasts it until tender.

Next, he dusts the cauliflower with flour, dips it in tempura batter and deep-fries it to a golden brown.

He serves the cauliflower with a potato salad made of Purple Majesties — a type of Peruvian blue potato — mixed with sautéed shallots, bell pepper and celery, along with capers, Creole mustard, yellow mustard and lemon juice. He finishes the salad with some chopped green onions.

He pours a vegan mushroom gravy on the cauliflower, which he makes by heating four parts mushroom stock with one part almond milk and puréeing it with some cooked rice to thicken it.

Contact Bret Thorn at bret.thorn@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

Source: Nation’s Restaurant News

Revana Wine Dinner

Posted on: May 2nd, 2013 by fcasio No Comments
Posted in Event, Wine

revana

By Jason Sherman

After a year or two of putting off a wine dinner with local Cardiologist, Dr. Revana, we finally got him in the books. For those not familiar with his wines, he has wineries in both Napa Valley and Willamette Valley (Oregon).

The Napa Valley winery is now lead by the talented Thomas Rivers Brown (Heidi Barret made the wine there previously), who has worked at such wineries as Turley, Schrader and Outpost, while the Oregon operation is headed by Lynn Penner-Ash, of Penner-Ash fame.

Dr. Revana will be in attendance to talk about both wineries, as well as some new releases and some old friends. We will be pouring the new vintage of Willamette Valley Riesling and pinot gris, alongside two pinot noirs—a single vineyard Alexana Dundee Hills 2010, and a 2008 Sitar, a small production wine made at Alexana Winery by Tony Rynders, formerly of Domaine Serene.

Lastly, we will be enjoying the 2009 Revana Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. These wines are very hard to get and some I have saved for this occasion for a few years. Chef Danny and I have worked hard to prepare a great menu and hope to see you there.

Revana Wine Dinner at Brennan’sDate: May 21, 2013
Time: 6:30 – 9:30
Price: $145 plus tax & gratuity
Tickets required

To purchase tickets to this event and see the menu, follow the link to the Revana Wine Dinner event page>>>