CULINARY THRILL SEEKING: Culinary adventures of 2016; bring on 2017

Published 10:41 pm Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Culinary adventures of 2016; bring on 2017

Hope you’ve resolved to try new flavors this year and focus on the healthy stuff. Over the holidays I received more challenges that I could handle, and now I have a waiting list of things I want to try, like cottage cheese stuffed in an avocado half for a light meal. At a crowded event I think someone asked me to look into acorn stuffing, and people were talking about acorns from trees. I’m now thinking that people were all thinking about acorn squash stuffing.

Here’s something I heard of and maybe don’t want to try:

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Maybe I’m saying it wrong. I didn’t even bring it up, but an esteemed colleague mentioned seeing a program about three animals stuffed into one for an East Texas version of the tur-duck-hen. That’s a duck inside a chicken inside a turkey — all boneless — and it’s long been a thing around here. But this “squir-poss-coon” sounded truly strange. When a third woman overheard, she asked where you get one. The answer is that you’d have to hunt it down yourself. We figured Tex-Joy would season that meal of critters up right. I did a scant amount of research and have not found such a beast. Texas lore?

Chaba Thai Bistro

Sorry, Chef Monica Cobb of Monica’s, 2016 was not the year I got to try your Beaumont restaurant, but it wasn’t from lack of trying. My Mom, a big fan and follower, tried to get me there, but there was a closed-for-the-holidays situation. Hey, everyone needs a rest!

No worries, Chaba Thai Bistro was across the way at 6434 Phelan Blvd. in Beaumont. My spicy eggplant dish was a hit, so thanks, Mom.

Chaba for a quiet lunch was a treat, and just as fun as the two pull-tables-together birthday celebrations I’d attended recently. Heat lovers, they don’t have the chili oil upon request, but the little plastic dish of dry pepper flakes will get you to the spice you crave.

The Big Cheese

Back on National Cheese Curd Day, Farm Rich wanted me to help spread the word on their new Breaded Cheddar Cheese Curds, but I never did find it down here, so far from Wisconsin cheese. I did use that introductory coupon for breaded cheese sticks, which guests at my house ate up.

I made a marinara sauce with tomato paste, olive oil, herbs and juice from a jar of

olives. Spicy, and good, was one critic’s summation.

Maybe 2017 will bring me the whole curd.