Tag Archives: Houstons

Thai Noodle and Beef Salad

Thai Noodle and Beef Salad

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Thai Noodle and Beef Salad
We often frequent our local Houston’s on Sunday evenings and enjoy sitting at the bar enjoying a drink and dinner. They have this Thai Noodle Salad that is really good. It has a lot of veggies with a pop of mango. What really pushes this salad over the top is the beef. It’s high quality, super lean and tender. The other night she encouraged me to try her beef and it was so good that it encouraged me to try to make it on my own. I poked around looking for Thai Noodle Salads and found one I like that served as my base and then made adjustments.

It turned out really delicious. The zing from the dressing along with the sweet mango and savory meat makes for a really harmonious meal. I used udon noodles so this would satisfy as gluten free as long as your soy sauce is also GF. If you are looking to try something fresh, colorful, healthy and delicious give it a try.

adapted from Savorybites


3 tbs fresh lime juice
3 tbs of soy sauce
3 tbs Sriracha
1 tbs fish sauce
Dash of sesame oil
1 tbs of grapeseed oil
1 large clove minced garlic
1 tbs light brown sugar

Marinade for the Beef
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs Sriracha
Dash of sesame oil
1 tbs of grapeseed oil
1 large clove minced garlic
3 tbs of minced ginger
1 tbs light brown sugar

Salad Ingredients:
10 oz of beef filet Mignon
Udon egg noodles for two (30%-40% of package)
1 large handful of spinach
Handful of sliced cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup of finely diced red onion
1 large handful shredded red cabbage
1 large handful of cilantro
1 small julienned carrot
1 diced mango
A handful of pistachos

1. Mix your dressing and marinade ingredients separately. Dice your beef into large bite sized pieces and add your marinade to a zip lock baggy and let it rest for 6-12hours. Place your dressing in the refrigerator.

2. Cut all you salad ingredients accordingly and set them aside. (don’t dress it yet)

3. Cook your noodles according to the package. These cook quickly (4mins) and you don’t want soggy noodles. Pull them immediately and rinse with cold water until the noodles are cool. Set them aside.

4. Lastly the steak. In a Medium-Medium High heated cast iron skillet you want to take your beef from the marinade and shake it and remove any of the ginger and garlic. This is a nice piece of meat so don’t over cook it. The goal is to sear it for a nice crust. I had to remove some of the liquid once in the process because if the pan is wet it wont get that sear you will want.

5. Assembly. So now you have your cooked noodles, cut veggies and seared steak. In a large bowl slowly spoon your dressing into the veggie mix. Stir or toss your dressed veggies and then add your noodles. Stir/Toss until coated. Taste and add dressing until you get it right(not over dressed or soggy). Plate your dressed veggies/mango and noodles. Place the steak on top of the salad and garnish with pistachios or peanuts.

Houston’s Spinach & Artichoke Dip (copycat)

Houston's Spinach & Artichoke Dip

  • Servings: 4-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Houston’s Spinach & Artichoke Dip
Given that I attempted to replicate Houston’s Club Sandwich, I thought I might go ahead and try their Spinach Artichoke dip too. They serve their dip with sides of sour cream and salsa along with a warm bowl of tortilla chips. When sharing with friends there is a always a little chip / dip panic to make sure you get your fair share. When it’s just the two of us, I can relax a little. To avoid all of that scarcity panic, I made two smaller bowls so each of us had our own bowl with ample chips.

The only thing I can think of that Houston’s does differently than any other S&A dip is the tortilla chips and the salsa. It’s such a tasty dip that is creamy and savory. The salsa adds a punch of acid and heat that works great together.

Lastly, The fact that you have spinach and artichokes in the title, also helps make you feel a little less guilty.

2 boxes of frozen spinach
12 oz of jarred artichoke hearts (drained and chopped)
4 cloves of garlic
3 tbs of minced/grated onion (yellow or white)
2 tsp of lemon juice
2 tsp of Tabasco (optional)
1/4 cup of Cream
1/4 cup of butter
1/4 cup of AP flour
2 cups of sour cream
splash of chicken broth to loosen it up
1/2 cup of fresh grated Parmesan cheese
White Cheddar cheese (grated for the top)

Tortilla chips
Sour Cream

1. Start by making a simple roux. Melt your butter in a sauce pan on medium-low heat. Add your onion and garlic and cook until softened (5 minutes). Whisk in the flour and stir for about 1-2 minutes.

2. If your cream isn’t room temperature microwave it for 20 seconds until it’s tepid or even warm. Whisk it into the roux and stir until thickens and is boiling or simmering. Now stir in the lemon juice, chicken broth, Tabasco and Parmesan cheese until melted. Remove from heat and set it aside to cool for a few minutes.

3. Stir in the sour cream followed by folding in the artichokes and spinach. Taste it and salt and pepper accordingly. If you like it hotter amp up your Tabasco.

4. Pour into a oven safe ramekin and top it with the fresh grated white cheddar cheese. Put it in the middle rack of your oven on broil until the cheddar starts to brown. Be careful with your ramekin because it will be hot.
Serve along side bowls of sour cream and your favorite salsa. Use a sturdy tortilla chip for dipping.

Houston’s Club Sandwich (CopyCat)

Houston's Club Sandwich (CopyCat)

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Houston’s Restaurant is one of our favorite places. They are part of Hillstone’s Restaurant Group. They have expanded to CA, NY, FL, GA etc.. We usually have dinner at the bar most Sunday evenings. We know the staff and love the food and drinks. The place feels like it is our very own Cheers.

Last year they created quite the controversy by pulling their club sandwich from their menu. It used to only be on the lunch menu but if you were in the “know” you could ask for it at dinner. Then it went on the dinner menu full time only to be yanked entirely. Jill ordered it every time so naturally was crushed at their decision to pull. She pesters the staff every time we go. In this guy’s opinion it was a good sandwich but nothing like their French Dip or Hickory Burger. They have many other great food like salads, ribs, steaks, roasted chicken and fish. It wasn’t that big of a loss for me and I would feel the same if they pull that Hickory Burger.

So I snooped around and found a copy cat Houston’s honey mustard which they serve along side their, no gone, club sandwich. I thought I would surprise Jill by trying to recreate it here at home. It has bacon, thinly sliced grilled chicken, honey ham and maple turkey with thick fresh cheddar and jack layered between three pieces of wheat toasted bread. I told her last night I was going to make it for dinner tonight and she damn near teared up. #wearefoodwhipped

I must say this was pretty darn close. The only tweak I need to make is around the bread. I need to find the right one and when I do broil it vs toasting it. The honey mustard really gave it that Houston’s familiarity. It’s hit.

I made a second one with sourdough and only used two pieces of bread vs the three that Houston’s used. Think I like this one even more.

Three pieces of bread per sandwich
Cheddar Cheese 2 slices per sandwich
Provolone cheese 1 slice per sandwich
1 grilled chicken breast cut thinly on the bias
Shaved honey ham (from Deli)
Shaved Maple turkey (from Deli)
2 strips of crispy bacon
Dukes Mayo
Honey Mustard
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cup of Dijon mustard
3/4 cup of Dukes Mayo
1 cup of honey
pinch of garlic salt
pinch of cayenne
pinch of onion powder

Given that most of this is store bought it’s pretty simple after you make the honey mustard.
1. All my meats I purchased from the store prepared , except for the bacon. For expediency I cooked it in the microwave at half power until crispy.

2. Toast or better yet broil your bread until crusty. I assembled the sandwich by putting honey mustard on two pieces of bread and Duke’s Mayo on the third. I covered the honey mustard bread with Cheddar cheese and the Duke’s Mayo bread with provolone or a jack cheese. I put ham and one strip of bacon on the bottom, topped it with middle bread and then added the chicken, turkey and bacon and topped with the third bread. Cut and serve cold.


Hamburger Slider Party

Hamburger Sliders

  • Servings: gaggle
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Hamburger Slider Party

Note: sorry about the photos I didn’t take any at the party. Oops. So I had to take some of the burgers by themselves at home.


Let’s be honest, if you don’t know how to cook a proper hamburger it may prompt questioning of your manhood or even patriotism. The keys are fat, heat, and time. Unfortunately fat is flavor and it is also kryptonite for a dry patty. If you opt out of fat then you need to watch how long you cook your patty.

My mom had a birthday and wanted everyone to get together. She like a good burger but didn’t want to go to a burger joint due to the noise and her desire for us to “visit”. Cutest southern Mom on the planet. Anyway, I volunteered to make burgers at her place. These sort of opportunities set my mind in a full on fixation of hunting recipes and menu planning. Should I do fries, smashed potatoes, chips and dip? What about sauces and cheeses? Inevitably I always want to do too much and never make it easy on myself.

One of my favorite burgers is Houston’s Hickory burger. Also on that list is Twisted Root’s Jalapeno Blue Cheese burger. My Mom loves In & Out so I made some sauce that resembles it and Shake Shacks in NY. I bought a bunch of different buns, cheeses, condiments so we could all try different combinations.

As for the burger itself I use a base recipe from Ina Garten and bumped it up to my liking. What I like about her recipe is that she uses egg yolks so it’s near impossible to end up with a dry burger. It’s genius because she is basically mimicking a meatball or meatloaf without the breading.

Burger Ingredients:
2 lbs ground chuck
1 ibs ground sirloin
½ lbs bacon
6 egg yolks
3 tbs of steak sauce
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
(Optionally you can add a little cayenne and or onion powder)

Blue Cheese Jalapeno Burgers

Equal parts mayo and blue cheese
Dash of Worcestershire
Dash of Tabasco
Black Pepper
Green Onions
Pickled Jalapenos

Hickory Burger
Fresh shredded Cheddar Cheese
Roasted Bacon
BBQ Sauce
½ cup Ketchup
2 tbs of Grainy Mustard
2 tbs of Adobo sauce
4 drops of Liquid Smoke
1 tbs of Molasses
1 tbs of Worcestershire
1 tbs of Chili Powder

Shake Shack / In & Out Animal Sauce
1/2 cup Dukes Mayo
1 tbs of Ketchup
1 tbs of grainy mustard
1-2 tbs of Wickles Pickles Relish
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of paprika
1 tsp of cayenne

Hatch Queso burger
Queso recipe on the blog
Roasted, Hatch Chili Peppers (skinned and seeded)

1. I roast bacon in an oven at 300 for 40-50 mins. Let it cool and then mince it.

2. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients well and form in to patties. I made sliders so everyone could build a variety of burgers to enjoy all my sauces of course.

3. You could grill these but I heated a cast iron skillet to medium heat and seared them and then put the patties in a pan and placed them in an oven heated at 100 degrees until ready to serve.

4. BBQ sauce – add to small pot and heat on medium heat. Quick tangy and spicy sauce – super easy.