Cooking With Wine, Beurre Blanc



Niko Niko's is a very popular Greek restaurant in Houston that is located on Montrose Blvd. It's been rated as one of the best restaurants in Houston for many years, and still is. I discovered Niko Niko's by accident. I was in the area looking to stop by a store called The Magick Cauldron and Niko Niko's was right next door. I didn't drop by the restaurant until months later after I had visited a Greek festival and was craving gyros.

True Kansas City style sauce is never sweet. Gates has a strong black pepper tang, Bryant's is gritty with paprika and has the heat of cayenne pepper. I like both of these sauces but Mr. Harris had the best blend. His sauce was tomato rich, had a vinegar tang and a pepper bite but was smooth and surprisingly delicate. Too bad, Mr. Harris died in the mid Seventies and took his sauce with him.

Tip: Watch out for lamb shank curry, they tend to be very poor quality, 'boil in the bag', with a shelf life of years due to preservatives and pasteurization.

The restaurant is small, and has a few tables. The buffet is to the right. You get a plate with Basmati Rice, and then cover it with the items on the buffet. We had chicken curry, lamb curry, goat curry, Aloo Gobi, and Channa Masala. All of this for $7.99 a person. The buffet items change often.

An easy way to prepare leg of lamb is rubbing with herbs. Use a 5-7 pound leg of lamb. Combine tablespoon dried parsley flakes, a teaspoon dried mint, a half teaspoon each of onion salt and crushed dried rosemary, a quarter teaspoon or pepper and 2 cloves of slivered garlic. There's a thin layer on the outer surface of the meat to remove and trim the fat from it. Combine the herbs and rub over the meat thoroughly. Place in a roasting pan and cook at 325F oven for 2-3 hours for medium (160F on a meat thermometer, or to 170F for well done. Let the leg of lamb rest for 15 minutes before carving.

It would be best to utilize genuine spices instead of going for easy to prepare, commercially available curry powder or paste. This way you will end up cooking a curry dish that curried lamb is especially flavorful and aromatic.

The Columbia Ice Fields are a series of glaciers, and extremely interesting! In the glaciers lamb curry covered where the Ice Centre a hotel and restaurant is now! Markers show the retreat of the melting glacier to where we saw it today. Because glaciers are very dangerous and people have been injured, visitors are only permitted to walk on the glacier with a trained guide. The glacier is 150 square miles with a depth of 1,148 feet. The walk to the boundary is very steep, and the weather can be harsh, so be prepared! It is exciting to stand at the edge of a glacier! Allow at least an hour! We were cold and damp, so tea and two bowls of soup at the Centre were in order!

There are new names popping up on the east side as the community tries to revitalize the neighborhood. Some young guy should get out there, discover and promote the new barbecue stars of the future. It would be nice to see suburban faces coming into the city to support our neighborhood businesses surrounding the new Sprint Center. When you go into a BBQ joint you want to see black faces in the kitchen and in the dining room enjoying the food. The same goes for Hispanic and Chinese restaurants: stay away from places with pimple faced suburban white kids slinging food, corporate ownership and a bland crowd of suburban diners. Embrace tradition, ethnicity, community and diversity.