category Kitchen

Secrets from the Black Star Co-op Kitchen: Chili Pequin Sauce

Did you know that spicy foods can have a chilling effect on the body? It’s true, and it’s an especially useful effect to induce on a hot day. Spices on the palate can trigger sweat release—one of the body’s messier cooling mechanisms. That’s one of the reasons why equatorial cultures have produced some of the spiciest dishes throughout culinary history. 

So it’s with your temperature and health in mind that we share this crazy spicy and delicious wing sauce recipe. Just make sure when you serve the wings at you’re next backyard bbq that none of your friends wipe the sweat off their brow—it’s there for a reason. 

Chili Pequin Wing Sauce

Mise en Place:

1/2 C minced onion
2 seeded minced jalapenos
8 cloves of garlic
1/2 C dry chili pequins
1 C packed brown sugar  
1 C rice wine vinegar 
1/2 C water 
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce 
1 tbs vegetable oil
1/4 lb of butter (1 stick or 4oz)

Steps:

1. In a sauce pan saute onion, jalapeno, and garlic in oil until the vegetables soften and start to caramelize.

2. Add brown sugar and dry peppers, simmer until it forms a thick syrup.

3. Next add the vinegar, water, worcestershire sauce and salt, stirring on a low simmer for about 5 minutes.

4. Let the spicy soup cool off heat for another 10 minutes.

5. In a blender, process until sauce is smooth and creamy.

6. Bring the sauce back to the sauce pan on low heat and start to incorporate cold butter, stir in one tsp at a time.

7. Let sauce cool for a few mins before you toss on grilled, smoked or deep fried chicken wings.

8. This recipe will coat about 50 wings and will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

The Price is Right On, Man!

We think a lot about prices at the Co-op. We’re constantly making sure we offer quality products at reasonable prices, and of course, making sure we cover the costs of doing business. The Workers’ Assembly uses a pricing model that generates adequate income to be a successful business while also staying competitive within the market. So, as more and more craft beer bars open around Austin, you’ve watched our prices change to remain in-step with the competition. And while our prices increased, the standing Tuesday discount for member-owners has remained the same. That’s why I’m pleased to announce that starting today, Tuesday July 7th, the new discount for member-owner pint night is $2 off house pints. That’s right, just one more reason to stop in and make your membership work for you.

Co-ops exist to meet the needs of their member-owners and subscribe to an internationally recognized set of principles and values. Our Ends Policies express our community’s values and act as the guide for our daily operation’s ability to meet the needs of our member-owners. We showcase local and sustainable businesses and co-ops by offering their products, we support a living wage and democratic self-management, we support our community through sponsorships and donations to local organizations, and we educate our customers on how great it is to be a co-op. In the kitchen, we express our community’s values by offering high quality, locally-sourced, often sustainable, always ethical and humane food choices at extremely competitive prices.

I’m sure you can tell that we offer great products at a great price. In fact, we did a little price comparison on one of our most popular menu items – the Black Star Burger. We looked around and compared burgers of a similar quality — natural, hormone-free, anti-biotic free, and ground fresh in-house daily — and found that we, do indeed, offer an incredible value for our food. Check it out:

We feel that it is important maintain an accessible price point for our patrons and member-owners, that way we can all enjoy our Co-op. We hope you appreciate your membership experience, and continue to see the value of Black Star Co-op!

Just Desserts

The Black Star Co-op Kitchen Team does a lot of things well, but desserts have never been a primary focus. We’ve always gone the route of the “Chef” dessert: pie, bread pudding, ice cream, BACON TOFFEE.

In the coming weeks, that will change. We recently brought aboard pastry chef Jen Cash. Jen comes to us from the corporate kitchen world, is an extremely talented pastry chef, and all around badass. She is filling a role on our team that we never really thought we’d have. 

The desserts section will break off of our main menu, with a new menu of bites and shares. We’ll still be making our pie and ice cream, and the new menu will remain loyal to our dedication to seasonal options that utilize our abundant local sourcing. We will also commit to a few gluten free options. 

If you have a sweet tooth, then maybe all of this is good news. We are excited to expand our offerings to our member owners and patrons, and to try all the stuff that we’ll be making. 

 

Work is Hard, Lunch is Easy

We’ve been open for lunch for over a month now, and what do have to show for it? For one, plenty of pictures of our weekday lunch specials (if you want to check them out, feel free to scroll to the bottom of the article now, otherwise continue reading with the knowledge that the specials are waiting at the end in all their pictoral glory). There’s also the influx of new revenue during the weekdays and, to our surprise, an increased boost to revenue during the pre-existing weekend lunch periods. We’ve only met our weekday lunch service earnings goals, which is okay, but we’re looking to exceed those goals. Thats why we’re launching a few new promotions to increase customer traffic during the day. 

Promotion 1: $13 house rational growler fills on Wednesdays, 11am-4pm. That’s a $5 discount to fill up your storage device of choice on a Wednesday afternoon. We all need some help getting through “humpday,” and what’s better than a healthy sum of beer to fill your metaphorical “camel hump.”

Promotion 2: we’re serving $12 food+beer specials only during lunch. Three specials are currently available: the Catch, the Clutch, and the Club. The Catch is two fried fish fillets, chips, and your choice of a house rational pint; The Clutch is a chicken tender sandwich, chips, and a house rational pint; Lastly is The Club, which comes with an avocado club, chips, and a house rational pint. Feel free to take advantage of this crazy good deal, we wouldn’t have offered if we didn’t want you to. 

What do you think about these promotions? Do they entice the way they were intended to? Feel free to leave questions, suggestions, and any other form of comment in the designated section below. 

Now, here’s what we’ve got coming out of the kitchen:

Good, no? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram if you’d like more of our delicious food. 

Secrets from the Black Star Co-op Kitchen: Buttermilk Bicuits

Hey, check this out—we’re sharing some of our coveted Co-op kitchen secrets! We’re risking our own financial security by gifting you the recipes to some of our most valuable intellectual assets, so make the most of it! Biscuits, biscuits for everyone!

Vinny’s Buttermilk Biscuits

Prep time: 20 min   Cook time: 15min   Yield: 18 biscuits

Recipe: 
8 cups flour
4 tbls baking powder
4 tsp salt
4 tbls sugar
304 g butter
4 cups of buttermilk

1. Place all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, combine well. 

2. Weigh out your butter with a scale and grate with a cheese grater. Gently toss the butter in with the dry ingredients. Make sure not to overwork it, you want to keep the butter from melting. 

3. Make a small well in the center of the ingredients and add the buttermilk slowly. Then mix with a spatula to avoid melting the butter with the heat from your hands. 

4. Cover a large flat surface with flour, and place your dough in the center (it will still be fairly moist at this point). Dust flour on top and begin to knead—about 10-15 times. 

5. Roll out your dough to about 3/4” thick. We use a 4” circle cutter for my biscuits. 

6. Place biscuits on a non-greased sheet tray with NO parchment paper. 

7. Place biscuits in the fridge and cool for 10 min while oven comes up to 425°.

8. Bake for 12 min then remove from the oven, brush melted butter on over the tops of your biscuits, then bake for an additional 2-3 minutes. 

 Ta-da, biscuits! Now do right by the recipe and drown them in your favorite fatty morning proteins.

Worship at the alter of BREAKFAST FOR DINNER.

Weekday Lunch Service Starts February 10

We’re excited to announce that we are opening our doors for lunch six days a week. That’s right, starting February 10th you can have lunch at Black Star Co-op Tuesday through Sunday. The lunch service will not extent to Monday however, on Monday we will continue to open at 4pm to allow our staff the time needed to meet, train, clean, and stock products essential for service.

Our new hours are as follows: 

Monday 4pm-12pm

Tuesday-Thursday 11am-12am

Friday-Saturday 11am-1am

Sunday 11am-12am

We’ll serve our lunch menu until 4pm daily and our dinner menu from 4pm until our kitchen closes at 11pm. And we’ll serve beer every hour that we’re open. 

We are very excited to provide our member-owners (and their friends, family, and coworkers) with more opportunity to enjoy our products and services. We hope that you’re excited as well.

A Season of Comfort: Black Star Co-op’s Fall Menu

One of the best things about having a kitchen dedicated to the production of local seasonal cuisine, is a menu that is constantly rejuvenated with new items throughout the year. If you hadn’t noticed, we launched a new menu last week. The most significant change is the markedly expanded entrée options. Hearty favorites like our homemade Spätzle and Bowl of Red are back on to warm the soul (chicken soup has had it’s day in the sun, let it rest in peace). We’re showcasing our local organic meat providers with three classic dinner dishes: Pot Roast made with 44 Farms underblade, a Legend Meats sourced Pork Chop, and Roast Chicken from Holmes Farms

If you look elsewhere on the menu you’ll notice we’ve made other appetizing additions. Fried Gulf Oysters are set to become major players in the coming months, and the Czar Salad is our take on the always classic caesar salad. Even some of our perennial favorites have undergone renovation. For example: the grilled cheese sandwich is now prepared on fluffy, buttery pullman loaf slices. 

Come explore our new menu and let us know how you like it. 

 

Summer in the Kitchen

This summer has been a pretty great one for the Black Star Co-op Kitchen Team. We’ve been enjoying the amazing summer produce and some really great specialty proteins from around the state.  Our Crestview Hot Chicken recipe, an homage to Prince’s Nashville Hot Chicken, is getting better with each new iteration. And we’ve been making a ton of great pies and ice cream to keep you cool. 

Because we’re a little behind the season on switching to our summer menu, we’ll call it a Late Summer menu. There’s not a whole lot of change on this menu, mainly: we’re lightening up some of our items, moving to more local options on stock items, and adjusting some prices due to seasonal cost increases. 

The two biggest changes that you will see pertain to our grit dishes, and how we will be treating our bar steaks. We are switching our grits to a far superior local product provided by the folks at the Homestead Gristmill in Waco. These true grits allow us to make an end product closer to Low Country style grits—creamy and filling with a bright corn flavor. We are really excited about this product, and we hope that you are too. Regarding bar steaks, we’re doing a “Butcher’s Cut” that will allow us to be more flexible and creative with the range of cuts that we can offer. Bar steak price will follow market price, with our base price will staying the same. With these changes we’ll have the freedom to make different cuts and bypass and sourcing issues we may experience. All the beef used for our steaks will be sourced locally and butchered in house.

2014 has been a good year for sourcing local fruits. We are right in the middle of fig season, and we are super stoked to be getting figs from Dan Gonzales again. As I’ve said before, he’s not a farmer, he’s just a man with a lot of figs–delicious figs. A friend of member-owner Debbie Cerda, Dan reached out to me on her recommendation back when I was Produce Manager at Wheatsville. We were as lucky to get them then as now, and are enjoying using them in pies and other treats this summer.

On the worker front, we have two new Kitchen Team members: Isaac and Alyssa. If you see them around the Co-op, please welcome them to the family.