Reata Favorites - Pan Seared Buffalo Tenderloin with Dried Black Mission Figs

Greetings Everyone:

This month’s newsletter is about a favorite restaurant of mine in Ft. Worth, Texas, named the Reata. The Reata menus combine familiar Texas fare with fresh culinary trends, including signature favorites, like the Pepper-Crusted Tenderloin, the Golden Chicken-Fried Steaks, and the Tenderloin Tamales. They have the best Fiery Jalapeno Cheese Grits anywhere!

The Featured Recipes are:

The Reata is located in Sundance Square. Everybody who’s ever visited Fort Worth knows about Sundance Square, named after a man, the Sundance Kid, who rode with the equally infamous Butch Cassidy. It’s the city’s chief dining and entertainment district, a stylish swirl of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and music venues in a remarkable historic setting.

The Reata serves legendary Texas cuisine at its best! If you ever get to Texas, I hope you will try the Reata. They also have written a wonderful cookbook Reata: Legendary Texas Cooking

Each recipe in this book carries interesting descriptions about exactly what they use, how they use it, and why they are happy with the finished dish. The president of Reata (Mike Micallef) has personally tested every recipe in his home and used the same kitchen appliances you have in your home. The reason for doing this is when you reduce a recipe that is supposed to feed hundreds to a serving size of six you have to make some adjustments, and that’s just what he did so you would have a wonderful Reata experience with this cookbook.

Reata Favorites - Reata Cookbook

I want to share with you some recipes that are from the chefs of Reata and are oh! so delicious!

Baby Spinach Salad with Strawberries

Reata Favorites - Baby Spinach Salad with Strawberries

This salad is light and fruity, a perfect summer salad!

  • 2 cups triple washed baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 T. toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1-2 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 T. chopped bacon
  • 4 slices avocado, fanned out


Makes 1 quart

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups canola oil (or salad oil)
  • 1/2 shallot, minced
  • 1-2 oranges, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 T. salt
  • 1/2 T. black pepper
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 2 T. granulated sugar
  • 3 T. poppy seeds

In a mixing bowl, add vinegar, Dijon, shallots, salt, pepper, zest, and juice from oranges. Slowly whisk in the oil until an emulsion forms. Add poppy seeds, whisk firmly to incorporate. Check salt to taste.

Lightly toss the salad with some dressing and decoratively place the fanned avocado on top for a nice presentation. Serve additional dressing on the side.

WINE: 2008 Famiglia Bianchi Chardonnay paired very nicely with all the ingredients in this salad.

Herb Grilled Artichokes with Crab, Guajillo, and Boursin Sauce

Reata Favorites - Herb Grilled Artichoke with Crab, Gjajillo, and Boursin Sauce

The sauce over the artichoke is divine! It also freezes very nicely.

  • 1/2 cup red onion, small diced
  • 1 T. crabmeat (can use lobster)
  • 1 Guajillo Chile, reconstituted and pureed
  • 1/8 cup roasted red peppers
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 qt. heavy cream
  • 1/2 T. green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup roasted garlic
  • 1 package Boursin Cheese
  • 1 Fresh Artichoke, blanched, cut in half, buttered (clarified) and grilled

Cut the tips of the artichoke with shears, cut the artichoke in half or quarters, clean away the fuzzy inside and soak in acid (lemon) water. Boil a pot of water and carefully drop in the artichoke pieces. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Immediately put the artichoke pieces into an ice bath to retain its color. Pat dry, brush with clarified butter and grill.

Heat sauce in a pot on medium heat. Saute onions until soft. Add crabmeat, guajillo chile, red bell peppers and mix until combined. Add lemon juice, heavy cream, green onions and roasted garlic. Bring to a simmer and simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Add the package of Boursin cheese and mix until well blended. Serve over artichokes.

Pan Seared Buffalo Tenderloin with Black Mission Figs

Reata Favorites - Pan Seared Buffalo Tenderloin with Dried Black Mission Figs

This sauce was so good! You could serve this sauce with duck or quail and you can make the sauce ahead and hold it in the fridge for days.

  • 14 dried Black Mission Figs
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 1/4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Cut 14 figs in half lengthwise. Combine cut figs, wine, broth and cinnamon in medium saucepan. Simmer over medium-high heat until thickened to sauce consistency, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and hold until served.

Serve with 6 oz. portions of grilled (internal temp. 140 degrees) buffalo or beef tenderloin. Let the meat rest 10 minutes before serving.

Jalapeno Cheddar Grits

Serves 6 to 8

This recipe is one of Reata’s requested recipes. They serve them as a side with just about everything on their menu. Some folks (including me) even take’em home and heat’em up for breakfast!

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 T. kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups dry grits (Anson Mills)
  • 4 T. unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Combine the water, cream, jalapenos, salt, and pepper in a large saucepan and cook over high heat until the liquid reaches a rapid boil. At the boiling point, slowly whisk in the grits, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Lower the heat to medium and continue to stir. Stirring frequently, cook until the grits are soft and creamy, usually about 30 to 40 minutes.

Remove from the heat and add the butter and grated cheese. Season with more salt and pepper, if needed. Let cool slightly before serving so the grits can be mounded easily. They should be the consistency of mashed potatoes.

PLATING Place a nice big dollop of the grits on a plate and place your 6 oz. tenderloin on top. Sprinkle the fig sauce around the plate, being sure to give each guest one or two of the figs on top of the steak or around the plate. Serve with extra sauce if desired.

WINE A bottle of 2008 Luca Laborde Double Select Syrah from Argentina was superb with this entree!

Cast Iron Peach Crisp

Reata Favorites - Cast Iron Peach Crisp

This peach crisp was fabulous! You could also serve your guests the crisp in miniature cast iron skillets. This is how they serve it in the restaurant. Great Presentation!


  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground pecans
  • 1/2 pound melted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar


  • 4-6 Texas peaches (can use frozen)
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8″ cast iron skillet

Preheat oven to 375F.

Melt butter over low heat. Add sugar and melt until fully incorporated. Add cinnamon and salt and mix.

In a separate bowl, mix peaches and flour until evenly coated. Add peaches to butter mixture and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes and let rest. While resting, melt the butter for the topping.

In a separate large mixing bowl, mix ground pecans, flour, and brown sugar. Add the melted butter and mix with a fork until it forms a crumbly texture. Liberally apply on top of peaches evenly. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and mixture is bubbly.

I hope you will give these recipes a try, better yet come to TEXAS and get yourself some good ‘ole cowboy cuisine!

The cookbook is a beautiful book (coffee table quality) with wonderful recipes and pictures of all the food!

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