Posted Wednesday, Jan. 02, 2013
Chef Mark Hitri is helping Billy Bob's Texas boot-scoot into better dining.
The former Saint-Emilion chef was persuaded to leave his fancy French restaurant gig by Billy Bob's executive Concho Minick, with whom Hitri went to Boswell High School.
Shiner Bock Cheddar Soup with Caramelized Onions, Apples and Summer Sausage
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 quart milk
1 bottle Shiner Bock
1 quart chicken stock
1 1/2 pounds cheddar cheese,
2 shakes Worcestershire sauce
2 pinches cayenne pepper
Salt and white pepper to taste
1 onion, diced
2 apples, peeled, cored and
12 ounces summer sausage,
1. Begin making a roux by melting butter over low heat in a large pot. Add flour and stir until slightly browned.
2. Make a béchamel sauce by gradually adding milk, Shiner and stock to the roux, stirring continually.
3. Bring the heat up to medium and whisk in the cheese. Add the Worcestershire, cayenne pepper, salt and white pepper.
4. In a medium pan, saute the onions until browned. Add the apples and summer sausage.
5. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and add the apple-onion-and-sausage mixture as garnish.
-- Chef Mark Hitri, Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth; 817-624-7117, www.billybobstexas.com
"His vision is that Billy Bob's can do more with its food," says Hitri. "And he convinced me that I could do that here."
Hitri's not a native Texan, but he arrived in Fort Worth nearly 30 years ago and immediately embarked on a culinary career, ranging from working at Dairy Queen as a teenager to creating culinary delights at high-end restaurants inside the Renaissance Worthington Hotel, including Reflections, Kalamatas and Vidalias.
The father of four children, ages 8-18, also had brief stints in the kitchens of Sapristi! and Texas Motor Speedway.
At Billy Bob's, Hitri will revamp catering selections and has high hopes for large food events, which can now take place in the new Billy Bob's 81 Club, located across Rodeo Plaza. (Watch for an upscale Valentine's Day dinner next month.)
Hitri is also launching a new restaurant menu this month to include fresher offerings and higher-end items, like quail sliders and Shiner Bock cheddar soup with caramelized onions, apples and summer sausage (recipe shown here).
"It will be fresh -- comfort with a Texas background," Hitri says. "We get people from all over the world here. I want to offer something people really get excited about."
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