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Houston's Top Chefs Offer Up Dine Out for Life Recipes

Houston's Top Chefs Offer Up Dine Out for Life Recipes


On April 30, you can go eat at any of the restaurants nationwide who are participating in the annual HIV charity fundraiser. Then take home one of these recipes from some of our favorite Texas chefs.

As part of the national Dining Out for Live events on April 30 — in which restaurants across the country donate a percentage of sales to HIV charities — we caught up with Houston's top chefs for some recipes you can work out at home after the event. This year more than 40 Houston-area restaurants are donating a percentage of sales to AIDS Foundation Houston.

“We have a chance to end HIV/AIDS within our lifetime” explains Kelly Young, Chief Executive Officer of AIDS Foundation Houston. “Dining Out for Life not only raises money to end HIV/AIDS but also raises awareness about the disease.”

Guests interested in supporting AIDS Foundation Houston through Dining Out for Life can enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner throughout the day at a variety of restaurants, including Arturo Boada Cuisine, Oysterette, Americas, and RDG. We had chefs from those eateries share their favorite recipes here.



5-rdgchef-robert-del-grande-2x300wRESTAURANT: RDG + Bar Annie
Chef Robert Del Grande

Carnitas with Coconut Raisin Sauce and Plantain Cakes with Raisin-Cocoa Bean Recado


  • 1 pork shoulder roast (about 12 pounds)
  • 2 gal. water
  • 1/4 c. salt
  • 4 oz. peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 lb. yellow onions, peeled and cut into eighths

Coconut Raisin Sauce

  • 8 oz. California raisins
  • 2 oz. garlic cloves
  • 2 c. (16 ounces) mayonnaise
  • 2 chipotle chile canned in adobo sauce
  • 12 oz. coconut purée*
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp. salt

Raisin-Cocoa Recado

  • 3 ancho chiles
  • 1 chipotle chile canned in adobo sauce (optional)
  • 3 oz. California raisins
  • 1 c. hot water
  • 4 oz. smoked almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1-1/2 oz. cocoa nibs or melted chocolate
  • 2 oz. butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 24 large ripe plantains

Cut pork shoulder into quarters, combine with water, salt, garlic and onions in large stockpot. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until pork is tender. Drain, reserving pork fat that rises to surface to use later for sautéing shredded pork; cool. Trim excess fat and shred pork into bite-size pieces.

Liberty-kitchenoysterette-chef-travis-lenigx300RESTAURANT: Liberty Kitchen & Oysterette    
Chef Travis Lenig

Red Fish on the Half Shell


  • 1 2-pound whole Red Fish gutted, then filleted with skin and scale on
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch of Old Bay Seasoning
  • Grilled Lemon half
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound cold butter diced into small cubes


Prepare grill (whether charcoal or gas) to high heat. Once hot, brush clean.

Season red fish fillet with salt, pepper and Old Bay Seasoning on meat side only. Place on medium-hot area of grill, skin side down, and cook for 10-12 minutes.

While fish is cooking, prepare sauce. Heat heavy cream and white wine over medium high heat, reducing by half. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in butter, adding slowly to ensure the butter is completely whisked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove fish from the grill. Ladle sauce over the fish and serve with a grilled lemon half.




Americas-chef-david-corduax300RESTAURANT: Americas
Chefs Michael and David Cordua (pictured)

Beef Empanadas

Makes 24 Empanadas


  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • 3 tbsp. dry sherry
  • 2 1/4 lb. ground beef
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 1/2 c. diced yellow onion
  • 1 c. diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 c. chopped pimento-stuffed olives
  • 1/4 c. beef stock, concentrated
  • 3/4 c. dry (quick) oatmeal
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 24 empanada pastry rounds for frying

Soak the raisins in the sherry for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté the ground beef with the bay leaf in the olive oil until meat begins to brown and crumble. Add onion and bell pepper, along with the red pepper, black pepper, paprika and cumin, cooking until vegetables are soft. Add the olives, raisins and concentrated beef stock, then stir in the oatmeal and cook until most liquid is absorbed about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Discard bay leaf.

Spread the meat mixture onto a baking sheet and cool in refrigerator. Keeping your fingers damp with water, lay out the pastry circles and scoop about 3 tablespoons of the meat filling onto each, folding each into a half-moon and crimping the edges with a fork. Fry in oil preheated to 350°F until golden brown, about 4 minutes Let cool a bit before eating.


Arturo-boada-cuisine-chef-arturo-boadax300RESTAURANT: Arturo Boada Cuisine
Chef Arturo Boada

Seafood Paella


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces snapper filets
  • 12 each little neck clams
  • 12 each mussels
  • 8 each shrimp (16/20)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup red bell peppers, roasted
  • ½ cup clam juice
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • Paella Rice
  • ½ cup sweet peas

Heat the oil in a paella pan or large skillet over high heat. Slice the snapper into square pieces. Season the seafood with the red pepper flakes. Add all the seafood to the pan and cook for 3 minutes.

Next, add the onion, garlic and red bell pepper and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve family style.

Paella Rice


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups Uncle Ben’s rice
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 each bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat the olive oil in an oven-proof saucepan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes, being careful not to brown it. Add the rice and stir to coat. Next, add the saffron, turmeric, water, Bay leaf and salt. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and cover with foil. Place in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Spread the al dente rice out on a sheet pan and immediately refrigerate.

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