Located in Highland Village, an upscale shopping center in Houston, Up Restaurant features classic American food from tuna tartare and salads to steak and pizza. The restaurant is called Up because it’s on the third floor, over the Cole Haan shoe store, where diners enjoy the scenery of downtown Houston and the Galleria. A spectacular crystal chandelier, valued at $70,000, sits over the bar.
Chef Joe Macri shows food radio talk show host Cleverley Stone how to make breadless crab cakes and chocolate macarons, a French cookie, and FOX 26 anchor Chris Stipes meets Hairdar Barbouti, owner and creator of Up Restaurant.
For more information about food, wine and dining in Houston,
listen to Cleverley’s radio show, Saturdays at Noon on Talk 650 AM.
(By the way, she gives out restaurant gift cards on every radio show!)
Breadless Crab Cakes With Chipotle Pepper Sauce
Makes 8 crab cakes
- 2 lbs lump crab meat
- 3 Tablespoons chives, minced
- 2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 each lemons, zest and juice
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 Whole eggs
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Cajun spice
- 2 ounces vegetable oil, for sauteeing
1. Squeeze any residual water from the crab meat.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients.
3. Weigh the crab mixture into 4 ounce portions and with your hand, or a ring mold if you have one, shape the crab mixture into cakes.
4. In a large non-stick sauté pan, add the vegetable oil and turn the flame to medium.
5. When the oil is hot, place 4 crab cakes in the pan and sauté on both sides until golden brown.
6. Repeat this process with the remaining crab cakes.
7. Place the sautéed crab cakes onto a baking sheet and place in a 300 degree F oven for 10 minutes so as to allow the crab cakes to get hot all the way through and set.
Makes 1 ½ cups
- ¼ cup chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 4 limes, zest and juice
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon salt
1. In a food processor, puree the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, set aside.
2. Zest and juice the limes, set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine the chipotle pepper puree, lime zest and juice, mayonnaise and salt and whisk until smooth.
4. Keep this sauce refrigerated for up to 1 week in a covered container if not using immediately.
5. Serve about 1 ½ ounces of sauce per crab cake.
Chocolate Macarons (French Cookies)
Ingredients for the meringues
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ¾ cup almond flour
- 3 each large egg whites, at room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa nibs
Ingredients for the ganache
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 7 ounces bitter-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 ½ Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees F.
2. In a food processor, pulse the confectioners sugar, cocoa powder and almond flour to blend.
3. Pass this mixture through a mesh strainer to leave any clumps out of the mix. Set this mixture to the side.
4. In an electric mixing bowl, combine the egg whites and granulated sugar and begin to whisk on low speed until the eggs become foamy.
5. Turn the speed to high and whisk the egg and sugar mixture for about 5 minutes or until the meringue becomes shiny and stiff peaks are formed.
6. Fold the almond flour mixture into the meringue in three stages using a rubber spatula being careful not to over mix or you will deflate the air from the meringue.
7. Immediately scrape the meringue into a piping bag and pipe 1 ½ inch circles onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet.
8. Sprinkle each meringue with some of the cocoa nibs.
9. Allow the uncooked meringue circles to air dry for about 40 minutes allowing a crust to form before baking.
10. While the meringue is drying, make the ganache by heating the cream until it boils.
11. Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl and pour the boiling cream over the chocolate.
12. Whisk the chocolate and cream mixture until it is smooth and then stir in the butter.
13. Cool the ganache until it firms up and is able to be piped from a pastry bag. Set ganache aside.
14. After letting the meringue rest for 40 minutes, bake in the pre-heated 300 F oven for about 18 to 22 minutes or until crisp.
15. When the cookies are cooked, slide the sheet of parchment with the cookies on them to cool off.
16. When the cookies are cool, lay them on a tray flat side up and pipe some of the ganache on every other cookie.
17. Place the plain cookie on top of the chocolate ganache topped cookie and press slightly so as to allow the ganache to spread evenly.
18. Refrigerate cookies for up to 3 days in a covered container.
19. Before serving the macaron, take out of the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes, then serve.