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The 25th Annual National Shakespeare Competition sponsored by the DFW English-Speaking Union is to be held Sat., Feb. 20th, at Highland Park High School.  Winning students of fall-winter competitions representing 12 area high schools perform their Shakespeare selections before judges in hopes of being the DFW representative at the national competition to be held later this spring. Winner of the national competition in New York receives a summer trip to England to study Shakespeare first-hand.

 

Shakespeare lovers are invited to gather at 9 am, Feb. 20, to enjoy the student presentations.  Popular Dallas public speaker Rose-Mary Rumbley opens the event with a reflection on this year as the 400th Anniversary of the Death of Shakespeare.  Highland Park High School is located at 4220 Emerson.

 

Mission of the English-Speaking Union is to celebrate English as a shared language to foster global understand and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members.” With headquarters in New York, the DFW branch is one of 70 E-SU branches nationwide.

For information regarding the National Shakespeare Competition, consult www.shakespearecompetition.org or email Shakespeare@esuus.org   For information on the DFW branch of E-SU, www.esus.org/dallas/ or call 214-734-6844.

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Mexico City native and new American citizen Abraham Salum, chef and proprietor of Komali Restaurant in Uptown, just celebrated voting in a United States presidential election for the first time before delving into a busy holiday season combining the best of traditional U.S. and Mexican cuisine and customs. 

"Feliz Navidad" is widely recognized from the song popularized many years ago by Texas singer and songwriter Trini Lopez.  It is a time when many popular Mexican seasonal traditions are easily adapted to our Texas lifestyle.

While most of us, urged along by merchants eager to boost sales, begin celebrating Christmas immediately after Halloween, the Mexican Las Posadas begins Dec. 16 and ushers in nine days of candlelight processions and lively parties.

Unknown to most Americans are the Pastorelas (shepherd plays), dating back to the Mexican colonial period.  But El Nacimiento, the nativity scene that is a primary decoration in a traditional home, often is featured in a U.S. home alongside Santa Claus.

A highlight of the season is Noche Buena (Christmas Eve), made brilliant by the extensive use of La Flor de Noche Buena (Poinsettia) throughout the home, place of business or house of worship.

A little known fact is that the Poinsettia is named after Dr. Joel R. Poinsett, a U.S. diplomat who served as Minister to Mexico in the 1820s. After experimenting with various methods of propagation, he returned home to Charleston, South Carolina with enough cuttings to begin the cultivation of these stunning plants in our part of the world. 

Expect to find traditional contemporary Mexican cuisine at Abraham Salum's Komali during the Feliz Navidad season—from a simple fare of homemade tamales and atole (corn gruel), to other regional dishes like Bacalao (salt cod), Romeritos (wild greens in mole with shrimp cakes), turkey, roast pork and ponche (brandy-spiked punch with Mexican fruits).

Komali is located at 4152 Cole Avenue at Fitzhugh Avenue. Featuring menu items including award-winning brunches and specialty beverages, Komali was cited by Esquire Magazine food critic John Mariani as leading the new wave of authentic Mexican cuisine (not Tex Mex) in the U.S. Serving lunch and dinner, the restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.  Brunch is served Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  For reservations call 214-525-0200.   www.komalirestaurant.com

Komali will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 22, and will open at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 23.  Look for a margarita special on Black Friday.  The restaurant also will be closed Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 24 and 25.           

Join in celebrating a Feliz Navidad by serving Christmas Punch at your holiday party!

Ponche Navideño (Christmas Punch) Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 10 quarts drinking water + 2 quarts hot water
  • 8-10 tejocotes (Mexican fruit found in specialty markets)
  • 2 tamarind pods
  • 6 guavas
  • 3 lbs sugar cane (substitute piloncillo if needed)
  • 1/2 lb prunes
  • 1 cup green apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2 pears, peeled and chopped
  • 4 large oranges (or 6 medium ones) juiced
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 8oz walnuts, chopped
  • 2 lbs piloncillo (Mexican raw sugar, sold in small cone-shaped pieces)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 pint of brandy (optional) 

Preparation:

Soak the tamarind and the tejocotes in hot water for about an hour. Bring the 10 quarts of water to a boil in a very large pot, then reduce to a slow simmer.

Remove the tamarind and the tejocotes from the soaking water and discard the water. Remove the brittle shells from the tamarind, and squeeze out the seeds from the pulp. Cut the tejocotes into quarters, removing the skin. Add the tamarind pulp and the tejocotes to the simmering water.

Cut the guavas into quarters, and add them in. Chop or slice the sugar cane into chunks (remove the outer skin if it has it) and add them to the water. Add in the remaining ingredients and simmer for one hour. Remove cinnamon sticks before serving. Makes approximately 15 servings. Use a large ladle and serve each cup with the chunks of fruit.  

Optional:

Mix in 1-2 oz of brandy per serving. Or you can add the entire pint to the batch before serving.  
    

Komali
Contemporary Mexican Cuisine

4152 Cole Ave. #106
Dallas, TX 75204

www.komalirestaurant.com

Call to make a reservation at 214-525-0200
Click here to view the menu

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Since opening in the fall of 2005, Abraham Salum's namesake restaurant has become a popular Uptown bistro known for its fashionably understated dining room with an open kitchen and inventive New American fare with a stylish presentation--a staple for a band of regulars.  With an emphasis on seasonal ingredients, a signature of Abraham’s contemporary menu has been regular monthly changes. 

After celebrating Salum's 5th anniversary and  his new US Citizenship in 2010, Abraham revved up for the opening of his second restaurant, Komali, during the now-famous icy weekend of Super Bowl XLV (Feb. 6, 2011) in Big D! 

Playing to his roots of growing up in Mexico City, Chef Abraham Salum's Komali (coming from the Aztec word for comal, Komali is the griddle used for cooking tortillas) serves contemporary Mexican cuisine.    Diners find handmade tortillas at Komali, along with great seafood, comida corrida, mole, pipian, and a variety of salsas on a seasonally changing menu. 

“I wanted the antithesis of Tex Mex,” says chef/proprietor Abraham Salum.  “We serve regional cuisine from Oaxaca and Guerrero, also Veracruz, the Yucatan and Central Mexico.  Guests will find squash blossoms and cactus flowers in some dishes.”

With Lebanese and Italian heritage, Abraham Salum grew up in Mexico City and is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont.   He continued his education by working in kitchens in France, Belgium, Mexico and the United States. His vision is to create restaurants that set standards, rather than following them. Salum is committed to overseeing food and beverage destinations that are celebrated by guests, distinguished by extraordinary food, and  staffed by attentive professionals well educated on cuisine and wine. 

Abraham was named one of the top ten chefs in Dallas 2006 by the Dallas Modern Luxury Magazine. He is a former member of the DIFFA Style Council, has been a celebrity chef at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium three years running, and has been invited to the Punta Mita Golf and Culinary festival two years in a row.  He annually hosts the Crystal Charity Ball’s mid-point luncheon.  Chef Abraham has participated in Bubbly Q for two years and Soup’s On! for three years.  This past summer, he was invited to cook for three Michelin Three Star chefs in Barcelona, Spain. And having cooked at the famed James Beard House in New York last October, Abraham was invited to appear at the recent MetroCooking show in Dallas alongside TV Food Network stars Bobby Flay and Paula Dean.

Leading food critics have recognized Abraham's quest for authentic contemporary Mexican (not Tex-Mex) at Komali.

Dallas Morning News restaurant critic Leslie Brenner said,  Komali's "creative, thoughtful takes on Mexican cooking are at the forefront of Dallas' modern Mexican movement."

Often called America's food critic, John Mariani, in Esquire Magazine cited Komali as one of the US restaurants leading the way for authentic Mexican cuisine.

Komali is located at 4152 Cole #106.  Serving lunch and dinner, the restaurant is open Monday-Saturday, 11:30 am-11:00 pm.  Brunch is served Sundays, 10:30 am-3:30 pm. For reservations call 214-306-8760.  www.komalirestaurant.com

Komali
Contemporary Mexican Cuisine

4152 Cole #106
Dallas, TX 75204

Call to make a reservation 214-306-8760
Click here to view the menu

Hours
Monday - Saturday 11:30am to 11:00pm
Sunday 10:30am to 3:00pm

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Abraham Salum’s Komali continues to showcase the best of authentic Mexican cuisine. One of the most popular lunch offerings at Komali is the Comida Corrida (“food on the run”).  Including traditional small plates of soup or salad, an entrée, and a small dessert, this prix fixe delight for $14 per person (plus tax and gratuity) is available daily for a fast and healthy lunch, Monday-Friday, 11:30am-2pm. 

In addition to fresh contemporary Mexican cuisine, Komali showcases regional cuisine from Oaxaca and Guerrero, Veracruz, the Yucatan and Central Mexico.

Daily happy hour (11:30am-7pm) specials of  $3 off glasses of wine, $1 off beers, and the signature specialty drinks for $7 each.  Award winning mixologist Leann Berry's $5 house margaritas and Komali’s big screen TVs help make the summer heat evaporate!

Komali is located at 4152 Cole #106.  Serving lunch and dinner, the restaurant is open Monday-Saturday, 11:30 am-11:00 pm.  Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 am-3 pm. For reservations call 214-306-8760. www.komalirestaurant.com

Komali
Contemporary Mexican Cuisine

4152 Cole #106
Dallas, TX 75204

Call to make a reservation 214-306-8760
Click here to view the menu

Hours
Monday - Saturday 11:30am to close
Sunday 10:30am to 3:00pm

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Fresh from appearances in New York City, including  preparing a  six-course dinner for a packed house of friends, family, New Yorkers and press at the  famed James Beard House, Abraham Salum continues to showcase the best of authentic Mexican cuisine at Komali  as he expands the restaurant’s lunch offerings to include more soups and salads while adding tacos, tortas, and tostadas  and continuing the popular three-course luncheon special comida corrida. 

The new menu items can be prepared with grilled snapper, sautéed shrimp, beef tenders, braised pork, or marinated chicken breast and are served with a choice of red rice or potatoes and black beans at a cost of $10-$12. 

Introduced during the summer, the well-received Comida Corrida incudes an appetizer, entree and dessert for $14.00 per person. 

Komali lunch is served daily, Monday-Saturday, 11:30 am-2:00 pm.   Continuing are daily ( 4:30pm-6:30 pm) happy hour specials of  $3 off glasses of wine, $.50 off beers, and the signature specialty drinks for $7 each.  Award winning mixologist Leann Berry's margaritas and Komali’s big screen TV’s make for great game time watching.

Cited by popular US food writer and critic John Mariani in his recent  Esquire Magazine “ Best New Restaurants of 2011” article as one of the top restaurants in the country setting a new contemporary Mexican food trend,  Komali is located at 4152 Cole #106. 

Serving lunch and dinner, the restaurant is open Monday-Saturday, 11:30 am-11:00 pm.  Brunch is served Sundays, 10:30 am-3:30 pm. For reservations call 214/252-0200. www.komalirestaurant.com