Posts for June 24th 2010
Not content to simply throw a global tapas-themed party for the World Cup, Cameron Selogie, owner of Il Vinaio restaurant in Mesa, AZ, has been serving customers a limited-edition South Africa-themed burger made from lion meat.
The burger, which the Phoenix-area restaurant is charging $21 for, is actually a mixture of lion meat and ground beef. Since lions are a protected — and dwindling — species in Africa, animal rights activists have predictably been flooding the restaurant with angry calls, emails, and even bomb threats.
Selogie claims that his meat came from a free-range farm in Illinois that's been approved by the USDA. "Frankly, I'm a little shocked with all the problems in the world today, with the oil spill and immigration, that people have this much time to talk about 10 pounds of lion meat," he said. Yet rumors are swirling about the legitimacy of the Illinois lion farm. I'm not satisfied by Selogie's answer and think the idea sounds gross. What about you?
Adapted From Geode Wines
Grilled Bruschetta With Burrata, Honey, and Citrus Oil
1 small loaf rustic baguette
2 garlic cloves
8-ounce tub burrata cheese, two balls
Up to 2 tablespoons light olive oil, to taste
Grapefruit, lemon, and orange zest
Up to 2 tablespoons honey, to taste
- Warm light olive oil almost to boiling, then turn off the heat and add citrus zest. Let steep for about an hour or until cooled. Then drain and refrigerate whatever you don't use. Note: this could be done a day ahead or you could substitute with store-bought citrus-infused oil.
- Preheat your grill or grill pan to medium heat.
- Slice the bread into 12 1/4-inch thick slices and toast on the grill until golden brown on both sides to make crostini.
- While the bread is still hot from the grill, rub one side with the garlic cloves and set aside.
- Top each crostini with a scoop of the burrata cheese.
- Drizzle with olive oil and honey.
Between the Voltaggio brothers lunch and the grand tasting tents, we enjoyed a lot of good food last weekend in Aspen. However, the highlight, by far, was an amazing six-course crawfish lunch, prepared by the master of New Orleans cuisine, Chef John Besh. Thanks to his appearances on the Next Iron Chef and Top Chef Masters, I was pretty familiar with the chef's cooking style.
What I wasn't prepared for was one of the most delicious and memorable meals of my life. Here you'll get a look at the lunch, which was paired with beer and properly titled Tails and Ales.
Chang, who was a Best New Chef himself at the 2006 Classic, showed his version of vacuum cooking. "Sous vide cooking will be more popular in the next 10 to 20 years," he declared. Although he recommended a water immersion circulator for home cooks ("they didn't pay me to say this, but PolyScience is the best one out there"), he demonstrated a similar, more affordable technique that he refers to as "sandbagging" or "ghetto sous vide."
He made fun of his jury-rigged concept, but I think it was classic avant-garde David Changian. With a large vat of water, the chef used an instant-read digital thermometer to gauge the temperature at about 140ºF, or 60ºC. Then he inserted a vacuum-sealed piece of meat for about 45 minutes, until the protein was just barely, but uniformly, cooked through. For more about what the Momofuku maestro had to say, read on.
Sometimes I'll make a hurried salad by haphazardly throwing vegetables and oil into a bowl. Other times, I'll make a leisurely salad with homemade croutons and an elaborate vinaigrette.
This amazing dinner salad is the latter, because the vinaigrette has to be made in advance. Don't be intimidated though, once you've reduced the beer, the rest is easy. The ingredients — tangy blue cheese, juicy cherries, crunchy croutons, and bitter greens — come together perfectly, creating a salad that is sophisticated and filling. It's the kind of salad you'll want to serve to girlfriends at a bridal shower. Be sure to pair with a luxurious white wine like Forefront's classic Sav Blanc. I enjoyed this dish so much that I've already made it multiple times. Give it a try and get the recipe now.
Modified from Food & Wine
Bitter Greens With Cherry Beer Vinaigrette
For the vinaigrette
1/2 cup cherry-flavored beer, such as Boon Kriek
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh pitted cherries, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or raspberry vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup canola oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the salad
6 cups mixed bitter greens, such as radicchio, escarole and arugula
2 Belgian endives, cored and thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 pound Roquefort or Gorgonzola cheese
1-2 cups homemade croutons
1 cup fresh pitted cherries, halved
- Make the vinaigrette: In a small saucepan, combine the beer with the shallots, cherries and honey and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beer has reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to lukewarm.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the vinegar with the mustard. Whisk in the beer reduction, then gradually whisk in the canola oil. Season the cherry beer vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
- Add the greens and endives to the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Add the blue cheese, croutons, and cherries. Toss to combine and serve.
It's like oranges with cinnamon for dipping: Reader Mee-shell uploaded this photo of mangoes with chili and lime to the Savory Sights group in the YumSugar Community. Do you have an image of something delicious that you recently made or enjoyed? Upload it!
I picked this snack up at a street fair recently but it's super easy to make at home. Toss sliced mango with lime juice, salt, and chili powder. Done! (Jicama and papaya work great too.)
Last night, the second episode of Top Chef: DC went down, and it was totally action-packed. First came the Bi-partisandwich Quickfire, in which the 16 contestants teamed up in pairs and tried their best to single-handedly pile ingredients between bread while attached at the apron. The challenge was painfully cheesy, but Angelo was the right one to win immunity.
For the Elimination Challenge — seriously, who didn't see this coming? — the chefs took part in Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign, and made a four-course school lunch for 50 on a public school budget of $2.60 per person. Standing in for new chef judge Eric Ripert was the extremely attractive and intelligent White House chef Sam Kass.
I wasn't surprised by the taco team taking home the win, or for someone being eliminated over dessert. So far, I think Kenny and Angelo are the season's front-runners. How do you feel about Top Chef: DC?
Photo courtesy of Bravo