March, 2014

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March 28.2014 – Mina in the spotlight, super salmon, save on kitchen items

Hosted & produced by Barbara J Nosek

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Michael Mina was recently interviewed in the prestigious industry publication, Restaurant Hospitality, which noted that since the magazine had presented chef Mina with the Michael Melman award in 2009, “his SanMina, Michael - headshot Francisco-based company has grown to 18-plus restaurants around the country, including his most recent, Michael Mina 74 at the Fontainbleau in Miami Beach {shown below}.

I found his answer particularly interesting to a question about his seemingly odd location strategy, his empire reaching into CA, NV, MD, AZ and WY. Mina replied that his relationship with hotel brands is a
strong factor, but also, “We tend to gravitate toward Mina, Michael - food shotregions where the culinary landscape is thriving or on the brink of a renaissance – from San Francisco’s renowned culinary scene to places like Jackson Hole and Baltimore, where the food scene is really just beginning.”

He was also asked his menus from venue to venue and if his cooking can translate anywhere in the U.S. Mina focused on the fact that the Miami restaurant is a culmination of all his Mina, Michael - Michael Mina 74, Miama - exterior travel experiences resulting in a great mix of global influences.

That Q&A reminded me of a question I had asked chef Mina about his penchant for populating his empire with a variety of formats, fine dining steak or fish houses, taverns & pubs & bars, even a Japanese establishment. His perfect answer: It’s all ingredients and technique. The mark of a master.

And this is cool. Enter the Mina wine club photo contest and win a $250 wine credit. Details at the link below.

Click for more information . . .

Michael Mina  Restaurant Hospitality Michael Mina: The Cookbook

Wine club contest

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What to have . . . Honey Salt in the Summerlin area of northwest Las Vegas continues to gather in kudos and loyal customers, thanks to the genius combo of innovative restaurateur Elizabeth Blau and celeb chef husband Kim Canteenwalla.

Judging by the wonders that have appeared on my plate and as well the happy faces throughout the crowds, seems it would be hard to go wrong with anything on the comfort food menu. But if you like salmon, this is the place to order it.

First it’s a big-a piece of fish. But big is no good unless it’s good, right?

And oh is this ever. Scottish roasted salmon, meltingly tender with a slightly smoky vibe, served on a platform of freshest greens and other goodies.

At 1031 S Rampart {aka Ft Apache}, at Charleston, northwest corner, literally in the corner. 702.445.6100.

Click for more information . . .

Honey Salt  menus

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Amazon tells me that these fine items are among the current top sellers or top rated items in their kitchen realm . . .

Emeril All-Clad Hard Anodized Saute Pan

Amazon description:

Scratch resistant and easy to clean,  with ergonomically designed handle for balance, control and comfort
Amazon Emeril pan

PFOA free and cadmium free

Available in 8, 10 and 12 inch

List $35, Amazon price $14.99

Click here

Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Saute Pan

Amazon’s description:

5 1/2 qt capacity, with stay-cool “helper handle” and lidAmazon saute pan

Mirror-finish exterior, matte interior

Oven safe to 550 degrees, broiler, freezer & dishwasher safe

List price $140.00, Amazon price $41.24

Click here

Zojirushi EB-CC15 Indoor Electric Grill

Amazon description:

Non-stick surface 12 1/2 x 9 1/4, overall 20 3/4 x 6 1/8 x 14

Variable heat control, cool-touch handles & housing

Disassembles easily for cleaning, dishwasher-safe drip tray

List price $98, Amazon price $78.33, used from $52

Click here 

Also, check out lots more items in our new online Amazon store

 Save on Kitchen Appliances and Furniture

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Tune in on Tuesday, April 1, and discover “a perfect fool,” celeb-style

 

 

 

 

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March 25.2014 – California avocado & shrimp tostada by Mary Sue Milliken & Susan Feniger

Hosted & produced by Barbara J Nosek

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 Don’t be frightened by the number of ingredients, prep is quite easy

Might want to tuck this away for Cince de Mayo 

Serves 4 

3/4 c beer  3 bay leaves  ½ t celery seeds  ½ t cayenne  ½ t salt  ½ lb domestic, wild-caught jumbo shrimp, peeled and cleaned ♦ 2 ripe, fresh California avocados, seeded, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice  1 Roma tomato, finely diced  ¼ c finely diced red onion  1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced  1 jalapeño, stem and seeds removed, finely diced  ½ bunch cilantro, finely chopped  ½ lime, juiced  3 T extra virgin olive oil  Salt, to taste  Ground black pepper, to taste  Canola oil, for frying  4 (6-inch) corn tortillas  4 romaine lettuce leaves, finely julienned

Combine beer, bay leaves, celery seeds, cayenne and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add shrimp and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until just turning pink and cooked through. Remove shrimp from liquid, cool to room temperature, and cut into 1/2-inch dice.California Avocado Shrimp Tostadas

 In a large bowl, combine cooked shrimp with avocado, tomato, onion, carrot, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir gently, taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary. Chill thoroughly.

Meanwhile, pour oil to a depth of ½-inch in a small pan for frying. Fry the tortillas on both sides until crisp and drain on paper towels.

To serve, divide julienned lettuce evenly between each crispy corn tortilla. Top with avocado shrimp mixture and serve immediately.

Notes . . . Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Click for more information . . . 

Border Grill  Sign up for newsletter  Their books on Amazon 

CCC Recipe Index

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Tune in for our next post on Friday

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March 21.2014 – Not so elementary Watson, Top Five, Kudos to the Tamales

Hosted & produced by Barbara J Nosek

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So interesting!!! A report out of the recent SXSW conference in Austin by Nation’s Restaurant News puts the spotlight on a new use for Watson, the computer that took a star turn on “Jeopardy.” {Image is Watson’s thumbprint.}

So what’s “he” up to now? Creating recipes! In goes a key ingredient and some other parameters and Watson patooeys a unique prep. The chefs in the demo said most output is likely something no one has ever thought of before.

Some chefs may balk at mechanical assistance. But others see it as amodel shop article thumbnail partnership that can create exciting new dishes with a confluence of compatible flavor and textures.

Now thinking that maybe the homecook could serve up a down-tech version of this by googling say a primary ingredient, an ethnic selection, maybe number of servings, perhaps the word “party” or the like and see what comes up. Gonna go try that right now.

Oops, first let me tell you what I just found. If you have an idea for a Watson-powered mobile app, submit it by March 31 for a chance at mentoring and building. Hit the link below for details.

Click for more information . . .

Nation’s Restaurant News  Full SXSW story  Watson competition

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Top Foodie destinations. In a recent issue of their always-fab online newsletter, the folks at Star Chefs named their picks for top five cities that have become “bastions of chef-kind.”  

And the winners are . . . Asheville NC, Portland ME, Portland OR, Austin TX, and Brooklyn. Here is a bit of the backstory . . .

“These cities have a momentum and special energy. A magnetism, beauty, andWelcome to StarChefs where you can search for recipes, culinary schools and hospitality schools, chef jobs, hotel jobs, restaurant jobs and food and wine pairings. bounty that allows chefs to flourish (doing whatever the hell they want: donuts, meads, syrups) often  times building from the ground up—from hot dog carts to fine-dining destinations. They are crystal balls for our food nation, creating trends from foraging and micro-roasteries to craft beer, bean-to-bar chocolate, and oyster bars.

“We’ve put together a few stats that illuminate the culinary charisma of these cities, where chefs converge for quality of life and end up as big fish in a small pond (and often end up influencing the bigger national scene). We encourage you to visit, if not get up and move all together. See you in the boom towns!”

Click on the full article for greater detail on the cities and the reasons for their selection. Great foodie pix too!

Click for more information . . .

starchefs.com  “Top Five Cities for Chefs”

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Congrats! Also from the respected industry publication Nation’s Restaurant News  comes word that those “Too Hot Tamales” Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger will be inducted into the MenuMasters Hall of Fame, noting that the Border Grill co-chefs/co-owners “have spent decades nourishing their guests with food from around the world, and educating and entertaining them with five cookbooks and numerous television appearances.”

Milliken & Feniger - headshotAnd indeed, the menu certainly shows a lot of creative diversity. Variously within their restaurants there’s the weekend mimosa brunch, the small plates offering on Sundays, the inventive Meatless Mondays, the Cantina happy hour bites, the holiday feasts and, oh by the way, the regular menu too.

This year’s ceremony honoring all MenuMaster award winners takes place on May 17 at the Drake Hotel in Chicago. Attendance by invitation only.

Good stuff! See our post next Tuesday for Mary Sue and Susan’s flavorful recipe for shrimp & avocado tostadas.

Click for more information . . .

Border Grill Border Grill cookbooks ♦ Nation’s Restaurant News  Award winners

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Tune in Tuesday for Border Grill’s CA avocado & shrimp tostada recipe

 

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March 18.2014 – Maybe legendary mashed potatoes by legendary Joel Robuchon

Hosted & produced by Barbara J Nosek

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Happened to be making mashed potatoes shortly after posting the item on Fri about Joel Robuchon and was transported back to the sublime moment I experienced chef Robuchon’s addictive mashies – went on googol and found several entries for same, all much alike except for one basic difference, and in this regard you can decide for yourself

4 lbs gold Yukon potatoes  2 lbs butter {see notes}  1/2 – 3/4 cup hot milk  salt to taste

Cook unpeeled potatoes in salted water at a simmer, uncovered, for about 20-30 min or untile they test done. Drain, peel and press through a food mill.

Return the potatoes to a pan, cook and stir over low heat until they are quite dried out, about 5 min. Add the butter a bit at a time, blending well after each addition.

Then add the hot milk a bit at a time, again blending well after each addition. When all incorporated whisk until nicely fluffy.

Pass the mixture through a fine drum sieve up to two or three times until desired texture is achieved. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

Notes . . . most of the recipes show this 2:1 ratio of potatoes to butter, but his cookbook shows a 4:1 ratio and that’s where your personal decision comes into play . . . also some of the recipes specified Ratte potatoes as Robuchon’s preference but noted that fingerlings or Yukons would be OK . . .the recipe shown is a combo of several found and would not necessarily be approved by the chef who it also should be noted serves as well some variations on his basic recipe

Click for more information . . .

Joel Robuchon  Robuchon cookbooks on Amazon

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Tune in for our next post on Friday

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March 14.2014 – Wed like a celeb, Irish shake with spirit, more new celeb places

Hosted & produced by Barbara Nosek

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Wed with a French vibe right in Las Vegas. Joël Robuchon Restaurant at MGM has intro-ed a nuptials package that includes “an elegant setting reminiscent of Paris in the 1930s.”

The procession just keeps getting better and better. First, the ceremony backdropped by the vertical garden in the picturesque Parisian Terrace, then a toast in the exquisite Aperitif Lounge, and for the big finish, “an elegant five-course meal {for six guests} in the private dining room of Las Vegas’ only AAA Five Robuchon, Joel - headshotDiamond and Michelin three-star restaurant.”


But wait, there’s more. Limo to the courthouse, bridal hair & makeup by Cristophe, bouquet & boutonniere, 2-hr photo package, a half dozen floral arrangements for the ceremony, the officiant, and DVD of ceremony.

The package is priced at $5,895, all-inclusive, and can be reserved by calling 702.891-7925. Package price may vary based on special requests.

Click for more information . . .

Joel Robuchon  Joel Robuchon restaurant  MGM Grand

Robuchon’s cookbooks on Amazon

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Here’s to St Pat. For the holiday, guests at marquee chef Laurent Tourondel’s BLT Burger can sip into the “Kiss Me I’m Irish” shake made with Jameson, Bailey’s and Guinness and equal parts vanilla and coffee ice cream, garnished with whipped cream, shamrock sprinkles and a green shamrock cookie.

And then of course – well just look at the name – you’re going to want to park one of those famous burgers alongside the current specialty or one of the other spiked or not shakes. Maybe the Classic, the signature BLT, the western-vibed Cowboy, the upscale Wagyu Truffle, or???

Find it all at the Mirage in Las Vegas. Tourondel’s BLT Burgers can also be found in New York and Hong Kong.

Click for more information . . .

Laurent Tourondel  BLT Burger His page on Amazon

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New celeb places. Rick Bayless’ hugely popular everything-fresh Tortas Frontera now has a sibling in the Arch Building in Philadelphia . . . Australian chef Curtis Stone has opened Maude, named after his grandma, in Beverly Hills . . . and Marcus Samuelsson, who’s as awesome as his back story, is looking forward to a signature restaurant in the Fairmont Hilton Princess Hotel in 2015.

Click for more information . . .

Rick Bayless  Curtis Stone Marcus Samuelsson

Bayless cookbooks  Stone cookbooks  Samuelsson cookbooks

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Tune in Tues for legendary chef Joel Robuchon’s equally legendary mashed potatoes

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March 11.2014 – Dark chocolate peanut butter cookie cups

Hosted & produced by Barbara Nosek

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You just never know where you’re going to find an awesome recipe

This one from the GE newsletter, since tested in the CCC kitchen

Makes 36  cookies

1/2 c butter  1/2 c sugar ♦ 1/2 c brown sugar  1 c peanut butter  1 large egg  1/2 t vanilla  1 1/3 c flour  3/4 t baking soda  1/2 t salt  36 mini dark chocolate peanut butter cups

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter until light and fluffy. Combine the brown and white sugars and gradually beat in the butter. Add peanut butter, eggs and vanilla. Beat well.

Sift together the flour, soda and salt. Add to peanut butter mixture.GE - choc pb cookies

Line mini-muffin tins with paper cups or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Put approximately 1 tablespoon of dough into each of the mini muffin cups. Bake 15 min.

While the cookies are baking, unwrap the chocolate peanut butter cups. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, push an unwrapped peanut butter cup into the center of the cookie. You need to do this while the cookies are still warm. Let cool completely before serving.

Notes . . . the GE chefs say, use whatever brand of peanut butter cup candy that you prefer, milk chocolate or dark chocolate . . . and as a shortcut you can use refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough {they add, “We won tell!”}

Click for more information . . .

GE 

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Tune in Friday for celeb wedding pkg, spirited Irish shake, new celeb places

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March 7.2014 – Meet Ferran, New celeb restaurants, new celeb place in a new place

Hosted & produced by Barbara Nosek

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A golden opportunity . . . The legendary Ferran Adria who made El Bulli outside Barcelona a worldwide destination, is making two stops in the US next week.

See him March 13 at Eataly in New York City, 200 5th Avenue, 212.229.2560. Or see him March 14 at Eataly in Chicago, 43 East Ohio Street, 312.521.8700.

Adria has published a new 7-volume set of books called simply “El Bulli.” Renowned chef Daniel Boulud says of the work, “this is about understanding a new theory of cooking and cuisine.”

Click for more information . . .

All of Ferran Adria’s books on Amazon   Eataly

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Catching up with celeb restaurant openings . . . Bradley Ogden and equally talented son Bryan have swung wide the doors on Funky Chicken in Houston,Flay, Bobby - BBQ Addiction cookbook serving up the locally sourced birds in any number of variations . . . Bobby Flay has added to his Las Vegas presence with Bobby’s Burger Palace at CityCenter featuring the title sammie, crunchified and otherwise, in this newest addition to BBPs across the country . . . Jean-Georges Vongerichten has opened the Inn at Pound Ridge in Westchester County NY with farm-sourced foods, next will debut a unique addition to his international restaurant collection, a raw/vegan/vegetarian emporium in NYC to be called ABC Home Grown.

Click for more information . . .

Funky Chicken  Bobby Flay  BBP  Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Chef Ogden’s cookbooks on Amazon

Chef Flay’s cookbooks on Amazon

Chef Vongerichten’s cookbooks on Amazon

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This new celeb place  . . . will be in a new place. The grand old Sahara had finally retired and is now being replaced by SLS Las Vegas. ItsSLS - rendering 02.14 creators portray it as “an imaginative mix of the most innovative nightlife, dining and entertainment experiences under one roof.”

A closer look at the dining offering reveals plans for an eatery called The Bazaar by José Andrés. The Bazaar already serves up its blend of “Old World delicacies with avant-garde delights,” in Beverly Hills and South Beach

SLS will also house “a reinvention of the popular L.A. nightspot, The Sayers Club.” The new property is scheduled to open Labor Day weekend.  Hit the link below for a special message from founder Sam Nazarian about SLS Las Vegas:

Click for more information . . .

SLS  Message from Sam Nazarian

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Tune in next Tues for dark chocolate peanut butter coookie cups recipe

 

 

 

 

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March 4.2014 – Shrimp & Wild Rice Casserole by Paula Deen

Hosted & produced by Barbara Nosek

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This easy prep earned 5 stars from reviewers on Paula’s site

Serve 6-8

1 10 3/4 ounce can condensed cream of mushroom soup  1/2 onion, chopped  1/2 green bell pepper chopped  2 tablespoon butter  1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and divined  1 package wild rice  2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese  Salt and pepper

Cook the rice according to package directions minus 1/4 cup water. Let cool.

Bring 2 cups water and 1/2 tablespoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan and Shrimp and Wild Rice Casserolecook the shrimp for 1 min. Drain immediately and set aside. Heat the butter in a saucepan and saute the pepper and onion until soft, about 5 min.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the rice, soup, 1 1/2 cups of cheese, shrimp and vegetables.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

Spray a 9 inch square aluminum cake pan or an 11 by 7 inch glass casserole dish with vegetable spray.  Place the mixture in the pan and top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly.

Notes . . . this is really, really good . . . btw, I used frozen cooked shrimp, thawed in cold water, and worked just fine . . . add a lightly dressed green salad for an oh so satisfying dinner.

Click for more information . . .

Paula Deen  Paula Deen cookbooks on Amazon 

Paula Deen kitchenware on Amazon

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Tune in for our Friday post on Adria events, new celeb restaurants, new place tc for Andres

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