Monday, March 22, 2010

The last hurrah...

So, my week without meat is over. As you may guess...I found very little blog inspiration during a week of salads, cheese and PB&J.
However...I've been saving this one for your reading enjoyment. My last a sense. I decided to go out with a bang.

Burgers stuffed with foie gras and black truffle mousse.

Yeah...they are as good as they sound. 

A few bites in and suddenly, a molten center of foie gras bursts into your mouth and down your chin. A truly decadent last meal before entering the purgatory of a world with out meat.

Easy enough to make with some D'Artagnan Foie Gras and Black Truffle Mousse.

A healthy disk of mousse between two smaller patties...ok...not that much smaller. Make sure you form a tight seal so that you don't lose any of the molten center as they cook.
Top with some really good cheese, I used a mix of Gruyere and a sharp alpine style cheese. I like to grate and mix the cheese for even melting.

 I prefer to cook these burgers inside. I like the seal and control you get from a pan over a grill. Get a good crust and finish them in the oven.

I served these with some freshly made sweet potato chips.

The final touches were some butter lettuce,  a roasted tomato & garlic mayo and a lemony cole slaw to help cut through the richness of the burgers.

I know you want one.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

You've got to know when to hold em'...

So...I lost a bet.

A stupid bet.

I am a fool.

And now, for five long and agonizing days...

I will be a vegetarian.

No juicy steaks. No greasy burgers. No crispy fried chicken or overflowing pastrami sandwiches. No stuffed trotters or pork belly. No foie gras, chicken livers or duck confit. No pulled pork sandwiches, ribs or buffalo wings.
Not even sushi.

I have chosen poorly. And the timing...St. Patty's Day. Corned beef and cabbage. Not for me.

Thanks, Liz.

Stupid bet.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

On quiet nights...

On a slower evening at the restaurant, some friends came to dinner. This is the story of that night.

The amuse bouche.
A wonton filled with brandade, a puree of salted cod and potato. 
Topped with lobster oil and a chiffonade of basil.
 Roasted candycane beets with goats cheese, olive oil, balsamic & honey reduction.
 This next course was extra fun as it literally came together on the fly. Rod was about to make a sea urchin and lobster roe mousse. So he took some of the lobster roe and quickly made a pasta. Note the change in color as it cooked.
He finished the dish with a bit more lobster roe and a lobster & turbot stock reduced with a bit of the sea urchin.
Finally, the dishes they actually ordered.
 Roasted shrimp, dusted in black pepper.
Served on a bed of shaved fennel and apples tossed with juniper vinaigrette
Seared diver scallops over cepe mashed potatoes with truffle vinaigrette.

Roasted half chicken with haricots verts and a garlic, lemon and thyme jus.

Basically, my point is...stop by on a slow night and let's see what happens.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Alain Ducasse rates NYC french fries...

Gotta love it...

My wish list...

 I thought I would put out a wish list of the places I want to eat at in the next few months. The weather is starting to get nice and I am getting antsy.

Locanda Verde...because who isn't going
The Breslin...again...this time for the pig
The Spotted Pig...because I need to write about those Bloody Marys
Blue Hill at Stone Barns...waiting for the spring
Ratz...also in the spring
Prune...I keep hearing great thing
Sushi Yasuda...because I can't afford Masa
Ward visit Adela
The Bar Room at the Modern...going in 2 weeks
Roberta's...went to event there a few months ago...dying to go back
Commerce...also, been hearing good things
Momfuku...all of one day...sounds fun, right?
Prime Meats...gotta get to Brooklyn
The Grease Trucks...because I owe it to Rod
Les Halles...I know he doesn't cook there anymore...but I still want to go

So...who's coming with me?

Nothing can kill The Grimace...

This is kind of randomly food related...but I love it and it fits in my search for the perfect burger...and I just love it. From Clerks: The Animated Series

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tasting parties gaining momentum...

So it looks like our monthly tasting parties are really starting to take off. This past week was restaurant week in Maplewood so we hosted a full week of our soon to be famous tasting parties. That's also why I've been too busy to post...these things take a lot of work.

For those that don't know, we set the room as one long communal table and serve a set seven course menu. Folks are encouraged to interact and meet new people. It tends to be quite a bit of  least this writer for the NY Times seems to think so.

We topped this slice of Japanese Suzuki with lime, raisins and late harvest Gewurztraminer to create a type of ceviche or emince. we started each night with this dish and it set the tone. Simple, clean flavors. Bright and exciting. I could eat this all day.

Leek and potato soup with a mottled truffle cream. I love serving this dish because no one ever expects it to be quite as good as it actually is. From the color, you can see that the ratio of leek to potato is heavy on the leek side. This soup really tends to catch people off guard.

Roasted eggplant with Morrocan spices topped with a barely poached quail egg. Several people said that they don't like eggplant...and proceeded to clean their plates. Nuf said?

Oh yeah...can't forget desserts...

It's always tough for me to write about the dishes, since I don't get to sit and eat them.

How about this...leave a comment on this post about why you should be the guest commentator at the next tasting and I will pick my favorite to have a guest post.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lunch for one...

During my trip to the market for dinner today I happened upon these amazing double cut pork chops. Unfortunately, there were not enough available for my whole dinner party, so....a very special lunch, just for me. I scrounged around the house for something to pair with it.

Yukon golds on their last legs and a couple of mushrooms from tonight's menu went into the pan with some olive oil, rosemary, thyme and garlic. Seared the chop in the same pan and into a hot oven. At the end, I hit the pan with some white wine, cream and just a touch of tomato paste and reduced. I have to say, that sauce was right where I wanted it. Simple, luxurious and delicious. Not a bad lunch, just for me...