Sunday, February 28, 2010
My last week of meetings were brutal, but the saving grace was the couple of meals I got to experience outside of the boring hotel buffet food.
We had to fly in on Sunday, and the first thing I did when we landed was asked the locals where to go for some good Texas BBQ. We checked into the hotel and high-tailed it to Sonny Bryan's where we feasted on a family style spread of baby back ribs, pulled pork and chicken, and beef brisket along with coleslaw, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, baked beans, and green bean casserole (a southern classic). I called this my last supper, because I knew the hotel food would be less than appealing and I needed to make sure that I had enough in my tummy to last through the week! I went with all my male district-mates, and I think they were impressed to see that a 4 '10" girl could keep up.
A couple of nights later we headed to Hibiscus, which was an absolutely amazing steak and seafood spot. Coming from the seafood mecca of the West Coast, we were all a little skeptical about seafood in Dallas, Texas; however, we were all pleasantly surprised to find out Dallas has much more to offer than smoked cows and pigs--their seafood is really fresh and delicious. Along with a whole slew of appetizers, I feasted on the bungalow salad with chopped iceberg, tomato, avocado, apple smoked bacon, candied pecans and blue cheese along with a mustard vinaigrette. I took a taste of the burrata and tomato salad which was fabulous. The Burrata mozzarella is creamy and softer than normal mozzarella and made for a wonderful paring with the fresh tomatoes. For dinner I had roasted duck breast with grilled sweet corn and a bing cherry sauce. It was scrumptious and sweet-savory (my favorite); at this point I wished I had ate less appetizers so that I could lick my plate clean, but I was full to the brim.
After another couple of days of hotel food, I had the best meal at Five Sixty, a Wolfgang Puck restaurant that sits at the top of the hotel I stayed at, 560 feet above the ground. Like the Seattle Space Needle, the restaurant revolves and is the best place to enjoy the Dallas skyline. It is also shaped like a large globe and has lights all around it, so it is a Dallas Skyline hallmark itself. We decided to again do family style so we could try more dishes and enjoyed pork belly dumplings, lobster and crab spring rolls, Shanghai style Maine lobster with crispy flash fried spinach, a whole fried Seabass, Steak "au poivre", and a seafood green curry. I am a big time snob when it comes to Pan Asian food, but this one met and exceeded my standards. What set the food apart from other similar restaurants was the sauces. Each dish either came with a small bowl of sauce to spoon over the food, or was perfectly coated in its own savory sauce. Plus, we shared a chocolate souffle and a baked Alaska, both of which were heavenly. See the below photo for the interesting and fun presentation the souffle came in.
I try not to be too food-geeky in a professional setting, so I didn't take my camera, which I regret now. I have included photos from the restaurant websites, which does not do justice to the great food I experienced.
If you ever get a chance to go to Dallas, try these places out!
I just got back from a long week of meetings in Dallas and have some catching up to do with my blog posts. After a busy week, the best thing to cure your frizzled brain is with some delicious comfort food.
I made this fondue a couple of weeks ago for my parents. Kyle is allergic to crab, so he wasn't able to enjoy this. One of the near deal-breakers in our relationship was that he couldn't eat my family's favorite food--crab. He found out he was allergic to crab when he was old enough to know that he loved crab. Luckily he is a good sport and allows us to crack open juicy claws, drench it in butter and ohh and ahhh over the tasty critters, all while he looks on with longing. We usually have a crab alternative like my other favorite, lobster, so don't feel too bad for him.
This fondue is probably one of my all-time favorite dishes and is a recipe from one of my most trustworthy Food Network stars, Emeril Legasse. It is truly decadent and I have to warn that it is pretty expensive to make because of the lump crab meat and brie. Not to mention that it is probably 1000 calories per bite. If you have guests coming over or need a guaranteed amazing, plate-licking meal, this is the one for you.
If you look closely, you can see the cheese bubbling a little in this photo...yummm...
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces brie, trimmed of rind
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked clean of shells and cartilage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 to 3 tablespoons Tomato Confit, recipe follows
French bread or focaccia croutons, for serving
Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter to the pan. Once the butter is melted, add the shallots and saute, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft and translucent, about 1 minute. Add the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Once the cream is hot and bubbling, add the Brie and use a whisk to stir it into the cream. Season the cream with the salt and pepper and add the crabmeat to the pan. Continue to cook the fondue over medium heat until the cream is slightly reduced, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir the parsley into the fondue. Transfer fondue to a fondue pot and spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of the Tomato Confit into the fondue. Serve warm with French bread or focaccia croutons.
1/4 pound plum tomatoes, cored, halved, and seeded
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 large clove garlic, peeled and smashed
Olive oil, as needed
Place tomatoes in a small saucepan and season with the salt. Add the rosemary sprig and garlic and enough olive oil to barely cover the tops of the tomatoes. Bring oil to a very low simmer and cook for about 1 hour. Remove tomatoes from the oil with a slotted spoon and place in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
Yield: about 1/2 cup
I forgot to add the tomato confit before I took this photo, but it was absolutely delicious. I have noticed that many chefs are using tomato confit in various dishes lately, so it might be nice to make extra and use it in other dishes you make during the week.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Pert loves food, just like us, and since both Emi and I have never been to Hong Kong we thought it would be great if he would do a guest blog post for us about his trip and he happily agreed. Here's what he had to say about a few of his favorite meals in Hong Kong.
I had the great opportunity to go to Hong Kong and Shanghai this past year. I was really looking forward to seeing the sites, shopping, and visiting friends. But my ultimate goal was to hunt down some of my all-time favorite foods. This is why I love food in Hong King and Shanghai: it's fast, cheap, and oh so delicious. If you ever get a chance to go to these two places, you have to try the following foods.
I tried a lot of delicious foods in Hong Kong and Shanghai, but I'd have to say the xiao long baos, Portuguese egg tarts, and BBQ pork were by far my favorite foods. If you ever get a chance to visit Hong Kong or Shanghai, you have to treat yourself to these delicious foods at least once.
Friday, February 26, 2010
The highlight and primary reason why Emi loves Korean food is the sides!!! Emi loves to eat all of the different types of side dishes including her favorites: bean sprouts, watercress or spinach namul, kimchee, and sweet potato salad. The best part is that most restaurants serve unlimited sides with your main dishes.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
The actual Super Bowl game was amazing, but the dinner to follow was even better. The pizza came out just as good as the first time we made it and the lobster was an amazing addition to the mac and cheese. I can't wait until next year's Super Bowl to see what Emi decides to make next time!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
There are a number of reasons why this is the best dinner I've ever made. 1) It is really, really easy to make, 2) It's amazing how something as simple as meat, some vegetables, salt and pepper can create such a great complex, delicious flavor 3) If given enough time to cook properly the short ribs come out super tender and melt off of the bones.
I recommend spooning the tender meat and stew over rice. Don't just consume this meal, savor it. Take the time to taste a variety of flavors within each bite from the truffle salt to the delicious fatty, tender meat.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
The theme for the late lunch was Asian food and my aunt made everything from Chinese to Vietnamese food. I wanted to share photos of the highlights from the meal.
Something our family rarely makes is Vietnamese food so the Banh Mi's were a nice change. My aunt and uncle went to about 4 different restaurants to test out their Vietnamese sandwiches to see what they liked best. They settled on buying some nice French bagguets and stuffed them with meatballs.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
We've had some amazing meals over the year's at Palisades and have never been disappointed. We usually take out of town guests there or celebrate special occasions like birthdays and even the night of our engagement there. Palisades is well known for their seafood and prime rib and has a Hawaiian/Pan-Asian themed menu.
The restaurant is located right on the water in the Elliot Bay Marina and has a beautiful view of Puget Sound and Downtown Seattle. The restaurant has an indoor pond with fish in it which is always popular with kids.
We decided to really treat ourselves with this meal since we had a gift certificate to offset some of the cost, but also we thought "this could make a really good blog post". So basically the few of you who actually read this blog helped Emi talk me into buying the most expensive meal they had on the menu.
Butter Lettuce with Rogue River Blue Cheese - baby bibb lettuce with Rogue River Blue Cheese, smoked hazelnuts, crisp julienned pear with guava wood smoked butter poached colossal prawns. This is probably my favorite salad in the world. The smoky cheese, hazelnuts and giant prawns, mixed with the sweet pear and baby bibb lettuce is an amazing combination.
The Wagyu steak was really good. I could taste the butter it was seared in to lock in all of the great seasonings. I usually don't order steak at restaurants, but this one didn't disappoint and was really flavorful. The steak was good, but the highlight of the meal was the lobster tail. We think it was poached in butter because it was both tender and already buttery. Of course I had to dunk it in the lemon butter for even more flavor. Emi came up with the idea to take a bite of both at the same time for an expensive flavor explosion.
Here's what you'll need:
- 4 - 1-inch thick pork chops
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 sprigs of fresh sage, chopped (about 4 T)
- 1 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 T butter
- 1/2 C dry white wine
Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Season chops with salt and pepper and rub them each with about 1 T of chopped sage, rubbing well into both sides of the chops. Add oil to the pan, melt butter into the oil and add chops to the pan. Cook 10-12 minutes each side, remove to warm platter, and let rest. Add wine to the pan and scrape up the drippings. Spoon over the chops and serve.
The pork chops were very flavorful and juicy. I think cooking them over high heat in butter and olive oil sealed in the flavors and was the key to this recipe. The pork chops go really well when served with rice. Again I'm all about easy and delicious and this recipe hits both requirements for me. Try it out and let me know what you think.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
One of the best things about this blog is when a friend or family member takes the time to pass along restaurant suggestions or recipes. This restaurant tip is from Kyle's cousin, Blake, who was recently in Berlin.
Blake said, "it was a wonderful place. Everything we had was just terrific. The service was amongst the best i have had. Small intimate setting. Food was perfect."
For those of you traveling abroad to Berlin, put this on your list!
Lochner Restaurant am Lutzowplatz
Lutzowplatz 5, D-10785, Berlin, Germany
Tel: (030) 23 00 52 20
Web page: http://www.lochner-restaurant.de/
Thanks for the recommendation and keep them coming!
Monday, February 8, 2010
The only negative I encountered with the restaurant is that they have a strict rule that your whole party must be present before they seat you for brunch. I had arrived a bit early to meet my friend, and although the restaurant was about 20% full, they made me wait next to the door until he arrived. It was a bit awkward since they really have no seating/waiting area and I spent a couple of minutes staring at the empty tables that were calling my name. But what the restaurant somewhat lacked with service, they made up with the food. Here are photos from the second time we went:
Table 219 Benedict: two poached eggs over potato cakes made with smoked gouda and canadian bacon and topped with a creamy tomato, mushroom sauce and served with toast.
The restaurant is open for brunch Friday through Sunday until 3pm. It also looks as though they have happy hour Tuesday through Friday, 4:30-6:30 (I will have to try it out next time!). The prices are very reasonable. I don't have pictures of it, but my friend and I also had their bloody marys, which were stellar! They come with house pickled carrots that make great stirrers.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Kyle and I have been trying a new diet that our crossfit gym endorses called the Paleo diet (actually, it is more Kyle doing it, and me selecting the parts I like such as the fact that butter is OK!). This is also known as the caveman diet, and stresses eating a balance of protein, fat and carbs while avoiding processed foods that weren't around in the early days of the world. While rice, pasta and potatoes are no-nos, yams and sweet potatoes are considered good starch/carb choices. Kyle and I have been making sweet potato fries a lot for snacks before our intense workouts.
2 large sweet potatoes or yams
Fresh cracked pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut potatoes into strips about 1/2 inch wide. Toss the potatoes in Olive Oil and sprinkle sea salt or kosher salt and pepper over the top. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread the potatoes in the pan in a single layer. Bake in the middle rack for 20 minutes, then move to the top rack for 10 more minutes. Let cool, serve and enjoy!
I like to eat these with ketchup, but that has a lot of sugar and sodium, so they are really tasty alone, too. Without being fried, they are much healthier than normal fries and have great nutrients.
One more thing--here is a link to our new crossfit gym that is in Mill Creek, Outer Edge Crossfit. We are having a blast and are getting in much better shape thanks to the high intensity workouts that Jake gives us. Come in and take advantage of his 2 week free trial period!