Top Chef Boston Week 2- Halibut with Fennel Slaw…with Cod

This week on Top Chef Boston, the cheftestants were split up into teams and asked to whip up a dish using ingredients contained inside of a mystery box. Last week, when I attempted to replicate Gregory’s Haitian Chicken, the challenge was finding a similar recipe and selecting an appropriate chili pepper. With three people on a team, the dishes were broken up into different components that each person was responsible for. This created a different kind of challenge- replicating the dish was more about using different techniques than finding one cohesive recipe. Even though the winning dish was surf and turf, I once against decided to make the runner up dish. For this week’s challenge, I chose to attempt Mei Lin, Katie Weinner, and Katsuji Tanabe’s halibut, pickled rhubarb, cherry, and grilled fennel slaw- with mixed results.  Continue reading Top Chef Boston Week 2- Halibut with Fennel Slaw…with Cod

Top Chef is Back in Boston- and I am Starting My New Challenge with Haitian Stewed Chicken

As far as cooking shows go, Top Chef is by far my favorite. Each season, it seems like the caliber of contestant talent gets more impressive. I also love the inventiveness that is showcased on the show, the expertise that Gail Simmons and Tom Colicchio bring to the Judge’s Table, and seeing a new city’s culinary culture featured each week. But I have always felt intimidated by the dishes the cheftestants make, like they are too complicated to recreate. Probably because these are chefs trained at fancy culinary schools and under some of the most well known chefs in the world. But when I really think about it, I shouldn’t be. A lot of the cuisine made on the show is prepared in a few hours, for a few hundred people. Tom Colicchio frequently talks about the importance of keeping food simple, and using a few quality ingredients to highlight flavor. I mean, the chefs all shop at Whole Foods. I should have just as much access to the products they are using, so why can’t I make those same dishes?

So that is what I am going to do. Every week, after watching the show, I am going to pick one dish that someone has made, and make that dish myself. In week one, as I was watching the show, I felt myself gravitate towards two dishes. Mei’s congee with caramelized pork, and Gregory’s Haitian stewed chicken with fried bananas. Mei’s dish won, and sounded delicious. I’m going to come back to that one, but for my first dish, I decided to start with Gregory’s runner up dish.  Continue reading Top Chef is Back in Boston- and I am Starting My New Challenge with Haitian Stewed Chicken

Roasting Pork on an Unusually Hot October Day

There is something about Fall and food that goes together perfectly. As soon as the leaves begin to change colors and the air begins to crisp, I start craving all things pumpkin, apples, and other October produce. The only catch is, it’s actually 90 degrees- still- in Las Vegas. It sort of ruins the whole sweaters, boots, and pumpkins vibe that I dream about in the Fall. The good news is, hot weather be damned, the farmer’s market hasn’t let me down. Pears, apples, and brussel sprouts have begun popping up, even though our Fall still resembles a fairly hot midwest summer. So to get into the spirit of pseudo-Fall, I decided that I was craving a classic pork and apples dish. There was just a matter of buying some pork and finding a recipe to go with it. Continue reading Roasting Pork on an Unusually Hot October Day

Echo & Rig: Review of a Las Vegas Steakhouse and Butcher

There is nothing that I love more than trying new restaurants. For our first official date night as a married couple, Luke decided to take me out to a steak house that I have had my eye on for awhile- Echo & Rig. Located over on the west side of Las Vegas in Tivoli Village, I first stumbled across this establishment quite by accident. Bored one hot summer Sunday, the hubby and I set off to check out a specialty kitchenware store that turned out to no longer exist. Stuck in Summerlin with nothing but time, Luke took me to Tivoli Village, where we wandered around checking out various restaurant menus on display. Echo and Rig’s butcher shop featuring slabs of meat hanging from the window caught my eye, and I have been obsessed with coming back ever since. Continue reading Echo & Rig: Review of a Las Vegas Steakhouse and Butcher

Kicking Off a New Beginning with Some Great Food- Courtesy of the Hotel Del Coronado

I’m sure at least one great philosopher has said “marriage is a new beginning; a chance for two separate lives to come together and form a stronger, happier, and more interesting path.” Never mind the fact that I searched all over the internet for quotes regarding marriage. Not one had this particularly insightful quote listed, nor could I find the name of the doubtlessly brilliant individual who first thought it up. But don’t worry, I’m sure that in the midst of a long day of pondering, Socrates, or someone of that nature surely wrote this tidbit down. It probably just got lost in a fire or something. Continue reading Kicking Off a New Beginning with Some Great Food- Courtesy of the Hotel Del Coronado