Friday, August 31, 2007

Seafood Tostada

I made this for myself, but it is going to be an off menu appetizer special tonight. It was too large for an appetizer, so I am going to eliminate the lobster and make it smaller. I started with a tortilla, crisped, toppped with lettuce, tomato, and thinly sliced red onions. I composed crab and lobster meat over the lettuce and placed a grilled prawn on top. I dressed the salad with a vinaigrette made with lime juice and tequila. I garnished with avocado, jalapeno,sour cream, and lime wedges. It was refreshing delightful.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Shrimp Burger

In honor of my cousin Kevin, who has commanded me to "lighten up" in my last post's comments, I made shrimp burgers. They seem sort of whimsical and light. I read an article recently about the Japanese McDonalds who developed shrimpburgers for the Japanese palate, and it intrigued me.

So shrimp burgers had been on my mind, when Josh, my pantry cook brought me this recipe for shrimp balls that he makes for his step father. Instead of balls, I had him form them into patties and we made the first batch of shrimp burgers. I made wasabi mayonaise to serve with the burger. They were quite tasty, but both of the recipes need some tweaking before I sell them in the restaurant. In one of those ironic twists of fate, Josh is highly allergic to shellfish, so he can't taste them, and he has to wear surgical gloves when he makes them.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Duckhorn Cabernet Sauvignon

It has been a rough month. And it doesn't seem to be letting up. Last week we parted ways with a key kitchen employee-it was tough decision, but best for everyone involved, including the employee who needed a change. I have someone on board to replace him, but he has commitments until the middle of September. All my cooks right now have gotten their training at the restaurant, with the exception of the lunch cook, who helped me open the kitchen. The other guys all started as dishwashers.

Experience is a great thing, but there is something to be said about the guys who come up the ranks from the dish ring. They have basically learned my way of doing things. Experienced cooks sometimes bring bad habits they've developed in other kitchens with them, and culinary students sometimes expect things to run like a text book-which they seldom do.

So I decided to treat myself to a really good bottle of wine. Duckhorn is one of those cult favorites-but they are famous for their Merlot. I prefer the Cab it is so elegant and delicious with juicy black fruit flavors of currant, black cherry and rich intense mouth feel. Perfect with a simply grilled Delmonico steak.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Grilled Vegetables

I've been neglecting the blog because I've been so busy at work. Lots of private parties on the third floor and the Sparta Gun Club is holding one of their big shoots. People come from all over the world for this competition shoot. Unfortunately it has been during a record breaking heat wave. But this event literally packs the restaurant every night. And heat wave be damned the people are still shooting and eating.

One dish that is always welcome, even during this extreme heat, is grilled vegetables. I toss the vegetables on the grill for a few minutes-I like them to retain their bright color and a bit of crunch, then mix them with a balsamic vinaigrette and serve them at room temperature. They are so refreshing as a buffet side dish or as part of an antepasto.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Terres Major Steaks with Green Fried Tomatoes, Ham, and Bearnaise

I have been serving this cut of beef as a Thursday special for over a year now. It is cut from a little used shoulder muscle. It resembles tenderloin, but is smaller cut into medallions, they almost look like tenderloin tips. I have heard of some places passing them off as such. I have served them in several ways, butterflied, stuffed, wrapped with bacon-etc. They sell really well and make a great steak option, keeping the cost under $20-difficult for good beef steak. I enjoy them. They have great beefy flavor while being a bit chewier than tenderloin, they are much more tender than sirloin-another option to keep steak prices under $20.

This is their latest form. First the medallions are marinated with garlic, Rosemary, and olive oil. Grill the medallions;to serve, place a fried green tomato on the plate, top the tomato with a thin slice of ham, then top with the medallion. A spoonful of Bearnaise over the steak finishes it. A little bit on the fussy side, I agree, but quite delicious.