Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Food Network Fan's Travel to NYC - Butter

Chef Alex Guarnaschelli (Chopped)

When you enter the restaurant, you stumble upon an intimate ambiance filled with candles and lights strung around the restaurant. The food was delicious and probably had the biggest portion compared to all the restaurants we went to in NY. I ordered the Roasted Duck Breast. It was cooked perfectly and was paired nicely with charred onions and a fennel soffrito. I also had an order of their Truffle Mac-n-Cheese special. I hope that this dish is also available anytime, it was delicious and creamy. Matt ordered the Rack of Lamb that he absolutely loved. It came with a squash ratatouille too. He also had a side of Crispy Duck Fat Potatoes that was nice and crispy, but I enjoyed my side much more. For dessert we had the Raspberry Beignet that had a vanilla dipping sauce. This dessert is the restaurant's signature dish and I can see why. It was very yummy, light and fluffy.

Roasted Hudson Valley Duck Breast - charred spring onions with rhubarb and a fennel soffrito
Truffle Mac n Cheese
Crispy Duck Fat Potatoes with Sea Salt and Black Pepper
Colorado Rack of Lamb - with a summer squash ratatouille 

 Raspberry Beignet - vanilla dipping sauce

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Salmon Panini with a Tarragon Aioli

I went to lunch with my coworkers at this place in Cumberland Mall called Fresh 2 Go. Sounds not so good, but I was surprised by their menu. I tried the Salmon Panini because the picture looked so good. And it was so good, I had to go home and make my own version. Matt loved it; and I hope you give this different panini a chance!

Salmon Panini - with a corn cilantro relish, avocado, and tarragon aioli
serves 4

4 salmon filets
4 ciabatta buns
1 avocado
1 ear yellow corn
1 small red onion
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 c. tarragon leaves
1/2 c. olive oil
salt and pepper 

Prepare the salmon:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove any bones left in the filet. Carefully remove the skin. Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Bake for about 12-15 mins.

Prepare the corn cilantro relish:
Cut the kernels off one ear of yellow corn. Dice the red onion and then soak it in cold water. Drain well. Heat a skillet over medium heat with a tbsp of olive oil. Cook the corn and red onion until tender. Turn off the heat and mix in the cilantro.

Prepare the tarragon aioli:
In a mini food processor, add the tarragon leaves, egg yolk, and lemon juice. Blend. Then add a splash of olive oil to get the aioli going. Slowly add in the rest of the olive oil. (For a thinner aioli add more olive oil. For a thicker aioli add more egg yolk.) Add salt and pepper to taste.

To prepare the panini:
Spread the tarragon aioli on the ciabatta buns. Layer with a salmon filet, piece of lettuce, corn cilantro relish, and slices of avocado. Press the sandwich between a panini press that has been buttered. Enjoy!

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Food Network Fan's Travel to NYC - The Plaza

We just got back from an amazing vacation in New York filled with lots of delicious food! Of course I documented every little bite ;) As you'll see, most of the restaurants we went to were from Food Network chefs. We wanted to see just how good they actually are. And let me tell you, they are very good...

The Plaza Food Hall
Chef Todd English (Iron Chef competitor)

Every time I think of The Plaza Hotel, I can't help but think of that Friends episode where Rachel tries to tell her dad she's pregnant, lol. Besides from being obsessed with food, I'm also obsessed with Friends. But back to the food...

My brother and his girlfriend went here for his birthday. The hotel is beautiful and the food is delicious. My brother Johnnie insisted we order the Prime Rib Sliders. He said even though it was $16 it was worth it. And we agree - it was really good. We also got the side of Risotto "Tator Tots" which was really interesting! It was heavier and richer than normal tator tots, but it was more creamy from the cheese. I will definitely try turning risotto into tator tots one day. Matt also started out with the Ham and White Bean Soup which he said was just ok because it was more like vegetable soup. So that was what we started out with. We ordered even more for the rest of our meal lol. I got the Fried Oysters with a caviar creme fraiche as my entree. Loved it. It was lighter than your normal fried oysters and the caviar creme fraiche was refreshing with it. Matt got the Ricotta Gnocchi, which was really yummy. It had this nice bolognese and veal reduction, with a nice pecorino bite to it. We also shared the Pork and Scallion Dumplings. It was good, but I still think my mom's is better ;) To end the meal we had the Chocolate Gelato. Unfortunately they were out of the Rhubarb. The Plaza Food Hall was probably our second favorite restaurant in NYC. After this it gets hard to rank the rest of the restaurants so please don't ask us to...

Prime Rib Sliders (minced red onions, fontina fondue) 

Risotto "Tator Tots" - with a truffle cheese dip 

 Fried Oysters (with a caviar creme fraiche),
Pork and Scallion Dumplings (house-made plum sauce, orange, scallion),
and Ricotta Gnocchi (bolognese, pecorino, veal reduction)

Check back for the rest of the restaurants from our trip!