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Sunday, February 19, 2012

My New Site!

Hi Everyone,

Bacon and Soufflé has now moved to BaconandSoufflé.com

Please visit my new site and be sure to check out sections like Dinner Ideas for Two!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Deli @ Home: Reuben

I love sandwiches. My hubby doesn't. The compromise? Reuben sandwich. A reuben is so much more than just a sandwich, especially this one. The Russian dressing spread, good swiss cheese, and freshly sliced corned beef brisket makes this reuben one of the best ones you will ever taste.

Reuben Sandwich

Reuben Sandwich
From Simply Recipes
Serves 2
  • 1 tbsp of butter, softened
  • 4 slices of rye bread
  • 4 slices of Swiss cheese
  • 1/2lb corned beef brisket, thinly sliced (get this fresh, from your local butcher or deli counter)
  • 1/4lb sauerkraut
  • 1/4 cup Russian Dressing
Russian Dressing
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tsp horseradish
  • 1/2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. Butter one side of two slices of bread, and place the buttered-side down on a large piece of wax paper on a flat surface. Top each with a slice of Swiss cheese, and then divide half of the corned beef among them.
  2. Squeeze out as much excess moisture from the sauerkraut as you can. Divide the sauerkraut among the sandwiches, and top each with one tablespoon of Russian dressing. Add another layer of corned beef and a second slice of Swiss cheese to each sandwich. Top with the remaining bread slices; butter the side facing out.
  3. Heat a medium or large saute pan over medium heat. Cook the sandwiches on one side until the bread is golden brown. Use a spatula to carefully flip the sandwiches over and finish cooking on the second side. Cut the sandwiches in half before serving.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Crunchy and Crusted: Crinkle Meatballs

For this month's Five Star Cooking theme, I made a very different kind of meatballs. Instead of soft and juicy, these are crunchy and crusted, with a tint of sweetness from pieces of dates. The yogurt sauce drizzled on top balances out the texture. Surprisingly, this is now my favorite kind of meatballs.

Crinkle Meatballs with Turkey and Date

Crinkle Meatballs with Turkey and Date
from Food and Wine
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 6 dates, pitted and finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup French green lentils
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  1. In a bowl, combine the ground turkey with the bread crumbs, dates, eggs, sesame seeds, sesame oil, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cover the lentils, garlic, thyme and cinnamon stick with 2 inches of water; bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. Drain the lentils and transfer to a bowl; pick out and discard the seasonings. Stir the olive oil and vinegar into the lentils and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Form the turkey mixture into 1-inch meatballs. Spread the meatballs on a lightly oiled large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until browned on the bottom and cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, blend the yogurt with the lemon juice, mint and lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper. Serve the meatballs with the lentils and yogurt.
Thank you to Natasha from 5 Star Foodie and Laz from Lazaro Cooks! for hosting this month's 5 Star Cooking!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Michael Mina, Vegas.

The moment we decided that we were going to Vegas to celebrate the new year and my dad's 60th birthday, I (of course) started listing restaurants I couldn't miss. My wish list looked something like: Joël Robuchon, Guy Savoy, Michael Mina, Lupo by Wolfgang Puck, Mesa Grill..., and so on. As a Michelin-starred restaurant, Michael Mina had impeccable service and creative dishes. If you'd rather try it at home, buy Michael Mina: The Cookbook.

For those who can't decide and prefer to try a little of everything, the tasting menu was fantastic. It includes Chef Michael Mina's signature dishes like the lobster pot pie. I was too intrigued by the a la carte menu offerings to pass on the opportunity. My only critique would be the lack of theme and consistency across his menu items. I felt that there was no central theme (cuisine, ingredients, or seasoning) to tie his dishes together. In my opinion, his specialty seems to be seafood and appetizers.
Here is a list of what we sampled:

Tasting Menu
Ahi Tuna Tartare - Ancho Chile. Mint. Pine Nut. Sesame Oil.
Lobster Pot Pie - Summer Vegetables. Brandied Lobster Cream.
American Kobe Rib Eye - Porcini Butter Poached. Creamed Corn.
Hot Mulled Apple Cider - Vanilla Sugar Cookie.
Glazed Chocolate Brownie - Cocoa Nib Ice Cream. Spiced Pecans.
Root Beer Float - Warm Chocolate Chip & Cookies.
Brown Sugar Wafer
Chocolate Bon Bon

A La Carte
Hors d'oeurves - Foie Gras PB&J, Cured Ocean Trout, Steak Tartare, Crab BLT
Truffle-Stuffed Jidori Chicken - Savoy Cabbage, Foie Gras Rice
Banana Tarte Tatin - Brown Butter Ice Cream, Toffee
Apple Crisp - Cinnamon Ice Cream, Oat Streusel

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Perfect Prime Rib

Perfect Prime Rib

I chose to prepare a standing rib roast for our Christmas Eve dinner this year. It is a classic holiday dish that takes a total of 5 minutes to prepare (excluding roasting time). It was the perfect choice simply because it turned out perfect.

Standing Rib Roast, right out of the oven

Standing Rib Roast
Adapted from Food Network
Serves 4
  • 1 2-rib (about 5 lbs) standing rib roast (see step 1)
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 1/8 cup black pepper
  • 1/8 cup garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp of flour
  • 1 cup of beef stock
  • salt and pepper to taste, for gravy
  1. Call the butcher ahead of time and order your standing rib roast. 1 rib feeds about 2 people with about 10-12oz of prime rib each. I would get a 2-rib roast that is about 5 pounds for 4 people. The butcher will probably ask if you want USDA Choice or USDA Prime. USDA prime easily costs 50% to 100% more, but is much more marbled (more fat) and will taste more tender. However, the USDA Choice is just fine, in my opinion, and I used it here. Ask them to prepare it by cutting the bones away from the meat and then tying them back with a kitchen string. If they don't know how, see Simply Recipes for a photo explanation. This is to facilitate the carving of the rib roast later on.
  2. Let your rib roast stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 375F. Rub roast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place roast on a rack in the pan with the rib side down and the fatty side up. Roast for 1 hour.
  4. Turn off oven. Leave roast in oven for 2 hours without opening oven door. Turn the oven back to 375F and roast for 30 minutes to reheat. Do not open oven door until the roast is done. Remove from oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
  5. While the roast is resting, pour the juice from pan into a small saucepan. Heat over medium high heat. Add flour and stir until gravy is smooth. Add 1 cup of beef stock and whisk to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Slice prime rib and serve with gravy on top or on the side. I also prepared sweet potatoes and mac and cheese sides. It really was just perfect.

Friday, December 23, 2011

For the Hungry Family: Christmas Flank

So I didn't really make this for a family get-together or a party of some sort. I tend to make classic/traditional dishes in those settings. This ended up being a nice fun dinner on a random weeknight, along with a bottle of wine. It tasted so juicy and so flavorful, though, that I just had to share with you to try for the holidays. Merry Christmas!!

Christmas Flank
Prep and marinate the flank steak about 2-4 hours before dinner, then simply bake for 30 minutes in the evening before serving.

Christmas Flank
from Simply Recipes

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of chopped parsley
  • 1/4 tsp of coarse black pepper
Flank Steak:
  • 1 flank steak, about 1 1/4lb, butterflied
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 6 to 8 thin slices of prosciutto
  • 24 medium sized fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch watercress for garnish (optional)
  • kitchen string
  1. To butterfly the steak, orient it first so that the meat grain is running up and down in front of you. Use a long, sharp knife to cut the meat in half, cutting from the side, and going almost all the way across, leaving 1-inch at the edge uncut (the hinge). The butterfly hinge should be in the same direction as the grain of the meat. Open the flaps of steak. You can even out the middle if you want so that the center is not as thick.
  2. Assemble the marinade and marinate the steak for 2 hours.
  3. Boil halved peppers until skin is black. Remove skin.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F. Place steak on a long piece of aluminum foil or wax paper, save marinade. Cover steak with red pepper, sprinkle 1 tbsp of parsley, cover with prosciutto slices, cover with basil leaves, sprinkle with cheese and the remaining parsley and pepper.
  5. Roll meat up from the bottom like a jellyroll. Tie in 2-3 inch intervals with kitchen string. Place in shallow baking dish, pour marinade over top. Bake for 30 minutes, basting twice. Let rest 15 minutes before serving. Cut into 1/2 inch to 1 inch thick slices, garnish with watercress.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Return of the Halal Cart: Chicken & Rice

Chicken and Rice, Halal Cart Style
Many Christmases ago on a chilly winter night, I patiently waited on the corner of 53rd and 6th in Midtown Manhattan. Staring ahead, I saw our line wrapped around the block, all waiting to order "chicken and rice" from probably the most famous Halal cart in New York. The man in front of me nodded at me knowingly, "make sure you ask for both sauces." I did. It tasted amazing. Maybe it had more to do with the cold and the midnight hunger than anything else, but nevertheless, it was a street food I remembered.

For those of you that know what I am talking about (and for those of you that don't), it's time to bring back the delicious chicken and rice!

Chicken and Rice, Halal Cart Style
Adapted from Serious Eats
Serves 4-6 (or 2-4 if it's been too long since you've had it)
For the Chicken
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
For the Rice
  • 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp of chili powder
  • 1.5 cups of basmati rice
  • 2.5 cups of chicken broth
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
For the Sauce
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt (plain)
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Combine lemon juice, oregano, coriander, garlic and olive oil in a blender. Blend until smooth. Season marinade to taste with salt and pepper. Place chicken in a 1-gallon ziplock bag and add half of the marinade. Marinate chicken in fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours (it will get soggy if it's over 4 hours).
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat chicken dry and season with kosher salt and pepper. Add chicken pieces to skillet to brown, about 4 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until cooked through. Transfer to cutting board and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Melt butter in a large dutch oven and add chili powder and turmeric powder to cook for one minute. Toast rice in dutch oven for 4 minutes until lightly browned, stirring frequently.
  4. Chop chicken pieces into 1-2 inch cubes. Place them in a bowl along with remaining marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  5. Add chicken broth to dutch  oven and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then simmer on medium low heat, covered, for 15 minutes without disturbing. Remove from heat and let it stand for 15 minutes (covered).
  6. Mix sauce ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Heat original chicken pan over medium heat and add chicken pieces to heat for a few minutes.
  8. Serve chicken pieces over rice, with white sauce drizzled on top. Add tabasco for spice. Can also serve with sliced iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and pita bread.  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

José Andrés: Tapas @ The Bazaar

Tapas dinner at The Bazaar by Chef José Andrés. This is where you would experience molecular gastronomy where each dish combines both traditional and modern techniques. Every bite reminded me of something I've had before, but the presentation and ingredients in each dish were unique and creative. I loved the atmosphere and the overall experience, especially when we were escorted to the dessert lounge for a separate dessert dinner.

Here are the tapas and desserts we sampled: (not in order of the photos)
  • Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks California Citrus
  • Organized Caesar, Quail Egg, Parmesan
  • Apple and Fennel, Manchego Cheese, Walnuts, Sherry Vinegar
  • Japanese Taco, Grilled Eel, Shiso, Cucumber, Wasabi, Chicharron
  • Smoked Yellowtail and Crispy Rice, Yoghurt, Grapes, Capers, Radish
  • Market Fish Ceviche and Avocado Roll, Jicama, Micro Cilantro, Coconut
  • Bagel and Lox Cone
  • Cotton Candy Duck Liver
  • Tortillas de Patatas "new way", Potato Foam, Egg 63, Caramelized Onions
  • Lemon Artichokes, Black Olive Tapenade, Dandelion
  • Your Life Will Change Dashi Linguine, Parmesan, Quail Egg, Basil
  • Philly Cheesesteak, Air Bread, Cheddar, Wagyu Beef
  • Oxtail, Watermelon radish, Cilantro, Steamed Buns
  • Hot Chocolate Mousse, Pear Sorbet and Salty Hazelnut Praline
  • Square Cupcakes 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mario Batali's Braised Chicken, Sweet Onions, Parmigiano

As the last homecooked meal for the next 7 days (I'm going on vacation!!), I made a Mario Batali recipe. His book, Molto Batali, features 120 of his recipes and this is one of them. Braised Chicken with Sweet Onions and Parmigiano did not disappoint.

Braised Chicken with Sweet Onions and Parmigiano,
Served with Country Bread

Braised Chicken with Sweet Onions and Parmigiano
Adapted from Serious Eats
Serves 2-4
  • 4 skin-on chicken thighs
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1 leek, white and green parts only, sliced into thin rings, rinsed and drained
  • 2 medium red onions, halved and sliced into half-rounds
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 slices of country bread
  • 1 tbsp of EVOO
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  1. Preheat the broiler. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Place them, skin side down, on an oiled broiler pan so that they are not touching one another. Place pan under broiler and cook until golden, 10 minutes. Then flip and cook other side until dark golden brown on skin side, 8 minutes. Remove, and cool, skin side up, on the broiler pan.
  2. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat pancetta over medium-low heat until fat is rendered and the pancetta is crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate lined with paper towel.
  3. Put leeks and onions in the pancetta fat and cook over medium-low heat until wilted and soft. Then raise heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until a rich brown color, about 20 minutes. While vegetables are cooking, bring chicken stock to a high simmer in a saucepan.
  4. Add flour to onion mixture and stir until smooth. Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add wine, milk, and stock, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and cook at a brisk simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Place the chicken thighs into the onion mixture, along with the juices that have collected, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until chicken is just cooked through and the juices run clear, 12 minutes.
  6. Preheat broiler. Place bread slices on a cookie sheet and toast them under broiler until slightly golden. Drizzle with olive oil and place 1 toast in each warmed soup bowl. Place 2 thighs atop each piece of toast, and ladle 1/4 cup of the onion mixture over each thigh. Sprinkle with the pancetta and Parmigiano, and serve.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Momofuku: Ssäm Lettuce Wraps

I was excited to try a Momofuku recipe at home. It was a test to gauge whether or not I should buy the Momofuku cookbook. Chef David Chang really brought out the essence of Asian fusion. This recipe actually comes from Ssäm bar, one of world's 50 best restaurants, and not Momofuku Ko, the famous two-michelin starred restaurant. It is easy and definitely worth making.

Ssäm Lettuce Wraps
If you know of great Momofuku recipes, please share with me. I think I am ready for another!

Individual Lettuce Wraps

Ssäm Bar Lettuce Wraps
from Serious Eats
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1.5lb hangar, skirt or flank steak
  • 2 bunches of scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil
  • 3/4 tsp of sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup kimchi
  • 2 large heads of bibb lettuce, leaves separated and washed
  • 3 cups of cooked white rice
  1. In a freezer bag, combine the apple juice, 1/2 cup soy sauce, onion, garlic, and sesame oil. Add the steak and turn to coat. Marinate for 40 minutes at room temperature (or up to a 24 hours refrigerated).
  2. Combine the scallions, ginger, oil, sherry vinegar, and salt to taste in a bowl. Stir well to combine.
  3. In a small food processor, process the kimchi into a puree.
  4. Prepare a grill or heat a grill pan on high. Remove the steak from the marinade and grill to medium rare, 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the cut. For the first few minutes, baste with the marinade to infuse more flavor and glaze the exterior.
  5. Remove the steak to a platter and allow it to rest for a full five minutes. Slice against the grain on a 30 degree angle into 1/4-inch thick pieces.
  6. Serve the steak with the kimchi puree, ginger-scallion sauce, rice, and lettuce leaves for wrapping.