Friday, November 14, 2008

open wounds and a housewarming affair

Last Tuesday evening, a girlfriend and I went to Winslow's for some pre-dinner vino. I ordered the Viognier (really floral and sweet, similar to a Riesling) and she went for a Merlot. We then headed to the Keg to meet friends for dinner. I have never really been an avid Keg fan, but it was all really tasty.

We started with the traditional shrimp cocktail (nice cocktail sauce with a kick) and the baked Tiger shrimp for appetizers...I stuck with the sweet wine and ordered a Riesling. For my entree, I went for the bacon-wrapped filet (medium rare) with sauteed mushrooms and a twice-baked potato. The filet was cooked perfectly (I've had the overcooked beef curse for the past few months), the mushrooms were tender and well seasoned and the potato was the perfect, simple accompaniment.

The next night I went to the Covey for dinner. Usually a HUGE Covey fan, there were several disappointments. Pheasant quesadillas were our choice to begin. The menu paired it with Gorgonzola, caramelized onions, guacamole and pico de ended up being with Monterrey jack, sans onions, a simple guacamole (eh...) and diced bell peppers. It was my first time to try pheasant and probably one of the few times I ever will. It was similar to chicken but with a strange aftertaste.

Next course was soups and salads...I ordered my favorite salad, the Southwestern Greek with feta and sweet peppers all atop a hummus crouton- so perfect paired with a fruity wine. My friend ordered the buffalo chili...unfortunately, the heat was so intense it was almost inedible.

Finally, we split the mustard and herb encrusted rack of lamb with roasted potatoes, asparagus and a spicy hollandaise...we also added sauteed shrimp and I really wish we didn't. The first bite of shrimp was tough and fishy tasting we sent it back. Fortunately, the lamb made up for the shrimp. It was cooked perfectly, tender and the sauce was so delicious- we wished there had been more. On the downside, the potatoes were under seasoned and dry and the sauteed asparagus was overcooked.

We skipped dessert and headed to Central Market for some Lindeman's Belgium Kriek beer made with fresh black cherries- YUM.

This past Saturday, we had out first private cheffing event for a housewarming party in Mansfield. We served everything buffet style and the menu included:

Julienned romaine with lemon, Parmesan and a homemade Caesar dressing

Mixed field greens with dried cranberries, crystallized ginger and a pomegranate vinaigrette

Beef meatballs with peppers, onions and brown sugar with a red wine pan sauce

Italian sausage sauteed with peppers and onions

Chicken mole skewers with cilantro pesto

Hand-made pasta and Alfredo sauce with sauteed shrimp

Poached apple and pear gallettes

It was my first event to help sous chef for and it was a huge success. The clients loved the food, we had plenty of it and they booked us for Christmas and New Years!

The next Sunday morning, I was up bright and early for brunch service up at school. As with the last brunch, I trudged in at 7 a.m. sharp and began prepping bacon, lemons and potatoes for various dishes. In my sleepless trance, I managed to slice two different fingers open within 3 minutes of each other. After some super glue to close the wound, band-aids and a couple finger cots...I was good to go. Seven hours was time for a three hour nap. Whew...exhausted.


sammyss said...

How interesting that you are a Sioux chef. I assume that you specialize in all Native American cuisine, not just that from the Sioux nation. Here are some of my favorite Native American recipes. I hope that you can use them at one of your holiday parties.

Squirrel (Sa-Lo-Li)
Tribe: Cherokee
Throw freshly killed squirrel into the fire to burn off the fur, remove, and scrape with a knife or sharp rock.
Repeat this until the squirrel is rid of all fur. Wash the squirrel well with water and wood ashes until the skin is white.
Remove the insides, cook in the oven or before the fire until brown, then stew or fry until done.

Apache Fried Rabbit
Tribe: Apache
Servings: 4
Bacon or pork drippings
Dress swamp or cotton-tail rabbit. Wash, cut up, and cover with water. Cook until nearly done.
Take pieces out of liquid, dust with flour and salt, and fry until brown in a skillet of pork-fat.

Potato Soup (Nu-Nv Oo-Ga-Ma)
Tribe: Cherokee
Peel white potatoes and cut them into small pieces. Boil in water with an onion or two until potatoes and onions mash easily.
After mashing, add some fresh milk and reheat the mixture. Add salt and pepper if desired. This soup is best when eaten hot.

Cherokee Succotash (I-Ya-Tsu-Ya-Di-Su-Yi Se-Lu)
Tribe: Cherokee
Shell some corn and skin it with wood ashes lye.
Cook corn and beans separately, then together.
If desired, you may put pieces of pumpkin in.
Be sure to put the pumpkin in early enough to get done before the pot is removed from the fire.

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