Monday, September 15, 2008

Great Food and Amazing People

Saturday was a night I will not soon forget. I had the chance to enjoy some great food in the company of some equally amazing and wonderful people. Saturday was the night a bunch of Florida Foodies were treated to a dinner by Foodbuzz. We all are also members of the Foodie Blogroll.

Foodbuzz treated us to dinner at Todd English's BlueZoo located at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort here in Orlando, FL. Ryan Stern from FoodBuzz was one of the three people to bring us all together. Ryan came all the way from San Fansisco, CA, she wanted to meet everyone especially Jenn and Judy who were the two main organizers. A huge thanks goes out to all three of you and FoodBuzz!

Have you ever talked on the phone or emailed someone for awhile having never met face to face? It was nice to finally put faces with all of the names that night. Now I admit I had not read everyones blog prior to meeting them, as I am sure some have not read mine. Though i now have a couple extra blogs to check up on every week. Everyone has some amazing posts and love sharing their favorite foods and ideas about food. If you have not visited any of them either please do so. They are sure to have some amazing photos and posts about our dinner together.

Jenn and Roberto from The Left Over Queen
Lys from Cooking in Stilettos
Christey and Peter from Foto Cuisine
Rachel from My Little Marshmallow
Judy from No Fear Entertaining
Chris from Pickles and Cakes
Susan from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy
Ingar from Taste Memory
Erin and Chris from The Olive Notes

I hate to do this to all of everyone that was not there. I hate to do it to myself too, but it is time to see what amazing food the staff at BlueZoo cooked up for us. Don't feel to bad, if you are ever in the Orlando area by all means you should go, just let me know so I can tag along.

Amuse bouche
Fresh Littleneck Clam with Bacon Ragout, served in a small glass filled with sea salt.

First Course
Shrimp Cocktail Steamrollers served in what can only be described as a large straw. You just suck it all down. Becareful and go slow or it will it the back of your throat. I know this because i made that mistake!

Second Course
Beet salad with candied walnuts and goat cheese fondue. Now I am not the biggest fan of beets, however this was really good.

Third Course
Spice Route Char. This dish was my favorite, it was crusted with cumin and corriander, and there was a few cilantro leaves and as well. The char was served with beluga lentils and zhataar carrot Just the plating made it look too good to eat. Yet we all did!

Fourth Course
Sous Vide Amish Chicken served with polenta, picholine olive sauce and arugula. At this point in the meal I was get

Warm Chocolate Cake with a liquid ganache center, Maracaibo Cream Pudding and Peanut Ice Cream. The center was more cake than liquid, but all the same it was good. The peanut ice cream was something new.

I hope you enjoy this post as much as I did being with my fellow foodies. I owe some credit to Jenn and Roberto at The Left Over Queen for the amazing photos. I made the mistake of taking my camera to dinner so I had to use their amazing photos of our dinner. Also to Erin from The Olive Notes I used your photo of the shrimp cocktail. Thank you to both of you for the photos. If we ever get the chance to do this again I will be bringing my camera.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Poll: Do you put salt on your watermelon?

OK the poll has been over for a few days. I wanted to let those of you know that too many people are not willing to give it a try! I am just kidding its up to you how you eat. Below are the results.

Always 8 (20%)
Sometimes 8 (20%)
Never have but willing to try 8 (20%)
Never, no way! 15 (38%)

I have always had salt on watermelon and cantaloupe. Almost everyone I know that was raised here in the Southern part of the country uses salt atleast half of the time. Many friends from Indiana and other northern states look at me like I am insane.

So is it a southern thing or is just something some people do?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mustard-Rosemary Chicken

3-1/2 to 4 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and fresh coarsely ground black pepper
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

Heat a gas grill to medium high. Remove the tenderloins from the chicken breasts for more even cooking; reserve for another use. Put the chicken in a large bowl and season with 1-1/2 tsp. salt and lots of fresh coarsely ground pepper. Add the mustard, mayonnaise, and rosemary and mix thoroughly to combine and to coat the chicken well. Spread the chicken out on the grill, watching the heat carefully; there may be a few flare-ups. Cover the grill. Grill the chicken on one side until golden-brown grill marks form, 2 to 3 min. Rotate the chicken 90 degrees and grill for another 2 to 3 min. (to get a crosshatch of golden grill marks); flip and repeat on the other side, grilling for another 4 to 5 min. (for a total cooking time of 8 to 10 min.) until cooked through. The chicken should be firm and golden brown all over. Arrange on a platter to serve family style.

Grilled Salmon with Wasabi-Ginger Mayonnaise

1-1/2 limes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1-1/2 Tbs. wasabi paste; more to taste
2 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 6-oz. skinless salmon fillets
Vegetable oil for the grill

Prepare a medium-hot grill fire (be sure the grill grate has been scrubbed clean with a wire brush).

Cut the half lime into four wedges and set aside. Finely grate the zest from the whole lime. Cut the zested lime in half and squeeze the juice from one half into a small bowl (save the other half for another use). In a medium bowl, combine 1 tsp. of the lime juice with the lime zest, mayonnaise, wasabi paste, ginger, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Stir to combine. Taste and add more wasabi paste if you’d like a zippier flavor.

Run your finger along each salmon fillet to feel for tiny bones; use tweezers or needlenose pliers to pull out any that you find. Season the fillets lightly with salt and pepper. Spoon about 2 Tbs. of the mayonnaise mixture onto the salmon fillets and refrigerate the rest. With your hands, spread the mayonnaise in a thin layer over all sides of the fillets.

When the grill is ready, oil the grill grate using tongs and a paper towel dipped in oil. Grill the salmon until crisp and slightly charred on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn and continue to grill until the salmon is just cooked through, another 3 to 6 minutes. Serve the salmon topped with a dollop of the mayonnaise and a lime wedge on the side. Pass the remaining mayonnaise at the table.