Archive for the 'Food and Drink' CategoryPage 2 of 3

Noel Chez Paula

Paula was one of my mom’s best friends and since my mom died 3 years ago Paula has become a good friend of mine too. She loves to open up her house for great dinner parties, and it shows. She always has her table set so elegantly and on this occasion her house was festively decorated to celebrate Christmas! Lets take a look…

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Menu:

Cheese appetizer (Pamela)

Herbed crown roast of pork w/ mustard seed sauce (Paula)

Potatoes Gratinee (Steve)

Shredded brussel sprouts w/ chestnuts, shallots and applewood smoked bacon (me)

Corn (Paula)

Chocolate mousse (Pamela)

Chocolate truffles – mint/tarragon; chai pistachio; earl grey (from my friend Beth who has started her own small chocolate enterprise, “Little Dipper Chocolate“)

Calvados/Coffee

Img_1030_1 Appetizer

Img_1064_1 Let the eating continue…

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Once the calvados kicked in, the wackiness began…

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I learned something new… according to the salesperson at the cooking store where Paula bought the papillote, these are also called panties… so as the zaniness continued, one of the guests tried on the papillote/panties but they were too small!

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Then I started spanking the monkey and we proceeded to corrupt our new friends the Worthingtons!

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Me thinks it’s time to go home…

Paula, thanks for the hospitality and friendship (and fun)!!

Happy New Year everyone!

Bruno

                                    

                                    

Thanksgiving Photos w/ Dessert Recipes (Pumpkin Gelato and Pumpkin Pie)

Hi everyone… I’m finally getting around to doing my Thanksgiving post! It’s been a very hectic couple of weeks w/ all the additional holiday activities (parties, shopping, etc…) so I’m taking advantage of this window of opportunity to get this posted before I get swamped.

My friends, Michelle and Byron, graciously invited me to their home for Thanksgiving dinner this year. Michelle did a beautiful job w/ all the food as well as taking the photos of this sumptuous feast. My only contribution to the bounty was the pumpkin gelato w/ candied pecans. Hats off to Byron and Michelle for being such wonderful hosts for my Thanksgiving 2006!! (Thanks to Kristin and Bob too for inviting me over for Thanksgiving lunch – no photos of this delicious spread because I was too busy feeding my face!)

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Recipes:

Michelle’s Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients:

Pastry dough (use your favorite recipe)

2 cups fresh pumpkin meat (see gelato recipe for procedure)

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup whole milk

2 large eggs

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Pinch of ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

Special equipment: pie weights or raw rice

Procedure:

1) Make pastry dough as directed.

2) Roll out dough into a 14-inch round on a lightly floured surface and fit into a 9-inch glass pie plate (4-cup capacity). Crimp edge decoratively and prick bottom all over. Chill 30 minutes.

3) Preheat oven to 375°°F.

4) Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake in middle of oven 20 minutes. Remove weights and foil and bake shell until pale golden, 6 to 10 minutes more. Cool in pan on a rack.

5) Whisk together pumpkin, cream, milk, eggs, brown sugar, spices, and salt, then pour into shell.

6) Bake pie in middle of oven 45 to 50 minutes, or until filling is set but center still trembles slightly. (Filling will continue to set as pie cools.) Transfer to rack and cool completely.

Pumpkin Gelato w/ Candied Pecans

Ingredients:

1 cup candied pecan halves

2 cups pumpkin meat (from 1 small pie pumpkin  – 8 to 10 inches in diameter)

1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

6 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 quart half + half

1 teaspoon Penzys cake spice

Procedure:

For  pumpkin:

1) Wash pumpkin, remove stems, cut in half and scrape out seeds

2) Place pumpkin halves on baking sheet, cut side down, add 1/4 cup water to the pan and bake in 350 degree F oven for 1 hour (the pumpkin should be very soft and slightly browned when done)

3) Remove from oven, turn halves over and set aside to cool

4) When cool enough to handle, scrape out meat and puree in a food processor (leave in processor in order to complete gelato mixture – see gelato procedure)

For candied pecans:

1) Roast pecans in 300 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently, then let cool

2) Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/8 cup water in saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium heat until sugar is dissolved

3) Boil to 333-335 degrees F, occasionally brushing sides of pan w/ water to prevent crystals from forming, remove from heat immediately then add pecans and stir until they are well coated

4) Pour onto baking sheet lined w/ parchment paper and quickly separate pecan halves w/ 2 forks (I began using my fingers because using the forks was too slow to separate the pecans before the sugar hardened)

For gelato:

1) In medium saucepan heat half + half and cake spice gently to a simmer, then turn off heat

 2) In medium size mixing bowl combine egg yolks and sugar and beat together until pale yellow

3) Beat 2 tablespoons of the warm half + half into the egg mixture (do this slowly to avoid curdling the eggs), then beat in the remaining half + half little by little

4) Place bowl over a pot of simmering water and cook over a gentle heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon (do not let temperature exceed 170 degrees F or mixture will start to curdle)  

5) Cool in an ice bath

6) Add grated orange peel to pureed pumpkin, blend in 1 1/2 cups gelato mixture to pumpkin to thin puree, then stir puree into the remaining gelato mixture, blending well, and chill for at least 4 hours in fridge

7) Roughly chop the candied pecans (set aside a few whole pieces for garnishing and munching on while your plating dessert because they’re addictive and damn good!)

8) Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, adding the chopped pecans halfway through the churning process

9) Transfer gelato to a 2 quart plastic container, cover top w/ parchment paper cut to size (this will reduce air exposure and prevent ice crystals from forming on the surface of gelato), and freeze until firm

Yield: Approx. 1 ½ quarts

Bonus recipe…

Cranberry Chutney

Ingredients:

1 bag fresh cranberries

2 mangoes – peeled and cubed

1 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Procedure:

Simmer in a pot to a sauce consistency

 

That’s all folks! Until next time…

Bruno

Stuffed Flank Steak w/ Herbed Polenta and Broccolini; Milk Chocolate and Tarragon Gelato w/ Dark Chocolate Chunks

I was tagged by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen to participate in a meme called “Foodbloggers Welcome Dinner” started by Angelika at The Flying Apple.

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I’ve prepared some new creations to serve at this cyber dinner. Hope you like them!

Stuffed Flank Steak w/ Herbed Polenta and Broccolini (serves 8)

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Ingredients:

3 pounds flank steak (2 pieces)

1 box polenta

2 bunches of broccolini

10 oz. crimini mushrooms – sliced

4 large cloves of garlic – minced

7 oz. log of goat cheese (chevre)

2 quarts veggie stock

8 sundried tomatoes – rehydrated and chopped

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh sage

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Twine for trussing steaks

Procedure:

1) Pound out steaks to tenderize (or have your butcher put the steaks through their tenderizing machine like I did to save time)

2) Cook polenta using veggie stock, mix in herbs while cooking, season w/ salt and pepper, set aside enough polenta to stuff steaks then keep remainder on a warmer

3) Saute’ mushrooms in olive oil w/ garlic and pepper flakes, season w/ salt and pepper

4) Lay out steaks, then on each steak spread polenta on end that is closest to you, sprinkle w/ 1/3 of mushrooms, 2 ounces of crumbled goat cheese and half of the tomatoes

5) Roll and truss steaks, then season exterior w/ salt and pepper

6) Brown the steak rolls on all sides

7) Finish cooking steaks on a barbeque grill until 130 degrees F internal temperature for medium rare

8) Remove steaks from grill, cover w/ foil and let rest for 8 minutes

9) While steaks are resting, steam the broccolini until tender then sprinkle w/ lemon juice

10) Melt the butter in a pot and gently toss the broccolini in it

11) Remove twine and cut steaks into 1 3/4 inch slices, then place on serving tray

12) Gently fold remaining mushrooms and crumbled goat cheese into polenta and place in serving bowl

13) Place broccolini in serving dish

14) Pour some wine and dig in!!

Milk Chocolate and Tarragon Gelato w/ Dark Chocolate Chunks

Tarragon_gelato

Ingredients:

1 oz. fresh tarragon – stemmed and chopped

1 quart half +half

1 cup sugar

2 oz. bittersweet chocolate – coarsely chopped

5 oz. milk chocolate – finely chopped

8 egg yolks

Procedure:

1) In medium saucepan heat half + half and tarragon gently to a simmer, then turn off heat

2) Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the tarragon

3) In medium size mixing bowl combine egg yolks and sugar and beat together until pale yellow

4) Beat 2 tablespoons of the warm half + half into the egg mixture (do this slowly to avoid curdling the eggs), then beat in the remaining half + half little by little

5) Place bowl over a pot of simmering water and cook over a gentle heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon (do not let temperature exceed 170 degrees F or mixture will start to curdle)

6) Remove from heat, stir milk chocolate into the mixture and while continuing to stir place back on heat to completely melt chocolate (again, making sure mixture temperature doesn’t exceed 170 degrees F)

7) Cool in an ice bath

8) Chill mixture in fridge for at least 4 hours

9) Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, adding the bittersweet chocolate halfway through the churning process

10) Transfer gelato to a 2 qt plastic container, cover top w/ parchment paper cut to size (this will reduce air exposure and prevent ice crystals from forming on the surface of gelato), and freeze until firm

Yield: Approx. 1 ½ quarts

Now its my turn to tag a few people to keep this meme flowing…

I tag my co-blogger Duane at Zinfully Delicious

Sam at Becks & Posh

Barbara at winosandfoodies

Bron at Bron Marshall

and Brilynn at Jumbo Empanadas

OK, it’s past midnight and I’m going to get some sleep before I turn into a smashed pumpkin or something like that!

Bruno

TunaFest 2006

Noooo… It wasn’t really a festival of Tuna.
It was the 50th Birthday  Party for Le
Bruno.

I want to thank everyone who helped with
making it a great event…Kristin-My co-planner.
The folks @ Remy’s  Jay, Rachel, Lisa & Phillip
Photographer du jour- The D.E.W.
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The Birthday Boy cutting his cake
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Decadent Triple Chocolate Cake by the
Sugaree Baking Company
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Tunafest1 Tunafest14 

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Thanks for coming  out to party
on a “school night”, it was a  Blast!

Duane

Monarch Photos

                   WWW.MONARCHRESTAURANT.COM

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Now and Zen- a 1st look

Buschs_grove_stock_2Since 1890, Busch’s Grove has not only been an historic landmark, it
has been the premier gathering place for generations of St. Louisans
and their guests. Its regular customers have been the leaders in
business, government and the community, media and sports personalities,
the local gentry, and those who simply wanted to be a part of the
Busch’s Grove legacy. They arrived by horse drawn carriage, sleek
limousine, and every mode of transportation in between, to dine, drink
and socialize in this extraordinary establishment.(1)

  That was then… Today, new owner Lester Miller has created an establishment that melds the Blue-Hairs, the Executives and the Hipsters all under one roof but not occupying the same space. The trick?  His fusion of Old school Busch’s Grove with Busch’s Grove the modern sleek show place. Combine that with the savvy move of  booking home town product Jeremy Davenport for a multi-month run.
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And a bar becomes an experience.
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Servers Extraordinaire
Lisa & Michael

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Spider Roll
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This dish was “to die for”
Pan Seared Scallops w/
cumin pancake
tomato gazpacho
lobster civiche
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Assorted Sushi
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The obnoxious blonde of
the night. Her pseudo-strip
was the low light for the
evening

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Jeremy & Rhonda
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Bruno & Melissa
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Jim & Rhonda

(1)- Stock text and photo

All other text & photos- Duane

Comfort foods that Zing…

A laid back dinner with friends doesn’t have to be a bland affair,
when my friends get together.We decide that simple was the
word for the day: with that being said you know simple
will not mean boring.
The menu was to be a beef stew, lasagna and a salad.
Bruno aka “The Mayor” was in charge of the stew and with
all the flair that you would expect from the Flying Chef
he created the Heavenly Stew…
Comfort_foods_001sirloin tip, butternut squash, garlic, mulato chiles, morel and crimini mushrooms, corn, cipollini onions, carrots, celery, tomato, Swiss chard, leek, bouquet garni for veggie stock and “red roux”.Comfort_foods_002Byron made his world famous 10 layer Lasagna. Would it betoo much to call it bliss in a pan?Zinful_photographs_011Hand made pasta so thin that you would think it’s parchment, the finest cheeses and his ownspecial meat sauce.Comfort_foods_003The D.E.W. created a Salad withan artistic flairComfort_foods_004spinach,mixed field greens,artichoke hearts,black olives,portabello mushroom,eggs androma tomatoesComfort_foods_011Wine & Sprits of the NightWines-Schug 2004 Pinot Noir-St. Supery 2000 Cabernet Sauvigon-Terra Romana 2002 Cuvee Charlotte-Bearitage-Lot#12 California Claret-Silver Oak 2000 Napa Valley Cabernet SauvigonSpirits*The Macallan 15/yo Fine OakHighland Single Malt*Aberlour 15/yo Sherry Wood FinishHighland-Speyside Single Malt* Glen Garioch 15/yoHighland Single Malt*Montelle FramboiseRasberry Port*DOM B&B

 
Review & Photos by "D"

Edible Reflections(StL)

Remy's 1st Tuesday Tasting December 
6th, 2005: Cal-Ital (Italian 
varietals produced in California)
 I'll be honest w/ you, even after 
my culinary training I still have a 
lot to learn about matching food w/
wine. I'm still a novice at identifying 
aromas and flavors in wine, which
is crucial in bridging food and wine 
together. What I have learned is if
you find a wine w/ basic elements that 
match or enhance the basic elements in 
the food you're serving, you have the 
foundations for a good pairing.
Chef Lisa Slay and Sommelier Phil Peimann 
did a fantastic job w/ this. Lisa's 
creations meshed beautifully w/ 
Phil's wine selections. I don't know
if they built the menu around the wine or
vice versa, but the end product had me 
and my friends salivating like 
Pavlov's dog as each course was presented
to us!
Blank_1 We started w/ duck and leek 
ravioli w/ browned almond butter. These 
were large squares of spinach pasta
stuffed w/ leek and tender pieces of 
duck. The browned almond sauce added a
delicate essence. This was paired w/ 
Flora Springs Sangiovese '03 Napa Valley.
If Duane hadn't been so hungry we 
would have had a photo of the ravioli!
Food_wine_016 The next course 
was "Drunken Porkloin" w/ sauteed 
carrots and capers. The meat was so 
tender you could cut it w/ a fork! 
The capers added a nice tartness to 
the mix. Paired w/ Rabbit Ridge 
Brunelllo '01 Paso Robles. Phil 
pointed out that Brunello is also 
made w/ sangiovese grapes, however 
the name varies depending on the 
region in Italy the wine is produced.
Food_wine_018 Lastly, 
we sampled braised short ribs 
w/ sweet potato puree and gremolata. 
What an awesome dish! A nice riff 
on osso buco. The meat was braised 
to perfection - it was tender and 
falling off the bones. 
The sweet potato puree went 
beautifully w/ the short ribs 
and the gremolata provided a nice 
citrus finish. This was surrounded
by a pool of intensely flavored 
braising liquid which Phil found 
so delicious he said he could drink it 
by the glass! I concur!! This dish was 
paired w/ Renwood Barbera '00 
Amador County - a region in the 
Sierra Foothills known for it's 
Zins. Out of the 3 wines 
we sampled, this one won
by a unanimous vote!
Food_wine_023 Bruno&Phil 
discussing wine
 
I finished the evening w/ a 
delicious caramel apple ice cream 
and a glass of petite champagne 
cognac. Bravo Lisa and Phil!!
Bruno"The Mayor"  Photos by Duane

The Day After…

This should be the start of a new yearly tradition; meeting  for wine and  Thanksgiving  food stories while others dash about in a shopping frenzy… Remy’s was the natural choice, it being “the mayors” 2nd home and my 3rd.
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Jay playing bartender for the night
(we also shared “family” pictures. Jay’s dog
Jenny is the mother to my son and a few
other lucky groovy people)

The Nights Wine & Spirit List…

Steele Cabernet Franc ’02 Clear Lake
very quaffable w/ burnt sugar and
mocha explorations

Qupe Syrah  ’03 Central Coast
crushed blackberry, lavender
w/ velvety tannins

Gravity Hills “Base Camp” Syrah ’02
Paso Robles

cornucopia of red fruit and spices

Magnificent Wine Co. “House Wine” ’03
California

58% Cabernet-32% Merlot-9%Syrah-1% Cabernet Franc

Doamine de Barillon Bas 
21/yo Armagnac


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                Dessert Trio 

Warm Apple Bread Pudding, Tiramisu
& Chocolate Mousse


                                                         

Edible Reflections(StL)

1111 Mississippi, the review…

  A gathering of “Foodies” (genuine food lovers) always means a good time but add a great place and it becomes a true event… Tonight’s gathering includes Radio guy extraordinaire Dave, Stay at home “Sex Kitten” and aspiring writer Kris, Writer and recently published Poet Sandra Jean,  “The Mayor” and Me, your humble narrator.

   While sampling our appetizers, Dave commented “at 1111 it’s all about the food”…  In that one remark he captured Chef Ivy Magruders culinary philosophy: An uncomplicated menu with the freshest ingredients paired with a stunning wine list.

  Though the menu maybe uncomplicated, the exquisite flavors infused in each plate represent  gastronomic ecstasy for the  impassioned epicurean…

“D”

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Grilled Sea Scallops w/ chive polenta cakes& vanilla rum sauce

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Sauteed chanterelle mushrooms w/ puff pastry tower
The chaterelles in the cream sauce were tasty and the puff pastry tower was light and flaky.

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Wild Boar Ravioli w/ a tomato vodka cream sauce
The wild boar ravioli were so delicious there weren’t enough to go around!

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The 1st wine tonight was Wits End-The Procrastinator an Australian blend of
 95% Cabernet Franc/5% Shiraz. It was a great wine to start out the evening

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Grilled Double Pork Chop stuffed with bacon-dijon mustard cream over blue corn polenta
The stuffed pork chop was juicy and had a nice bacony filling. A pig lover’s dream!

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Seared Ono w/ tomatillo salsa over golden barley 
Of all the main courses we ate, my favorite was the ono (also known as wahoo). It had a beautifully crispy crust yet was still moist (gotta ask Ivy how he did it!). This may replace tuna as my favorite fish!

Salmon

Grilled Salmon w/ roasted fingerling potatoes,swiss chard & artichoke tapenade

Rabbit

Braised Rabbit w/ Tuscan red wine reduction & aged goat cheese polenta
The braised rabbit had a great wine sauce, the goat cheese in the  polenta gave it an additional creamy texture.

Wine2

Midnight Cellars Estate Zinfandel 2002,Paso Robles
which was, you guessed it... ZINFULLY DELICIOUS!!

Bananas

crème custard napoleon w/ carameled
bananas & chocolate shavings

Bread_pudding

warm chocolate bread pudding w/ marshmallows & pecan streusel served w caramel ice cream
Again the chocolate bread pudding was the winner in the dessert category. It had nice crispy edges and awesome flavors that exploded in your mouth!

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Calvados/ Aged Apple Brandy

  Everything was beautifully presented and the evening was exceptional...
 the perfect combo of great friends, food and service all wrapped up in a
 cozy, warm and inviting atmosphere, topped off w/ a perfect grape juice buzz!!   

Tasting notes                 Food Photography                                                                      "The Mayor"                         "D"