12.28.2012

Food Photography




I'm so excited because I finally get the chance to share the gorgeous photos from my shoot a few weeks ago with the extremely talented Mike Arrison of Mike Arrison Photography. When I received them, I was awestricken by the results. Mike's photos of my food are always beautiful, but these were beyond.

The day of the shoot I started by making a gorgeous Grilled Wedge Salad which featured tender grilled romaine, crunchy bacon, and a tangy gorgonzola dressing. Next, I made Roasted Rosemary Shrimp over Creamy Polenta, a savory southern combination. And finally, I ended the saga with a succulent latin dish of Seared Scallops with Chimichurri over Avocado Puree. 

Food styling is definitely an acquired skill, and it all comes down to the message that you're trying to convey. If you want to serve your food family style, then intricate plating isn't really necessary. Although my recipes are fairly straight forward, I always go for a sophisticated plating technique. As you can see above, I chose to smudge the avocado puree, gently place the scallops, and top each with a bit of the chimichurri. I love that you can see each component of the dish, even the solitary cilantro sprig. 

Every dish I made was truly reminiscent of my contemporary style of cooking and I can't wait to share each delicious recipe with you!
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12.16.2012

Parmesan & Herb Eggs


Finding new ways to prepare eggs for breakfast is always a challenge. This morning I remembered an Ina Garten recipe for herb baked eggs that I found a few years ago. The first time that I try out a recipe that isn't my own, I stick to their rules and then the second time around I'll make changes or scrap the idea altogether. First, in her recipe the eggs baked as a whole, with both the whites and the yolk of the egg. This leads to the yolk being overcooked and or the whites being undercooked for the sake of a runny yolk to dip your toast in. So I chose to separate the yolks from the whites of the egg, and cook the whites for 15 minutes and then add the yolk for the last few minutes. The topping for the eggs was a complete gem, who doesn't love herbs and cheese. However, I don't think that hard herbs (rosemary, thyme, etc.) belong with breakfast, so I chose to use soft herbs (parsley and chives). Overall, this recipe was one worth sharing and definitely worth making again and again.

Parmesan & Herb Eggs
Yield: 2 Servings

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon heavy cream
4 eggs, whites and yolks separated
1 tsp parsley, minced
1 tsp chives, minced
1 tbsp parmesan, finely grated
kosher salt
black pepper

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350-degrees. Using two small baking dishes, put one half tablespoon of butter and one half tablespoon of heavy cream in each and place them in the oven for three minutes. Remove them from the oven and place two egg whites in each dish. Next, combine the parsley, chives, and parmesan in a small bowl and mix them together. Sprinkle the egg whites in each dish with one fourth of the mixture and a little bit of salt and pepper. Place the egg whites into the oven for fifteen minutes.
When the egg whites are nearly cooked, place the two egg yolks on top of each dish and let it continue to cook for 3 minutes. Finally, remove the eggs from the oven and sprinkle them with the rest of the parmesan herb mixture.
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12.10.2012

Potato Latkes


Happy Hanukkah everyone! I thought I should celebrate the holiday by making one of my favorite Jewish foods, which is latkes of course. Since Alex and I started dating a few years ago, I've had the pleasure of going to all of his family's holiday dinners. Jewish culture is absolutely fascinating and the food is beyond delicious. However, there is one food that trumps them all: latkes. They're crispy on the outside and tender and flavorful on the inside. Now, I'm not a huge fan of adding apple sauce to them, but you could easily add that element to my perfect recipe if you so desire.



Potato Latkes
Yields: 4 Servings

Ingredients:
1 pound white potatoes
1 large shallot, minced
1 large egg
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons minced chives
sour cream
kosher salt
black pepper

Directions:
Begin by peeling the potatoes, then grating the potatoes on a box grater (be sure to have a medium size bowl near by with some water in it to stop the potatoes from discoloring). Next, drain the water from the potatoes and place them on a few paper towels until they're dry and fluffy. Next, add the grated potatoes, minced shallot, the egg, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a bowl. Gently stir the mixture together until it's combined.
Place a medium size pan over medium heat, add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Place a large spoonful of the potato mixture onto the pan and press it down lightly to create your desired thickness of the latke. Continue to do this until you have about four latkes in the pan. Cook them for 4 minutes on the first side and 4 on the other side, or until they're golden. Remove them from the pan and hit them with a little bit of kosher salt. Repeat the cooking process again with the second batch (or until the mixture is gone). 
Finally, add a bit of sour cream and minced chives to your plate along with the latkes and you'll have a match made in heaven!
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12.08.2012

Manzo Ristorante



Manzo Risorante is one of the many bustling restaurants inside of Eataly in New York City. Since "manzo" literally translates into beef, this restaurant features many different cuts of meat and styles of preparation. Piedmont, Italy is best known for its gorgeous beef, and we were fortunate enough to be able to have the carpaccio which features Piemontese Beef. Each thinly sliced layer was melt in your mouth perfect, and had a salty bite from the guanciale (pig cheek) vinaigrette. The dish also had a fried quail egg and a small salad of radicchio, chive, and frisee. Combine this with the beautiful selection of bread for the table and you've got a match made in heaven.



For our second course, we decided on the orecchiette ("small ear" shaped, hand made pasta). The pasta was perfectly paired with a hearty broccoli rabe pesto and spicy, sweet italian sausage. Each bite was absolutely bursting with flavor. After this course, we both found ourselves to be in a bit of a food coma so we decided to call it quits and have a couple of cappuccinos before leaving. Overall, our dining experience at Manzo was quite the palatable experience and we'll definitely be returning in the near future.
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12.02.2012

Eataly


Isn’t it every foodie’s dream to have luscious produce and gorgeous cuts of meat at their fingertips? This is exactly what draws thousands of people to Eataly in New York City every day. Eataly is owned by culinary geniuses Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich and Joe Bastianich. Walking in any one of the many entrances and your senses will immediately be overwhelmed by delicious smells and vibrant displays. Since discovering this dynasty the last time that I was in New York, I have been absolutely itching to go back.




Their choice of presentation for produce is something to be admired. They offer just about every imaginable variation of each and every fruit and vegetable. Looking at the mushroom section alone, you’re presented with about twenty different varieties (not to mention the white truffles that were for sale for a small sum of nearly $6,000/lb). 


The seafood is organized by shellfish, caviar, and fish. Each cut of fish is absolutely perfect, there are even a few fish that you can purchase whole. I love the surprise of being presented with a variety of fish that I don’t recognize (and I’m still unsure of the little peach with the cup in its mouth in the picture above). 


The meat counter features everything from a gorgeous leg of lamb to a stunning filet of beef. There are also a bunch of ground meats available, from lamb burgers to turkey sausage. To say the very least, being surrounded by all of that stunning food was an inspiration. Alex and I even took the chance to dine at one of Eataly’s nine restaurants, which I’ll be posting about later this week!