Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sauteed Salmon with Leeks from Bouchon Cookbook by Thomas Keller

I received Thomas Keller's Bouchon cookbook as a gift (what a great gift!), and this is the first recipe we've made from it.  Tonight my husband and I made this dish, and with it our first beurre blanc sauce.  Oh the sauce! And the leeks! I've had leeks before but they were not as memorable as these.  Below is our progression of cooking one of the most refined dishes we've ever made. Oh, and I highly recommend putting Bouchon cookbook on your wish list! Must have cookbook for sure. Looking forward to making more of the recipes.

Boiling the leeks

Start of the beurre blanc sauce, simmering shallots, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, peppercorns in white wine vinegar and  white wine


Incorporating butter to sauce, cream has already been added

Seasoned salmon, skin side

Sauteing salmon

Finished beurre blanc with fresh herbs added


Finished salmon with crispy skin but rare on top

Crispy skin

Ready to eat!

All done, close up

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Chophouse at the Vintage Year - March 16, 2012

Last night we went to The Chophouse at the Vintage Year in Montgomery, AL for dinner with family for a birthday celebration.  We were very impressed, this was our second visit since the restaurant changed to The Chophouse (from The Vintage Year) a couple years ago.  We all ordered appetizers, which included:  Tuna spring roll with a wasabi and kalbi sauce, Fried Oysters with Caper Aioli, Poached Farm Egg, and Tobiko, Lobster cake with a remoulade sauce, and a take on fried chicken a waffles using a fried quail breast and a rice and pecan waffle.  We all had a taste of each (except I skipped the oyster), and all were delicious! Next time I will probably order the Lobster cake, although the quail and waffle dish was fun to eat!

For our entrees we ordered: Bone-in Ribeye, Pittsburgh style with a side of white-truffle cheddar mac and cheese and garlic mashed potatoes, two of us ordered the seared sea scallops on a bed of risotto (excellent!!), with sides of the mac and cheese, sweet potato bacon hash, and asparagus with balsamic and Hollandaise sauce. The last entree was the fish of the day, Grouper, Parmesan crusted on a bed of orecchiette pasta with nicoise olives and artichoke hearts. Everyone enjoyed their entrees and would order again. My favorites were the sea scallops, they were very large, cooked perfectly, and melt in your mouth tender.  The Parmesan crusted Grouper fillet was a large portion, again cooked to perfection!  

We all had dessert, trying the New Orleans style white chocolate bread pudding, the vanilla creme brulee with an almond tuile and raspberries, and the chocolate roulade with Grand Marnier and whipped cream.  Glad we saved room for dessert! 

All in all we had a meal close to perfection on all counts.  We will definitely return, especially if continues to offer great deals on gift certificates! Thank you Chophouse for a wonderful evening of delicious and elegant fine dining. 


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Squid ink pasta - March 2012

We recently bought dried squid ink pasta at EarthFare. Made it tonight with sauteed shallots, garlic, onions, and mushrooms with a butter-olive oil sauce, fresh thyme and parsley. Served with roasted asparagus and Sister Schubert rolls.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thomas Keller's Buttermilk Fried Chicken - February 2012

We recently received Thomas Keller's cookbook Ad Hoc at Home as a gift.  Having been to his Bouchon restaurant in Yountville, CA, we were eager to try his recipes.  The cookbook has excellent explanations for even the beginner cook.  We decided to try the fried chicken, which is apparently a hot ticket item at Ad Hoc, starting with butchering whole chickens. Thanks to YouTube I felt like I did a decent job, especially by the second one! We had fun doing everything from scratch. Next time we won't brine the chicken quite so long, the chicken was just a tad on the salty side.  The crust was excellent and want to make again just to eat the crust!
Two chickens butchered into 10 pieces each

Making the brine

Chicken is in the brine, ready to refrigerate

Breading station

Double batter station

Frying station

Frying the first batch - the thighs

Zac at work on the first batch

Fried Chicken is ready! Garnish of quick
fried thyme and rosemary