Thursday, September 30, 2010
I am submitting this recipe I created using Nature’s Pride bread.
I received a coupon for a free Nature's Pride product as part of Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program.
Nature’s Pride is an official sponsor of the 2010 Foodbuzz Bloggers Festival.
If my recipe is selected I will be a Nature's Pride Ambassador at the Festival, and will have the opportunity to showcase my recipe using Nature's Pride bread at the Foodbuzz Taste Pavilion.
I hope you enjoy the recipe.
1-package Nature’s Pride Country White Deli Rolls
11-ounce package Goat Cheese
1-cup sun dried tomato
½-cup fresh basil leaves
¼-cup olive oil
½-cup balsamic vinegar
Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.
Bring goat cheese to room temperature. Separate deli rolls into halves and place on baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.
While bread is in the oven make balsamic glaze. Put balsamic vinegar in saucepan and bring it to a boil. Let boil 3 to 4 minutes whisking frequently. Remove from heat and let cool.
Once the bread is out, take garlic clove and rub it over each deli roll half then let cool.
Take each deli roll half and spread with a heaping tablespoon of goat cheese. Place 2-3 basil leaves on top of the goat cheese. Chop sun dried tomatoes and place a few pieces over the basil.
Cut each half into fourths place on serving tray. Drizzle with cooled balsamic glaze.
Makes 48 Bruschetta
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Gourmet chef driven food you get to eat in your flip-flops!
The restaurant JULIAN has been on my list of places to go. I have heard of the innovative cuisine chef Celina Tio makes and that she is known for using local and seasonal ingredients, which is one of the things I look for when choosing a place to dine.
I have compiled quite a list and thought, “I will get there eventually” until I received a certain email that was from Food Network. They had found my blog and asked if I would like to interview Celina about her upcoming appearance on their show The Next Iron Chef. Hmmm let me think, uh yeah!
Once I found out I was going to be interviewing Celina, I moved it to the top of my list and headed to Brookside. While I was there, I was hoping I would have the opportunity to meet Celina before the interview that was coming up later that week.
It was a beautiful evening and we sat on the patio. The atmosphere at JULIAN is what I call “gourmet casual.” You get gourmet chef driven food that you can eat in your flip-flops. There servers are in jeans and the food is simple and delicious.
We ordered an appetizer, which was “gambas al ajillo” Laughing Bird shrimp with spicy garlic sauce on, panise. Now, if you have read the blog you know I am not a huge seafood fan but I don’t mind shrimp. I had no idea what panise was, but my sister wanted to try it. Wow! It was pretty darn tasty. The spicy garlic sauce was great and panise is a fried chickpea flour cake. I love it when I find a new food. Now I know I will want to order panise whenever I see it on a menu somewhere, or better yet learn to make it myself so I can have it anytime. It was delicious!
For dinner, I chose the braised short ribs, potato gnocchi, and ratatouille. The short rib was so tender. The minute I pressed down with my fork it practically fell apart and gnocchi is one of my favorites.
The other dishes we had where herb crusted Duroc pork loin with peppers and potatoes and JULIAN short rib sandwich with horseradish-havarti, caramelized onion, and Dijon. The sandwich was a new addition to the menu for the evening and I hope it stays. When my sister tasted it she said, “I would come back just for that.”
All of the dishes were exceptional and I did have the chance to meet Celina and introduce myself, as she is the one that brought our plates out. She truly is involved in every aspect and makes you feel as if you are a guest in her home.
I was honored to be able to chat with Celina about JULIAN and The Next Iron Chef experience.
Having been a chef at the Philadelphia Ritz-Carlton and then working for Walt Disney World where she helped open two specialty restaurants, Celina wound up in Kansas City when she saw an ad for the chef position at the American. While working at the American, she garnered local and national accolades including 2005 "Chef of the Year" by Chef Magazine and the James Beard Foundation's 2007 "Best Chef: Midwest."
In opening JULIAN, Celina said she always liked working at the American, but is very outgoing and wanted a place where she could be involved in every aspect…and involved she is! As well as cooking, you will find her bringing out plates and refilling water glasses as she mingles with guests. She says, "I usually talk to all of them if possible.” Celina also said she wanted to have a place where she could serve gourmet chef driven food in a casual environment, make patrons feel as if they where a guest in her home, and “Where it is ok to wear a T-shirt, jeans, and flip-flops and come in just because it is Tuesday instead of waiting for a special occasion.”
Regarding the cuisine at JULIAN, Celina’s focus is on soul satisfying comfort foods using fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients that are refined with a signature twist. One of Celina’s favorite dishes she makes at the restaurant is crispy pork shoulder. Depending on the season, it is served with various seasonal ingredients such as, sweet potatoes and house made marshmallows or succotash and bacon vinaigrette. She is currently working on recreating a tamarind sauce to serve with the pork that she tasted on her Next Iron Chef adventure, which was made by her fellow contestant Chef Maneet Chauhan, who owns Vermillion restaurant, which has locations in New York and Chicago.
On being true to the concept of using local and seasonal ingredients, Celina works with dozens of farmers in the metro area and uses only naturally raised meats. She also uses Shatto milk products and serves up Boulevard beer and coffee from the Roasterie. She makes about four major changes a year to the menu with little tweaks here and there when needed.
To keep things fresh, Celina is in the kitchen making house made sauces, ketchup, pickles, ricotta, and her version of a burrata, which is handmade mozzarella that is filled with ricotta and cream. A traditional burrata is mozzarella scraps with cream in the center of mozzarella. The name "burrata" means, "buttered" in Italian. She also house smokes the salmon and bacon and corns her own beef for the corned beef that is served.
On what makes JULIAN special, Celina believes it is her concept of chef driven food that is easy, and prepared with love, noting, “I think you can taste the love that has gone into preparing the plate."
On Sunday’s Tio offers, “Sunday Family Meal” which is a dinner that includes one of her signature dishes or highlights a “Diner Designed Dinner” which is a dinner that a guest will submit and then have the opportunity to work with Celina to create. However, while the show is airing she is hosting watch parties for The Next Iron Chef. The dinner menu features the dishes Celina made for that episode. Seating is limited and some dates are sold out. If you are interested in attending a watch party, it is best to call to see if space is still available. Cost is $35.00. The number for JULIAN is 816-214-8454.
Specifically about the show, Celina received a call (unexpectedly) from Food Network to see if she would be interested in doing the show…and she was. After a series of meetings and an on camera interview, she was chosen to be a contestant. Celina said, “It was the most difficult thing I’ve done; it was one of the most fun things I’ve done.” Other than that, she is pretty much sworn to secrecy.
I did get a few insights on the first episode. The secret ingredient is bread and the contestants challenge was to make a sandwich that represents them. Celina did a play on a Cuban sandwich. Another part of the episode takes place on the beach. As far as other competitors go she said, “All of the contestants got along well.” She also noted that the show is as hectic as it looks on television.
I have got wind from another source that some of the other episodes secret ingredients include pickles, donuts, fair food, ranch dressing, and potatoes.
Check out this link to get a sneak peak of Season 3. Be sure and tune in to Food Network for the premier of The Next Iron Chef Sunday, October 3rd, at 8:00 p.m. to watch Celina battle it out to win the title of The Next Iron Chef.
In Good Taste,
Friday, September 24, 2010
Follow me and you'll be in a world of pure imagination, as I share the details of Kansas City's Christopher Elbow Chocolate Shop. I had the opportunity to get a behind the scenes tour with the Slow Foods Group of Kansas City.
The tour begin with a sampling of a chocolate liqueur and then Elbow giving us the scoop (actually two) literally, on the ice cream creations he sells at his new artisan ice cream shop Glace. Elbow showed us how he makes his Sweet Corn Ice Cream and we all had samples of it along with an Heirloom Tomato Sorbet. Elbow’s ice creams and sorbets are rich, delicious, and full of flavor made from real ingredients. To read more about his ice creams check out this post on Glace.
Now, about those chocolates... Food & Wine magazine gave the #1 ranking of their top 10 Chocolates to Christopher Elbow for the No. 6 Dark. It features 61% dark chocolate blended with popping candy to create a unique, irresistible chocolate bar. It is no wonder they did. I had no idea the detail that went into making these exquisite chocolates! Now I know why they taste so good. Some take 2,3 or even more days to make.
Elbow showed us how he makes the Passion Fruit chocolates. Ever wonder how the chocolates get those fancy designs on them? Me too!
It starts with a pre designed cocoa butter sheet or by airbrushing colored cocoa butter on the mold and letting it dry. The molds are then coated with chocolate and drained leaving a layer to form the top shell. That layer has to sit so it can harden before it is filled. Once filled another coating of chocolate is applied to make the bottom shell. This whole process takes about 3 days, but it is worth the wait!
After the demo and tastings, I got to walk through the prepping area. The shelves were full of chocolates, caramels, truffles and other goodies. In addition, there was flowing fountain of chocolate and an intoxicating aroma; it had me feeling like I was in my own Artisanal Willy Wonka land!
Well of course, I could not go home empty handed and had to get a box of those breathtakingly beautiful gems to enjoy at home. Some of the flavors I chose were Strawberry Balsamic, Rosemary Caramel, Fresh Lemon, Ginger Caramel, Peanut Butter Coconut (just to name a few). I also got a couple of the Salted Caramels, which ended up being my husband’s favorite.
Speaking of husbands... I must tell you Ladies, I would highly suggest you introduce your significant other to the wonderful world of Christopher Elbow. You may need to suggest that when he lands in the doghouse, that a peace offering might need to include a few pieces of chocolate. In fact, I think I am still owed a few pieces; I may need to send a reminder to mine!
Also Gentleman, if you are smart, it may be to your benefit to keep a secret stash of Elbow’s goodies around to pull out when the PMS monster strikes, to sooth that savage beast!
If you have not had the chance to try either one of Elbows wonderful creations (be it the chocolates, or the ice cream) you are missing out! I suggest you take some time to treat yourself. The flavors are unique and delicious. I promise you will not be sorry.
Elbows chocolates are of course available at his shop on McGee Street but some other locations around the metro include the Roasterie Café, Brookside Market, Foo’s Frozen Custard, Halls Department Store, Dean and Deluca and Cosentino’s Market. Elbow’s Chocolates are also available nationwide including his store in San Francisco. Here is a link to find all the locations his chocolates are available.
Christopher Elbow Chocolates
1819 McGee Street
Kansas City, MO 64108
Tues - Sat 10a.m. - 6p.m.
And as always, if you have a great food find in KC email me.
In Good Taste,
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Foodbuzz is holding a contest in search of the next “Food Blog Star.” The contest, designed around having contestants compete in a series of challenges, awards the winner with the title “Food Blog Star”.
I have been having a great time writing this blog, and thought “What the heck, I’m game!” I decided to hop on board and give it a shot. After all, with $10,000 at stake, why not enter?
My first challenge is to write a post that defines me as a blogger and gives reasons why I should be the next Food Blog Star. Therefore, here it goes.
I decided to start blogging after I was in the running to be a contestant on the reality show Master Chef. I have always loved to cook and enjoyed the push the Master Chef competition gave me to step out of my culinary box. Though ultimately not picked, Master Chef lit a fire in me to do more with my passion so I created my blog “What You’re Missing KC!”
“What You’re Missing KC!”, is a blog that highlights great things regarding the KC food scene. One of my favorite places in Kansas City is the restaurant Yia Yia’s; their gnocchi dish there is amazing. I thought, “You know if someone has not tasted this, they are really missing out.” Hence, the name “What You’re Missing KC!” came about.
I believe Kansas City has a great culinary scene that can compete with some of the best cities across the country. I am making it my full time mission to eat, drink, cook, shop, and explore my way around KC. I want to check out all the great things about food our fabulous city has to offer. I have met some amazing people and have had some neat opportunities.
I have found a passion for supporting our locally owned restaurants and business in and around Kansas City. I see the drive and commitment these people put into their businesses and the quality product they strive to produce. From what I have tasted and experienced, you can tell the difference in their commitment.
Kansas City has great local producers: farms, orchards, dairies, bakeries and more. These producers provide us with a variety of quality products and ingredients that are available at local markets. There are also great tasting restaurants in KC, many of which use local and seasonal ingredients in their dishes.
It is my goal to share these finds with my community to promote a more conscious way of eating. When we know where our food comes from, we can make better choices and the bonus is the extreme difference in taste along with supporting our neighbor.
Though writing a blog and searching the city for those hidden gems is keeping me very busy, I still love to cook and want to add more recipes to my blog that use local ingredients. I am in the kitchen using fresh finds to develop these recipes.
I am often asked, “How do you make your money?” My answer is, I am not in this for the money. I do this out of the passion for and my belief in locally owned businesses. Now, I’m not going to lie, to win the $10,000 as the next “Food Blog Star” would be nice and helpful in reaching my goals. But, I also want to be the next “Food Blog Star” to gain more exposure as I continue to spread the word about our great city and inspire other cities to do the same.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Westport Café and Bar is a locally owned hometown café with a French flair. I had the opportunity to check it out a couple weeks ago for lunch with my friend Amanda, who knew the owner and introduced me.
I love being able to meet the owners of locally owned places. It somehow makes me feel more connected with our community. The more and more I get into trying places that are locally owned, the more I want to search them out. I see the passion these people put into their businesses and the quality product they want to produce, and from what I have tasted, you can tell the difference.
Many local places around KC use seasonal and local ingredients, which mean there is always going to be something fresh and different. However, they also realize there are those out there that do not like change and always keep a few consistent things on the menu.
I have done a little homework to find new places to try and now have quite a list. Kansas City is filled with amazingly talented chefs and dedicated restaurant owners with wonderful places to eat that can compete with some of the best places across the country. I hope this blog helps you find new places to go that are not only delicious, but that support our local neighbor too.
Westport Café and Bar is one of those wonderful locally owned establishments. The owner is Aaron Confessori and he is no stranger to the food scene, he attended the French Culinary Institute in New York, helped open numerous Kona Grill locations and previously owned Sol Cantina. His passion for owning his own French inspired café became reality when he learned that blanc burgers + bottles had outgrown their location in Westport leaving that space vacant. It was the perfect spot!
If you are leery of the phrase, “French Flair” don’t let that detour you from trying it out. Westport Café and Bar has taken plenty of classic favorites and just put a bit of a French twist to them and the outcome will please any pallet.
Being the gracious host Confessori is, he had a selection of house favorites for the table to try. We started with the Spring Pea Ravioli, Grilled Octopus and Pomme Frites. The ravioli is made for Westport Café and Bar by the locally owned Italian restaurant Cupini’s just right down the street.
What a treat to have fresh handmade local pasta. The Pasta is served with a brown butter sauce that is just delicious. The Pomme Frites are simple, fresh, and crisp served with a house made mayo.
Now for the grilled Octopus. Normally I would have been frozen with fear at the shear mention of the dish, for some reason I am just not a big seafood fan. However, this whole foodie adventure I am on has really taken me out of my culinary box. I was at a dinner just earlier in the week and a dish with octopus prepared almost the same way was there. I thought OK I’m going to try it. Turns out it’s not half bad. Not so sure, what I was afraid of.
The version at Westport Café and Bar has it prepared with linguica sausage, lemon and potatoes. I thought the preparation with the linquica gave a nice spice to the octopus and I have never met a potato I did not like. It was a wonderful combination.
After all those tasty bites, which was plenty and I could have gone away completely satisfied, but when Confessori asked what I would choose off the menu I was happy to scan it. A few things stuck out Baked Ricotta with Goat Cheese and Truffled Honey, Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder, Grilled Chicken Sandwich. I finally decided on the Bar Steak Sandwich. It is served with sautéed onions and truffled cream on fresh baked bread from the local Farm to Market Bread Company. The steak was perfectly cooked, the onions added a great depth of flavor, and the bread is so fresh it practically melts in your mouth!
But wait there’s more! The name of the place is Westport Café and Bar, and the bar is no exception! Ryan Maybee one of the founders of The Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition and a mean mixologist helped consult on the drink menu. The cocktail menu includes all the classics such as the Tom Collins and the Champagne Cocktail to signature drinks like their Rhubarb Cocktail or Westport Fizz. In addition to that of course is a wide selection of wine and beer.
The cocktail I chose was Pimm’s Cup, which is actually the official drink of Wimbledon. It has house made ginger ale, lime, mint, and cucumber. This drink is refreshing and tasty I would highly recommend it.
The desserts at Westport Café and Bar fit right in with the French inspired cuisine with choices like house made profiteroles or croissant bread pudding. If I had not been so stuffed, I would have gotten the mixed berries with pound cake and honey lavender syrup. I am really looking forward to just going back for coffee and dessert sometime.
Westport Café and Bar serves a full menu until 1:00 a.m. so if hunger strikes late forget the drive thru when you can have Foie Gras at midnight! They also serve brunch that comes with a complimentary cocktail on Saturday and Sunday 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
If you have not had the chance to visit Westport Café and Bar you are missing out and it needs to be added to your foodie bucket list.
Westport Café and Bar
419 Westport Road
Kansas City, MO 64111
And as always if you have a great food find in KC you think I am missing email me
In Good Taste,
*Building Photo Courtesy of WCB
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
My taste buds just had the most refreshing burst of flavor thanks to Fresher than Fresh Snow Cones!
I have been hearing about these snow cones for over a year now, but have just not had the chance to make it to the garden at 17th and Summit where they are sold to get my taste.
Well as luck would have it owner of Fresher than Fresh Snow Cones Lindsey Laricks, has had the marvelous idea of making snow pops! These icy sticks come in all the great flavors that the snow cones do but are all packaged up and ready to be enjoyed anytime!
I happened to be downtown the other day and remembered hearing something about the snow pops being available at Hammerpress, so I stopped in and got a few.
I think this snow pop idea is ingenious! It is a great way to keep a stash of assorted flavors on hand!
As you can see from my picture I had to get a variety and with about 10 flavors to choose from I had a heck of a time!
I finally decided on Mango Ginger, Lime Mint, Blackberry Lavender, and Pineapple & Serrano Pepper. Wow! The flavor combinations are amazing and the syrups are made from real ingredients.
I had to sample my goods. All the pops I tasted were yummy. The Mango Ginger has a great zing to it, you can really taste the ginger and it is a spicy sweet combination.
The Pineapple & Serrano is so cool it is hot. The sweetness from the pineapple reminds me of a Pina Colada and then bam the heat from the pepper hits, it is like a Pina Colada on fire.
The Blackberry Lavender well if you read my post on the GKCBC you know I am a lavender nut. This pop did not disappoint. I love the scent of lavender and this pop tastes just as good as it smells. Between the scent and the taste, this pop really ignites all five senses. The touch of the cold pop in your hands, the scent of the lavender, the beautiful deep red color, the crunch of the ice, and of course the taste of the fruity combination. Delish!
Last but not least the Lime Mint. Well if you have been following this blog you know I am kind of a fan of lime too. Mostly Key Lime, this pop has a great lime flavor that can make your lips pucker, and then when the mint hits it takes away a bit of the tartness. I want to take this pop and let it melt just a bit then muddle it in a glass with some fresh lime, fresh mint, add a little rum, some soda and have me a fresher than fresh Mojito!
I am so sorry to let you know what you are missing so late in the season. The last snow cone day at 17th and Summit will be September 26th. The Snow Pops should be available all winter long at Hammerpress as long as they keep selling.
For more information check out the Fresher Than Fresh Snow Cones website.
And as always, if you have a great food find in KC email me.
In Good Taste,