Tag Archives: Salad

Carne Crudo with Enoki Mushrooms & Black Truffle Bruschetta

7 Jan

This dish is from Manzo at Eataly in New York. It was one of the memorable dishes from my recent vacation and I feel it is worth blogging about for several reasons…it was beautifully plated, had an excellent combination of flavors, and for using Grass-fed Beef.

I had not previously heard of Piemontese Beef. It comes from a breed of cattle originally from the North-West region of Piemont in Italy, and considered among the best in the world for being especially tender and lower in fat.

I am a big proponent of Grass-fed Beef, especially after watching the video Food, Inc. (which I highly recommend),  and it’s my preference for the limited occasions when I eat Beef. As you probably know, Grass-fed Beef farms provide a more humane livestock system, a healthier human diet, less deadly E. coli, and elimination of feedlots that are filthy, require tons of antibiotics, and cruel to the animals. Manzo’s Razza Piemontese Beef is American-sourced, coming from Brewer Ranch in Miles City, Montana.

As usual, our preference was taking a seat at the counter rather than at a table, so we could watch the food being prepared and hopefully, get better service, which we did…the bartender was prompt, friendly and guided us in the right direction with his top recommendations.

I was quite surprised to see the meat for this Crudo being freshly ground up, right before our eyes, in the smallest, individual-size grinder that I’ve ever seen. I’m going to search for it and will put up a link in My Tasty Store when I find it (remember to check out My Tasty Store on the side bar of the blog when you’re viewing on a computer–unfortunately, it’s still not working well on mobile devices…it’s a project for the New Year!). The earthy flavors of Mushrooms and Black Truffles, together with the delicate Quail Egg Yolk, were divine.

We also enjoyed a Roasted Cauliflower and Romaine Salad with an Anchovy  Caper Vinaigrette. I will definitely be duplicating this salad at home!

Chef Michael Toscano, the former Sous-Chef of Mario Batali’s Babbo, definitely impressed me and I look forward to going back.

If you’d like to see some of the other dishes, here is a link to the Fall menu. Be prepared to get hungry!

What restaurant dish has given you inspiration to try at home?

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Scrumptious Salads for Thanksgiving

12 Nov

The photo above is a Frisee & Arugula salad with Walnuts, Fourme D’Ambert and Dried Apricots from the recently opened Broadway by Amar Santana (former Executive Chef of Charlie Palmer) in Laguna Beach. Very tasty!

What I love about salads is that you really don’t need a recipe, so I hope you won’t be upset that I don’t give you a specific one. Think about a few components, and then compose!

First of all, for the base of the salad, this time of year, I especially like using Escarole, Arugula, and Belgian Endive. I enjoy their slightly bitter and peppery flavors. Of course, Spinach is great year round and easily accessible. It’s nice to toss in a bit of Radicchio for color, or thinly shaved Fennel for crunch.

Next, think about what pairs well with these type of greens or in the case of Radicchio, the lovely magenta leaves…

Fruits that are in season are perfect to pair with them. Here’s a list of options:

  • Figs
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Tangerines
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Persimmon (the Japanese Fuyu Persimmon, available at farmer’s markets, is best for slicing–do not use the Hachiya as it’s too soft)

Dried Apricots, Cranberries, Cherries, Dates, Figs, or Golden Raisins are also tasty alternatives.

Cheese is another wonderful component to add to a salad. I am particularly fond of Blue cheeses like Gorgonzola, Roquefort and Cambozola. Shaved Parmesan is another great one to add, as a garnish. Using a vegetable peeler works the best!

A handful of Nuts or Seeds mixed in or tossed on top is not only healthy, but delicious! Try any of the following:

  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Sunflower or Pumpkin Seeds
  • Cashews or Sesame Seeds are nice if you’re doing an Asian dressing

Speaking of dressing, I prefer my vinaigrettes on the sharp side. You can’t go wrong with the traditional French ingredients (Dijon Mustard–1 teaspoon, a small Shallot–finely minced, 2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar–I like Sherry Vinegar the best, a good pinch of Sea Salt and a few coarse grinds of Black Pepper, and 6-8 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil).

If you’re interested in changing the flavor a little, remember freshly squeezed Lemon, Lime or Orange Juice, Nut Oils, a dash of Soy Sauce or Sesame Oil, Apple Cider or Rice Vinegar, grated Ginger or Garlic, Honey, fresh Herbs like Parsley, Tarragon or Chives, dried Herbes De Provence and lastly, Truffle Oil–one of my favorites.

Of course there are all kinds of other options to add into your salads. Radishes are always nice for a bit of color and Celery, which is often underappreciated, is another good one for adding texture. Crispy bits of Bacon or Pancetta–need I say more?

The next time you make a Spinach salad, try adding Mushrooms, grated hard-boiled Egg and Sunflower Seeds.  Shaved Fennel, sliced Mushrooms and shaved Parmesan with some Lemon juice and Olive Oil is another nice combo.

I could go on and on, but as you can tell, the possibilities are endless!