Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Croque Tuesdays at Bistro du Midi This Winter

So you know that old saying- that Tuesday is the armpit of the week?  Not exactly the nicest imagery I know, but to be frank- its pretty honest.  Sure, Tuesday isn't Monday, but its not as good as Wednesday, or Thursday...and definitely not Friday.  It's just sorta there.  So what if there was something to make Tuesday just a little bit more exciting?  How about a delicious food offering that happens every Tuesday, with tasty cocktails to accompany in an awesome, central location?  Sounds like that could perk up an ordinary Tuesday right?

Starting tonight, January 22, and lasting through March, 2013 Bistro du Midi, the fabulous cafe with gorgeous views of Boston Public Gardens, is hosting Croque Tuesdays.  What that means is that every Tuesday  Executive Chef/Patner Robert Sisca will prepare a small selection of croques to be had in the downstairs bar area of the restaurant, each for just $5.00.  Picture that, one of the swankier restaurants in town, offering a comforting, crisp, melted cheese temptation for just $5.00.  Pair it with a cocktail designed by Beverage Director Todd Lipman and you have an evening that will chase any of the not quite mid week, winter doldrums away.  

Just to get your whistle wet, Bistro du Midi is sending along one of their delicious cocktail recipes to be enjoyed at home- try this and you'll be running in for more!

Par Avion    (Bistro du Midi's Todd Lipman)  
3/4 oz Old Overholt Rye
3/4 oz Aperol
3/4 oz Averna
3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice

Served Down with an Orange Round

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Rare Roast Beef with Basil Oil

So it's the new year right?  And with that comes all of those pesky resolutions and vows to shed our bodies of those gingerbread cookies and pumpkin pies we were chowing down on throughout the end of 2012.  Everywhere we look there are adverts for diets, gyms slashing their fees, and people who just look hungry walking around.  This time of year is never fun- and something that I've never been able to jump fully on board with either.  However this year, I have been introduced to a diet that does seem to make sense.  Jason is a believer in the Paleo diet- one that was first introduced to me by fellow Boston bloggers Carrots N Cake, the Kitchen Misfit, and On Tap for Today. Now I know these ladies all to be Cross Fitting power houses, women who are putting health and fitness above it all, so I was already pretty on board with the basic principles of Paleo.  Now I'm still acquainting myself with it, but it's general strong points are to eat as though you were a part of the Paleolithic era- a caveman.  Let's boil that down - eat real foods- foods that have been around many many many years, foods that contain good, natural, nutritious things- and limit, or eliminate, sugars and things that are overtly starchy.  This doesn't sound so bad to me- proteins and veggies? That sounds like a pretty good style of eating.  Of course - I am awful at diets so I am not actually jumping fully into this Paleo thing- but I am trying my hand at cooking some Paleo meals.
The first one I jumped on board with was an easy win.  I have been wanting to try my hand at making Roast Beef for ever.  Something about those thin slices of rare, well seasoned beef just screams delicious- as well as satisfying- to me.  As I haven't previously tried my hand at making Roast Beef, I searched my favorite guides for recipes, finally settling on one from Food and Wine.  I, of course, changed up my herbs of choice- using a mix of fresh Rosemary, Thyme and Parsley instead of their mix, though I did keep to the Basil Oil.  The result was perfectly rare roast beef, well seasoned and full of flavor.  I paired it with some mashed cauliflower and a kale salad bursting with bright vegetables and left the table full and happy.     

  • 1 1/2-pound beef eye of round roast
  • 1/2 cup mix of finely chopped rosemary, mint and tarragon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 475°. Generously coat the roast with half of the chopped herb mixture and season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over moderately high heat. Add the roast and lightly brown it on all sides, about 3 minutes. Wipe out the skillet, return the meat to it and roast in the oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 110°, about 25 minutes. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and season again with salt and pepper. Cover loosely with foil and let rest for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil and fill a bowl with ice water. Blanch the basil in the saucepan for 15 seconds. Transfer the basil to the ice water; drain well and squeeze out all of the excess water. Transfer the basil to a blender. Add the remaining 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and blend thoroughly.
  4. Thinly slice the roast and drizzle each portion with 1/2 tablespoon basil oil. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup chopped herbs and serve.
Notes One serving 200 cal, 36 gm carb, 10.4 gm fat, 2.1 gm sat fat, 26 gm protein.

Seattle Chefs Come Together in Support of One of Their Own

Well hello there- have we met?  I'm this terrible writer who has been awful, awful, awful about posting here lately!  And now that I am- it's to ask a huge favor.  I know...its bad, bad, bad.  I promise you though- I have some great pieces half way written and some wonderful things to review arriving all the time so that is a lot coming down the pike.  However right now- its favor time.

You know those people who affect your life completely within moments of meeting them?  Just by being who they are they make you see the world in an entirely different light and change your course of action.  I've met a handful of those people in during my years- and each one I cherish more than I could ever say.  One of those people to me, who happens to be an incredible Chef to boot, is now battling cancer.  The word alone sends shivers down my spine and I am racking my brain for things that I can do to help.  Distance is making this slightly difficult for me- but I did want to take some time to alert you all, my national readers, to an event happening to benefit this truly wonderful soul.

On January 27, the incredibly iconic Canlis restaurant in Seattle, WA (it was on Top Chef this season!) is hosting a dinner that features some of the greatest chefs in Seattle, and a menu designed by the man himself as a way to raise money and support this incredible human being.  If you are in, or know anyone in the Seattle area, will you please pass along the information for this event to benefit a truly great man?  All information, including details on the after party are included below.  Please, please help me spread the word.
I promise- we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming shortly!

Restaurant Reviews: A dead art?

Last December I declared 2023 the year I would return to food writing.  It was a bold statement (even now as I look at my last published dat...