Tuesday, June 30, 2009

RAOs Famous Meatballs make a wonderful Dish for all to enjoy at home and impress your dinner guests.

RAOs is known throughout the world as a legendary New York and now Las Vegas Restaurant and the Pellegrino family is amongst the culinary family elite.

One of the dishes that made the 110 year old RAOs in New York famous is their meatballs. We have have the pleasure of dinning at RAOs and we can see why these meatballs are so loved. Chef Carla Pellegrino is always willing to talk to the guests and recently conducted a cooking demonstration at Whole Foods Market to coincide the the launch of their signature wines in Las Vegas.

The Cuisineist Kitchens recently used the RAOs MeatBall Recipe and found it to be user friendly and produced a delicious dish that can be used as an entree or appetizer.


by RAOs

• 1 pound lean ground beef
• Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

• 1 pound ground pork
• 2 cups plain dry bread crumbs

• 1 1/2 cloves garlic
• 2 cups water, room temperature

• 2 large eggs
• 1 cup olive oil

• 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
• Cooked Pasta , (optional)

• Rao's Marinara Sauce from Whole

• 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian Foods Market

1. In a large bowl, combine beef and pork using your hands. Mince 1/2 clove garlic and add to meat mixture along with the eggs, cheese, and parsley-, season with salt and pepper. Continue mixing with your hand until well combined. Add bread crumbs and mix well. Add water, 1 cup at a time, and continue mixing until mixture is quite moist.

2. Shape mixture into 2 1/2-to-3-inch balls. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Smash remaining clove of garlic with the back of a knife and add to skillet. Cook until lightly browned and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes-, remove with a slotted spoon and discard. Working in batches, add meatballs to skillet. Cook until browned and cooked through, turning, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.

Meanwhile, bring marinara sauce to a boil in a large nonreactive saucepan. Reduce heat to simmer and add meatballs. Let meatballs cook in sauce about 20 minutes, serve immediately with pasta ( if desired )

Enjoy this famous recipe and many thanks to the Pellegrino family , BON APPETIT !

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Cuisineist speaks with Chef Thomas Keller at the book signing of his new book " Under Pressure" at Bouchon in Las Vegas

The Cuisineist sat down with Thomas Keller, chef / owner of Bouchon and Bouchon Bakery in Las Vegas, to celebrate his first Las Vegas signing for his latest cookbook “UNDER PRESSURE: Cooking Sous Vide” at Bouchon in The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino.

The evening attracted over 160 guests, which included an a wide array of VIP’s, culinary aficionados and the current Miss America 2009 Katie Stam. In addition to a Question and Answer session , attendees were offered an opportunity to speak with Chef Keller and participate in an informative discussion on modern culinary techniques. He also signed copies of the book and participated in photos.

Chef Keller began his career at a young age, working in the Palm Beach restaurant managed by his mother. After serving apprenticeships in Rhode Island, Florida, and the Catskills, he relocated to France in 1983, where he worked in several Michelin-starred houses including Guy Savoy and Taillevent. He followed with successful runs at La Reserve and Restaurant Raphael in New York. In 1986, Thomas opened his first restaurant, Rakel, also in New York, which resulted in extensive critical acclaim and a loyal clientele.

Five years later, Thomas moved westward to California to work as executive chef at Checkers Hotel in Los Angeles. In 1994, he opened The French Laundry in Yountville, which quickly became a destination restaurant known for its innovative, compelling cuisine. His bistro, Bouchon, opened in Yountville in 1998, with Bouchon Bakery following five years later.

In 2004 , Chef Keller took his skills to New York and opened his new venue Per Se. The Michelin Guide New York City has given Per Se its most prestigious recognition, a three star rating, for the past three consecutive years. In addition, the Michelin Guide San Francisco awarded The French Laundry a three-star rating and a one-star rating for Bouchon in 2007 and 2008--making him the only American-born chef to hold multiple three star ratings since the guide's inception in 1900

His new book "Under Pressure" is written for Chefs but even novices can learn from who many consider the greatest American Chef.

Chef Keller uses a method of cooking food called " Sous Vide". Sous vide is French for "under vacuum" and describes a method of cooking in vacuum sealed plastic pouches at low temperatures for long times. With the proper equipment and some basic knowledge, anyone can prepare consistently delicious and safe food. With more advanced knowledge, a chef can safely create (or modify) recipes to realize their unique vision.

It differs from conventional cooking methods in two fundamental ways: (i) the raw food is vacuum sealed in plastic pouches and (ii) the food is cooked using precisely controlled heating.

Unlike cooking in a slow cooker, sous-vide cooking uses airtight plastic bags placed in hot water well below boiling point (usually around 60°C or 140°F).

The method was developed by Georges Pralus in the mid-1970s for the Restaurant Troisgros (of Pierre and Michel Troigros) in Roanne, France. He discovered that when cooking foie gras in this manner it kept its original appearance, did not lose excess amounts of fat and had better texture.[2] Another pioneer in the science of sous-vide is Bruno Goussault, who further researched the effects of temperature on various foods and became well-known for training top chefs in the method. As Chief Scientist of Cuisine Solutions, Goussault thoroughly developed the parameters of cooking times and temperatures for different foods.[2] The sous-vide method is used in several gourmet restaurants under Jesse Mallgren, Paul Bocuse, Joël Robuchon, Charlie Trotter, Alessandro Stratta and other chefs. Amtrak has used this method of cooking in the dining cars of its long-distance trains, and recently began using the method on its Acela Express trains. Non-professional cooks are also beginning to use vacuum cooking.

Clostridium botulinum bacteria can grow in food in the absence of oxygen and produce the deadly botulinum toxin, so sous-vide cooking must be performed under carefully controlled conditions to avoid botulism poisoning.[3] To help with food safety and taste, relatively expensive water-bath machines (thermal immersion circulators) are used to circulate precisely heated water. Differences of even one degree can affect the finished product.

We have visited Bouchon in Las Vegas on numerous occasions and must say, we have never been disappointed. Chef Keller's techniques and influence can been seen everywhere from the decor , food and service. The Cuisineist had the unique opportunity to spend a few minuets with Chef Keller and talk about his book, Sous Vide cooking , his thoughts about Las Vegas dining and advice to young Chefs.

You can purchase Chef Kellers new book " Under Pressure " in the Cuisineist Store for your convenience.

Monday, June 15, 2009

VIA BRASIL Steakhouse goes traditional with a South American Wine Dinner

We have had the pleasure of dinning a Via Brasil in the past. The food is always amazing and one can make a meal just out of the salad bar. On this occasion we attended their first wine dinner to get the summer started out right with of course some great South American wines.

Sommelier Jean Ricardo had is work cut out for him when considering the wine pairings. With over 18 meat dishes carved table side and the salad bar with sushi and other items would not be an easy task

This South American wine dinner was a great success. Where else would you want to be for a dinner paired with these wines rather than Via Brasil ? Sommelier Jean Ricardo had a difficult task to pair wines with the wide variety of their extensive menu of meats. He succeeded beyond our expectations. For more about Via Brasil's upcoming events , visit www.viabrasilrestaurant.com

For deatailed coverage of the South American wines used in this great meal and to meet Sommelier Jean Ricardo please visit
Our Premier sister site on Food , Wine and Travel.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Cuisineist experiences a new FIRST on the Las Vegas Strip at the Palazzo

Remember the neighborhood bar just down the street ? casual , friendly great food that is creative but yet simple ? Those memorable burgers and fries that you can still taste even today ? Las Vegas has always been known for firsts but now inside The Shoppes at The Palazzo, a new FIRST has been born . FIRST Food & Bar has opened and from what we saw , and tasted will be a very big hit.

With out a doubt the crowd favorite was the “First Original” Mini Burgers Four all-beef patties, secret sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions and tomatoes atop a White Castle bun. In a word WOW ! We still have a craving for them.

Other signature dishes from executive Chef Sam DeMarco are mouth watering Lollipop Buffalo Wings ,Maytag Bleu fondue, pickled cucumbers and excellent Lobster Rolls,Mini potato buns, and Maine lobster tarragon.

Of course, its not JUST about the great food at FIRST. There are signature cocktails like the Cucumber Gimlet ,Gin, cucumber, fresh lime and simple syrup, and a Cotton Candy Kiss Vodka, elderflower, vanilla, pineapple, cranberry juice with a crushed “Life Saver” rim will definitely put you in the mood as you listen to a State-of-the-art sound system by Sound Investment
featuring Funktion One and a DJ Booth for live DJ sets.

The trio of Chef Sam DeMarco, Jon Newton VP of VV Ventures and Tommy Nally of VV Ventures combined their many years of restaurant experience from all over the world to create FIRST , described as having an Industrial & Urban decor. The high, open ceilings and the tribal tattoo imagery embedded in the floor reflects its an industrial urban design.

The furniture mashes up styles that are modern, vintage and Gothic set to a palette of
dark, warm colors making the more than 10,000 square foot restaurant feel intimate but yet very trendy.

Chef Sam DeMarco, known to his circle of fans and friends as Chef Sammy D. ran the kitchens of legendary restaurants for years under the tutelage of famed chefs before branching out on his own.
In 1993 Sammy D. stepped into the culinary limelight, opening his first restaurant,aptly named First, in the East Village of New York City

The restaurant soon became a stop for high-profile chefs including Wolfgang Puck and Charlie Trotter who frequented the restaurant . These regular after-hours stops by chefs and their staffs earned him the title of “the chefs’ chef.”

Jon Newton arrived to Las Vegas in 1991, and began to hone his skills on the business side of the hospitality industry. Working with Brinker International and Gordon Biersch. In the mid ’90s he was asked to join a powerhouse-backed concept in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, marking his first effort on the Las Vegas Strip. After meeting partners at Emerging Brands, Newton was commissioned to create and operate Taqueria Canonita inside the Venetian Hotel and went on to develop other new concepts during his nine years with Emerging Brands including award-winning Aquaknox, Fishbowl, David Burke and Bossa.

Tommy Nally is a restaurant and nightclub owner/operator with more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, having launched dozens of exciting culinary concepts throughout the United States. His career as a restaurant owner began in New York in 1982 when he opened one of the city’s hottest casual dining restaurants, Rascals, and one of the
first sports bars in the country TKO. Tommy founded PaLante restaurant organization which specialized in Latin food. With a vision for the new trends in food, music and entertainment, they opened a number of Latin concepts on the East Coast and Puerto Rico including the
highly acclaimed New York restaurants Chicama and Pipa.

We will be hearing much more about FIRST, and from a personal stand point , The Cuisineist will be "regulars" for breakfast , lunch, dinner and even late night. After what we experienced on our first visit , the Palazzo has ANOTHER culinary hit on its hands !

Cheers and good luck !

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Venetian/Palazzo and Iron Chef Mario Batali go "Green" and make history

Celebrity Chef Mario Batali celebrated the Green Restaurant™ Association certification of his three restaurants: and Carnevino at The Palazzo and B&B RistoranteEnoteca San Marco at The Venetian by bringing the first-ever Farmer’s Market to The Palazzo. “Bet on the Farm: Sustainable Food and Wine” welcomed local green farmers to The Palazzo. On display were fresh and sustainable produce such as tomatoes, cucumbers, eggs and bread.

In addition to Chef Batali, Joe Bastianich winemaker and restaurateur was on hand with his bio dynamic wines for the guests to taste along with locally grown sustainable foods.

This event was a first for the Palazzo/Venetian as it was named the world's largest "Green" building in the world. According to the US Green Building Council , the Palazzo is not only the largest certified green building in the world but is over four times bigger than the second-largest. Considering the size of the property this certification was quite a feat. With solar heated pools , plumbing fixtures that use 37% less water and artificial turf, drip irrigation and moisture senors that result in over a 75% reduction in irrigation needs shows the money and labor involved the Palazzo invested in this project.

Chef Mario Batali and Partner Joe Bastianich have created three of the Las Vegas Strip's first certified green restaurants. Carnivino at the Palazzo , B&B Risorante and Enoteca at the Venetian have all been officially certified by the Green Restaurant Association .All three accomplished feats in Recycling and Composting, Paper Conservation, Water Conservation and elimination of bottled water. Now that they are certified, these factors must be maintained on a daily basis and will be checked yearly to keep their certification.

waterfall atrium was the scene of the Many people who visit Nevada assume it is an arid desert and incapable of producing any types of produce. The Palazzo'sPalazzo's first ever Farmers Market. Seven local farmers showed off what southern Nevada can produce. Items such as quail , chicken, duck ,eggs, apricots , peaches , figs , tomatoes , honey ,strawberries , raspberries and blueberries were located throughout the atrium area to sample.

After guests sampled these great local treats , the afternoon was not yet over. To conclude the day , Chef Mario Batali created an exclusive "Green" three course dinner with dishes such as Emerald Lettuce Steak House Wedge with Sweet Garlic and Carne Cruda with " The Farm " quail egg.

In todays world , everyone should do "their part" . After all , we only have one chance and one world to share. The Palazzo/Venetian and Chef Mario Batali are certainly doing theirs and should be commended.

Join The Cuisineist as we take a look at the World's Largest Green Building and walk through a Farmers Market right on the Las Vegas Strip.