Sunday, September 26, 2010

Steamed Alaska King Crab with Chardonnay-Lemon-Herb Splash

The Cuisineist kitchens have been hard at work, per our readers request to find a "good" recipe for King Crab Legs.
After putting this dish to the test in our kitchens , we highly recommend this easy , tasty recipe for you , are readers.
Ingredients :

3 pounds Alaska King Crab legs, thawed or frozen
1 cup Chardonnay
1 cup water
1 lemon, cut into 8 slices
Chardonnay-Lemon-Herb Splash (recipe follows)

Directions :
Make the Chardonnay-Lemon-Herb Splash ahead and keep refrigerated. Bring it to room temperature and stir it well before serving.

Rinse frozen Alaska Crab legs under cold running water to remove any ice glaze; pat dry with paper towels. Discard towels. Cut crab legs into smaller sections with a large knife or clean kitchen scissors, if desired.

In the bottom of a large steamer pot with an insert and a tight-fitting lid, combine the wine, water and lemon slices. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Place crab legs in steamer insert and place over boiling mixture. Cover pan tightly and cook for 6 to 8 minutes for frozen crab or 3 to 4 minutes for thawed crab, cooking just until crab is heated-through.

Serve crab drizzled with the Chardonnay-Lemon-Herb Splash; pass the remaining splash on the side.

Chardonnay-Lemon-Herb Splash:

6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons Chardonnay
2 teaspoons minced lemon zest
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 Tablespoon minced fresh basil
1 Tablespoon minced parsley
1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix all the ingredients well.

Makes 3/4 cup

Serve and Enjoy !

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Origin India takes Indian Street food from the streets of Mumbai to Las Vegas .

Authentic Indian street food comes to Las Vegas and the only Chef that we know that can bring the best of Mumbai is Origin India's Executive Chef Kuldeep Singh.

Just Ask any one who has ever walked the streets of any major Indian city, be it Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore; and they will attest to the fact that no evening stroll is complete without making a stop at one of the many hawker stalls that surround every busy area in these cities.

Street after street, stall after stall, you are greeted by smiling faces and tempting plates that urge you to come and give it a try. We did just that that and sampled some great street food from this amazing Chef and of course, cocktails, from Origin India's resident Mixologist Jozef Letasi.

The Vegetarian dishes were featured first and they exploded with spices and exotic flavors.

Pani Puri :

Round hollow fried crisp filled with a mixture of water , tamarind , chili , chatt masala , potatoes , onions and garbanzo beans.

The panipuri originated from the Magadh region of India, present day South Bihar. The English meaning of golgappa is "watery Indian bread" or "crisp sphere eaten". Traditionally, panipuris are eaten by placing the entire puri into the mouth in and biting into it releasing a barrage of different tastes.

Pao Bhaji:
Bread roll filled with vegetable curry

This dish is traced to the heyday of the textile mills in Mumbai. The mill workers used to have lunch breaks too short for a full meal, and a light lunch was preferred to a heavy one, as the employees had to return to physical labor after lunch.

A vendor created this dish using items or parts of other dishes available on the menu. Roti or rice was replaced with pav and the curries that usually go with Indian bread or rice were amalgamated into just one spicy concoction-the 'bhaji'. Initially, it remained the food of the mill-workers. With time the dish found its way into restaurants and spread over Central Mumbai and other parts of the city via the Udipi restaurants. Such is popularity of this dish, that it is common to find it on the menu of most Indian restaurants serving fast food in Asia and of course in the streets.

Aloo Papadi Chaat:

Crispy fried crackers filled with Potatoes and garbanzo beans served with yogurt and tamarind sauce.

Chaat (Hindi: चाट) is plate of savoury snacks, typically served at road-side tracks from stalls or carts in India and Pakistan. With its origins in the northwestern state of Gujarat. The presentation of this dish was like a piece of art.

Chaat variants are all based on fried dough, with various other ingredients. The original chaat is a mixture of potato pieces, crispy fried bread Dahi vada or Dahi Bhalla ("Bhalla" in Hindi), gram or chickpeas and tangy-salty spices, with sour home-made Indian chilly and Saunth (dried ginger and tamarind sauce), fresh green coriander leaves and yogurt for garnish, other popular variants that can be found in the streets as well include Aloo tikkis (garnished with onion, coriander, hot spices and a dash of curd), bhel puri, dahi puri, panipuri, dahi vada, papri chaat, and sev puri. In a word , this dish was " mouthwatering " and left us looking forward to the meatier dishes.

Chef Kuldeep Singh really got things rolling with aromas of Coriander , Cumin and Curry that filled the room as the Non-Vegetarian dishes started to arrive.

Galawati Kebab :

Spicy ground beef patties

The Galawati Kebob was created for a Nawab in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh). The recipe remains a trade secret. The word 'Galwati' means 'melt in your mouth' and that is exactly how we would describe this dish in any language. The recipe was developed for aging Nawab who could not chew meat having lost the teeth. The actual recipe is supposed to have more than 100 aromatic spices. This is minced meat round patty cooked over griddle and usually served with Green Coriander Chutney .

Murgh ke Parchey :
Pan fried thin Chicken breast marinated in rose petals , cardamom and mace .

"Excellent " ! What more can one say about this dish that in every bite was a culinary delight with lovely cardamom , mace and the delicate flavors of the rose petals.

Hyderabadi Biryani :

Lamb marinated in yogurt and spices cooked together with basmati rice .

This was perhaps the most complicated but dilicious dish of the eveing . There are two types of
Hyderabadi biryani the Kacchi (raw) Biryani and the Pakki biryani but both us use basmati rice, meat, yoghurt, onions, spices, lemon, saffron. Coriander and fried onions used as garnish. The preferred meat is lamb or goat. In our case it was lamb and a dish to remember.

This traditional dish is prepared with meat marinated with spices overnight and again soaked in yogurt before cooking the meat sandwiched between layers of fragrant long-grained basmati rice. It is then cooked by sealing the handi (vessel) with a layer of dough, and is cooked on dum - steaming over coals. This is a challenging process as it requires meticulous attention to time and temperature to avoid over- or under-cooking the meat.

Prawn Balchao :
Shrimp cooked in a sweet sour spicy sauce.

This fiery dish from Goa (in coastal western India) was a nice finish to our main courses and gave us an insight on Indian Seafood.

Before we head off for some dessert we can't forget those yummy Chutneys . Chutneys can be classified in two basic categories: the fresh chutneys, those that are blended with fresh ingredients and spices, and require no cooking whatsoever, and the cooked chutneys, that are simmered over a low heat till all the flavours are blended well. While chutneys are enjoyed and eaten in almost every home throughout India, it is as diverse in its flavor as the number of hands that make it everyday.

We enjoyed four lovely Chutneys from Chef Singh and his very talented kitchen.

Sweet , Sour and Spicy Eggplant
Tamarind and Raisins
Mint and Coriander
Tomato and Channa

All of which we experimented with on the Non-Vegetarian dishes. Like different wine glasses for wines , these Chutneys accented different flavors of the dishes.

Gulab Jamun: and


Deep fried milk and flour balls served in sugar syrup flavored with cardamom and rose water.
and Cottage Cheese and semolina dough cooked in sugar syrup.

Gulab jamun originates from an Arabic dessert, Luqmat Al-Qadi (Arabic for "the judge's bite"), that became popular in the Indian Subcontinent during the Mughal era. Rosewater syrup is often used; however saffron syrup and honey are also common. The dessert also became popular in Turkish-speaking areas, spreading to the Ottoman Empire. It is often eaten at festivals or major celebrations such as marriages, Diwali (the Indian festival of light) and the Muslim celebrations of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. This dish was a true festival in the mouth with exotic sweet flavors from beginning to end.

Some of the most delicious fast food to take root worldwide is chaat, brightly flavored, multi-textured snacks originally served by street vendors in northern India. Chaat is as fast and cheap as any American fast food, but it's made often without meat or deep-frying, so it has the added appeal of being good for you.

The real reason to seek it out street food is that it's flat-out delicious. Chaat has a small palate of flavors and ingredients to work from—crunchy, crispy, sour, sweet, spicy—but it's interesting to see how they are mixed into different combinations. Most chaat is a blend of some kind of crispy starch (wheat flour, garbanzo bean flour) or soft dumplings made from lentil or garbanzo batter combined with potatoes, garbanzo beans and sometimes sprouted beans. Spicy and sweet sauces—typically a green mint and/or cilantro sauce and a tamarind and/or date sauce—as well as yogurt are the classic accompaniments.

The key to great street food is its authenticity, no matter what country you are in. In the case of Origin India in Las Vegas , tradition is the name of the game and if you desire real authentic Indian street food and really can't make it to Mumbai any time soon, stop in to Origin India and get a taste of real Indian street food.

For more information about Origin India please visit

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Epicurean Affair 2010 at The Palazzo Resort shows why Las Vegas a center of the Food and Beverage Industry.

Las Vegas is home to some of the world’s most prestigious restaurants, and the Epicurean event 2010 united some of the best in the world poolside at The Palazzo Resort-Hotel-Casino.

Hosted by the Nevada Restaurant Association (NvRA) and The Palazzo Resort-Hotel-Casino
, the Las Vegas Epicurean Affair was a tantalizing evening of culinary excellence .

Guests savored samplings of cuisine and cocktails from nearly 75 renowned restaurants and beverage purveyors in the luxurious poolside setting at The Palazzo for the palate pleasing event that showed off the culinary destination of Las Vegas.

"The Pools at The Palazzo were the perfect venue to host this prestigious event", said Food & Beverage vice president Sebastien Silvestri. “We were pleased to collaborate with the NvRA, because we know this is an evening that guests won’t soon forget.

“It’s no secret that Las Vegas is on the cutting edge when it comes to hospitality — and our amazing restaurants are a big part of that,” says NvRA President and CEO Katherine Jacobi. “Nevada Restaurant Association is pleased to offer this unique experience at The Palazzo. We couldn’t be more excited to have such a beautiful venue to showcase why Las Vegas is the culinary destination.”

The Nevada Restaurant Association was founded in 1982 and is the leading business association serving the needs of food service operators in Nevada. As an affiliate of the National Restaurant Association, and together with the NvRA Educational Foundation, the Association’s mission is to promote, protect and educate the restaurant industry, which is comprised of more than 5,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets employing more than 150,000 people.

The Palazzo, in our opinion, is a crown jewel located right in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip. With over 3000 suites , luxury shopping and world renown dining, the 1.9 Billion dollar LEED Certified Green Building takes the environment and luxury to new heights not only in Las Vegas but worldwide.

The Palazzo was recently ranked first among Las Vegas hotels in Travel and Leisure's World's Best Awards 2010 as well as being AAA Five Diamond and Mobil 4-Star award winners as well. It was no surprise that the Palazzo showed it's class and sophistication with its Pool as the backdrop to such a glamorous culinary event.

The Epicurean affair is the Gourmet event of the year for locals and visitors alike. The pool side venue at the Palazzo was like a treasure hunt for even the most discriminating palates. Behind ever pool and corner there was a new "world" to explore.

Upon entering the event we noticed the Palazzo's Laguna Champagne Bar right across from us. What a better place to start but with some Champagne. This lovely bar located on the Palazzo's casino floor offers a carefully edited list of Champagnes by the glass, half-bottle, and bottle as well as innovative and classic Champagne cocktails. When you speak about Champagne you think of France and when in Las Vegas you think of Restaurant Guy Savoy .

Restaurant Guy Savoy is the only place in America to experience the elegant cuisine of Guy Savoy which is located at Cesar's Palace but for this night this legendary French landmark was at the Palazzo's pool. One of France's most revered and award-winning chefs , Chef Savoy has received three Michelin stars, an entry in the Larousse encyclopedia, the Legion d'Honneur from the French Minister of Agriculture and was voted France's Chef of the Year by his peers. The Artichoke and Black Truffle soup was by far one of the evenings most delectable offerings. We made
several stops to enjoy this soup from Guy Savoy's restaurant.

If Sushi and Sashimi is your style , TAO Asian Bistro provided some of the best of the evening, making hand rolled sushi as we watched. TAO Asian Bistro from New York has made a home at the Venetian and a big impression, emphasizing Chinese, Japanese and Thai cuisines.

Their creations include everything from Kobe beef to traditional Peking Duck, all prepared by master chefs from across Asia.

Another favorite stop along our pool side stroll was SUSHISAMBA located in the Palazzo's second level. From the sizzling meats of the robata grill to super-fresh sushi, sashimi and seviche, SUSHISAMBA has something for everyone.

Their menu offers a unique spicy Brazilian, zesty Peruvian and fresh Japanese dishes . The colorful decor and Brazilian music combines for a one-of-a-kind SUSHISAMBA experience. And for those who are not aware Robata means "by the fireside," and that translates to dishes like filet mignon with ginger, garlic and soy; lamb chops with guava ponzu, tobiko and spiced panko; and jumbo prawns just to name a few.

An event would not be complete with out a visit with Executive Chef Sam De Marco of FIRST Food and Bar. "You can build restaurants and have great food, but you can't buy it a soul. It's about the people, the culture and the fiber of the neighborhood. We're in the heart of The Strip, so our "neighborhood" leaves room for interpretation and allows for creativity with my menus," says DeMarco. Located on the 2nd floor in The Shoppes at The Palazzo, FIRST Food & Bar brings the authenticity and character of the neighborhood bar and diner concept back to life. Chef "Sammy D " and his staff provided some of the best comfort food of the night. They always make the guests feel at home.

Widely acknowledged as one of the most popular restaurants in the United States, CUT by none other that Wolfgang Puck himself has raised the bar within the fine dining industry and has garnered high praise from prestigious publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times (Three Stars), Wall Street Journal and Wine Spectator and was named one of the top three steakhouses in America by Bon Appetit Magazine. CUT located between the Palazzo and Venetian it provides guests with a Steak House experience and more. On this night , they did not disappoint.

Where do we stop next, but at Jasmine, for a taste of China. Executive Chef Philip Lo and Head Sommelier Sarah Pamatat
Provide guests with exceptional dishes and wine from their lakeside venue at the Bellagio. They did not loose a step when located pool side with Cantonese, Szechwan and Hunan cuisine as their aromas filled the air.

The Las Vegas Palm, located at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace, has become a haven for Las Vegas's movers and shakers since it opened in 1993.

This landmark has a well deserved reputation and their Shrimp Cocktail dish made us come back again and again.

We started the Epicurean Affair with Champagne and went on to sample some of some of the best dishes offered in Las Vegas. Moet Chandon has been the center of celebrations for over 260 years and was a great libation to stimulate the palate.

The Epicurean Affair not only featured many of the best culinary experiences in Las Vegas but cocktails , wine , Champagne , Sake and Beer as well. This event is about the total Las Vegas Food and Beverage experience.

Canyon Ranch Spa was in attendance showing off the Canyon Ranch Grille in the Palazzo . Guests enjoyed innovative, fresh, healthy gourmet cuisine that Canyon Ranch is famous for. And specialty cocktails and a variety of homemade soft drinks and juices along with organic, biodynamic and sustainable spirits, beers and wines.

One of the healthiest cocktails of the night was inspired by the legendary Robinson Crusoe "a first class environmentalist." CRUSOE organic rum is a modern take on a classic spirit. CRUSOE is made from organic, fair trade sugarcane which has developed flavor and aroma at its own pace, not hurried along by chemicals. This results in great tasting rum that helps keep land and water clean. CRUSOE spiced, goes WAY beyond the typical vanilla + sugar profile of ordinary spiced rums to bring you a bold dance of spices "cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, vanilla" coupled with orange zest and molasses. It’s mighty good for sipping and cocktailing and of course it's certified organic. Organic products are better for the planet and generally taste better. Good design doesn’t need to weigh a ton or create extra waste and pollution. That’s why Crusoe use strong, lightweight bottles (600 g) and 100% post consumer waste recycled labels printed with soy inks. In addition, for every bottle of CRUSOE sold, they provide one month of clean water for people in need around the world by building and maintaining wells in partnership with CHARITY:WATER, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing clean, safe water to people in developing nations.

We saved one of the best for last. We visited Valentino located at the entrance to this prestigious affair.

Valentino Las Vegas
, the sister restaurant to the classic original in Santa Monica, remains the premier Italian restaurant in Las Vegas and is located in the Venetian's casino level.

James Beard Award-winning chef Luciano Pellegrini was there behind the table serving his best dishes. This amazing Chef heads the kitchen of both Valentino and the casual Grill at Valentino. He personally over sees the daily changing menus , supervises the preparation of his inspired tasting menus and the Selvaggio’s expansive wine collection.

The Best of Las Vegas came together to show off what they could provide to the world.
A-ha Toro Tequila
Banzai Beverage Corporation
Binions Ranch Steakhouse
Bollini Wines
Bradley Ogden
Canyon Ranch Grill

Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
d.vino Italian Food & Wine Bar
Dos Caminos
Dragon Noodle Co. & Sushi Bar
Elements Kitchen & Martini Bar

FIRST Food & Bar
Fosters America
Gilley's BBQ
Gordon Biersch Brewery
Grand Lux Café
Granello Bakery
Grape Vegas
Hash House A Go Go

Hugo's Cellar
II Mulino
J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines
Karlsson’s Gold Vodka
Khotan Asian Bistro
Lagasse's Stadium
Laguna Champagne Bar
Leblon Cachaca
Lolita's Cantina & Tequila Bar
Louis Jadot
Maggiano's Little Italy
Marche Bacchus
McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant
Memphis Championship Barbecue
Michele Chiarlo
Moet Hennessey USA
Morel's French Steakhouse & Bistro
Nobu Las Vegas
NU Sanctuary Lounge
Palm Restaurant
Paymon's Hookah Lounge
Postrio Bar & Grill
Prime Steakhouse
Remy Cointreau USA
Restaurant Guy Savoy
Rombauer Vineyards
Santos Spirits (Ambhar Tequila)
Shangri-La Tea
Sierra Nevada
Silk Road Wine & Spirits
Skyy Vodka
Southern Wine & Spirits
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards
Stella Artois
Table 10 by Emeril Lagasse
The Cupcakery
Three-Olives Vodka
TYKU Premium Asian Wine & Spirits
Valentino Las Vegas
Van Gogh Vodka
Wirtz Beverage Nevada
Zine Noodle
Walking around the luxurious pools of the Palazzo Resort, while exploring the culinary wonders of Las Vegas with Champagne and Organic cocktails,created a memorable evening . The Epicurean affair gives guests get the best of Food and Beverage that cannot be rivaled anywhere else.