Friday, June 17, 2011

Fettuccine with Shiitake Mushrooms & Basil for those warm summer days

Fettuccine with Shiitake Mushrooms & Basil

Summer days are upon us and The Cuisineist Kitchens have been busy creating and testing out some healthy, light summer dishes for all to enjoy. 

Fettuccine with Shiitake Mushrooms & Basil

4 servings, 1 1/2 cups each

Total Time: 20 minutes


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced (1 1/2 cups)
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice, juice
1/1/2 teaspoon salt,
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine, or spaghetti
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, (1 ounce)

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil


1.Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil for cooking pasta.

2.Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but don't let it burn ! it should need only  about 1 minute. Add mushrooms and increase heat to medium-high; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned,  about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

3.Meanwhile, cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until just tender about  9 to 11 minutes, . Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

4.Add the pasta, the reserved cooking liquid, Parmesan and 1/4 cup basil to the mushrooms in the skillet; toss to coat well. Serve immediately, garnished with remaining basil.

Bon Appetit !

The Bellagio Resort and Williams Selyem Winery team up for an evening of an Epicenter of Epicurean Excellence

The Bellagio Resort and Casino has long been known to the world for setting the standard for luxury, and fine dining. Recently the Bellagio and their Director of Wine Jason Smith MS have put together their Epicurean Epicenter series. This one of a kind series teams up one of Bellagio’s world class Chefs in their Tuscany “studio “ kitchen for a multi-course paired luncheon or dinner. The Williams Selyem dinner brought Bob Cabral their Executive Winemaker to Las Vegas and joined Le Cirque’s Executive Chef Gregory Pugin for a six course paired dinner featuring world class French cuisine and very highly rated Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from this legendary producer.

Executive Chef Grergory Pugin , Le Cirque Bellagio

Of course, the only way to get our palates ready for this experience was to enjoy some bubbles. The Bellagio and Chef Pugin were off to a fabulous start with CANAPES ET HORS-D’CEUVRES ASSORTS “LE CIRGUE”. Paired with Williams Selyem Blanc De Noir Sparkling Wine, Russian River Valley 2005 this beginning was just right for what was to come.



Citrus-Marinated New Zealand Langoustines, Osetra Caviar, Apple & Vodka Gelee. Paired with Williams Selyem Hawk Hill Chardonnay, Russian River Valley2005

The Langoustines and Caviar paired nicely with the creamy mouth feel of this extended aged Chardonnay. As the dish was placed in front, aromas of the dish combined with citrus and mocha from the Chardonnay that made our mouths water before we even took the first bite.


Executive Chef Grergory Pugin , Le Cirque Bellagio

Potato-Crusted Halibut, Celery Root & Mustard of Meaux Puree, Sause Vieux Balsamique. Paired with Williams Selyem Westside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir 2007

The first Pinot Noir, with its aromas of Cherry, plum, rose and clove gave way to a palate of big flavors of cherry, blackberry and even cassis with a long oaky finish and med tannins.



Espelette-crusted Lamb Chop , Taggiasche Olive Panisse , Piquillo Puree, Farcie of Spring Vegeitables. Paired with Williams Selyem Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2004 and Williams Selyem Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast.

Two big, bold Pinot Noirs from Sonoma and Russian River with aromas of Cherries rose and cola lead into a palate of concentrated flavors of red berries, earth, spice and pretty big tannins for a long finish. This dish, with its perfectly cooked Espelette crusted Lamb chop and vegetables was the best pairing of the night bringing out the earthy , mineral qualities in the Pinot Noir and balanced acidity in the dish.


L’Epoisse , Vieux Comte , Saint Marcellin paired with Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir 1999.

Lovely Cheese and a 1999 Vintage Pinot Noir, Does it get any better? The Allen Pinot Noir, 1999 vintage with notes of cherry, raspberry, spice, soft tannins and long finish is what a Pinot Noir from this area should be like and was our favorite of the evening.


Chocolate Pot de Crème , Cardamom Emulsion , Pop Rock Marshmallows

Most dinners need a “period “at the end. This dish was so pleasing that one could not help but beg for more. A lovely way to end a magnificent dinner.


Epicurean Epicenter is the perfect name for this culinary series at the Bellagio. A dinner that featured a James Beard finalist in Chef Gregory Pugin of the renown Le Cirque , Winemaker Bob Cabral from the highly respected Williams and Selyem Winery and Bellagio’s own Jason Smith MS shows why Bellagio is a Epicenter of Epicurean Excellence. We look forward to see what the Bellagio will do for their next event in the series.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Jasmine in the Bellagio Resort takes guests back to 618AD with Shabu-Shabu cooking at Vegas Uncork’d 2011 by Bon Appétit

Jasmine at the Bellagio Resort has long been a stable amongst locals and tourists alike in Las Vegas . The 5th Vegas Uncork’d featured great events up and down the Las Vegas strip. Perhaps one of the most interesting and educational was a Culinary Revelation event featuring Shabu-Shabu cooking . Jasmine Executive Chef Philip Lo and Bellagio Executive Chef Edmond Wong teamed up with Bon Appetit’s features editor Hugh Garvey for a tasty educational afternoon.

Chef Lo explained that Shabu Shabu dates back to the 13th century in the days of Genghis Khan. As a solution to efficiently feed his soldiers, he developed the Shabu Shabu (Hot Pot) from of cooking. The Hungry Mongol soldiers would gather around a large pot and cook their thinly sliced meat by dipping them in the boiling hot water. Not only did the "Hot Pot" feed the troops nutritiously and efficiently, but it also helped conserve the army's limited fuel resources. The thinly sliced meat was used primarily because of its short cooking time. This cooking technique spread to the south during the Tang dynasty (A.D. 618 - 906). In the Ching Dynasty. The hot pot was very popular throughout the country, and soon  spread all over Asia. As a direct result of this, many Asian ethnic groups have their own version of shabu shabu (hot pot). Shabu-shabu is a Japanese variant of hot pot.

 The dish is related to sukiyaki in style, in that both use thinly sliced meat and vegetables and are usually served with dipping sauces, but it is considered to be more savory and less sweet than sukiyaki. It is considered a winter dish but is eaten year-round.

Chef Wong added that Shabu-shabu was introduced in Japan in the 20th century with the opening of a Shabu-shabu restaurant "Suehiro"[1] in Osaka. Its origins are traced back to the Chinese hot pot known as "shuan yang rou". Shabu-shabu is most similar to the original Chinese version when compared to other Japanese dishes (nabemono) such as sukiyaki. The name of Shabu-shabu was named when Suehiro served it. After that, Suehiro registered the name of shabu-shabu as a trademark in 1955. The cuisine rapidly spread through Asia. Together with sukiyaki, shabu-shabu is a common dish in tourist hot-spots, especially in Tokyo, but also in local Japanese neighborhoods in countries such as the United States and Canada.

The dish is traditionally made with thinly sliced beef, though modern preparations sometimes use pork, crab, chicken, duck, or lobster. Most often, tender ribeye steak is used, but less tender cuts such as top sirloin are also common. A more expensive meat, such as wagyū, may also be used for its enhanced flavor and texture.

 It is usually served with tofu and vegetables, including Chinese cabbage, chrysanthemum leaves, nori (edible seaweed), onions, carrots, shiitake mushrooms and enokitake mushrooms. In some places, udon, mochi or harusame noodles may also be served.

The dish is prepared by submerging a very thin slice of meat or a piece of vegetable in a pot of boiling water or dashi (broth) made with kombu (kelp) and swishing it back and forth several times. The familiar swishing sound is where the dish gets its name. Shabu-shabu directly translates to "swish-swish". Cooked meat and vegetables are usually dipped in ponzu or "goma" (sesame seed) sauce before eating, and served with a bowl of steamed white rice. Once the meat and vegetables have been eaten, leftover broth from the pot is customarily combined with the remaining rice, and the resulting soup is usually eaten last.

Shabu-Shabu is all about sharing not only the dish but conversation as well. A lovely plate of Sliced Kobe Beef , Diver Scallops , Shitake and Enoki Mushrooms along with fresh Napa Cabbage , Tomato , Baby Spinach and Glass noodle comprised the ingredients we would combine “ Swish Swish in the Hot Pot .

The dips were a mouthwatering selection of Satay Sause , Sesame seed Vinegar and Fresh Chili Soy Sauce. Of course a nice Pinot Noir or even a Sauvignon Blanc would have paired nicely but in our case a Hitachino Nest Commemorative Ale and Asahi Black Kuronama Lager fit the bill just fine. What a better way to spend an afternoon than with two renowned Chefs while sharing great conversation,  learning some ancient food history and enjoying its tasty rewards!