Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dos Caminos to Return to Las Vegas Suburb Early 2013


We had visited Dos Caminos many times when it was located in the Palazzo Resort in Las Vegas and were disappointed to say the least when they closed.  Several months ago we got word from inside sources that it would be returning to Las Vegas in the Summerlin area. We are excited that   Dos Caminos will to Las Vegas as Stephen Hanson and B.R. Guest Hospitality plan to open a location on Charleston Boulevard in Summerlin’s Canyon Pointe Plaza in early 2013.  Known for its inventive Mexican fare and vibrant bar scene, Dos Caminos looks forward to once again serving their famed guacamole and more to Las Vegas locals and visitors.
Corporate Executive Chef Ivy Stark, author of Dos Caminos Mexican Street Food, will oversee the menu for Las Vegas, as she does with the four locations in New York City and the outposts in Atlantic City, New Jersey and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  Joining her in the kitchen will be Las Vegas Executive Chef Reed Osterholt, alumni of the brand.
The Dos Caminos menu builds on classic Mexican staples of guacamole, empanadas and tacos, along with signature dishes, while the cocktail menu is transported “south of the border” with imaginative margaritas and sangria as well as an expansive hand-selected tequila menu.
The space will feature a soft, neutral palate highlighted by a reclaimed barn wood wall.  Candles will flicker throughout the restaurant and lanterns inside and out will create a sky of lights.  The outdoor space will be warmed by chimineyas, Mexican fire pits accented by bright fabrics, and inside the bar will showcase several televisions for sports watching as well as gaming stations.
Dos Caminos Las Vegas is scheduled to open in early March of 2013 and will be open seven days a week for dinner and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. We cannot wait to visit Dos Caminos once again and enjoy what will be Summerlin’s newest hot spot .

Monday, December 17, 2012

Chef Gordon Ramsay Contiunes his Invasion of the Las Vegas Strip with The Opening of Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill and Gordon Ramsay BurGR


Chef Gordon Ramsay Invades the Las Vegas Strip with Opening of Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill and Gordon Ramsay BurGR

 We see Chef Gordon Ramsay all over our TVs with numerous shows and his fiery expectation of excellence. This celebrated Chef recently opened Gordon Ramsay Steak in the Paris Resort on the famed Las Vegas strip and that is only the beginning.
Las Vegas is a culinary Meca and this celebrity Chef is taking the city by storm by opening two new venues almost simultaneously in a city known for its long list of Michelin Stars.  Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill will open at Caesars Palace Dec. 18, and that Gordon Ramsay BurGR will open at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Dec 22.  Two restaurants from the same chef opening within one week of each other in two different casino resorts is a monumental feat never experienced on the famed Las Vegas Strip.


The opening of Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace® and Gordon Ramsay BurGR at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino marks three Gordon Ramsay restaurants to open in Las Vegas in less than a year, expanding his relationship with Caesars Entertainment Corp.
“It’s been incredible the positive reception Gordon Ramsay Steak has received since opening at Paris in May,” said Gordon Ramsay.  “We’ve been developing these different concepts for quite a while to deliver three distinct, unique dining experiences with the variety, originality, and high quality that we believe people want and appreciate.”

The Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, the neighborhood restaurant conceptualized by the award-winning chef, will open for dinner Dec. 18 and lunch in mid-Jan. 2013.  The 290 seat restaurant will be the most authentic English pub experience in Las Vegas, as only this native UK chef can provide.

Chef Jeremy Berlin has been selected as executive chef and will oversee the kitchen operations. Berlin moved to Las Vegas from Los Angeles where he served as executive chef of Church and State. Berlin was previously a member of Ramsay’s brigade as Executive Sous Chef of Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood and sous chef of Gordon Ramsay at the London NYC.
The restaurants  feature a relaxed and friendly setting with dishes including New Zealand Red Snapper, lamb T-bone, whole brick pressed Cornish chicken, dry aged 30 oz. bone-in beef rib eye and spotted dog.  The pub  features  elevated British pub food in a comfortable and lively setting showing sporting events from across the world on state of the art entertainment systems.  The pub includes 36 beers served on tap plus 24 bottled beers.  With an eye towards dishes that pair well with beer the pub menu includes English ale onion soup, shepherd’s pie, and a selection of sausages, fried egg sandwiches and the classic pub fish and chips.
The center piece of the restaurant is its bar with an array of beer taps and a backdrop reminiscent of iconic British telephone booths.  A patio area will extend the restaurant towards the casino floor where guests can be part of the action.  Tabletops are comprised of rustic, pottery inspired dishes layered with unprocessed woods and rugged serving vessels.  The uniforms are inspired by the English punk scene and will feature a number of multi-media pieces designed by Allison Leach, a trend with Gordon Ramsay’s Las Vegas restaurants.
Four days after the opening of Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill,  he will open his first burger experience restaurant, Gordon Ramsay BurGR, at the center-Strip Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. BurGR, a name that plays on the celebrity chef’s initials, will be located steps from the famous Las Vegas Strip at the entrance of Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino adjacent to the Extra! Lounge.
The BurGR menu will take the traditional burger, fries and milkshake comfort food combination to an entirely new level with selections like pork belly bao buns, sweet potato fries with vanilla powdered sugar and pudding shakes which is a combination of thick milkshake and silky pudding.  Whether traditional or unique burger preparations they will be crafted using the freshest, quality ingredients.  Paying special attention to not only the ingredients but the method, beef patties are cooked over an open flame fueled by hard woods, BurGR will be the only gourmet burger restaurant on the Strip to use this technique, creating a more complex and powerful flavor.
The beverage program features an extensive beer list and robust cocktail program.  Focusing primarily on small and large format American craft beers, BurGR will serve 30 beers all from a stunning frozen tap wall with a selection of bottled beer. The cocktail program will feature a selection of traditionally made cocktails, crafted with fresh ingredients with made-from scratch syrups.
With a location that draws on the energy of both the casino and the nearby Miracle Mile shops, the room is designed in a stylish and modern ambience.  The vividly colored room will seats 200 and is accented by an undulated ceiling, steel and concrete floor, keg display, open kitchen and 30 foot fire feature.  The uniforms, also  designed by Allison Leach, contrast the bright colors of the restaurant with their muted tones.  Allison Leach, known for her costume design for the hit shows Glee and Mad Men, helped to set the industry trend for restaurant uniform design with Gordon Ramsay Steak and continues her visionary work at BurGR
“With numerous hit TV shows entertaining viewers all over the world, I can’t think of a better chef to welcome to Planet Hollywood, a resort with a spotlight on fame, than Gordon Ramsay,” said Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino president David Hoenemeyer. “BurGR will cater to both guests who are fans of Gordon Ramsay and who are in search of a perfect burger and shake.”
“Gordon Ramsay might be the only chef ambitious and talented enough to open two restaurants within days of each other without a second thought,” said Planet Hollywood vice president of food and beverage Jeffrey Frederick. “We are thrilled to bring this new restaurant to our guests and look forward to another successful collaboration.”
Who else but Chef Gordon Ramsay could pull this off in Las Vegas known for its multitude as gastronomic delights from all-star Chefs. We have no doubt that his latest venues will be a smash success as his first

Thursday, December 6, 2012

RUN don’t walk to Honey Salt In Summerlin and enjoy!


At the end of October we stated  “We will be running  not walking  to Honey  Salt  very soon and will bring you inside Honey Salt for a taste by taste sip by sip report from what promises to be a wonderful dining experience. “  And that ,we did on multiple occasions.

This newest venue in the heart of Summerlin was badly needed having lost two long time , iconic local restaurants that was literally “home” for many  due to the down turn in the economy . Honey Salt is the first independent venture from visionaries Elizabeth Blau and Chef Kim Canteenwalla. It is inspired by their love for entertaining at their home. From the time you first walk through the doorway you feel at home. The homey atmosphere starts with the design of the décor to the handpicked  farm-to-table inspired menu.
Elizabeth Blau
Elizabeth stated “Honey Salt is inspired by the food we love to serve at home and the friends we love to share it with.”  It’s meant to be a social affair with a focus on community, creativity and comfort.”  She could not have been more right!  



Whether you take a seat at the bar or seated at a table you feel part of the restaurant and the community that is dining with smiles on their face.
Chef Kim Canteenwalla







In many restaurants if you want to speak with the Chef you may ask your server if he or she could spare a moment to come tableside.  That is not the case at Honey Salt . The center piece of the venue is the Expedite station placed right in front of the kitchen where Chef Kim Canteenwalla touches very dish that comes to the window with his final touches of culinary artistry.
On every occasion we have visited, without fail,  Chef Kim and Elizabeth can be seen visiting every table and the bar greeting their guests and making sure their dishes are to the guests liking.
Honey Salt is also known for some very delightful specialty cocktails created by this duo of culinary legends.  Elizabeth created the “Sweeter Than Honey “cocktails.  We enjoyed “ The Lady Blau Sparkle “ which features Charbay blood orange , chandon ,bitters  soaked sugar  and then moved over to Kim’s “Salt of the Earth “ creations.  We highly recommend the “Salty Son Of A Gun” which is a lovely blend of sazerac rye,lairds apple jack ,dark ale , smoked sea salt .  Another great selection is “The Midnight Rambler” with bulleit bourbon, angostura bitter and maple syrup!. The beer list features Pints, Tall boys and bottles of some fantastic microbrews. The wine list offers wines by the glass, carafe and bottle from around the world.
Turkey Meatballs
Chef Kim is known for using his international background and his love of simple cooking with layers of fresh flavors. We started with the Turkey Meatballs, alta cucina tomatoes, caramelized onions add a special layer of mouthwatering palate pleasing delight and fresh horseradish. This dish is so good that we have had it on every visit!

Chef Kim’s Burrata ,Rosso Bruno & Teardrop Tomatoes is a great start to your Honey Salt experience . If you are in the mood for a Sandwich, The Biloxi Buttermilk Fried Chicken with creamy slaw, durkees dressing, and chopped salad on a fresh brioche roll will satisfy your craving.
Burrata ,Rosso Bruno & Teardrop Tomatoes







Biloxi Buttermilk Fried Chicken
On the dinner menu we could not get enough the spicey Yellowtail Crudo with Peruvian salsa, shaved jicama &radish, pickled cilantro and puffed rice.  The lunch and dinner menu both feature Paleta Iberico Ham with succulent young manchego , grilled asparagus , marcona almonds finished off with minus 8 vinegar .


One of the family favorites, Carmelized Sea Scallops, charred cauliflower, vanilla bean cauliflower puree and truffle saucewill please everyone at the table.
Yellowtail Crudo
Honey Salt offers Burgers, Filet Mignon, Scottish Salmon, Roast Swordfish and many other tasty delights including several unique salads that show off the Farm to Table passion of Chef Kim and Elizabeth.









No matter what you may be in the mood for, Honey Salt has it for lunch or dinner. You will not be disappointed and will find what you are craving any time of day. Summerlin once again has its homey, friendly, community driven neighborhood, locally owned restaurant back! As we said months ago, RUN don’t walk to Honey Salt and enjoy!

Monday, December 3, 2012

EATING LAS VEGAS: THE 50 ESSENTIAL RESTAURANTS 2013 IS OUT AND FEATURES 11 NEW ENTRIES – PLUS THREE NEW IN THE TOP 10



It is no secret that in the last 10 years Las Vegas has become a culinary Meca to all star celebrity Chefs.  The 2013 edition of Eating Las Vegas: The 50 Essential Restaurants (Huntington Press, December, 2012) features the opinions of three of the city’s food critics (John Curtas, Max Jacobson and Al Mancini) who created a reference book that lists their agreed-upon “Essential50” restaurants in Sin City.
The guide is much more than just a list of restaurants to enjoy. It also includes a 44-page specialty guide dedicated to “Additional Recommendations” that recommends everything from beer, buffets, Sunday brunch and even sushi. The fiery “Vetoes” section pits the three critics’ against each other in literary a version of a free-for-all food fight.
“When we green-lit this project three years ago, I wasn’t sure its realization was even a possibility, as we were dealing with three highly knowledgeable but incredibly strong-willed personalities,” said publisher Anthony Curtis.  “But John (Curtas), Max (Jacobson) and Al (Mancini) have continued to deliver on their promise to seek out, and agree upon, Las Vegas’ 50 Essential Restaurants.”
The 2013 edition of Eating Las Vegas adds three newcomers to the Top Ten list that includes  two off-strip restaurants ,  Marché Bacchus French Bistro and Raku Japanese Charcoal Grill.  The other newcomer is Piero Selvaggio’s Valentino at The Venetian.  Back from  2012, are Estiatorio Milos at The Cosmopolitan, Joël Robuchon and L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand, Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace, CUT at Palazzo and Le Cirque and Picasso at Bellagio.
In addition to the “Top 10,” The 2013 edition features 11 new restaurants including Bread & Butter, Comme Ça at The Cosmopolitan, Due Forni, Fleur at Mandalay Bay, Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris, Kabuto, Le Thai, Mint Indian Bistro, miX at Mandalay Bay, Public House at The Venetian and Sirio at Aria.
We have been watching this guide for years and is one of the best sources about the Las Vegas Dining scene that we have seen. It is a must for tourists and locals alike.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas to Launch a Hell's Kitchen Tasting Menu


Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas' new head chef, Christina Wilson, returns to the menu items that catapulted her into fame as the award-winning steakhouse introduces the first-ever Hell’s Kitchen Limited Edition Tasting Menu in honor of her season 10 win. Wilson prevailed over 18 competitors in the hit show, becoming the first contestant to win a position in a Gordon Ramsay restaurant.




The special five-course prix-fixe menu featuring familiar dishes from the popular show presents the first “Hell’s Kitchen” menu in a Ramsay restaurant, and gives guests the first opportunity to see and taste creations prepared on the show in their most flawless form.
An amuse-bouche featuring the Scotch egg leads the taste-bud tour and sets the tone by being brilliantly accented by Berkshire pork sausage and red wine-braised cabbage. The first course showcases the visually pleasing and perfectly prepared hamachi crudo topped with Iberico ham gelée, American caviar and truffle crème fraîche. A Ramsay specialty that intimidates most “Hell’s Kitchen” contestants, the scallop risotto featuring diver scallops with parmesan and herb risotto, serves as the refined meal’s second course. Ramsay’s signature dish, beef Wellington, stands as the meal’s third course and main dish. Prepared to medium-rare, the unparalleled delicious filet is surrounded with mushroom duxelle and prosciutto then wrapped in a puff pastry and served with glazed root vegetables, potato purée and red wine demi-glace. A piece of mouth-watering caramel apple cake topped with salted peanut ice cream, apple gastrique and cinnamon anglaise completes the meal and is the final piece of the perfectly-crafted special menu.
The tasting menu will change seasonally and  is limited to the entire table. The first 1000 diners that order the menu each season will receive a souvenir folder of the Hell’s Kitchen Limited Edition Tasting Menu and a photo of Chef Ramsay, Executive Chef Kevin Hee and Head Chef Christina Wilson signed by Chef Wilson and Chef Hee to take home. The cost of the menu starts at $145 per person with a wine pairing available for an additional $75.
Only six months after its debut, Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas has been collecting many accolades and awards. From service to the dining experience, media and critics alike  are showering the restaurant with acknowledgments . The public as made it   one of the hottest reservations to secure in a city filled with some of the most acclaimed names in food.
Amongst the honors and awards bestowed upon Gordon Ramsay Steak:
Named as one of the 25 Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings in the U.S. for 2012 by Eater.com National, March 29
Named as one of the Top 10 New & Notable Restaurants in Las Vegas for 2012 by Gayot.com, April 14
Ranked #1 on the list of 2012’s 7 Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings in Las Vegas by Eater.com/Las Vegas, April 19
When in  Las Vegas , Gordon Ramsay Steak is not to be missed !

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Venetian / Palazzo Resorts to hold a Culinary Clash Master Chef Competition


It’s On!  New ‘Culinary Clash’ master chef competition pits the best
Las Vegas Chefs in an interactive experience, unfolding over four weeks
 The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas have announced CULINARY CLASH,  a new competition for the resort’s famed team of chefs.  This four-week competition will result in the rise of a new legend on The Las Vegas Strip – The VENETIAN VICTOR, winner of the first CULINARY CLASH master chef competition.
The late-evening competition will be  hosted by local lifestyle celebrities Claudine Grant and Robin Leach and unfolds from 10pm until 2am on Nov. 29, Dec. 7, 14 and 21.  It is open to all sous chefs and chefs de cuisine at the 30+ restaurants located inside The Venetian and The Palazzo, including Sushi Samba, Table 10, First Food, TAO, Aquaknox, Zine, Lagasse Stadium, Carnevino, Public House, Valentino, Delmonico, B&B, Rattlecan,  LAVO, Otto Enoteca, and Bouchon.
Chefs will be challenged to create recipes using ingredients provided in a “mystery basket,” to be prepared in mobile “food truck” kitchens, located on the Las Vegas Strip at The Venetian’s Doge’s Palace plaza.  The head-to-head clash will be broadcasted live on a giant screen on The Venetian Clock Tower fr all audience members to appreciate.  Each chef’s creation will then be available for sampling.
Culinary Clash will give guests the occasion to experience Italian-inspired food and drinks while joining in a festive holiday outdoor party.  Each cooking battle will be highlighted with street entertainment, DJ music and an after party provided by TAO.
 Expect plenty of surprises, including guest appearances by The Venetian and The Palazzo’s celebrity chefs, who will head the prestigious judging panel:
Round 1 - Nov. 29 - Chef Emeril Lagasse
Round 2 - Dec. 7 - Chef Mario Batali
Round 3 -  Dec. 14  (Semifinals ) Chef Sammy DeMarco
Round 4 - Dec. 21 (Finals)  Surprise Chef TBA
 At the conclusion of the Culinary Clash, the surprise chef and prestigious judging panel will crown a victor chef.  This Venetian Victor and a guest will receive a trip to Italy, the inspiration behind The Venetian.
“This event is going to be a lot of fun,” said Sebastian Silvestri, vice president of food and beverage at The Venetian and The Palazzo. “And what better place to host such a competition than Las Vegas, which has become one of the greatest food cities in the world.”
In fact, Much of The Venetian’s  fame comes from its reputation as a culinary capital of the Las Vegas Strip. Hosting nine James Beard Award-winning chefs and their restaurants, more than any other property in Las Vegas, millions of guests have found culinary inspiration at The Venetian and The Palazzo.
The event is part of Winter in Venice™, the second-annual celebration of the winter holiday season on the Las Vegas Strip, dubbed “A Gift of The Venetian.”  With 50 days of seasonal experiences throughout both resorts, Winter in Venice is the ultimate destination for Christmas in Las Vegas, running Nov. 18, 2012 through Jan. 6, 2013.
In 2012, Winter in Venice will feature a new marquee element, an exclusive six-week run of “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas in Las Vegas, by Chip Davis,” featuring beloved and iconic holiday music in The Palazzo Theatre.    In addition, a schedule of memorable Italian-inspired experiences will include a nightly enchanting winter parade, whimsical tree-lighting ceremonies, a stunning new 3D light projection shows, an elaborate Winter in Venice fantasy scene in The Palazzo Waterfall Gardens, and – a fan favorite – the return of the picturesque skating rink above The Venetian’s romantic outdoor Grand Canal.
In its first year, Winter in Venice captured the attention – and the hearts – of visitors around the world, including Travel + Leisure magazine.  In fact, the prestigious publication touted the Winter In Venice skating rink in its feature on the “world’s coolest skating rinks.”  The article, which shared a short list of the magazine’s favorite venues, said:  “Some of the coolest [rinks] can be found where you’d least expect them—say, in the desert. The Venetian [in Las Vegas] debuted a rink in 2011, complete with a holiday-theme light show. It now touts a package deal that combines a skating session with an outdoor gondola ride—only in Vegas, indeed”.
The best way to experience Winter in Venice is by staying overnight at The Venetian or The Palazzo, taking advantage of additional experiences available to resort guests.  Overnight stays begin at $149 per night, plus tax and resort fee. Additional package options include:
A special “Mannheim Steamroller Suite Package” includes two front orchestra tickets to Mannheim Steamroller Christmas – Vegas by Chip Davis (a $270+ value), starting at $229 per night, based on a two-night minimum stay.
    The “Winter in Venice Prestige Package,” includes special experience upgrades, including a picture-perfect holiday “Elf tuck in” for families.  Other amenities include a private check-in desk experience with champagne, nightly complimentary holiday cocktail reception, and complimentary continental breakfast, afternoon tea and coffee, and evening hors d’oeuvres. Packages start at $279 per night, based on a two-night minimum stay.
Overnight guests also receive Passaporto di Winter in Venice, which includes specials for skating, retail, dining, entertainment and spa, with offers valued at more than $1,000.  For those who book an upgraded suite (including the Winter in Venice Prestige Package), a Premiere Passaporto di Winter in Venice will feature additional exclusive offers increasing the value to more than $1,400.
A seasonal Winter in Venice cocktail menu, including holiday-inspired spiced cocktails such as Gondolier Blanco, Da Vinci Remedy, and Pom Prosecco will be available throughout the resort lounges, including The Bourbon Room, Zebra Lounge, Bellini Bar, Fusion Mixology Bar and Laguna Champagne Bar.
Holiday-themed menus and specials will be offered by select world-class restaurants throughout the holiday including Aquaknox, B&B, Bouchon, Canaletto, Canyon Ranch Café, Delmonico, FIRST Food & Bar, Grand Lux Cafe, Pinot Brasserie, Postrio, Table 10, LAVO Italian Restaurant and Valentino
See you at Winter in Venice !

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Paris Las Vegas’ Chef Robert Butler Named the First-Ever World Food Champion at the 2012 World Food Championships, winning $60,000



Chef Robert Butler of Café Ile Saint Louis at Paris Las Vegas was named the World Food Championships’ (WFC) first-ever World Food Champion at the Final Table that was held at Caesars Palace on Nov. 4.  Butler won $60,000 over the weekend between the sandwich category competition and the WFC Final Table. Sponsored by Kraft Foods, Butler was one of seven final competitors who earned a seat at the Final Table by prevailing in the previous two day’s food category competitions held at Bally’s Las Vegas. Category competitions included barbecue, chili, burgers, sandwiches, side-dishes, a recipe championship featuring winners of online recipe contests and a World Chef Challenge open to some of the best chefs in America’s greatest food cities.
Chef Butler won the sandwich category competition on Saturday, Nov. 3 and $10,000 in prize money, along with a spot to compete in the final WFC battle. The following was his winning'

Credit : World Food Championships
Original recipe:
·         Asian-flavored braised pork butt sandwich, sliced and crisped in duck fat, on a French loaf with aioli and salad. The aioli contained Dijon mustard, jalapeno, ginger, Chinese mint and a touch of brown sugar. The salad comprised of watercress, cilantro, raddichio, yuli pear and kim chi vinaigrette.
Representing the sandwich competition at the Final Table, Chef Butler went on to compete against six other WFC finalists, including:
Clark Magee (representing chili)
Butcher BBQ (representing barbeque)
Linda Bonwill (representing side-dish)
Lucky 13 (representing burger)
Mike Callaghan (representing recipe)
Travis Brust (representing the Chef Challenge)
The seven final competitors outlasted nearly 300 other competitors to make it to the final showdown.
Along with help of his teammate, Chef Lowell McCain of Le Village Buffet at Paris Las Vegas, Butler prevailed at the WFC Final Table, winning an additional $50,000. The two entries he turned in to the panel of celebrity judges included:
Chef Butler’s original recipe that won the WFC sandwich category competition
A barbeque pulled-pork sandwich on bacon and white cheddar bioche with onion conserve (a jam containing nuts), caramelized sliced apples and white cheddar gratinée using Kraft and Grey Poupon products. The pork was cooked with barbeque sauce, Dijon mustard, bourbon, brown sugar and sliced jalapeños and the onion conserve was made with walnuts. The bacon and white cheddar brioche is featured bread at Café Ile Saint Louis at Paris Las Vegas.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Our Contributor Quincy Jaeger shares some Delicious Recipes featuring Green Chile.


Quincy Jaeger, Contributor
Green Chile: The Soul of the Southwest
By  Quincy Jaeger
Being a native New Mexican, fall says one thing to me: green chile. The mouthwatering smell of roasting Hatch Green Chile is inescapable statewide from late August until early November. I can't recall a single celebration from my youth that did not include some form of green chile. To me, green chile is the very soul of the Southwest. It is what defines our identity and unites our heritage. I can go anywhere in the world and connect with a fellow New Mexican just by saying it's name. New Mexico    cares so much about it's chile, that it is defined as our state question: Red or Green?  It wasn't until I left the great Southwest that I learned that this incredible food is not widely known outside of the region. I feel it is my culinary duty to spread the gospel.
A few fun facts about green chile:
Hatch, New Mexico grows the finest quality green chile in the world. It is so unique in flavor that Hatch has trademarked it's name and strain of pepper.
  • Ounce for ounce, green chile peppers have more Vitamin C than oranges.
  • Eating green chile peppers burns calories by boosting the metabolism.
  • Green chile peppers make you feel good in the same way that exercise gives you “a high:”
  • It has been well documented that the green chile pepper improves digestion, eases pain, and destroys bacteria. It is an excellent alternative to chicken soup when fighting a cold.
  • New Mexico produces more chile than any other state in the U.S.
My best friend swears that true green chile stew cannot be created without the labor and love of a native New Mexican. Since I realize that that excludes many dear readers, I have provided you with a three course meal of my very own green chile recipes, as well as a little bit of my New Mexico love to help you along the way. Enjoy!
Cora Jett's Classic Green Chile Stew
 This recipe is my family's version of the New Mexico staple. Everyone in my family makes it slightly different, but the ingredients are the same. Cora Jett was my grandmother and an incredible cook. She learned this recipe from her mother, and it goes back in the family to the 1800's.
 Ingredients:
 2-3 lb pork roast (shoulder or loin)
1 large can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
5-8 cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, diced
¼ cup of flour
1 lb Hatch Green Chile, roasted, peeled and chopped
1-2 quarts of water
shredded cheese
flour tortillas
 Preparation:

 Cook the pork roast in a slow cooker for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. Cool and shred, removing the excess fat.

 In a large cast iron pot (I'm partial to Le Crueset) heat the oil and add the pork to brown slightly. Add the flour and toss the pork until it is lightly coated and the flour is tanned.
 In a small skillet, brown the chopped onion and garlic, then add to the pork mixture.
Add green chile, tomatoes, and water to the pot with the pork, onion, and garlic. Heat to a boil, stirring frequently so as not to scald. Lower heat to low/medium low and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir every 5-10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve in bowls with shredded cheese and tortillas.

 Quincy's Cheesy Chickeny Green Chile Enchiladas
Green chile and cheese are my two absolute favorite foods. I created this recipe to my exact taste, meaning it is very cheesy and VERY spicy. For the faint of heart, you can modify the heat level by using less green chile and adding more sour cream. Salting the sour cream will also bring out the sweetness of the chile and temper the heat. Serving enchiladas with fried eggs and shredded lettuce is a very unique to New Mexico and makes this dish perfect not only for dinner, but breakfast as well.
 Ingredients:
1 lb. Hatch Green Chiles, roasted, peeled and chopped
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. butter
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups chicken broth, divided
10 small corn tortillas
2 ½ cups shredded cooked chicken (I like to slow cook my chicken in a crockpot the night before for easy shredding)
4 cups coarsely shredded cheddar jack cheese
Fried eggs
Shredded lettuce
Sour Cream
 Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400* degrees.
Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add green chile, salt and pepper. Cook chile mixture, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Add one cup of the chicken broth and simmer until reduced by 1/3, or about 10 minutes.
Bring remaining 2 cups of chicken broth to a gentle simmer in a small skillet. Working one at a time, dip tortillas into the broth to lightly soften. Place a thin layer of softened tortillas in a baking dish, followed by a layer of shredded chicken. Next add a layer of the seasoned green chile, followed by a layer of cheese. Place another layer of tortillas on top of the cheese and repeat layers until the baking dish is full, with a top layer of cheese.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and browned on the edges.
Serve with a fried egg and shredded lettuce on top. Finish with a dollop of sour cream.
This recipe makes 5-6 servings and is great to prepare ahead of time and freeze.

Quincy's Original Green Chile Apple Pie
 Green chiles have the slightest sweet flavor that can be enhanced and used in desserts. This is my New Mexican take on the American classic. It is both sweet and spicy and the cheddar cheese on top gives it a special texture and flavor. I used to make this pie with my own homemade crust, which was time consuming and had inconsistent results. I recently discovered the Pilsbury refrigerated version of pie crust dough. It is excellent and  saves hours of prep time. One package contains two circles of dough,  which is enough for one pie. As a pie purist, I used to shy away from any pre-made crust, but after using the Pilsbury dough and receiving numerous compliments on the flaky buttery texture of my crust, I have decided that it is entirely worth spending less time baking and more time eating. I won't tell anyone if you don't!
 Ingredients:
4 large green apples (I like Granny Smith) peeled, cored, and thinly sliced.
1 cup Hatch Green Chiles, roasted, peeled, and diced
½ cup white sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
juice of 1 lemon
1 package Pilsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust
thin slices of cheddar cheese
 Preparation:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Combine apples, green chiles, sugars, cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, salt and lemon juice in a large bowl. Mix until apples and chiles are completely coated. Press one circle of pie crust into a 9 inch pie pan and pour the apple and chile mixture into the pie crust. Cut the remaining circle of pie crust into 1 inch wide strips and weave on top of the apple mixture to make a basket crust. Press the edges into the bottom circle of crust around the edges of the pie pan and scallop with your thumb. Cut off any excess crust and discard.
Bake the pie at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 375 degrees and bake for 40 more minutes When the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling the pie is done. Place thin slices of cheddar cheese on top of the crust and allow cheese to melt slightly before serving.
Quincy's Green Chile Gelato
I have something of an obsession with gelato. I actually came up with this recipe in a dream and luckily, it turned out just as delicious as I had dreamed it would! I received an ice cream machine from my mother as a gift and I have had a great time coming up with different flavors of gelato. This one is certainly the most unusual, but it will appeal to spicy-sweet lovers. As the flavor is very strong and unique, I like to dish up small servings. It is excellent with a drizzle of agave nectar on top.
 Ingredients:
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup white sugar plus one separate tbsp.
1 ½ cups Hatch green chile, roasted, peeled, and diced
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
 Preparation:
Combine the milk and cream in a saucepan. Place over medium low heat and cook, stirring frequently so that a skin doesn't form on the top of the liquid. Heat until the mixture reaches a temperature of 170 degrees.
While the milk and cream are heating, whisk the egg yolks in a heat-proof bowl until smooth. Gradually whisk in the sugar until it is completely incorporated and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Temper the egg yolks by very slowly pouring the hot milk mixture into the yolks while whisking continuously. Once the milk mixture and yolks are combined, pour the custard into the saucepan and place over low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until a thick custard forms. It is thick enough when it coats the back of the wooden spoon. Do not bring to a boil or the eggs will overcook and the texture will be too grainy.
Once the custard has thickened, pour through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl and let cool to room temperature. Stir every 5 to 10 minutes while cooling. Once the custard is completely cooled, refrigerate until very cold, at least 4-6 hours.
While the custard is cooling, combine the remaining tbsp sugar and green chiles in a small saucepan. Heat over medium low heat, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes or until the sugar has completely melted into the chile and the mixture is slightly sticky. Pour 2/3 of the green chile into a food processor with the lemon juice and puree. Cover and refrigerate the puree until cold, about 1 hour.
Gently whisk the green chile puree into the custard. Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Add the remaining 1/3 green chile about 5 minutes before the churning is complete. Transfer gelato to an airtight, freezer safe container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
*Note: All temperatures in the above recipes are Fahrenheit.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Finally ! , The Summerlin Dining Scene gets back on track with Farm-to-Table Inspired Cuisine. HONEY SALT is now open.


Ever since Summerlin lost two local favorite dining venues in the space of six weeks over a year ago , residents have been on the hunt for a replacement ( or at least a new spot ) to call home. Usually, as a journalist we stay objective and try not to get too excited over a new opening. But in this case, when you bring two restaurants legends from the famed Las Vegas Strip ,known for their culinary expertise  and put them right in our own back yard then how  can we not anticipate the best in a new dining venture.  Honey Salt is now open!  Honey Salt is the first independent venture from visionaries Elizabeth Blau and Chef Kim Canteenwalla. It is inspired by the couple’s passion for entertaining, as well as their friends and family, Honey Salt offers a glimpse into Elizabeth and Kim’s culinary life at home. From the relaxed sophistication of the design to the farm-to-table inspired menu, Honey Salt features the food, drinks and hospitality the couple has shared with friends and family for years.
Chef Kim Canteenwalla
As principals of the hospitality consulting group Blau & Associates, Elizabeth and Kim bring years of combined experience to the Honey Salt table. As founder and chairman of the company, Elizabeth is widely credited with the transformation of Las Vegas into the world-class culinary destination that it is today. She is also an experienced chef and operator with a wealth of culinary knowledge and experience that spans the globe. When planning Honey Salt, they drew on years of entertaining at home, as well as favorite neighborhood restaurants in cities like New York and Los Angeles. “Honey Salt is inspired by the food we love to serve at home and the friends we love to share it with.” Elizabeth says. “It’s meant to be a social affair with a focus on community, creativity and comfort.”
Inspired by Elizabeth and Kim’s travels, their most cherished family memories and repeatedly requested favorites, the seasonally-changing menu is executed by friend and colleague Chef Joe Zanelli. Overseeing operations as GM/managing partner is Steve Jerome, who richly shares in Elizabeth and Kim’s dedication and vision to providing the best possible dining experience. Composed of the highest quality ingredients sourced from sustainable relationships with local and regional growers, farmers and fishermen, the menu is broken into whimsical sections such as “Get Comfortable,” “Family Favorites” and “Cole’s Corner,” a fun yet foodie kids menu created with the couple’s son.
Elizabeth Blau

An East Coast native, Elizabeth’s personal influences are  seen in the New England Fry with Ipswich Clams, Calamari, Blistered Shishito Peppers and Cured Lemon Ailoi; a riff on her Gramma Rose’s Turkey Meatballs with Alta Cucina Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions and Fresh Horseradish; and of course, the aptly named My Wife’s Favorite Salad, with Duck Confit, Arugula, Frisée, Pine Nuts and Pomegranate 
Kim’s international background combines with his love of simple cooking in dishes such as childhood favorite Nana's Tiffin Chicken Curry with Basmati Rice and Cucumber Mint Raita; Caramelized Sea Scallops with Charred Cauliflower and Truffle Sauce; and the Backyard Favorite Burger with Beehive Cheddar, Tomato Jam, Butter Pickle and Fries.  The wildly imaginative kids’ menu, which was planned, tested and approved by Cole and his friends, includes both delicious and nutritious offerings such as Mac and Cheese-Y, Yes Please-Y and Finger Lick’n Organic Chick’N Wings.
Elizabeth’s lifelong love affair with pastry guarantees that anyone possessing a sweet tooth will crave dessert staples crafted in collaboration with friend and pastry chef Justin Nilson. Sweet standouts include Brown Bag Baked Apple Pie and Honey Salt’s signature Triple Layer Cake which will change flavors daily. And of course, the not-to-be-missed Grow-Your-Own Sundae allows kids to “plant” the seed toward their imaginative dessert.
The restaurant was designed by Elizabeth and longtime decorator Randy Apel. Whitewashed brick, citrus green banquettes and an eclectic collection of mirrors mix with antique chandeliers and mismatched vintage chairs to create a cozy communal space true to the comforts of the home. Artwork from renowned food photographer and family friend Bill Milne and paintings by Elizabeth’s accomplished sister, Alex Blau , continue the theme of friends and family that fills the restaurant.
Honey Salt is located in at 1031 S. Rampart Blvd in the community of Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada. Honey Salt is open seven days a week and on all holidays. Lunch & Dinner are served from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with weekend brunch coming soon. For reservations and more information, visit www.honeysalt.com or call the restaurant at 702.445.6100. They are very big on Social Media as well. Like” Honey Salt on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HoneySaltLV and follow Honey Salt on Twitter @HoneySaltLV or @elizabethblau1
We will be running  not walking  to Honey  Salt  very soon and will bring you inside Honey Salt for a taste by taste sip by sip report from what promises to be a wonderful dining experience.