Archive for February, 2016
February 11, 2016
For years, BT has been one of my all-time favorite chefs… and her food is always, that’s always, spot on delicious… with the most beautiful presentation ever. Last week I went to Restaurant BT with some friends for lunch and we all agreed, we’ve got to go back more often.
Her renowned pumpkin soup is simply incredible… especially on a cool day like today. The day we went, we literally did a tasting menu – each ordering a couple items to share. And share we did. I would definitely run back for the Pork Banh Mi Baguette – the fresh shrimp rolls, the spring rolls, the Ed Gunning lobster baguette is one of the best I’ve ever had – and the Peking Duck burrito was a great choice as well.
Zagat writes: “Spunky” chef-owner BT Nguyen is “a master,” say fans of the “superb,” “high-style” French Vietnamese dishes that look like “works of art” at this Tampa retreat; “zen like” décor and attentive service and a “relaxing” vibe…
All of us agreed with the Zagat review, and want to go back soon – yet, this time for dinner. And be assured, I will – anyone want to join me?
2507 South MacDill Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33629
February 11, 2016
It’s Medicinal – Good For What Ails You!
It may have been from a dream or because the cool weather is causing a hankering for comfort food, regardless, I woke this morning seriously wanting chocolate cake. Homemade chocolate cake made with really good Marburger Gourmet buttermilk and lots of chocolate icing. So – I made one.
Throw away your boxed cake and canned icing – and come home to momma. Nothing, and I mean nothing, will beat this chocolate cake on a cool winter night. It was the most requested dessert at Bailey’s restaurant – then I would double the recipe, cut each layer in half and make a 6 layer chocolate cake to die for.
I like mine with lots of icing – so don’t skimp on the frosting folks. Ice it as soon as it is cooled and let it sit for about 6 hours so the cake and frosting have the opportunity to meld together. Ok, I realize how long six hour is to wait for a slice – but it will be worth it.
In the Bailey house, the sun would never rise on a homemade cake – each of us kids, mom and dad would whittle it down throughout the night until it was gone.
If you make this cake – please text me at (813) 928-2210 a picture. Or send me an email at: RobertKimBailey@hotmail.com.
- 1 stick room temperature salted butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 extra-large room temperature eggs
- 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- ¾ cup Hershey’s Cocoa
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 ¾ cup Marburger Gourmet buttermilk (room temperature) – you can also use whole milk but I like the richness of good buttermilk
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Generously spray – two 9” round cake pans with baking spray or butter (or shortening) and flour the pans. I usually line the bottom of my pans with parchment paper so they definitely do not stick…but that is strictly up to you.
Sift all dry ingredients together in one bowl. Add vanilla to buttermilk.
In a mixing bowl cream, cream room temperature butter and sugar, adding room temperature eggs one at a time until the total mixture is light and fluffy – about 5 minutes on medium high speed.
Starting with the flour, alternately add 1/3 each of the sifted flour and the buttermilk – with a rubber spatula, stir from the bottom up to make sure all the ingredients are well combined. You can use the mixer – but be careful to not overmix or your cake will come out tough. I like folding the dry ingredients in.
STEP FOUR – BAKING
Put equal amounts of the batter in the two pans. If you have a scale, measure exactly. You want the same amount of batter in each pan so the layers are the same size.
Place on middle rack in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, and carefully rotate pans so you have even distribution. Bake another 15 minutes – this is when you want to start watching the cake, for you do not want them to be over-done. I test various ways: 1) toothpick in the center is good…it does not have to be perfectly clean, 2) gently pressing on top of the cake with a couple fingers is also good, but that is more for the experienced baker, 3) often times you can wait until the edges pull from the sides – but that sometimes can be tricky – ultimately making the cake dry.
Gently remove cakes from oven and place on a baking rack. Cool 10 minutes. After 10 minutes turn out on another rack – make sure the top does not touch the rack or it will stick. Let cool completely. Frost immediately when cooled.
2 sticks room temperature salted butter
6 to 8 cups powdered sugar
½ cup Hershey’s cocoa (more if you desire)
2 teaspoon real vanilla extract
Whole milk – start with 2 tablespoons at a time – keep adding until you get the taste you want.
With the whisk attachment on your mixer (if you have one), cream butter for about one minute, add sugar 2 cups (and a tablespoon milk) at a time and beat until well combined, add vanilla and beat until well combined for 2 to 5 minutes…depending on how fluffy you want your icing.
Starting with the first layer, add frosting in the middle and spread. Top with second layer and spread on top and sides. I like a lot of icing – so feel free to make more if desired.
Best served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
February 04, 2016
Edison’s chef and owner, Jeannie Pierola is a Tampa Bay treasure. She really knows how to create a menu…and better yet, she knows how to get her team to execute her creations. There is a reason why she made the number one spot on the Tampa Bay Times Top 50 Restaurants of Tampa Bay…it’s because her food is so delicious.
Yes, sometimes it sounds a bit complicated – but she makes complex flavors sing. If you’ve ever been to a Chinese restaurant, you have probably had crab Rangoon. I love them. But Jeannie has taken the crab Rangoon to new heights. Who would have thought to stuff that wonderful crab filling into a squash blossom, tempura fried, and serve them with toasted macadamia nuts and an incredible blood orange ginger jam? Jeannie, that’s who. It is a masterpiece worth ordering.
Tampa Bay Times food critic Laura Reiley wrote: “She started strong in August 2012 and has kept getting stronger.” And that she has.
EDISON’s Food & Drink Lab
912 West Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa, Florida 33606
February 04, 2016
Super Bowl is upon us and if you are looking for a really good, easy munchie to complement your wings – try a Bailey’s southern favorite, Fried Green Tomatoes.
They are a hit every time we serve them for catering – especially paired with our homemade Herbed Buttermilk Ranch Dipping sauce…which also doubles as a salad dressing or even a perfect spread for burgers, BLT’s, and is great on grilled chicken sandwiches. And by the way, a fried green tomato is also good in salads and on burgers, BLT’s, and grilled chicken sandwiches.
Many restaurants use yellow cornmeal or a thick batter as the breading. I do neither for I want the true essence of the pungent tart green tomato to shine through…so I just use buttermilk and flour. It’s that simple.
Make sure you use a fully green tomato with absolutely no red…for this is the southern tradition. A green tomato is just an un-ripe tomato. If you leave them on your counter for a few days – it will turn red on its own.
- Green Tomatoes from your grocery store
- 2 cups Marburger Gourmet Buttermilk
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- Vegetable or Canola Oil
- Extra Kosher salt for as soon they come from fryer
Cut green tomatoes in ¼” thick slices, put in Marburger buttermilk. These can marinate in buttermilk for up to 2 to 3 hours.
Season flour with salt and pepper.
Heat oil to 365 degrees
Drain a hand full of tomatoes and toss in seasoned flour. Shake off excess flour and fry in hot oil until golden brown and crispy. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and serve with our Herbed Buttermilk Ranch Dipping Sauce.
HERBED BUTTERMILK RANCH
½ cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise
½ cup Breakstone’s sour cream
1 cup Marburger Gourmet buttermilk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 large cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 bunch green onion (scallions) – use all but 2” of the green
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 bunch Italian parsley
Put all the ingredients in a Cuisinart or food processor and blend until smooth.