February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Dinner 2011: Salmon Hearts

I racked my brain to figure out how I could top last years widely popular Valentine's Day Dinner. It took all of about 5 min to determine it would be "Salmon Hearts". No this isn't the actual heart from a Salmon. Instead I decided to cook some Salmon in the shape of hearts. This was a lot easier said than done.

To start off I needed to find fillets of Salmon that were big enough for me to cut hearts out and I decided the best way to accomplish this was via heart shaped cookie cutters. Fresh Market had some beautiful cuts and I decided to get two, one to cook regular and the other one to cut hearts out of. The salmon is "Cuban Style" as it was marinated with Nellie & Joe's Key West Style Cuban Marinade. This stuff is really the best marinade on the market and goes well with pretty much everything. Oh...back to the hearts.

I ventured over to Kitchen Outfitters and luckily they had one box of heart shaped cookie cutters left. This box was perfect because it had various sizes of hearts for me to use. The big debate I had with myself was to cut before cooking or after cooking. I decided to go with before cooking and these cutters went right through the Salmon like a hot knife through butter. That was a good thing, until I got to the skin. With all my good knives, not one of them would cut through that skin. So I ended up pulling the hearts off the skin. My big concern now was would these hearts hold their shape through the cooking process. Luckily for the most part they did hold their shape and worked out very nicely for the presentation. I cut the other fillet in half for us to share after it was done cooking.

As for the rest of the meal:

We started off with a Shrimp Cocktail and had Rosemary & Sea Salt Rolls with a balsamic-olive oil dipping mixture that included several spices. These spices were cracked black pepper, garlic, oregano, and cracked red pepper. The shrimp were fresh Wild Georgia Shrimp that I seasoned with some cajun rub. I also put some of this rub in the water that I boiled the shrimp in. After an ice bath they were peeled and placed on the place with a cocktail sauce heart.

The side items for dinner were garlic red skin mashed potatoes and fresh cut green beans & caramelized onions. I partly peeled the potatoes as I wanted to have some of the red skin in the mixture. I then mashed the cooked potatoes with butter, heavy whipping cream, garlic, and cracked black pepper. The mixture was then transferred to a baking dish and was finished in the oven. The green beans & onions were cooked in a little olive oil, salt, garlic, and pepper. I caramelized the onions and the green beans were still crisp with a great bite to them.

To compliment this meal we drank a bottle of 2009 Don Miguel Gascón Argentine Malbec and for dessert we had Red Velvet Cupcakes from Fresh Market.

I got to say, as good as last years Valentine's Dinner was...this one was even that much better.

February 09, 2011

Chicken & Waffle Sliders from Rocks on the Roof

At the Bohemian Hotel in Savannah @rocksontheriver is a rooftop bar and restaurant with some of the best views and food that Savannah has to offer. To be exact you have Rocks on the Roof which is the bar that has a smaller menu offerings and there is Rocks on the River Modern Grille which is the full service restaurant.

So last night at Rocks on the Roof I ate one of the most ridiculously amazing things I have ever eaten. This was chicken & waffles taken to the next level and then some. Basically this is a nice size chicken tenderloin that is fried to perfection and then placed between 2 sweet Belgium Waffles. Oh...if it was only that simple.

Combined with these two great items, that were meant to be eaten together, was this red pepper jam that complimented the chicken & waffle perfectly. Just when you think you are hitting the highest point of flavor...you get hit with this sprinkling of Boursin Cheese that is melting with every bite on under the chicken and on the waffle. But that isn't enough! They then drizzle this honey grain mustard syrup combo (I think that is what it was) on the bottom of the plate and sprinkle powdered sugar over everything. Like I said, ridiculously amazing!

This might be a "slider", but this isn't one you pick up and eat. Grab your fork and knife and savor every bite of this treat.

This meal was washed down with a couple of Crown & Gingers. However, the bartender made us a shot that was the perfect compliment to this meal. It was called a "Blueberry Waffle". It was made with non-chilled Blueberry Vodka and Butterscotch Schnapps. The mixture of these two together in a shot gives you the sensation that you just swallowed a warm blueberry waffle. Not bad at all and it went well with the meal.

I am sorry for the dark pictures, but it was very hard to get a well lit photo in there.

Rocks on the Roof on Urbanspoon

February 06, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday Grub

I tired to keep this years Super Bowl feast simple but still with some good elements involved. The menu included:

Some easy to pop in the oven stuff:
TGiF Potato Skins & Cheese Sticks

Pre-made cold dips:
Cajun Krab Dip
Salsa & Sour Cream

Hot Dip:
Buffalo Chicken Dip

Dipping Materials:
Wheat Thins
Pita Chips

Grilled Flank Steak (Marinated in Italian Dressing)
Grilled Veggies (My own Balsamic Marinade)
King Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

Publix Super Bowl Cupcakes

Crown & Ginger

Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe:

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (10 ounce) can chicken, drained(or equivalent rotisserie or freshly-cooked, chopped chicken)
1 cup ranch dressing
3/4 cup red hot sauce
shredded cheddar cheese, you decide how much
Frito corn chip, scoops

For this recipe I chose to boil 4 breasts of chicken and then diced them into bite size pieces.


1 Beat cream cheese, ranch dressing, and red hot sauce.
2 Fold in shredded chicken.
3 Spread mixture into pie plate sprayed with Pam.
4 Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
5 Add cheddar to top and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.
6 Serve hot with Frito scoops.

Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/buffalo-chicken-dip

Main Course: Flank Steak & Grilled Vegetables