Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mother's Day Weekend

Sorry a week late on this, but wanted to blog about mother's day weekend in the Gati house. My wife, Tracy, asked for 3 things for mother's day from me.  1. A nice dinner on Saturday night that I cooked. 2. A Sunday Brunch. 3. For me to not use my phone at all on mother's day.  So i was able to do 2 out of the 3.  Sorry but I am addicted to my phone(Words with Friends, Whirly Word, Scores).

For Saturday night I dug around and found a couple of recipes to cook for her.  I tend to look for a chicken dish, especially some sort of stuffed, rolled chicken breast.  For Saturday i used a Rachel Ray recipe, Florentine Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Breast.    I also used a recipe I found on as a side:  Linguine with Marinated Tomato and Basil .     I think it turned out well and my wife seemed extremely happy.  The chicken was stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese, with prosciutto wrapped around it.  Turned out well.  Came from Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals show, that for some reason takes me much longer than 30 minutes.  I have cooked quite a few items from there and can't get it down to 30 minutes.  Generally though I have enjoyed the recipes i have taken from her show.  The pasta was nice, not loaded with sauce.  A nice complement to the heavier chicken portion. 

On Sunday we went to a local restaurant called Silo.  We had a nice 3 course meal there.  I had a traditional Caesar salad, Eggs Benedict: Which had sauteed spinach and lump crab meat on it also, served with home fries.  Final course was of course the best, a Chocolate Mousse in a edible chocolate cup.  A very good mousse.  Only disappointing note of the night was the children's serving.  They obviously don't cater to children(event though they had special servings for them).  Fries were way over down. 

Next post should be on some of my favorite sources for recipes.  Especially cooking light magazine. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

5 Courses would have been enough

So a week ago, i had quite a detailed post on my experience at Biga on the Banks, sadly I deleted it. So here is my recreation of that post, now that I am somewhat over the frustration of losing that post.

So my wife and I and another couple decided to go to Biga on the Banks and sit at the chef's table and have an 8 course meal with wine pairing.  Biga on the Banks is one of the best restaurants here in San Antonio and its chef/owner is a 6 time nominee for the James Beard Best in the Southwest Chef.  We got a hotel room downtown on the riverwalk and were ready to indulge ourselves. 

Overall the meal was great, the wine was plentiful and we were very satisfied if not overly satisfied.  Only really disappointing item was the actual chef's table.  Was hoping it would be like the one at Commander's Palace where you can really see the action. Instead we were just in a seclude alcove. Also would have enjoyed getting to meet the chef or at least thank him.  But this was minor, was really there to enjoy the food.

Here is our menu, unfortunately I can remember the wines that were paired, though for the most part they were very good pairings.

Amuse Bouche: Seared Tuna over a Lobster Salad
1st: Red Snapper over an Italian style tomatoes and olives
2nd: Seared Scallops over cheese grits topped with habanero rum pineapples
3rd: Chicken Fried Oysters over a bed of squid ink linguine with panceta mixed in.
4th: Foie Gras over french toast with a berry compote on the side.
5th: Cauliflower Soup with Caprese Salad on side
6th: Venison and Quail with Mashed Potatoes and a juniper Jus
7th: Lamb over grits with a mushroom jus
8th: Dessert trio: Sherbet, grasshopper Pie, and Lemon Meringue Pie

The highlight was no doubt the Scallops over Grits.  One of my favorite seafood meals of all time was a blackened scallops over grits that I got at a restaurant in Seaside Florida.  This one may have topped it.  Scallop was perfectly cooked.  The sweetness of the pineapple and the grits lessened the heat of the habanero and at the same time the rum lightened the sweetness of the pineapple.  The combination was perfect.

The Venison and Quail was also great.  The Juniper Jus made the dish.

Sad to say, but as I said i am an amateur foodie, but I haven't ever had foie gras before this meal.  This dish was very good.  Small portion of foie gras and french toast, but it was very buttery and smooth.

Least favorite was the the chicken fried oysters with the squid ink linguine.  Very bland, didn't taste the pancetta at all in the pasta, just not a lot of taste to it. 

I enjoyed all 8 courses and most of the 8 glasses of wine(i guess actually 9 with the amuse).  Unfortunately by course 6 my wife was done.  Too much food and too much wine.  As she told me after "5 courses would have been enough".  I disagreed 8 was perfect for me.