Last weekend my brother Don and nephew Stone came to town to watch the Chicago Bears play the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. With the super popularity of Nashville Hot Chicken in Vegas, we thought it would be fun to do a “hot chicken tasting” the day before the game.
We chose 5 popular restaurants off The Strip that serve Nashville Hot Chicken, all on the south end of Las Vegas. We ordered one sandwich, with a side, to split between the three of us. If there was a choice of degree of spiciness, we chose the medium spice to be consistent.
The sandwich was rated on a scale of 1 to 10 in five different categories: chicken, spices, bun, presentation, and toppings. At the end, we reviewed our ratings and we each gave the sandwiches an overall ranking.
“If fried chicken lore is to be believed, Nashville hot chicken was created by a woman scorned. Sometime in the 1930s, there was a handsome man named Thornton Prince III living in Nashville. To put it in polite terms, Thornton was…active…on the dating scene — so active in fact that one of his girlfriends decided to seek revenge on his two-timing ways by cooking him some fried chicken with a little too much of a kick to it. The plan backfired; Thornton loved the chicken. And thus, Nashville hot chicken was born.” (from Eater Las Vegas)
Scotch Bonnet-Braised Beef Short Rib with Fall Greens and Polenta
Peanut-Coconut Brittle Drops with Oloroso Sherry
The monthly Beard Box meal kit for two is shipped overnight and costs $100. The portions are generous, and it is a delight to experience the emerging chefs’ creativity while supporting the James Beard Foundation.
For decades, cooking at the James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village has been an aspiration for many chefs and considered a career milestone. In May of 2021, they launched the Beard House Fellows program, which re-envisions the potential of the historic space into a hub of training and professional development for talented emerging chefs.
Each Fellow has a one-month residence at the Beard House where they receive hard skills training along with the opportunity to develop a meal kit that is available across the country.
We’ve been enjoying Dynamite at sushi restaurants for decades, but had never thought to prepare it at home. Recently we enjoyed another fabulous meal at Roy Choi’s Best Friend on the Vegas Strip. Every single dish was intriguing, with bold delicious flavors. His Uni Dynamite Rice was no exception.
Now, the other day I made another fantastic platter of sockeye salmon crudo from my Sitka Salmon Shares, and had some leftover pieces of salmon after I had arranged the fish on the plate. Since receiving my shipment of sashimi-grade Alaskan salmon, I’ve been looking for more raw fish recipes. I pulled out Chef Sam Choy’s cookbook, Poke, and came across his recipe for Salmon Dynamite.
As a super-tasty use for my leftover salmon pieces and a way to reimagine Best Friend’s dish… the inspiration for my Salmon and Scallop Dynamite recipe comes from Chef Roy Choi and Chef Sam Choy. A Choi-Choy Dynamite you might say.
Sam Choy is a four-time nominee for the James Beard Best Pacific Regional chef award, winning in 2004. He is often credited as the “Godfather of Poke” and the Culinary Ambassador of the Big Island. Read my interview with him about poke and sustainability here.
Chef Roy Choi’s amazing Uni Dynamite Rice is pictured above with salmon roe, sriracha, yuzu, and sesame. All the dishes we have tried are unique and mind-blowing. On a previous visit to Best Friend we had an extraordinary vegetarian Eggplant Schnitzel, read about it here.
The Chef says of his restaurant at Park MGM, “It’s Koreatown in a capsule – a portal to the streets of LA, but also rooted in what makes Las Vegas… VEGAS.”
The bright red-orange color of sockeye salmon flesh comes from eating plankton and krill while they are in the ocean. Fans of wild Alaska salmon appreciate the sockeye variety for its deep rich flavor, delightful fatty texture, and gorgeous striking color.
I recently joined Sitka Salmon Shares, a community supported fishery, where we share in the catch of Alaskan small-boat fishermen using low-impact gear that respects the ocean and its sea life. This month we received a box of Sockeye Salmon with fish from both Prince William Sound and Bristol Bay.
The dense, firm flesh makes sockeye a great fish for serving raw. And because it’s blast-frozen, Sitka Salmon is all sashimi-grade. They say, “The on-boat standards our fishermen follow, short boat trips, and individual handling of our fish ensures the quality demanded by any raw preparation. But it’s the blast-freezing process that kills parasites that could be in the fish, which would otherwise be killed by heat in cooking.”
May Your Name be Inscribed in The Book of Life
For a Good Year
Although my Jewish grandparents hailed from Russia and Romania, this Rosh Hashanah, I’m serving a dish that hails from a neighboring country – Hungary. It is one very similar to our beloved matzoh ball soup.
The dumplings, called gríz galuska, are shaped into three-sided ovals instead of round balls. They are made of farina instead of matzo meal. The batter contains a simple mix of egg, olive oil, and salt, just like matzoh balls. Similar, but different…something NEW for a NEW year.
Chicken Soup with Hungarian Farina Dumplings is definitely a delicious way to ring in the Jewish New Year! As the Rosh Hashanah celebration has no shortage of symbolic foods, my chicken soup has plenty of carrots to symbolize prosperity. They are sliced into wheels to look like gold coins. And the soup bowl is FULL of chicken, vegetables, herbs, and dumplings to symbolize abundance. I think my Nana and Papa would approve. (Read more about them and a great recipe for Kasha Varnishkes here).