Ultimate Bistro Salad: Salade de Laitue

Ultimate Bistro Salad: Salade de Laitue

Ultimate Bistro Salad:
Salade de Laitue

Living whole heads of Bibb lettuce, high quality vinaigrette components, and the synergistic combination of a few fresh herbs result in a deceptively simple yet exquisitely balanced salad, one that is the best imaginable of its kind. Period.

Chef Thomas Keller writes in his fabulous bistro cookbook Bouchon, “The word laitue comes from the Latin word for milk, from the milky juices some lettuces can exude. Hearty, buttery Bibb leaves are a good example of the rich juicy quality lettuce can have. They’re so big and rich, in fact, that this salad almost qualifies as a meal in itself.”

Atelier Atalore, Las Vegas

Salade de Laitue Recipe

Continue reading “Ultimate Bistro Salad: Salade de Laitue”

Petite Lobster Tail, Asparagus Cream, Caviar

Lobster, Asparagus Cream, Caviar

First Course
Petite Lobster Tail, Velvety Asparagus Cream, Caviar

Looking for a stunning start to your next dinner party? To entertain in the New Year in style? Replace that ubiquitous dinner salad with a petite lobster tail atop a luscious asparagus cream at your next soirée. Even if it is just a soirée for two…

Lobster and asparagus have always made a stylish pair, so here asparagus is turned into a luxurious cream sauce while a fancy petite lobster tail becomes a posh vehicle for caviar.

And the beauty of this dish it that it is equally exquisite served either hot or cold. Depending on the occasion, the weather, your menu, your mood… whatever it may be – choose the hot or cold version for your very elegant first course.

Petite Lobster Tail Recipe

Continue reading “Petite Lobster Tail, Asparagus Cream, Caviar”

What to Serve with Caviar

What to Serve with Caviar

Champagne and Caviar

What to Serve with Caviar?

Caviar is always a good idea. And they don’t always have to be the most expensive fish eggs on the block. A jaunty presentation with several great accompaniments, and a favorite sparkling wine or chilled vodka can make for a most memorable experience.

Purists prefer to eat expensive caviar off the back of the hand, between the index finger and thumb so as to enjoy that pure unadulterated burst of the sea.

But it is also quite fun to put out many accompaniments and let your guests experiment with their own special pairings and combinations. Try fresh-shucked oysters with a dollop of crème fraîche topped with caviar. Or maybe a warm blini with butter, hard-cooked egg yolk and finely minced onion with caviar on top…

Perhaps 2021 will be a year to indulge and to allow oneself to enjoy life’s finer pleasures… and not wait for a special occasion?

Continue reading “What to Serve with Caviar”

Got a Blender? Make this Cold Soup!

Chilled Beet, Fennel, Kefir SoupChilled Soup Bliss

Beet, Fennel, Kefir, Sour Cream
Horseradish, Lemon, Garlic, Dijon Mustard

You can chug this chilled soup from a tumbler and be in heaven, but ladle it into cold shallow bowls and garnish with some fantastic accompaniments, and it will be one of the most extraordinary hot weather soups you’ll serve this summer.

It is garnished with a dizzying array of chopped hard boiled egg, a kefir drizzle, radish, sliced pickles, lemon, chives, and fennel fronds.

The best part is the mind-blowing complex flavors with tangy notes from the kefir, earthiness from beets, hints of anise from fennel, a pungent kick from the Dijon mustard and a peppery kick from the horseradish.

The second best part is how easy it is to make. Combine the soup ingredients in a blender until smooth, chill until nice and cold – and there you have a perfect summer soup… simple and easy enough to enjoy for lunch today or with jazzy garnishes that make it elegant enough to serve at your next al fresco dinner party.

This recipe was inspired by the famous Eastern European Cold Beet Soup called Holodnik. I add fennel, Dijon mustard, garlic, and prepared horseradish to the traditional ingredients for a more spicy and complex flavor profile. Chopped bread & butter pickles replace the usual cucumber to add sweet and sour elements.

Chilled Beet, Fennel, Kefir Soup Recipe

Continue reading “Got a Blender? Make this Cold Soup!”

Compelled by Stanley Tucci To Make a Negroni

To Make a Negroni

A Negroni by the Pool

After watching Stanley Tucci prepare the ubiquitous Milanese cocktail on Instagram, I felt compelled to make a Negroni.

His definitive pronouncement of “that’s good” after a sip of his aperitivo drove me to make the legendary Italian drink right then and there. Well, that, and his suave debonaire manner…you just have to see the video for yourself.

It was neat to see Mr. Tucci concoct a cocktail especially because we just re-watched the movie Julie & Julia as a diversion from these pandemic days, where the actor excels as Julia Child’s husband Paul.

As luck and a well-stocked bar would have it, I had all the ingredients necessary, including my favorite vermouth in the refrigerator, one fresh orange on hand, and frozen ice orbs. And today just happened to be opening day at the pool, Le Résort Ataloré!

So we enjoyed a Negroni by the Pool, basked in the exceptionally warm weather and simply uttered, “that’s good.”

Just like Stanley Tucci.

What Does a Negroni Taste Like?

Continue reading “Compelled by Stanley Tucci To Make a Negroni”