With the addition of one single component, Japanese Matcha Green Tea Powder, the now-famous cheesecake has morphed into something completely different. Here, the cake has a gorgeous striking green color, and the flavor has also changed dramatically. The recipe brings together ingredients from Basque and Japanese cultures for a novel fusion dessert.
We’ve made Basque BURNT Cheesecake several times, and it is always a big hit. With no fruit topping, no crust and five simple ingredients – cream cheese, sugar, salt, eggs, and cream – it is astonishing how absolutely fabulous the original cheesecake actually is…it is baked in a very hot oven so the top and bottom caramelize where the insides remain soft and luxurious.
The cheesecake recipe was originally developed by Santiago Rivera, Chef of La Viña in San Sebastian, Spain. The Chef says, “Its popularity amongst our clients have become La Viña Restaurant’s Cheese Cream Cake a great classic of the San Sebastian cuisine.”
Matcha Green Tea has an intense and complex flavor profile with vegetal grassy flavors, a unique sweet nuttiness, and savory umami notes.
The vibrant green hue is due to the high concentration of chlorophyll in the leaves, a result of the bushes being covered up in shade for about 3 weeks before harvesting. The whole leaves are steamed, dried, and then finally stone ground to a fine powder.
Here is a black cod dish inspired by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, but probably not in the way one would think. The legendary chef’s arguably most popular recipe is Miso Marinated Black Cod. A preparation that is absolutely worth every accolade. We recently enjoyed his signature black cod fillet at Nobu Paris Las Vegas, along with several other incredible dishes.
But here, I am preparing Alaska black cod simply, sautéed with crispy skin. It is served over a complex broth inspired by Nobu’s cookbook Nobu West where he shares a soup made with watercress (or spinach), dashi, and soy milk.
Black cod’s silky-rich luxurious flesh and its contrasting crispy skin are complemented by the extraordinary broth where spinach brings bright earthy green flavor and color, dashi adds umami and hints of the sea, tamari for salty notes, soy milk for a light creaminess, and rice vinegar for acidity. Steamed white rice is served on the side, it is heavenly dipped in the spinach dashi. Micro watercress is a nod to Chef Nobu’s original recipe.
A couple of years ago we had a wonderful dining experience at the Mayfair Supper Club at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Fine food and wines, impeccable service, and mesmerizing entertainment made for a most memorable evening. Totally enamored by their Heirloom Tomato Salad, I re-created it here.
Well… we recently returned to celebrate my sister’s birthday. And the Mayfair Supper Club again did not disappoint with its glitz and glamour and old-school clubby ambiance.
Recipes for the popular Korean tofu stew, Sundubu(soft tofu) Jjigae(stew), are flexible. The recipes always include red chili powder and soft tofu, then perhaps add fresh vegetables and/or kimchi; the broth can be anchovy stock, chicken stock, or vegetable broth or water; it can be vegetarian or made with beef, pork belly, or seafood; the salty component can come from soy sauce, fish sauce or salt; sometimes an egg is added… sometimes not.
It’s spicy, silky, salty, and ultimately satisfying. It is a fast and easy dish, changing ingredients with whatever is at hand. Steamed white rice is served on the side to complement and balance the bubbling hot stew.
We recently had an extraordinary dinner at their newly opened location in the Red Rock Casino…at what is widely agreed to be the best Thai restaurant in Las Vegas, Lotus of Siam.
Since 1999, Chef Saipin Chutima and her family have owned and operated this world-renowned restaurant. Chef Saipin’s cooking revolves around the Northern Thai recipes passed down from generations of her family. She received the coveted James Beard award for Southwest Region Chef in 2011.
Lotus of Siam’s 3rd location at Red Rock Casino Resort opened in November 2022, with Saipin’s daughter, Penny, at the helm. The design of the restaurant is casual yet breathtaking, and everything one would expect from a new Red Rock concept. Eater Vegas chose their Chiang Mai-inspired style as the Best Design of the Year.
The elevated food is obviously not your local hole-in-the-wall Thai menu (although there is nothing wrong with that!). And the award-winning wine list and service are impeccable. We enjoyed a bottle of the lovely HeavenSake with our meal.
We shared several dishes – all excellent – some highlights included Chilean Sea Bass with Sweet & Sour Sauce, Penny’s Ceviche, Garlic Prawns, and of course the Crispy Duck Panang.
By the way, their base sauce recipes are a secret. Only three people know the recipes according to Chef Saipin in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Craving the exotic flavors of Lotus’s stellar dish, I set out to create my own version of Crispy Duck Panang.