Sunday, March 21, 2010

What a Top Chef loser cooks for dinner

Spring cherry tomatoes with Parmesan and basil
Mixed heirloom lettuces with balsamic vinaigrette*
Grilled broccolini with dates, honey, vinegar and bacon
Burrata and squash crostini with minted apple salsa
Spring risotto with king crab, snap peas and baby radishes
Spice-smoked tri-tip with fresh herb pesto
Grilled chicken breasts with a ridiculously tasty natural jus
Roasted whitefish with leek puree, buerre blanc, preserved lemon and grilled collard greens
Strawberry rhubarb bread pudding with Chantilly cream and vanilla ice cream

Tom, Padma, Gail.
What were you thinking?
CJ* rocks.

CJ's Tomatoes
Find a good farmer.
Get a bunch of his juiciest, sweetest baby cherry tomatoes.
Wash them. (They may still be warm from the sun at this point.  This is OK.)
Place in large bowl.
Chop some fresh basil into thin strips, and add to bowl.
Drizzle with olive oil, toss.
Take some excellent aged Parmesan.  Shave a generous amount onto the bowl.
Toss again.
Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Let obnoxious nosy guest with camera have a spoonful ahead of time.

Serve the rest of the group immediately.

* Just a guess that he may still be using his old recipe for this one.

** Season Three Top Chef contestant Chris "CJ" Jacobson, eliminated for bad broccolini on a plane.   Our bacon-date broccolini was, on the other hand, a total winner! He's currently executive chef at The Yard in Santa Monica, when he hasn't been pressed in to creating dinner as an auction prize for a bunch of famished foodie parents as part of our recent school fundraiser.

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