This past weekend I finally made beef wellington. This dish has been on my list of dishes to try ever since seeing it on MasterChef. I did a lot of preparation and research before making this dish so I could understand all the steps involved in making such a complex dish. I combined a few different recipes but this video was a big help in seeing how to execute some of the more technical aspects of this meal, beef wellington video. This recipe is for special occasions. It takes a lot of time to prep but in the end it turns out great. just make sure to take your time as you work through the recipe and trust your meat thermometer. For a nice medium rare pull the wellington out of the oven when the internal temperature reaches 125. As the roast rests it the temp will rise to 130-135. When cutting the wellington use a sharp chef’s knife to prevent the pastry from shredding and falling off. Enjoy.
Tomorrow morning I am going to the open casting call for MasterChef in Philadelphia. I have been working on the dish that I will be presenting for a few weeks now and am finally happy with how it tastes and how it looks when plated. Coming up with this dish was a fun experience. It allowed me to work with blending and mixing flavors as well as helped me with plating creativity. I’m very excited for this opportunity and will write about my experience at the casting call in an upcoming blog post. For right now I’m keeping the dish I am submitting a secret but I will also write about the process I went through to create the dish in a future post.
This post will be much different than my usual food posts. I started watching Breaking Bad early on and thought it was fantastic. I was happy to see how popular it became as the last half of season five premiered this summer and loved even more as its popularity grew from week to week. For the longest time I was 100% a supporter of The Wire as being the best television series I had ever watched. After yesterday, Breaking Bad now holds that top spot in my opinion. I loved every second of the finale. Vince Gilligan wrapped up every loose end imaginable, which was perfect for Breaking Bad. Walt was able to provide financially for his family with the help of Grey Matter. The best hit men West of the Mississippi moment was classic Walt using his wit to make sure his final wishes were completed. Walt finally admitting that he didn’t do all of this for his family but for himself was great. He finally stopped lying to himself and his family in that moment. My favorite aspect of the finale was how the story ended for Jesse. I think every Breaking Bad fan was happy that he was able to kill Todd for everything he put him through. Although it was predictable that scene was so fulfilling. Jesse finally standing up to Walt and not killing him I felt fortified Jesse as the only force of good in the dark world of Breaking Bad. He said he didn’t want anyone else to die and stuck too it. Although you are lying to yourself if you didn’t think he was going to run Walt down with his car a few times as he pulled away. All in all I was very pleased with how Breaking Bad was wrapped up, sad to know that the show is over but I enjoyed the ride. And Yes I made Blue Sky rock Candy.
This past weekend I went down to Richmond Virginia to visit my sister. First I need to say that Richmond is a great food and beer city. There are numerous bars and restaurants with great food and drink. Before going down to Richmond I did some research looking for a few restaurants to check out and I stumbled across En Su Boca, a taqueria and cantina that just opened up a few weeks ago. The name is Spanish for “in your mouth” and pokes fun at the fact that the building that now houses En Su Boca used to be a notorious adult bookstore.
We got to En Su Boca around 1130 for an early lunch. Their menu is simple but the food is high quality and very delicious. My sister and I ordered chicken, carne asada, carnitas, chorizo, and fish tacos. The tacos were incredible. Each one tasted fresh and you could tell that the chefs took their time on constructing the recipe for each taco. My favorite was the carne asada taco followed closely by the fish taco. We also got a side of drunken beans and chips and salsa. The chips came with three different kinds of salsa; a pico de gallo, tomatillo salsa, and a habanero salsa. The habanero salsa had a good sweetness then finished with quite the kick. My favorite salsa was the tomatillo salsa. The service was superb, the wait staff were very friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful and answered any questions we had about the menu.
If you find yourself in Richmond I highly recommend checking En Su Boca out, you wont be disappointed! You can find their a link to their website and facebook page below.
While I was in London I had my first glass (well it turned into a pitcher) of Pimms and lemonade. Usually when I am in England I am a strict real ale guy. However, it was a nice summer day and I decided it would be a good idea to try a traditional English summer drink. Pimms is a gin based liqueur usually served over ice or with lemonade (not still lemonade, more of a lemon lime soda something along the lines of sprite or seven-up) I was surprised at how much I liked the drink. It was very refreshing and made for a nice break as Gemma and I walked around London. If you are looking for a nice change of pace try a Pimms and lemonade for a refreshing summer drink.
Sorry about the lack of new posts the last few weeks but I was over in England for a few weeks visiting my girlfriend Gemma. I just got back on Friday so the blogging will be picking up quite a bit. Expect to see a lot of England centric posts over the next week or two. I am also competing in a Rib Off on August 24th and will be keeping you updated on the process of determining the rub, sauce, or glaze I will be using as well as the cooking process and contest results. I also have another project in the works that I am working on and will reveal more later on. Stay tuned for the exciting stuff coming up on Smartchefblog!
This past weekend I went down to Baltimore with my roommates from college for our annual crab feast. The past few years we have gone to a crab house but this year we decided to buy the crabs from a seafood market and have them at our buddy’s house. We got the crabs from The Crab Depot, The crabs were steamed perfectly and the crabs were all quite sizable.
To go with the crabs we grilled up some corn and other veggies then put down the newspaper and started the feast. It turned into an epic battle of man versus the sea and lasted over 3 hours. It turned out to be a great weekend full of good food, good beer, lots of beer, and good friends. I can’t wait till next year!
On Saturday I went into Philadelphia for the home brewing contest at Triumph Brew Pub in Old City. The contest was organized by beer type then the top two beers of each style advanced to the final tasting. Our friend Jerry Caruso brewed a fig Belgian beer that I thought should have won best of it’s category but the judges didn’t see it that way.
After the judging rounds everyone was able to go around and taste all the various beers that were in the contest. After Triumph we moved over to Fado’s Irish Pub for a few drinks.
After Fado’s we went over to The Dandelion. I love The Dandelion for their cask ale selection. Saturday was no different. They had three on cask that were delicious. However it was a session ale by Victory Brewing that turned out to be the highlight of Philly Beer Week for me. The beer was called Melon Session Ale, it had a sweet start but finished like a good pale ale.
After talking to our bartender Chris we learned the unfortunate news that Victory may not make this beer again. If you have had the pleasure to try this beer, or if you have not but would like to try in please shoot Victory and email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know you would like them to keep making this great summer beer.
Last night I went to Isaac Newton’s in Newtown, PA for the Founders Brewing Company tap takeover. They had 5 or 6 Founders beers on tap. Unfortunately the kicked the keg of Kentucky Breakfast Stout within the first 30 minutes of the tap take over which was disappointing yet also quite impressive. I tried three beers at this event.
The first was the Double Trouble IPA, This Imperial IPA was very similar to the Dogfish Head 120 but with a much nicer finish. This is a great sipping beer and went well with the pork chop I ordered.
The second beer I tried was the Curmudgeon Old Ale. I was very surprised by this beer. It was very smooth and finished like a mellow scotch. This oak aged ale is a great easy drinking beer but be warned it has a 9.8% Abv.
The last beer I had was Founders All Day IPA this beer has become my recent go to anytime I see it on tap. It is a very easy drinking IPA and is not overly hoppy. A great beer to drink during the summer when you are just hanging with some friends.
On Friday night I went over to the Dogfish Head tap takeover at Uno’s Chicago Grill in Bensalem, PA. I ordered one flight and one 120 minute IPA. The flight contained four beers. Sixty-one, Black and Blue, Burton Baton, and Palo Santo Marron. The Sixty one is twist from the 60 minute ipa and uses the same ingredients plus the addition of Syrah grape must. I enjoyed this beer, it was very easy to drink and had great flavor throughout. The second beer in the flight was the Black and Blue. The Black and Blue is a Belgian-style golden ale fermented with black raspberries and blueberries. This beer was a little too sweet for my tastes. The third beer was the Burton Baton, an oak aged English old ale Imperial IPA hybrid. This was my favorite beer of the flight. It had a great hoppy taste and nice accents from the oak barrel. The final beer of the flight was the Palo Santo Marron brown ale. This beer is a great winter beer so the fact that it was 90+ degrees when I was drinking this took away a bit of the enjoyment but overall it was a good ale with hints of vanilla and caramel.
Along with the flights I also ordered a 120 minute IPA
I’m probably going to get torn apart for this but I was not the biggest fan of the 120. The first sip is good with a great IPA flavor but I feel the aftertaste kills the beer. I find it tastes like someone dropped a shot into the beer. I know this is a high alcohol content beer but I’m just not a fan of the after taste. Overall I enjoyed the my first event of Philly Beer Week and look forward to the next one.