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PLANET BARBECUE! Cookbook Review


Steven Raichlen, the Baron of BBQ is back with a new guide to grilling around the world. Raichlen hit the road for his latest cookbook PLANET BARBECUE! visiting 60 countries on six continents to chronicle the practice of live fire grilling. His five year adventure has resulted in a glorious 638 page manual filled with over 300 barbecue recipes from around the globe.

PLANET takes you on a cultural culinary journey without leaving your kitchen… for breakfast indulge in an Argentinean steak & eggs dish called the “Buenos Aires Heart Stopper“, venture over to Belgium for a light lunch of Salmon Glazed with Belgian Cherry Beer, stop by a roadside stand for a snack of Cambodian Coconut-Grilled Corn, enjoy a Serbian Bacon Cheese Pork Roulade for dinner and finish off the night with Azerbaijan Grilled Ice Cream.

Interlaced between recipes are essays revealing Raichlen’s travel tips for each country including must try dishes and restaurants to visit. If that wasn’t enough there are also bios on some of the most famous international grill masters. The book concludes with an in-depth discussion on how to achieve the perfect live fire grilling environment at home including proper equipment and fuel to controlling cooking temps and cleaning.

PLANET takes Barbecue books to a whole new level – it is a cookbook and travel guide all rolled into one.

The first recipe we tried was Filet Mignons with Whisky Mushroom Sauce. See it here

———————————————————–
PLANET BARBECUE!: An Electrifying Journey Around the World’s Barbecue Trail
by Steven Raichlen (Workman, May 2010, $22.95).

Thank you to Workman Publishing for providing me with a review copy of this book.

Buy it here

Other Raichlen books:
The Barbeque Bible (Mike swears by this!)

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Filet Mignons with Whisky Mushroom Sauce


The first recipe we decided to prepare from Steven Raichlen’s new BBQ cookbook was Filet Mignons with Whisky Mushroom Sauce a dish from Uraguay. It’s beef wrapped in bacon smothered in a creamy wild mushroom sauce. What’s not to like?

Recipe adapted from PLANET BARBECUE!: An Electrifying Journey Around the World’s Barbecue Trail by S. Raichlen (Workman, May 2010).

Serves 4

Ingredients

Sauce:
12 ounces wild mushrooms (porcini, chantrelle)
2 tbsp (1/4 stick) butter
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tsp all-purpose flour
1 cup beef stock
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp scotch whisky
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
kosher salt & ground pepper

Steaks:
4 filet mignons (each 1.5 inches thick & 6-8 ounces)
4 slices country style bacon
8 bay leaves (optional)
butcher string

Preparation

Make the sauce:  Trim/clean mushrooms and thinly slice. Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until translucent but not brown, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and increase heat to high. Cook until tender stirring often and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, until flour evenly coats the mushrooms, about 1 minute. Stir in beef stock and cream bring to boil, stirring well. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced, 3-5 minutes, stirring often. Add whisky, mustard, lemon zest and stir until blended, about 2 minutes. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Sauce can be prepared up to 1 hour ahead and kept warm.

Prepare the steaks: Wrap a slice of bacon around the side of each filet, sandwiching 2 bay leaves, if using, between the bacon and beef on opposite sides. Tie bacon in place with butcher string. Season top and bottom of steaks with salt & pepper.

Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. To be authentic you’d grill over oak or eucalyptus embers.

When ready to cook, brush and oil grill grate. Arrange filets on the hot grate and grill to taste 4-6 minutes per side for med-rare. Don’t forget to grill the sides to brown the bacon.

Transfer steaks to plate and remove string. Spoon sauce over the top and serve at once.

See my review of the cookbook here

Buy the book here


CookBook Signing

I wrote about a new cookbook, Cooking Dinner: Simple Italian Family Recipes Everyone Can Make a couple weeks ago. Well, the authors are on a big book signing tour all over the Bay Area so go out and see them. It would make a great holiday gift.

More about the book and authors Claudia Pruett & Rima Barkett:

September signing dates (they have food too!):

September 30th
Barnes & Noble
10 am – 12 pm
Westgate Mall
1600 Saratoga Ave
San Jose,  CA

September 30th
Borders
3 pm – 5 pm
Old Town/Los Gatos
50 University Ave.
Los Gatos,  CA

Dates for the rest of the year can be found here

Buy the book: Cooking Dinner: Simple Italian Family Recipes Everyone Can Make
Website: http://www.atavolatogether.com/

Creamy Tomato Soup

tomato soup

We just received a copy of a new cookbook published by Mike’s family friend. The book is filled with mouthwatering classic Italian recipes that are simple and quick to prepare. The prominent theme throughout is the importance of eating together as a family and it stresses the benefits of getting children involved with cooking at home at an early age. Recipes come complete with kitchen tips, weekly menus and shopping lists for people on the go. It also includes useful sections that help you decide what to make with the items you have in your fridge and how to turn leftovers into a delicious meal.

The first thing we decided to make was the tomato soup because we had some ripe heirloom tomatoes that needed to be devoured. The soup turned out lovely and surprisingly light. We paired it with a grilled cheese panini. Delightful!

If you’re looking for easy, healthy and flavorful dishes pick up a copy of Cooking Dinner: Simple Italian Family Recipes Everyone Can Make by Rima Barkett & Claudia Pruett

Recipe for Creamy Tomato Soup
Adapted from Cooking Dinner by Barkett & Pruett

1/4 cup olive oil
1 minced garlic clove
1/2 cup onion, chopped fine
1 carrot, chopped fine
1 celery rib, chopped fine
4 fresh basil leaves
1 small sprig fresh oregano
1 small sprig fresh thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt
dash ground pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 28-oz can quality diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, optional

Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic,onion,carrot and celery. Saute 5-8 minutes, stirring often. Add herbs, salt, pepper and wine, reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes more. Add diced tomatoes and 1 cup broth. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 min. Remove from heat. Remove herbs and blend soup with an immersion blender or in small batches in blender. Be careful of hot liquid! Add remaining broth and cream. Reheat over low heat until barely boiling. Taste and adjust salt/pepper.

*We used 1/2 canned and 1/2 fresh tomatoes. Makes 4 small bowls or 2 large.


Book signing with Giada

Mike and I spent Sunday afternoon with celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis. Actually we stood in line for 2.5 hours and talked to her for about 30 seconds.

So, I hear about a Q&A and book signing with Giada at Santana Row for her new cookbook Giada’s Kitchen. It sounded like fun so I purchased a book from Sur La Table and with it came a ticket to the event (I had #6). This was our first book signing so we had no idea what to expect. We arrived 45 minutes early to scope things out. Since it was a ticketed event I thought there would be no more than 50-100 people allowed to see her. I WAS SO, SO WRONG! When we walked up to Sur la Table there was already a line around the corner and into the 2nd section of the parking lot (at least 150 people). So what did we do? We got in line of course. Then I sent Mike on a recon mission to see why the heck the line was so long and what happened to the Q&A. He returned to tell me that the line was for the signing and that the Q&A was at the stage set up in the center of the row and that if I wanted to see it I would have to lose my place in line. The person in line before us had ticket number 395 which she had purchased the day before so there was potentially going to be 500 + people waiting with their bag-o-books. We decided not to leave the line and take turns going to hear Giada speak. She promptly arrived at noon and did a 10 minute Q&A which wasn’t super informative because I assume her die hard fans were standing in line. We heard about her new baby, taping of the upcoming shows … typical questions. Flash forward two hours and we had our signed book and a moment with Giada. If you know Mike he wasn’t gonna just say “Hi” and take his book he needed a little chit chit time (which he took :lol:). She was nice and we were ushered to the side where you are allowed to take a photo.

The day didn’t go as expected but we can scratch this off our bucket list. I will think long and hard before going to another Sur La Table signing. I really think the function could have been run better. I was happy to hear that Giada was going to stay until the very last book was signed otherwise I’m sure you would have read about a pot & pan riot in the SJ Mercury news the next day.

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