Monthly Archives: February 2010

In the Company of Greatness: An Evening with the Maestro

Restaurant Michael SmithIt’s kind of last minute, but I found out that Chef Michael Smith who, as luck would have it, is the head chef at Restaurant Michael Smith (funny how that happens) and the excellent Extra Virgin, is having a dinner with wine pairings featuring superstar Italian winemaker Antonio Sanguineti on Monday, March 1st.

The festitivities for the dinner begin at 5:30 at the Cellar Rat where you can meet Mister Sanguineti and discuss the ins and outs of making some of the best Italian wines on the planet.  The dinner begins at 6:30 at Restaurant Michael Smith and features a 6-course menu with wine pairings. 

Can you say drool?

The first course is marinated Cici Beans with (get this) grilled radicchio and cauliflower frito paired with Trevisiol Presecco.  I mean, jeez.  This course had me at Prosecco and fried cauliflower.  I can just see myself trying to trade my radicchio for more cauliflower like in third grade (only I won’t be trading for more French fries.)

If that weren’t enough, the other five courses include

  • Grilled king fish
  • Pancetta wrapped stuffed quail* (yowsa)
  • Wild boar with papardella
  • Bistecca alla flortine
  • To top off the night, vanilla panna cotta. 

(*Yes, I realize quail are cute, but they are cute and delicious.)

That’s the kind of menu one should expect from a James Beard Outstanding Chef finalist.

Last I checked, space was still available, but with seating limited, I’d make a reservation soon.  To do so, call 816.842.2202 and tell them BlogWellDone sent you.  I promise that will make absolutely no difference!

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Have Pig, Will Dinner (And Wine, too!)

GuancialeHey, like I said in my last post, Jasper’s Restaurant in Kansas City really is having a Slow Food Pork Demo and Dinner, which is proudly called from Snout to Tail (click on the link for the Google Calendar reminder.)   I’m pretty excited about it.  Scratch that, I really excited.

Why?  Well, I kind of like pork.  Especially local, organic pork.

But more than that, not only is the dinner/class a cooking demo put on by Chef Jasper (who, if you haven’t been to one of his classes, be ready to be both entertained and STUFFED full of good food), the food is really exciting.  Chef Jasper, along with other members of Slow Food, have put together a menu which accentuates the local pork including some guanciale I spied hanging in his wine cellar that he made himself.  The menu also includes Tuscan Bean Soup, Penne Amatriciana, Porchetta, and maybe some jalapeno pork?

(Need more convincing, check out the pasta con sugo all’ Amatriciana.  That’s going to be on the menu.)   Need even more more convincing?  Somerset Ridge Winery will be pairing their locally produced wines with each course in the meal.  Need even more more more convincing?  See that lovely guanciale over there?  That’s for dinner.

So if you want some great local pork, if you like good wine, if you want to learn how to cook like Kansas City’s iconic master chef, or if you just want to meet me, Blog Well Done, come to Jasper’s this Thursday.  But hurry.  Seats are limited.  Get yours by calling 816.941.6600 right now.

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#MeatlessMonday Vegan Pork Albondigas with Match Meat and Red Gold Tomato Sauce

Vegan AlbondigasBecause I can’t promote just one thing in a post, let’s do

#MeatlessMonday Vegan Pork Albondigas with Match Meat and Red Gold Tomato Sauce

Phew.  That’s a mouthful.  This post is like already like NASCAR car.  It’s just covered in ads.  Hrmm…let’s see how much worse I can make it.

Anyway, this is the promised second post in my Saturday Edition of #MeatlessMonday.  I’ve been doing a little catch up on the #MeatlessMonday tip since I missed  a few weeks.  So that’s why this is a #MeatlessMonday post.

Secondly, this is a recipe for albondigas, which is Spanish for “meatballs.”  But don’t be fooled.  Sure, there are some albondigas recipes which are pretty much like your average Italian meatball recipe or exceptional one’s at Jasper’s.  (By the way, he’s having a from snout to tail pork dinner Thursday.)  Others, though, use Latin ingredients like corn or jalapenos to give them a unique flavor.  I used this recipe as a basis for my albondigas from because it stuffed them with rice.

Third, since I am trying to do this as a #MeatlessMonday, I figured I’d turn to Very Good Butchers since they are my favorite source of vegan meats and I also had a package of ground pork vegan Match Meat in my freezer.

Fourth, most of the recipes you find for albondigas are actually for albondigas soup, which is fine, and it’s how the folks got away with using uncooked rice in the albondigas.  I, on the other hand, didn’t want a soup.  So I found this recipe from for albondigas in ancho chile sauce.  And since the recipe called for diced tomatoes, I was more than happy to use the Red Gold tomatoes that I got in the tin I mentioned yesterday on

So in the end, I took the albondigas recipe and the sauce recipe and combined them together to make dinner.

(Oh, did I mention I went to the Farmhouse for lunch and guest posted on The Bobby Pin?  And congratulations to Chef Michael Smith for his James Beard nomination and to Chef Debbie Gold for being tapped for Top Chef Masters.)

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#MeatlessMonday Le Seuer Pea Pasta with Red Gold Tomoates

Red Gold ProductsFirst of all, Chef Jasper, this recipe was not an attempt to copy your Pasta alla Nanni, though I’d be lying if I said that

Le Seuer Pea Pasta with Red Gold Tomatoes

didn’t take one of its ingredients for your famous pasta dish.  But more on that in a minute.

First thing’s first.  Welcome to the first of two #MeatlessMonday Saturday edition posts.  Yes, yes, it’s been well-documented that having #MeatlessMonday on a Tuesday, Wednesday, etc., etc. is just weird.  But I’m making up for lost time.  I missed a few weeks, but I’m back in saddle just in time for lent.  Just remember, on Fridays when you’re not eating meat, you can eat vegetarian.  You’ll love it.  Promise.

Okay, back to the dish.  As I said above, this recipe is in no way an attempt to copy world famous Chef Jasper Mirabile’s Pasta alla Nanni, though I will admit it was a huge inspiration.  In fact, I hadn’t had Le Seuer peas in years until I went to Chef’s restaurant and he served up a  pasta the Pasta alla Nanni to my wife and I.  Now, they’re back to being a pantry staple in the BWD household.

So, to Chef Jasper I give a nod of thanks and I promise that since you won’t give out the recipe for Pasta alla Nanni to anyone (including BWD, Jr.), I won’t publish any guesses on how to make it.  But I bet I can come close. 🙂

With that being said, there’s another ingredient to our battle.  The secret ingredient.

Sorry, I channeled Iron Chef there for a second.

In all seriousness, a little while ago, Red Gold tomatoes sent me the coolest freaking tin of product.  It had three cans of Red Gold tomatoes (sauce, diced, and diced with green chilies), a recipe book, a refrigerator magnet, and a model Red Gold truck that my son loved so much he wrote me a thank you card for it.  So cool. 

So I’ve been holding those cans for something special when I realized that my Red Gold tomato sauce would be perfect for a recipe like this.  Seriously, if you have been using generic tomato suace, I highly recommend you try a good quality sauce like Red Gold tomato sauce next time .   There is definitely a dfference with good ingredients.

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#MeatlessMonday Match Meat Pizza

MatchMatch Meat Pizza

It’s another #MeatlessMonday!!  But wait you say, it’s Thursday!  That’s true, it is Thursday, but I’ve been pretty lax in my support of #MeatlessMonday the past few weeks and I wanted to get back in the swing of things.  So all this week, we’re doing meatless recipes.  (By the way, next week will be a celebration of all thing seafood in honor of lent and the sacrifices made around the world by Catholics everywhere.)

Anyhoo, this recipe is pretty simple.  I included it for two reasons.  First, it’s a simple.  It’ s not quick due to the fact I’ve included a whole wheat crust recipe, but that can easily be replaced by something store bought.

Secondly, it’s vegan.

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#MeatlessMonday Camarones a la Diabla Minus the Camarones

Vegan Camarones a la Diablabut with extra diabla and some vegan crab Match meat.  All of which makes really good

Camarones a la Diabla Minus the Camarones

So, there’s a lot going on with this post today.  In brief, what I wanted to do was keep the week of #MeatlessMonday recipes theme going on, so this recipe is absolutely 100% vegan.  It doesn’t get much more #MeatlessMonday than that.

Secondly, in case you don’t know what camarones a la diabla are, they are one of my absolute favorite Mexican dishes.  Translated literally it means shrimp of the the devil, or deviled shrimp, but they are a fabulously spicy shrimp dish I order a lot at Mexican places.  The shrimp are stewed in a spicy tomato sauce and served with warm tortillas, rice, and avocado.  So good.

Of course, there’s a problem, right?  Camarones are meat.  This is #MeatlessMonday (Wednesday edition.)  That means no camarones.  So that’s when I turned to my good friends at Match and their Uh-may-ZING vegan crab made from plant proteins.  So good.

In the end, I came up with something that was not bad for a first attempt at a Mexican dish.  It still needs some work, but I think I got pretty darn close.

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#MeatlessMonday Vegetarian Quesadillas with Mushrooms

QuesadillasYeah, I know it’s Tuesday, but I want to keep #MeatlessMonday going on all week long, so how about

Vegetarian Quesadillas with Mushrooms

Okay, so a quick footnote.  This entire week, I’m going to be blogging #MeatlessMonday recipes despite the fact that only one day can actually be Monday (and that, of course, was yesterday.)  However, I missed a few #MeatlessMondays and I am atoning for it this week with lots of vegetarian and vegan recipes.

Also, I am thinking that this is timely for lent since a lot of you have to go without meat on Friday.  I promise that meatless does not have to be borning.  And who knows, maybe next week, we’ll talk fish.

Okay, anyway, let’s talk quesadillas with Blue Meanie a good mushroom strain.  So, I got this idea tonight at dinner while perusing the vegetarian section (what can I say, I was looking for ideas?)  and on the menu there were several versions of quesadillas with “marinated mushrooms.”  Some came with zucchini and other vegetables, which all sounded good, but for some reason, the idea of a simple mushroom quesadilla just sounded good.

So, let’s roll with it.

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#MeatlessMonday Creamy Potato Soup

I Make Good SoupSo the question was asked at today’s #FNI what’s my favorite soup, which has to be

Creamy Potato Soup

Specifically, the creamy potato soup from Panera served with a nice piece of whole wheat French baguette.  (Though, I answered Beef Barley soup, but that was just pandering.)  Anyway, I got to thinking how a good creamy potato soup recipe would be just the thing for a great #MeatlessMonday post.

Except for one thing.  Bacon.

I’m pretty sure one of the things that makes Panera’s creamy potato soup so good is none other than bacon.  And yes,  bacon does taste good, but this is #MeatlessMonday and so we’re going to take it out and see if we can’t make a great soup anyway.

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#LetsLunch A Little Touch of Romance

AsparagusIt’s Valentine’s Day, what are you going to do for romance?  How about a nice

Asparagus and Avocado Salad

Now, maybe you think I’ve lost my mind here and you probably wouldn’t be too far off.  But see, I know my other #letslunch compatriots are going to do romantic meals with chocolate and probably strawberries and all that fancy schmancy romantic stuff.  But I’ve found that romance is really something you have to tackle on a case-by-case basis.

AvocadoFor instance, if you want to romance me with food, show up with sushi.  Or crab legs.  Preferrably both.  And a nice sweet champagne.

If you tried that on my wife, well a) you’d have me to deal with but b) she hates seafood and doesn’t much like champagne.  She’s more of a chocolate only kind of gal.

So I’ve decided to do what I do best and turn this romantic Valentine’s Day into nice cheap potty humor.  How you might ask?  With a little help from the Romans.

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#MeatlessMonday Vegetable Stir Fry

Stir Fry

So, I was asked today about veggie stir fry recipes and after doing some searching and head scratching, I realized I hadn’t ever done a post on plain ol’

Vegetable Stir Fry

It’s an oversight I shall now correct.

Make no mistake about it.  Stir fry is so easy to do and especially with the kitchen essentials from unclutterer, it’s made not only cooking but also my life easier.  It’s also wonderful when we have a bunch of odds and ends that need to get turned into a dish just hanging out in the fridge.  Stuff like a stalk of celery, a carrot, half a green pepper, what have you.  We throw it all in a hot wok and in about 2 minutes you have a tasty, healthy, meatless, dinner.

Now, there is a trick to making a good stir fry, and it’s not what you think.  What is it?  Read on…

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