Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Business Dining, Not Your Average Cafeteria Food Anymore

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area it's not new anymore for big companies to have onsite dining for their employees that could rival some of the best restaurants in town. Gone are the days when a company calls all the shots; now to attract and keep talent, a company needs to have good perks for the employee such as top-notch food. Food service companies catering to the needs of these corporations will feature elaborate restaurants offering all kinds of cuisine such as sushi and noodle bars to real Texas style BBQ, which one bay area company uses on a regular basis. On today's menu is dry rubbed and smoked whole organic chicken, pork baby back ribs and beef brisket. First, a special "secret" blend of spices is rubbed all over the meats and allowed to marinate and cure for 24 hours. Then it's time to spend a specified period in the semi-cool almond smoke to give flavor before going into the oven to finish cooking at a low temperature till fully cooked. We served these meats with a house made BBQ sauce and classic sides of corn on the cob, coleslaw and potato salad. It was a huge hit and the last taste of Summer for most of the employees.

Whole Chickens Smoking

Smoked Chickens and Ribs ready for the oven

Beef Brisket with Sauce ready to serve

Monday, September 17, 2012

Twice Baked Potatoes, a healthy upgrade

It was a classic 'what to make for dinner"moment the other night, I searched all of my ingredients on hand and came up with these baked and stuffed potatoes. These are close to the common ones you will find in restaurants but are not greasy and fatty with lots of cheap cheese. My version used only a little bacon and a touch of Parmesan cheese for flavor. To start I used russet potatoes wrapped in foil and baked at 400F for about a hour till soft and tender, next when they were cool to the touch they are cut in half and the inside potato pulp is scooped out and reserved, while the potatoes were cooking I shaved brussel sprouts and cooked them with olive oil, diced onions, garlic, chopped herbs and smoked bacon. The reserved potato pulp is mashed into the brussel sprout mixture with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. The hollow potato skins go back into the oven for about 15 minutes to brown and crisp up before being removed to be filled with the mashed potato, then back into the oven to brown on top with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. They are now ready to eat and served with a salad for a delicious and healthy meal.

Twice Baked Potatoes

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Mini Scallop Tostadas

Bite Size Scallop Tostadas
Mini Crispy Fried Corn Tortillas

Scallop and Corn Saute

Going to my local market is always a mystery because I never really know what I will buy; on a recent trip it was small bay scallops that caught my eye. Their small size gave me two ideas, one idea was a pasta tossed with them using Summer's best heirloom tomatoes and some of that home made basil pesto in my fridge. My second idea was Mexican seafood ceviche with plenty of jalapeno and cilantro. In the end I used that idea to make a cooked version. I started by making a sauté of the small scallops, fresh yellow corn, lime juice and cilantro. Next I cut small rounds out of corn tortillas and fried them till crisp, and then topped with mashed black beans and the scallop mixture. They turned out great, and a sprinkle of hot sauce hit the spot. I think they would be a hit at a party.