Being a food blogger has many benefits besides the obvious of going to really nice restaurants and ordering lots of food with the excuse of "it's for the blog." Another great benefit is amazing tasting events at some of the best restaurants in Atlanta. Last Saturday, Chef Keira Moritz of Pacci in beautiful Midtown, Atlanta served up some of her dishes to the Atlanta Food Bloggers' Alliance complete with recipes. I have recreated a couple dishes at home.
First: Grilled Caesar Salad with homemade dressing.
Recipe for the dressing:
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8 Anchovy Fillets, chopped
1 1/2 T Worcestershire Sauce
1 t Dijon Mustard
Freshly ground mustard to taste
Juice of one lemon
1 "coddled" egg (1 minute in boiling water, cooled, and added in whole"
Incorporate all ingredients with a fork except for olive oil. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while whisking to whip the dressing. Dressing should be creamy when you're finished whisking.
When I recreated the dressing at home, I thought it was delicious but my husband felt that it was slightly too much dijon mustard - something that I love.
Cut a heart of Romaine lettuce in half, brush with olive oil, and grill until silghtly charred.
My homemade croutons that I add to my salads are very simple.
3 slices of any bread, cubed (sourdough is my personal favorite)
1 large garlic clove smashed (minced and then crushed with the back of a knife)
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Using your hands, mix together all of the ingredients until the bread cubes are entirely coated. Bake at 225* for 10 minutes. Toss the croutons and then bake for 10 more minutes.
Second dish at Pacci: Strozzapreti (gnocchi) with sage brown butter, walnuts, and Gorgonzola.
I have only made gnocchi once and it is a VERY labor intensive dish that requires time and a lot of love. Mine was nowhere near the same taste realm as the Pacci dish. Stay tuned for my own recreation and the chef's recipe!
You can taste all of the love in this dish. The gnocchi is made with a skillful hand and all of the flavors work in perfect harmony! Can't wait to eat this dish again!
Last dish: Brown Butter Pear Crespelle
2 large eggs
3/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tsp melted butter
Incorporate all of the ingredients by adding them into a blender and pulse for 10 seconds. Then let the batter sit in the fridge for at least an hour to prevent tearing during the cooking process (batter can be made up to 48 hours in advance). To cook, heat your pan over medium heat, spray the pan with cooking spray and pour a small amount of batter into the pan. Swirl the pan so that the entire surface is covered with a thin layer of batter. In about 30 seconds, flip the crepe and let the other side cook for about 10 seconds.
Warning: It will probably take you 3-4 trials to get the perfect thickness of crepe if it's your first time and depending on how much color you want on your crepe, you may want to leave it in the pan a little bit longer.
4 pears, peeled and diced
3 cups whole milk ricotta
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 stick butter
Combine the pears with the butter and cook over medium heat until the butter is brown and the pears are cooked through. Then, remove pan from heat and add the sugar and ricotta. Add the mixture to crepes, according to your desired fullness and fold or roll the crepes ad desired.
Garnish crepes with powdered sugar and micro basil.
The version I made this morning for breakfast had apples and although it wasn't as pretty or refined as Pacci's, it was still quite yummy!
My entire meal was fabulous! I can't wait to go back again and sample more things from the menu. Chef Keira Moritz has a true gift for making simple yet awesomely delicious food to leave your tummy full and happy. My experience at this event was truly unforgettable and I plan to continue to use these recipes in the future. Thanks, Chef!