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Decide The Menu with Chef Keira Moritz

11 Jan

This Past Saturday I had the chance to meet up with my Atlanta Food Bloggers at Pacci Ristorante in Midtown. The Ristorante is an Italian menu that is located inside of the Palomar Hotel. This was my first time at Pacci Ristorante and WOW from the moment you walk in the place, it’s Amazing!! Shortly after I had arrived we met Executive Chef Keira Moritz!! I really didn’t know what to expect but I was taken away by her charm.  She’s a southern girl, pretty and down to earth! Chef Keira had talked with us a little about how she had ened up at Pacci. Then Chef invited us to go up to her kitchen on the roof top which is a Bar/Lounge called AltoRex.

This was my first experience being right in a restaurant kitchen and seeing how they cook and prepare the food. Chef Keira and her crew,  made up 4 wonderful dishes for us! The first dish was a Grilled Caesar Salad, I love caesar salads but having them be grilled adds a extra smokey flavor to them. I also video taped Chef as she was preparing the Grilled Caesar Salad. (click here to watch)

 

Grilled Caesar Salad 

One head of Romaine lettuce cleaned and cut in half

For the dressing

1 clove of garlic (finely chopped)

1/3 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

8 anchovy fillets (chopped)

1 ½ Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce

1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard

Pinch of ground pepper and salt (to your taste)

Juice of 1 Lemon

1 “coddled” egg (one minute in boiling water, then cooled, peeled and added in entirety)

 

In a large wooden salad bowl, mash the garlic with a fork.

Add chopped anchovy fillets, Worcestershire, mustard, lemon juice, and coddled egg.

Blend with garlic mash the anchovies really well.

Mix in the olive oil, sparingly, with a fork until it is well incorporated.

The dressing should appear “creamy”

Taste it to see if you have added just the right amount of olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon.

I’m posting a few other photo’s from this event and the food that Chef Keira had made. It was truly an amazing day spent with a Chef, and foodie friends!Strozzapreti: Priest Stranglers

Strozzapreti: Priest Stranglers

3 Pounds Russet potatoes
2 eggs
1 ½ – 2 cups all-purpose flour
Scant freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt
Pre heat the oven to 425 degrees F
Spread a layer of kosher salt on a baking sheet and arrange the potatoes on top, this will allow heat to circulate 360 degrees around the potatoes until a bit overcooked, about 45 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle, cut in half, and scoop out the flesh. Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer or grate them on the large holes of a box grater. You should have about 2 cups. Make a mound of potatoes on the counter with a well in the middle, add 2 of the egg yolks, nutmeg, and salt. Mix in the potatoes and mix well with hands. Sprinkle ½ cup of flour over the potatoes and using your knuckles, press it into the potatoes. Fold the mass over on itself and press down again.
Sprinkle on more flour, little by little, folding and pressing the dough until it just holds together without kneading it work any dough clinging to your fingers back into the dough. If the mixture is too dry, add another egg yolk or a little water. The dough should give under slight pressure. It will feel firm but yielding. To test if the dough is the correct consistency, take a piece and roll it with your hands on a well-floured board into a rope ½ inch in diameter. If the dough holds together, it is ready. If not, add more flour, fold and press the dough several more times, and test again.

Keeping your work surface and dough lightly floured, cut the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about ½ inch in diameter. Cut into ½ inch-long-pieces. Lightly flour the gnocchi shape.

As you shape the gnocchi, dust them lightly with flour and scatter them on a baking sheets lined with parchment paper or waxed paper. Poach the gnocchi in simmering water until floating, you can do this in batches once each batch is removed, drain and toss with a little olive oil, let cool then refrigerate several hours or overnight. To reheat, dip in hot water until the gnocchi float.

In a separate sauté pan place heat on medium and place # tablespoons of butter and set it to brown, half way there add sage, toasted walnuts. Once the gnocchi float drain and add to this mix. Garnish with gorgonzola.

This was the most amazing Gnocchi I have ever had!! I keep replaying every bite I took, over and over again! I’ve tried Gnocchi before and didn’t like it because to me it felt like I was eating a big half-cooked dough ball…yuck! But Chef Keira has opened my eyes to the New Gnocchi!! I don’t know how she did it…maybe it was her magical touch or Joey’s but somehow they have made me into a gnocchi believer again!! I still don’t think I can have it anywhere but at Pacci!

Chef also made Brown Butter Pear Crespelle which I gobbled that up in one second 🙂 Brown Butter and Sugar who wouldn’t love anything that would go on!

Chef and her crew ended the wonderful afternoon by making smores. Yummy!

I want to give a Big Thanks to Chef Keira and her team at Pacci Resturant in Atlanta for letting us come in her kitchen and taste her amazing food!  Thanks so much Chef.
 
 
 
 
 

 

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Marlows Tavern

14 Dec

Let me start by saying it is freezing cold today here in Atlanta!! With a wind chill the temperature was 1 degree!!!!  I knew for lunch today I would need something that would warm me up! One of my favorite places to eat year round is at Marlows Tavern. Every time I go to Marlows the food is AMAZING!! I have never ordered one thing that I could say was somewhat bad! Now back to the reason why I wanted to eat their today. So on a cold day or on a day where I need some soup Marlows Tavern is my to go place! They have in my opinion the best “Chicken Queso Soup” ever! I dream of this soup, it’s so creamy and the chicken is so tender with some southwest spices this soup is amazing! Not only do I love the soup I love their  “J.T.’s Kettle Chips” for a starter, then if you’re a salad person order the “Black and Blue Steak”. Now onto the main dishes,  if you need a quick bite order the “Buffalo Chicken Wrap” it’s wonderful. If you want a little more try the “Shrimp and Grits” or the “Infamous Fish Tacos.” I love taking friends to Marlows Tavern to try out new menu items and the staff there is always friendly. With Marlows Tavern being  priced very reasonable you will have a meal that will be enjoyable for you and your friends.