The Seattle Food and Wine Experience was huge fun! I attended the show as a food correspondent for Foodbuzz. If you haven't checked out Foodbuzz yet, you should! I tasted something like 30 wines and champagnes (there were a thousand available, but I had to pace myself!), discovered some new products, ate delectable small plates from several Seattle restaurants, picked up some recipes, but, mostly, enjoyed talking with people who are passionate about food, wine, cooking and eating.
Nearly all the mini entrees were excellent and I'm still going back and forth between two of them for my favorite taste of the show. I think Rover's chef Thierry Rautureau's Elk Bourguignon on Farro alongside Braised Rabbit with White Beans and Tomato just barely edged out my second choice. Barely. And that's only because I'm such a wild game freak. The elk was allowed to be itself in a sauce with hints of cinnamon and other 'warm' spices. Nothing overwhelmed - the flavors were perfectly balanced. And the "pop" of the farro grains was a nice counterpoint to the tender meat. The rabbit was shredded and tender, subtly flavored. Perhaps a little too subtly, but it is easy to bury the flavor of rabbit. I went back for seconds at the end of the day.
Next highest honors I give to Barking Frog chef Bobby Moore's Grand Marnier Prawns, which are the best prawn anything to ever pass my lips. The coating was sumptuous, creamy, with a perfectly light citrus flavor. The prawns were a major hit with everyone I talked to and chef Moore was kind enough to have the printed recipe there to share with his salivating crowd. Besides being a symphony in my mouth, they looked absolutely gorgeous. Food porn at its finest! These sensuous mouthfuls were enough to make me moan. And I did.
GRAND MARNIER PRAWNS
Exec. Chef Bobby Moore
20 peeled and deveined large prawns
1 1/2 c. cornstarch
1 c. Grand Marnier
4 c. orange juice
3 T. dried orange zest, pulsed in coffee grinder
2 c. mayonnaise
For the sauce, add the Grand Marnier to a sauce pan and burn off the alcohol, cool immediately. Reduce in a separate pan the orange juice to a syrup and cool immediately. Combine the Grand Marnier, orange syrup and pulsed orange zest powder with the mayonnaise and refrigerate.
To cook the prawns, heat frying oil to 350 degrees F. Dust the prawns in the cornstarch, shaking off any excess starch. Fry the prawns until crispy (about 2 minutes) and drain on paper towels. In a large bowl, toss the hot prawns in the Grand Marnier mayonnaise to coat. Serve on skewers. (My own note: I think these would be wonderful served as a starter on mixed torn greens)
There is much more to relay about the day and I'll be doing that over the next week. Reliving the tastes has made me HUNGRY, so I'm off to the kitchen to satisfy myself. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.