Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Cooking Mardi Gras-style at Chamberlain’s Fish Market Grill in Addison
Combination cooking class and fine-wine dinner highlighted the food side of the Lenten holiday.
ADDISON Mardi Gras might bring to mind cocktails first but anyone who's spent time in New Orleans knows it's one of the best food towns around. That's the direction taken by chef Richard Chamberlain at his second annual Mardi Gras Style Cooking Demonstration and Fine Wine Dinner, held at Chamberlain's Fish Market Grill on Friday.
A cooking table, cook-top, camera, and reflective mirror turned the dining room into a demonstration site as the affable Chamberlain walked through the steps on four dishes for a group of nearly 70 attendees who filled the place. Despite his worthy demo, the night eventually became a jump-start on Mardi Gras, with the requisite "hurricane" drinks, Mardi Gras masks, strings of beads, and shots of the real thing that were projected onto a screen.
A reception opened with a show-stopping flaming Hurricane drink devised by bartender Brittany Howard, featuring actual flames when it was delivered to attendees.
"We don't let [customers] carry it, we bring it to them, with straws so they can extinguish the flame," said general manager Glenn Hartzel. The drink's ingredients included the currently trendy Don Q rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, and a jigger of dark rum that floated on top. A lemon wheel held a sugar cube that served as an impromptu wick for the dash of 151 the servers poured and ignited.
The appetizer was a shrimp stuffed with duck sausage, served with Creole mustard sauce. Chamberlain took the shrimp, split them open, and spooned on a duck sausage mixture, then folded the shrimp around it. And like all of the courses, the dish was paired with wine, namely a Kunde Estate Chardonnay, Sonoma 2007.
Crabmeat ravioli, the next course, was the large size, with a large thin sheet of pasta enclosing crab meat in a pool of red pepper cream with asparagus. Wine was Buena Vista Pinot Noir, Carneros 2006.
The entree was a Creole-dusted rib eye steak with artichoke creamed spinach, served with a glass of Geyser Peak “Walking Tree” Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 2005. The steak was a large 16 ounces, cut on the bias, with the slices stacked on top of each other. 8 ounces of meat. Artichoke creamed spinach was a little like one of those dips, but not as thick -- like creamed spinach with artichoke added.
For dessert, a chocolate crème brulee with an excellent cocktail concoction called Café du Carnival, with orange liqueur, dark crème de coco, and chicory coffee. This was a crowd-pleaser thanks to the peaked topping, made of frothy, toasted meringue.
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