Yes, my friends, it is here. My favorite Top Chef Theme and yours: Restaurant Wars.
In Season 1, Tiffani, Dave, and Harold teamed up with an American Workshop Concept, serving classic American Food such as Tuna Tartare (don't ask, it's not classic American, but they did it as sort of an homage to a dish Harold created in Episode 5), Roasted Chicken, and a Fruit Crisp. It doesn't sound too impressive, but one thing we have learned over the years in Top Chef is that sometimes simple is better. Let's see if it worked.
They were against Leanne, Stephen, and Miguel's Spanish restaurant, Sabor. Their menu included a tapas trio, red snapper with crispy risotto cakes, and olive oil ice cream.
It turned out that the American Workshop won, due in no small part to Dave's friendly demeanor at the front of the house, which won over diners and judges alike.
Let's get down to what was really important in this episode. If you thought it was the food, you are strongly mistaken. No, no. It was the line that was heard round the world. A little ditty that goes a little something like this:
I'm not your bitch, bitch!
Ah, yes. Sweet, often nervous and fidgety, Dave, put the evil Tiffani in her place once and for all. And not only did he put Tiffani in his place, he started what is now the Bravo TV phenomenon of creating T-Shirts for their reality TV programming. You, too, can now thank Dave for your Housewives of Orange County T-Shirt with two orange slices going across your boobs. It is capitalism at its finest. Click here for your very own I'm Not Your Bitch, Bitch T-Shirt.
This was a great week for me for several reasons - All of the dishes were relatively simple, there were no recipes with hundreds of ingredients (there were no recipes at all, being that these were pretty straightforward), and I would have carte blance to prepare what I like.
I could not find sashimi grade tuna, so I skipped the Tartare Course and went straight to the main. I was rifiling through my first EVER (seriously, I remember it like it was yesterday) Food and Wine Magazine, with a section from Thomas Keller and his pastry chef for a delicious summer meal with Roasted Chicken. He served the chicken with wilted arugula heirloom tomatoes with a summer succotash and pickled pearl onions.
I only followed the recipe for the pickled onions, but used the rest as a guide. I've linked to Thomas Keller's Roasted Chicken Recipe, which is the most beautiful recipe ever. Dry Chicken. Salt Chicken. Put Chicken in oven. Leave it alone for an hour. Eat it the way I tell you (yes, he tells you how to eat it).
I then made a Banana Flambe Crisp with a Hot Butter Rum Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream. Yes, it sounds as good as it was. I will post about it tomorrow.
Vine Ripened Tomatoes Stuffed with Summer Succotash adapted from Food and Wine Magazine
Preheat the oven to 425°. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and corn and boil until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain the beans and corn, transfer to a bowl and let cool.
Slice off the bottom of each tomato so it sits flat. Using a knife, cut around the center of each tomato to form a cone that can easily be removed once the tomato is baked. Brush the tomatoes with olive oil and set them in a large pie plate, stem side up. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper and roast just until tender, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly, then spoon out and discard the centers to make room for the succotash.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoons of the butter in the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook the onion until very soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the green beans and corn and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and the chives and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the succotash into the tomatoes and serve warm or at room temperature.