As much as I love to try new food at local restaurants, nothing beats a home cooked meal! The weekend for me is the perfect time to look up fun new recipes that I’ve never tried. I mean something really special, something you’d only order at a restaurant. For example, I love beef wellington, deep fried ice cream, fresh mozzarella, fresh pasta noodles and lots of others,but I’ve never tried to make any of these things at home before. So, I thought for the up coming cooler months, where my schedule isn’t as hectic. Sundays, I will make a fun, fancy, never before prepared,home made meal!
When I was younger and just experimenting with food, I use to always make a creative meal at home inspired by restaurant food. I would sometimes pretend that I was on a cooking show 🙂 For example, P.F. Chang’s have these amazing lettuce wraps that are just to die for, I’m sure many of you have had them. Their simple, nothing an Iron Chef would have to create. But the flavors are so bold and so fresh! I searched for the closest recipe I could find to their recipe,printed it out and off to the store I went. Grabbing all the ingredients, sipping on a beer and creating some bomb ass lettuce wraps. GAWD, they were good, pretty damn close to the real deal! So from there, I would try other dishes at home. From Johnny’s ( my absolute favorite Italian restaurant here in Reno, Mario’s Portofino being a very close second) They serve the most beautiful rack of lamb and the best porcini mushroom risotto on the west coast! Loving this dish so much, I made my own lamb at home and added a fresh basil pesto. At Pho 777, in downtown Reno, has their to die for rice noodle dishes with flame broiled shrimp and pork. A healthful yet delightful mixture of meats, vegetables, rice and noodles. Very simple to make, I added other veg for fun. Turned out pretty good. The Wine and Cheese Board also located just on the outskirts of downtown Reno, they create some delicious cheese plates, such as heirloom tomato and fresh burrata cheese, warm brie plate with warm apple garlic jam and crisp apple slices and anyone of their hand crafted sammies are very delicious. At home, I took this idea and paired my warm brie with raspberry jam, fresh fruit, white wine and prosciutto. Beaujolais, an exquisite french bistro is the home of the ever so popular Steak Frites. This hits close to home for me as when I was a child in Tahiti, next to my grammy’s house in this empty field. A truck would pull up on Friday nights and they made the BEST, I’m saying it again, the BEST, steak frites, I WILL ever have, maybe because were sitting on an island enjoying the best beef we’ve had as kids. The plate came with a hug piece of chocolate gateau. Its a steak with fries and chocolate cake,that’s it. But it’s not just that, it’s the seasoning and the charred edges of the meat, the salty garlic and parsley on the fries, the way the steak juice just ever so slightly runs into those fries and makes a true woman out of any young girl learning the ropes on an island paradise. The cake isn’t cake, its gateau! Rich and decadent. Beaujolais also serves classic french dishes that my mother had made a few times for us as kids, sweetbreads with bacon and braised rabbit with roasted veggies. I’m telling you! This is busting out the Julia Child’s Mastering the art of French cooking, cookbook people! Some serious french action. I actually had to grab a napkin and wipe my lips from all the drool just talking about some of my favorite foods 🙂
But back to the topic at hand, the whole point is, why not try some of these elaborate dishes at home? I’ve made home made sushi, which turned out really good. Home made pizzas, stir fry’s, lasagnas, beef bourguignon, soups, tamales and even the popular, crepes. They were not only fun to make, but I was pretty impressed at how having a little patience and lots of love, how good the dishes turned out. I have screwed up my fair share of dishes, more so with baking than cooking,don’t get me wrong, there not all 10’s, but I can say I tried 🙂
So with all this said, what are some of your favorite restaurant meals? I’m curious to know what everyone’s eating these days?! What about family recipes? How many of you are using your great grandmothers curry recipe or your great uncles famous chili mac? Many of us keep the old traditional recipes and some of us, well, we just have to add our own special touch. Mixing it up a bit, to see if what we have created can now be the newest addition to the family recipes. Please feel free to share any recipes or stories of your creations, I’m curious to see how many other people are just as DIY! Enjoy living, loving and EATing all that is Nevada!