Daring Parings” on ABC’s “The Taste”
ABC’s new cooking competition series, “The Taste,” premiered on January 22nd to rave reviews. Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre and Brian Malarkey, four of the most acclaimed masters in the food world, act as mentors to teams of contestants made up of professional chefs and home cooks. The catch? The mentors must judge the competitors’ dishes blind with no knowledge of whose creation they’re sampling or who they could be sending home each week.
Making a name for the City of Trees is our very own Chef Adam Pechal of two popular Sacramento restaurants, Tuli Bistro and Restaurant Thir13een, and competing on the show on Team Malarkey. Lucky for fellow SacFoodies Jenna Buhagiar, John Armato and I, we were fortunate enough to be able to attend Chef Pechal’s live viewing party for this past Tuesday’s “Daring Parings” episode of the show. The episode challenged contestants to create a dish to pair with Alamos Malbec, (one of our clients here at Fleishman-Hillard), a bold Argentinian wine known for its flavorful and food-friendly qualities.
We enjoyed a delicious menu prepared by Chef Pechal and his Restaurant Thir13teen team, including Honey-nut Squash Soup with Salted Cream, Bouillabaisse with Saffron Rouille, Drunken Sirloin with Chimichurri and Chocolate Blackout Cake for dessert.
Although Chef Pechal was not the winner of the “Daring Parings” episode of “The Taste,” he is still in the game, so we’ll certainly continue to root for him week after week! In the meantime, if you are craving the winning recipe from the “Daring Parings” challenge you’re in luck because we’re serving it up right here, courtesy of Alamos Wines and contestant Chef Gregg Drusinsky.
Five Spice Crusted Short Rib with Eggplant and Miso Black Garlic Jus
Paired with Alamos® Malbec
Recipe by Chef Gregg Drusinsky, ABC’s “The Taste,” Season 1
2 small eggplants
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Salt to taste
10 small shallots, sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup sake
3 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cluster maitake mushrooms
4 ounces smoked eel
2 tablespoons white miso paste
1 head black garlic, sliced
1 pound boneless beef short ribs
2 teaspoons five spice powder
2 teaspoons smoked salt
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 teaspoons ground bonito flakes*
6 green onions, white end sliced, green tops cut in chiffonade
½ bunch cilantro, small leaves picked
Char the whole eggplants over a flame until black and soft. Scoop out the insides from the skin and pulse in a blender with sesame oil; season with salt.
To prepare jus, sauté shallots and garlic in canola oil in a large saucepan until soft and aromatic. Add sake and reduce by half. Add chicken stock, soy sauce and mushrooms and cook for 20 minutes. Reduce heat and add eel; simmer for 10 minutes more. Pour mixture through a fine strainer to remove solids. Place miso and black garlic in a blender. Slowly add the mushroom broth, blending until smooth.
To prepare short ribs, season meat with five spice powder and smoked salt. Heat oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Sear meat on all sides; reduce heat and cook until medium rare. Set aside for 5 minutes then thinly slice.
To plate, arrange sliced short ribs over eggplant puree then drizzle jus around short ribs. Garnish with bonito flakes, green onions and cilantro. Serves 4-6.
* Bonito flakes are available in the Asian foods section of most supermarkets