Life List #62: Cook with a Great Chef… and more!

March 25, 2010

KITCHEN, LIST

This is actually way beyond my life list item. Thanks to some creative gift-giving genius for Hanukkah this year Husband gifted the opportunity to not only cook with a great chef (and someone I’ve come to know over the past few years) at a favorite restaurant, but also create a dish to be featured on their menu.

I also got this:

Amici Coat

Pretty cool, huh?

The first step, which I got to do last week, was meet with Owner/Chef Bruce and brainstorm the dish with some favorite ingredients. This became harder than originally imagined because when the opportunity was presented to me it was, well, winter. I had a dish and favorite ingredients all picked out. But then I hurt my back, the whole house got sick after sick after sick and, lo, there was The Asthma. Somewhere along the way I blinked and now it is Spring – and I had to change my game plan.

But last week the inspiration hit me. CRAB. I have some really great spring and summer growing-up memories around crab boils – and when I think of this season I taste crab in my mouth. So, there it was. The center of the dish.

Different from a Cajun crab boil, this would be a little more refined, but still fun. I decided to try a stacked salad that was pretty to look at and could work as a lunch entrée or a starter salad for dinner. Bruce helped add a great kick to it with the addition of a hit of chili paste/oil. Here is the final dish:

Crab Collonnade
From the bottom layer up… All tossed in a mustard vinaigrette.

Jumbo lump crabmeat
Julienned arugula & diced roasted asparagus
Diced tomatoes
Diced avocado

Mustard vinaigrette drizzled around the plate with large drops of chili paste/oil on four sides.

Crab Collonnade

Crab Collonnade 2

I wish I could bring you all to dinner to taste it – it’d be a helluva party.

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13 Responses to “Life List #62: Cook with a Great Chef… and more!”

  1. Judy Says:

    OMG!!!! This is gorgeous and when can we order it? Truly great memories when you talk about crabs. I know 2 people who are smiling down on you. Can I wear your jacket for 1 minute? After this yummy dish all we need is a slice of your chocolate pecan pie. Guess which aunt loves you the most? ME

    Reply

    • Pammer Says:

      Thanks! It’s on the menu as of Friday. And yes, I do believe those two special folks had some input into this one. You are welcome to wear the jacket whenever you’d like. Right, Bruce? :)

      Reply

  2. elz Says:

    How fun! What a neat experience and great story.

    Reply

  3. Amy Says:

    Pam, That looks like a terrific dish and I would love to taste it. I have been reading your blog and enjoy your humorous musings especially the post about your children and fantastic shopping finds, all wrapped together with great photography and I feel like I know you all the better. Thanks for sharing your fun life with us.

    Reply

  4. Amber, theAmberShow Says:

    What a great Life List item! That looks delicious. Thanks for using the hashtag #lifelist on Twitter or I wouldn’t have found this!

    Reply

    • Pammer Says:

      Thanks, Amber! It was awfully fun and just like in school where you get to eat what you made! The #lifelist entries are so outstanding to read. @maggie is a damn genius.

      Reply

  5. Mom Says:

    This is fabulous!!!! You’ve been able to do some mighty exciting things in your life, but this is truly the ultimate!!! What a genius husband you have to have come up with this great gift!!!
    Now you get to fulfill your love of cooking, be a great chef in a very “chi-chi” restaurant and don the white Jacket to boot!!!!!!
    Cannot wait to taste this delicious dish!!!!

    Reply

  6. Adrienne Says:

    Very, very cool! Not only a fabulous menu item, but it had to be a treat to be in the Amici kitchen with Bruce. Way to go!

    Reply

  7. Linda Marsters Says:

    I miss you. Our meetings at the hospital aren’t the same without you — however—-seems you have been verrrry busy. What a great gift. I think of you often….

    Reply

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