Thursday, May 19, 2011

Taste of Check, Please!

Chef Michelle Bernstein, host of Check, Please!

Well, you could tell just from the crowd that Chef Michy has a huge following. Everyone I talked to say they watch it religiously and many have been on the show. You can see what the show is about here. The first Taste of Check, Please! South Florida was a fundraiser event for the show. The food came from many restaurants featured on the show and was a nice mix from spicy Haitian to French cuisine. I hope you realize that I missed out tasting many because I rushed around taking photos for this blog!

Chef Michy and her husband, David Martinez opened Michy's, SRA. Martinez, MB in Cancun, Omphoy in Palm Beach and most recently, Crumb and Parchment in the Design District. I once asked her how she copes with running all the restaurants and appearing on TV, she simply said, "oh, I have good staff". Oh, she's also a James Beard Award winner, guest judge on Top Chef and started Common Threads Miami. (It was an honor to be invited to be a guest instructor at a participating Common Threads school, you can read about it here.)

Chef Michy thanked me for my cooking class certificate.

Me and Duba, a screenwriter and Wok Star!
Attending events like this isn't fun unless you hang out with foodie friends! Sorry this is so blurry, I had someone else take it and think they didn't focus first, oops!

Chef Michy's cookbook, Cuisine a Latina
Her table had the best display and decoration!
Delicious melon salad. Didn't get a chance to try the shrimp salad everyone raved about, boo!
Andrea, TV exec and Duba

Monday, May 16, 2011

Stir Fry Summer Veggies

There are no rules when it comes to combining different veggies for a stir fry. I even like soft & crunchy together. I always think of more things to add to a post, so do check back or get a feed for updates!

Here are a few tips to help you. Don't be afraid to experiment. You just can't go wrong. See how brightly colored the veggies are when you stir fry them in a cast iron wok?

Fried snow peas & red bell peppers in one batch, then bi-color sweet corn with scallions in another batch. Fry in a little oil (I use canola oil or Tea Seed Oil) & garlic and ginger. Add a dash of sherry & tamari (I use San-J Intl. brand), that simple. Both the oil(only customers in Miami) and tamari as well as many other seasonings come free in your Wok Star Kit. For me, it's so important to use fresh ingredients and good brands to bring out the best in your food.

Every diet promotes eating more veggies and a simple stir fry can transform your veggies from boring to scrumptious! The recent documentary Forks Over Knives is all about eating a whole foods, plant based diet! Roger Ebert's review concludes with this wonderful comment, "Animal protein is not necessary, or should be used sparingly as Asians did, as a flavoring and not a main course." Here's my other post about this documentary.

Tip 1: Don't fry too much in one batch because it lowers the heat in your wok.
Tip 2: Drain your veggies & start your stir fry with DRY ingredients to keep everything crunchy!
Tip 3: If you don't have a good cast iron wok, use a stainless steel pot (so veggies don't spill out of flat pan)rather than non-stick (this is the worst material for stir frying, makes your veggies soupy!)


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