The Vegas Gourmand

Food Via Vegas

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The Junk Dog

Not for the faint-of-heart (or for those with heart conditions):

Roast a hot dog over a fire of burning trash.

Top with any (and most importantly) all condiments on hand. Recommended, but not limited to: ketchup, mustard, relish, pickles, onions, sauerkraut, peppers, salsa, hot sauce, chili, mayo, cheese, garlic salt, pepper, sour cream and BBQ sauce.

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Perfect Chicken Liver Gravy

I love gravy. Here’s my new favorite chicken gravy recipe. It’s really simple:

2 14 oz. cans chicken stock
1/2 cup Riesling wine
6 oz. chicken livers
1/2 small white onion, finely minced
4 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. chili powder
Salt & pepper to taste

Add all ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced to half. Remove chicken livers and dice them. Return them to the gravy. If you want to thicken it more, just stir in some corn starch slurry.

I know what you’re thinking: “Riesling?” The sweetness from the wine adds a wonderful balance to the savory from the meat flavors. It’s delicious.

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Shrimp Fried Lollie Rice

I was cooking tacos with rice and refried beans tonight, when my Twitter friend @lollieshopping gave me some inspiration for this recipe. I have named it in her honor. Here’s the ingredient list:

2 cups pineapple coconut juice
1 cup long grain white rice
2 tbsp. butter
1 clove garlic, miced
6 oz. baby shrimp
1 egg
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 tsp chili powder
1 lime
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1-2 dried chili de arbol
Salt & pepper to taste

In a pan, lightly sear the shrimp and set aside. Combine the pineapple coconut juice, 1/2 the juice of the lime, butter & soy sauce in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Add the egg and break it up in the boiling mixture with a fork. Add the garlic, onion, pepper, shrimp, chili, 1/2 the cilantro and remaining spices. Then, add the rice. Return to a boil, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Once done, fluff the rice, add the remaining lime juice, cilantro and a pinch of lime zest. Serve to accolades.

For additional inspiration (particularly women’s fashion), visit Lollie Shopping.

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You Say Meatloaf, I Say Hedgehog

I ate a lot of meatloaf growing up. A lot of meatloaf with ketchup glaze smothered over the top. Nasty, nasty ketchup glaze.

Then, I discovered the “hedgehog.” If my memory serves me correctly, Kenneth Branagh described this to a late night talk show host, but I can’t find any record of that (if you can confirm or deny, drop me a line). So, here it is as popularized by the Two Fat Ladies.

I’ve tried this with the liver, but practically everyone I ever cook for doesn’t like liver, so that’s out (maybe I hang with the wrong crowd?). Here’s my adapted recipe:

1 lb. each of ground beef, ground pork, ground turkey
1 medium onion, diced
6 oz. mushrooms, sliced
3/4 package of bacon
6 oz. diced tomatoes
2 eggs
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1/4 cup fresh parsley
2-3 bay leaves
1 tbsp. butter
Salt & pepper to taste

Saute the mushrooms in the butter. While cooling, in a mixing bowl combine all other ingredients except the bay leaves and bacon. Add the mushrooms and mix together thoroughly.

In a roasting pan, shape the mixture into a loaf. Cover the loaf with the bacon, wrapping the end underneath. Insert the bay leaves between the bacon, but leave them partially sticking out to be removed after cooking.

Place in a preheated oven at 350 for 1 hour, 15 minutes. Once done, remove the bay leaves, slice & enjoy!

I’ve actually played around with this recipe quite a bit and have a few enjoyable alternate versions to share in future posts.

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Filed under recipe meatloaf ground beef ground turkey ground pork bacon

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Monster Mash Redux

Since I posted my mashed potato recipe, I’ve experimented with a few new ingredients and I’ve got a new favorite way to prepare them. Here’s the rundown:

6 medium potatoes
6 oz. soft goat cheese
1/3 c. goat milk
1/2 stick butter
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. chives (fresh is better, but freeze-dried works as well)
salt & pepper to taste

Again, I like mine super creamy, so boil the potatoes for about 20 minutes after they’re done. At that point they ought to be practically ready to fall apart on touch.

Then, throw everything together and mash it up. The goat cheese and milk give the potatoes a gamey flavor and the chili powder adds just a little kick.

This one certainly isn’t for everyone, but if you enjoy gamey meat, this is the perfect potato companion.

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Zagat Schmagat

While I am content to subject you poor, unsuspecting readers with my frankensteinian recipe experiments born from the ingredients I can procure in Las Vegas with the occasional Vegas food fact, there are a couple resources I’d like to highlight if you’re more of an eat-out type.

For the traditional (and exceptional) restaurant review, I point you in the direction of John Curtas’ Eating Las Vegas. An Iron Chef America judge, Curtas leaves no plate untasted and no culinary observation unsaid. If you want an honest opinion of a Vegas restaurant before making a reservation, be sure to read his review first.

For those ‘hip’ to the technology scene, The Vegas Foodie mixes the love of food with social media. Dominic Scali mixes dining experiences with a rich and growing community built through Facebook and Twitter. It’s food criticism 2.0.

You can follow Eating Las Vegas on Twitter @eatinglasvegas and on Facebook.

You can follow The Vegas Foodie on Twitter @TheVegasFoodie and on Facebook.

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Blueberry Bacon Banana Split

I’m not much of a dessert person, but my wife inspired this creation. The banana split, reconstructed:

6 scoops of vanilla ice cream
2 strips of bacon
2 bananas, sliced in half
6 oz. frozen blueberries
1/2 c. dry white wine
3 1/2 c. water
1/4 c. sugar
1 tbsp. brown sugar

Combine the blueberries, wine, water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and reduce until one third of the liquid remains. If you want to thicken the sauce you can add some corn starch. Remove from heat and let cool.

Fry the bacon and set aside.

Fry the bananas with the brown sugar in a little of the bacon grease.

Arrange the banana slices in the bottom of a bowl. Add 3 scoops of ice cream. Crumble one strip of bacon over the ice cream and banana. Top with the blueberry syrup.

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Spicy Mango Pork Tenderloin

Here’s a deceptively easy to prepare piece of pork that results in beautifully robust and layered flavors.

1 Pork Loin Tenderloin
1 strip of bacon
2 14.5 oz. can chicken stock
1 c. mango juice
1 c. dry white wine
1 med. onion, sliced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 jalapenos, diced
1/4 c. frozen diced mangos
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. dried parsley
Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325º. Add all ingredients to a dutch oven pot and cook for 1-1/2 hours. Remove tenderloin and let sit for 5 minutes. Slice & serve with vegetables.

The juices can be used for an amazing tangy gravy. Just add 1/2 cup of chicken broth for every cup of juice and 2 tbsp. butter. Reduce over high heat until it begins to thicken. You can add cornstarch at the end to achieve an even thicker consistency if desired.

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Filed under recipe pork gravy mango jalapeno

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Drunken Chicken

My fowl imbibe. Who are you to judge?

This one is down and dirty and open to additional ingredients like onion and garlic. But going with the drunken theme, I like to “forget” a few ingredients.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can of black beans
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 stick of butter
1 bottle of dark beer (I use Newcastle)
1 tsp. celery seeds
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper to taste

In a large pan add 1/4 of the butter and heat until butter melts. Add the chicken and cook on each side until browned. Add the beer and remaining butter. Add celery seeds and cayenne with salt & pepper. Add beans, celery and carrots and cover. Cook until done. Drain sauce and serve.

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Those Cakes Are A Little… Shrimpy

So you’ve stuffed some squid and now have some leftover stuffing. What to do with it? Shrimp cakes!

Everyone loves crab cakes, and I grew up eating the poor-man’s substitute: salmon cakes. But this one I’ve never seen before. And I wouldn’t have even thought about it if I hadn’t had a bunch of leftover squid stuffing.

Here’s an ingredient list to start from scratch:

1 egg
8 oz. artichoke hearts, finely chopped
1/3 (12 oz.) pkg. sliced bacon (4 slices)
10 oz. tiny shrimp
1 sm. onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp. parsley, dry or finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
Olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Fry the bacon and crush into bits. Mix in a bowl with everything except the olive oil, adjusting the amount of shrimp and breadcrumbs as desired (you can use larger Tiger Shrimp and chop them up for a meatier texture). Add some bite with some chili powder if desired. Shape into cake patties. Add olive oil to the bacon fat and fry the cakes 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.

You can serve with cocktail or tartar sauce, but I’d recommend serving with some bacon-wrapped asparagus and covering the whole plate in a hollandaise sauce.

Enjoy!

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Filed under recipe shrimp bacon Gruyère