Top Chef Extravaganza!

As many of you know, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Top Chef. I can be a little obsessed about it. During the shows, I would exchange texts with Jen Baker and constantly check my twitter account for chef commentary. Yup….I’m a nerd!

So to celebrate the finale of Top Chef. I decided to make Tom Colicchio’s braised short ribs. This was a 2 day process, but it was definitely worth it.
I seasoned the short ribs in salt and peper

Then I pan fried them

I made the braising marinade

Meat and Marinade ready for the flavors to marry over night

The next evening, I combined the meat and marinade with some chicken stock and placed in the oven for 1.5 hours.

By the time the above step was complete it was 8 pm and I was starving, even though I had been munching on cheese and crackers. I needed something substantial.

To accompany these beautiful short ribs. I made some garlic cheddar mash potatoes. I have to say, mine are better than Shane’s. I think it’s all about the cheese. The cheese was so salty that I didn’t have to add extra salt to the mash. I always need to eat something green; so I went to my all time favorite, blanched asparagus. Who cares if it makes your pee smell funny. It’s really tasty.

This was one of the tastiest meals I have made, but there are some improvements that could have been made. I didn’t have the correct amount of protein stated in the recipe so I kind of used 2/3 of everything. However, I didn’t calculate 2/3 of the cooking time. These ribs should have been super soft. We also could have waited for the last 3 steps in the recipe

If you want to recreate this you can find the recipe below.

Let me know what if you guys try this recipe and tell me what you think.


Watch out Austin….Here we come!

It’s officially spring break! In accordance of what is going on in our world and nation, Sandy and I are embarking on a trip to Austin. While there, we will partake in the AFT lobby day on Monday, and continue our food quest. I have had several people give me restaurant suggestions. But If there are any restaurants, that you think we MUST visit, please leave a comment below.

Here’s to fostering a rebellion and conquering cuisine in Austin!

Operation 52 update

Hello Strangers,

It has been a very long time since I have posted anything. Did anyone miss me? Anyway, 2010 was a rough year for us in the Cabrera’s. As a result, the blogging had to stop and The Operation 52 food quest had to be put on hold. I’m sorry to report, that our April 4th deadline will not be met. Sandy and I are still trying to reach all 52 places. However, another set back has taken place. I have seem to misplaced my cord to help me upload my pictures.

So, as soon as anyone can find my cord or if anyone finds me a cannon cord…the blogs will continue.

I hope to hear for your soon. Happy Eating!!!

The importance of finding a good dining partner.

To me, eating is one of the most delectable things someone can do. It is a whole sensory experience… can be magical. In my opinion there are 2 types of dinners: people to share their food and want to taste what other people ordered and those who know what they want and they are not willing to share. I personally like diner number one. That’s why everyone needs to find a good dinning partner.

A good candidate for a good dining partner is someone that shares the same foodie taste and is willing to share or split a meal with you. When each of you order a meal and you split it, you can maximize your ability to taste the menu. Last Sunday, I went to Lucky’s for brunch with Shane, Stella, and Markum. Shane and Markum were set on what they wanted to order. However Stella and I have the same foodie taste buds so we both couldn’t decide between savory or sweet for brunch. So to satisfy both of us, we each ordered a dish and the lovely staff at Lucky’s split both items, so each of us had both a tasty sweet and savory brunch. Stella is a great dining partner.

Who are your dining friends?

I need your help…..Where shall I go?

August is a great month for me…not just because I love buying school supplies…but in Dallas….August hosts restaurant week. I can’t wait to try out the new places.

In general, I don’t do well with more than 5 choices. So I’m having some difficulty of where to go with Sandy, my sister, possibly Charlie, and whoever else wants to go. This is where I need everyone’s help. Please help me choose a place…however the following is a list of all the places that I can’t go to because I have already dined there.
1. Craft
2. Chamberlin’s
3. Rathburn’s blue plate kitchen
4. Shinsei
5. Stephen Pyles (I’m doing preview week there this year)
6. Tillman’s

I would love any of your suggestions. Below is the link for the restaurants. I really appreciate your input.

I’m a VIP – J.J.’s Gourmet Burgers -Tulsa, OK.

The city of Tulsa and I have a funny relationship, my goal was to always leave. But sometimes, you just can’t resist the blackhole like nature of Tulsa……it will always suck you back in.

I love food and to be honest there are not very many food places in Tulsa that are exceptional. There are some that are good and decent….but then again I may be biased. Today, I had the most magnificent eating experience ever.

To celebrate Mel’s farewell to Tulsa, Shane took us to J.J.’s Gourmet burgers. The thing about J.J.’s is that is only open Tuesday – Friday from 11-2. It’s really open when he wants to open and he only cooks 30 burgers so if you are number 31…you are out of luck..try again the next day.

When you walk into J.J. your bombarded with all sorts of things on the walls…it’s rather eclectic and there is a loop of awesome 80’s music playing. Jerry, the owner, who also served us, can also be heard singing to beat on occasion. The great thing about J.J.’s he only makes one thing: rib-eye burgers…served his way. Like the sign on the wall said…this isn’t Burger King…you can’t have it your way. You can choose the type of cheese and the side but that’s it.

The burgers were cooked to perfection. It was flavorful, juicy, and jut the right amount of pink. Be careful, if you are not prepared you will have a burger juice sliding down your arm. I had to plan how to eat my burger, because by the time, I had place the extras on it, it was quite large. I think I had about 3 tries until my burger successfully made it into my mouth. Whatever he put on your plate is what you got. There was fruit and veggies to go with the burger….it was a very colorful and appealing plate. You need to try the ice tea, the fruit and the mint leaves add a nice summer time quality to it, that takes it up a notch. I think I just have to let the pictures speak for themselves.

For some reason today, we got VIP cards…which entitles you to free appetizers and desert with a cute little cappuccino. I’m not real sure how you get one, but I did. If you are in Tulsa….you have to check this place out….but don’t bombard the place..or they might take away my VIP card. Also, when you visit, bring cash….it’s the only king of transaction that takes place here.

The rest is my photo essay of deliciousness….

My tea and appetizer

My plate

Shane’s plate. He had the baked beans with a rib on top. The beans were cooked beautifully and were sweet and slightly tangy.

My delicious burger

My dessert

Memories of Japan: Broken Arrow

If it were all possible, the Cabrera family would hold stock in Memories of Japan. It’s our go to eatery. Memories of Japan is a cute little sushi place in Broken Arrow. I can hear all you food skeptics…”good sushi in Broken Arrow, OK?!?!?!” My reply is “HECK YES”.

The sushi is really fresh and clean and just good. It’s not super spectacular but on a day you are craving some sushi and are on a limited budget…Memories of Japan is your best bet. I usually get the sushi, but I decided to get something new. I got the Unadon (Eel) with rice. I just got back for a floating/camping trip and I was really craving rice. I AM SO ASIAN! My eel was nicely scorched and had the lovely sweet sauce of the eel and seeped into the rice. It was tasty.

My great lunch