Saturday, May 31, 2008

Dessert Pseudo-Sushi

The Minutiae

We originally got this idea from Dr. Z, who made "carrot caviar" at the Maker Faire. Upon meeting him, lofty plans were made for the guerrilla gourmet's first foray into molecular gastronomy. Alas, we got distracted by something shiny and put the chemicals on the back burner. But, when we saw the ingredients for the Leftover Queen's Royal Foodie Joust, it provided just the kick into action we needed. The color of raspberries reminded us of salmon or flying fish roe, the green of the lime reminded us of wasabi, and almond marzipan's flexibility and flavor made it perfect for candy-making. So pseudo-sushi was born.

In order to avoid spending a lot of money on a very delicate scale, we decided to fly by the seat of our pants and use a complicated system of trial and error. To this effect, we've provided our measurements and the much more reliable measurements in grams. I'd personally recommend using a scale…but if you're like us, a bit of stubborn pride will win out in the end!

Flying Raspberry "Roe" Rolls and Raspberry Nigiri Classic condiments, chocolate-raspberry "soy" sauce, marzipan "gari", and lime "wasabi", follow in this post. What's Guerrilla: Not much is guerrilla about molecular gastronomy; on a professional level it requires a huge outlay of new knowledge, fancy equipment, and chemicals, chemicals, chemicals. But we did a good job with it, I think, by using getting our chemicals wholesale and using good old trial-and-error experimentation to eliminate the need for more expensive equipment. What's Gourmet: It's sushi. Made from raspberries, limes, and almonds. That's pretty gourmet. The rest after the jump. The Means A walnut sized piece of marzipan A drop each of neon green and neon blue food coloring 2.0 grams Sodium Alginate – roughly 1.5 tsp 1 gram Sodium Citrate – roughly 3/8th tsp 2.5 grams Calcium Glucconate – roughly 3 tsp 250 grams Raspberry Juice 3 liters Water ½ cup of long grained rice 1 cup of Almond Milk The Method 1. Measure out 100 grams of raspberry juice, add the sodium alginate and sodium citrate, and blend with an immersion blender until well combined. Add the rest of the raspberry juice and blend again. 2. Allow the solution to sit for at least ten minutes in the refrigerator. Ideally you want to give the tiny air bubbles in the raspberry solution plenty of time to percolate out. 3. Turn your attention to the “nori”. Knead 1 drop of neon green and 1 drop of neon blue food coloring into the marzipan and knead until you get a uniform seaweedy color. 4. Place the marzipan between two sheets of parchment paper (or on a surface dusted with confectioner’s sugar), roll it out the marzipan thinly, and cut two 2 inch strips. Leaving at least 1/3 of the marzipan behind. 5. Carefully roll each of the 2 inch strips into a cylinder, using toothpicks for stabilization and set aside. 6. Now turn to the almond rice. Combine ½ cup of rice with 1 cup of almond milk and bring to a boil in a small saucepan. Simmer until craters appear in the rice, then remove the pan from heat, cover, and set aside. 7. Return to your raspberry roe! Fill a large bowl with 1.5 liters of water, add the calcium glucconate, and blend until it dissolves. If the calcium does not dissolve readily, give the water warm a minute in the microwave and try again. 8. Fill another bowl with 1.5 liters of water, set aside. 9. Put a strainer in the glucconate solution, making sure there is plenty of space. Using a syringe, drop the raspberry solution slowly into the calcium solution. Control the size of the drops by how much pressure you exert on the plunger. You’re aiming for roe egg, large caviar-sized balls. 10. The longer you leave it in, the thicker the skin gets. We were shooting for a skin that pops in your mouth, not all over your shirt, so we let it sit for at least a minute. ! 11. Remove the caviar by carefully lifting the strainer, and immediately dunk the strainer in the bowl of water to allow the roe to rest. The roe can stay here in the neutral water bath while you make enough to fill your rolls. 12. Fill your “nori” cylanders about half way with almond rice and spoon your raspberry roe carefully atop the rice 13. Plate. 14. To make the "nigiri", use a spoon to drop the raspberry solution into the calcium solution. This time, instead of making small balls, make larger elliptical shapes roughly an inch to an inch and a half long. 15. Allow the ellipses to remain in the bath for at least two minutes – you need a much tougher skin to pull this one off! 16. Move the ellipses to the plain water rinse and allow them to rest. 17. Return to the remaining “nori” and slice into two 1/8 inch strips. 18. Lay the strips on your plate. 19. Fold the rice into two bar shapes using your palm. Roughly about two inches long and an inch wide and an inch thick. 20. Place a rice bar at an end of each “nori” strip. 21. Carefully place the raspberry ellipse atop each rice bar. 22. Bring the far end of the “nori” strip over the rice and raspberry ellipse and tuck it under. 23. Plate with your dessert sushi condiments and enjoy!

Pseudo-Sushi Pseudo-Condiments

This is a collection of marzipan candies created to accompany our dessert pseudo-sushi, created for the Royal Foodie Joust. They always say that necessity is the mother of invention, and so it was in this case. Since both of us hate fake or inedible garnish, and had little desire to eat actual wasabi, gari or soy sauce with the candied sushi we knew we had to come up with something. With a little bit of creativity and a dash of trial and error, we invented candied versions of these Japanese classics.
Key Lime Marzipan “Wasabi”
The Means: A walnut-sized chunk of marzipan A few drops of neon green food coloring 2 tablespoons of finely chopped key lime zest ½ cup of water ½ cup of sugar The Method: Combine water, sugar and zest in a small saucepan, bring it to a boil, and reduce to a thick syrup. Allow the syrup to cool to a comfortable touching temperature and knead about a tablespoon of the syrup into a “walnut sized” bit of marzipan. Knead in green food coloring drop by drop until your marzipan turns the uniform green of wasabi. Plate.
Raspberry “Gari”
The Means A “walnut sized” portion of marzipan A drop of raspberry juice A drop of neon pink food coloring The Method Knead the juice and food coloring into the marzipan until you have a uniform, “gari”-like color. Place the marzipan between two sheets of parchment paper (or a surface dusted with confectioner’s sugar) and roll out into a thin sheet. "Gingerly" cut the marzipan into ½ inch wide strips, and loosely fold it into a “gari”-like pile. Plate.
Chocolate Raspberry "Soy Sauce"
The Means ¼ cup of dark chocolate chips 1 tsp of raspberry juice The Method Combine the chocolate and raspberry. Microwave till melted. Plate.

The Obamnivore's Dilema

As the primary season ends, and the farmer's market season begins, at least one of the presidential candidates is talking about food. I'm an optimist, this sudden interest probably has to do with rising obesity and food costs more than farmer's markets. Despite the lack of presence that food issues have in debates, they are important issues, especially to us. So, I was terribly excited that recently the Missoula Interdependent reporter, Art LeVaux interviewed Barack Obama about his ideas, hopes and plans for future food policy. The article highlights Barack's dislike for Farm Bill overspending, his like for local produce and his desire to "thin" out American kiddos. It also has a kickin' chili recipe. Michelle Obama, the senator's wife, has also spoken out about the importance, and difficulty, of feeding a family healthy, tasty food without breaking the bank. I find it refreshing to hear that politicians, some of them anyway, are actually thinking about food on a healthy and affordable level. The question though, is what they will actually put into action? We invite anyone with differing political opinions to comment however we ask that everyone please keep it related to food policy issues.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Writings on the Wall

May 24th, 2008. Ah...back to the way things should be! I have to apologize for my part in our most recent silence, as well as thank all of you that reached out and gave advice, tips and sympathy regarding the burn! I love being part of this food community and always know who to turn to for a bit of lovin'! I am now, finally, able to sort of type. I might look more like a single-fingered trained monkey than I used to but still...at least I can once again type! So, without further delay, I offer up this week's Writings on the Wall. BBQ Tofu, Baked Potatoes and Grilled Asparagus "What the hell does a vegan eat anyway?" offers us an alternative to BBQ favorites this summer. I am a huge fan of this blog, especially since I asked my very first vegan that very question upon meeting him. It still confuses me that vegans, including him, don't eat cheese. (Life without cheese is equal to death in my opinion...) But, I have to admit I will always have a special place in my heart for vegans...tastes like non-dairy Butterscotch! Your Meat is Green: Tips for responsible carnivores Chow bites down on the well done issues of the meat eating community, including information about CSAs, organic meat and why you should trust your local butcher! Tuna, tea, and horseradish after the jump! Is it Tea Time? "The History of Greek Food" enlightens us on not only the proper way to serve tea but also gives us an awesome recipe for sesame cookies (saving us $3.75 at Safeway!) Teeny, Tiny Tuna Edible teaches us about many things...sustainability and web design. This article is especially dear to my heart due to it's focus on the tiny tuna of the sea! Don't just break for dolphins anymore folks... How to Make Horseradish Our friend over at "How to cook like your grandmother" gets spicy and helps us save 4 bucks! Sweet... Cherry galettes with black pepper-Kirschwasser glaze What can I say? I am a sucker for black pepper anything! Additionally, this recipe combines the best of savory and sweet aspects without delving to deeply into the saltier ingredients. Don't fault Heather for getting California cherries either...we all need to break the rules occasionally.
Photo courtesy of ultraclay(dot)com

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

We're back!

Greetings, comrades! It's been nearly a fortnight since our last post here at the Guerrilla Gourmet, but now we're back. First, the news/excuses. Tiffany burned her hand last Sunday. Badly. Grabbed a hot stainless-steel pan by the handle and came away with a whopping second-degree burn on her palm and first-degrees on her fingers. One late-night visit to a very scary emergency room, and two burn center consultations later, her hand is back in close-to-working order. Safety in the kitchen is important, comrades. Read a bit about it here. But we're back now, and here's the menu for the week. I bought a chicken on Monday, and we'll be stretching it into three meals. Also, the beets in the garden are just about ready. The candy-canes will probably go into salad, and the "vulgars" will probably end up either in soup or in the pickling jar. Monday: Post-holiday roast chicken breasts with green beans and cherry tomatoes. Roast potatoes, and a bit too much cheap-pinot-grigio-from-a-box. Fortunately, The New Yorker has a great article on the hangover. Tuesday: Something take out. Probably neither guerrilla, nor gourmet, but I work late and Tiffany has to go the hospital. Sorry. Wednesday: Arroz con Pollo. Tequila-marinated chicken thighs done up on the grill and served over Tiffany's classic rice. Thursday: Pasta with gorgonzola, carmelized onions and mushrooms. A GuerrillaGourmet original! Friday: Another GuerrillaGourmet original: "Whole" beet soup with pine nuts and stale bread. Later this week, be ready for a Foodie Joust submission that will rock your world and details on the luscious sausage photo above. Cheers!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Writings on the wall

Ach! Its so hot here you could fry an egg on the sidewalk! After six years of living in the desert you might think I would have gotten used to it…but its just different here, the Bay isn’t supposed to be so hot! Anyway, complaining aside, it is Summer in the City, which is always fabulous. So in honor of the heat wave, our links today all have one thing in common, they are hot, hot, hot! Also, we want to wish a very merry un-birthday to one of our favorite blogs, Miss Ginsu. If you haven’t had the chance to check out this blog, you should! Congrats on four years, and cheers to (at least) four more! The ring’s the thing I cannot resist things made with Sriracha – especially fried things! Jennifer, of Last Night’s Dinner, serves up a great recipe for onion rings, just in time for barbecue season. The Mint Gimlet Speaking of barbecue season...heres a new spin on an old classic, it seems like the perfect drink to cool down – I can’t wait to try it!
Uncooking, driveway cooking and chile cooking all after the jump.
Uncooking to Cut the Heat Trying desperately to keep that kitchen cold and manage to feed yourself?? No worries, we’ve all been there. Here are some time tested tips to keep you from “loosing your cool!” How to Fry an Egg on the Sidewalk Howcast gives us the lowdown on how to turn your driveway into a drive-thru! The Great Chili Debate This blogger takes a look into one of the oldest questions – Red or Green chile? Or, if you happen to be in Santa Fe, New Mexico…maybe you want Christmas style? Either way, having lived in both Cruces and Santa Fe I can tell you, both chiles are great! (And if you’re missing your stuff… The Frontier Restaurant in Albuquerque now ships UPS!!)
Photo courtesy of UltraClay at UltraClay dot com.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bacon Dog Search

After catching this Reason.tv video on bacon-wrapped hot dogs, I can't stop thinking about them. I know they are usually late-night drunk food, but I swear I saw one in the daylight a few months ago. So tomorrow morning, I'll be volunteering for the SFBC at Bike to Work day. I'll be working the Battery/Market energizer station (early in the morning) if you would like to stop by and say hello. Afterwards, I will be going on mission. To the Mission. To find a bacon dog. Yelp says Thursday through Saturday near 8th and Folsom, 16th and Mission, 16th and Valencia and 23rd and Mission. Full bloggings and pictures to follow.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Shove it in your face!

Week of May 12th Between Mother's day, Bike to work day and plain ol' work late days, we've been a bit busy. So this week's menu was a little difficult to put together. But, this is a great example of what you can pull off with a little menu planning. Things like the enchiladas or lentils, which take a while to prepare, can be made ahead by Schaefer during the day while I'm at work and then I can finish them when I get home while he's at work. Also, it really helps when you know what you need to pick up, what you have and what you're planning to do with it all! A few quick menu tips, that you can see pretty obviously reflected down below: 1. Balance complex and simple dishes - don't do duck every night silly... 2. Rely on those favorite recipes you know how to make - we make Blue Cheese Pasta all the time, its fast and easy. 3. Take some time off and eat out every once in a while, call it research or call it lazy, either way, we all need a break some days! Monday: Seared duck breast with a raspberry key lime gastrique served with almond rice and honey ginger caramelized carrots. Pacific Dry Riesling – Bonny Doon Tuesday: Red chile enchiladas served with Sopa di fideo and refried black beans. Lager. Wednesday: Blue Cheese Pasta with salad. Pinot Noir. Thursday: The Post Punk Kitchen's Ethopian Spicy Tomato Lentil Stew served over Polenta. Lager Friday: Dinner with friends at Luna Park The picture above is of an offal taco we tried at the maker's faire. It was pretty tasty, the cheek meat was a bit greasy for my tastes but I really liked the pickled carrots and radishes.

It looks like we won a contest!

Greetings, comrades! A few weeks ago I entered this Food Network contest and then kind of forgot about it. But it looks like we took third place, narrowly losing to some very sharp writing and a whole barbequed goat. We're very happy. Thanks, Adam. Cheers -Eric

Friday, May 9, 2008

Some Writings on the Wall

Ahh, it has been an exciting week. What with the crafters & makers , the contest, the cyclone and the candy, we’ve been pretty busy! A giant thank you with is certainly in order to our friends over at Food Candy for featuring Eric’s post on their front page. And lastly, but not least, a very happy Mother’s Day to you, or yours! Now, onto this week's "Some Writings on the Wall":
Fakin’ it Like a Local Taylor, of Mac & Cheese, gives us the low down on street seitan and vrapple. Mango Buffalo Wings with Mango Lime Cream Dipping Sauce The lovely recipe, by Elle , that won this month’s Royal Foodie Joust. Yum! The markets of Barcelona, menu makeovers and Food hacking after the jump. Markets in Barcelona Nuria, of Spanish Recipes, invites us into the traditional markets of her home. Menu Makeovers? As food costs soar, some restaurants are making changes…its scary to think of where this could end… Food Hacking Wiki Having only recently discovered a talent for recipe hacking, I just found this and it makes me sad that it appears to have sort of died. A challenge to all the DIY Makers! Go sign up for an account and help me bring it back.
Photo courtesy of flicker photog: amayzun

Cyclone Nargis

"Recuerde, para el hombre no hay mal pan..."
"Remember, there is no bad bread to the hungry man..."
Tragedy struck this week in Southeast Asia when a cyclone ripped through the area leaving tens of thousands of people dead and an estimated million homeless. Many of these people are surviving in conditions that we cannot begin to imagine, they have limited access to food, water and general conditions for survival. Due to the previous weeks' rising global food costs and food shortages, food is available in some areas, but the prices have already risen 50%. Sadly, further complicating things, the global community had previously been denied the opportunity to supply aid to the citizens of Myanmar. However, the government announced today that they will begin to allow aid into the country. I believe that this is an important time for us, not only as people, but as foodies to make a clear and concise statement to the people of Myanmar. We, the global food community, choose to place the survival of a people before their politics. In this respect I ask you to consider visiting the below links to get involved. Please remember that while money is of course important, there are other ways to get involved as well. You can repost this information on your own blog, join the facebook cause group, volunteer with organizations and encourage your senators, congressmen and political figures to force the Burmese government to allow global aid. Or, as a friend of mine did, offer to help sit with, listen to or write letters home for those people in your communities who have family in Myanmar. Please comment on this post if you have any other links or organizations that you know of helping with this situation. Action Against Hunger International Burmese Monks Organization Doctors without Borders Friends of the World Food Program US Campaign for Burma World Society for the Protection of Animals BlogHers Act If you're reading all the way down here, thank you all so much, knowing exceptional people helps us all to be better versions of ourselves. -tif
Photos courtesy of flikr photographers: bocavermelha-l.b. (center, top) and robin thom (right, lower)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Commie Rats!

>This news from the Gate, via Curbed, via Eater: The "Heart of the City" farmer's market in UN Plaza may be taken over by the (sinister-sounding but probably harmless) San Francisco Real Estate Division. The SFRED says that it's all for the sake of efficiency (they already run the Alemany market and could pool resources) and that neither farmers nor customers need worry about higher prices. But farmers are skeptical. According to the Chronicle, one farmer said, "They don't ask what we think. What is this, Russia?" I like the Civic Center market. It's one of the few places to get fresh produce in the 'Loin, and I love to get lunch there some days before heading into work. I certainly haven't noticed any shenanigans at Alemany, but you never know. Check the full stories here and here. I'll see if I can find anything out myself. If this goes through, I would hate to think what harm might be done to our precious bodily fluids.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Happy Mother's Day, Sort of...

Last October, when I first brought home Fergus Henderson's Beyond Nose to Tail, I set out to make a bread starter (or, as he calls it, a "mother" to your bread). I stirred flour, water, yogurt and chopped apple together in a bowl, poured it into a quart Mason jar with little holes punched in the lid. Everything went pretty well. Too well, in fact. The "mother" bubbled, spurted, and grew happily for three days, but that night I was awakened at three in the morning by a loud "thwupp." The sticky, yeasty, very alive mixture had exploded through the puny cap and coated a substantial portion of the kitchen counter. There were even several gobs of it stuck to the ceiling. After that debacle, I pretty much gave up on the whole idea. But this morning, armed with a new, TWO! quart Mason jar with one of those groovy metal clasps, I started again. Ingredients: One stick of rhubarb. Two tbsp. "live" yogurt. (Plain, please, NOT Yoplait "Key Lime Pie" flavor!) 50 grams* rye flour, 50 grams whole-wheat flour, and 100grams white flour 210 ml. water. Method, Day One: Slice the rhubarb thinly. Mix everything together in a big jar and keep it in a warm corner where it can grow in peace. Go watch the Simpsons or something, just don't bother it. *I apologize for the metrics here. Henderson's first book, published in the U.S. by Ecco (Harper Collins) conveniently uses the charmingly quirky "Imperial" measures we're all used to. The second book, put out by British Publisher Bloomsbury, uses metrics. Most liquid measures were no problem, but calculating how may grams of flour were in a cup gave me a bad headache. So I got a scale. **I rarely lay ingredients out so delicately. I forgot to take my own pictures this time (drat, I'm always forgetting) so I took a picture of the picture in the cookbook.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Shove it in your face!

Week of May 5th
First things first, the picture to the left is of a scrumptious Red Snapper, prepared Veracruz style, that Schaefer made last week. It's a delicious dish that I'm thinking he's going to post the recipe for. Also, I wanted to share a really awesome thing that we’ve been noticing lately, which is that since starting this project we’re buying next to nothing from Trader Joe’s anymore. Trader Joe’s is an awesome place don’t get me wrong, but it’s also vaguely evil in its ability to package pre-prep food and market it to otherwise conscientious consumers. Take for instance, Exhibit A: Pre-cut packaged “Sweet Potato Fries.” At first I was all over this, exclaiming to Schaefer the ease with which we could now produce our very own sweet potato fries! I was thrilled. Then, Schaefer pointed out that the bag of pre-washed, peeled and chopped fries was going to cost roughly ten times what the potato itself would have cost. Complete and utter downer. Here was Trader Joe’s, my buddy against corporate consumerism, confusing me with pretty packaged potatoes! (Hah! I dare you to say that five times fast!) More on side-stepping shenanigans like this one and the lowdown on our menu this week after the jump. A large part of our project here at the Guerrilla Gourmet is learning to recognize these types of shenanigans and figure out ways to avoid them. For example, buying regular old sweet potatoes down at the Farmer’s Market, cleaning, pealing and chopping them is not actually that hard. Trader Joe’s still scores for wine, beer and booze – though I’m getting tired of the sixteen year old checkers asking us “Dude, like are you, like having a party?” And, we are practically addicted to their veggie flax seed chips and Roasted Tomato Soup, so my guess is we’re still going to go back. However, it’s important to look at what you’re eating and really ask yourself if this is the best way to be doing it. Menu planning is really key here, at least for me, I know that a lot of people swear by the more laid back approach to cooking, but I find you spend and waste a lot less if you’re really examining what you’re buying and what you’re doing with it. So, speaking of menu plans…here’s what we’ve got coming up this week: Monday: Seitan au Poivre, adapted from Monsieur Tofu’s dish, served with steamed asparagus and roasted potatoes. Red Wine Tuesday: Vegetable Lasagna. Lager Wednesday: Pot Roast, served with leek and potato au gratin and sautéed greens. Red Wine. Thursday: Leftover Pot Roast Panini with Blue Cheese, served with a salad a’la Schaefer’s garden and yes, Sweet Potato Fries. Lager Friday: Thin Crust Pizza topped with dandelion greens, Italian sausage and provolone cheese, sereved with a salad a’la Schaefer’s Garden. Lager

Friday, May 2, 2008

Writings on the Wall

Week of April 28th Well, it certainly has been an interesting week. I had the flu, Schaefer brined and prepared a pork belly and Fergus realized the fun of digging little holes in the yard. I relearned how to ride a bike and Schaefer harvested his first bunch of romaine from the garden. Also, I was bestowed Elite status on Yelp.com, so if you haven't checked out some of my reviews, you should! Lastly, we're headed off to the 2008 Maker Faire tomorrow to play with robots, Tesla cords and free-range monsters. Hopefully we'll find some cool pictures and stories to share with everyone. Now on to the matters at hand! Drum roll please? It's this week's Writings on the Wall: Common Cooking Mistakes Real Simple online outlines seven common cooking mistakes that we all make and serves up some tips and tricks for avoiding them.
Why Bother? The Godfather of the Green Food Movement, Michael Pollan, explores our individual and direct relationship with climate change in this New York Times Article. Yay, for urban gardeners! Portuguese Sausage, the truth about global food prices and an awesome food fight after the jump!

Portuguese Chourico, Scallop & Radicchio Rigatoni Mel, over at bitchincamero.com, keeps things spicy and interesting with a recipe using Portuguese sausage. Global Agricultural Supply and Demand: Factors Contributing to the Recent Increase in Food Commodity Prices We all know that the food situation seems to be going from bad to worse, but few of us understand the factors or what is truly at stake. The USDA issued a press release today with projections for the US and global food economies during the upcoming year. Food Fight An awesome short film which depicts an abridged history of American-centric war. Can you decipher which foodstuffs represent which country? If not a cheat sheet is available here.

Graffiti photo courtesy of Ultraclay.com

While in Vegas, do as the…Moroccans do?

Actually, yes you should, or at least you should eat like them! You may, understandably, be asking yourself what Moroccans, who are typically Muslims, have to do with Las Vegas? Food, my friends, they have everything in the world to do with food. In specific, they have everything to do with one of my favorite off the beaten path destinations in Las Vegas, Marrakech. We discovered Marrakech in our Fodor's guide about an hour before the plane took off, a stupid delayed flight allowed us plenty of time to read. We hadn't made any plans for dinner that night yet, figuring we would be overwhelmed with options once we landed. Once we noticed the opportunity to try out Moroccan food though, we were committed. Of course, smarter people may have taken into consideration that we had never eaten Moroccan food, nor did we have any idea what Moroccan food even way...we were excited. This was Vegas baby, Vegas...and if you can't get yourself into crazy adventures here, why bother? So once our plane landed, we called and made reservations. We had no idea what we had gotten ourselves into... In order to get to Marrakech from your hotel, you’ll probably need to catch a cab, because it is located off the strip: 3900 Paradise, Suite Y. We were lucky enough to get a verbose cab driver on our way there who talked to us a little bit about how difficult it can be to live in Vegas, but its easier if you’re Muslim – which he was. This made a lot of sense, at least to me, and he was great fun to talk to. Anyway, back to Marrakech… So, we get out of the cab and approach the small restaurant on the corner of what appears to be a strip mall. I take a deep breath, and Schaefer opens the door. Stepping inside, the first thing you notice is the complete lack of light. We’re talking a three to four level drop from outside. Then, once your eyes adjust you start to notice other, little things -the comfortable booths, the draped silk curtains, the belly dancers and the happy customers. We had reservations, so we were seated immediately (I would definitely recommend them, this is a small, yet popular, restaurant). Our waiter came to our table and asked if we had ever eaten there before. We sheepishly admitted that not only had we never eaten there, we had never eaten Moroccan food. He smiled and asked if we had any allergies or dislikes that he could notify the kitchen of, we said no. He then suggested a bottle of an absolutely lovely Moroccan red wine for us to have for dinner. He glided back to the kitchen, leaving Schaefer and I to nervously ponder our table and the other clientele. Our waiter returned to wash our hands in lovely smelling warm water, because as we found out, there are no utensils in Moroccan food, which I have since decided is both awesome and great. After the hand washing the feasting began! First course - A Moroccan Style Shrimp Scampi in lemon, wine, and garlic sauce. Description doesn’t come close to describing the delicate flavors of the sauce and freshness of the shrimp. I’m not always a big fan of seafood dishes but this was incredible. Second courseHarira Soup: Traditional Moroccan Lentil soup with rice, lemon, and spices. After the shrimp scampi, this dish was a return to earthy flavors. The lentils were succulent without being either raw or overcooked tasting. Third course - Marrakech Salad: Hummus, accompanied by assorted vegetables in Moroccan seasoning. The hummus was about what you would expect, delicious and hummus-y. This dish was very good, but not completely mind blowing or exciting. Fourth Course - Beef Kabob: Fillet Mignon marinated in 7 moroccan spices and grilled to perfection. Schaefer really enjoyed this course because of the quality of the meat used and the nice grilled flavor. I really enjoyed the presentation, they served the kabobs stuck into a pineapple – how awesome is that? Fifth Course -Royal Cous Cous platter served with Cornish Game Hen in a traditional raisin-vegetable sauce. Oh my gawd, at this point we weren’t sure we were going to be able to finish. We were deep into that bottle of Moroccan wine and the belly dancer kept going round and round. Luckily we were semi-hypnotized and managed to eat most of this huge dish. Sixth Course - B'stilla: A fillo dough pastry stuffed with nuts, fruit, and sugar. Then topped with heaps of powdered sugar and cinnamon. Served with Moroccan mint tea. We couldn’t truly do this dish justice, though what we were able to eat was delicious and spicy. I really loved that this dish wasn’t overly sweet as so many deserts are. And, the mint tea was a lovely addition, with amazing presentation. Our waiter poured the tea three feet away from tiny glasses, and I never saw him spill! As we sat there, stuffed and hypnotized, drunk on great food and great wine, I tried to remember how much this was all going to cost?? I knew Vegas was expensive and I was beating myself up for not asking up front what the price tag was when the bill came. Oh my god. This feast? This huge amount of food stuff that had left me and Schaefer blissed out and unable to contemplate movement? It was only $40 a person. No joke. $40 at most nice restaurants will barely cover a person’s tab, and we’re not talking six course dinners either. That was when the courtship was over. I knew I was head over heels in love with Marrakech. So, the next time you’re in Vegas? Take a walk on the wild side and give Marrakech a try, I think you'll love it as much as I do. - Tiffany Recuerde, para el hombre no hay mal pan..
Lead Photo from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sergio_one/145281297/ Feast Photo from: http://www.marrakechvegas.com/menu.php All other photos property of the Guerrilla Gourmet.