Hell’s Kitchen in Las Vegas, Nevada

Dining Outside the Home: Hell’s Kitchen in Las Vegas, Nevada When it’s hot outside in Vegas, crank up the heat even more at Hell’s Kitchen with smoky cocktails and iced shrimp cocktail. The world-renowned celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay, recreated the infamous studio set from the television show. Prepare to be amazed. The sleek contemporary restaurant also landed a view overlooking the Las Vegas Strip. But forget all that. Come to Hell’s Kitchen for the outstanding food, extraordinary cocktails, and the dining ambiance. Take your time. The Beef Wellington is unsurpassed, which is the reason for the HK Signature Prix Fixe Menu. The final culmination of a fabulous meal would be the Sticky Toffee Pudding. Don’t forget the coffee.

Michael Mina Pub 1842 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Dining Outside the Home: Michael Mina Pub 1842 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tucked away in the MGM Grand is a hidden gem inspired by a celebrity chef. Pub 1842, named for the year Pilsner was invented, offers a nice selection of craft beers, but that’s not where it ends. Check out the great selection of unique whiskeys and specialty cocktails. Happy Hour features a pair of Brisket Sliders worth nibbling on. Feast your eyes on the tender black angus beef prepared Kansas City-style, drenched in savory bbq sauce slathered over a bed of kale slaw. Spear a gherkin and it’s ready for that first bite. Add an order of Fries in a Can to balance things out. Chef Mina knows what he’s doing. Try not to drool.

The Food Whisperer

A “food whisperer” is someone who understands the motives and desires of foodies, as well as those who live vicariously through others who think about food ALL the time. We have a bond, you and I. For example, on a recent trip to Las Vegas, rather than spend time in the casino, I was more interested in seeking out the personalities of celebrity chef restaurants on The Strip. When I got a photo op with Head Chef Michelle Tribble of Hell’s Kitchen, the experience was as phenomenal as the Beef Wellington I had for dinner. You get me, I know. Time flies on this journey of the palate so we have to grab the opportunities before us. Thanks very much to all of my followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement. Follow me on Facebook at Gail Dorna, on Instagram @gail_dorna and Twitter @ Snapshotsincursive. What’s cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? It’s as simple as A-B-C. One of my passions is being at home in my own country kitchen. No matter how much we travel, I relish the thought of returning there to create something delicious. I adore time-honored traditions using tried-and-true recipes. Yet, I often never think twice about tweaking old favorites or modifying others to suit the inner craving of the moment. And I love to share. To me, seeing a smile in gratitude is thanks enough. The recipes you will find here in the next several weeks can be prepared without fuss. Feel free to contact me with questions. Now take a deep breath, inhale the aromas, and join me on a tasteful journey entitled, “EATING MY WAY THROUGH THE ALPHABET: THE FOOD WHISPERER!”

Front-Runner Favs

Common ingredients seem ordinary when listed on their own. In fact, most kitchen pantries are stocked with staples. It just keeps us from making daily stops at the supermarket. When familiar ingredients meet fresh ones, it increases the variety and changes them into front-runner favs. Mealtime then becomes an all-star event. And speaking of stars…Some of my posts have received a nod from the “Food Network” on Twitter (Snapshotsincursive@DornaGail) as well as Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa, on Instagram @gail_dorna. This continuous journey of the palate gives me time with you. Thanks very much to all of my guests and followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement. What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? It’s as simple as A-B-C. I love to cook, and my husband loves that I do it often. Most recipes serve 2-4 people, but can be easily modified. Leftovers are golden morsels to be eaten later or shared with others. Seeing a smile of gratitude keeps me going. Feel free to contact me with questions. Now take a deep breath, inhale the aromas, and join me on a tasteful journey entitled, “EATING MY WAY THROUGH THE ALPHABET: FRONT-RUNNER FAVS!”

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter Z

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Something to Savor: Zakarian Chocolate Pudding! Sometimes you look to a celebrity chef for inspiration. Today’s feature recipe is brought to you by “Iron Chef”, Geoffrey Zakarian. Although it is filed under Dark Chocolate Pudding, its decadent taste and smooth consistency remind me more of a French Silk Pie. Do I have your undivided attention? Can you hear me now? This is most definitely a chocolate-lovers dream! By serving it in shot glasses, you control the portion and everyone gets a taste. Mr. Zakarian serves it with whipped sour cream. I modified it a bit by adding crushed pistachios and a slice of strawberry. 

6 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, chopped

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup light cream

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 pinch sea salt

4 large egg yolks

Whipped sour cream, optional

Strawberries for garnish

Pistachios for garnish

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over low heat. In a medium saucepan, bring the heavy cream and light cream to a bare simmer. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, vanilla extract, sea salt, and egg yolks. Slowly pour the milk mixture into the egg mixture to temper it, whisking all the while. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 4 minutes. Pour in the melted chocolate and whisk until smooth. Pour into glasses or custard cups. Refrigerate until chief and set, about 3 hours. Serve with whipped sour cream, if desired. Garnish with fresh strawberry slice and chopped pistachios. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet; Letter C

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food for Sharing: Chef’s Plate! Pull together a party-friendly charcuterie platter where finger foods rule. Make it as elaborate as you choose, depending on the size of the guest list. Obviously for an intimate dinner for two, something like this is a perfect balance of contrasting flavors. Keep the bread crunchy and the jam or jelly sweet. It offsets the fatty, salty meat by cutting through the richness of the buttery cheese. The tartness of gherkins is a classic choice for nibbling in between. Be creative. Anything goes. 

Jalapeño Pepper Jelly

Cornichons Gherkins 

Red Onion 

Baguette Toast

Mixed Nuts

Summer Sausage Sticks

Aged Bleu Cheese

Bite-size Dry Salami

Fill small condiment bowls with pepper jelly, baby gherkins, and assorted mixed nuts. Slice baguette. Rub with olive oil and bake in a 350° oven for 10 minutes. Turn over and bake 5 minutes longer. Place on a chef’s board or in a bread basket. Arrange cured hard sausages around the wedge of Bleu cheese. Slices red onion and “fan” near the bread. Once the food is arranged, open a bottle of wine, and enjoy the experience of grazing. 

Dining Outside the Home: Abby Lane in Boston, Massachusetts!

Dining Outside the Home: Abby Lane in Boston, Massachusetts! Located in the heart of the Theater District of Downtown Boston, this neighborhood restaurant opens its wall of sliding windows to make the open-air dining room an inviting experience. Each unique crafted cocktail delights the palate with signature favorites like The Abby: a blend of fresh lemon, elderflower liqueur, and grey goose la poire topped with a splash of dry sparkling bubbly. Yes, please. Every seat offers a perfect vantage point of the chef’s kitchen where top-notch skills make cooking look effortless. It’s easy to turn off the cell phones and mingle with others. You never know when a celebrity may pop in. At the table next to ours Julian Edelman, of the New England Patriots, dropped by for an appetizer sampler. Memories are made of this! For an atmosphere of warmth and cheer, take a walk to Abby Lane. 

Dining Outside the Home: Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill in Las Vegas, Nevada

Dining Outside the Home: Mesa Grill in Las Vegas, Nevada Bobby Flay, celebrity chef of the Food Network, is a pretty popular guy in Las Vegas. It might be because he takes grilled meats and fresh vegetables and then pairs them with the spicy seasonings and peppery sass of Mexican food to create his own signature dishes. If you’re looking for ordinary, pass him by. Mesa Grill electrifies the palate! The Goat Cheese “Queso Fundido” is a blistering appetizer of poblano peppers in a creamy dip for blue corn tortilla chips. Get the picture? It may take a few minutes to study the menu, but then again, from time to time everyone needs to take a break from the intoxication of Vegas!