Friday, March 19, 2010

Belvedere: Peninsula Beverly Hills

On the first sizzling and sun-drenched day of March, I made it a point to kick off the Spring season by having a light, refreshing lunch al fresco. My first instinct was Belvedere in the Peninsula Beverly Hills after having had such a wonderful brunch experience at their Roof Garden restaurant. 

Short and sweet: Both food and service were sensational, living up to Belvedere's AAA Five Diamond status. 

YELLOW TOMATO SOUP with Moroccan Olives, Miticaña Cheese and Parsley

MAINE LOBSTER SALAD with Sweet Corn and Jicama, Tarragon, Radicchio and Frisée, Lime-marinated Chioggia Beets

Belvedere’s patio is supremely charming and tranquil.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It’s My Bird and I’ll Baste if I Want to: Organic Brined and BastedTurkey

Over the holidays (yes I do know it is now March), I secured a whole organic pound turkey with the intent to brine and roast. The beautiful 14 pounder arrived and I immediately felt a little intimidated. I’d brined a chicken a few times and now I was determined to move on to something bigger and take on a more ambitious project.

As I was researching some of the best brines for turkey, I happened upon so many discussions about basting. My parents are diehard basters and as a result, I too baste. But why??? I used to believe that basting made for moister meat. Not necessarily. In fact, it slows down the cook time because you’re constantly opening the oven and losing heat.
But still, I baste. I baste for one reason alone: Crisp, dark skin. I brushed the entire turkey with melted butter and basted every 30 minutes.

The bottom line: Do what makes you happy. It’s YOUR bird.
The final product:

I used the following recipe from Epicurious: