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Bluestem, KC


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I so completely forgot the impulsive was only available mon-thurs.  Hrm.  Now I'm definitely ditching our upcoming Sat. night reservation for a midweek res.

I'm so glad that our dinner could inspire at least one party to cancel their reservation! Well worth the time and $$ :laugh:

I can't argue with anything Z said (well, I think the asparagus was pecan crusted, but as he subtly alluded, I was 0 for several in my predictions and procalamations (note to self: limit use of absolutes like always, never). But kidding aside, c-wench, it's not like the regular tasting menu is a bad thing - just stops five courses too soon :rolleyes:

I'm not sure I'm down with sous vide bbq, either, but maybe it's a guy thing (power tools).

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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due to this, I will be up before memorial day, maybe the week before. I love Bluestem.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Well after thinking about this all day...

* Oyster (charged w/carbon dioxide), avocado, soy, lotus root, cucumber

Most unique dish of the evening. The charged oyster was like a savory, salty, soda pop. Perfectly accompanied by avacado and lotus root, with the soy rounding everything out. Truly a winner.

* Burgundy Escargot

It may be standard but butter shooters out of snail shells rules.

* Foie gras torchon, peanut butter, strawberries w/chopped mint and rhubarb gelee

Oh man. A car bumber should have it so good.

* Hamachi, laurel, green tea emulsion, chorizo

Ok so Jerry gave me crap about saying this tasted just like the ocean. I don't care. It did. Super fresh, a hard sear on the skin side, and the chorizo made this. Very, very good.

* Wagyu flatiron, morroccan olive, almond crusted asparagus

There's hippies in Lawrence?!?! Who knew. At this point I didn't care. "Jerry, you gonna finish that?" I recall really liking this wine.

* Elysian Fields lamb, fava bean puree, veal jus, morel

My favorite of the evening. Nice and rare. Colby, thanks for leaving a little fat on this. It really make the dish. And there is nothing better than a butter and garlic soaked morel.

I'm not a huge dessert fan but the ice cream sandwich was a great way to end this. Mint ice cream in the Spring mmm.

Great food, friendly service, and entertaining dining companions, I can't think of a better way to spend an evening.

That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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Great food, friendly service, and entertaining dining companions, I can't think of a better way to spend an evening.

Dude, what table were you at? I am SO jealous :raz:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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But kidding aside, c-wench, it's not like the regular tasting menu is a bad thing - just stops five courses too soon

Of course it's not. But why settle for magnificent when one can go for horrify-the-babysitter rolling in at midnight excess? (Also, we're doing 40 the following Saturday with friends, and then the next day I'm smoking at minimum 3 pork butts- I've got to spread my gluttony out at least a little)

Edited by chicagowench (log)

What do you mean I shouldn't feed the baby sushi?

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Great food, friendly service, and entertaining dining companions, I can't think of a better way to spend an evening.

Dude, what table were you at? I am SO jealous :raz:

Twelve glasses of wine helped :wacko:

That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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I so completely forgot the impulsive was only available mon-thurs.  Hrm.  Now I'm definitely ditching our upcoming Sat. night reservation for a midweek res.

Ahem.... you are waiting for me, of course! :raz:

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

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Alrighty, a quick report on a wonderful night at Bluestem enjoying the Impulsive Collection.....

I went with Moosnsqrl and Chileheadmike last night, and we enjoyed a full four hours of top tier dining and absolutely riveting conversations about the merits of something being so good "I'd eat that off a car bumper" and "I don't know where you get your snails, but where I get mine they don't come seasoned".  Dave Crum even came in on his night off for fear of leaving Colby alone to defend himself.  Seriously, it was a fantastic meal.  I'll include some comments, and leave the rest to Judy and Mike.  The impulsive collection is absolutely the way to go, and do give a few days notice if at all possible and you may get to play "guinea pig" for some new preparations and combinations of flavor.  Jeremy's wine service was stellar, it can't be easy to hit the mark with all ten wines but he managed to do it.  I hadn't been to Bluestem since last year, so this was my first visit to the lounge. The expansion has been an improvement in every way...you enter through the lounge so the dining room doesn't get crowded, and it provides for a much more relaxed experience.  Anyway, here's the menu to the best of my recollection.  Feel free to correct me here if I get something wrong.....

* Amuse- shot glass w/cucumber, lime, melon ball, white wine foam, tarragon

* Crudo of scallop, watermelon, radish, yuzu gelee?

    Wine- Greco di Tuffo Terredora, Campania, Italy

* Oyster (charged w/carbon dioxide), avocado, soy, lotus root, cucumber

      Wine- Muscadet Serer et Maine, Loire Valley, France

This was an oustanding combination of flavors, I hope to see it worked into the regular menu.  Lotus root and avocado as the ultimate "chips and dip" with the charged oyster in the middle. 

* Burgundy Escargot

      Wine- Trimbach Pinot Blanc

According to someone at the table, Bluestem NEVER does a classic presentation of escargot.........heh heh.  That is until last night.  Good stuff, with the shell holding onto the ultimate butter "shooter".

* Foie gras torchon, peanut butter, strawberries w/chopped mint and rhubarb gelee

      Wine- Inniskillen Ice Wine

I'm totally biased, but I think the torchon at Bluestem is one of the best foie preparations ever (Chicago folks, feel free to come down and check it out.... :wink: ).  The accompaniments last night, reminiscent of PB&J, were the perfect addition. 

* Pea soup, sherry sabayon, pink peppercorns, pea shoots

      Wine- Gruner Veltliner

The amount of flavor the chefs get from fresh peas and a little broth is a mystery.........oustanding. 

 

* Tasmanian trout, saffron broth, brandade, spring garlic

      Wine- Solitude Chardonnay, Carneros, California

You just don't see brandade on enough menus these days.

* Hamachi, laurel, green tea emulsion, chorizo

      Wine- Carmela Benegas Rose, Mendoza, Argentina

Up to this point in the menu this was probably my favorite dish.  Put a good sear on a piece of fish and you've got me.  The mild chorizo (and tiny diced potato?) made this a surprisingly rich dish. 

* Wagyu flatiron, morroccan olive, almond crusted asparagus

      Wine- Aglianico Rubrato San Gregorio (sp???) Campania, Italy

Not a lot to say about this one.....it speaks for itself.  I don't think anyone said anything the whole time we were eating it, which is saying alot because apparently Mike and Judy know every hippie who has ever lived in Lawrence....and all of their family members.....and pets.... :raz:

* Elysian Fields lamb, fava bean puree, veal jus, morel

      Wine- Gago Tempranillo, Spain

* Colorado goat cheese, mostardo, nut bread

      Wine- Sherry

Great cheese, but the thing that stuck out in this course was the mostardo (sp?).  Little slivers of pear and apple that have been candied in sugar, horseradish and mustard oil.  I believe Colby said it is from Italy, and other than cheese I'm not sure what it could be used with, but it beats the heck out of the usual quince or citrus paste you get with most cheese courses. 

* Spring Mint ice cream sandwich, something with basil, berry ‘drops’ (served cruelly atop a mirror!)

        Wine- Moscato di Asti, Piedmont, Italy

The humble ice cream sandwich may literally be my favorite dessert, even the cheapo kind you got back in the school cafeteria.  The homemade fresh spring mint ice cream in this one was so great.  I'd go hang out in the lounge after work just to have the foie gras and this dessert. 

* Champagne float, chocolate truffle

It was around this time that Colby joined us for a bit and we started chatting about how sous vide could take the BBQ world by storm.  I'd had a lot of wine and food at this point, and I'm not sure I followed it completely, but whatever is gonna get me new toys in the kitchen sounds good. 

Anyway, thanks once again to the staff at Bluestem.  That was a fantastic, relaxing meal.

Now, having fully recovered, slept a couple of nights and sneaked up on some food again, I'm ready to make a couple of additional comments.

The oyster/avo/lotus root chip may be the most intriguing thing I've had in a long while. Much as I hate to agree with Zeemanb, this is a keeper. I hope it make future appearances.

The sherry sabayon was mentioned but not raved about; it should have been.

Re: 'not enough brandade' well, you're not hanging out in the right (French) places, but the use of brandade to make this dish work opened my eyes to its versatility. I will no longer view it as merely something to slather on a good baguette. I (rather foolishly) tasted the fish/saffron broth full-strength and was taken aback. Then I caught onto the intention and introduced the brandade into the next bite -- ah, now I get it. Brandade as condiment. It gives me ideas (ideas that will drive-up the cost of bacalao in the metro area).

I had not eaten lamb in at least 15 years; the first bite I wasn't sure if I could do it...I had another and it began to smoothe-out for me. In the end, there was nothing left and I couldn't even feel badly about it. Good stuff.

I'm not a dessert person but I felt as nearly rhapsodic as I ever get about sweets (and stopped just short of licking my mirror clean, which is a compliment coming from this savory-inclined diner).

Otherwise Z did a fairly decent job of describing the experience. :wink:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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I've only seen brandade prepared a couple of ways... can you describe the brandade in more detail?

"cuisine is the greatest form of art to touch a human's instinct" - chairman kaga

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I'm no expert on brandade, as far as knowing how it was prepared. Plus, we're hosting Mojito Fest 2006 at my house this evening, but anyway....the brandade was presented on the plate in a creamy brush stroke from the center of the plate out to the edge. Judy was under the impression that they kept putting dirty dishes in front of us anytime the chefs used a brush, and we didn't want to rile her so we played along. Don't tell her I said that.

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

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My eG Food Blog- 2011

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I've had brandade prepared ten ways to Timbuktu... can you describe exactly how the brandade looked? What did it taste like? Was it actually salted cod, or something else... perhaps Crum, or the big CAG can step in on this one?

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Tipical brandade made with salt cod, olive oil, garlic and a bit of potato. The salt cod was soaked in water then poached in milk and pureed with blanched garlic and potato, the oil was then emulsified into this base and we passed the mixture through a tamis to smooth it out. Thats it.

Dave Crum

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I'm no expert on brandade, as far as knowing how it was prepared.  Plus, we're hosting Mojito Fest 2006 at my house this evening, but anyway....the brandade was presented on the plate in a creamy brush stroke from the center of the plate out to the edge.  Judy was under the impression that they kept putting dirty dishes in front of us anytime the chefs used a brush, and we didn't want to rile her so we played along.  Don't tell her I said that.

The bitch is back et la bouche n'est pas amuse, Z. :angry:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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I've had brandade prepared ten ways to Timbuktu... can you describe exactly how the brandade looked?  What did it taste like?  Was it actually salted cod, or something else... perhaps Crum, or the big CAG can step in on this one?

u.e.

I know I'm going to regret this...where I come from, brandade is pretty cut and dried (pun intended). Pray tell what else are people trying to pass-off as brandade?

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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I've had brandade prepared ten ways to Timbuktu... can you describe exactly how the brandade looked?  What did it taste like?  Was it actually salted cod, or something else... perhaps Crum, or the big CAG can step in on this one?

u.e.

I know I'm going to regret this...where I come from, brandade is pretty cut and dried (pun intended). Pray tell what else are people trying to pass-off as brandade?

Recently, at Avec in Chicago I had a brandade that was much looser than the usual paste-like consistency I'm used to seeing. This was almost like a brandade dip or fondue. It was very delicious but I was taken aback when it first hit the table.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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I've had brandade prepared ten ways to Timbuktu... can you describe exactly how the brandade looked?  What did it taste like?  Was it actually salted cod, or something else... perhaps Crum, or the big CAG can step in on this one?

u.e.

I know I'm going to regret this...where I come from, brandade is pretty cut and dried (pun intended). Pray tell what else are people trying to pass-off as brandade?

Yeah, for the unimaginative (or reasonable-mind), it would be hard to think of any other way of preparing brandade. Would you believe I've had brandade made from things other than cod? - everything from monkfish to sea bass... or even vegetarian versions - tempeh and tofu brandade... :hmmm:

Also, I've had brandade rolled into a ball and deep fried (not bad, but not traditional).

In Spain, at a tapas restaurant, an order of brandade materialized as a filet of re-hydrated salted cod under a light layer of tomato sauce and melted mozerella cheese.

While traditional brandade is supposed to be thickened with potatoes, I've also had brandade thickened with dried bread, sweet potatoes, turnips and even cereal....

I've also had dessert brandade, which went something like this: shredded coconut and squeeze-dried pineapple - thickened with brioche... I think it was called the "pina colada brandade"... needless to say, curiosity got the better of me when I ordered it. It rated high creativity... and I think it even succeeded... it's just a pity they couldn't have come up with a better name for it...

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I've had brandade prepared ten ways to Timbuktu... can you describe exactly how the brandade looked?  What did it taste like?  Was it actually salted cod, or something else... perhaps Crum, or the big CAG can step in on this one?

u.e.

I know I'm going to regret this...where I come from, brandade is pretty cut and dried (pun intended). Pray tell what else are people trying to pass-off as brandade?

Yeah, for the unimaginative (or reasonable-mind), it would be hard to think of any other way of preparing brandade. Would you believe I've had brandade made from things other than cod? - everything from monkfish to sea bass... or even vegetarian versions - tempeh and tofu brandade... :hmmm:

Also, I've had brandade rolled into a ball and deep fried (not bad, but not traditional).

In Spain, at a tapas restaurant, an order of brandade materialized as a filet of re-hydrated salted cod under a light layer of tomato sauce and melted mozerella cheese.

While traditional brandade is supposed to be thickened with potatoes, I've also had brandade thickened with dried bread, sweet potatoes, turnips and even cereal....

I've also had dessert brandade, which went something like this: shredded coconut and squeeze-dried pineapple - thickened with brioche... I think it was called the "pina colada brandade"... needless to say, curiosity got the better of me when I ordered it. It rated high creativity... and I think it even succeeded... it's just a pity they couldn't have come up with a better name for it...

u.e.

I guess, with that in mind, I am reminded of a pretty-much-no-holds-barred use of "carpaccio" which, in modern menu parlance, has come to mean anything uncooked, thinly sliced. I'm afraid I am a traditional kinda gal. Brandade is made from dried, salted cod, rehydrated in milk, processed (via tami or other device) and otherwise not too much adulterated (save from the addition of primo olive oil and, perhaps, herb). Not unlike what Chef Crum (and several million little old French mothers) would describe.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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I guess, with that in mind, I am reminded of a pretty-much-no-holds-barred use of "carpaccio" which, in modern menu parlance, has come to mean anything uncooked, thinly sliced.  I'm afraid I am a traditional kinda gal.  Brandade is made from dried, salted cod, rehydrated in milk, processed (via tami or other device) and otherwise not too much adulterated (save from the addition of primo olive oil and, perhaps, herb).  Not unlike what Chef Crum (and several million little old French mothers) would describe.

Yep, sadly, haute cuisine has bastardized much of the "traditional" preparations... although not without spectacular results...

Question: your rendition didn't include potatoes... I thought traditional brandade was either "starched-up" a bit by either adding bread or potatoes? :unsure:

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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So tell me wench... did the escargot squirt garlic butter? You know, they're only good if they squirt garlic butter! :laugh:

I can't WAIT to have my very own "impulsive collection" soon!

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I love the new images on the bluestem website, the food looks awesome! Also, I was wondering what that tube with the bluestem logo on it is for?

"cuisine is the greatest form of art to touch a human's instinct" - chairman kaga

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I love the new images on the bluestem website, the food looks awesome! Also, I was wondering what that tube with the bluestem logo on it is for?

I was curious about that as well. CAG, Dave? Did you finally take my suggestion and order some logo smelling salts for the impulsive collection? :raz:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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