Bobby Flay — probably one of the most famous chefs in America, who will choose cooking in his restaurant kitchens over appearing on TV any day (even though his list of Food Network shows is as long as the fanciest chef’s knife) — visited The Daily Meal kitchen to cook some of his favorite appetizers and bar bites. He also demonstrated his kitchen skills by giving us a how-to on making Spanish sausage. We learned quite a bit about the Iron Chef, including that he always keeps several types of honey and mustard in his pantry, and that the next item on his career bucket list is to do a lip-sync battle on Jimmy Fallon. His song of choice would be an Ariana Grande tune, of course. We’re crossing our fingers that The Tonight Show can make this happen, pronto.
Chef Flay cooked up a storm, preparing several small plates, some of which appear on his restaurant menus in New York. Highlights include roasted octopus with tangerine vinaigrette, bacon, and oregano on a crostini; a mussel and razor clam salad with pickled shallots; and a scrambled egg dish with almond romesco, bûcheron cheese, and tomato confit. The latter dish, Flay explained, was inspired by a culinary experience he had in Barcelona. The texture of the eggs in the dish was incredibly fluffy and creamy. His secret? Constantly stirring his eggs, and adding a touch of crème fraîche. “Not your typical breakfast for dinner,” he quipped.
Flay also demonstrated his smoking skill by walking us through the chorizo-making process for his Spanish-inspired chorizo crépinette (sausage patty wrapped in caul fat) topped with apricot mostarda and pickled Brussels sprouts, which appears on the Gato bar menu.
“This is actually a lot easier to make than regular sausage, which is wrapped in casing,” said Flay. “I like to season my food with big flavors and lots of layers. Everything good starts with garlic and onions, I always say.” His tip for cooking the perfect sausage is to over-season it, because sausage loses some of its flavor during the cooking process.
“A lot of people know me from television, and I have to say, that’s done a lot for my career,” said Flay. “But I always looked at it as a great opportunity. My feeling was, ‘I can go to work tonight, and go to the Food Network after a few subway stops away… and then maybe someone will see my show and pick my restaurant to go to the next night. So I gave it a try. The only way you know is if you try, and I’m constantly trying.”
The event, which was exclusively sponsored by Oberon wines, featured three wine and cheese pairings: sauvignon blanc with Champlain Valley Triple Cream Brie, cabernet sauvignon with Tickler English Aged Cheddar, and merlot with Pt. Reyes Bay Blue Cheese. For more information on wine & cheese pairings visit www.Oberonwines.com/cheese.