Monday, November 19, 2012

Signature Chefs Auction: A Night of Culinary Delight for a Good Cause

On November 14th I attended the 2012 DC Signature Chef’s Auction benefiting the March of Dimes. This annual event was held at The Ritz-Carlton Washington, DC Hotel. More than 500 people came together for a night of culinary tastings, fine wine and cocktails from more than 30 of the area’s best chefs, mixologists and wineries.
The food was amazing!!  I sampled smoked turkey with corn pudding from Hill Country Barbecue Market, crawfish etouffee from B. Smiths, duck sausage with braised cabbage from The Federalist.  Bar Pillar served an amazing half smoke frito pie. Bastille Restaurant featured a mushroom veloute with roasted duck and croutons that was flavorful and rich.  Pan seared scallops, mini apple cobblers, beef shorts ribs and tuna tartare, I could go on and on. To top it off Georgetown Cupcake provided cupcakes and Manor House at Poplar Springs made pumpkin white chocolate mousse with pecan financier and cider caramel.  I sampled two really great wines, a merlot from Trefethen Family Vineyards winery and a riesling from Fess Parker Winery.  I was in foodie heaven.

Cupcakes provided by Georgetown Cupcake
In addition to great food and wine, there were auctions that featured items from spa trips, jewelry and art to trips to see Jimmy Kimmel and Anderson Cooper and dinner with Washington Redskins. This evening was a great success and raised over $230,000 to support the March of Dimes.

Alan J. Savada, Executive Chef Wes Morton and Tricia Barba from Art & Soul

Special guests included March of Dimes Ambassador Family, Tiffany and Stephen Bowen, who is a Defensive End with the Washington Redskins, and other Washington notables. WJLA-TV news anchor Leon Harriss served as master of ceremonies. Bar Pilar’s Executive Chef Justin Bittner and Occidental’s Bar Manager Jo-Jo Valenzuela served as honarary event chairs.

Stephen Bowen, Washington Redskins DE, and wife Tiffany Bowen. Both were 2012 Signature Chefs Ambassador Family and Fund the Mission Co-Chairs

The Signature Chefs Auction supports the work of the March of Dimes, whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.  Proceeds will fund research to find answers to premature birth and support local programs such as the Mama & Baby Bus, Stork’s Nest and NICU Family Support programs at Children’s National Medical Center, Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children, Inova Loudon Hospital and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

To bring attention to the serious problem of premature birth, the Bowens raised over $60,000 for the event, where they shared their story and dedication to the cause which aligns closely with their own foundation.

Paul Carlson, Owner of Vinoteca, and Brittany Garrison,  ThreeLockharts Public Relations
To learn more about the March of Dimes and the Signature Chefs Auction event including a complete listing of the participants, please visit www.marchofdimes.com/marylandmetrodc. To view event photos, please visit their Facebook gallery, https://www.facebook.com/marchofdimes.

Event sponsors include: DC Magazine, E*TRADE Financial, Fairfax Neonatal Associates, Infinitive, Skyler’s Gift Foundation, Stratford University, The Washington Informer, US Chamber of Commerce, WBB, WMAL and ZwillGen

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Ground Chicken Sliders

Up until two months ago ground turkey was my main substitute for ground beef,  that was until I discovered ground chicken.  I don’t think I will ever buy ground turkey again! I started cooking with ground turkey because it is healthier than ground beef.  However, ground turkey was an acquired taste for me because of its texture, it’s clumpy unlike ground chicken which crumbles better and has a texture similar to ground beef.  I know crumble and clumpy aren’t sophisticated culinary terms to describe ground meat but those are the only words I could think of.  My experience with ground chicken has been totally different.  The first time I tried ground chicken I thought it was ground beef.  I loved it and I have been cooking with it ever since. 

Here’s a recipe for ground chicken sliders, each slider is only 77 calories. For the recipe I used Perdue’s ground chicken not the ground chicken breast.  The ground chicken breast meat is leaner and lower in calories but I find that it’s a not as moist as the ground chicken that contains dark meat.

Ground Chicken Sliders Recipe
Servings: 7 (1 slider)
Nutrition info per serving  (for ground chicken only):
Calories:  77  Carbs: 6g  Protein: 12g   Fat: 4g

¼ cup chopped onions
¼ cup chopped green peppers
1 lb ground chicken containing dark meat
Seasonings to taste (I like using garlic powder, salt and pepper)
Slider rolls

In a bowl combine chopped onions, green pepper and ground chicken.  Add salt, pepper and any other seasonings you prefer to taste.  Mix well and make 7 equal patties (roughly 2.4oz each).

Spray skillet with cooking spray and pre-heat to medium heat. Cook sliders until done or internal temperature reaches 165
Serve on slider roll topped with your favorite burger topping.