Monday, November 29, 2010

THE GREAT GAY COOKIE CONTEST!


It's simple...

If you are twitter follower no. 200 leave me a message and you get a free batch of cookies made by yours truly! I will try to be as accommodating as my pocket/kitchen allows!


If you are Facebook Fan Follower no 210... you get a batch of cookies!! You must leave a comment here to win!

If you are blog follower no. 25 COMMENT TO WIN and you get a free batch of cookies!!

What's better than free cookies?!?!

Weight Watchers® I think I can swing healthy energy bars just for you!

Deliciously Living,

Michael Munoz
The Gay Gourmet™
©Michael Munoz 2010

WEIGHT WATCHERS® ALERT!!

So I figured I would just pass the word along cause as you all know I love my good friend Penny who is a lifetime member and many of you have been asking what I know about the new PointsPlus™ program that's being instituted very shortly!

Well in doing some research and with the help of Penny I found another fabulous blogger Lisa Lillien (aka Hungry Girl) who had this to say about what's to come of the new plan:


BREAKING NEWS ALERT: An All-New Weight Watchers Plan Is Here!

There have been a lot of rumors circulating about Weight Watchers' plans to completely overhaul its famous POINTS® program. Well, the new PointsPlus™ program has finally arrived, and we are SUPER-EXCITED! The new plan takes protein and carbs into consideration when calculating a food's value -- not just fat and fiber. Since emerging science establishes that the body processes each of these nutrients differently, the new values will be more effective in terms of weight loss. Some foods have higher values than they did on the old plan, but you get a bigger "points budget" to work with. And -- HUGE news -- just like most veggies, all fruit has a PointsPlus™ value of ZERO!!!! (That's right, people. Enjoy those ZERO PointsPlus™ value BANANAS. AHHHHHHH!) The plan also emphasizes what it calls Power Foods, stuff that's both filling and healthy. The WW plan is still super-flexible, but it's designed to help you make smarter food choices without even thinking about it. THAT ROCKS. Look for new PointsPlus™ values rolling out VERY soon in your HG emails, and consult Weight Watchers for all the details on the new plan. Congrats, WW!


I agree! Congrats WW! Like I said in my Cookin' for Penny Blog, upon entering the food blog world I wanted to try to appeal and help as many people as possible come up with new food ideas and enjoy eating, learning and cooking! I tried WW via all the info I found online to see what it was like to be on one of these commercial diets. I picked this one especially cause I knew of so may success stories. It's a FANTASTIC program that No.1 does help you make good eating choices with out thinking about it too much and No.2 Helps you lose weight healthily and quickly!

This new plan sounds FANTASTIC and I'm super excited/cant wait to see what it holds and how I can adjust all my food to fit it's needs!! Till then my little hungry happy(gay) followers live deliciously!! You can also read up about the plan at these sites...PINK = Link click away!! Oh and Stay tuned for more Cookin for Penny Segments/Weight Watcher® Addendums to come!!

Weight Watchers

The Examiner

USA Today

Wall Street Journal

There is a video as well - click here

Deliciously Living,

Michael Muñoz
The Gay Gourmet™

©Michael Muñoz 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Big Gay Thanksgiving Relived!

So I hope all of your Thanksgivings were as joyous as the 3 that I had! Here is the breakdown of my Big Gay Thanksgiving just for you!! Like I mentioned in an earlier post some of the recipes are mine, some I found and I love, and some I found but they needed a little homosexual touch to make it perfection! Before I start I have to give a special shout out/thank you/licks/kisses & hugs to John Dolan who took all these amazing photos! I am forever indebted to you! MUAH!

SO the first course was my Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Carrot soup with Grilled Blue Cheese Croutons!

(recipe to follow as this make a great Autumn/Winter Soup! Weight Watcher® Friendly!)

It's so delicious all you'll want to do is serve it up and cuddle up with a good movie or a hot mans! (yes I said mans)


Dinner was scrumptious! The array went like this!


There was a warm salad of Caramelized Brussel Sprouts and Cannellini Beans Tossed in a light homemade vinegrette and garnished with freshly shaved Pecorino Romano!

(recipe to follow - Weight Watchers® this is a good one for you! low points & delicious!!)









Then there were Wild Mushroom Bundles courtesy of Shelly Wiseman of Gourmet Magazine via Epicurious.com. This recipe is slightly labor intensive and was one that needed a homosexual touch to make it just right. I took the suggestion of someone who commented on the recipe and added goat cheese to it. I can't imagine them with out it really! They are so freakin'delicious make sure you make extra just for yourself and store them away!

I also have to give a special shout out/thanks to my sous-chef of the day, Gabriel Beck, who essentially took this project under his wing and perfected it!





Next came my Man Keepin' Mac & Cheese! Is there really much more I need to say about this? A delicious combination of Pepper Jack, Cheddar, Manchego, Romano, Parmesan, Muenster, & Ricotta that will have you screaming in ecstasy!

(recipe to follow - Weight Watchers® there is no point in making a low point Mac & Cheese..Flex baby Flex!!)





Next came my twice baked sweet potatoes! I went a-searchin' for some fun sweet potato recipe and didn't find anything I really loved. I did come across one that inspired this recipe though. The recipe I found just had you place a streusel on top of the backed potatoes. But I thought well that makes no sense cause I wanna taste the goodness throughout! So i dug em out Gay Gourmet'd™ them up then added the streusel and they were UH-MAZING!!!

(recipe to follow... Weight Watchers® It's Thanksgiving for goodness sake! lol Just close your eyes.. or better yet a baked sweet potato with some salt pepper and smart balance is super delicious too!)



On to Ms. Rachel Ray's Stuffing Muffins. In my stuffing muffins I used cornbread, chorizo, celery, apple & leeks and then followed her recipe on how to put it all together.. sadly they didnt stay together when taking them out of the muffin tins. I dont know whether it's because there is no binding agent or cause I substituted cornbread...but I need to figure it out and report back! The Stuffing was still delicioso nonetheless!




As for sauces for my turkey I has a mushroom gravy which I sadly dont have a picture of cause it was beautiful and delicious! and then I had a Cosmopolitan Cranberry Sauce! Courtesy of Rick Rodgers via Epicurious.com! I like to doctah (yes I said doctah) this just a hair. I throw in a little extra sugar and then I used 1/2 cup vodka splitting it between half Stoli Ohranj & Half Stoli Applik! I also jullienned a green apple and added the zest of one orange after it had cooled. Throw the juice of half a lime in there along with the Grand Marnier and this recipe goes from perfect to brilliant!


Last but certainly not least was the Turkey! So delicious and I don't really need to say much as there have been 3 blogs about this bird already! But i do need to show you the picture one more time and give the idea credit to Chef Stephen Lewandowski who did this for his family last year. It seemed so good and intriguing that I needed to try this process for myself this year and against his recommendation I Gay Gourmet'd™ it and stuffed it. But is was SO GOOD!!



Dessert consisted of Ms. Martha Stewart's Chocolate Pumpkin Tart which I have been making for years and it's soo good! I have to go into my backlog of recipes to find this one as the one they have on the site has been updated to make it easier but I dont think it's as good as the original recipe!

Good food is worth the time and effort folks!

There was also a White Cheddar Apple Pie! Just take your traditions Apple Pie recipe and layer in delicious slivers of while cheddar. You'll thank me later!

Top it all off with a little homemade Grand Marnier Whipped Cream (two pints heavy cream 2 TBS of Grand Marnier 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar & whip away) and the evening is complete!

Other than that there was wine and liquor galore!

Oh you must be saying to yourself wow this is so much food and it must have cost an arm and a leg! I was contemplating giving you a price breakdown but Ill just say that I spent around $160 dollars which when broken down per head is a little over $13 dollars a person. I didn't buy or bring any of the liquor. The Gays brought that and I sent two of my friends the dessert recipes as I just didn't have the time nor the oven space to bake dessert.

I hope you all enjoyed reading this as much as I did cooking it! More to come!!

Deliciously Living

Michael Munoz

The Gay Gourmet™
©Michael Munoz 201 for The Gay Gourmet™

All photos are ©John Dolan Photography 2010 and may not be used without permission

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pounding, Stuffing & Rolling!

Here is the segment where we pound out our deconstructed turkey, stuff it and roll it! DELICOSO!!!

video

After it's stuffed, and rolled you want to wrap it in two layers of plastic wrap and then foil. You should end up with two large sausage like rolls. Bring a large pan of water to a boil and drop them in for about an hour or until the reach just over 140 degrees. Take them out and let them cool and store in the refrigerator. The next day preheat the oven to 350 and put them in for about an hour or until they reach 160 degrees! Baste with butter and turkey stock. You can also garnish with fresh bacon bits and parsley. When done take it out of the oven and let rest for like 10 to 15 mins and serve. DELICOSO!





Many Thanks to Tribeca Grill, Drew Neiporent, Stephen Lewandowski, Martin Shapiro, Meaghan Sause & of course Sous-Chef Tony Ferrante


Tony Ferrante
©Michael Munoz 2010 for The Gay Gourmet™

A Thanksgiving Greeting!!

Well the turkey has been eaten and Gladys and I are well onto our 4th bottle of wine! Dont you love her nails?!?!

video

So Glam! I hope all you of have the most joyous of Thanksgivings wherever you are!

Deliciously Living

Michael & Momma Gladys!
aka The Gay Gourmet™

©Michael Munoz for The Gay Gourmet™ 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Deconstructing a Turkey Lurkey!

Sous Chef of Tribeca Grill, Tony Ferrante, takes me through deconstructing a turkey!!

You may be asking yourself...now why would I want to do this? Well if you have a small kitchen/oven like myself, the Turkey is smaller and therefore fits easier into my oven. Even if you have a big oven, since the Turkey is smaller it takes less time to cook therefore giving you more space and time to use your oven for whatever else you may need to cook this holiday season!

Watch on!!


video

©Michael Munoz 2010 for The Gay Gourmet™


Many Thanks to Tribeca Grill, Drew Neiporent, Stephen Lewandowski, Martin Shapiro, Meaghan Sause & of course Sous-Chef Tony Ferrante

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Turkey Teaser!!

video

©Michael Munoz for The Gay Gourmet™

Many Thanks to Tribeca Grill, Drew Neiporent, Stephen Lewandowski, Martin Shapiro, Meaghan Sause & of course Sous-Chef Tony Ferrante

Monday, November 22, 2010

"Wishful Eating!" Vol. 1

Wishful Eating is the forum on this blog where fans, friend and I discuss life, food, love & everything in between!

This here is loverly note that I received from one of my best friends the other day! He was so moved he had to share his experience!


The Note:

So yesterday afternoon I had a date and afterwards I wanted to dunk my entire head into a vat of Haagen Daz because it was so bad. Luckily, I'm a vain gay man and just had a couple of chocolate chocolate chip cookies and a slice of chocolate cake with buttercream icing to ease the pain. After my snack I noticed that I was actually hungry and being that it was now 4:30 and I had pork chops thawed in my fridge I thought why not start making dinner. Well what does one do with pork chops? I realized at that precise moment that I had never in all my 33yrs of living had never cooked a pork chop.

I'm sure you're thinking is this guy a Jew?

No but I've always wanted to date one, but I digress,

I'm actually a beautiful black man whose bacon eating/ham sandwich for breakfast eatin ass never had cooked a pork chop. Luckily I knew exactly what to do. I would gchat one of my best friends in the whole world, Michael Munoz aka The Gay Gourmet, and ask what to do!

He of course knew all the right questions to ask.

"What do ya mean you ain't never cooked pawrk chops!?!? You're ethnic ain't chew??"

After that the questions were a little less harsh and more on the lines of

"Do you have salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder?"

"How big is the meat?" he asks, if I had a dime for every time....

I took the chop and put it up to the camera and he said

"Oh just take those ingredients and make a rub and fry those bitches up!"

I used about a Tbs of each mixed it together and rubbed it all over the meat. By this time I had my skillet, with about a Tbs of olive oil in it, good and hot and dropped the meat onto the pan. The smell of the meat was so amazing and I couldn't wait to take a bite!!!

He, The Gay Gourmet, was finished with me yet.

He said "Do you have any nuts?" to which I replied two, he didn't react but replied "Then put them in a pan on medium high heat and once they start to smell throw about two Tbs of maple syrup in there add some water and let that reduce then put that on top of the chops when they're done!"

I realized that he was talking about actual nuts and realized I had some walnuts in the cupboards and quickly went to work. The result of this was so autumnal and delicious I took a photo and had to share it with him and of course all of you avid The Gay Gourmet readers.

Here's to eating well, better dates & happiness.

Thank You Gay Gourmet!

<3 Michael Bragg!



©2010 Michael Munoz

If you'd like to share an experience, a lovely note on how I may have helped or put something out there that maybe I can help with in this open forum, hit me up at hesthegaygourmet@gmail.com

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Queery The Gay Gourmet™! Ep.1

Hello Gorgeous!

Welcome to Queery The Gay Gourmet™! The Q & A section of my blog where I answer your questions! Whether it's a kitchen disaster, you need a menu idea, or just want to shoot the ham I'm here for you! Feel free to send all "Queeries" to hesthegaygourmet@gmail.com

Now I received this letter the other day and boy what a predicament! But this is an easy fix! Read on!

----

Hey Michael!

I am Tyler Williams, a luxury/lifestyle publicist and fashion blogger in NYC and I'm not exactly well-aquainted with my kitchen. Whenever my boyfriend needs to hide something from me (i.e. birthday presents), he hides it in the kitchen.

Please keep in mind that this is approximately a 5x5 space, as we live in Manhattan. I digress.

The other day, the boyfriend gently suggests that I cook something, so I reluctantly agree to put the mango-chutney turkey burgers he did on the George Foreman grill.

In college, I mostly survived on a diet of grilled chicken (created with said George Foreman), peanut butter and red wine, so I thought I could handle grilling two patties. Instead, the patties stuck to either side of the George Foreman for their dear lives, creating the shredded mess you see in the picture. I ended up cooking the shreds as they were, creating a kind of shredded turkey burger sandwich. Meanwhile, I burned the flatbread (also seen in the picture) for the burgers. So, essentially, can you help me figure out how to keep my grilling appliances from destroying my food so I am less distracted and can remember to take the bread out of the oven? Help me Gay Gourmet!!

Tyler Williams
http://hauteandthecity.com/




Oh where to begin!

Someone once said a way to a man's heart is through his stomach and I believe it..even though I may have been accused of trying to get there other ways...I digress. My point is that every girl, boy and in between should have a back pocket of tricks (other than bedroom ones or a phone full of them) that can keep things fresh, spicy and your significant other wanting more! moooore! moooooore!

So i want to touch on a couple things here

First Tyler I need to applaud your efforts and tell you BE NOT AFRAID of your kitchen or its appliances! By the time I'm done with you you are gonna be a pro!

Second...So you have a 5x5 kitchen...well baby here I''ve got you beat as I maybe have 2 feet of kitchen space in which I'll be cooking Thanksgiving for 12. So what I'm trying to tell you is that SIZE DOES NOT matter in this instance! Not that we are comparing sizes!



Thirdly it sounds to me from your letter that your Mans (yes I said mans) made the burgers and you cooked them. What a great way to spend some new quality time together! Especially since it seems like he's often alone in the kitchen. The kitchen can be very sexy..raw meat aside (don't you get any ideas..)

Alrighty the burgers & Mr. Foreman...

First off it sounds like you didn't grease up Mr. Foreman. Think of it like a gay man! He needed those big muskles (yes I said muskles) greased up before a fight and his grill needs some grease before you cook on it. Whether it's some PAM®, some olive oil on a napkin that you wipe the grill with or some DELICIOUS pats of butter that you soaked the burger in you need it. Especially since it doesn't sound like this is the newest of appliances and that's why it comes it that little grease pan..it'll all drip out at the end!

PLUS remember when I was talking about kitchens being sexy? I have one word for you.. Grease..

Another thing that may have caused your sticking problem is that you didn't leave the grill closed long enough. Depending on how big your burgers were they take a good few mins to cook and cook through. If you were grilling on a normal grill an 8 ounce turkey burger probably would take about 4 to 5 mins per side. If you lifted your ungreased Foreman too early of course it was gonna stick.

Lastly your meat should be dry before putting it in a pan or on a grill. The last thing you want it to do is to seize and get tough! (dont you get any ideas..)

Here's what I would have done in your situation cause it sounds like you had a good thing going!

Turn on the Foreman as soon as you start seasoning cause you want it nice and hot.

I would have taken your turkey meat and seasoned it with some fresh chopped garlic, cilantro or parsley (don't forget to wash it) and some salt and pepper. (some people, like my mom, Gladys, like to put an egg or egg white into the meat cause it acts like a binding agent..you can or cant..i don't think it matters in this instance)

You also can throw a few jalepenos in there if you want to spice it up. Cut them length-wise and using a spoon remove ribs and seeds as that's where all the heat is. (CUIDADO! that you don't touch your face, eyes, mouth or any other delicate body part on you or your man as it'll burn and be very unpleasant!) chop them up and throw 'em in!

Whether you add the jalepenos or not mix it well..yes with your hands lady!

Once the meat is seasoned, form them into palm sized pattys and set them aside on a plate. (wash your hands) Then, depending on how many pattys you have take about a tablespoon of butter for each patty and over med low heat watch it melt. It will melt fairly fast and burn if you don't watch it. Pour it into a bowl and then dip each patty in it, throw them the Foreman Grill and close it. (Weight Watchers® are cringing yet salivating at this point - if you don't want to be a fatty you can use PAM® or an Olive Oiled Napkin and wipe the grill with it before you heat it)

Chutney is basically vinegar, sugar and fruit.. so if you wanted it heated in the same pan that you melted the butter toss the chutney till lightly browned. Should only take a couple of minutes. You don't have to do this and it would make a nice topping unheated.

Lastly after you put the burgers on wait 5 minutes and then put your flatbread in your toaster, toaster oven or oven and set a timer for 5 minutes if you cant remember! Correct me if I'm wrong but don't all Foremans come with a bun warmer attached?? Lord knows I love some warm buns!

And there you have it my lovely!!

Treat your man well, feed him delicious things, give him good lovin' and he'll never leave your side.

P.S. The Gay Gourmet™ is single so do either one of you have a hot gay brother?!?!

Till next time!

Live Deliciously!

The Gay Gourmet™

The Gay Gourmet™ will answer your questions too! Send all "Queeries" to hesthegaygourmet@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

BIG GAY THANKSGIVING!

HEAR YE! HEAR YE!

The Gay Gourmet™ has cordially invited you to witness the deliciousness that will be my 2nd annual Big Gay Thanksgiving!

12 Fabulous NYC Gays will gather on Sunday the 21st of November at the gallery roof deck of my apartment building to wine, dine, talk about men and give thanks!

7:00pm Cocktails

8:00pm Dinner & a gay ol' time!

The Menu is comprised of old recipes that I've found and love, some of my own recipes and some recipes that I found, liked but then doctored to make better!

(Weight Watchers® may want to cover your eyes for the rest of this or save up them Flex Points!)

Appetizer

Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup

Main

Turkey Roulade stuffed with leek, chorizo & apple! with mushroom Gravy

Cornbread, leek, chorizo & apple stuffing muffins!

Man Keepin' Mac & Cheese!

Wild Mushroom & Goat Cheese bundles!

Twice baked Sweet Potatoes!

Fried Brussel Sprouts with Cannellini Beans and Shave Parmesan

&

Cosmopolitan Cranberry Sauce

Dessert

White Cheddar & Apple Pie!

&

Chocolate Pumpkin Tart!


Recipes, Drunkenness and Goodness to follow!!!

Deliciously Living,

The Gay Gourmet™












-

Cookin' for Penny! the Weight Watchers® Addendum to Spread 'em & Dip it!

I have known my friend Jennifer, (Penny) I'm the only one allowed to call her that so back off, for about 12 years now. When I first met Jennifer I knew it was gonna be one of those everlasting, jolly, mayhem filled relationships and I was fully prepared. Jennifer is an opera singer and you better watch out cause she is FIERCE! Over the years of her auditioning and performing, there has been only one thing holding my Penny back from greatness... her weight.

A few years back, as she tells the story, she was doing a production where she was playing a supporting role. The lead girl was this petite thing that wasn't bad but Penny could have totally sang the hell out of that part.

(I know that sounds bitchy but really as a singer/performer myself you know when you can out sing/dance/act someone and I guess this was one of those instances. Another side note is that a lot of times in the performing world you get the part cause you are pretty and skinny not because you are talented.) I digress..

One night during the performance something clicked in Penny's head and the next day she got on a treadmill joined the Weight Watchers® and never looked back!

I have researched the program and even tried it for myself for a little while, as an experiment, as I endeavored into this world of food blogging and it works. Ive seen it in Penny, in my Drag Queen friend All beef Patty and many others!

So from this day forward I will dedicate all Weight Watchers® addendums to you Penny and to all my friends struggling with weight issues! hopefully I can inspire you to find ways to still eat deliciously and lose weight at the same time!

So lets begin..the other day I wrote the first installment of recipe blog called Put It In Me! (those dark pink words are a link to it..click it!) You will have to reference that for the recipes but I've given you point break downs and maybe even some changes to make it lighter, healthier and points friendly so you can beast!!!

The Olive Tapenade!

1 lb of Olives will cost you 13.5pts

2tbs capers 0pts

3 to 4 Roasted Garlic cloves is about 2 points depending on how much Olive Oil you used when roasting it.

If you make the Tapenade a little less rich with EVOO by using

1 TBS in the processor 4pts
1Tbs for Garnish 4pts

The cilantro, pepper, oregano, lemon zest and juice are 0pts

total points = 23pts total

which is basically 4 points a serving for 6 servings.*

*Remember you are dipping and spreading..so you could possibly not even eat a full serving..Granted you can B.L.T (bite lick & taste) your way into a predicament but be your smart Weight Watcher self and this could be a healthy and delicious snack!!

Moving on to my Oh So Delicioso Cannellini Bean Dip it!

15oz can of Cannellini Beans is about 3 cups - 7.5pts

If you use 1/3 cup light sour cream instead of full fat 2.5pt (or fat free is 1pt)

My jar of Sundried Tomatoes is telling me that it's 1 point for 4 pieces but I don't believe it cause they are oil soaked! I'm gonna give them 2 point per 4 pieces cause I bet I can squeeze out 2 teaspoons of oil from it or at least a 1.5 tsp.

So You figure 6 to 8 oil packed sundried tomatoes is 3 or 4pts.

Again 3 to 4 Roasted Garlic cloves is about 2 points depending on how much Olive Oil you used when roasting it.

The rest of the ingredients are 0pts.

So the tally is.... 20pts total 6-8 servings 3.5pts or 2.5 a serving*!!! DELICIOSO!!!

*Who cares if you eat a full serving cause its only 2.5pts and freakin' delicious!

Now this mushroom, blue cheese, maple walnut spread('em) maybe a challenge but lets see what we can do here...

Portobello Mushrooms 8 large is 7pts

3 to 4 Roasted Garlic cloves is about 2 points depending on how much Olive Oil you used when roasting it.

use 1/2 cup blue cheese instead of 3/4 cup - 6.5pts (a little B.cheese goes a long way)

1/3 cup walnuts - 7pts

3tbs maple syrup is 3 points

and use 2 tsp EVOO instead of a Tbs - 2.5pts

salt & pepper don't cost you anything except maybe a little water retention.

The grand total - 28 points - 6 servings will cost you 4.5 points a serving*

* Ill say it again - Remember you are dipping and spreading..so you could possibly not even eat a full serving..Granted you can B.L.T (bite lick & taste) your way into a predicament but be your smart Weight Watcher self and this could be a mildly healthy and delicious snack!!

SO there we have it folks! My first installment of Cookin' for Penny! She's an inspiration, gorgeous & a diva!! (see photo below! Courtesy of yours truly)

Stay true to yourselves and your diet and you too could look just as fabulous!! And remember activity points come in all forms! So pick up the pace on your way to the supermarket, work or to pick up the kids, break a sweat and earn an extra point or two for the Mushroom, blue cheese and maple walnut Spread('em)!!

Deliciously Living!

The Gay Gourmet™


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Put It In Me! Vol.1 - Spread 'em & Dip it!

Welcome to the first installment of "Put It In Me!" the recipe section of my blog, because the food is so good all you want to do is put it in you STAT!

Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner why not get a little holiday help from yours truly...The Gay Gourmet™! Today we start with a few holiday noshes and it just so happens that I entertained a group of 10 with a delicious spread the other day! What a coincidence! (Dont you get any ideas...)

So you need something to wow the guests before you actually WOW your guests with your fete de resistance! Here are three of my, easy to make, favorite dips that always start the evening off with a bang! (dont you get any ideas...)



Olive Tapenade

Now Im a guy who has never really been a fan of the olive, especially Tapenade, until now... It's chunky, salty, flavorful & oh so delicious! (sounds like a good Friday night at the club to me!)

What you'll need

1 lb pitted & drained Gaeta Olives (which are my new fav) or Kalamata Olives

2 tbs Capucine or Surfine Capers
(non-pareils are most commonly found as they are the tiniest varietal but I like something a little heartier like the two listed)

3 to 4 cloves roasted garlic

1 tbs lemon juice

1 tsp lemon zest

1/4 cup of EVOO (thanks Rach!)

+ 1 tbs EVOO to drizzle on at the end

1 tsp ground pepper

1 tbs oregano (fresh or dried)

handful of cilantro leaves finely chopped

In your food processor or Bullet Express if you're my mom (Gladys) add Olives, capers, garlic, 1/4 cup EVOO, pepper, Oregano (if the Oregano is dry crush with your palms to release its fragrance), Lemon juice. Pulse processor till Olives & ingredients are crushed and chunky. About 8x or so.

(I prefer a chunky spread to a pasty one)

once everything is nicely chopped and chunky move to a bowl and stir in lemon zest and cilantro! Drizzle on remaining TBS of EVOO and your done!



Next is my Oh So Delicioso Cannellini Bean Dip!

What you'll need

15oz can of Cannelli Beans (low sodium is always best) drained

1/3 cup sour cream

2 tsp rosemary (fresh or dried)

2 tsp parsley (fresh or dried)

2 tsp paprika (fresh or dried)

2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
(use a tablespoon to a tablespoon and a half if you like it spicy!)

2 tsp fresh ground pepper

3 to 4 roasted garlic cloves

3 Tbs of finely chopped, oil packed, Sundried Tomatoes, drained (save 2tsp for garnish)

3 Tbs of finely chopped basil plus a nice short leafy green sprig for garnish!

Fluer de Sel or Kosher salt to taste

In your food processor (or Bullet Express if you were Gladys) combine beans, sundried tomatoes, garlic, paprika, parsley, pepper, red pepper flakes, rosemary, & sour cream.

Pulse till smooth and creamy!!

Move to your Fiestaware bowl and stir in finely chopped basil. Taste and add Fleur De Sel or Kosher salt to your liking. Garnish with reserved sundried tomatoes and basil sprig & VIOLA it's delicious!



You're doin' great!

Last but not least is the most favorite of my spreads!

Mushroom, Blue Cheese & Maple Walnut Spread('em)

(Now this can be made one of two ways, as a pesto-like dip or as a chunky spread'em so hold on tight!)

What you'll need..

6 to 8 large Portobello mushrooms cleaned, de-stemmed & chopped into small cubes

4 cloves of roasted garlic chopped

3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (reserve 1tbs for garnish)

1/3 cup chopped walnuts (reserve 1 tbs for garnish)

3 TBS of Quality Maple Syrup

1 Tbs Water.

1 tbs EVOO

Fresh Ground Pepper, & Fluer de Sel or Kosher Salt to taste

If you want to make a chunky spread here is what you do. Preheat a pan over medium heat lined with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Once pan is hot toss in chopped mushrooms and cook till tender. Mushrooms will turn a beautiful dark color maybe 8 to 10 mins. Keep watch over them and stir often. Once nice and tender stir in chopped roasted garlic and move to a fancy bowl and let cool completely.

While mushrooms are cooling in another dry skillet toast chopped walnuts over medium heat. Walnuts should get fragrant pretty quickly. At the first hint of a nutty smell (dont you get any ideas...) add in maple syrup and water, stir and let reduce for about a minute. remove from heat.

Once mushrooms are cooled stir in blue cheese (reserving about a tablespoon for garnish) and maple walnuts. Add salt & pepper to taste. Transfer to your Vera Wang serving bowl, add EVOO, garnish and eat away!

---
If you wanted to make this like a pesto once follow the recipe above but when mushrooms are cooked and cooled throw them into your food processor and puree. Make sure the walnuts are really finely chopped before toasting as well. Just like above add blue cheese and finely chopped nuts at the end. Follow the rest of instructions above and voila you're done!! (this is also really great on pasta!!)



All you need now is some hot crusty breads from your local bakery, maybe some chopped veggies and a few sprigs of delicious grapes and your all set!

Your guests will be screaming in ecstasy and all you'll have to do is put it in them to keep them happy!

Happy cookin folks! And remember cook fearlessly and have a blast doing it!

Deliciously Livin'!

The Gay Gourmet™

©2010 Michael Munoz

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"Concrete jungle where cakes are made...."


I love New York. I was born here, I was raised here & I probably will die here. Yes I'm one of those avid crazy NYer's with a lot of pride whose skinny gay ass will throw down at any moment if someone's got something else to say about it. Don't mess with my city! Phew! Now that that's out of the way we can move on to the moral of today's story.

One of the main reasons I love NY is because it's forever changing. Seasons, culture, vibes, neighborhoods, fashions, etc etc, things and trends just have this even flow here. It's the same with food. One minute it's sushi & the next it's tapas and so on. I think Nyer's benefit the most from the changing food trends as they could walk down a span of 5 blocks and have a choice between anything they've ever wanted or stumble upon something they didnt even know they wanted but now has given them a life/food changing experience!

ORGASM ALERT!!

This is what happened to me. I was strolling down 8th ave due north on the cat walk towards 23rd st as it was a nice day and I had just picked up a sandwich from one of my favorite places SWITCH! (the cat walk is that strip of 8th ave in Chelsea, aka the Gayborhood, between 14th st and 23rd st where you need to strut your stuff & look your best cause you don't know what hot man you will see, meet and have him carry you away - brief history of the catwalk to follow in another blog) I digress. So as I was giving you full runway walk I came across LuLu Cake Boutique. This place adorned with couture cakes, bustling with people, smelling of the best sex you've ever had completely and immediately caught my attention and I had to see more!

Upon entering it is baked good overload and all I wanted to do was eat everything in site! Sorry SWITCH but you were completely upstaged by my ongoing love affair with sugar. I mean I saw red velvet whoopie pies and maybe even a red velvet devil dogs. WHAT?!? I didn't know where to begin! Oh yes! The attractive man behind the counter wearing pink! Ill take two of those please! His name is Jay and he is part owner of this little piece of heaven. He was uber kind amidst being super busy with taking personal orders, answering questions and tending to little ol' me! They had only been open 3 days and you would think this was Mecca! But Jay and his partner are old pros as they have two other locations!

So what did I eat?

Well Jay was kind enough to let me sample a most delicious Chocolate Truffle Cupcake with a dark chocolate ganache. I mean the cake was so moist and the ganache..i wont go into detail but i would have done dirty dirty things with it if i wasn't in public.



The other thing I tried was what he called a Power Peanut butter Blondie. This is for all you meathead gym bunnies out there who still have a little fat girl living inside of them! With 15 grams of protein this is like nothing youve ever tasted. Surprisingly light, creamy textured, and not overwhelming, I'd eat this as if it were my job! Plus if your protein intake isn't what it should be (dont you get any ideas..) this is a nice substitute!



Overall this was one of those NY experiences that I didn't want to end! Run dont walk ladies! I dont care if you're wearing your Louboutins! Thanks Jay for making my month!! Oh and call me.... >wink<



Lulu Cake Boutique 112 8th Ave (bet 15th & 16th St.) NYC 10011 212.242.LULU

Friday, November 12, 2010

Planned Parenthood!

So last night was my "Think Tank" meeting at Target 10. Target 10 is one of NYC's premier Gay Marketing Firms and I just so happen to be blessed to have them helping me out! I also had a team of 9 thinkers from Event Planners, to Actors, to PR people who work for the city and major concert venues to my very own personal trainer come with their Thursday Thinking Hats adorned. I handed them this embryo that is The Gay Gourmet™ and let them run with their ideas, strategies & tactics till I was sufficiently overwhelmed! It was a fantastic 2 hours and I cant thank these people enough! But I sure did try by bringing home made Cannellini Bean Dip, Olive Tapenade, Portobello, Bleu Cheese & Maple Walnut Pesto, a loaf of Amy's 7 grain Whole Wheat Bread & Salted Pumpkin Caramels! (Recipes to follow!) It truly was a delicioso evening! Look at the plan and my team hard at work below! Photos courtesy of Matt Tuminello of Target 10!



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Prepare Ye...

As I sit here munching on some delicious Salted Pumpkin Caramels I realize that it was two years ago when The Gay Gourmet™ was born out of a ridiculous conversation. Now he's turned into more than I can ever imagine and he's on the verge of something FABULOUS! As I prep for the launch of his/this blog I want to share with you my journey. So stay tuned for fabulous food talk, culture and style commentary, randomness, mayhem and of course musical theatre but in the meantime watch me get there!!

Deliciously Living!

Michael Munoz

A.K.A. The Gay Gourmet™