After last week’s post on my new reality competition discovery, The Taste, I was contacted by someone affiliated with Alamos Wines who graciously provided me with Gregg’s winning recipe to share with all of you (see below). I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it in an hour as Gregg did, nor when I might have smoked eel and bonito flakes on hand to do so, but it certainly looks like it is worth the effort. If you make it, I want a full report!

This week, Gregg again won the team challenge and everyone seems to be gunning for him; however, he showed his first sign of weakness by ending up on the bottom of the solo challenge. Of course, by winning the team challenge, he had immunity and was automatically safe from elimination. We will have to wait until next week to see if his disappointing result shakes Ludo’s confidence in him.

Tensions definitely seemed higher in every kitchen this week, and the deceptively simple theme of sandwiches proved to be the undoing of more than one top contender. However, at the end of the day, the right people seem to have been sent packing. The team I suspected to be the weakest coming out of the auditions is indeed turning out to be much weaker than the other three, but we are slowly approaching the point where I don’t see who could possibly be sent home next.

Tune in next week for an offal good time!

Alamos The Taste

Five Spice Crusted Short Rib with Eggplant and Miso Black Garlic Jus
Paired with Alamos® Malbec
Recipe by Chef Gregg Drusinsky

2 small eggplants
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Salt to taste

Miso Jus:
10 small shallots, sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup sake
3 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cluster maitake mushrooms
4 oz. smoked eel
2 tablespoons white miso paste
1 head black garlic, sliced

Short ribs:
1 lb. boneless beef short ribs
2 teaspoons five spice powder
2 teaspoons smoked salt
3 tablespoons grape seed oil

2 teaspoons ground bonito flakes
6 green onions, white end sliced, green tops cut in chiffonnade
½ bunch cilantro, small leaves picked

Char the whole eggplants over a flame until black and soft. Scoop out the insides from the skin and pulse in a blender with sesame oil; season with salt.

To prepare jus, sauté shallots and garlic in canola oil in a large saucepan until soft and aromatic. Add sake and reduce by half. Add chicken stock, soy sauce and mushrooms and cook for 20 minutes. Reduce heat and add eel; simmer for 10 minutes more. Pour mixture through a fine strainer to remove solids. Place miso and black garlic in a blender. Slowly add the mushroom broth, blending until smooth.

To prepare short ribs, season meat with five spice powder and smoked salt. Heat oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Sear meat on all sides; reduce heat and cook until medium rare. Set aside for 5 minutes then thinly slice.

To plate, arrange sliced short ribs over eggplant puree then drizzle jus around short ribs. Garnish with bonito flakes, scallions and cilantro. Serves 4-6.