Last week, Liz had an opportunity to attend Live Well 2010: A Return to Real Food and Simple Pleasures, a conference in Napa Valley sponsored by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. The three-day meeting was filled with fine food, cooking classes at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, lectures including one on the role of agriculture on global warming and one on optimal protein intakes (which we’ll tackle in a future podcast), and tips on choosing the 29 lean cuts of meat. Tune into this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast to hear all about it … or read on for highlights and photos!
Welcome reception for Live Well 2010 at the Villagio Inn & Spa in Yountville, CA
Chef Bob Hurley of Hurley’s Restaurant cooks up Moroccan Marinated Tenderloin of Beef
Grilled Green-Peppercorn Marinated Beef Tri-Tip with Lemon Thyme Farro created by Anne Gingrass, Executive Chef, Brix
There was lots of talk at the conference about adding flavor without excessive amounts of fat, and Chef Dave Zino highlighted 10 flavor boosters including what he calls, the umami advantage. Umami is known as the fifth taste and is often referred to as savoriness. Beef has umami as do mushrooms, blue cheese, red wine, Parmesan cheese, tomatoes, corn and potatoes.
Dinner at Tres Sabores winery took place under giant olive trees and showcased the umami advantage with a dish of Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Porcini Glaze
Chef Sarah Scott paired the dish with Farro Tabbouleh and Rancho Gorda Mayacoba Beans with Purslane
Marinades and rubs are another way to boost flavor, so we thought we’d share this simple rub … just in time for Father’s Day cookouts.
Lemon Thyme Rub
Makes 1/2 cup
Rubs applied to the surface of uncooked steak add flavor … though they do not tenderize. You can apply this rub just before grilling or up to two hours in advance.
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons coarse grind black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Apply rub evenly to both sides of steak. Grill to desired doneness.
A highlight of the trip was the Be The Chef cooking challenge at the CIA where attendees were placed into groups and assigned a recipe from famous chefs including Julia Child, Bobby Flay, and Ming Tsai.
Liz teams up with Sandra Nissenberg, Mary Young, and Mitzi Dulan to prepare celeb chef, Ming Tsai’s Wok-Stirred Curry-Ginger Beef & Leeks
Cooking “students” choose ingredients from the “Farmer’s Market” table
A sampling of the day’s creations included Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon, and Ming Tsai’s Wok-Stirred Curry-Ginger Beef & Leeks and Sweet & Spicy Beef Noodles
Liz’s take-away after eating beef for several days straight was that the key to including meat in a healthy diet is to choose lean cuts, keep the portion size to 3 or 4 ounces (about the size of a deck of cards), turn to flavor enhancers that heighten the flavor without the fat (unless it’s a healthy fat like olive oil, avocados, or nuts) and to pair it with interesting whole grains, and of course, lots and lots of fruits and vegetables.
For more photos from Live Well 2010, check out our flickr page.