This Past Saturday I had the chance to meet up with my Atlanta Food Bloggers at Pacci Ristorante in Midtown. The Ristorante is an Italian menu that is located inside of the Palomar Hotel. This was my first time at Pacci Ristorante and WOW from the moment you walk in the place, it’s Amazing!! Shortly after I had arrived we met Executive Chef Keira Moritz!! I really didn’t know what to expect but I was taken away by her charm. She’s a southern girl, pretty and down to earth! Chef Keira had talked with us a little about how she had ened up at Pacci. Then Chef invited us to go up to her kitchen on the roof top which is a Bar/Lounge called AltoRex.
This was my first experience being right in a restaurant kitchen and seeing how they cook and prepare the food. Chef Keira and her crew, made up 4 wonderful dishes for us! The first dish was a Grilled Caesar Salad, I love caesar salads but having them be grilled adds a extra smokey flavor to them. I also video taped Chef as she was preparing the Grilled Caesar Salad.
(Video at the bottom of page)
Grilled Caesar Salad
- One head of Romaine lettuce cleaned and cut in half
For the dressing
- 1 clove of garlic (finely chopped)
- 1/3 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 8 anchovy fillets (chopped)
- 1 ½ Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- Pinch of ground pepper and salt (to your taste)
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 1 “coddled” egg (one minute in boiling water, then cooled, peeled and added in entirety)
In a large wooden salad bowl, mash the garlic with a fork.
Add chopped anchovy fillets, Worcestershire, mustard, lemon juice, and coddled egg.
Blend with garlic mash the anchovies really well.
Mix in the olive oil, sparingly, with a fork until it is well incorporated.
The dressing should appear “creamy”
Taste it to see if you have added just the right amount of olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon.
Strozzapreti: Priest Stranglers
- 3 Pounds Russet potatoes
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ – 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Scant freshly grated nutmeg
- Kosher salt
Keeping your work surface and dough lightly floured, cut the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about ½ inch in diameter. Cut into ½ inch-long-pieces. Lightly flour the gnocchi shape.
As you shape the gnocchi, dust them lightly with flour and scatter them on a baking sheets lined with parchment paper or waxed paper. Poach the gnocchi in simmering water until floating, you can do this in batches once each batch is removed, drain and toss with a little olive oil, let cool then refrigerate several hours or overnight. To reheat, dip in hot water until the gnocchi float.
In a separate sauté pan place heat on medium and place # tablespoons of butter and set it to brown, half way there add sage, toasted walnuts. Once the gnocchi float drain and add to this mix. Garnish with gorgonzola.
This was the most amazing Gnocchi I have ever had!! I keep replaying every bite I took, over and over again! I’ve tried Gnocchi before and didn’t like it because to me it felt like I was eating a big half-cooked dough ball…yuck! But Chef Keira has opened my eyes to the New Gnocchi!! I don’t know how she did it…maybe it was her magical touch or Joey’s but somehow they have made me into a gnocchi believer again!! I still don’t think I can have it anywhere but at Pacci!
Chef also made Brown Butter Pear Crespelle which I gobbled that up in one second Brown Butter and Sugar who wouldn’t love anything that would go on! Chef and her crew ended the wonderful afternoon by making smores. Yummy!