Vigneta Cucina ...... Chef Us Balmer

Chef Us Balmer

is a Swiss born, James
Beard award winner.
He was formerly the
Executive Chef at
Spencer's in Palm
Springs and has now
moved on to be the
Executive Chef at
"California" the swanky
restaurant at the newly
renovated Sheraton
Universal Hollywood.

The first ~ A classic Tomato and
Mozzarella Salad
Insalata Caprese

1 ripe red tomato
1 ripe yellow tomato
3 ounces Buffalo mozzarella
1 ounce extra virgin olive oil
1 ounce balsamic vinaigrette
cracked pepper & kosher salt
1 ounce frisee lettuce
1 tsp chopped chives

Slice tomato and mozzarella. Arrange on plate, one tomato slice, one mozzarella
slice to form a circle. place frisee lettuce in the middle. Drizzle with oil and
vinegar. Sprinkle with chives and season.

Chicken Salad

6 ounces chicken breast
2 ounces mixed greens
1/4 grapefruit, in segments
1/4 orange, in segments
1/2 papaya, sliced
1/2 avocado, sliced
2 ounces citrus dressing
1/4 tomato, finely diced
1/4 tsp finely chopped chives

Grill chicken breast. Place the
segments of grapefruit, orange
and slices of papaya at one side
of large plate. Toss the salad
greens in the dressing and set
alongside the fruit. Place the
chicken on the salad, shingled
with slices of avocado. Garnish
with a little chopped tomato and chives.

Citrus Dressing
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons Pommery mustard
1 cup citrus reduction
1/8 cup cold water
1/2 cup salad oil
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon grapefruit zest
Zest of 1 lime

For citrus reduction: Mix 2 cups orange juice,
1 1/2 cups grapefruit juice and 1/2 cup lime juice.
Simmer until reduced to 1 cup. Let cool
In a blender or food processor, blend the egg yolk,
mustard, water and citrus reduction. Drizzle in the
oil with the machine running. When the mixture is
as thick as cream, salt and pepper to taste.

Portobello Mushroom Salad

1 cup baby spinach
1 Portabello mushroom cap
3 fried red onion rings
1/4 ounce bacon bits
1 ounce truffle vinaigrette
Grill Portobello mushroom cap and slice. Toss spinach in truffle vinaigrette.
Place on 10" salad plate. Put onion rings and bacon bits on top. Scatter
mushroom pieces around and on salad.

The Insalata Caprese was very good. Our favorites were the Chicken Salad and the Portobello Mushroom Salad. The Chicken Salad with the citrus dressing was refreshing and all those flavors together Oh-la-la! The Portobello Salad was incredible. A tad more work, to be sure, I don't always have truffle vinaigrette on hand, but what a substantial salad. It almost tasted like steak.
Us Balmer was terrific to work with ~ a true artist in the Cucina.

Photography By: Ryannan Bryer de Hickman
Copyright: Sotto Il Monte Vineyards

1 comment:

  1. this is all so beautiful... i tried to post a few times yesterday, but the system was down, hope i have better luck today~

    i wanted to ask you a question too, if you have a moment can you email me at bluemooniris at gmail, thanks!


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