Weekend in Las Vegas and Jalapeno Bread
Last weekend was one of those very eventful and adventure-filled ones: I was in Vegas, otherwise known as Sin City. But I was a good girl—ahem, as always—and I am proud to say that I have nothing to hide and that what happened in Vegas is NOT going to stay in Vegas. I am sharing it all here.
I arrived at McCarran airport at 10:15 am Vegas time. I quickly found a cab and headed to my hotel. From the room window on the 31st floor, I could see the strip and a good part of the outskirts. Everything looked placid, almost inanimate. The brown-gray landscape was desert-like and looked extremely thirsty. The only color there was came from a couple of tinted tall glass buildings and the numerous pools planted everywhere in lawn-less backyards. It looked calm, almost dead. Little did I know that all the action, fun and hustle and bustle took place behind closed doors, and that half the population (aka tourists) was night owls whose day had not begun yet. I discovered that same night how vibrant, fun and sassy Vegas was: the casinos, restaurants, clubs, hotels, shows, shops and luxury were all very therapeutic for a stressed teacher.
My most memorable stop was at Mesa Grill. It was no coincidence that I found myself there. I have been a long-time fan of Bobby Flay’s; so going to Vegas without eating at his restaurant was simply out of the question. I can comfortably say that it is now high on my list of favorite restaurants. The service was outstanding, the staff was welcoming and extremely well trained, the lighting dim, the décor elegant with colorful accents, and the food, especially, was off the charts. My respect for Bobby has just gotten bigger. It takes a great owner to have a great restaurant; and according to the waitress, he’s there every 8 to 10 weeks to look after his business. The entrees were on the expensive side, which is why J. and I had four appetizers instead. Our dinner came out cheaper and we got to sample more dishes that way. Clever, non?
Being familiar with Bobby’s culinary style, I wasn’t surprised at all that everything tasted of jalapeno or some other sort of piquant pepper. What was surprising, though, was the Jalapeno and Asiago Bread. I have never thought of such a combination. I thought it was genius. The flavors played quite a few tricks on my palate. I loved it!
Needless to say, I made jalapeno and Asiago bread a few days after I came back home. I googled some recipes—and was surprised to see that it wasn’t unheard of after all—chopped a few jalapenos, mixed in the Asiago cheese, and emulated as best I could the original. I can’t claim it was better than Bobby’s—it was a little different, but very good.
Jalapeno and Asiago Bread
I loved using this bread for sandwiches. I finished it very quickly!
This recipe is adapted from allrecipes.com
1 1/8 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 jalapenos, seeded, stemmed and minced
1/2 cup shredded Asiago
3 cups bread flour
1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
Add the ingredients according to the bread machine manufacturer’s directions.
Set your machine on regular basic bread.