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It's time to Taste Oklahoma

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On Valentine’s Day, we are usually showered with chocolate and flowers. It’s the norm; we come to expect it. But what if we didn't get chocolate? How about vanilla?

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There is certainly nothing plain or boring about that long fragrant pod that is delicious in so much more than just desserts. Vanilla can certainly add wonderful, floral flavor and aroma to just about anything and everything.

On February 14 and 15, Chef Amanda Simcoe treated us to all things vanilla in the premiere episode of her brand new web show, Tasting Oklahoma, which will on YouTube.

Four courses were paired with wines from Collins Midtown Liquor at 1685 S. Yale in Tulsa.

The first course was seared Sea Scallops with lobster-vanilla cream, spinach and crispy fried shallot. Beautifully seared scalloped were served atop wilted spinach and topped with crispy fried shallots. A lovely lobster vanilla cream sauce added richness and a bit more sweetness to the delicate scallops. The crispy shallots added wonderful texture to the tender scallops.

The second course was a Fennel and Citrus Salad with vanilla bean ricotta and Citrus Vinaigrette. Fennel and citrus is a classic combo that was made even more delicious with the natural sweetness of ricotta, scented with just a little vanilla. A bright citrus vinaigrette added some mild tang to this light and lovely salad. The cool, licorice notes of the fennel played well against the sweet and slightly tart bite of the citrus.

The scallops and salad were paired with Chandon Brut California Sparkling Wine.

Coffee Vanilla Chicken with Belgian endive and brandied cherries was the entrée for the evening. Tender, juicy chicken thighs were crisped up in the oven and then served with a flavorful coffee cream sauce that had hints of vanilla. Caramelized Belgian endive and the cherries rounded out the dish. It was paired with Meiomi Pilot Noir.

Since we had one guest who couldn't eat shellfish, we also had a stuffed portabella with sauteed spinach, Parmesan cheese and some of the crispy fried shallots.

The meal concluded with Lemon Vanilla Panna Cotta. Basically a gelatin made with milk, sugar and flavorings, panna cotta is a light and refreshing end to just about any meal. This one was bursting with lemon flavor. A sprinkling of lemon zest and fresh raspberries made this course picture perfect. This final course was paired with Bonny Doon Query Cider.

Starting on Feb 25, be sure to join us for Tuesday Tasting, the live taping of the show that will be held at The Galley Sink, located at 69th and Lewis. No matter who the guest chefs may be week after week, it promises to be a delicious evening as we taste Oklahoma, one bite at a time.

The show is sponsored by Ballyhoo Creative Group, Party Pro Rents, Collins Midtown Liquor and Johnny Price Health and Strength Training Systems. It is hosted by Chef Amanda Simcoe at the The Galley Sink Test Kitchen at Kitchen Ideas.

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