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Fogo De Chao

8282 International Dr.
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 370 - 0711
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Fogo de Chão... or "Fire In The Ground", is Orlando's newest chain of fine dining full service churrascaria's. They currently have nineteen locations in the United States and seven locations in Brazil.

As with most Brazilian steakhouses, Churrasco is the cooking style. It is the South American style rotisserie in which the meats are  seasoned and cooked over an open flame grill, that owes its origins to the fireside roasts of the gauchos of southern Brazil,  from centuries ago.

 Fogo De Chao, is very similar to Orlando's other well known churrascaria Texas De Brazil.

At Fogo they have a large salad bar as its center piece along with sides of black beans and rice and seasoned potatoes. Just like TDB, for the meat that is brought tableside, a green card signals "YES" and red means "NO".

Your meals will include unlimited sides of fried bananas, fried polenta, mashed potatoes, and of course those little things called - Pão de queijo”--  or Brazilian cheese rolls.

One of the more notable differences is the service. At FDC you do not have one dedicated server. While at both FDC and TDB, different gauchos will bring you an array of meat on a stick, FDC employs an all hands on deck service method. This means you do not have only one server taking your drink orders, refilling your side dishes and taking care of the bill. Any server at any time can assist you with your needs.

Although it took getting used to, I must say the service at FDC was fabulous. We were well taken care of the whole time, albeit by a variety of people.


Inside you will find that Fogo pays a little more homage to the gaucho tradition, with large murals of gauchos roasting meats.








The salad bar at FDC is truly a unique centerpiece of the restaurant. Their bar was good but not as appealing in comparison to TDB.

The black beans and rice were exceptional though!





If wine is your thing, FDC has the wine covered. They have been the recipient of the Wine Spectator Magazine Award of Excellence for eight consecutive years.


 
They feature great wines from all over the world, including some fine Malbecs from Mendoza Valley as well as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlo.



They also have a very cozy bar located at the front of the restaurant.
 



The sides we had were all very good, except the fried polenta seemed a little soggy.

The Brazilian cheese rolls were delectable bits of warm chewy goodness. 



Now.....Lets get to those glorious cuts of meat on a stick!

The biggest difference between FDC and TDB, I believe, is the quality of the meats they use and the seasoning.

TDB is still really good no doubt, but FDC seems to have more succulent cuts of meat with an extra wow factor in the seasoning. 

Bacon wrapped Filet & Chicken




The bacon wrapped Filet Mignon and the bacon wrapped Chicken Breast were tender, juicy and cooked perfectly.












  
Picanha

The Picanha is the prime part of the sirloin that is cooked to perfection and seasoned with sea salt and garlic.

Most Churrascarias pride themselves on this particular cut of meat and...FDC has a lot to boast about with their Picanha.

I usually prefer red meats cooked to medium or mid-well, but with this meat, if you get a cut of the outside crust which is closer to well done, you will be happy. The flavor is outstanding.

Costela De Porco
   





The Costela De Porco...or Pork Ribs are slow roasted over an open flame and seasoned to perfection.

The ribs were fall of the bone delicious and did not need any sauce to accompany them.

Linguica













The Linguica is a seasoned pork sausage that was very good however, I prefer the chorizo at TDB.










I could go on and on about all the meats we tried but there's just not enough room here.

 Beef Ancho (Prime Rib Eye), Lombo (Parmesan Crusted Pork Filets),  Cordeiro (Leg of Lamb), Fraldinha (Bottom Sirloin)...you get the point.

At some point you have to know when to say NO.....or, Nao Obrigado!!

Although we had absolutely no room for it, since it was my birthday, I splurged.

The Molten Chocolate Cake was richly flavored and went well with a side of espresso.



We had a great time at Fogo De Chao. The service was exceptional and the meat was melt in your mouth delicious.

Pricing at FDC is about the same as TDB ---  around $45.50/person. The pre-set price includes the all you can eat meat-fest with over a dozen different types/cuts of meat with unlimited sides and of course unlimited trips to the salad bar. 

Lunch starts at 12:00 and is only $29.50.

Dinner goes from 5:00 - 10:30 most nights.


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An Exciting Christmas Dinner Idea from Williams-Sonoma


I was recently invited to an open house for one of Orlando's newest communities in Windermere designed by Toll Brothers  called Waterstone.

The idea of the open house was to show off the new community and the awesome kitchens they come with, by partnering up with the great folks at Williams-Sonoma. Since 1956 Williams-Sonoma has been supplying some of the latest and greatest cookware and accessories to America's kitchens.

Waterstone is the last new construction community on the shores of Lake Butler and features quality Toll Brothers designs on 1/2 acre home sites.

All homes come complete with Gourmet kitchens that feature natural gas cooking, granite counter tops, tile backsplash, stainless steel KitchenAid® appliances, and Yorktowne® cabinets with smooth-glide drawers.

Sadly, due to overbooking and a busy holiday schedule, I was not able to attend. The good news is, that I still get to share the great recipes from Williams-Sonoma with everyone. 

Enjoy! 


Pan-Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary and Garlic

*The red wine for the sauce is reduced to concentrate its flavor. To enrich the sauce, you can also add a bit of Dijon mustard*

Ingredients:

  • 1 beef tenderloin roast, 2 1/2 to 3 lb.
  • 3 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 4 shallots, minced
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) softened unsalted butter, cut
      into 1/2-inch pieces

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 400ºF.

Let the roast stand at room temperature for 30 to 40 minutes. Set the roast on a clean work surface and lay the rosemary sprigs lengthwise along the roast. Using kitchen twine, tie the rosemary to the roast at 2-inch intervals. Rub the roast with the garlic and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat an oval skillet or large sauté pan over medium-high heat and warm the vegetable oil. Add the roast and brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast, turning the beef occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 125ºF for very rare to rare, 15 to 20 minutes, or until done to your liking. Transfer the roast to a cutting board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the shallots and wine and boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the butter a few pieces at a time, whisking constantly until blended before adding more. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve and season with salt. Keep warm over very low heat, being careful not to boil.

Slice the meat and arrange on a warmed platter. Pass the sauce alongside.
Serves 4 to 6.



Cheesy Potato Gratin

Enriched with two kinds of cheeses, this gratin is easy to prepare, as it does not call for layering the potatoes in a baking dish. Instead, chunks of potatoes are simmered on the stovetop in a fry pan, along with the ingredients for the sauce. Then the gratin is baked in the oven until golden brown and bubbling.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 375ºF.

In a 10-inch nonstick fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly stir in the stock and cream. Add the Gruyère and thyme and stir until the cheese has melted, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and stir to coat them well. Cover the pan and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.

Remove the lid and sprinkle the Parmigiano-Reggiano on top. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake, uncovered, until the top is golden brown and bubbling at the edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6 to 8.

Asparagus With Orange Hollandaise Sauce
Hollandaise, the classic sauce for dressing warm asparagus in France, is usually flavored with lemon. The orange juice used in this recipe is a nice change of pace and goes particularly well with the vegetable.

Keep in mind these few simple tips: Make the sauce over simmering water instead of over direct heat; too much heat will only cook the egg yolk rather than thicken the sauce. A bowl rather than the top pan of a double boiler contributes to a smoother whisking of the sauce. And finally, softened butter blends in more readily than the more commonly used melted butter.

Ingredients:

For the orange hollandaise sauce:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 Tbs. fresh orange juice
  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into slices 1/4 inch thick, at room temperature
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 lb. asparagus spears
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 orange
1 1/2 lb. asparagus spears
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 orange
    • Directions:

      To make the sauce, place the egg yolks and 2 Tbs. of the orange juice in a heatproof bowl or the top pan of a double boiler. Set the bowl or pan over but not touching hot or barely simmering water in a saucepan or the bottom pan of the double boiler. Whisk continuously until warm and just beginning to thicken, about 1 minute. Add the butter 1 slice at a time, whisking until fully absorbed before adding more. When all of the butter is absorbed, continue to whisk until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Do not overcook.

      Remove the bowl or pan from the pan of hot water, and season the sauce with salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick, stir in as much of the remaining 1 Tbs. orange juice as needed to thin to the desired consistency. You should have about 3/4 cup sauce. Remove the bottom pan from the heat and let the water cool slightly. Then set the bowl or pan with the sauce over the warm water and cover loosely with a paper towel to prevent a skin from forming.

      Cut or break off the tough white ends from the asparagus spears. Trim all the spears to the same length. If the spears are large, use a vegetable peeler to peel away the tough skin, starting 2 inches below the tip.

      Pour water into an asparagus steamer, add the 2 tsp. salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Place the spears, tips up, in the basket and steam just until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

      Remove the asparagus from the steamer and divide among 4 warmed plates, arranging the spears in a row. Spoon the warm hollandaise sauce in a wide stripe across the middle of the asparagus. Using a zester or fine-holed shredder, and holding the orange over each serving, shred a little zest from the orange peel directly over the hollandaise on each serving. Serve immediately

      Tiramisù

      Ingredients:

      • 3/4 cup sugar
      • 1 lb. mascarpone cheese, softened
      • 2 cups chilled heavy cream
      • 2 Tbs. rum
      • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
      • 2 Tbs. plus 2 to 3 cups brewed espresso
      • 5 egg whites
      • 40 to 50 ladyfingers
      • Cocoa powder for dusting

      Directions:

      In a mixing bowl set over a pan of simmering water but not touching the water, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is pale yellow and thick ribbons fall from the whisk, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.

      In a chilled large mixing bowl, whisk the cream until stiff peaks form. Add the rum, vanilla and the 2 Tbs. espresso and whisk until smooth.

      In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. (When the whisk is lifted straight out of the bowl and inverted, the whites should hold their shape.)

      With a rubber spatula, gently fold the mascarpone mixture into the cream until blended and smooth. Add about 1 cup egg whites and fold gently until blended. Add the remaining egg whites and fold gently until the mixture is smooth and blended.

      One at a time, submerge the ladyfingers into the 2 to 3 cups espresso. Lay enough ladyfingers on the bottom of a 6-quart glass or ceramic baking or serving dish (about 2 inches deep) to form a single layer. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers until evenly covered. Arrange another layer of ladyfingers over the mascarpone cream, then spread the remaining mascarpone cream evenly over the top. Dust the tiramisù with cocoa powder to create a rich, dark topping. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 1 day before serving
      .



      All Recipes Courtesy of and Copyright to Willams-Sonoma 2012
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