I am taking off for a weeks vaction to the US Virgin Islands. St. John to be exact. I will try and post while away. I hope to play with some different ingredients. Of course I'll probably spend most of time catching up with my wife, playing with my kids, and drinking rum.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
We are putting together a wine/farm to table dinner featuring Cane Creek Farms. Cane creek is raising Ossabaw pigs. These are Iberian pigs which the Spanish brought to Georgia 400 years ago. I can't wait to get this menu done. When the date is confirmed by all parties I'll be sure to post it here. As well as the menu.
We are working on a spur of the moment VIP amuse bouche. Something we could have on hand for surprise VIPs. Then we had one of those light bulb moments. Ideas in Food had written an article on the perfect chocolate chip cookie dough. Most people rest their cookie dough for 36 hours for the flavors to fully combine and for the flour to be fully absorbed. Aki and Alex figured out that by compressing the dough it seemed as if the dough had been rested, but with out the lapse in time. Pretty Cool.
Next, Michael Ruhlman wrote about a dinner he had with Symon in which Symon kneads his ravioli dough very little. Almost like he was kneading biscuit dough so as not to develop large gluten strands. We put these two ideas together to make or new ravioli dough. We put our ingredients together as one usually does with pasta. Eggs and oil in the middle and flour around the outside. We slowly draw the flour in and when the dough just starts to come together and it becomes like a shaggy biscuit mix we stop and compress the down for 50 seconds. Our dough was finished. It couldn't have been an easier pasta recipe. We have also used this method for tart shells and we will probably use it for biscuits as well. We have made a bouche ravioli of red wine braised oyster mushrooms with chevre.
Here is our recipe:
All Purpose Flour 1200 grams
Kosher Salt 15 grams
Whole Eggs 5 ea
Egg Yolks 25 ea
EVOO 100 milliliters
Whole Milk 100 milliliters
Mix flour and salt together and put on a large work surface and create a well in the center large enough to hold eggs and oil. Put eggs and oil in the center and slowly stir, gradually drawing in the flour. When you have a fairly solid dough work in the rest of the flour until just barely combined. Compress for 50 seconds and refrigerate.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Marco Pierre White uses soy sauce in a buerre blanc in his book White Heat. I have heard accolades on miso and Butter and boy does it work. We have also played around with miso and caramel which goes together really well. So we put all these components together and made a miso/vanilla butter. We sous vide shrimp with the miso-vanilla butter at 60C. Holy tender shrimp. The vanilla almost fools your taste buds into tasting sweet even though there is no sweet component added to the shrimp.
Our final dish:
Miso butter poached shrimp on coconut rice cake, sweet soy glazed sugar snap peas and leeks with peanuts and grilled pineapple
Hazel nut crusted NC Trout with orange compote, white balsamic gastrique, hazelnut oil sautéed spinach, and sweet parsnip puree
I wanted to do a twist on Trout Amandine. I love hazel nuts, and I am on a kick of using ingredients at different levels. Oranges and Hazelnuts go together really. So all in all this dish kinda created itself. We have sourced Ruby trout from the NC mountains and this stuff is awesome.
As far as utilizing ingredients on different levels, we have crusted the trout with hazelnuts and we sautéed spinach with hazelnut oil. We make an orange compote using orange supremes and we save the zest and candy them for garnish. I really like this dish.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Tuna has become a love hate relationship with me. I really love cooking, or not cooking, tuna and eating great quality tuna, but the market on tuna has become so short and the demand is so large that the price of tuna has risen above what we can pay. The picture above is from around 1950 and it is a 300 pounder. Tuna this large is becoming increasingly rare because of over fishing. Tuna is no longer allowed to mature before being caught. So in an effort to be more conscious of our limited resources we will not be serving tuna for some time. While this is unfortunate, and I will miss sashimi, I feel t it is important to work towards sustainability.