Cauliflower Rice, Almond, Curry

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Cauliflower Rice, Almond, Curry

Here is a fantastic vegetarian recipe that everyone immediately fell in love with. At first glance this really doesn’t look or sound like an exciting dish but the surprise is underneath the vegetables. The secrete sauce is creamy in texture but without the fat. It is basically a indian flavor romesco sauce that was fantastic with the cauliflower. This is a go to vegetarian dish that is bound to make any guest go wild. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Cauliflower

1 lb of riced or diced cauliflower

1 1/2 tbsp of curry powder

2 tbsp of olive oil and butter


“Indian Romesco Sauce”

2 roasted yellow peppers

1 Serrano

1/4 cup marcona almonds

1 garlic clove

1 tbsp of graham Marsala

1/3 cup of olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


1 head of purple cauliflower

2 tbsp of olive oil

1 tbsp of ras al hanout

Salt to taste

1/2 cup of roasted sliced almonds

Cilantro


For the Romesco,

Place all the ingredients into a vitamix except for the olive oil and salt. Puree all the ingredients for 30 seconds and then drizzle in the olive oil. Season with salt and set aside.

For the Cauliflower, Preheat oven 400

Place the cauliflower in a bowl and drizzle with half of the olive oil. Season with salt, and ras al hanout powder. Toss to incorporate everything evenly. Spread evenly on a sheet pan lined with parchment or foil ( optional, I do this to make clean up easier ). Place the cauliflower in the oven and roast for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile

To Finish,

In a small pot add butter and oil to a pan along with the rice cauliflower add a tsp of salt. Cover and turn on medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes and then add the curry powder. Cook for another 5-8 minutes until the cauliflower is tender. Using a round cookie ring add some sauce in the bottom of the ring. Then add the riced cauliflower on top of the sauce. Then take the roasted cauliflower and place on top of the riced cauliflower. finish with toasted almonds and cilantro. Serve and enjoy!


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Pecan Pie (Tart)

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Pecan Pie (Tart)

The Best pecan pie recipe!

Are you looking for the secrete to the best pecan pie ever! Look no further because I’ve got the answer for you and it isn’t something that will take hours and hours in the kitchen. It really isn’t that different than any other recipe. Find the best ingredients and combine them with great flavor and technique. This is what I made for Thanksgiving weekend and it was definitely an indulgence. My secrete to the best pecan pie is fresh vanilla bean and doubling or tripling in some cases the amount of pecans in most other recipes. In this pecan pie there is not small layer of pecans on top and then a middle section of gel ( custard) and then crust. The custard or gel in the middle is filled with pecans and vanilla along with other flavors. So the secrete is out of the bag, and now it is time to go and try for yourself. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Tart dough

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cold butter (1 stick), diced

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Flour, for rolling the dough

Filling:

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/8 cup packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup light corn syrup or (1/4 plus 1/8 apple low glycemic and 1/4 plus 1/8 maple syrup)

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

3 cups chopped toasted pecans

1 to 2 tablespoons bourbon

1 vanilla bean scraped or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tsp of orange zest (optional)

For the Pie Crust

Preheat oven to 350°F with a baking sheet on middle rack.

Place all the ingredients into a food processor except for the egg. Puree for 20 seconds and then add the egg to the processor while it is still running. Puree for another 10 seconds until the dough comes together. Wrap in parchment and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round and fit into a 11-inch tart shell. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold overhang under and lightly press against rim of shell and remove the excess dough. With a fork prick the dough all over. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the tart and add pie weights or dried beans to weight the paper down on top of the tart. Place in the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes. Take out the pie tart and allow to cool completely. Take off the parchment and save the weights for another baking day.

For the Filling

Meanwhile, melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in corn syrup, vanilla, zest (optional), and salt. Lightly beat eggs in a medium bowl, then whisk in corn syrup mixture.

Put pecans in the bowl with the syrup-egg mixture and mix well then pour in pie shell. Bake on sheet pan lined with parchment paper until filling is set, 35-45 minutes. Cool completely.

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Black Cod, Red wine, Onion and Tomato

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Black Cod, Red wine, Onion and Tomato

How to make an easy and delicious fish recipe

This is an easy and quick recipe if you have the sauce already made. The sauce can easily be made a day or two to make this dish come together really quickly. Black cod is plentiful on the west coast and I have even seen them selling it in Costco in the L.A. area before. It is a white fish that is flakey like your atlantic cod but a lot more oil and fat content in the black cod which gives this fish a star above the rest. This recipe is really roasted onions, with roasted cherry tomatoes that were still on the vine in Malibu right before the fires. Thankfully the fires didn’t wipe out the house and garden. Combine beef bordelaise sauce with black cod and you have a combination that is fantastic. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 lb of black cod cut in to 4 4 oz pieces

1 cup of cherry heirloom tomatoes

8 cipollini onions

2 tbsp of olive oil

1 sprig of rosemary and thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

Bordelaise Sauce

4 beef bones with marrow separated

4 carrots chopped

1 onion chopped

2 leeks chopped

4 celery sticks chopped

1 cup of mushrooms

1 whole garlic bulb

2 bay leaves

3 sprigs of thyme

1 small can of tomato paste

8 cups of water

3 cups of good red wine

2 tbsp of olive oil

salt and black pepper

Red Sorrel to garnish

For the Bordelaise sauce

My version didn't take 2 days but it does take several hours.  Take beef bones or veal bones if you can get them and soak them in water for 10 minutes to help release the bone marrow.  With a wooden spoon or steel or your fingers pop out the marrow from the center of the bone and set aside for later use.  Then dry the bones, place on a roasting pan and place in the oven.  roast the bones for about an hour to hour and half until dark brown but not burnt.  Meanwhile take cut all the vegetables up mix in a bowl.  Take half of the vegetables and olive oil and place in a medium large soup pot.  Caramelize the vegetables in the pot for about 25 minutes until golden brown but not burnt.  Save the other half of vegetables for later.  Take out the bone and drain off the fat out of the pan; place the bones in the pot of caramelized vegetables.  Take 2 cups of water and pour into the roasting pan.  Place the pan on the stove with heat and with a wooden spoon stir the water around the roasting pan scraping the beef juices on the bottom of the pan.   This might take a few minutes.   After all the juices have been released pour everything into the pot with the vegetables and bones.  Add your tomato paste and fill the pot up to the top with the rest of the water and turn the pot on high.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to a good simmer.  Let this cook for a few hours until your left with only 3 cups of sauce.

While that is cooking, take another pot with olive oil and the other half of vegetables and mushrooms and begin to caramelize those vegetables the same way.  After about 25 minutes add your red wine.  Reduce the wine down to a cup.  Then strain off your first stock into the wine sauce.  Discard the vegetables from the stock.  Bring the sauce to a boil and turn down to a light simmer.  Cook for about an hour or until the sauce starts to thicken, then strain off the vegetables and place back in the pot.  Take the bone marrow and small dice it.  Add it to the sauce like it was butter stirring every other minute.  The marrow should melt into the sauce.  If it doesn't melt completely after 20 or so minutes then place in a blender and blend until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

For the Onions

For the cipollini’s onions drizzle with olive oil and salt and place in a small saute pan with a sprig of thyme. Place in a 400 preheated oven or in the big green egg. Roast for 20-25 minutes until onions are tender. Cool and then peel the outer tough layers

For the tomatoes 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a small oven proof pan add grape tomatoes, a sprig of rosemary, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place them in the oven to roast for about 20 minutes.  Take out and keep warm.  

To Finish,

In a large saute pan on medium high heat add oil.  Season cod with salt on both sides and then place fillet side down in the pan. Cook for about 4 minutes on the one side. Meanwhile heat up the onions and tomatoes in the oven for 3-4 minutes. Then flip over the fish and cook for 5 seconds and take out of the pan. Place the fish on to the middle of the plate. Add a few spoonfuls of the bordelaise on top. Add the onions and tomatoes around the fish. Garnish with some fresh sorrel.

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Gnoccetti Sardi with Pesto

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Gnoccetti Sardi with Pesto

How To Make Home Made Pasta Gnoccetti-Rocchetti

What is one of the easiest and classic pasta recipes to make? Pesto pasta! How about home made Gnoccetti or rocchetti. Southern Italy uses more of the duram wheat or semolina flour without the use of eggs in their pasta dough. This is a great pasta for anyone who is allergic to eggs. The key to using the semolina flour is using warm water which hydrates the flour. Traditionally the pasta is just semolina and water. I added a little bit of 00 flour which makes the pasta, I think, a little softer and tender, than just all semolina. This pesto sauce you use can be the traditional recipe if you using pine nuts but in this case my son is allergic to all nuts; so I’ve made pesto for him a few times using pumpkin seeds instead of pine nuts and he absolutely loves it! Another win for pasta because he doesn’t like tomato sauce. We now have another alternative for school lunches instead of sandwiches everyday. He can easily take this to school and eat it cold for lunch. Not only do the kids love it, which they normally complain about anything green, pumpkin seeds are a lot cheaper on the wallet than pine nuts. I saw recently they were almost $20 a pound. Not cheap. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Semolina Pasta

2 cups semolina

1 cup 00 flour

1-1/4 cup warm water

salt optional


Pesto

4 oz basil

2 garlic cloves

1/3 cup of roasted pine nuts ( pumpkin seeds if nut allergy)

1 oz of parmesan cheese

1 -1/4 cup of olive oil

salt to taste


For the Pasta,

In a bowl with both flours mixed well. Make a hole or well in the center of the flour. Add the water and mix with your hands until you make a dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and then wrap and allow it to rest. Then using a bench scrapper or knife cut the dough in half. Then cut the dough into 5 equal slices. Take the slices and roll using your hands into a rope. Cut the rope into dime size pieces that are round. Then using a pasta board take your thumb and apply a little pressure and flick them off the board. Here is a video I made to show you the technique. This is exactly what you would do if you were making gnocchi hence the name Gnoccetti.

For the Pesto,

Place all the ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor. Puree for 15 seconds and then drizzle in the olive oil until you have a smooth paste. If you want a thicker pesto use less oil to make a thick paste. If you want a more runny sauce use more olive oil. Season with salt and set aside.

To Finish,

Have a pot of salted water on high heat to bring to a boil. Once boiling add the gnoccetti to the water and cook for about 3 minutes until they start to float and are tender. Meanwhile add 4 tbsp of pesto to a saute pan on medium heat. Strain out the pasta and add 4-6 oz of pasta water to the pan with the pasta and pesto. Toss the pasta around a few time so the sauce coats the gnoccetti ( you could easily add cream and a little butter to make it a little richer but I didn’t here). Then adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Check seasoning and then place a few spoonfuls on to a few plates. Grate with fresh parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy this easy pasta dish!

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Ricotta Cheesecake with Passion Fruit and Feuilletine

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Ricotta Cheesecake with Passion Fruit and Feuilletine

Cheesecake is really an easy dessert


Ricotta cheesecake

1 lb Ricotta fresh

8oz cream cheese

1 cup 3 tbsp sugar

2 oz of creme friache

1 tsp vanilla paste

1 tsp of almond extract

3 eggs

3 yolk


Hazelnut shortbread

2 cups flour

1 cup of Hazelnut

2 sticks of butter

1 tsp of salt


Passion Fruit Curd

1/2 cup of passion fruit juice (approx 12-15 fresh)

1/2 cup of sugar

3 eggs

1 stick of butter


Feuilletine recipe

For the cheesecake,

Place cheeses and sugar in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment whip for 3 minutes. Then add vanilla, and almond mixing on low. Finish with adding the eggs one at a time. Mix until a smooth batter is formed. Finish with the creme fraiche.

I lined a spring form pan with parchment paper and par baked the pecan shortbread see recipe underneath, then poured the batter on top. Bake the cheesecake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool to room temperature and then place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

For the Shortbread,

Go here to so see the recipe and just add the Hazelnut from this recipe. I placed the dough in a spring form pan lined with parchment paper and par baked it for 25 minutes.

For the Passion fruit curd,

Place all the ingredients into a small sauce pot and turn on medium low heat. Whisking continually until the curd starts to thicken. Should take about 10 minutes or so. Strain into a bowl and cool for about 10-15 minutes. Once cooled slightly, pour the curd over the top of the cheese cake and using an offset spatula smooth the top off. Place the cake back in the refrigerator until the curd is set and completely cold.

To finish,

Take the pre-baked feuilletine cookie and place 1 cup into a plastic zip lock bag. Using a mallet or your hand crush the cookies into the bag (you don’t want to pulverize them into powder you still want a little texture to them). Then using a round cookie cutter or a knife cut desired shapes from the cheesecake and take crushed feuilletine and place around the cake. Serve and enjoy!

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Sweet Potato with Thai Red Curry, Black Garlic, and Myoga

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Sweet Potato with Thai Red Curry, Black Garlic, and Myoga

“Twist on Thai”

Want a new and exciting sweet potato dish that is not only delicious but healthy too? If you are like my wife and not the biggest fans of sweet potato this is a recipe bound to convert all those haters into believers. Not only is it easy but it is absolutely delicious!

This recipe could be served as an appetizer or an entree. This was a huge hit with Jp and his guests that I served recently. This dish has everything from sweet, to spice, to crunch and acid. A great balance of flavors and textures that is bound to make any guest extremely please. This is a fantastic vegetarian recipe that could easily be a whole meal in itself. This a not a time consuming recipe as well and the sauce can be made ahead of time and just reheated when you need it. Here is the recipe on a asian inspired sweet potato. I hope you enjoy it!

Red Curry Sauce

1 finger of ginger sliced

1 lemongrass stalk sliced

1/2 onion sliced

4 garlic cloves

1 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 3 limes Kaffir lime leaves (if you have them)

2 red peppers chopped

2 cans of coconut milk

4 oz of red curry paste

2 1/2 oz of palm sugar or granulated sugar

1 tsp of fish sauce (optional)

2 tsp of sesame oil

1/4 cup of each fresh thai basil, mint, cilantro leaves

4 white sweet potatoes roasted

1 cup of wild rice fried (see recipe)

Pickled Myoga Ginger

6 myoga ginger cut in quarters

1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar

1/3 cup of sugar

Black Garlic Mayo

2 bulbs of black garlic peeled

1 cup mayo

salt

micro cilantro

For the Red Curry,

In small sauce pot on medium heat add sesame oil, onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, cinnamon stick, red pepper, star anise and kaffir lime leaves.  Cook for 10 minutes without browning.  Then add sugar and red curry paste and cook for 1 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.  Then add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer.  Cook for 5 minutes and then turn off the heat, add fish sauce and your herbs to steep for 10 minutes.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer, keep warm until ready to use. You might need to adjust the seasoning with a pinch of salt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Take sweet potato and drizzle with olive oil and salt.  Place the sweet potatoes in a roasting and place in the oven.  Cook sweet potatoes for about an hour or until tender.  Take out and let them rest. 

For the black garlic mayo,

Add all the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Adjust the seasoning with salt. Place into a squeeze bottle until ready to use.

For the pickled myoga,

Place vinegar, salt, and sugar into a pot. Bring to a boil, place sliced myoga in a heat proof bowl. Pour the hot vinegar over the ginger. Cover and allow to come to room temp.

To Finish,

Simply take the sweet potato and cut it into 1 inch thick pieces. Place it in the bottom of the bowl. Add some hot red curry sauce around the sweet potato. Take the black garlic mayo and place dots of the sauce around the bowl. Add the fried wild rice on top along with myoga, and cilantro sprigs. Serve and enjoy this sweet and spicy vegetarian dish!

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Jicama Rose with Black Garlic and Avocado

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Jicama Rose with Black Garlic and Avocado

Healthy Snack

Here is a great appetizer that will quench any craving. A guiltless snack that packs a big punch in the flavor face. This is a great raw, vegetarian dish that can be eaten anytime of the day. It is only a few ingredients and anyone can make it. This is a great, healthy bite after a hard workout to get your body recovering after all those calories you burned. The great thing about this recipe is people who don’t like this “healthy” kind of food will immediately be hooked. This recipe has everything from crunchy, to salty, to spicy, to creamy with the good fats from the avocado.

Another great thing about this recipe is that you can make it in about 20 minutes if you have all the ingredients on hand. An easy recipe that can be made before your guests arrive and can leaving you feeling stress free about entertaining for your dinner party. This is definitely one that will be a go to. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 Jicama peeled and sliced 1/16-thick

1-2 avocados

4 red radishes sliced thin

4 oz ssamjang paste

1 cup of fresh mint leaves

1 oz of micro cilantro

Black Garlic Mayo

3 black garlic bulbs peeled

1 cup of mayo or veganaise

salt to taste

For Jicama,

Peel and slice the jicama thin on a mandolin.  Lay down 7 slices of jicama in a row, slightly overlapping each slice. Add a tsp of ssamjang paste to the row of jicama slices. Then add the sliced avocados on top of the row of jicama with ssamjang paste, season them with salt. On top of the avocados add a row of the sliced radishes and season them lightly with salt. Then starting at one of the jicama roll the long row up into a a cylinder or rose shape. You might have to trim up the bottom with a sharp knife so it can stand easily. Continue the process until you have 4-6 orders.

For the black garlic mayo,

Add all the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Adjust the seasoning with salt. Place into a squeeze bottle until ready to use.

To Serve,

Simply place one jicama rose on a plate. Using squirt bottle add dots of black garlic mayo on the inside of the rose. Then garnish with some of the micro cilantro and herbs. Serve and enjoy this wonderfully healthy snack!

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Pici cacio e pepi

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Pici cacio e pepi

“Cheese and Pepper”

There is nothing more basic and easy then this classic pasta recipe that is nothing more than black pepper and parmesan cheese. The secrete to making this easy pasta recipe is making the “sauce”. With the addition of butter, and a little pasta water added to the cheese; the whole things comes together as one of those sauces that hangs on to each individual piece of pasta. The French have a sauce called buerre monte. This “sauce” is simply prepared with a touch of water while you whisk in cold butter to make an emulsion, its not really a sauce. It really is melted butter that has been emulsified when its still warm and hasn’t separated from the milk solids. But you can add this warm emulsified butter to any protein or vegetable and it glazes and stick to whatever you add it to without separating. This is basically the same principle that you would use to make this cacio e pepi sauce with the addition of parmesan cheese and black pepper to the water and butter. This is the secrete to have a “sauce” stick to the pasta without having your pasta covered in a mound of sauce (like how all american pasta is cooked with loads of sauce”, I’m guilty at times doing this, I love sauce! )

Using the pasta water gives you a little salty pasta flavor that is traditional Italian cooking. Now you can use any noodle that you prefer. This recipe was one that was inspired by my recent trip to Tuscany. I have never had Pici pasta before, I don’t think I have ever seen it, before spending a week in Cortona, Italy. I had Pici on three different occasions during that week. Once was with squab that was amazing and the other two were with ground veal which was equally amazing. I was in love immediately with Pici. All three dishes had this basic butter sauce, maybe a touch of cream added, but typically what you would see in northern Italian pasta cuisine. Pici noodles are a mix between spaghetti and bucatini except the noodle aren’t hollow like bucatini. It is a basic eggless or dried pasta dough that is rolled out into ropes. Not too thin, the noodles should be a little bigger/thicker than spaghetti. I didn’t take the time to completely dry these noodles out so I used them more like a fresh pasta. Here is the easiest pasta recipe, I hope you enjoy it!

Semolina Pasta

2 cups semolina

1 cup 00 flour

1-1/4 cup warm water

salt optional


3/4 cup pasta water

4 oz of shredded parmesan cheese

1-1/2 sticks of butter

12 oz of pici pasta cooked

1-2 tsp of fresh cracked pepper

salt to taste


For the Pasta,

In a bowl with both flours mixed well. Make a hole or well in the center of the flour. Add the warm water and mix with your hands until you make a dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and then wrap and allow it to rest for 30 minutes. Then using a bench scrapper or knife cut the dough in half. Then cut the dough into 5 equal slices. Cut those slices in half again so you should have 10 small pieces of dough about an inch long or so. Take one piece and start rolling them with your hands into long ropes. You don’t want to stretch the dough but the pressure from your hands should lengthen the pici pasta. Continue rollin until you have long noodles ( you might have to cut them in half if they are really long) that a touch bigger than spaghetti. Then place on a sheet pan lines with parchment and lots of semolina flour. Try not to add a lot of flour when your rolling out the pici (this might dry out and crack your dough)


To Finish,

Fill a large pot with salt water and bring to boil. Add the pasta to the water and cook for 3-5 minutes until tender. Meanwhile in a large sauté pan add 3/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, the grated Parmesan and Butter. Swirl the pan around so that the butter and cheese start to melt and become a sauce like consistency (1 minute). Add the drained pasta, toss to coat the pasta well and season with salt. Garnish with black pepper and more parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy this fantastic, easy pasta dish that will quickly be a go to, in your recipe book!.

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Pine nut Custard with Matsutake and Wasabi

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Pine nut Custard with Matsutake and Wasabi

Here is a little appetizer I made a few weeks ago utilizing some matsutake mushrooms which are very limited and normally very expensive because of the lack of abundance in the wild. It sometimes can be called a pine mushrooms because they normally grow at the base of a variety of pine trees. The matsutakes have a firm, meaty texture with a earthy flavor. In this recipe I thought it would be fun to pair the matsutake mushrooms with pine nuts. I thought a warm savory custard with cooked and raw matsutake would go great with a smoked beef/mushroom broth. Topped with a little fresh wasabi. This was a fun dish that was loved by Jp and Eloise. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Pine nut custard

1 1/2 cup cream hot

2 eggs plus 2 yolks

3/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Salt to taste

Smoked bone broth

5 smoked beef rib bones

4 oz mixed mushrooms dried

1 leek

1 garlic bulb

10-12 cups of water

Salt to taste

6 matsutaki mushrooms quartered

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp olive oil

2 matsutaki mushrooms sliced raw

1 wasabi fresh grated

Opal basil and cilantro

For the Smoked beef broth,

Place all the ingredients into large stock pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook until you have about 4 cups left. Strain and season with salt. Set aside and keep warm

For the Pine nut custard, Preheat oven to 300 degrees

Place cream and roasted pine nuts in a pot and bring to a boil. Once it has come to a boil place in a vita mix and puree until smooth. While the blender is on add the eggs one at a time. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Strain (if desired) and pour into 6 small ramekins that have been sprayed or buttered. Place the ramekins into a baking dish and fill the dish half way up the sides of the ramekins with hot water. Cover with foil and bake 17-19 minutes or until the custard has just set. Take out and let it cool.

To Finish,

Place the custard back in the oven just for a 3-4 minutes to warm back up. Meanwhile in a small sauce pan add olive oil, butter, and quartered matsutake. Cook for 4-5 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Using a paring knife run your knife around the the inside wall of the ramekin. Flip the pine nut custard into the bowl. Add the cooked and raw mushrooms to the dish. Add a small fresh grated wasabi on top of the custard. Add the smoked bone broth and some herbs. Serve and enjoy!

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Strawberry and Rhubarb Tart

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Strawberry and Rhubarb Tart

Here is a classic combination of strawberries and rhubarb that is probably as old as the ingredients. This is typically a summer recipe depending on the harvest of each ingredient. A lot of times though you can get more than one harvest especially if you live in California.  I know also you can get strawberries all the way into November and December in Texas as well. Nothing too fancy here just straight forward classic flavors. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Rhubarb Strawberry tart 

Pate Brisee
2 sticks of butter
2 cups plus 3 tbsp of flour
1/4 cup of ice water
1 tsp of salt 

Pie filling
3 cups of rhubarb small diced
2 cups of strawberries cut into quarters
1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of flour
1 vanilla bean
2 rhubarb stalks shaved

Sorbet
1 1/2 cup of diced rhubarb
2 cups of strawberries
2 1/2 cups of water
2 cups of sugar
1 lemon juiced 

For the Tart dough

Using the food processor add flour to the bowl along with butter and salt.  Then turn the processor on for 30 seconds until the butter has been combined.  Drizzle in the cold water until the dough has come together.  Normally now you put the crust into the refrigerator to let the dough come together as it gets cold.  I don't like when my dough is so cold I can't roll it and usually I am in a rush.  If you can put the dough in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes it will really help; if not simply take the dough and put a light dusting of flour onto the parchment paper and place the dough on top.  Then dust flour on the top of the dough and put a second piece of parchment paper on top of the dough. With a rolling pin roll out your dough to a thin crust consistency.  Take your tart mold and carefully place your tart dough inside the mold.  Using a rolling pin roll the pin over the mold to trim off any excess dough.  With a fork prick the dough all over.  Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the tart and add pie weights or dried beans to weight the paper down on top of the tart.  Place in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes.  Take out the pie tart and take off the parchment and save the weights for another baking day.

 For the pie filling,

Place all the ingredients in a bowl except for the shaved rhubarb. Mix well with a spoon. Then spoon in the filling inside the pre-baked tart shells. Optional, take the shaved rhubarb and weave or braid on top of the pie filling. Then place in a 375 degree oven for 40-45 minutes. Take our and cool.

For the sorbet,

Place strawberries, rhubarb, water, and sugar in a pot. Bring to a boil and cook for 4 minutes. Then cool slightly and place in a blender and puree until smooth, and the lemon juice, then chill until completely cold. Place in your ice cream maker according to their instructions. Place in an airtight container and place in the freezer

To Finish,

Take some powdered sugar and sprinkle on top of the tart. Take a little crushed up cookie like (biscotti, graham cracker) and place on the plate. Take a scoop of the rhubarb sorbet and place on top of the crushed cookie (this helps anchor the sorbet so it doesn’t slide all of the plate). Serve and enjoy!

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"Lobster and Potatoes"

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"Lobster and Potatoes"

“Lobster and Potato” This is the vegetarian version using lobster mushrooms instead of actual lobster meat. These mushrooms not only look like the lobster meat in color before they are cooked but they have a very meaty texture as well. This is a great vegetarian dish with the exception of a meat broth. Obviously you can exclude that part of the recipe if you are a true vegetarian but Jp and Eloise both don’t mind broths and aren’t strictly vegetarian. It allows this recipe another layer of deep and rich flavors. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Lobster Mushroom Confit
1 1/2 lb lobster mushrooms, washed, cleaned, and cut into similar sizes
2 cup of olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 sprig of thyme
2 shallots
5 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp of sherry vinegar
salt and pepper 

Vegetables
1 cup of mini parisienne potato blanched for (30sec-1 min)
1 cup of mini parisienne carrot blanched (30sec-1 min)
1 cup of mini parisienne zucchini blanched (30sec-1 min)
1 cup of mini parisienne purple radish blanched (30sec-1 min)
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp of butter
1/2 tsp of fresh thyme 

Leek Sauce
1 lb of leek tops cooked in salted boiling water for 3-5 minutes until tender
1/3 cup of cream
4 tbsp of butter
salt to taste

Duck jus
2 quarts of brown duck stock
2 carrots medium diced
2 celery stalks medium diced
1 onion medium diced
5 garlic cloves
1/2 cup of mushroom stems
1 sprig of thyme
2 bay leaves
1 cup of red wine
2 tomatoes
2 tbsp of cornstarch and water (slurry)
salt and pepper to taste

For the Duck jus,

De- bone 3 whole squab. Brown bones on a sheet pan in an 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes. Then take vegetables and brown in a stock pot with a little bit of olive oil until they are caramelized (10 minutes). Add garlic and herbs and cook for another minutes. Then add bones to the pot and deglaze the pan with some water to get all of the bits from the pan off and pour into the pot as well. Fill the pot with the rest of the water. Bring to boil and turn down to a simmer. Reduce by 3/4. Season with salt, strain and set aside. Keep warm. 

Mushroom Conserva,

Trim the mushrooms of tough stems if any and any dirt that may be on them.  Cut large mushroom into pieces and keep the small ones whole.  In a pot add the oil, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, and verbena.  Bring the oil up to 170 degrees.  Then pour in the mushrooms carefully.  Turn the mushrooms periodically.  When the oil comes back up to 170 degrees cook for another 5 minutes.  Then turn off the heat and add the vinegar, salt and pepper.  Let the mushrooms steep in the oil for 45 minutes.   At this point you can serve them or keep them warm or conserve them by transfering to a container and keep in the refrigerator.  The mushrooms should be submerged in the oil.  Serve the mushrooms hot or cold and they will keep for a month.   

For the leek sauce,

Place leek tops in boiling salted water and cook until tender but still vibrant green (approximately 3-5 minutes). Meanwhile heat up cream in a small pot. Strain the leek tops and place in the vitamix with the hot cream. Puree until smooth, while the blender is still running add the butter. If the sauce is a touch thick you can thin out with a little of the blanching water. Season with salt and keep warm.

To Finish the dish,

Take the lobster confit mushroom and place in a 400 degree oven for 5-7 minutes. Meanwhile in a medium saute pan on medium high heat add butter, olive oil, and all of the parisienne blanched vegetables. Add thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes until they are tender and hot. Take the leek sauce and place in a squirt bottle. Make a oval shape on the plate. Add the duck jus inside the oval. Then place the parisienne vegetables in the middle. Take the mushrooms out of the oven and place on top. Finish the dish with some fresh herbs, in this case it was oregano. Serve and enjoy!

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Salmon and Foie Terrine with Lemongrass and Canary Melon

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Salmon and Foie Terrine with Lemongrass and Canary Melon

Here is one of 6 courses I served from the Bloomingdale/Frans Drescher dinner. This was later in the summer when all of the melons are at the peak of ripeness. The Gala melon that was available during this time frame was absolutely amazing. Sweet, but still firm, none of that mushy texture when melons become over ripen. I was able to get my hands on white salmon or ivory and thought that I would make a terrine with the salmon, foie gras terrine, and the melon. I decided to take the scraps of the leftover melon and make a “broth” for the terrine. Now a days, for me, it is very hard to decide what to make for dinner guests. I get that people just want delicious food, but trying to decide who’s coming to dinner and sometimes I don’t know if people have allergies or not so I have to be sensitive to that when thinking about menus. But because foie gras normally will turn a lot of people off I actually gave all the guests the option for this first course. I gave them the option of this recipe or a watermelon gazpacho and in some cases I gave some people both. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 1/2 lb white salmon smoked and quick cure
1 cup salt
1 cup rice vinegar

10 oz of foie terrine see recipe sliced 1/4 inch thick slices
1/2 gala melon sliced thin on mandolin
2 cucumber (melon) peeled shaved on mandolin no seeds

Melon lemongrass broth
1/2 melon and scraps
1 cucumber and scraps
2 lemongrass stalks
1 lime
Salt to taste

Shiso leaves
Cilantro flowers
Chives
Cilantro oil

For the Salmon,

This is for quick curing and smoking. I just wanted to add a little extra flavor to the fish and didn’t make this a day in advance so it was all done on the same day. I placed the salmon in square baking dish and placed the vinegar on top of the salmon along with the salt. I cured the salmon like this for 30 minutes. Then I rinsed off the cure. I place the salmon in a stove top smoker with iced packed in side to simulate a cold smoked salmon. I filled the smoker with wood chips and smoked it for 2-3 minutes. Then I turned off the heat and let it sit in the smoker for 30 minutes to soak up any of the residual smoke. Then place the salmon in the refrigerator for 45 minutes. Then take out and slice thin on the bias and set aside to assemble the terrine.

In a terrine mold or loaf pan line the mold with plastic wrap allowing enough excess plastic to hang over the edges. Alternate layers of cucumber, then salmon, then melon, and foie gras. Continue that layering until you have used all of your ingredients or until your terrine is full. Wrap the left over plastic wrap on top of the salmon terrine. Place in the refrigerator to chill completely. You can weigh the terrine down or press it at this point with something heavy like canned food or something similar ( I normally have a thick piece of cardboard cut in the exact size of the terrine mold. I place that on top of my wrapped terrine, and place the weight on top of the cardboard. Place it in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.

For the melon broth,

Place all of the lemongrass, melon, and cucumber in a vita mix. Puree until smooth. Strain out through a chinois. Season the broth with lime and salt and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To Finish,

Take out the terrine and unmold. Keep the terrine in the plastic wrap and using a sharp knife cut across the terrine and lay each slice down flat (You can cut this ahead of time and keep it on a plate in the refrigerator). Take the plastic off carefully and place in the center of the bowl. Season the terrine with fleur de sel, chives, shiso, and cilantro flowers. Then add the broth to the bowl. Finish with a little cilantro oil, serve and enjoy!

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Biscotti with Mulberry, Blueberry, and Ricotta Ice Cream

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Biscotti with Mulberry, Blueberry, and Ricotta Ice Cream

Jp loves biscotti,  and Eloise wanted me to make some for the week of his birthday.  I also love biscotti and I don't think I had ever made it before up until this point.  I thought I could make a good dessert out of the leftover biscotti that hadn’t been eaten yet. During the summer months in Malibu we have these wonderful mulberry trees that normally produce exception mulberries. This year we didn’t get a good crop and I happen to get these from the local farmers market. These mulberries I think were of turkish or pakistani variety and were very sweet. Here is the recipe using basically nothing but leftovers; ice cream, sorbet, and biscotti with fresh fruit! Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Biscotti
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons Amaretto
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole almonds with skin, lightly toasted , cooled, and coarsely chopped plus 1/4 cup pistachio
3 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Blueberry Sorbet
1lb of blueberries
2 cups of sugar
2 1/2 cups of water
1 lemon juiced

Strawberry gel
1 cup of strawberry juice or puree
1/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 tsp of agar 

Ricotta Ice Cream (here)

1/2 cup Strawberries sliced, mulberries, and red vein sorrel to garnish

For the Biscotti,  Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle,

Stir together sugar, butter, amaretto, and extracts in a large bowl, then stir in almonds and eggs. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt until just combined.  Chill dough, covered, 30 minutes.
Using moistened hands, halve dough and form 2 (16-by 2-inch) loaves on an ungreased large baking sheet. Bake until pale golden, about 30 minutes. Carefully transfer loaves to a rack and cool 15 minutes. Cut loaves into 3/4-inch slices with a serrated knife. Arrange biscotti, with a cut side down, on a clean baking sheet and bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool completely. Then take a few pieces of the biscotti once completely cooled and place in a plastic ziplock bag with as little air as possible inside. Using a mallet crush the biscotti inside the bag, leaving rough pieces. Set aside for later use.

For the sorbet,

Place water and sugar in a pot.  Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.  Then cool slightly and place in a blender with the 2 cups of blueberries.  Puree until smooth, and the lemon juice, then chill until completely cold.  Place in your ice cream maker according to their instructions.  Place  in an air tight container and place in the freezer until you need it.

For the strawberry gel,

Put all the ingredients in a small sauce pot.  Bring to a boil stirring consistently and cook for 5-7 minutes.  Then pour gel into a half sheet pan or baking dish.  Place in the refrigerator until the agar has set.  Then take a knife and cut the set gel into sections.  Place it all into a vita mix and puree until smooth.  Pour into a squeeze bottle and set aside until ready to use.

To finish,

On a plate add some of the strawberry gel in any design you want. Then add a hand full of the crushed biscotti on to the plate. Add the sorbet and ice cream. Finish with fresh strawberries, mulberries and red sorrel. Serve and enjoy!

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Smoked Confit Chicken with Yard long beans, Shiso and Wheat

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Smoked Confit Chicken with Yard long beans, Shiso and Wheat

Here is a recipe for dinner I made that was absolutely delicious.  This was Mike Michelson who is co owner of the fantastic gourmet company Blis. You want fantastic gourmet pantry products? Blis is the one you need to start with for great aged vinegars, sauces and other fine condiment products. The maple syrup and vinegars are truly top shelf. Even though Mike was coming to dinner I don’t think I had a plan to use any of their products even though now looking back maybe I should have. I bought some chinese long beans at the farmers market and wanted to do a chinese inspired dish. I say chinese because of the flavors but some of the techniques and ingredients aren’t truly chinese. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it as much as Mike and everyone else!

6 Confit chicken thighs see duck recipe

1 bunch Chinese long beans
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp minced garlic and 1 tsp of ginger
1 tbsp of samba chili paste

Ginger Hollandaise
4 egg yolks
10 tbsp butter melted
2 tbsp ginger juice and tbsp of white wine
1 lime juiced
1 tbsp of Korean chili flakes and salt to taste

1 cup of dried wheat berries cooked in chicken broth until done
1/2 cup chicken broth

3 tbsp of fried garlic
1/4 cup micro shiso leaves
Cilantro flowers

For the Chicken

In stove top smoker place apple wood chips along with pecan in the bottom of your smoker. Place the chicken inside and cover. Turn on the heat and allow the chips to start smoking. Have the heat on for 1-2 minutes maximum. Turn off the heat and allow the chicken to stay inside the smoker for 30 minutes. Then take the chicken out follow the rest of the directions for curing and cooking the chicken thighs with the above link. If you are in a rush and don’t want to cure overnight try to cure for at least 8 hours.

For the hollandaise,

Place egg yolks, white wine, and ginger juice into a stainless steel bowl.  Place over a double boiler or a pot with a little water in it simmering.  With a whisk continuously stirring, whisk the egg yolks until they are thick and a airy but not scrambled.  Take the bowl off the heat.  Make a ring with a towel and place the bowl in the ring (this allows you to pour the butter with one hand and stir using the other hand without holding the bowl).  Slowly pour in the butter, a ladle at a time stirring constantly.  Season with salt, lime juice, and Korean flakes.  Cover and Keep in a warm place.  

For the Chinese Long beans,

One trick for the long beans is to actually fry them for the 1 minutes. You can blanch them in salted water if desired but long beans have a very tuff outer skin. One way to get around that toughness is to flash fry or blanch fry. Instead of blanching them in the salted water you are simply doing a quick fry to tenderize the outer skin. Fry for about 45 seconds to 1 minutes. I would suggest covering the pan you are frying in because of the water content in the yard long bean you will have a big mess in your kitchen. Take out and drain on paper towels.

To Finish

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take your chicken thighs out of the duck fat once they have rested or completely cooled from the day before. In a hot cast iron skillet place the chicken thighs in the pan skin side down. You shouldn’t need any oil because there should still be a bit of duck fat on them. Cook in the pan for 1 minute and then place in the oven. Cook for 15 minutes until the skin is crisp and brown and the meat is hot all the way through. Meanwhile place the wheat berries in the small pot with chicken stock and some butter if desired. Bring up to a boil and cook for 3 minutes, season with salt and pepper and keep warm. In large saute pan add sesame oil, garlic, and ginger. Cook for 30 seconds and then add the flash fried long beans. Add the sambal chili paste and season the beans with salt (or soy sauce if desired). Cook the beans for 1-2 minutes until tender, hot, and delicious. Grab 3-4 long beans and place them in a circle in the middle of the plate. Then add a spoonful of the wheat berries in the middle of the plate. Take the chicken thighs out of the oven. Flip over the thighs and place one on top of the wheat berries. Finish the plate with the hollandaise, fried garlic, shiso leaves and cilantro flowers. Serve and enjoy! 

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Quail with Fennel and Turnip

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Quail with Fennel and Turnip

Here is a recipe I prepared last week for a dinner party with Mike Meldman, co owner of the casa amigos tequila brand.  This was one of 6 courses I served on this particular evening.  This was the only meat of the evening.  Since Jp and a lot of others seem to be steering away from red meat I’m always look for alternative to serve in the poultry or game category. Here is a very french style quail recipe. Here it is I hope you enjoy it!

16 whole quail legs cut off and breast deboned with skin intact

Quail leg mousse
6 oz of thigh leg meat
1 egg white
1/4 cup cream
1 tsp of tarragon fresh leaves
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper to taste

Quail Jus
16 quail carcasses
1 leek
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 small fennel
6 garlic cloves
1 onion
2 bay leaves, 1 sprig thyme, 1 sprig of oregano
2 cups of red wine
12-14 cups of water
2 tbsp of cornstarch
2 tbsp of water
salt to taste

Fennel purée
2 large fennel bulbs sliced thin
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp oil
1-2 tbsp cream
Salt

1 cup of baby turnips
1 cup of duck fat
1 sprig of thyme
1 garlic clove
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp of salt

Roasted fennel
1 large fennel sliced thin
3 tbsp of olive oil
1 sprig of savory
salt and pepper to taste

Fennel pollen to garnish

For the Quail,

For the mousse. Making sure all the equipment and food is very cold (place in the freezer for 15 minutes. Take some of the leg meat off the bone and place in the food processor along with garlic, and herbs.  Puree until smooth, then while food processor is still running add egg white and then drizzle in the cream.  Season with salt and pepper and then place in the refrigerator.

Then for the quail breast. Place the deboned quail breast skin side down on your cutting board. (should be 2 breast from each quail) Then spoon or pipe the mousse in the middle of the 2 quail breast.  Then using the plastic wrap and your hands roll the quail up into a tiny log with the skin on the outside the breast and filling on the inside.  Using the plastic wrap roll as tight as can be and tie or twist up both ends.  Then place in a sous vide bag. Repeat until you have all of the breast rolled filled. Seal up the sous vide bag air tight with 3 tbsp of butter.   Place in the refrigerator for an hour to help firm up if you have the time.  Other wise place in a 135 degrees water bath for 45-55 min.   Then take out and rest.

For the Quail Jus,

Place bones on a sheet pan and brown in an 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes. Then take vegetables and brown in a stock pot with a little bit of olive oil until they are caramelized (15 minutes).  Add garlic and herbs and cook for another few minutes.  Then add bones to the pot along with the wine and reduce by half. Meanwhile deglaze the sheet pan with some water to get all of the bits from the roasting pan off and pour into the pot as well.  Fill the pot with the rest of the water. Bring to boil and turn down to a simmer.  Reduce by 3/4.  Thicken the jus slightly with the cornstarch slurry by slowly pouring into the stock stirring continuously with a whisk. Cook for another 5-10 minutes. Season with salt, strain and set aside.  Keep warm.

For the Fennel Puree,

In a large saute pan on medium heat add olive oil, butter, sliced fennel, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Cover and cook for about 25 minutes stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking. The fennel should not have any color when they are done. You can add the 1-2 tbsp of cream at the end of the cooking process. Once they are done, place in a vitamix and puree until smooth. Adjust the seasoning if need be, set aside and keep warm

For the fennel,

Place the fennel on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive. Season with salt, pepper, and a sprig of savory. Place in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes and then flip over. The fennel should be golden brown. Roast on the second side for another 10-15 minutes until tender. Take out and set aside 

For the Turnips

Place baby turnips and the rest of the quail legs along with, garlic, herbs, and duck fat into a small pot. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a very very soft simmer. Cover and allow to cook for 20-25 minutes until the turnips and legs are tender. Set aside and keep warm.

To Finish,

In saute pan add a little duck fat on medium high heat. Take the quail out of the bag and season with salt and pepper. Place in the pan along with the cooked legs, to brown on all sides (about 3-5 minutes). Take out and let it rest on a cutting board. Meanwhile place a spoonful of fennel puree on the plate with some of the roasted fennel and turnips. Cut each quail “log” in half. Place 3 halves on each plate along with 2 legs. Finish with some of the jus and garnish with fennel buds. Serve and enjoy!

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S'mores

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S'mores

Sometimes you have to go with what works and what is delicious. There are classic recipes and combinations for a reason, because they delicious.  Of course this is my interpretation of the classic s'mores.  I served a small scoop of vanilla ice cream that isn’t shown in the picture. Jp said "this was one of the best s'mores he's ever had" The addition to this recipe is the feuilletine cookie and the honey ganache. Incorporate the meringue and it is a great version to the classic. Here it is I hope you enjoy it!

Homemade Feuilletine

4 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature 4 ounces brown sugar 1 Tablespoon baking soda 6 ounces molasses optional: vanilla bean, a teaspoon of your favorite spice or extract, orange zest, etc 1 egg 13 ounces flour, sifted 2 ounces milk

For the Feuilletine, Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream butter and sugar together. Add molasses, vanilla bean, egg, and milk. Mix well, scraping the sides. Then add the flour and mix until well incorporated. Add a few spoonfuls of the batter onto a silicone mat and using a offset spatula spread the batter very thin. Then place in the oven to bake for 8-10 minutes until dry and crisp. Take out and allow to cool completely. Then break up into pieces and store in an air tight container.

Honey ganache see recipe Meringue see recipe Graham crackers crushed (store bought)

To Finish,

Take a mini ice cream scoop and scoop out balls of the honey ganache once firm. Place in the refrigerator 20 minutes just to firm up a bit. Then place the meringue in a piping bag with a plane tip. Pipe in a circular motion around the ball of chocolate ganache. Then carefully using a spatula place it on top of crushed graham crackers on the bottom of the plate. Using a torch, brown the meringue and place pieces of the feuilletine around the smores. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired. Serve and enjoy!

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Legume Salad with Truffle, Pistachio, and Butter Beans

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Legume Salad with Truffle, Pistachio, and Butter Beans

I was looking to make a vegetarian dish for dinner this evening and didn't get a chance to run to the market.  I had these ingredients on hand so this is what came out.  I love these types of salads where you have different textures and flavors with lentils, quinoa, and beans. Mix in some vegetables and other bold flavors and you have yourself a wonderful starter for dinner. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 cup of cooked italian butter beans (see merguez)
1 cup of beluga lentils cooked with leek tops
1 cup of cooked quinoa with leek tops
1 cup of diced cucumber
2 cups of roasted quartered brussel sprouts
2 red radishes sliced thin

1/4 cup of pistachio mint pesto
1 cup of mint leaves
2/3 cup of roasted pistachios
2 tbsp of parmesan
1 garlic clove
3/4-1 cup of olive oil

Chanterelle Truffle aioli
1 cup of cooked chanterelle mushrooms (cooked in olive oil and butter for 10 minutes)
1 tbsp of fresh black truffles
splash of truffle oil (if desired)
3/4 cup of veganaise or aioli (mayo)
splash of sherry vinegar
salt and pepper to taste 

Australian black winter truffles
chervil and amaranth 

Mint Pesto,

Place all of the ingredients except for the oil in a food processor. Turn on and puree, while the processor is still on slowly add the olive oil. Stop and scrap the sides if need by, season with salt and pepper once all the oil has been added. Pour out into a bowl and set aside for later.

For the Chanterelle aioli,

In a vitamix blender add all of the ingredients and puree until smooth. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside for later.

To Finish,

In a large bowl add equal parts, of lentils, beans, and quinoa. Add the roasted brussels and cucumbers. Add 1/4 cup of pistachio mint pesto and mix well. Add a touch of salt if need be. Add sliced radishes to the salad. Place a spoonful of aioli on the plate. Add the salad on top. Top the salad with truffles, herbs, micro greens. Serve and enjoy!

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Ying Yang Pasta  (summer and winter)

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Ying Yang Pasta (summer and winter)

This recipe is a little bit of Ying and Yang. It is basically two pasta dishes in one. Lemon and ricotta and Braised Beef with its jus. When I originally made this recipe it was a little bit of spring mixed with a little bit of winter. The inspiration is that time period during the spring harvest and weather turning from cold to warm. That moment when your almost out of winter but heading into spring and you want something a little light and a little heavy. Just getting back from Italy a few days ago this recipe really hits home with me because of all the pasta I had each and every day. You could also easily translate this from summer to fall. I love pasta and I hope you enjoy this one too!  

Basic Egg Pasta
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp warm water
2 cups flour
1 cup semolina
1 tsp of salt 

Ricotta filling
1 lb of home made ricotta  (see here)
2 oz of grated parmesan
1 lemon zested
Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup of cream 1 lemon juiced 1 lemon zested 4 tbsp of butter

3 lb of boneless kobe short ribs cut into 2 inch pieces ( if you have them on the bone that is fine, more flavor)
1 onion
6 garlic cloves chopped
2 carrots
2 stalks of celery
3 tbsp of tomato paste
3 cups of red wine
5 cups of  beef stock or chicken
1 sprig of rosemary
1 large sprig of thyme and parsley
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

 For the short ribs,

Season the short ribs with salt and pepper on both sides.  In a medium size braising pot on high heat add oil and short ribs.  Sear for roughly 5 minutes on the first side and then turn over.  Then add all the vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes.  Then add your wine and tomato paste.  Reduce the wine by half and then add your stock or water.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer, add your herbs and cover.  Cook for about 2- 2 1/2 hours or until they are tender and almost falling apart.  Take the meat out of the pot and place in a bowl while it is still hot.  Then take half of the liquid and puree in a vita mix with all the vegetables from the braising pot.  Puree and pour over the short ribs.  Let the meat rest in half of the puree liquid to cool completely ( the short ribs should be completely covered so not to dry out..  Place the other half of braising liquid  with the left over puree sauce into small sauce pot and reduce it by half or until is starts to thicken or glaze a spoon.  Strain and season with salt and set aside and keep warm.  When the short ribs have completely cooled take them out of the pureed sauce and chop or shred somewhat fine.  It should be able to almost do this with your hands because they will be so tender.  Once you have a bowl of fine shredded or chopped (could do it in a food processor as well but don't puree too much so you don't end up with baby food mashed meat).  Season the meat with salt and pepper, and add a few spoonfuls of the pureed sauce into the meat mixture.  You want to make the meat taste delicious and moist.  You don't want dried un-flavorful meat for your agnolotti filling.  So I would add maybe 8 oz of the sauce to the meat to make it juicy but not runny.  Once you have a moist, not soaked, meat filling place it back in the refrigerator until the  sauce has adhered to the meat and congealed. ( about 2 hours)

For the ricotta filling,

Place all the ingredients except the egg into a food processor. Puree everything until smooth.  While the food processor is still running add your egg.  Season with salt and pepper and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

To make the agnolotti,

For the Pasta

Place 2 cups of flour with semolina in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour.  Add eggs, water, and salt.  With a fork stir the egg mixture until it starts to form a ball of dough.  Then use your hands to form the dough.   Add more flour if the dough is wet.  Knead the pasta for 5 minutes and then cover and raring

Take your pasta and cut in half.  Leave one half covered while you work with the other half.  Take the half of the pasta with a rolling pin and roll until the dough is thin enough to fit inside the biggest setting on your pasta machine ( I use the kitchen aid attachment).  Then run the pasta all the way down to the lowest setting twice.  Dusting the dough with flour if it is too wet. Then on the third time run it down to the second to last setting.  Again, Use a little flour for dusting.  You should have long sheets at this point.  Using your pastry bag pipe the cheese mixture along the bottom of the pasta leaving about a 1/2 inch from the edge.  Run it along the whole length of the pasta sheet leaving about an inch or two at the ends (one long tube of filling).  Then take a pastry brush or spray bottle of water and brush the top portion of the pasta sheet.  Take the bottom part pasta closest to the filling and roll over to the brushed top portion.  You should now have a long tube like pasta running all the way down the length of the pasta.  Now, at every 1/2 inch use your index fingers and press down with with each index finger to create a little "ravioli"  Continue the same thing all the way down the pasta sheet.  Then using a pinwheel cutter cut away the excess pasta at the top.  Then cut in between each press that you make with your fingers to create each agnolotti.  Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and extra semolina flower to help prevent sticking.   Set aside while you aside while you repeat the same process with the other half of the pasta ball.  

This time you want to fill with the pasta with the short rib filling but instead of using a continuous line of cheese filling we want to leave about a 1/8 inch gap every 1/2 inch to create the same size agnolotti as the cheese ones.  Because the cheese filling is easy to manipulate you can make one continuous line but with the meat being cold and being meat it is a little easier to leave a space between each agnolotti (the space I/8 inch is where you will press your fingers to make the shape.  Continue this the whole length of the pasta and repeat the same steps from above with the cheese.

To Finish,

Place your beef agnolotti pasta in salted boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes until they float to the top.  Strain off and place in the saute pan with the beef sauce, add a touch of butter and season with salt and pepper, set aside and keep warm.  Place your ricotta pasta in the water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Strain off the lemon ricotta pasta and place in a saute pan with cream, lemon juice, 1/2 cup of pasta water Let it simmer for 1-2 minutes and then add the rest of the butter to make a pan sauce.  Season the whole pan with salt and pepper.  Place 3 of each pasta in a bowl and garnish with basil and parmesan. Serve and enjoy!

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Vanilla Pavlova with Cara Cara and Candied Buddha Hand

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Vanilla Pavlova with Cara Cara and Candied Buddha Hand

Here is the classic meringue dessert. Meringue is actually not one of my favorite desserts but this one was really exceptional. I didn’t grown up on meringues and that is probably one of the reasons it isn’t my top dessert. My wife on the other hand loves meringue and gets it when ever she can. We just got back from Italy where she ordered a similar dessert twice. Pavlova is normally a meringue that is baked and the outer shell of the meringue is hard and crunchy while the center has that gooey, marshmallow type consistency. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Vanilla Pavlova with Cara Cara sorbet and anglaise 

Orange sorbet
2 1/2 cup water
2 cups sugar
4 Cara cara oranges peeled and deseeded
2 zested Cara Cara

Pavlova
8 egg whites
2 1/4 cup of sugar
1 tsp of vanilla bean
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp of corn starch
1/2 lemon juiced

1 cup of cara cara orange segments

Candied buddha hand
1 buddha hand sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 1/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar

Creme Anglaise
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 2-inch piece vanilla bean, split
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 350

For the pavlova,

Add egg whites and vanilla to a stand mixing bowl.  Beat the egg whites until soft peaks start to form then slowly add the sugar to the egg whites and beat until the meringue is stiff and shiny ( about 3-4 minutes.  Then fold in the cornstarch and lemon juice. Once well incorporated place the meringue into a pastry bag with a plain tip. Then on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper you can pipe out individual meringues in a circular motion.

Place the sheet pan in oven and immediately turn down to 300 and cook for 1 hour and 15 mins.  Turn off oven and allow to cool completely in the oven.  Should look something like this.

pavlova meringue.JPG

For the Preserve,

Bring small pot of water to a boil, place the sliced buddha hand in the boiling water and blanch for 3 seconds.  Strain off the water.  Repeat the same step two more times blanching and staring the buddha hand slices.  after 3 times add the measured water and sugar and bring to a boil.  Add the buddha's hand blanched slices to the pot.  Cook for 5-10 minutes and then pour into a preserve jar seal properly. 

For the Sorbet,

Place sugar and water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.  Turn off the heat and cool completely.  Then puree with oranges and zest.  Strain the mixture if you desire.  Then pour into a ice cream maker and follow your instructions.  Take out and place in a container in the freezer. 

For the Anglaise
Combine milk and cream in heavy medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring milk mixture to simmer. Remove from heat.  Whisk egg yolks and sugar in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into yolk mixture. Return custard to saucepan. Stir over low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 5 minutes (do not boil). Strain sauce into bowl. Cover and chill. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)

To Finish,

Place a spoonful of anglaise on the bottom of the plate. Add one pavlova and place on top. Add orang segments, and preserve around the meringue. Add the sorbet on top. Finish with leaves of basil. Serve and enjoy!

pavlova 1.JPG
pavlova 2.JPG

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Manti Pasta with Leek, Cauliflower, and Truffle

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Manti Pasta with Leek, Cauliflower, and Truffle

This dish comes from some leftover cauliflower mashed potato puree I had made from the night before.  In the south of Italy they all kinds of pasta that they stuff with potato so I thought why not take the leftovers and fill some manti shaped pasta with it.  This is one way that not only restaurants but even you at home can take something already made and turn it into a whole new dish that no one will ever know, not even if you served the puree the night before.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Basic Egg Pasta
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp warm water
2 cups flour
1 cup semolina
1 tsp of salt 

Cauliflower Puree
1/2 head of cauliflower with most of the stem intact
1 large idaho peeled and large chopped potato
1 stick of butter
splash of milk if needed
salt and pepper to taste

Leek Sauce
1 lb of leek tops cooked in salted boiling water for 3-5 minutes until tender
1/3 cup of cream
4 tbsp of butter
salt to taste

2 leek bottoms sliced 1/4 inch thick and blanched
8 oz of Nameko mushrooms
2 tbsp of olive oil
4 tbsp of butter
1 black australian truffle rough chopped
salt and pepper to taste

basil flowers to garnish 

For the Cauliflower puree,

Place cauliflower and potatoes in a small pot and fill with water.  Add salt and bring to a boil.  Turn down and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Strain out the water well and using a hand blender puree the mixture adding butter and milk if needed.  Season with salt and pepper.  Use hot for another recipe, otherwise cool completely (overnight is best).

For the leek sauce,

Place leek tops in boiling salted water and cook until tender but still vibrant green (approximately 3-5 minutes). Meanwhile heat up cream in a small pot. Strain the leek tops and place in the vitamin with the hot cream. Puree until smooth, while the blender is still running add the butter. If the sauce is a touch thick you can thin out with a little of the blanching water. Season with salt and keep warm.

For the Pasta

Place 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of semolina in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour.  Add eggs, yolks, water, and salt.  With a fork stir the egg mixture until it starts to form a ball of dough.  Then use your hands to form the dough.   Add more flour if the dough is wet.  Knead the pasta for 5 minutes and then cover and rest for at least 30 minutes. 

Take your pasta and cut in half.  Leave one half covered while you work with the other half.  Take the half of the pasta with a rolling pin and roll until the dough is thin enough to fit inside the biggest setting on your pasta machine ( I use the kitchen aid attachment).  Then run the pasta all the way down to the lowest setting twice.  Dusting the dough with flour if it is too wet. Then on the third time run it down to the number 6 or 7 setting depending on the strength of the dough.  Again, Use a little flour for dusting.  If you feel like the dough is very strong and good density to it you might be fine with a 7 setting.  If you feel like the dough is "loose" and doesn't have the structure to it then you might want to go a little thicker with a number 6 setting.  One you have the flat pasta all laid out you can take an adjustable pasta cutter (here) and cut 1 by 1 inch squares.  Then take your cauliflower puree and place in a plastic piping bag.  Cut the tip off and place a small dollop on each square.  Using a water spray bottle or a pastry brush, spray or brush lightly the pasta ends.  Then taking one side of the square in each hand, pinch the two ends together one in the left hand and the other in the right hand.  Then bring both hands to the cent pinch all 4 ends together forming a pyramid or a manti.  Continue the process until you have all the pasta shapes made.  It should look something like this.

manti raw.JPG

To Finish,

In a large saute pan add 1 tbsp of butter, olive oil, leeks and mushrooms.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Meanwhile place your pasta in salted boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes until they float to the top.  Strain off and place the pasta in the saute pan. Add a little of the cooking water to the pan along with the rest of the butter to make a pan sauce.  Season the whole pan with salt and pepper.  Then add some of the sauce to the bottom of the bowl. Add leeks and mushrooms around the plate. Add the pasta on top of the sauce. Finish with chopped truffles, flowers and olive oil. Serve and enjoy!

manti.JPG

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