Beef Cheek Dumplings with Black Soy Bean

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Beef Cheek Dumplings with Black Soy Bean

Here is a little appetizer I made recently that was a big hit.  Braised beef cheeks, stuffed in a dumpling, and topped with its braising liquid as a sauce.  The twist to this recipe was the black soy beans that were cooked with the beef cheeks.   A typical ingredient in chinese cooking is fermented black beans, which easily can be used but I used the non-fermented dried ones for this recipe.  I really like this recipe because of the soybeans.  They really add another nuance and depth of flavor.  I also served these for my last pop up dinner.  Here is the recipe, I hope you enjoy it!

Buy wonton skins or make your own

Beef Dumplings
2 cups of flour
3/4 cup of water
1/4 tsp of salt

2 1/2 lbs of beef cheeks cleaned of fat and sinew
1 finger of ginger
1 onion
1 jalapeno
8 garlic cloves
2 tops of leeks
2 carrots
1 bunch of green onion
1/2 cup of orange juice
1/4 cup of mushroom soy
1 cup of soy sauce
1 tbsp of sambal
1/2 cup of dried black soybeans
6 cups of chicken stock or water
3 tbsp of sesame oil


Ponzu see recipe
green onion sesame seeds to garnish

Chive oil
2 large bunches of chives blanched
2 cups of vegetable oil
pinch of salt

For the Beef Cheeks,

In a large braising pot add oil, season beef cheeks lightly with salt and add to the pot.  Sear each side for 5 minutes.  Then add all the vegetables and aromatics and cook for another 5 minutes.  Then add orange juice, soy sauces, sambal, chicken stock.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer and cover.  Cook for 2 hours or until the meat falls apart.  Let the meat cool for at least 45 minutes in the braising liquid.  Then take the meat out and place in a bowl and shred.  Take the braising liquid including all of the vegetables and place in vitamix.  Puree until smooth.  Pour some of the sauce into the shredded meat so it is moist, just enough to coat.  Season with salt if need be.  If you want a little more spice to the meat filling feel free to add a little sriracha or chili. Cool to room temperature for filling.  Keep the sauce warm.

For the dumpling dough,

In a bowl add flour and salt.  make a little well and add water into the well stirring with a fork or chopped sticks until it forms a rough dough.  Dust your hands and knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth.  Let the dough rest for at least an hour.  You can knead the dough for another 3-5 minutes and then let it rest again for another 45 minutes.  Then divide the dough into quarters and roll each quarter into a tight rope.  Slice the rope every quarter inch and dust each slice with flour.  Then roll out each skin to 1/8-1/16 thick and fill with the meat filling.  Brush the outer skin with eggwash and fold over.  Then pinch the ends together to finish the dumplings.  Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper dusted with corn starch. 

Chive oil,

Blanch the chives in salted boiling water for 10 seconds. Then place in an ice bath. Allow to cool and then drain well.   Squeeze the chives of any excess water and place in a vitamix with oil. Puree for 30-45 seconds and then strain through a fine mesh sieve.  Allow the oil to drip through, do not push the pulp through the strainer, this will keep the oil clear.  

To finish,

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Place the dumplings in the water and simmer for 2-3 minutes until they float to the top of the water.  Strain out and drizzle lightly with ponzu.  Then place a spoonful of sauce down in the plate.  Add the dumplings to the plate and drizzle the outside with chive oil.  Add the green onions and sesame, serve and enjoy!

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Strawberry and Fig Pavlova

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Strawberry and Fig Pavlova

The first time I had pavlova was when I took a trip to australia about 11 years ago.  There was a new friend of mine that I had met while I was there and she was from new zealand.   She asked me if I had ever tried pavlova before and I said no.  One night a bunch of friends got together for dinner and she decided to make one for me so I could try it.  It was a delicious egg white meringue that was crunchy on the outside and creamy marshmallowy on the inside, topped with fresh fruit.  

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

2 cups of strawberries sliced
8 figs quartered
1 cup of blueberries
1/4 cup of sugar
mint leaves
 

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.  Then on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper you can put a large cake ring in the middle of the pan ( if you don't have a cake ring then you can simply mound the meringue in a circle 

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.  

Meanwhile take the strawberries and blueberries and place them in a bowl with sugar to macerate.  Once you are ready to serve then add all the fruit on top of the of the pavlova and garnish with mint.  Serve and enjoy!

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6 min egg with peas and green goddess

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6 min egg with peas and green goddess

Here is a lunch I served recently for a small group with Eloise.  This is a simple dish that can be prepped ahead of time and is just so easy and simple.  It is always hard to know what to serve to guests especially in Malibu.  A lot of people are either vegetarian or vegan or a number of other diets.  This was a recipe I felt pretty safe with because you can easily leave off the egg or change the dressing if need be or make any other quick changes to.  I can tell you everyone loved it and why wouldn't they with a runny egg yolk?  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

6 eggs

1 cup of fresh green peas blanched
1 cup of sugar snap peas blanched
1 cup of baby red leaf romaine
1/4 cup of marcona almonds
1 cup of pea sprouts 

Green goddess
1/2 bunch of parsley
1/2 bunch of tarragon
1/2 bunch of chives
1/2 bunch of oregano
2 anchovies
3 tbsp of capers
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp of sherry vinegar
1 cup of veganaise or mayo
salt to taste
 

Olive oil 

For the green goddess,

Put all the ingredients into a vita mix and puree until smooth.  Season with salt and set aside.

For the eggs,

Get a pot of water and bring to a boil.  Take your 6 eggs and gently lower them into the pot using a slotted spoon.  Set a time for 6 minutes.  Once the time goes off drain off the hot water and run cold water over the pot for 1 minute.  Note (You can do this ahead of time, if doing this right before you serve, just cool down the eggs just enough to handle them and peel them)  Once the eggs are a little cool to the touch, gently peel them. 

To finish,

In a mixing bowl add blanched peas, snap peas, and a touch of olive, salt and pepper.  In a pot with hot water place your egg back in the water.  On a plate a spoonful of the green goddess.  Add your leaf greens on the bottom then add the peas all around and on top. Take out the egg and dry off.  Place in the middle of the plate and season with salt and pepper.   Drizzle with a little more olive oil, serve and enjoy!

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Wild Sea Bass, Spicy Corn - Tomato Soup,

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Wild Sea Bass, Spicy Corn - Tomato Soup,

Here is another great late summer dish utilizing sweet corn; that is something I just can't get enough of.   Of course I have to put my twist on things and use what I have available.  I made this corn soup with a bit of north african flavor and it ended up being a bit spicy for some of the guests I was serving.  I had this tomato soup already made so i decided to combine the both together in the bowl to tame down the spiciness a bit.  The combination was absolutely perfect! Everyone absolutely loved this dish.  I paired the rest of the dish with summer vegetables and perfectly seared sea bass.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it  


1 1/2 lb sea bass cut into 4 oz pieces
salt to taste
2 tbsp of olive oil
5 tbsp of coriander seed coarse ground

Corn Soup
1 small onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 small yukon potatoes
2 yellow cayenne peppers
4 ears of corn off the cob keep the cobs
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of ras al hanout
pinch of saffron threads
6 cups of chicken stock
1/2 cup of half and half
2 tbsp of butter and olive oil
salt to taste

Tomato soup
1 onion sliced
3 garlic cloves sliced
pinch of red pepper flakes
8 leaves of basil
10 heirloom tomatoes
2 cups of water
3 tbsp of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

3 corn grilled
1 cup of small diced cucumber
1 leek small diced
1/2 cup of blanched sugar snap peas
2 tbsp of olive oil
salt and pepper

chive oil see recipe
breakfast radish sliced thin

For the Corn soup,

In a medium size soup pot on medium heat add butter, oil, onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until the onions have softened (try not to let them get color).   Then add cumin, ras al hanout, saffron, and cayenne peppers.  Cook for another 2 minutes and then add the chicken broth, potatoes, corn, and a tsp of salt.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.  Cook for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes are tender.  Then pour in batches if need be into a vita mix and puree until smooth; add a little half and half while blending to give it a creamy texture if desired.  Season with salt and keep warm.

For the Tomato soup

In a medium size soup pot on medium heat add oil, onions, garlic, pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt.  Cook for 3 minutes and then add tomatoes, water, and 2 tsp of salt.  Bring to a boil and cover, turn down to a simmer and cook for about 30-40 minutes.  Then pour into a vita mix with fresh basil leaves.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. ( you can also add a little half and half here if you desire). Keep warm and set aside. 

To finish,

In a large saute pan on medium heat add oil.  Take sea bass and season with salt and coarse coriander.  Place the sea bass fillet side down (the side seasoned with the coriander and salt). Season the bottom side of the fillet with salt now too.  Cook for 6-7 minutes on the one side. The fish should be cook almost all the way through on the one side.  Then turn over and cook for 1 more minute.  Turn off the heat.  Meanwhile In a small saute pan, add 2 tbsp of oil, leeks, and pinch of salt.  Cook for 2 minutes on medium heat and then add corn, cucumbers, and snap peas.  Cook for another 2 minutes and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside and keep warm. In a large bowl add a ladle full of each soup.  Then add a few spoonfuls of the warmed vegetables.  Then take the fish out and lay it on top of the vegetables. Finish with the oil and radish.  Serve and enjoy!

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Indian Duck "Nacho" Coconut Finger Limes

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Indian Duck "Nacho" Coconut Finger Limes

Here is a great hors' d'oeuvre I served last night.  A great little bite to start the night off.  What I love about this recipe is the chip.  The chip gives a big crunch, it has lots of spice, and it is really easy.  I cooked the duck legs in the big green egg with tons of spices which turned out smokey and spicy.  Finished this dish with some yogurt, and a cucumber relish.  Perfect light nacho for the end of the season cucumbers.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Indian nacho chip
3/4 cup garbanzo flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3-1/2 cup of water
1 tbsp of tandoori spice and 1 tbsp of ras al hanout
1 tsp of salt  

4 duck legs
2 tbsp Coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
3 Kashmir chilies
1/2 tsp cardamom 

Mint - cilantro chutney recipe here

1 cup mayo (veganaise)
2 tbsp curry powder
1 lime juiced
1 tsp salt

1/4 cup of cucumber relish recipe here
3 tbsp cilantro
Chives flowers and finger limes

Aerated Yogurt recipe here

Oil for frying

For the Chip,

In a mixing bowl add flours, spices, and salt.  Stir to incorporate everything.  Then pour in the water until a smooth dough is made.   Then portion into 1 oz balls and cover with plastic wrap to rest the dough for 25 min.  After the dough has rested using a rolling pin and roll the dough out thin into a tortilla like thickness and shape.  On a plancha or in a saute pan on medium high heat add a tsp of olive oil.  Add 1 or 2 tortilla's to the pan depending on the size and cook for 1 min on each side.  Then take out and allow to cool.  Continue until all are cooked.  

Then add some oil to a fry pan for frying.  Bring the oil up to 315-325 degrees.  Cut the tortilla into 6-8 pieces depending on size.  You want like a one or two bite chip.  Place a few tortillas in the oil and fry until golden brown and crunchy.  Take out and drain on a paper towel.  Season with salt.  Continue until all are done.  

For the duck leg

 Place all of the spices into a spice grinder or coffee grinder and grind until coarse.  Then season the duck legs aggressively along with salt on both sides of the legs.  Then place on your big green egg with the temperature between 350-400 degrees.  Cook for 30-45 minutes until the duck legs are cooked through and tender (It might take a little longer depending on your hot spots on the grill.   I like to put my meat in the lower heat areas of the egg so it slowly cooks and gets a little more smoke flavor.  This could take more like an hour or more to cook ) Once done take out and rest.

For the curry mayo,

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Adjust with salt and place into a squeeze bottle.  

For the yogurt and cucumber relish see recipes

To finish 

Take the meat off the bones of the duck legs and dice into bite size pieces.  If wanting to serve room temperature take a few spoonfuls of the cilantro chutney and toss the meat with the chutney.  (If you want to serve the meat hot simple place the diced duck in a pan with a few tbsp of cilantro chutney and warm up until the duck is hot. )  Then take you chips and place a little dollop of the curry mayo onto the chip.  Add a piece or two of the duck leg.  Add a little cucumber relish on top.  Take the isi charger and place a little dollop of aerated yogurt on top.  Finish with chive flowers, finger lime, and cilantro; serve and enjoy! 

 

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Broccoli and Cheese Croquettes

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Broccoli and Cheese Croquettes

Here is a great appetizer to please any crowd.  I recently served this one of my pop up dinners.  Takes an american classic combination of broccoli and cheese and put it into a bite size portion.  This can easily be prepped ahead of time so when your guests arrive you can simply fry them or bake them if you desire.  For the recipe you basically make a thick bechamel with broccoli and cheese (the second time I made these I added some fresh chopped herbs for a little more flavor).  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.

Broccoli and Cheese Croquettes 

2 tbsp of butter
8 tbsp of flour
2 tsp of garlic minced
3 cups of milk
1 head of broccoli shredded in a food processor
4 oz of petite basque grated
salt and pepper (optional chopped fresh herbs like: basil, tarragon, chives, oregano)

Yellow Romanesco
1/4 cup of almonds roasted
1 garlic clove
1 oz of parmesan cheese
2 bulgarian carrot chiles
1 large yellow tomato
1/4 cup of veganaise or mayo
1/4 cup of olive oil
salt to taste 


2 cups of flour
egg wash (egg and milk)
4 cups of panko
salt

For the croquettes,

In medium pot on medium heat add butter and minced garlic.  Cook for 1 minute until butter has melted and garlic has released its aroma.  Add the flour to the pot and stir to make a roux.  Add 1 cup of the milk and stir until all has been incorporated.  Then add the rest of the milk and repeat the process.  Bring the everything to a simmer and add all of the shredded broccoli.  Cook for another 3-5 minutes until the milk is fairly thick.  It should really stick to the back of a spoon.  Once it is the consistency of a really thick gravy add the cheese (and optional herbs).  Season with salt and pepper.  Then pour out onto a sheet pan to cool evenly. Place into a refrigerator for a few hours so the mix is completely cold.  Then take a small ice cream scoop and scoop out bite size portions.  In 3 separate bowls place one with flour, the next one with egg wash, and the final bowl with panko bread crumbs.  Make sure you season each bowl with salt and pepper.  Then bread each portion first into the flour, second into the egg wash and third into the panko crumbs.  Place on a sheet pan until you have all the portions breaded.  Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use or in the freezer if done a day or two ahead of time.  

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.

To finish,

Heat up frying oil to 325 degrees.   Place a few croquettes in the oil and fry until golden brown.  Strain off and season with salt.  Top each croquette with romesco and micro broccoli leaf.  Serve and enjoy!

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Eggplant "Parmesan"

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Eggplant "Parmesan"

Here is a little modern take on eggplant parmesan.  Instead of breading the eggplant I simply grilled it.  There is something so delicious about charred eggplant. There isn't an easier way to prepare eggplant then simply charring the outside completely and then allowing it to steam until soft.  When eggplant is charred the inside becomes this creamy, smoky, and this wonderful luscious texture.  The flavor is one that is hard to describe and beat.  Simple, but it goes a long way.  Once it is charred you peel the outside and cover with a rich tomato-butter sauce.  It really is that simple.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.  

10 medium size eggplants grilled (completely charred) 

Yellow tomato butter 

3 yellow tomatoes
1 garlic clove
4 basil leaves
1/4 cup of champagne or white wine(leftover)
1/4 cup cream
1 stick of butter
salt to taste

1 cup of tasted bread crumbs
1/4 cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of basil leaves
3 tbsp of chive flowers and basil flowers
1 tsp of espelette pepper
Salt to taste

For the eggplant,

2 ways to do this.   First is you place your eggplant directly on the hot spot of your grill and just let all sides get black or if you have a gas stove you can put the eggplant directly on the flame of your gas burner and do the same.  The eggplant should begin to release its juices.  (approximately 3-4 minutes on each side.)  You want to char the eggplant really good but not burn the eggplant so much that there isn't any "meat" left inside the eggplant.  If you cook your eggplant for about 15-20 minutes and it is charred on every side and feels pretty soft then place the eggplant in a bowl (while hot) and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to cool completely Basically you are steaming the eggplant at this point to insure that the eggplant will be cooked all the way through.  Once cooled the eggplant should be very soft all the way through.  Carefully peel the eggplant leaving the stem on and set on sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

For the tomato butter

Chop yellow tomatoes with garlic and place in a small sauce pan with white wine or champagne.  Season with a pinch of salt and turn on medium heat.  Cook for 10-12 minutes until all the wine is almost gone and then add the cream.  Cook for another 10-12 minutes and then place in the vita mix with basil.  Puree until smooth and then slowly add the butter piece by piece until a smooth consistency is formed.  Adjust the seasoning with salt and set aside and keep warm.  

To Finish,

Simply add a small spoonful of sauce on top of each eggplant and place in the a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until completely hot.  Then take out and place one on each plate.  Spoon over another ladle of sauce over top.  Garnish the eggplant with toasted bread crumbs, esplette pepper, fresh parmesan cheese, basil leaves and chive flowers.  Serve and enjoy!

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Cornchata Eclairs

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Cornchata Eclairs

Definitely an experiment here.  I love playing with the line of savory and sweet things.  Corn being a natural sweet vegetable and it is an easy transition into your dessert.  Mixed feelings on this one for sure.  A few co-workers thought it was really good and my wife, well she didn't care much for it.  Sometimes playing with food is fun, this recipe was totally that, trying something new.  We had a bunch of organic corn we grew and had some extra cobbs so this is where the idea came from.  It really is a an easy recipe, here it is, I hope you enjoy it.

Corn Eclairs 

Cornchata
1/2 gallon of milk
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp of cinnamon
12-14 fresh corn cobs 

Corn pastry cream
2 cups cornchata
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup of sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tbsp butter

Corn Pate a choux
1 1/2 cups of corn juice or milk is fine
1 cup of flour
1 stick of butter
4 eggs
pinch of salt 

White chocolate ganache
1/3 cup cream
8 oz of white chocolate

popcorn crumbles 

For the Cornchata,

Basically this is a cross between horchata and corn stock.  Place all the ingredients into a pot and bring to a simmer.  Cook for about an hour until you have a sweet corn stock.  Strain off and keep for other steps of the recipe.  Use leftover for ice cream base.

For the Eclairs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees,  In a small pot add milk (or corn juice), butter, sugar, and salt.  Bring to a simmer. As soon as the butter has completely melted stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and turn down the heat to low.  Incorporate all the flour thoroughly and cook for about 1 minute.  Transfer the dough to a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Turn on medium speed for a minute and then turn down to low speed.  Crack the four eggs into a measuring cup and add them to the dough one at a time.  Make sure the egg completely incorporates before adding the next egg.   Continue until all the eggs have been added.  Then take the dough and place in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.  On a sheet pan lined with  parchment paper pipe small straight lines of the dough. Once the sheet pan is full of the eclair shapes, place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown.  Try not to open the oven door once you have put them in the oven because the eclairs might deflate a bit.  Take out and let them cool completely.

For the Cornchata pastry cream

Scald the cornchata milk in a medium sauce pot, stirring often with a whisk. Turn off the heat when the milk starts to a boil.  Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a stand mixer set to high, until the eggs and sugar form pale white ribbons (3-4 minutes).  Add the cornstarch to the eggs and beat for 30 seconds.  Temper the eggs by whisking in one ladle of milk at a time until all the milk is incorporated with the egg mixture.  Place all of the egg/milk mixture back into the pot on medium low heat.  Whisk continually until it thickens, allow about 10-12 minutes, but don't boil.  Once it has thickened incorporate butter, then pour the pudding into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve to cool.  Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the pudding so it doesn't form a skin, and place in an ice bath or the refrigerator.  Cool completely. Once cooled completely place the pastry cream in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip.  

White chocolate ganache,

Place white chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Heat cream in a small pot. Bring to a boil and then pour the cream over the white chocolate.  Wait 1 minutes, and then whisk the white chocolate and cream mixture until completely smooth. 

To Finish,

Cut the eclairs in half lengthwise.  Then fill the eclairs with the corn pastry cream.  Dip the tops of the eclairs into the white chocolate ganache and place on top.  Finish the tops off with crumbled popcorn.  Chill until ready to eat.  Serve and enjoy!

 

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Ratatouille Tart

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Ratatouille Tart

Ratatouille, a classic.   Summer is filled with eggplant, tomatoes, and squash.  This recipe is a little take on traditional.  Typically in ratatouille you have tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, onion which are stewed together.  This recipe takes the same ingredients but with a slightly different approach.  The result is something familiar but a little different.  I made this recipe for one of the Kennedy family members that came to dinner and I will say that all the guests cleaned their plates.  Always a great sign of a good dish.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it! 

Ratatouille Tart

1 large eggplant roasted or 7 japanese eggplant
2 tbsp of creme fraiche
1 zucchini sliced thin
1 onion lightly grilled
2 heirloom tomatoes sliced 1/4 inch thick

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half

Charred tomato butter
6 tomatoes grilled
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup of cream
1 stick of butter
4 leaves of fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste 

1 Puff pastry Du pont
4 ring molds

Garnish, basil leaves, oregano flowers, chive blossoms, and olive oil

For the eggplant,

You want to roast the eggplant.  3 simple ways to do this.  You can either place the eggplant in an oven at 425 degrees and roast until tender.  Second option: if you have a gas stove simple turn on the burner and place the eggplant directly on the flame and rotate occasionally (it doesn't matter if the eggplant gets completely charred on the outside, it will be peeled ).  Third option: is the same as the last except on your grill.  

Once roasted place in a bowl and cover with a plastic for 30 minutes to allow to keep steaming.  Then peel the skin off the eggplant and mash with a fork or hand blender until smooth.  Add creme fraiche and season with salt and pepper

For the charred tomato butter,

Take tomatoes and cut in half.  Drizzle with olive oil and salt.  Place on the hot part of the grill and grill for 3-4 minutes until charred a bit.  Place the grilled tomatoes in a small pot and add cream.  Cook for 5 minutes on low heat, then add to vita mix with basil and puree until smooth.  Slowly add the butter to the blender until all is incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

For the tart,

Take 4 large ring molds and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Spray the inside of the ring molds with non-stick spray. Take two sizes bigger of the ring molds you have on the sheet pan and cut a round disk (you can use a small round plate if you don't have ring molds) Place the disks of puff pastry inside each of the ring molds.  You should have something that looks like a tart shell. 

Now place a few spoons of the eggplant puree into the bottom of the dough.  Then add slices of raw zucchini on top, season lightly with salt.  Then add a lightly grilled slice of onion on top of the zucchini slices.  Finish with a slice of tomato.  Again season each one with a little salt and pepper.  Now place the sheet pan in a preheated oven at 400 degrees.  Cook for about 40 minutes or until the dough is golden brown and cooked through.  Take out and let it cool for 10 minutes and then cut around the inside of the molds to release the tart from the ring molds.  

To finish,

Simply place a spoonful of the sauce on the plate.  Then add the tart on top of the sauce.  Add a few fresh cherry tomatoes on top and drizzle with olive oil and salt.  Finish with fresh herbs.  Serve and enjoy!

 

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Proscuitto, Melon, and Verjus

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Proscuitto, Melon, and Verjus

Here is a classic combination of melon and prosciutto with a little modern touch.  We had these fantastic crenshaw melons growing in the garden that were so sweet and juicy.  I had picked up some duck prosciutto from gwen  in LA, (Chef Curtis Stone latest endeavor).  Duck prosciutto is something I had for the first time over 13 years ago when I went to france.  I actually think I bought some in the airport if i'm not mistaken.  Duck prosciutto is absolutely delicious, and the product from gwen was no disappointment.  The product was flawless and a perfect compliment to this classic pairing.  I made a simple terrine with mascarpone, lemon, and poppy seeds with the melon.  Instead of balsamic I pickled some strawberries and also made a gel with verjus.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.  

Verjus gel
1 cup verjus
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp agar

4 oz Mascarpone
2 tbsp poppy seed
1/2 lemon zest
Salt to taste

1 ripe sweet melon
4 oz duck prosciutto (recipe here)

Pickled strawberry see recipe
Radish sliced

For the verjus gel,

Place all the ingredients into a pot and bring to simmer.  Cook for 5 minutes and then pour into a shallow pyrex pan.  Allow to cool completely (approx 1-2 hours)  Then with a knife cut up and place into a vitamix and puree until smooth.  Place into a squirt bottle and keep cold

For the melon terrine,

Peel the melon and slice into 1/4 inch thick pieces around the core.  Take mascarpone, lemon zest, poppy seed, and salt and mix well in a bowl.  Using an offset spatula spread a thin layer of the mascarpone mixture in between each layer of  melon until you have 4 layers of cheese.  Then wrap gently in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.  Continue the process until you have most of the melon used.

For the duck prosciutto see recipe

To finish,

Take out the terrine and slice carefully and place on a plate.  Add the verjus gel, pickled strawberries and radish.  Finish with slices of duck prosciutto, chervil, and chive flowers.  Serve and enjoy! 

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Nectarine and Cheese Danish

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Nectarine and Cheese Danish

Here is a simple pastry or danish using puff pastry, cheese, and nectarines.  This is a recipe that can be substituted with any stone fruit you have on hand.  Very simple and classic flavors here.  Once change I made to this recipe is adding mascarpone instead of all cream cheese.  Summertime is filled with wonderful fruit and we have a nectarine tree here in california that produces over a hundred fruit this year.  So here is one recipe to help get "rid" of some of those nectarines.  I hope you enjoy this sweet treat!

10 medium size nectarines peeled and medium diced
1 vanilla bean cut in half
1/8 tsp of cinnamon
3 tbsp of flour
1/2 cup of sugar
2 tbsp of butter
1 tsp of salt 

Cheese Filling
8 oz mascarpone
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean

2 packages of dufour puff pastry
1 egg

Demerara Sugar 

For the nectarines,

In a saute pan on medium high heat add butter, diced peeled nectarines, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla bean. Cook for 4 minutes and then sprinkle flour all over and stir in.  Cook for another minute and then place on a tray to cool completely.  

For the cheese,

Place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well until smooth without lumps. Then place into a plastic pastry bag with a plain tip (or none if you don't have one) and keep cool.

For the Danish, Preheat oven to 400 degrees

I took one box of puff pastry and cut them into four equal parts (you can make smaller ones or larger ones, whatever size you want).  On a sheet pan lined with parchment paper place the four pieces of puff pastry.  Pipe a 3-4 lines of the cheese filling leaving a 1 inch space around all 4 sides of the puff pastry.  Then take a few big spoonfuls of the nectarine filling and place on top of the cheese.  Then take a beaten egg and a pastry brush and brush four sides of the puff pastry.  Take the second box of puff pastry and cut four equal parts.  Using a lattice cutter cut the puff pastry into a lattice design.  Top each pastry with one lattice top making sure all sides are completely sealed.  Then brush the tops with the remaining egg.  Top with demerara sugar. You can place the pastry back in the refrigerator if the puff pastry has gotten too soft, this will firm up the dough and help with uniform baking.  Place the sheet pan in the 400 degree oven and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.  (if you oven is too hot and it browns too fast you can turn your oven down a bit or place on a different shelf in the oven.) Take out and allow to cool completely!  Serve and enjoy!

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Foie "Marrow" hearts of palm, passion fruit, pickled strawberries

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Foie "Marrow" hearts of palm, passion fruit, pickled strawberries

Here is a faux marrow dish I came up with when I bought some fresh hearts of palm earlier this summer.   Fresh hearts of palm are a real treat if you can get your hands on them.  Not a cheap ingredient because of the sourcing and the amount of work it takes to get fresh hearts of palm.  But being on the west coast for the summer availability from hawaii is a little easier to come across.  Hearts of palm can be eaten raw, depending on what variety you have sometimes than can be a bit woody raw.  If that is the case you want to boil to the hearts of palm in water, salt and vinegar until they are tender.  You can then place in a jar to preserve them or use them over the next few days.  

Once the hearts of palm were tender I cut them in half.  If you take out the inner layer it sort of looked just like a bone split down the middle.  I thought why not fill it with a "fat" and call it a faux marrow.  So I made a foie gras pate or terrine and filled the heart of palm with it.  I paired it with another ingredient that is prevalent in the summer which is passion fruit.  A flavor that is also common in the tropical regions as well.  Add a little spice with a serrano sauce and pickled green strawberries for a little acid.  Here is the recipe, I hope you enjoy it. 

 

Pickled Green Strawberries

1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar

1/2 cup of champagne vinegar (white wine)

1/2 cup of sugar

1 tbsp of salt

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp of coriander

3 garlic cloves

1 jalapeno

 

5lbs fresh  hearts of palm

1 gallon of water

1 cup of apple cider vinegar 

1/4 cup of salt 

 

Foie Gras (Prepared one day in advanced)

1 lobe 1 1/2 lb roughly A Foie gras cleaned of veins 

3 tbsp of salt

2 tbsp of sugar

1 tsp of pink curing salt (Prague powder #1)

2 tbsp of Cognac

 

Passion Fruit Sauce

1 cup of passion fruit juice (10-12 large passion fruit, save the seeds)

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp of salt 

1 tsp agar

 

Serrano Sauce

3 serranos grilled 

3/4 cup of mayo/veganaise 

salt to taste

 

Toasted bread crumbs, micro greens and herbs to garnish with sliced red radish

 

For the pickled green strawberries,

Add all the ingredients into a small pot except for the strawberries and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 2 minutes to let the salt and sugar dissolve.  Place the strawberries in a preserve jar or into heat proof container and pour the hot brine over the strawberries.  Cover and let it come to room temperature.  (should be done at least 1 day in advanced.)

For the hearts of palm,

Place all the ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer and cook for roughly 20 minutes or until the hearts of palm are tender. (Time really depends on how thick and big the palms are).  Once tender allow to cool to room temperature and you can pour all the liquid into a container to keep and preserve the hearts of palm.

For the foie gras,

Take the "A" foie and allow to come to room temperature.  On a sheet pan lined with parchment paper clean the lobe of any of the blood veins that are in the foie with a paring knife (I like to wear gloves when doing this).  Try to not touch the foie with your hands as much as possible because the heat from your hands will melt the foie (think butter).  Alternative method would be to push the foie through a fine mesh tammi.  Once cleaned of all the veins mix the salts and sugar together in a small bowl.  Drizzle the cognac all over the foie and then season heavily with the salt sugar cure mix.  Then take two long pieces of plastic wrap and overlap them slightly.  Place the foie in the bottom 1/3 of the bottom piece of plastic.  Roll the foie up into a log or sausage (using a cake tester or toothpick and make small holes in the log as you are rolling it up to allow air gaps to escape from your log.   Once rolled up twist both ends of your plastic as tight as you can until you have a tight log.  Then place into a cryovac bag and seal air tight.  Allow to cure overnight (24 hrs).  The next day bring a pot of water to 140 degrees using a sous vide machine if you have one.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Then place in an ice bath to stop the cooking.  Allow to cool for a few minutes.  At this point you can take the foie out of the bag and place it all into a food processor.  Puree until completely smooth.  This will help emulsify the foie and attain a smooth product.  Once pureed and smooth place half of it into a plastic pastry bag (tip not needed) The other half of the foie you can place into a mold (terrine) or sheet pan, or roll it back up into plastic wrap for a torchon.  You can keep in the freezer if you don't want to use right away.  

Take your hearts of palm and cut in half. Take out the inner layer and use for another recipe.  Take your pastry bag of foie and fill each heart of palm.  Should look something like this.

Take an offset spatula and wipe each one smooth.  Place into a refrigerator for at least an hour to harden the foie.   You can clean them up more after they chill if need be.  

For the Serrano sauce,

Place all the ingredients into a vita mix, puree, season and place into a squirt bottle

For the Passion fruit sauce,

Place all the ingredients into a small pot.  Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer.  Cook for 5 minutes and then pour into a shallow heat proof dish.  Place into a refrigerator until the gel has set.  Then take the gel and place into a blender and puree until smooth.  place into a squirt bottle and keep cool.  

To finish,

Take the hearts of palm and place on a plate.  Add dots of passion fruit sauce and serrano sauce around the plate.  Add some of the seeds to the passion fruit sauce for a little crunch if desired.  Season the heart of palm with fleur de sel and top with toasted bread crumbs. Add the pickled strawberries and radish.  Finish with micro greens and serve and enjoy!

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Walleye, Cranberry Bean, Lima, Swiss Chard

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Walleye, Cranberry Bean, Lima, Swiss Chard

Here is a great summer fish recipe using fresh shelling beans that are in season right now.  One of beans that I really enjoy cooking with are cranberry beans.  They have a vibrant color once shelled, but unfortunately like most beans they loose a lot of their color during the cooking process. Flavor wise, they are delicious.  I think cranberry beans are good mix between not overly starchy and not too creamy.  

During the mid years of my teens I lived in Minnesota (Land of 10,000 Lakes) and one of the fish that is very common in those parts of the country is walleye.  Whenever I see that as an option at the fish market I have to buy it.  Not only is it wild and not farmed raised but it is a fish that is a bit oily and a bit flakey, the result is fantastic.     

This recipe is inspired from a cassoulet, I had some duck leg meat left over from an appetizer which I will post in a few days that was a perfect compliment to the fish and beans.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Walleye

1 lb walleye cut into 4 oz pc
1 tsp of espelette 

1 1/2 cup fresh cranberry beans
1/2 onion charred, 2 cloves of garlic
4 cups chicken stock, 1 sprig of fresh thyme and savory
1 tsp of salt

1 cup of fresh lima beans blanched until tender (approx. 1-2 min)
1 bunch of young swiss chard
2 duck legs smoked and grilled
6 red cipollini onions cut in half and roasted
2 large yukon potato confit (see recipe)
8 pc of confit garlic
2 tbsp blis9 sherry vinegar
2 tbsp of confit oil, 1 tsp of chopped thyme and savory
Salt and pepper to taste

Chive flowers, nasturtium, savory, and oregano flowers

For the beans,

In a small sauce pot, add fresh cranberry beans, charred onion, garlic cloves, chicken stock, herbs, and a tsp of salt.  Bring to a boil, cover, and turn down to a simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes or until beans are tender.  Turn off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature in its cooking liquid.  

For the vegetables, 

In a pot of salted water blanch lima beans for 1-2 minutes and then place in an ice bath.  For the cipollinis onions cut in half and drizzle with olive oil and salt.  Place cut side down in a small saute pan on medium high heat.  Cook for 2 minutes and then place in a 400 preheated oven.  Roast for 15 minutes until onions are tender.   For the garlic confit.  Place a cup of oil (vegetable) and a half cup of peeled garlic in a small pot on medium heat.  Once the oil starts to simmer turn down to low.  You want the oil to barely percolate.  Cook until the garlic is golden brown and tender.  (You don't want to cook the garlic too fast where the garlic browns but is not tender all the way through).  

To finish, 

In a large saute pan on medium heat place 2 tbsp of olive oil.  Season walleye with salt on both sides.  Place the walleye skin side down into the pan.  Now season the fillet side with a little espelette pepper. Cook the fish for 4-5 minutes on the skin side.  Meanwhile in another hot saute pan with 1 tbsp of confit oil add the small diced duck leg meat. Cook for one minute and then add swiss chard and a cup of the beans with a cup of the bean stock.  Bring to a boil and add the lima beans, potatoes, onions, and garlic.  Turn down to a low, adjust seasoning with sherry vinegar, confit oil, salt.  Place a few spoonfuls in each bowl along with some of the broth.  Flip over the walleye for 5 seconds and then place on top of the vegetables.  Finish the dish with herb flowers, serve and enjoy!

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Smoked Black Cod, Cucumber Sorbet, Yogurt, Coconut

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Smoked Black Cod, Cucumber Sorbet, Yogurt, Coconut

Here is an appetizer I served just the other day for a small dinner party. This dish is light, refreshing, and absolutely delicious.  This was a huge hit, one definitely to keep in the vault of recipes.  This recipe is really highlighting the cucumbers that grow wild in the garden along with the stalks of celery we had as well.  Combined these flavors with a buttery smokey black cod and the result is really fantastic.  Lastly you get a bit of acid from the yogurt which has been foamed a  little bit to create a yogurt cloud

 

1 whole fillet Smoked Black Cod recipe here (Done at least 3 days before)

Cucumber sorbet
4 cups cucumber juice
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp inverted sugar
2 tbsp glucose
1 lemon juice
1 tsp salt

Aerated Yogurt
5oz fage yogurt
1 lemon juiced
4 tbsp of water
1 tsp of salt
2 cartridges of n2o 

Cucumber Compote
3/4 cup of brunoise cucumber
1/2 cup of brunoise celery
1/2 cup of brunoise young coconut meat
2 tbsp of capers
1 tsp of white balsamic
1 tsp of lemon oil
Salt to taste 

Chive oil
8 oz of chives blanched
1 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
pinch of salt

Cucumber Celery Broth
1 large cucumber
6 large stalks of celery
1 lemon
Salt to taste

Garnish Celery leaves, dill, chive blossoms, borage flowers 

Cucumber Sorbet,

Place water, sugar, glucose, and inverted sugar in a small pot.  Turn on medium high and bring to a simmer.  Cook for 2 or 3 minutes until sugars dissolve.  Pour into a bowl and chill completely. Once completely chilled add lemon juice, cucumber juice, and salt to the simple syrup.  Pour into ice cream machine and use according to your machines instructions.  Once sorbet is done place in the freezer.  

For the Aerated Yogurt,

Place all the ingredients into a isi foamer.  Add one n2o cartridge and shake the canister for a good 30 seconds to distribute the gas. Then add the 2nd cartridge and do the same.  Then place in the refrigerator until ready to use.  

For the Chive oil,

In a hot salted pot of water blanch the chives for 10-15 seconds.  Then place in a ice bath to stop the cooking process.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Drain off the water from the chives, squeeze the chives to release any excess water.  Place in a vita mix and add the oil.  Puree smooth for 30-45 seconds.  Then strain through a fine mesh strainer (do not push the oil through the strainer, allow to drip, this way you won't get any of the pulp in your oil.

For the Cucumber-celery broth,

Juice cucumber and celery in a vegetable juicer.  Squeeze in lemon juice and salt.  Set aside and keep cool.

For the Coconut compote,

Add diced cucumber, celery, young coconut meat, and capers into a a small bowl. Drizzle with lemon oil, white balsamic, and a bit of salt to season. 

To finish

Slice black cod thinly and place 6 slices in the middle of the bowl.  Using a round cookie cutter add a few spoonfuls of the cucumber compote.  Then add the cucumber sorbet.  Foam the yogurt using the isi siphon.  Then pour in the cucumber broth.  Add the flowers and herbs.  Finish with the chive oil in the cucumber broth.  Serve and enjoy!

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Tuna, Zucchini Pakora, Curry, Finger Lime

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Tuna, Zucchini Pakora, Curry, Finger Lime

Here is an appetizer I made a few days ago that Jp absolutely was in love with.  He had one after another.  He just loved the hot, spicy pakora (fritter) with the buttery wild tuna.  I try not to buy and serve a lot of tuna because of the years of overfishing but this was wild and from the area of fiji and looked way too good pass to up. This is a very easy appetizer or hors'd oeuvre that packs a big punch, here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Tuna appetizer 

1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 tbsp tandoori spice or ras al hanout
1/2 cup garbanzo flour
1/3 cup rice flour
4 tbsp sparkling water
1/4 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp curry powder and 1 tsp salt 

6 oz tuna sliced thin (think half the size of sashimi)
2 tbsp of curry/turmeric oil (recipe here just change butter for oil)
Salt
1/4 lime juiced
4 finger lime 

1 cup curry mayo ( 2 tbsp of curry powder, 1 cup of mayo, 1/2 lime, salt to taste)
Coconut julienne
Chives

Oil for frying 325 degrees

For the Pakora,

Place both flours in a bowl with spices, salt, and baking powder.  Add zucchini and carrots to the batter.  With a whisk add in the water until a smooth batter is formed.  In a small sauce pot heat oil for frying to 325.  With a small spoon or mini ice cream scoop place batter into the frying oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes flipping the pakora half way through.  Strain out the pakora onto a paper towel and season immediately with salt.  Continue in batches to keep the pakoras warm until your out of batter.

For the Curry mayo,

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir with a whisk until well combined.  Adjust seasoning if need be.  Place in a squirt bottle

To finish 

Take your tuna slices and drizzle with curry/turmeric oil.  Squeeze lime juice over the top of the tuna.  Then season lightly with salt.  Then take pakoras a dozen or so at a time and place one slice of tuna on top of each pakora.  Then add a dollop of curry mayo.  Add finger-lime "caviar" , a sliver of young coconut, and finish with a chive "stick".  Serve and enjoy this hot and cold appetizer!

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Halibut, Fennel, Porcini and Nonzero Rice

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Halibut, Fennel, Porcini and Nonzero Rice

Here is a great summer dish that is light and absolutely delicious. I got lucky at the farmers market in Santa Monica and got some of the last porcini's of the season.  The mushroom monger said it wasn't the last of the season it was more like they were having a second season because of the rain they had been getting. Normally the season would be over by this time of the year but lucky for me it wasn't.  I made a mushroom stock and cook the rice with in it with fennel.   The rice variety was one that my boss was giving from Asia and it was called nonzero, this rice was straight from the farm and it was absolutely delicious. It was not a sticky rice per se, it had a little starch that give a tiny hint of creaminess but not quite like a risotto.  At the end of the day the rice was fantastic.  I also grilled the porcini's on my hibachi grill which gave a great smoked flavor the the meaty mushrooms.    Simple sear to the fish with a bit of fennel to finish.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 1/2 lb halibut cut into 4 oz pieces 

1 1/2 lb of Porcini’s
1 fennel cut in half sliced thin
1 small onion sliced thin
2 tbsp of butter and olive oil

Mushroom Stock
3 oz of dried porcini
3 oz of dried shiitake mushrooms
3 oz of dried morel
4 oz of cremini mushrooms
4 oz of button mushrooms
4 garlic cloves
2 tops of leeks
10 cups of water
Salt to taste 

1 1/2 cup of mushroom stock
3/4 cup of nonzero rice
1 tsp of salt 

Mushroom froth
2 cups of mushroom stock
4 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of verswhip
Salt to taste 

Micro dill or fennel fronds, fennel pollen, borage to garnish

For the mushroom stock,

Place all the ingredients in to a pot and fill with water.  Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook for about an hour to an hour and half until the stock has reduced by half and the water taste like mushrooms.  Strain out the mushrooms, season with salt and set aside and keep warm.

For the porcini's,

Start grill (hibachi in my case) bring up to 350-400 degrees.  You want to give a smokey flavor to the mushrooms without completely cooking the mushrooms all the way through.  Porcini's are very meaty and dense in texture.  They should still be a bit firm after grilling.  Simply toss with olive oil and salt, cook them for just 2 or 3 minutes on each side.   Then take off the grill and cool.

For the fennel and onion,

Slice thin fennel and onion.  In a small sauce pot on medium low heat add butter, oil, fennel, onion, and salt.  Add the top to the pot and cook for 15 minutes without browning.  Stir the pot by shaking the pot and keeping the lid on every few minutes.  Try not to take the top off and allow the steam to escape.  The onions and fennel should sweat in the their own juices until they are soft. Once tender turn off the heat and look to cool

For the rice,

Add mushroom stock and salt to a pot.  Bring to a boil and pour in the rice.  Cook for 25 minutes or until the water has been absorbed and the 

To finish,

In a medium hot saute pan add olive oil.  Season the halibut pieces with salt and place fillet side down in the pan.  Cook on that one side for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile combine the fennel, onions, mushroom stock, and rice in a small pot.  Season with salt and pepper and cook until hot and the broth has evaporated; finish with a little butter if desired. In another saute pan add butter and porcini's.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.  Season with salt and pepper. Place a few spoonfuls of the rice in the in the middle of the plate.  Flip over the halibut and cook for 20 seconds, then take out.  Place on top of the rice.  Add the porcini's on top the rice.  Add  verswhip, butter, and salt to the mushroom stock with a hand blender for a 1 minute.  Then froth the stock and pour around the plate.  Finish the dish with fennel pollen, fronds, and borage.  Serve and enjoy!

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Nectarine (Hostess) Pies

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Nectarine (Hostess) Pies

We have a huge Yellow nectarine tree here in Malibu that has easily over a 100 fruit on the tree. I think I have grown to love nectarines more than peaches because I'm not the biggest fan of the fuzzy skin.  I love peaches but nectarines are almost the same flavor without the fuzzy skin.  My favorite nectarine is probably the white nectarine, those tend to have the most sweetness of all the varieties.  But in this recipe I used the yellow flesh nectarines.  Try to get ones that are firm but perfectly ripened.  You want to be able to peel them but also have the sweetness from a ripened stone fruit.  

  This recipe is one I made for the fourth of July a few weeks ago, looking for a down home recipe that would bring you back to those child hood memories of hostess pies.  I served this dish the following night for comedian Ron White, warm with grilled nectarines and double vanilla ice cream. It was a huge hit to say the least.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Nectarine pie

10 medium size nectarines peeled and medium diced
1/2 of vanilla bean cut in half
1/8 tsp of cinnamon
3 tbsp of flour
1/2 cup of sugar
2 tbsp of butter
1 tsp of salt 

Pate brissee (You will have a little dough left over for another use)
3 cups plus 3 tbsp of flour
3 sticks of cold butter
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp of ice cold water
1 1/2 tsp of salt

1 egg for eggwash
5 tbsp demerara sugar

 

For the Nectarine filling,

In medium size saute pan on medium high heat add butter, nectarines, and vanilla bean.  Cook for 3 minutes and then add sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Cook for 3 minutes and then sprinkle the flour over the fruit.  Cook for another 5 minutes so the flour cooks out, the fruit break down a bit and the mixture is somewhat thick. Taste and adjust the seasoning if need be.  Then pour into a shallow dish to cool completely.  Once cooled you are ready to make the pies.

For the Pie dough

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees. Using the food processor again add flour to the bowl along with the salt.  Pulse a few times to combine well.  Then turn the processor on and begin to add all the butter a tbsp. at a time.  Once the butter has been combined.  Drizzle in the cold water.  Finish with a few tbsp. of flour if needed.  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 a medium size round ring mold (cookie cutter) and cut out pie crust.  Place a spoonful of the cooled nectarine filling in the middle of the round disk of dough. Brush the edges with egg wash.  Then take another round disk of dough and place on top. Pinch the edges to seal and then with a fork press the dough all over the edges and prick the top of each pie.  Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan and place the finished pies on top. Once all are done brush with more egg wash and sprinkle with Demerara sugar Place in the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Take out the pies and allow to cool completely or serve and enjoy!

A little irregularity to the pies gives that really home made look

 

 

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Chilled Cucumber Soup with Dill, Yogurt, and Roasted Poblano

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Chilled Cucumber Soup with Dill, Yogurt, and Roasted Poblano

Here is a simple dish that you can make in less than 30 minutes.  Quick, easy, and screams summer.  This is a perfect recipe for a vegetarian that is light and refreshing on those hot summer days.  We have a huge garden in Malibu and during the summer just a few plants of cucumbers can turn into at least 30-40 cucumbers growing wherever they can find room.  Nothing fancy here with this one, just added a little bite to the dish by adding a roasted poblano.  Add a little yogurt to the soup for body and acid.  Here is the easy summer recipe, I hope you enjoy it.

Cucumber soup

2 cucumbers
1 roasted poblano
1 1/2 cup of yogurt
3 tbsp of mint
3 tbsp of dill
3 tbsp of parsley
1 tbsp of tarragon
3 tbsp of chives
1 lemon juiced
Salt and olive oil to taste

1 cup of cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/2 cup of small diced cucumbers
3 radishes julienned
1 cup of thin bagel chips
Cucumber flowers, chive flowers, dill 

 

For the soup,

Place all the ingredients except the olive oil in a vita mix blender.  Puree until smooth (30-45 seconds).  Season with salt and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.  

To finish

Simple take the cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and julienned radishes into a small mixing bowl.  Drizzle the "salad" with olive oil and salt.  Add the "salad" to one side of the bowl.  Then pour the cold soup into the bowl.  Finish with cucumber flowers, chive flowers, dill, and bagel chips.  Drizzle with another touch of olive oil, serve and enjoy!

 

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Foie Gras, Sable, Poached Pear and Horseradish Mustard Jam

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Foie Gras, Sable, Poached Pear and Horseradish Mustard Jam

Here is a fantastic appetizer I served at a recent party that was absolutely amazing.  This recipe definitely straddles the sweet and savory line. Sable brenton is a great french cookie that is very similar to a shortbread with the addition of egg yolks.  So this is a fantastic way to get rid of egg yolks if you have been making a lot of meringues or egg white omelets in my case.   You should chill the dough before cooking.  This would be my only complaint if I had one about this recipe is that I didn't chill the dough. So if you are looking for perfect consistent shapes on your cookies this would be the step not to pass on. They still stay within reason, uniform, and no one would know the better if I didn't say something.  In the end if you work fast you can get away without chilling the dough and you will still end up with great looking and tasting sable cookies.  I made a mustard horseradish jam that I spread a thin layer on the cookie.  Then I added the foie gras torchorn and topped with poached pear.  Simple and delicious!.  You are going to love this recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Sable Cookies

2/3 cup (5.2 ounces, 150g) best-quality salted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons flaky sea salt, such as fleur de sel or Maldon
4 large egg yolks
1 cup (200g) sugar
1 3/4 cups (210g) all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
1 egg
1 teaspoon of water

Poached Pears

4-5 bosc or anjou pears peeled
1/2 cup of white wine or sweet if you have it
6 cups of water
1 cup sugar
1 lemon juiced and zested
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf, 2 star anise, 2 cloves, 1 tbsp of whole allspice
1 teaspoon of salt

Mustard horseradish jam

3 oz of whole grain dijon mustard
1 large horseradish root peeled and grated
2 cups of water
2/3 cup of sugar
1-2 tsp of salt

Foie Gras Torchorn recipe here (Done at least 1 day in advanced)

Garnish of edible flowers and herbs (mustard, chervil, etc...)

For the Poached pears,

Cut peeled pears in half and take out the cores.  Then place them in a pot with water, sugar, wine, lemon peel and zest, all the spices.  Then take a piece of parchment paper and cut a square.  Then fold it over in half into a triangle and then fold it again diagonally into a smaller triangle.  Then fold two more times continuing the triangle.  Then cut the point of the triangle off and cut around the outer edge to fit the size of the pot. Open the paper up (This is called a Cartouche), the paper should be a round circle that fits inside the pot with a whole in the middle of the paper.  This is basically a lid for the pears so they stay submerged.  Slowly bring the pot to barely simmering.  Cook for 20-30 minutes or until the pears are tender all the way through.  Check them with a cake tester or toothpick.  Cool to room temperature. 

For the horseradish jam,

Place all the ingredients in a small pot.  Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer.  Cook for 15-20 minutes or until most of the water is gone, the horseradish is softened, and the mixture has thickened. Adjust seasoning if needed.  Cool to room temperature.  

For the Sable cookies,

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a mixing bowl combine sugar and egg yolks and whisk until light and fluffy (2 min).  Then in a stand mixer cream together butter and salt for 2 minutes.  Then add the egg yolks to the butter, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl so all is incorporated.  Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl.  Then add the flour mixture to the egg mixture until completely incorporated (10-15 seconds), but without over whipping.  Take dough and place onto a parchment paper and form into a rectangle.  Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.  Take our and place another piece of parchment on top of the dough and roll the dough out with a rolling pin until the dough is 1/3 and 1/2 inch thick.  Using your cookie cutter of choice cut out cookie shapes and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment or silpat (you will probably need a spatula to help transfer the dough to the sheet pan)  Place back in the freezer for 20 minutes.  Then combine the water and egg to make an egg wash.  Brush the cookies with the egg wash (you can also prick with a fork to make patterns here if you want) and place in the oven.  Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.  Take out and cool completely.  

To Finish,

Simply spread a thin layer of the horseradish jam on the cook.  Take some of the foie gras torchon and cut a thin slices and place on top of the jam and cook.  Slice the poached pears and place on top of the foie gras.  Finish with micro chervil, radish flowers, and other edible flowers.  Serve and enjoy!

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Pistachio Cream Puffs

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Pistachio Cream Puffs

If you were me pistachios are one of those ingredients that you really have a hard time disliking.  Whether they are simply roasted with salt or pureed and made into ice-cream, this is one ingredient that I always love.  This recipe is a simple cream puff (Pate a choux dough), stuffed with pistachio pastry cream and topped with a white chocolate glaze.  This recipe is easy and absolutely delicious.  I hope you enjoy this one because this recipe is one you will come back to time and time again.  Classic pate a choux dough that can be baked ahead of time and filled with pistachio cream that also can be made a day in advance.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Pistachio pastry cream
7 oz pistachio paste or cream   
3 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or half of a vanilla bean
6 egg yolks
1/4 plus an 1/8th cup corn starch
3 tbsp butter

Pate a choux (cream puff)
1 cup milk
1 cup of flour
1 tsp of sugar
1/4 tsp of salt
4 eggs
1 stick of butter

White Chocolate Ganache/Glaze
1/4 cream
1 cup of white chocolate chips

For the Cream Puffs 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees,  In a small pot add milk, butter, sugar, and salt.  Bring to a simmer. As soon as the butter has completely melted stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and turn down the heat to low.  Incorporate all the flour thoroughly and cook for about 1 minute.  Transfer the dough to a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Turn on medium speed for a minute and then turn down to low speed.  Crack the four eggs into a measuring cup and add them to the dough one at a time.  Make sure the egg completely incorporates before adding the next egg.   Continue until all the eggs have been added.  Then take the dough and place in a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip.  On a sheet pan lined with  parchment paper pipe small rounds of the dough.  If the tops of the rounds have a tip from piping take your finger with a little water on it and push it down lightly.  If you don't have a piping bag just use two spoons or ice cream scoop.  Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown.  Try not to open the oven door once you have put them in the oven because the cream puffs might deflate a bit.  Take out and let them cool completely.

For the Pistachio Pastry Cream,

Scald the milk with pistachio paste and vanilla bean paste in a medium sauce pot, stirring often with a whisk. Turn off the heat when the milk starts to a boil.  Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a stand mixer set to high, until the eggs and sugar form pale white ribbons (3-4 minutes).  Add the cornstarch to the eggs and beat for 30 seconds.  Temper the eggs by whisking in one ladle of milk at a time until all the milk is incorporated with the egg mixture.  Place all of the egg/milk mixture back into the pot on medium low heat.  Whisk continually until it thickens, allow about 10-12 minutes, but don't boil.  Once it has thickened incorporate butter, then pour the pudding into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve to cool.  Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the pudding so it doesn't form a skin, and place in an ice bath or the refrigerator.  Cool completely. Once cooled completely place the pastry cream in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip.  

Then take your cream puffs and your pistachio pastry cream.  Take your cream in the pastry bag in one hand and take a cream puff in your other hand.  Using the metal point or tip of the pastry cream poke a hole in the bottom of the cream puff.  Squeeze about a half an ounce or until you can feel the cream puff getting full in your hand.  Continue until all the puffs are done.

For the White chocolate ganache,

Place white chocolate in a heat proof bowl.  Place cream in a small pot and bring to a boil.  Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for 1 minutes.  Then with a whisk stir until the mixture is completely melted and smooth.

Once the ganache is smooth you can take each cooled cream puff and coat the tops of the puffs by simply dipping them halfway into the ganache.  Once all of the tops are coated with white chocolate top with finely chopped pistachios.  Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.  Serve and enjoy!

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