Nasturtium Pasta, Merguez, Olive, Manouri

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Nasturtium Pasta, Merguez, Olive, Manouri

Spring is a wonderful time of year when you look forward to beautiful days, sunshine, and spending time outside after baring the winter temperatures.  In Texas winters are not so severe and in southern California they finally got the rain they desperately needed.  Spring is always a time for lamb and in California the hills are covered in wild nasturtiums.   Here is a pasta dish inspired by the wild nasturtiums and mediterranean flavors of merguez, olive, and manouri cheese.  Jp absolutely loved this dish and it is definitely a keeper.  I absolutely love these flavors especially manouri cheese with the spicy sausage.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.

Nasturtium pasta

Green olive tapenade (see recipe)

Pasta
2 cups of nasturtium leaves
3 eggs
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt 

1 cup Peas blanched
1 cup Snap peas blanched and cut in 1/3
2 oz manouri cheese
8 oz of merguez sausage (see recipe) or store bought
1/4 cup capers fried

Nasturtium to garnish 

 

For the Pasta

Take two cups of nasturtium leaves and place the in a blender with the eggs and olive oil.  Puree everything until smooth and green.  Pour the mixture into the center of a bowl.  Place 2 1/2 cups of flour around the outer edge of the spinach in the bowl.  With a fork stir the flour into nasturtium 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 one 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.  Then run the pasta all the way down to the lowest setting twice.  Then on the third time run it down to the second to last setting.  Use a little flour for dusting.  Then you can make any shape you want pappardelle, fettuccini, farfalle, garganelli etc... I made fettuccini and cavatelli.    

To Finish

Take a pot of salted water and bring to a boil.  Meanwhile in a hot saute pan add little oil and the merguez sausage.  Cook for 3-4 minutes and then add the pasta (4 portions) to the water.  Boil for 2 minutes or until it floats to the top of the water.  Strain out the pasta and place in the pan with the merguez.  Add the peas, snap peas, and 2-3 tbsp of green olive tapanade.  Toss for another minute and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Divide pasta into 4 bowls.  Finish with fried capers, grated manouri cheese, and lots of nasturtium flowers and petals.  Serve and enjoy!  

 

 

 

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Salt Baked Celery Root with Lotus Leaf and Sea Bean

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Salt Baked Celery Root with Lotus Leaf and Sea Bean

Here is a vegetarian dish I did a few weeks ago shooting for a dish that was light and subtle in asian flavors.  One of the main ingredients is lotus leaf.  Lotus leaf is obviously not a local ingredient,  it is native to Asia and the national flower for India.  In most Asian stores you can find dried lotus leaf.  They are normally very large and the cost is reasonable.  In this recipe I soaked the lotus leaf in hot water.  This water, after it soaked taste very much like a delicate tea.  I took the softened leaf and wrapped it around the celery root.  Then covered the whole thing in salt.  Then placed it all in a wood burning oven for about an hour. I made a sauce out of the leftover lotus water along with leek and celery.  I finished the dish off with sea beans, baby radish, and finger limes.  A great vegetarian appetizer to start off a dinner.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.

Celery root lotus leaf salt baked

4 dried lotus leaf
6 cups hot water
5 small celeriac (1.5 lb total weight)
4 cup salt

Sauce
2 cups of lotus water
4 stalks of celery diced
1 garlic cloves
1 leek diced
2 tbsp of butter and olive oil

Salt to taste

1/4 cup of sea beans
Pickled shallots ( Link here substitute stems for onions)
1 bunch of baby radishes
Celery leaves hearts
Mustard leaves
3 finger limes 


For Lotus "Tea"

Put lotus leaves in a large roasting pan or heat proof container.  Take water and bring to a simmer.  Pour hot water over the leaves.  Let it stand for at least 10-15 minutes until the leaves soften.  Place 2 leaves in a bottom of a cast iron pan.  Place the celery root in the pan and cover with the two remaining lotus leaves.  In a small bowl add salt and 6-8 tbsp of lotus water until the salt feels like wet sand.  Then cover the whole thing with the salt.  Place in the wood oven for about 1 hour ( the oven was heated around 425-450 degrees).  Let it keep cooking for 10 minutes and then crack the salt crust and take the celery out.  Allow to cool and then peel celery root.  Use a cookie cutter to cut celery root into a cylinder shape.  Set aside

For the Sauce,

In a small sauce pot add 2 tbsp of olive oil, leek, and celery.  Add 2 pinches of salt and cover the pot.  Cook for 5-7 minutes without browning.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Add the lotus water and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes.  Pour into a blender and puree until smooth.  While the sauce is still pureeing add the butter.  Season with salt and keep warm.

To Finish,

In a bowl add some of the celery-lotus sauce.  Warm up the celery root in the oven and season with salt.   Add it to the bowl.  Top with pickled onion, celery leaves, radish, finger limes, and sea beans.  Add mustard leaves.  Serve and enjoy! 

 

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Sea Bass, Confit Apples, Turmeric, Cabbage (Frances Fisher)

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Sea Bass, Confit Apples, Turmeric, Cabbage (Frances Fisher)

I went to the farmers market in Malibu last week and there was a fishmonger there who had some great looking fish for sale.  I talked to her and she was apart of a small operation where her husband and his friends go out to catch the fish and then she goes to the markets or restaurants to sell it.  The fish isn't out of the water for more than a day or two before you are eating it.  Unless you're catching the fish yourself, that is about the best you can do these days as far as getting fresh fish.  Well it just so happened that the famous mother (Frances Fisher ) from the movie titanic was coming over for an impromptu dinner.  She said she really didn't eat a lot of fish anymore but that she would try a piece.  I told her it was very fresh I just bought it and they had just caught it.  I told her I didn't want to force her to eat it because Eloise wasn't going to eat it either.  She decided to eat it and thanked me for it after because she said it was one of the best pieces of fish she'd ever had.  The real star of this plate besides the cabbage was the apples.   I confit or cooked the apples in turmeric butter (ghee or clarified) and the results were really amazing.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

 

Santa Barbara sea bass with confit apples

1 lb sea bass cut into 4 oz pieces

1 head of red cabbage sliced 1/2 inch thick grilled
1 bunch of broccoli grilled
1 large bunch of leeks blanched
1 tsp of cumin
2 tsp of curry
1 tbsp of butter

Red Cabbage purée
1/2 of grilled cabbage
1/4 cup of oil (substitute cream, butter, creme friache, yogurt, veganaise, mayo)
Salt to taste


Confit apples
8oz of turmeric ghee
3 Fuji apples melon balled
Salt

Turmeric ghee
6 fingers of turmeric grated fine or purée
2 lbs of unsalted butter 

Bok choy flowers
 

For the turmeric ghee, (better to make in advance if possible)

Peel turmeric and grate fine ( you might want to use cloves and parchment paper not to get everything stained orange including your fingers ) Combine butter and turmeric in a small pot on medium low heat.  Cook for 30 minutes or so until the foam from the butter has cooked off and the milk solids have separated to the bottom of the pot.  Strain off if desired or pour into a jar and it should last for a few weeks.  

For the Cabbage,

Heat up your grill or green egg if you have one.  I sliced mine whole in 5 slices.  Drizzled it with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Grill the cabbage until it is tender (10 -12 minutes flipping it half way through).  I tossed any of the outer pieces that were really burnt.  Take half of the cabbage and puree with the oil or any of the other substitutes (Originally I was trying to make a cabbage oil, but the puree just emulsified and became a smooth puree. It didn't tasted oily at all and was not greasy so I went with it as a puree.  I would probably just use cream or butter if I were to make it again but maybe not)   The rest of the cabbage I diced very small.   

For the Broccoli,

Slice the broccoli heads in half or even three times and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Grill until tender (7-10) minutes.  Then cut away the stems and reserve for another purpose or dice them too.  Take the heads and dices small and set aside.  

For the Apples,

Simply take a melon baller ( I used one that looked like gnocchi or shell) and ball out the apples.  Place them in a pan with the turmeric ghee.  Add a pinch of apples and turn on medium low heat.  You can put a cartouche (parchment paper lid on top) if you desire.  Cook for 15 -20 minutes until the apples are tender but not mush.  Set aside and keep warm. 

To finish,

In a cast iron or non stick pan add olive oil to the pan.  Season fish with salt on the skin side.  Season with salt and pepper on the filet side. Place the skin side down of the bass in the pan.  Push down slightly for 15 seconds until the fillet won't curl up any more and lays flat in the pan.  Cook for 5 minutes in the pan.  Meanwhile place olive oil and butter in another saute pan along with blanched leeks, broccoli, and cabbage.  Saute for one minute and then add cumin and curry powder.  Cook for another 2 minutes and then finish with salt.  Place a spoonful of the cabbage puree on the plate.  Then add the vegetables to the plate.  Add some of the apples around the puree.  Flip the fish over for 20 seconds in the pan. Finish with flowers and one piece of the fish on top skin side up.  Drizzle a little of the turmeric butter around the dish.  Serve and enjoy! 

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Asparagus, Olive, Hollandaise, Radish

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Asparagus, Olive, Hollandaise, Radish

Here is a simple spring appetizer that anyone can do.  It takes minimal prep and this is really something that can be put together in no time.  I made this one just the other day at the peak of Asparagus season.  I just landed off the plane and had a dinner to make that evening for guests.  By the time I made it to work I had two hours to basically make a 3 course dinner.  Here was the first course in that dinner.  It takes a classic pairing of asparagus and hollandaise.  I added a few other ingredients to put a little twist on a classic dish.  I added olive, petite basque cheese, and some radish.  There is only a few ingredients to use in this dish so the execution must be perfect.  Nothing to hide behind in this dish. When these ingredients all come together it is a perfect marriage of flavors. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy!

 

2 bunches of large asparagus peeled

2 red radish juilenned

2 oz of petit basque 

1 cup of black beldi olives de-seeded and pureed 

 

Hollandaise

4 egg yolks

2 tbsp of white wine

8 oz of melted butter (clarified if you have it)

1 small lemon juiced

Salt to taste

 

Radish and chive flowers to garnish

 

For the asparagus,

Bring a small pot of heavily salted water to a boil.  The salt needs to be very heavy so the water taste salty. Trim the asparagus of the bottom stalks and peel the rest of the stalk up to the tip.  Place the asparagus in the water and cook until they are just done.  This is the crucial point.  You want to cook them for about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes until they are just tender.  You don't want a heavy crunch to the asparagus.  Believe me this was one thing I learned from a french chef.  The way I was taught normally was to blanch them so they are still crunchy.  But leave these ones in just a little longer until they just have cooked all the way through without over cooking and turning to mush (shouldn't happen in 2 minutes).  I know this might sound contrary to what most teach.  But believe me when the asparagus still have their integrity and cut almost like butter paired with the olive and hollandaise it truly is magical.  Immediately take out and place in a water bath.  Take out and drain on a paper towel.  Place beldi olives in a food processor and pure until smooth (I didn't add any oil).  I trimmed the stalks of the asparagus a little more and used them as little pieces on the plate.  Take a piece of plastic wrap and place flat on the counter.  Take a tiny off set spatula and place a small rectangle of olive puree on the plastic wrap.  Then take one asparagus and roll the olive around the asparagus using the plastic wrap.  Use your fingers to flatten and make it unified.  Then unwrap the plastic and place on a plate for later.  Continue until 2/3 of the asparagus are done.  I left a few without for the top of the dish.

For the hollandaise,

Place egg yolks and white wine 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 and lemon juice.  Keep in a warm place.  

To finish,

Place a large spoonful of hollandaise on the plate.  Place two asparagus on the hollandaise.  Then place a few of the stalks around the sauce and in between the asparagus.  Add the radish and finish with strips of petite basque cheese, radish, and chive flowers. Serve and enjoy this simple but delicious dish!

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Turnips, Koji, Pickled Plum, Mizuna

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Turnips, Koji, Pickled Plum, Mizuna

Here is another course in the Smoky Robinson dinner. This one was all about turnips and preparing them in different ways.  Grilled, Pickled, Sautéed, and preserved.  Turnips to me seems like always a bit of a challenge because of the overwhelming earthy taste.  But turnips can be really good as well. I wasn't brought up on turnips so for me it is a bit of a challenge to be over joyed with passion for these root vegetables.  This dish has a very asian approach to the recipe giving some surprises with the pickled plum.  Here is the recipe and I hope you enjoy!

 

Grilled Turnips

12 baby turnips 

2 tbsp of koji

2 tbsp of olive oil

Grill on egg for an hour and 1/2 at 300 degrees 

 

Pickled Turnips

3 baby round turnips white sliced thin

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar 

1/3 cup white balsamic 

1/4 cup water 

1 tbsp salt 

1/4 cup sugar

1 tbsp sechuan pepper 

1 ginger 

2 garlic cloves

 

Marinated Turnips

5 baby purple turnips sliced thin

1/4 cup of kasu 

1 tbsp ginger

2 garlic

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/3 cup water

 

Saute Turnips

6 baby turnips cut in half sliced thin

1 onion sliced thin

2 tbsp koji

1 tbsp of oil and 2 tbsp of butter

Pinch of salt if needed

 

2 pickled plums or umbeosha

12 small plums

2 tbsp of salt

3 tbsp of sugar

1 cup of rice wine vinegar

1/2 cup of apple cider 

2 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

1 ginger

2 cloves  

 

Green Kimchi (at least 2 weeks done ahead of time)

1 head of napa cabbage julienned

1 daikon radish julienned

1 carrot shredded

2 tbsp ginger and garlic minced

2 1/2 tbsp of pickling salt

2 jalapenos, 2 serranos, 2 poblano, 2 thai chiles

1 bunch of cilantro 

splash of rice vinegar

 

Green kimchi chips

4 cups of water

1 cup of sushi or Jasmine rice 

2 cups of kimchi 

 

1/4 cup of mizuna 

1 bunch of broccoli or radish flowers

 

For Grilled baby turnips,  Preheat big green egg to 325 degrees

Mix olive oil, koji, and 12 baby turnips all together.  Sprinkle with a few pinch of salt.  Pour onto a sheet of aluminum foil and place on your green egg or grill.   Cook for 45- 1 hour or until tender.  Set aside until later.  

Pickled Turnips,

Place sliced turnips in a small container.  Place all the other ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil.  Once it comes to a boil pour over the turnips.  Cover and let it sit until room temperature.  

Marinated Purple Turnips,

Place the sliced turnips in a bowl.  Place the rest of the ingredients in vita mix and puree until smooth.  Pour the puree over the turnips and allow the the turnips to marinate for at least 2 hours.  

For the Green Kimchi,

Place the cut napa cabbage, daikon, and carrot into a bowl.  Place the rest of the ingredients into a vita mix and puree until smooth. Pour over the vegetables and mix well.  Allow to sit for 30 minutes and then pack into a preserve jar with a weight.  Allow to ferment for at least a week up until a month.   

To make the kimchi chips

Take water and rice and place into a pot.  Cook for 30-35 minutes until the rice is overcooked.  Then place half of the rice into a vita mix with the kimchi.  You might have to add a touch of water if all the water has evaporated during the cooking process. Puree until smooth.  Pour into a bowl and you can pour the rest of the over cooked rice in with the puree (this will give you a little texture to the chip).  Pour the rice-kimchi mixture on to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and smooth evenly in a thin layer (you might need two sheet pans)  Place into a dehydrator or an oven set at 140 degrees or 150 degrees if that is the lowest your oven will go if you don't have a dehydrator.   Allow to completely dry 6-8 hours.  Once completely dried you can break the "chips" up into smaller pieces.  

To make the chips take the dried rice-kimchi and place into a fryer oil set at 325 degrees.  The chip should puff up a little and fry up fast.  Drain out on paper towels and season with salt.  Set aside until ready to use.  

For the pickled plums

Place plums in a preserve jar or container.  Place all the other ingredients into a small sauce pot.  Bring to a boil and then pour over the plums.  Cover and allow to sit for at least one week.

To finish,

Place onions and sliced turnips in a small pot with oil, butter, koji, and pinch of salt.  Cover and cook for 15-18 minutes until the onions and turnips are tender and soft.  Place a spoonful of the sautéed turnips in the bottom of the bowl.  Then place a few halved grilled turnips on top.  Add some of the marinated and pickled plumbs to the bowl.  Add two small pieces of pickled plum to the bowl.  Add the kimchi chip on top.  Finish with mizuna and the flowers.  Serve and enjoy this in depth turnip dish!

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Black Cod, Dill, Fermented Pear, Fennel

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Black Cod, Dill, Fermented Pear, Fennel

Here is a recipe I was trying some different techniques with.  Sometimes playing around with food and different techniques can result in something great.  I was trying to make like a cold torchon or terrine of fish without using Transglutaminase (meat glue) to hold the fish together.  I ended up with a warm "terrine" that was really delicious.  I first cured the fish for a few hours to firm up the fish.  Then added gelatin, dill, and rolled up the fish into a log and sous vide it.  I paired it with fermented pear, fennel, and buttermilk sauce.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Black cod
3 fillets cod fillet
2 cups salt
2 cups sugar

1 bunch of dill chopped fine and 1 tsp of gelatin

Fermented pear
3 pears sliced
1 lemon juiced
2 tbsp of salt

Pickled fennel
4 stalks of fennel sliced thin, fronds removed
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tsp fennel
2 garlic cloves
1 Serrano
1/3 cup of sugar
2 tsp of salt

1 cucumber shaved
2 baby zucchini shaved
12 slices of fermented pear
1/4 cup of pickled fennel
1 fresh horseradish
1 bunch of fennel pollen
Handful of dill sprigs
Lemon verbena oil
Salt to taste

Buttermilk sauce
1 cup of buttermilk
1/2 cup of creme fraiche
1 lemon zested
Salt to taste

Lemon verbena oil
2 bunches of lemon verbena
3 cups of oil

For the Black Cod

Take your 3 fillets of Black cod and cut the skin off.  Then cut out the bones that runs down the center of the fillet (So you basically cut the fillet in half lengthwise and cut out the bones) Then mix salt and sugar and cure the fish for 4 hours.  Then rinse off the cure mixture and pat dry.  Place in a stove top smoker and smoke on high heat for 1 minute and then turn off the heat and let it sit inside for 20 mins to penetrate the fish without heat .  Take the black cod loins and coat with chopped dill and sprinkle with gelatin.   Take two long pieces of plastic wrap and overlap them.  Then try and place the loins on top of each other and roll the loins using the plastic wrap into a log.   Poach in 120 degree water for 25-30 mins.  Take out and let it rest.

Meanwhile while the fish is curing

Lemon Verbena Oil,

Take the oil and place in a small pot along with the verbena.  Slowly bring the oil up to where it just starts to bubble slightly.  Turn off the heat and allow to cool completely to room temperature.  Strain off and set aside.

For the Fermented Pear, (needs to be done at least 2 days in advanced)

Take pear and slice thin on a mandolin, place in a bowl with salt and lemon juice.  Then pack the pear into a preserve jar with a weight.  Close the lid and allow to sit in a dark place at room temperature for at least 2 days.  After 2 days you can stop the fermentation by placing in the refrigerator and it will keep up to a month.  

For the Buttermilk Sauce,

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Adjust seasoning and set aside.

For the Pickled Fennel, (can be done at least a day in advanced)

Place slice fennel into a preserve jar or small container.  Combine the rest of the ingredients into a small pot and bring to a boil.  Pour over all of the contents of the pot over the shaved fennel stalks.  Cover and allow to come to room temperature.   

To Finish,

In a bowl add shaved cucumber, zucchini and a little of the verbena oil.  Season with salt and place on the plate.  Then add the pickled fennel, fermented pear, and fennel pollen.  Take the fresh horseradish and grate over the top of the salad.  Then take your black cod and slice a nice slice and place on the plate.  Finish the plate with dots of the buttermilk sauce.  Serve and enjoy! 

 

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Spring Onions, Lentils, and Cauliflower

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Spring Onions, Lentils, and Cauliflower

Here is a great vegetarian dish that I made using the spring onions, beluga lentils, and cauliflower.  There is no frills on this dish.  The overwhelming flavor that makes this dish is the wood roasted spring onion sauce, along with the wood roasted cauliflower. The wood flavor really makes this dish, without it would be a good dish but not a great one.  Straight forward recipe that makes simple ingredients better.   Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.

 

2 cups of water or vegetable stock

1/2 cup of beluga lentils

1 thyme sprig

2 garlic cloves

1 tsp of salt

Splash of sherry vinegar

 

1 head of caulfower

3 tbsp of olive oil

1 tbsp of zaatar spice

salt to taste

 

6 spring onions

2 tbsp of olive oil

1 serrano

salt to taste

1/3 cup veganise or mayo

Micro cilantro to garnish

 

For the Beluga Lentils,

Place all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cover with a lid.  Cook the lentil for about 25-30 minutes until they are tender all the way through but not over cooked.   Set aside to cool.

For the Spring onions,

Get your wood oven or grill up to 450 degrees.  Cut the spring onions in half where the white begins to turn green.  In one pan add all the green tops of the green onion along with a serrano chili pepper.  Drizzle olive oil and salt.  Roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes until they are tender and start to brown.  Try not let them char too much if you want your sauce to be nice and green.  If you don't care about the color then char the tops.  For the bottoms cut in half lengthwise, place in a pan, drizzle with olive oil and salt.  Roast them in the wood oven for 15-20 minuted or until tender all the way through.  Take out and set aside.

Combine the green roasted tops with the serrano, and veganaise or mayo or aioli in a vita mix.  Puree until smooth and adjust season with salt.  Set aside.

For the Cauliflower,

Take a head of cauliflower and slice in 1/2 inch pieces.  Drizzle olive oil, zaatar, and salt.  Place on a sheet pan and roast for 15-20 minutes until done.  Take out and set aside.

To finish,

Simply heat up the lentils and finish with a little salt, pepper, sherry vinegar, and butter.  Place a few spoonfuls of the green onion sauce around the bowl.  Add a few spoonfuls of the lentils.  Then place the roasted cauliflower on top along with one half roasted spring onion.  Top with olive oil and micro cilantro.  Serve and enjoy!

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Belgium Endive, Buerre Rouge, Marcona Almond

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Belgium Endive, Buerre Rouge, Marcona Almond

Another vegetarian dish that was really a great surprise.  Endive and bitter greens in general aren't my favorite ingredients to use but sometimes when cooked they take on a milder flavor.  Pairing bitter greens with a sweet balsamic vinegar is always a great easy direction to take when trying to mask the bitterness of the green.  In this case I made a buerre rouge or a red buerre blanc mixing half red wine and half balsmaic vinegar.  The result is a luscious sauce that goes perfect with the roasted endive.  The rest of the dish is a little crunch from bread crumbs, marcona almonds and a quick pickle radish with verjus.  This recipe is very simple and really takes minimal time.  Here it is, I hope you enjoy!

 

4 belgium endive cut in half

2 tbsp of butter and olive oil

salt to taste

1/2 cup of toasted panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup of marcona almonds

 

Buerre Rouge

1 cup of red wine

1 cup of balsamic 

1 sprig of thyme 

1/3 cup of heavy cream

10 tbsp of butter

salt to taste

 

1 watermelon radish slice thin

1/4 cup of verjus

1 tbsp of salt

Micro cilantro to garnish 

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees,

In an oven proof pan on medium high heat add 2 tbsp of butter and olive oil.  Cut the endives in half and place them face down into the pan.  Season with salt and cook for 3 minutes and then place into the oven.  Roast for 20-25 minuted until the endive is tender all the way through.  Test with a cake tester to make sure it can go through the endive easily all the way through.  Take out and let it rest.

For the Buerre Rouge Sauce,

Place red wine, balsamic, and thyme into a small pot on medium high heat.  Reduce by 2/3 and then add the cream.  Reduce that by half and then add the butter.  Season with salt and keep warm.  

For the Radish,

Slice the radish thin and season with salt.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes and then add the verjus.

To finish,

Simply Add the belgium endive to the plate.  Top with toasted bread crumbs.  Drizzle the buerre rouge around the plate.  Add almonds and radishes to the plate.  Finish with a little micro cilantro, serve and enjoy!  Try adding a little blue cheese to this dish and it is amazing!

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Sunchoke Chawanmushi, Truffle, and Pickled Mushrooms

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Sunchoke Chawanmushi, Truffle, and Pickled Mushrooms

Chawanmushi is a typically a Japanese steamed custard that normally has seafood, dashi, and mushrooms.  This dish is taking that concept and trying to highlight the sunchokes or jerusalem artichokes.  This recipe is definitely a unique one.  You have the subtle flavors of sunchoke throughout, I added just a hint of truffle as well.  Then I topped it with a sweet ginger sauce that I think was the real star of this dish.  Finish the dish with sunchoke chips, cilantro and pickled mushrooms.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy!

 

Sunchoke Chawanmushi

1 lb sunchoke  430g peeled

4 cup vegetable stock

1 piece ginger 

1 tsp salt 

Simmer until tender puree until smooth 

 

400 ml  2 1/2 cup puree

4 eggs

1 tsp truffle oil

Salt to taste

Steam for 8-10 minutes until just set

 

Ginger agave dressing

2 tbsp ginger juice

1/4 cup agave 

2 tbsp soy sauce

1/3 cup white balsamic 

Salt to taste

 

Pickled mushrooms recipe here

Fried sunchokes- shave thin and fry in oil at 315 degrees

Flowering Cilantro 

 

For the sunchokes,

Place peeled sunchokes in a small pot with ginger, stock, and salt.  Bring to a slow simmer and cook until the sunchokes are tender.  Then puree until smooth.  Measure out 2 1/2 cups of the puree and mix with the eggs, truffle oil, and salt to season.  Then place in ramekins or tea cups.  Place the cups into a steamer that can hold them flat.  Steam the custards until just set about 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile for the ginger agave dressing, place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Adjust seasoning with salt if need be.and set aside.

To Finish,

Take the chawanmushi out of the steamer.  Top the custard with a few spoonfuls of the ginger dressing.  Then add the sunchoke chips, pickled mushrooms, and flowering cilantro.  Serve and enjoy!

 

 

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Blue nose Sea Bass with Cara Cara Orange and Buckwheat Risotto

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Blue nose Sea Bass with Cara Cara Orange and Buckwheat Risotto

Here is a great fish dish using a lesser known bluenose sea bass. This sea bass is normally found around the waters of Australia and New Zealand.  Limited in the amount they can catch, It is not the highly over fished chilean sea bass. For this recipe I paired this delicate fish with cara cara orange butter sauce.  Simple and delicious, but when citrus season rolls around its hard not to through this in fruit in everything.  I found some great local buckwheat groats at the farmers market and made a risotto with it.  I finish the dish with some dill oil, fennel, fried brussel sprouts and baby squash.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 1/2 lb blue nose sea bass cut into 4oz-5oz pieces

Cara Cara Sauce

3 cara cara oranges pulp and juice

1 tbsp of cara cara zest

1/4 cup cream

1 stick of butter 

salt to taste 

 

Buckwheat Groats "Risotto"

1/2 cup of buckwheat (kasha)

1 shallot minced 

1 garlic clove minced 

3-4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock 

1oz of parmesan shredded

2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil

2 tbsp of snipped chives 

salt and pepper to taste 

 

Orange and Fennel Salad

2 cara cara oranges supremes  (segments)

1/2 of fennel shaved thin

1 oz of mustard fronds 

1 tbsp of olive oil

salt to taste

 

4 oz of brussel sprouts cut in half and fried until golden brown

4 oz of baby yellow squash blanched (patty pan)

Dill Oil

2 bunches of dill blanched 

1 cup of vegetable oil

pinch of salt

 

For the Dill oil,

simply blanch dill bunches for 15 seconds in boiling water then immediately shock them in a bowl of ice water.  Once cooled completely take out and ring of any excess water.  Place in a vita mix with oil and puree for about a minute until vibrant green. Strain and season and place in a squirt bottle until ready to use.

For the Buckwheat risotto,

In a small sauce pot add olive oil, shallot, and garlic.  Saute for 1 minutes then add in your buckwheat groats with a 1  1/2tsp of salt. Cook for one minute and then add 1 cup of the stock.  Cook until all the liquid has evaporated, then add another cup.  Continue the process until the groats become tender (about 30 minutes).  Then finish the risotto with the butter, cheese, chives, salt and pepper.  Set aside and keep warm.

Cara Cara Sauce,

In a small sauce pot add juice, pulp, and zest.  Reduce the liquid by half.  Then add the cream and reduce that by half.  Then pour everything in a blender or using a hand immersion blender puree until smooth and finish by adding to the sauce the butter 1 tbsp at a time until it has emulsified. Season with salt and set aside.  (strain if desired)

To Finish,

In a large saute pan add 3 tbsp of olive oil.  Take your blue nose sea bass and season generously with salt on both sides of the fish.  Then place the fish skin side down into the pan (not you can score the skin with a knife if you so choose, I did not) The fish will want to curl up, so take your fingers or spatula, carefully not burning them, and push down on the fish for about 10 seconds.  This will help "set" the skin of fish flat in the pan so a nice even crispy skin can be achieved.  Cook for 4-5 minutes on the skin side. Meanwhile heat up your baby squash in a small saute pan with a little butter and olive oil.  Season with salt.  In a mixing bowl add shaved fennel, orange supremes. and mustard greens.  Season with some of the juice from the orange and olive oil.  Season with salt.  On a plate take a spoonful of the orange sauce. Then place a spoonful of the risotto down on the plate.  Flip the fish over for 20 seconds in the pan just to finish the fish the rest of the way.  Then place down on to the plate.  Top the fish with fennel orange salad.  Place a fried brussel sprout on top along with a baby squash.  Drizzle a little dill oil on to the plate and serve and enjoy!

 

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Artichokes, Radishes, Tarragon with Mushroom Conserva

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Artichokes, Radishes, Tarragon with Mushroom Conserva

Here is a great dish going into the spring season.  Artichokes are coming in as well as radishes. I made a sauce with the tops of the radishes.  A little touch of acid from the mushroom conserva.  I I made a roasted garlic and tarragon spread for the artichokes.  A little crunch was added to the dish with fried shallots.  Really a great vegetarian dish that jp and eloise loved.   Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Artichoke and radish

7 large artichokes peeled
2 lemons
1 cup of white wine
7 cups of water
1 onion
6 garlic cloves
1 sprig of thyme , 1 bay leaf
1 tbsp salt 

1 cup of mayo or veganaise
10 roasted garlic cloves
1-2 tbsp of sherry vinegar
3 tbsp of fresh chopped tarragon
Salt to taste

2 bunches of radish tops blanched
1/2 cup of kewpie (japanese mayo)
Salt to taste

2 shallots sliced thin
1 cup flour
2 tbsp of blackening seasoning
Oil for frying 

Mushroom conserva see recipe

1 bunch of baby radishes 

For the Baragouile 

Take the artichokes and pull off the outer tough leaves (wearing gloves helps you not to get pricked). Then take a pairing knife, cut off the tops and trim the bottoms of the green outer skin trying to keep the stem intact.  Trim the stems as well of all the green tough skin.  Immediately take one half of a lemon and wipe the artichoke all over to stop the oxidation process.  Place in a pot filled with water, white wine, and 1 lemon juiced.  Continue until you have all the artichokes peeled. Then add the rest of the ingredients along with salt.  Take a piece of parchment paper and cut a large square.  Then fold it over in half and then in half again.  Then fold it diagonally into a 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 artichokes to keep them submerged under the water.  Bring the pot up to a slowly to simmer, where the water is just barely bubbling.  Cook the artichokes until they are just tender all the way through.  Test the artichoke with a cake tester to check the doneness.  Take off the heat and let the artichokes cool to room temp.  Once cool take half of the liquid and vegetables and puree.  

For the Radish Top puree,

Take blanched radish tops, kewpie, and salt and place into vita mix.  Puree until smooth, adjust seasoning and pour into a squeeze bottle.

For Garlic Puree

 In a food processor or vita mix, place mayo and roasted garlic cloves.  Puree until smooth, then while the machine is still running add vinegar, salt, and tarragon.   Puree for 30 seconds.  Place in a container until ready to use.

For Fried Shallots,

In a small pot heat oil to 325 degrees.  In a bowl mix flour and blackening seasoning with a tsp of salt.  On a mandolin, slice shallots paper thin and place in the flour mixture.  Dust off excess flour and place shallots in the fryer in small batches.  Fry until golden brown and strain off on a paper towel.  Season with salt.  

To Finish,

On a plate, smear some of the roasted garlic puree.  Then take artichokes, cut them in half and place in a pan with olive oil and warm through.  Season with salt and then place 2 halves on the plate.  Add some whole and shaved baby radishs around the plate along with the some pieces of mushroom conserva.  Add the fried shallots.  Froth the barigoule puree with a hand blender and place on top of the artichokes.  Add the green top puree around the plate, serve and enjoy!

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Escolar, Coriander, Carrots, Vanilla

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Escolar, Coriander, Carrots, Vanilla

Here is a little dish I did last week.  I had bought some escolar from Central market here in Austin and I did two different dishes.  This one is the hot version.  The other one I will post is the raw or crudo version with anchovies.  This one was based around not a lot of ingredients in the refrigerator.   I had a few bags of multi color carrots so I decided to juice the yellow ones and roasted the other colored carrots with olive oil and vanilla bean.   I added a little mascarpone to the juice to give it a little richness.  I simply seasoned the fish with crushed coriander seed which makes just about anything taste good.  This is actually a very simple recipe that looks a little elevated.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy!

Escolar
6  2 1/2 oz pieces of escolar
2 tbsp of coriander seed crushed
3 whole carrots of each purple and orange
1 vanilla bean
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 cup of Brussels sprouts blanched 

Carrot foam
1 1/4 cup of white carrot juice (6-8 large juiced)
2 oz of mascarpone
2 1/2 tbsp of butter
Salt to taste

Micro mache
Mustards

For the foam,

Simple add carrot juice to the pot and reduce to 1 cup.  Then you can either whisk in the mascarpone and butter or pour into a vita mix and add it to the blender.  Mix until smooth, adjust seasoning with salt.  Set aside and keep warm.  When ready to serve simply take a hand blender and froth the top of the sauce to create the foam.  

For the Carrots,

Place carrots on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cut the vanilla bean and smear over the carrots.  Place the pod on the sheet pan as well.  Place in a preheated oven at 400 degrees.  Roast for 30-35 minutes or until tender, rotating the carrots every 10 minutes for even cooking.  Take out and cool to room temperature.  Slice the carrots into 1/4 inch slices.  Reserve for later.  

To Finish,

In a small saute pan on medium heat add 2 tbsp of oil.  Season escolar with salt on both sides.  Season the fillet side with crushed coriander seeds and place that side down into the pan.  Cook for 4 minutes and then flip over for 1 minutes.  Meanwhile place carrots and blanched brussel sprouts on a sheet pan and place in the oven just to heat up.  Place the fish down in the center of the bowl.  Add the sliced carrots and brussel sprouts to the pan.  Froth the sauce and pour around the fish.  Finish with greens, serve and enjoy! 

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Squab, Squash, with White Carrot

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Squab, Squash, with White Carrot

Here is a great recipe using squab.  Squab is just a fancy name for a young domestic pigeon.  Now these aren't the pigeons you see on top of buildings looking for any little scrap of food they can find.  It is a young bird that is tender, and full of delicate flavor.  Here I used the bird in a few different ways.  The breast meat you normally try to cook to a medium rare (just like a duck breast).  The legs and wings I confit and then crisped the skin.  Jp is a big fan of squab so this one definitely was right up his alley.  Here is the recipe and I hope you enjoy

3 whole squabs legs and wings off. 
4 tbsp black truffle butter

10oz chanterelles
8oz of mini purple Brussels roasted
4 green patty pan squash shaved

6 large white carrots peeled
1 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of cream
Salt

Legs and wing confit
6 squab legs and wings
3 cups of duck fat
3 garlic cloves 1 carrot, 1 onion
1 sprig of rosemary 

Squab jus
3 Squab carcasses and scraps browned
1 onion, 2 carrots
1 leek
1 fennel
4 celery stalks
6 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs of thyme
Water to fill the pot (3/4 gal )

For the Squab 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.

For the squab leg and wing confit

Take the squab legs and wings, season them aggressively with salt and pepper.  Place them in a plastic bag and let them cure for 6 hours.  Then place the squab legs and wings in a small pot and add, onions, carrot, garlic, herbs and duck fat.  Bring the duck fat to a boil and turn down to a very low simmer and place the lid on top.  You can either cook the squab the rest of the way on top of the stove or you can place in a 250 degree oven for about 2-3 hours.  Cook very slow until the meat is about to fall off the bone.  Let it cool to room temperature.  Keep the squab in the fat until ready to use. When ready to serve simple place in a non stick pan with 1 tsp of the duck fat and brown on the skin side.  

For the White Carrot puree

In a medium sauce pot add oil, butter, and carrots, with a fair amount of salt distributed evenly on the carrots.  You want to have the heat on medium-low because you don't want to get any color on the carrots.  Place a lid on top and shake the pot every other minute to move the vegetables around.  The salt will leach the water out of the carrots and the vegetables will cook in their own juices. Cook for 20 minutes and then check it, cook for another 10 minutes until tender.   Then place into a food processor or vita mix to  puree until silky smooth with a touch of cream.  Adjust seasoning if need be

For the Squab breast,

Place breast in sous vide bag with truffle butter.  Seal air tight and place in a water bath set at 134 degrees.  Cook for 25-30 minutes.  Take out and let it rest.  

To Finish,

Take squab out of the sous vide bag and season both side with salt.  Place in a hot saute pan with a touch of oil.  Place skin side down and cook for 1-2 minutes until the skin is golden brown.  Brown the legs and wings as mentioned above.  Meanwhile in another saute pan add oil and butter along with chanterelles.  Cook for 5 minutes and then season with salt.  Add shaved squash and cook for 1 minutes.  Finish with the roasted brussel sprouts.  Season all with salt and pepper.  Add a scoop of carrot puree to the plate.  Add the vegetables on top.  Cut one breast in half lengthwise and place on the plate.  Add the leg and wing to the plate.  Finish with jus and micro arugula.  Serve and enjoy!

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Brassicas Broccoli, Green Cauliflower with Ancient Grains

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Brassicas Broccoli, Green Cauliflower with Ancient Grains

Here is a great vegetarian dish using local ancient grains I found from this wonderful farmer in Santa monica.  I used the big green egg here to slowly cook the broccoli and cauliflower.  This dish has some subtle flavors of asian cuisine with shiso, miso, and fermented pepper paste (goujchang).  Combine that with the flavors of wood and ancient grains and you turn out with a great vegetarian dish packed with flavor.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.

For Puree

1/2 head green cauliflower and 1/2 bunch of broccoli
1/2 cup of vegetable stock
1/2 cup cream
7 leaves of shiso
1 cup of spinach
Salt to taste 

1 cup black barley
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 onion charred
2 garlic cloves
Salt

1 cup triticale
4 cups of vegetable stock
1/2 charred onion
2 garlic cloves
Salt 

1/2 cup fried garlic
 
1/2 bunch of broccoli cut in 1/2 inch slices
1 tbsp goujichang

1/2 head of green cauliflower cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 tbsp of miso mayo

Take a half cup of cooked barley and triticale
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tbsp of butter
Season with salt

whole Broccoli stems 

For the puree,

Place half a head of the cauliflower, broccoli, vegetable stock, cream, 1/2 tsp of salt.  Bring to a boil, cover and turn down to a simmer.  Cook for 7-10 minutes until the brassicas are very tender.  Then pour everything into a vita mix along with shiso and spinach.  Puree for 1 minute until smooth and adjust the seasoning with salt. Set aside and keep warm

For the Grains,

Wash and drain both grains separately with cold water.  Then you can soak both of them for at least an hour in cold water.  This will help with the cooking time.  Then place grains in separate pots with vegetable stock, charred onion, garlic cloves, and salt.  Bring to a boil, then cover and turn down to a simmer.  They should take about 45 minutes to an hour depending on how long you soak them for.  Once cook pour out onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and allow to cool.   

For the Grilled Brassicas

Start you egg or grill and let it come up between 350 -400.  Take the other half of both cauliflower and broccoli and slice 1/2 inch thick.  Then place them each on a large piece of aluminum foil.  Drizzle lightly with oil and salt.  Then spread the miso mayo on the green cauliflower and the goujchang on the broccoli.  Place on the grill and close the lid.  It depends on how hot your grill is but cook for 15 -20 minutes or until there is a slight crunch.  Take the stems of broccoli and drizzle lightly with olive oil and salt.  Place those as well on the grill.  I tried not to put them directly over the hot spot of the grill, I placed them towards the sides and let them slowly cook (almost smoke) for about 30-45 minutes until they were tender.  After done slice thin and set aside

To finish 

Take half cup of cooked barley and triticale and place in a small pan with vegetable stock.  Bring to a boil and cook until all the liquid is gone, finish with butter, salt and pepper if needed. Then place a large spoonful of the puree down on the plate.  Place a spoonful or two of the ancient grains down in the middle of the plate.  Add a piece or two of each brassicas on either side of the grains.  Then take the sliced stems of broccoli and lay on top of the grains.  Finish with fried garlic and sorrel.  Serve and enjoy!

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Peas, Mint, Coconut, Lima Beans

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Peas, Mint, Coconut, Lima Beans

Here is one of the courses I served recently when Smokey Robinson came to dinner.  This was a light course full of flavor that contrasted nice with the rest of the meal.  This was mainly a vegetarian meal and this dish was one that screamed Californian cuisine with hints of the pacific rim from the coconut and mint with the fresh peas from California.  This was a fantastic dish that everyone simply devoured.  The amount of gelatin I used was just enough to set the pudding or panna cotta to give the dish a little extra texture.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it. 

Pea mint and coconut 

2 cups of coconut milk

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp of salt or more

1 1/2 cup of blanched fresh peas

1 cup blanched fresh mint

2 1/8 tsp of gelatin

2 tbsp water

 

1 cup of solid coconut pulp 

1/4 cup gourmet blend coconut white balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup oil

Salt to taste

 

1 cup of blanches fresh peas

1 cup of blanched Lima beans

1 cup of blanched snap peas

1/4 cup of pea flowers 

Mint leaves and pea tendrils 

 

1 cup of sourdough bread croutons (slice bread thin and cook with butter, olive oil and salt)

For the panna cotta,

Combine gelatin and water in a small bowl.  Place coconut milk and sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil.  Then pour into a vita mix with blanched peas, and mint.  Puree until smooth.  Season with salt.  Melt the gelatin and water mixture in a warm water bath until the gelatin melts. Pour the gelatin into the pea mixture and mix well.  Then (strain optional) pour the pea panna cotta onto a half sheet pan and place in the refrigerator until set.  

For the coconut vinaigrette,

Place 1 cup of coconut pulp (from canned coconut milk) into a bowl with vinegar and oil.  Season with salt and set aside. 

To finish,

Place peas, lima beans, and snap peas in a small bowl.  Toss with olive oil and salt.  Then take the panna cotta and cut or scoop out a portion and place on a plate.  Then add the legumes around the plate.  Add the coconut vinaigrette around the panna cotta.  Finish with croutons, pea tendrils and pea flowers.  Add fresh mint leaves, serve and enjoy! 

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Pistachio Jelly Roll with Cranberry Sorbet

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Pistachio Jelly Roll with Cranberry Sorbet

Here is a dessert that is another one of my favorites.  I did a very similar dessert a year or so ago except I did it in a jar with cherries.  This one is rolled into a jelly roll or bouche de noel.  Pistachio, almond and custard is probably my top 3 dessert flavors although theres not many desserts that I don't like.  Chocolate probably being my least favorite although I have come to appreciate them as well.  

Pistachio sponge roll

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

Pistachio sponge
150g 3 eggs
54g 2 yolks
111g sugar
35g flour tbsp
25g almond flour  4 tbsp
35 g pistachio flour 1/4 cup ground pistachio
128g 3 egg whites
3 tbsp sugar
Drops of pistachio extract

Ground pistachios 

Meringue see recipe

Cranberry Sorbet see recipe 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

For the sponge cake,

Place eggs, yolks, and 111g sugar into a stand mixer.  Whisk until thick and pale yellow about 5 minutes.  Then add the flour, pistachio flour, and almond flour to the egg mixture and mix well.  Then pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl.  Clean out the mixing bowl and then place egg whites into the bowl.  Whisk egg whites until triple in volume and then add the 3 tbsp of sugar.  Whisk until stiff peaks and add pistachio extract.  Then fold the egg whites into the egg-flour mixture in 3 parts.  Pour the batter onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and smooth surface with offset spatula.  Place in the oven and bake for approximately 10 minutes or until golden brown and cake tester comes out clean.  

For the Pistachio Pastry Cream,

Scald the milk with pistachio paste and  vanilla bean paste in a medium sauce pot. 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.  Add the corn starch 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 the egg mixture back onto medium low heat and whisk continually until it thickens.  Allow about 10 minutes, but don't boil.  Once it  has thickened incorporate butter then pour the pudding into a bowl to cool.  Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the pudding so it doesn't form a skin, and place in the refrigerator.  Cool completely.

To Finish

Place a large piece of parchment paper on your counter top.  Lightly sprinkle paper with powdered sugar.  Flip the pistachio sponge cake over onto the sprinkled parchment paper.  Peel back the parchment paper that is now facing you from the bottom of the cake.  Then take an offset spatula and add an even layer of pistachio pastry cream on the sponge cake, leaving about an 1/2 border all around the sponge cake (option cut cake in half to make two smaller rolls)  Then roll the sponge cake up and keep it wrapped in parchment paper and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.  

To Plate 

Simply place ground pistachio nuts on the plate and on top of the pistachio roll.  Cut a slice of the pistachio roll and place on the plate.  Add a scoop of cranberry sorbet on top of the ground pistachios.  Pipe a small bit of meringue to the side of the roll and sorbet.  Serve and enjoy!

 

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Short Ribs, Kohlrabi Terrine with Koji, Onions

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Short Ribs, Kohlrabi Terrine with Koji, Onions

Here is a pretty straight forward dish using a terrine to slice and cook the kohlrabi adding koji to give the vegetables an added asian flavor that I think is unexpected.  Combine that with wagyu short ribs bathed in a asian flavors and spices finished off with melted onions.  A very minimalistic dish but the results where really fantastic.  This is easily a dish that can be done ahead of time if you need be.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.

6 Kobe short ribs

1 onion

6 cloves of garlic

2 carrots 

1 leek 

1 ginger root

1 stalk of celery 

2 cups of orange juice 

1 cup of soy

2 cups of chicken stock or water

2 tbsp of goujichang 

2 tbsp sambal

1 tbsp of sesame oil

 

6 kohlrabi peeled and sliced thin

2 Idaho russet peeled and sliced

3 tbsp of koji

1/2 cup of cream

1 tsp of salt

 

3 sweet onions sliced with

2 tbsp of butter and olive oil

 

1 tbsp of corn starch 

2 tbsp of water

 

For the wagyu short ribs

Season short ribs very lightly with salt.  In a hot braising pan add sesame oil and short ribs.  Sear on on both sides for 3-4 minutes to brown.  Then add all of your vegetables and aromatics and cook for 2 minutes.  Deglaze the pan with orange juice.  Add the rest of the wet ingredients and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer and cover.  Cook for roughly 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the short ribs are fork tender.  Turn off the heat and all to cool at room temperature.  Then strain outhalf of the liquid into a sauce pot.  Bring to a boil and turn down and simmer.  Reduce by 1/2 and then thicken with cornstarch slurry.  Cook for another 5 minutes and then strain through a fine mesh strainer.  Set aside and keep warm. 

For Kohlrabi Terrine, Preheat oven 400 degrees

Heat cream up in a small pot with koji and then pour into a bowl.  Then shave kohlrabi and potatoes on a mandolin into the cream.  Line a terrine dish with plastic wrap or spray with non-stick spray.  Lay kohlrabi and potatoes in the terrine mold and taste one of the kohlrabi sliceds to check the seasoning, if it needs it, add a little salt to each layer.  Continue the process until all the vegetables are in the mold.  Then place a cover on the terrine and bake for an hour or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely (works better if this is done a day ahead of time).  Then take out the terrine and slice into individual pieces.  Reheat in the oven at 325 until warmed all the way through.

For the onions,

In a small sauce pan add butter, oil, and one layer of onions. Add a pinch of salt to that layer and then add another layer of onions and salt.  And finish with one last layer of onions and salt.  Place a lid on top of the pot and place on medium low heat.  The salt will leach out the water in the onions and then they will sweat or cook in its own liquid.  Cook for 15-20 minutes.  Shaking the pot periodically to ensure no color or burning is going on with the onions.  You want to try and avoid lifting the lid off if you can help it.  That way all the heat stays in the pot.  Set aside and keep warm once the onions are tender.

To finish,

Simply take the short ribs portions and add them to a pan with the thickened sauce.  Heat them up until they are tender and hot all the way through.  Then place on the plate.  Add a portion of the kohlrabi terrine to the plate, add a spoonful of onions and finish with the nasturtiums.  Serve and enjoy!

 

 

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Winter Garden Vegetables

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Winter Garden Vegetables

Here is a dish that I was really inspired by a jicama I bought at the farmers market.  This jicama wasn't the normal round one you usually find in the grocery stores.  This one was a long, tubular root, that really looked more like a yucca or large brown sweet potato than a jicama.  The taste was just watery and flavorless, it was sweet and almost tasted like cinnamon in my opinion.   I was really amazed at the flavor from this simple vegetable that normally doesn't have a ton of flavor.  I wanted to use this in a dish that captured the time of year which was December but in a garden setting.  That's really where this dish started and from there I just added all the other vegetables I found at the market during that time.  I made a light avocado puree that was a bit spicy, then added the "soil" with cocoa granola and parsnips.  All the other winter vegetables that made this dish come all together.  I finished the dish with notes of white balsamic, nasturtiums, and sorrel. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Granola
2 3⁄4 cups rolled oats
1 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup pistachio
1 tablespoon salt
1⁄2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3⁄4 cup sliced almonds
4 tsp cocoa powder

3 parsnips peeled ground and fried

Ground soil
1 1/2 cup of granola
3 tbsp cocoa nibs
1 cup of fried parsnips 

Avocado mousse
1 1/2 avocado large avocados
4 oz creme friache
1 oz fresh basil
1 small jalapeño
Salt to taste

1 bunch of baby carrots boiled and peeled
1 bunch of beets boiled and peeled
8oz of fingerling potatoes boiled and sliced
1 cup of English peas blanched
1 hachiya persimmon sliced
1 jicama sliced and cut with round cutter
1 watermelonradish sliced and cut with round cutter
1 oz red vein sorrel
1 oz of nasturtium 

2 tbsp white balsamic
2 tbsp olive oil 

  

For the granola,

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place olive oil, maple syrup, and brown sugar in a pot and bring to a simmer until the sugar has dissolved.  Meanwhile place all the other ingredients into a bowl.  Pour the liquid into the bowl over all the ingredients.  With a rubber spatula that has been lightly coated with oil, mix the granola well until all is incorporated.  Then pour onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and spread evenly on the sheet pan.  Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes to 50 minutes stirring the granola every 15 minutes to ensure even baking.  Take out and cool.

Meanwhile in a food processor place 3 parsnips that are chopped and 1 cup of water.  Puree the in the food processor until all the parsnips are small little pieces (think bruniose or small dice)  and are about the same size.  Strain out the water from the parsnips and try to dry as much as possible with paper towels. Then in a small pot with oil at 325 degree fry the parsnips in batches until golden brown.  Strain out and season with salt.  

Once the granola has cooled take 2 cups of the granola and pulse in a food processor until it resembles the same size as the parsnips roughly or "soil".  You don't want to grind so much that doesn't have texture (this is the crunch in the dish).  Then mix the fried parsnips to the granola and set aside.

For the avocado puree,

Place basil and jalapeno in a food processor and puree for 10 seconds.  Then add the rest of the ingredients and puree until smooth.  Season with salt and set aside.  

Dressing, 

Place olive oil white balsamic in a small bowl with a pinch of salt.

To finish the dish,

Using a round mold place a few dollops of avocado puree in the bottom.  Then add your parsnip "soil on top of the puree.  Place potatoes, carrots, and peas in a small bowl and lightly dress the vegetables with the dressing.  Season with salt.  Then place one carrot in the back of the puree standing up.  Then alternate jicama rounds, radish, and persimmon around the mold.  Add potato, and peas.  Then dress the beets with dressing and add them to the plate as well.  Finish with sorrel, nasturtisms, and a final drizzle of dressing over the vegetables.  Serve and enjoy!

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Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Curd, and Yogurt Sorbet

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Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Curd, and Yogurt Sorbet

Here is a modern approach to a classic lemon poppy seed cake.  Its probably more presentation than technique here.  Really just the basics presented in a non traditional way.  I really like the cake here it is really moist and turns out light as well.  This is a surprisingly light dessert that is great for the winter citrus season.   This is one of my wife's favorite desserts.  Anything with lemon and meringue and she is sold.  So I'm glad we a great crop of meyer lemons this year.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.

Lemon poppy seed cake
1 1/4 cup cake four
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs plus 1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
7 tbsp butter melted
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 lemon zest
1 tbsp poppyseed 

Lemon yogurt sorbet
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup glucose
2 tbsp milk powder
3 1/2 cup yogurt
6 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp of salt 

Lemon Curd
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tsp zest
1/2 cup of sugar
3 eggs
1 stick of butter 

Swiss Meringue
1/2 cup of egg whites
3/4 cup of sugar 

Honey to drizzle and Ginger lemon cookies crumbled (tates)

Mint and borage 

For the Meyer Poppy Seed Cake

In a mixing bowl add dry ingredients and mix well.  In another mixing bowl add wet ingredients and mix well.  Then combine wet and dry ingredients together until a smooth batter is formed. Bake at 375 for 10-15 min depending on what molds you use ( I doubled the batch and  poured the majority of the batter on a half sheet pan and baked it, the rest I filled these tiny bundt shape molds that I had)  Bake until a cake tester comes out clean.  Set aside to cool completely

For the Meyer Lemon Yogurt Sorbet,

Place water, sugar, glucose and milk powder in a pot and bring to a boil or until all the sugar has dissolved.  Pour that into a bowl fitted within a ice bath to cool.  Once cooled add yogurt, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.  Blend with a hand blender to mix well.  Then place back in the ice bath or refrigerator for another 30 minutes to make sure it is very cold.  Then put into your ice cream maker.  Once done put into a container and place in the freezer.  

For the Meringue

In mixing bowl heat egg whites and sugar over water bath until it reaches 160 F. Then immediately place in a stand mixer and whip for 5 minutes or until cool.  Put the meringue in pastry bag with a basket weave tip.  Set aside.

For the Lemon 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 place in the refrigerator to cool down.   After its cool place into a squeeze bottle or pastry bag.

To finish,

Take a round cutter and cut rounds out of the poppy seed cake both small and big.  Then place on the plate.  Add meringue and curd to the plate both on top and around the cake.  Torch the meringue.  Take cookies and crumble and place on the plate.  Get a scoop of the lemon yogurt sorbet, drizzle with honey and then place on the plate.  Finish with mint and borage.  Serve and enojoy!

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Guinea Fowl Ballontine, Lima Bean, Chanterelles, Truffle

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Guinea Fowl Ballontine, Lima Bean, Chanterelles, Truffle

Here is a great fall recipe that was a huge hit with the guests.  This recipe uses classic french technique to create a wonderful dish.   A ballontine is typically some sort of poultry that is wrapped in its own skin and filled with some sort of mousse.  Then poached, seared or roasted.  The filling here I used was with matsutake and truffle.   I paired the dish with salt baked sunchokes, lima bean puree, and chanterelles.  I topped the dish with truffle broth.  The result was definitely delicious.  

Guinea fowl ballontine 

8 breast Guinea fowl with skin

5 1/2 breast salted
3 tbsp of truffle butter 

2 1/2 Guinea breast mousse
5 mastutake
4 oz beech mushrooms
2 tbsp truffle butter
4 oz cognac
2 tbsp tarragon
1 egg white
1/4 cup cream
Salt and pepper

Lima bean puree
3 cups Lima beans blanched
5 shallots sliced
1 tbsp oil and butter
6 oz Guinea stock
4 oz creme fraiche
1/4 cup parsley leaves blanched
2 tbsp tarragon
Salt and pepper

1 lb  Chanterelles  
1 tbsp of oil
2 tbsp of butter
4 oz of Guinea stock

Salt baked sunchokes
1 lb sunchokes
2 lb salt
1 egg white 

Guinea stock
4 Guinea carcasses browned
1 onion, 2 carrots
1 parsnip
2 fennel
4 celery stalks
6 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs of thyme
Water to fill the pot (1 gal )

1 cup Oil for frying 

2 cups of Guinea stock
8 oz of truffle butter

 

For the Guinea Stock

De- bone 4 whole Guinea Fowl. 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 water and bones to the pot.  Bring to boil and turn down to a simmer.  Reduce by half.

For the ballontine,

Remove the skin and reserve from the breast and trim and discard excess fat.  Try to keep as whole as possible.  First make the mousse.  In a small saute pan on medium high heat add 2 tbsp oil, 2 tbsp of butter, and mushrooms.  Cook for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.  Deglaze with cognac.  Once the liquid is almost gone finish with truffle butter, salt, and pepper.  Allow to cool.  Then place the 2 1/2 guniea breast in a food processor along with the mushroom mixture and tarragon.  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 take 2 long overlapping pieces of plastic wrap (2 ft ) and lay flat on your prep table.  Take all the guinea skin and make a rectangle with it in the middle of the plastic wrap.  Season the 5 1/2 guinea breast and place flat on top of the skin in the same rectangle form (leaving a little extra skin around the edges).  Then spoon or pipe the mousse in the middle of the guinea breast rectangle.  Then using the plastic wrap and your hands roll the guinea fowl up into a 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 up both ends.  Then place in a sous vide bag and seal up air tight with 3 tbsp truffle butter.   Place in the refrigerator for an hour to help firm up if you have the time.  Other wise place in a 140 degrees water bath for 2 1/2- 3 hours.   Then take out and rest.

For salt baked sunchokes 

In a bowl add salt, egg white and a splash of water.  Mix until salt feels like wet sand.  Then in a small oven proof pan add a then layer of salt on the bottom.  Add your sunchokes and then cover with the remaining salt mixture.  Place in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly then break the "shell" of the salt and take out all of the sunchokes.  Carefully brush or lightly rinse away all the salt.  Set aside for later.

For the Lima bean puree

In a small sauce pot add oil, butter, shallots, and 1/2 tsp of salt.  Cover and cook for 7 minutes until tender.  Then add stock and lima beans.  Cook until all the liquid is just about gone.  Then add to a vita mix with herbs and creme fraiche.  Season with salt and puree until smooth.  Set aside and keep warm.  

For the truffle foam,

Mix together truffle butter and guinea stock.  Season with salt, set aside and keep warm

To finish,

In a small saute pan add chanterelles with butter and oil.  Cook for 5 minutes and then add stock. Cook until almost all the liquid is gone and finish with 1 tbsp of butter.  Keep warm.  Take the guinea ballontine out of the sous vide bag.  In a large cast iron skillet add 1 cup of oil for frying.  Season the ballontine aggressively with salt on the outside.  Then place into the medium hot skillet and brown all the way around until a deep golden brown.  Take the ballontine out of the skilled and allow to rest. Add the sunchokes to the skillet to brown and reheat again. Take out and drain.  To plate, place a spoonful of the lima bean puree on the plate.  Slice 1/2-3/4 inch piece of ballontine and place on top of the puree.  Add the sunchokes and chanterelles around the plate.  Using a hand blender froth the truffle foam and spoon on top.  Finish with radish flowers, serve and enjoy!

  

 

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