Vegan Curry with Sorghum, Winter Vegetables, and Mustard Seeds

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Vegan Curry with Sorghum, Winter Vegetables, and Mustard Seeds

Here is a recipe that was inspired by a lunch I had not too long ago at a local indian restaurant.  They vegetable curry that was saturated with mustard seeds.  Mustard seeds I know is local staple of the Indian cuisine but I haven't seen indian dishes that have been dowsed with mustard seeds.  I had a bunch of winter vegetables in the refrigerator fennel, kohlrabi, turnip, white sweet potato, and romanesco.  They all made it into this dish.  Sorghum is a grain that is typically used in india and it is used in two different methods here.  The first is simply boiled, the second is popped, like popcorn.  Because the grain is small the popcorn is really small.  This looks like a creative dish but it has all the flavors of an indian comfort food.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Vegetable curry
1 small fennel sliced
2 turnips medium diced
2 white sweet potatoes medium diced
1 large kohlrabi medium diced
1 tbsp ghee and 1 tbsp of ginger diced
2 tbsp of yellow mustard seeds
3 tbsp of brown mustard seeds
2 cardamom pods
1 tsp garlic chopped
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp coriander crushed
1 Serrano sliced
Tops of kohlrabi chopped
2 cans coconut milk
1/2 cup sorghum water
Salt to taste and cayenne if needed

1 cup of sorghum soaked
1 finger of ginger and turmeric
1 tsp salt
6 cups water
Pressure cooker for 20 minutes 

1 Romanesco
1 cauliflower
1/2 cup yogurt
1 tbsp tandoori paste
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste

1/3 cup sorghum popped in microwave 

Brassicas flowers
Cilantro
Mint

For the Sorghum 

Soak the sorghum in cold water for 30 minutes to an hour if possible.  Then add the rest of the ingredients to a pressure cooker and bring up to heavy pressure. Cook for 20 minutes and then allow the pressure to release naturally.  Meanwhile place a 1/3 cup of dried sorghum in paper bag and place in the microwave.   Cook for 1:30 minutes season with salt (and other spices if desired). Take the lid off the pressure cooker and drain the excess water and reserve for the curry.  Set aside and keep warm. 

For the Curry,

In large braising pan on medium heat add ghee, ginger, mustard seeds, cardamon.  Cook for 1 minute to release the aromatics. Next add fennel, kohlrabi, turnips, sweet potato, serrano, garlic,   curry, mustard seeds, cumin, and coriander.  Sauté for 5 minutes and then season with salt, add coconut milk, and 1//2 -1 cup of the sorghum water.  Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables.  Once all the vegetables are tender add the kohlrabi tops and turn off the heat.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees,

In a blender add yogurt, water, olive oil, and tandoori paste and puree until smooth.  Cut the romanesco into individual pieces.  Take the yogurt mixture and slather the romanesco all over.  Season with salt and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.  Take out and finish the dish.

To finish

Heat curry up for a minute to make sure everything is hot.  Add a few spoonfuls of the vegetables into a bowl.  Add the tandoori romanesco on top.  Add some of boiled sorghum to the dish.  Finish with mint leaves, cilantro, popcorn, flowers, and micro cilantro.  Serve and enjoy!

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Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Cara Cara Orange

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Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Cara Cara Orange

Winter time comes around and some of the best citrus fruits come into season.  The one citrus from the orange family that I completely go crazy for is cara cara oranges.  This orange has a unique flesh color and sweetness that is hard to compare.  The flesh is to me a blend of orange and pink.  The flavor is on the verge of tasting like orange candy.  Amazing I love everything about this variety of orange.  Well a classic pairing for dessert is orange and chocolate.  This is a gluten free version of that flavor combination.  This is gluten free chocolate cake recipe that really turned out amazing.  This is a recipe that I revisited and added a few ingredients to improve not only the texture but flavor.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Flourless chocolate cake
9oz bitter sweet dark chocolate
6 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 sticks butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp cornstarch
Orange zest
2 tbsp cocoa nibs

Orange pastry cream
1/2 orange juice 2 oranges
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 stick of butter 

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

Cocoa cracker
150 g Almond Flour
90 g Butter, room temperature
80 g Confectioners’ sugar
40g coco powder
4 g Salt
1 Egg
20 g oil Blood orange olive
100 g Isomalt granulated

350
25-30 minutes

Preheat oven 350
Prepare a spring form pan with a piece of parchment paper on the bottom.  Spray with nonstick spray and set aside.  Melt chocolate butter over double boiler.    Mix in sugar and then 1 egg at a time until all are incorporated.  Fold in vanilla and pour into the pan and bake for about 30 min. Pour the batter into the spring form pan and bake for 25 to 30 min.  Test the cake by sticking a toothpick into the center, and it should come out clean.   Allow the cake to rest for 15 minutes. The sides of the cake separate from the spring form pan making it easier to remove the form.

For the Curd,

Pour all the ingredients into a sauce pot and place on medium heat.  Stir continuously for 10 or 12 minutes until curd thickens.  Pour through a fine mesh strainer and cool completely.

For the Sorbet,

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

For the cocoa cracker,

Preheat Oven to 275

In a stand mixer add almond flour, butter, salt, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar.  Mix well and then add egg, salt,  and oil to make a smooth dough.  Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile line a sheet pan with silpat and take out an off set spatula.  After 20-30 minutes take out the batter and using the off set spatula try to spread as evenly as possible. Then take the nibs and sprinkle all over the thin batter.  Finish with a dusting of the granulated isomalt (I used a small fine strainer) and sprinkle of salt. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Rotate the pan halfway through the cooking process for even baking.  Take out and let it cool for at least 5 minutes.  Set aside in a airtight container.  

To Finish,

Cover the top of the cake with powdered sugar.  Then top with pieces of the almond cocoa cracker.  Take the curd and place in a squeeze bottle.  Make dots all of over the top of the cake.  Then cut a slice of the cake and place on the plate.  Add more dots of the sauce.  Finish with a scoop of cara cara sorbet.  Serve and enjoy!

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Potato Cod, Sunflower Seed Risotto, Truffle and Sorrel

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Potato Cod, Sunflower Seed Risotto, Truffle and Sorrel

Here is a fish dish that was inspired by a bacon wrapped black cod I had years ago at craft restaurant.  The key to this recipe is using a vegetable "pasta" machine that can cut the potatoes like strings of thin "pasta".  You then take the strings wrap it around the cod.  Not only does this give the fish a great visual appeal but it gives a wonderful crunch as well.  I made a wonderful "risotto" out of sunflower seeds that was cooked in vegetable stock, finished with hedgehog mushrooms, a little cream, truffle butter, and parmesan.  When the sunflower seeds are cooked in this method they still retain a little crunch to them but they transform into a nutty, earthy flavor, that is still tender but a little al dente as well.  I made a simple sauce with sorrel to round out the dish.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 1/2 lb wild cod loin cut into 3-4 oz pieces
2 large potatoes stringed "noodles" 

2 cups of sunflower seeds
3-4 cups of vegetable stock here
1/3 cup of cream
3 tbsp of truffle butter here
1 cup of hedgehog mushrooms
drop of sherry vinegar
1 oz of grated fresh parmesan
Salt and pepper

Sorrel aioli
1 bunch of green sorrel
1 cup of aioli or veganaise
salt to taste 

Garnish fennel fronds, micro greens, celery leaves, truffles 

For the Sunflower risotto 

In a small sauce pot on medium heat add 1 tbsp of truffle butter and sunflower seeds.  Toast for 1 minutes and then add 1 cup of vegetable stock with a pinch of salt.  Cook for a few minutes until the broth is just about gone, then add another cup of vegetable stock.  Continue this process 2-3 more times (roughly about 20-25 minutes) until the seeds have plumped up and are tender.  If you are doing this ahead of time you can stop and cool down the seeds here.   Right before you are ready to serve the dish take a small saute pan with 1 tbsp of truffle butter and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.  Then add your cream and seeds to the pan.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until the cream has thickened and reduced. Finish the sunflower risotto with truffle butter and parmesan cheese.  Season with salt, pepper, and a splash of vinegar.  Set aside and keep warm.

For the Sorrel sauce,

Place all the ingredients in a vitamix and puree until smooth.  Place in a squirt bottle and set aside.  

For the Fish,

You will need a vegetable turning slicer machine here for the potatoes.  You will need the setting that will give you the thin angel hair like potato strings.  Take the potatoes on the slicer and turn the slicer to create these strings of potato.  You can place them in cold water if you don't have time to work quickly to prevent them from browning.  I didn't but if I was doing a lot I would have.  Take your 3-4 oz pieces of cold and carefully take one end of the potato and start wrapping one end of the cod.  Continue the process until you have about a 2 deep layer of potato wrapped around the cod.  Set aside and continue with the rest of the cod fillets.  

To finish,

In a small sauce pot add about a 1/2 cup of grapeseed oil for pan frying.  Once the temperature comes to 325 add a few pieces of the potato wrapped cod.  Fry on one side for about 2 minutes or golden brown.  Then rotate the fish to the next side of uncooked potato.  Continue the process until all sides of the potato are golden brown (roughly 6 minutes).  Take out and drain on a paper towel and season immediately with salt all over. Continue until all the pieces are cooked.  Then take on a plate add a few spoonfuls of the sunflower risotto.  Place the fish on top.  Add some of the sorrel sauce around and on top of the fish.  Finish with some of the micro herbs and fresh truffles.  Serve and enjoy!

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Best Cheesecake with Pecan shortbread

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Best Cheesecake with Pecan shortbread

Cheesecake is not on the top of my list for desserts.  I like it but there seem to be so many better options when it comes to ordering dessert that I normally skip over that option at the end of a meal.  When I first started catering I used to serve this cheesecake bites with lemon curd that was not only easy to make but was always a crowd pleaser.  With that being said this has to be one of the best cheesecake recipes I have ever had.  Not only does the cheesecake have a great flavor but the texture is amazing as well.  Instead of making a basic graham cracker crust I make a pecan shortbread that also brings another level of flavor that is unexpected.  My wife who really doesn't like cheesecake at all actually loved it, so that must say something.  Here is the classic cheesecake recipe with a twist, I hope you enjoy it.

Mascarpone cheesecake
1 lb mascarpone
8oz cream cheese
1 cup 3 tbsp sugar
2 oz of creme friache
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp of almond extract
3 eggs
3 yolk

Pecan shortbread
2 cups flour
1 cup of pecans
2 sticks of butter
1 tsp of salt

Strawberry Sorbet recipe

Whipped Cream                                                                                                                                  1/2 cup of cream with 4 tbsp of powdered sugar

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

1 cup Strawberries sliced
10 Figs halved
1 cup Blueberries 

For the cheesecake,

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

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

For the Shortbread,

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

For the Sorbet

Place water and sugar in a pot.  Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.  Then cool slightly and place in a blender with the 4 cups of whole strawberries.  Puree until smooth, and the lemon juice, then chill until completely cold.  Place in your ice cream maker according to their instructions.  Place  in an air tight container and place in the freezer 

For the strawberry gel,

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

For the whipped cream

Simply place cream in a stand mixer and whisk on medium speed for 1 minute then add powdered sugar and whip until thick.  Place in a pastry bag and set aside.

To Finish,

Take the cheesecake and slice into rectangular pieces.  Then alternate the fruit on top of each slice.  Pipe a little whipped cream on top as well.  Place the slice on the plate.  Add a few drops of strawberry gel.  Then take a scoop of the strawberry sorbet.  Finish with mint, serve and enjoy the best cheesecake you have ever had!

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Tuna, Foie, Black Truffle, Avocado

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Tuna, Foie, Black Truffle, Avocado

Here is a little appetizer that I made for Jp a few days ago.  This is the ultimate indulgence, over the top dish that includes every expensive ingredient in one dish.  Great tuna, foie gras, black truffles, avocado, and caviar.  All of these items Jp absolutely loves, although he doesn't eat like this everyday, by any means.  These are special times when I'm looking to make something I know he will really love.  Definitely a dish not for the faint of heart or wallet.  I finished the dish with a white balsamic and koji dressing.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

8 oz of tuna pounded thin
1 foie gras torchon recipe here
1 avocado sliced thin
1 black truffle sliced thin
2 oz of caviar (oestra)

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

Koji Dressing
1/4 cup of white balsamic
2 tbsp of koji
1 tsp of truffle oil
salt to taste 

Garnish, chive flowers, nasturtium, sorrel

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.  

Koji Dressing,

In a small bowl place all the ingredients in and stir well.  Season with salt and set aside.

To Finish,

Take a piece of plastic wrap and place inside a ring mold.  Take the tuna and place in the bottom of the mold.  Season each layer with a pinch of salt.  Then take a slice of the foie torchon and place on top.  Slice avocado and place on top of the avocado.  Then add another layer of tuna on top of the avocado.  Continue the same process with other molds if serving multiple people.  This should be good for 6 servings.  At this point you can wrap everything up and place in the refrigerator for a few hours before you ready to serve.  Once ready to serve unwrap the "terrine" and shave fresh truffles on top.  Add a dollop of caviar on top.  Once ready to serve drizzle the dressing over the whole "terrine" and finish with chive oil, on top garnish with flowers and herbs.  Serve and enjoy! 

 

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Gnocchi with Blue cheese, grilled grapes and walnuts

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Gnocchi with Blue cheese, grilled grapes and walnuts

Gnocchi, the classic Italian potato dumpling that is found all of Italy.  I remember being in the town of Sperlonga and eating at restaurant their with my wife.  I ordered one the most basic gnocchi's on the menu which was gorgonzola gnocchi.  Perfect pillows of potato dumplings topped with a gorgonzola cream sauce.  Simple but yet absolutely delicious.  The recipe I played off that a bit and then added seasonal fresh walnuts, grilled grapes and blue cheese.   Finish the dish with a few fresh basil leaves and you have a great little dish with only a few ingredients.  Here is my Italian inspired gnocchi recipe, I hope you enjoy it! 

2 small potatoes steamed, peeled, and riced
1 lb of fresh ricotta homemade  ( not the cheap stuff)
1 egg
3/4 cup of flour plus more for dusting
1 1/2 tsp of salt 

Blue cheese béchamel
2 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp of flour
3 1/2 cup of milk
2 oz of point reyes blue cheese 

1 cup of grilled grapes
1/2 cup of fresh halved walnuts
basil leaves and crumbled blue cheese to garnish

 

For the gnocchi,

Get a steamer prepared by getting a stock pot with water and an insert ready.  Place whole potatoes in the steamer and cook until they are tender all the way through.  Then take the lid off and let them dry out for 3-5 minutes.  While still hot peel off the skin and discard. Then place the potatoes in a food mill or ricer, and rice them into a mixing bowl.  You can let potatoes cool slightly if they are too hot to work with.  Then make a well in the middle of the potatoes and add the ricotta cheese and egg.  Then take a cup of the flour and pour around the outside of riced potatoes. Then with a fork mix the egg into the cheese and potatoes working from the middle then slowly working your way out into the flour.  Once the dough starts to form get rid of the fork and use your hands.  You want incorporate the flour until a smooth dough forms but you don't want to knead or over work it.  You might need more flour if the dough is too sticky.  Once the dough has formed you can cut the dough into 5 slices using a dough cutter or knife.  The take each slice and roll with your finger into a rope.  You might need to add a little flour if the dough is too sticky.  Once a uniform rope of dough has been achieved cut into uniform bite size dumplings.  Then using a gnocchi paddle (board) roll the gnocchi by flicking them into a lightly floured sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Continue until all the dough is finished. Set aside until ready to cook

For the Blue Bechamel 

In a medium sauce pot on medium heat melt your butter in the pan and then add the flour to make a roux once all the butter has completely melted.  Stir with a whisk for 1 minute.  Then add your warm milk stirring constantly.  Bring the milk to a boil and turn down to a simmer.  Cook for 5-10 minutes.  The milk should thicken.  Once the milk has been thickened to a heavy sauce consistency add cheeses stirring with the whisk until completely melted.  Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.  

To finish,

On a hot grill take a your grapes and place in the hottest part of the grill.  Char the grapes for a 2 minutes on each side.  Take off the grill and set aside.  In a pot of salted boiling water add your gnocchi to the pot.  Meanwhile in a hot saute pan add 2 tbsp of butter and olive oil, along with walnuts.  Toast the walnuts for 2-3 minutes.  Once the gnocchi float to the top skim them out of the water and place them in the pan with the walnuts.  Cook for a minute and then add 1-2 cups of the blue bechamel to the pan.  Add the grapes, season everything with salt and pepper, then turn off the heat.  Pour into 4 different bowls.  Finish with blue cheese and basil.  Serve and enjoy!

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Beef, Caramelized Onion, Jus and Blue cheese

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Beef, Caramelized Onion, Jus and Blue cheese

Here is another straightforward dish that is not anything fancy but just perfectly executed.  Sometimes keeping it simple is the way to go.  I'm trying to adopt this as my new motto.  Great ingredients done well.  At the end of the day the food has to taste great.  I don't know if there is anything more classic than onions with beef and a bit of blue cheese on top to finish.  This dish has nothing to hide behind so you have make sure all of the ingredients can shine not only on their own but together.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

 

Grilled Beef Caramelized Onion puree, Beef jus


4 4 oz beef tenderloin
2 tbsp of olive oil and butter
salt and pepper

Caramelized onion puree
4 onions sliced thin
2 tbsp butter and olive oil

Beef sauce see recipe

1 lb yukon Potatoes boiled
1 tbsp of butter and olive oil
salt and pepper

1 oz Point reyes Blue cheese 

 

For the Beef,

Take 2 cryovac bags and place 2 steaks in each.  Divide the oil and butter in half between the two bags and place inside.  Seal up the bags according to your sealers instructions.  Sous vide the steaks for about 30 min set the water bath at 132 degrees.  Take out and let the steaks rest until room temperature.

Meanwhile for the potatoes,

Simply place yukon potatoes in a pot of water and salt.  Bring to a slow simmer and cook until just tender all the way through.  Take out and peel while they are still hot.  Then once cooled take a small round cookie cutter and cut cylinders out of the potatoes.  Then slice the cylinders in 1/4-1/8 inch slices and set aside until the end

For the caramelized onions,

In a large saute pan on medium high heat add olive oil, butter, and sliced onions.  Cook for about 25-30 minutes stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking.  The onions should be a golden brown color when they are done caramelizing.  Once they are done season them with salt and place in a vitamix and puree until smooth.  Adjust the seasoning if need be, set aside and keep warm

To finish,

Take the beef out of the bag and season with salt and pepper.  Place a saute pan on high heat and add 2 tbsp of olive oil, butter, and the beef.  Sear the beef for 2 1/2 minutes and then flip over and cook for 1 1/2 minutes.  Take out and let the meat rest.  In a small sauce pot add the sliced potatoes, butter and olive oil.  Season the potatoes with salt and warm through.  Add a spoonful of the caramelized onion puree to the plate.  Then add the sliced potatoes.  Slice the stead and place on the plate with a little extra salt and the blue cheese.  Finish with the bordelaise sauce, serve and enjoy! 

 

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Duck Bacon Carbonara

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Duck Bacon Carbonara

Carbonara!  A classic italian pasta dish consisting of only a few key ingredients, pasta, bacon, black pepper, eggs, and parmesan.  This defines italian cuisine where you use the few ingredients you have on hand and make it into an irresistible dish.  Typically you use pork bacon but I found some duck bacon at central market and thought it would be a great substitute. Obviously you can use whatever bacon is your favorite, but if you don't mind splurging a few more dollars to pay for the duck I'm sure you will be completely satisfied.  With such a simple dish to me what makes this dish amazing is the homemade noodles.  To me anytime you have homemade noodles you really can't go wrong.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Homemade noodles

Pasta

4 eggs

2 cups flour "00"

1 cup semolina

2 tbsp warm water 

1 tbsp of olive oil

Salt 

 

8 oz Duck bacon large diced

 

4 eggs whisked

1/2 cup of cream

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1/2 cup of Parmesan grated 

 

Salt and lots of black pepper

For the Pasta

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

Take your pasta and cut in half.  Leave one half covered while you work with the other half.  Take the half of the pasta with a rolling pin and roll until the dough is thin enough to fit inside the biggest setting on your pasta machine ( I use the kitchen aid attachment).  Then run the pasta all the way down to the lowest setting twice.  Dusting the dough with flour if it is too wet. Then on the third time run it down to the second to last setting.  Again, Use a little flour for dusting.  Then you can make any shape you want but rolling up the pasta and cutting the noodle 1/4-1/8 inch thick. I made a wide fettuccini or small pappardelle .   You will only need half of the pasta dough for this recipe, you can use the other half for another recipe.  

To finish,

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  In a large saute pan add 1 tbsp of oil and the duck bacon. Render the bacon for 3-4 minutes until it starts to brown, then add garlic.  Cook for a minute and then add the cream and parmesan and turn down the heat to low.  Add the pasta to the pot and boil until the noodles float to the top (about 1-2 minutes).  Whisk the eggs and pour into the pan with cream and bacon.  This is the crucial point where you want to heat the eggs up but not scramble or curdle them.  You might have to take the pan off the heat.  Strain out the pasta and add to the pan.  Toss the pastas and sauce all around, season with salt and lots of black pepper.  I like to add a little green onion too.  Taste the pasta and adjust if need be.  The sauce should just coast everything.  Immediately place in bowls, garnish with parmesan, green onion, and the last bits of the bacon.  Serve and enjoy!

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Persimmon Salmon and Avocado with Yuzu Kosho

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Persimmon Salmon and Avocado with Yuzu Kosho

This is a great amuse or appetizer using one of my favorite fall-winter fruits, persimmon.  In california the farmers market is filled with fuyu and hachiya persimmons.  The fuyu are supposed to be eaten while crunchy and firm.  The hachiya persimmons you normally wait until they are completely soft almost like jam unless you are going to dry them to preserve them.  In this recipe you take a basic salmon poke and pair it with yuzu kosho and persimmon.  Yuzu kosho is a spicy citrus condiment that is very strong and little bit goes a long way.  Typically you will see this condiment in sushi houses to elevate the fish.   This dish is a great starter to any meal.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Persimmon salmon avocado 

Salmon poke 

8 oz of small diced salmon

3 tbsp of chopped green onion

1 tbsp chopped cilantro 

2 tbsp of sesame seeds

1/4 tsp of sansho pepper

1/2 tsp of salt

1 tbsp of sesame oil 

1 tsp of sirracha 

1 tbsp of soy sauce

 

1 fuyu persimmon sliced paper thin

1 oz of salmon roe

1 avocado sliced

 

Yuzu kosho

3 yuzu zested and juiced

2 limes zested

2 oranges zested

2 Thai chilies chopped fine

Pinch of sugar

1 tsp of salt 

 

Fried garlic and micro cilantro for garnish


For the yuzu kosho,

In a small mixing bowl add all the ingredients and let it marinate (if possible a day in advance).  

For the salmon poke,

In a small mixing bowl add all the ingredients and let it marinate for at least 30 min

To finish,

Take the persimmon and slice thin on a mandolin.  Place about 6-8 sliced on a small piece of plastic wrap slightly overlapping each piece.  Then take a round cookie cutter and cut into a round disk.  Fold the plastic over the round persimmon and continue the process until you have about 6-8 disks. Place a small slice of avocado on the bottom of the plate.  Then add the salmon poke on top of the avocado.  Take the persimmon disk out of the plastic wrap and place on top of the poke.  Add a teaspoon of kosho on top of the persimmon, along with roe, fried garlic, and cilantro.  Serve and enjoy!

 

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Tuna, Guava, Vanila, and Radish

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Tuna, Guava, Vanila, and Radish

Here is a great appetizer I made a few weeks ago.  It is a very easy recipe that packs a good punch.  In this recipe you take the tangy guavas and juice half of them and mix with vanilla bean, for sweet. For the spice you add in some fresh cayenne.  Add a little soy for salt, and a little rice vinegar for acid.  That is the dressing and really, the rest of this dish comes down to the freshness of the tuna, the guava, and radishes.  Simple but delicious.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

 

Guava vanilla tuna rose

 

Guava dressing

5 guava juiced

1 vanilla bean scrapped

1 cayenne chile chopped fine

1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar 

2 tbsp of white soy

 

4 white and red radishes sliced thin

10 oz of tuna sliced 1/8 inch thick

2 guava sliced thin seeds removed

 

For the dressing,

Place all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and mix well.  Season with pinch of salt if need be. 

To finish,

Alternate in a rose like pattern the tuna, guava and radishes. Continue wrapping all 3 ingredients until you have about 6-7 pieces of tuna. Wrap the outside of the rose with radishes.  To finish drizzle the rose with a few spoonfuls of the dressing. Serve and enjoy!

 

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Black Cod, Black Soy bean Sauce, Ash

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Black Cod, Black Soy bean Sauce, Ash

Here is a little fish dish that really came out great.  This is all about using leftovers from another dish.  The sauce here is what gives this dish a different flavor because of the rich beef and soy bean combination.  Vegetable ash is another element that gives more depth to this dish. What is vegetable ash you say?  Well basically you take any vegetables that have natural sweetness or high sugar content to it like onions, carrots, parsnips, etc... and you completely burn them to a crisp.  You take those ashes and you grind them up into a powder.  On its own it taste like ash but when you add it to a protein or other elements it gives a smokey flavor that absolutely transforms the ingredients.  It is a great little "trick" to adding flavor and depth to a dish.   Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

 

Black Cod 

1 lb of black cod cut into 4 oz pieces
2 tbsp of olive oil
salt to taste 

Black soy bean sauce see recipe

green onion ash
4 large bunches of green onion or spring onion charred completely

1 bunch of yellow beets boiled and peeled
1 bunch of baby carrots roasted
1 lb of green beans blanched
1/2 onion sliced
1 tsp of garlic clove minced
1/4 cup of grapes sliced
pea sprouts
fried garlic

 

For the vegetable ash

Turn you grill or oven on as high as it will go.  Place 4 large bunches of green or spring onion with their tops and char completely.   All the charred bits to dry completely and then place the ashes in a coffee grinder and pulse to a powder

For the Black bean sauce see the receipe

To finish the dish,

In a large saute pan on medium high heat add oil.  Season cod with salt on both sides and then place fillet side down in the pan. Cook for about 4 minutes on the one side. Meanwhile in another saute pan add 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil.  Add sliced onions and cook for 1 minute.  Then add garlic, green beans, baby carrots, and beets.  Cook for 2 minutes to heat up, season with salt and keep warm.  Take 4 plates and place a small amount of the soy bean sauce on the plate.  Add the vegetables on top of the sauce and sprinkle with fried garlic.  Then flip over the fish and cook for 5 seconds and take out of the pan.  Place the fish on top of the vegetables.  Finish the plate with grape slices and pea sprouts.  Place the ash in a small sieve and dust the plate with the ash.  Serve and enjoy!

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Potato Truffle Fondue

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Potato Truffle Fondue

Here is a dish that is simple in concept, flavors, and it is really all about execution.  Potato in a cheesy sauce is nothing new; but you can add a little twist but putting the fondue in the a isi canister and foaming it to add texture and air.  The result is the fondue has a wonderful light and airey mouth feel to it undestead of a heavy cheesy gut bomb.  The potatoes I roasted with hay and garlic to give a bit of smokey earthy flavor.  Black truffles never hurt to have and little fresh horseradish rounded of the dish.  Simple but delicious that's what great cuisine is all about.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Potato truffle fondue

Fondue
3 tbsp of butter
3 tbsp of flour
3-3 1/2 cups of milk
2 oz shredded fontina
1 oz of shredded Parmesan
2 oz of shredded petit basque
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper

1 lb purple potatoes
2 cups of hay
3 garlic cloves
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Black truffles
Petite mizuna
Truffle oil or olive 

For the potatoes 

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.  In a roasting pan lay hay down in the bottom of the pan.  Drizzle potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Then place the potatoes in the roasting pan on top of the hay.  Add the garlic to the roasting pan and place in the oven.  Cook in the oven for 45 minutes until the potatoes are just done.  Take out and let them cool to room temperature.  

For the fondue,

In a sauce pot on medium heat add butter to melt. Once the butter has melted add the flour to make a roux.  Once the roux has formed add the milk one cup at a time stirring constantly with a whisk.   Keep adding the milk until a thick sauce has formed.  Cook for 5-7 minutes on medium-low to cool out the flour.  Then add the cheese and melt completely.  Finish the bechamel with nutmeg and salt.  Once it has been seasoned and melted all together pour into an isi canister and charge with 1-2 charges.  Keep in a hot water bath to ensure the fondue will be hot.

To finish the plate.

Take the potatoes and peel them if desired.  Slice them 1/8 inch thick, season them with salt and place back in the oven to get hot.  Meanwhile take fresh truffle and slice them thin.  Take four bowls and foam the fondue in the bottom of the bowl.  Take the potato slices out and place a truffle slice in between each one.  Place on top of of the potato fondue.  Grate a little of the fresh horseradish on top of each potato.  Finish the dish with mizuna, and truffle or olive oil around.  Serve and enjoy!

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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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