Fennel Tortelloni with Wagyu Meatball and Perigord Sauce

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Fennel Tortelloni with Wagyu Meatball and Perigord Sauce

Simple and great ingredients is the secrete to this recipe.  A really straightforward pasta dish that was really melt in your mouth delicious. Wagyu short rib meat that I had ground up from the local butcher. I made a basic meatball with the shortrib meat and then stuffed it inside a homemade fennel pasta.  I made a black truffle sauce from bordelaise I had from a previous dinner. I simply cooked the pasta and tossed the tortelloni in sauce.  I placed all of it on top a fennel puree for a little added creaminess.  This was an amazing pasta that everyone couldn't get enough of.  This is one of the dishes I served Jim Belushi and Company during a recent dinner party.  I Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Wagyu short rib meatballs
2 lbs boneless wagyu short ribs ground
1 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 tbsp fennel seeds
4 garlic cloves grated
1 1/2 cup panko
4 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
2 tbsp fresh chopped oregano
2 tbsp of fresh chopped chive
1 tbsp of fresh chopped thyme
1-2 tbsp salt
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp black pepper

Fennel pasta
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
3 tbsp of fennel purée
2 cups flour
1 cup semolina 

Fennel top purée
2 large bunches of fennel fronds blanched
1/4 cup water

Beef perigord sauce see bordelaise  add 1 chopped black truffle to the bordelaise sauce

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

 

For the Meat,

Grind the meat yourself making sure you have ice cold attachments for your meat grinder or have your local butcher grind it for you. (short rib is an expensive cut to grind so you might want to use a less expensive fatty cut like brisket, chuck, or round).  Add all the other ingredients to stainless steel bowl and season.  Take a small saute pan on high heat with a tsp of olive oil and cook 1/2 oz of the meatball mixture.  Taste the meatball to see how it tastes.  If everything tastes perfect then set aside for the pasta, if not adjust the meatball to what you think it needs.  

For the Fennel top puree,

Blanch the tops in boiling salted water for 30 seconds and then plunge into an ice bath.  Take 1/4 cup of water and the tops and puree until smooth.  Set aside for the pasta

For the Pasta,

place the flours in a bowl, make a well or hole in the center of the flour.  Place the eggs, salt, and fennel puree (if using) into the well.  Using a fork, beat the eggs, puree, until smooth.  With the fork,  gradually stir in the flour little by little until the egg isn't so sticky.  Using your hands instead of the fork, begin forming the dough by folding the flour into the mixture.  Continue the folding action until the dough is smooth and not sticky.  Adjust the amount of flour depending. You may need a little more or less depending on whether you included the puree.   Once the dough is formed,  knead it for 5 minutes,  wrap it in plastic and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.  

Take the full amount of dough and cut it in half keeping one half wrapped in plastic. Roll the dough flat with a rolling pin.  Place the flattened dough in the pasta machine on the thickest setting,  and pass it through.  Adjust the thickness of the setting with the knob.   For cannelloni style pasta, I adjust the setting to a 6 or 7.   Pass the pasta through the machine down to a 6 or 7 and then fold the dough back up and repeat the process,  a total of 3 times.  You might need to add a little flour if the pasta is sticking.  Repeated folding and passing the dough through the pasta machine builds structure into the pasta which will enable it to attain the the aldente when boiled.  On the last pass through,  don't fold the pasta.  Lay the sheet out on a floured surface or table and cut the pasta in squares sheets every 1 inche using a pasta wheel for the serrated look.  Fill each pasta with just a small amount of meatball filling.  Brush each one with water and then fold over into a triangle, then pinch the ends together to make a tortellini shape.  Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

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For the Fennel Puree,

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

To Finish,

Place a pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil.  Place 20-25 tortellini pastas in the water and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.  Strain out and place in a large saute pan with a few ladles of bordelaise sauce.  Add a little of the pasta water to the pan to thin out the sauce if need be.  Adjust the seasoning is need be, add truffles.  To plate add a little of the fennel puree to the bottom of the plate.  Add 5 tortellini to each plate.  Add a little more sauce and truffles along with fresh parmesan and fennel fronds.  Serve and enjoy!

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Snapper Mafaldine Pasta With Lemon Butter

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Snapper Mafaldine Pasta With Lemon Butter

This recipe is a take on a dish I had in Milan late last year.  It was so simple in concept but full of flavor from the fish stock they is the backbone to this pasta.  You basically make a really good fish stock and puree it with lots of parsley for a really fresh look and taste.  I added a lemon butter to the bottom of the bowl to give a little richness and acid.  A fairly straight forward recipe that have a few steps but shouldn't be something to slave over all day long.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!


1 lb of snapper large diced skin removed 

Fish Stock
1 carcasses of snapper including scraps and skin
Mirepoix, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 1 leek, 3 stalks of celery
1 garlic bulb cut in half
1 bay leaf, 3 sprigs of thyme
1 tbsp of black peppercorns
10 cups of water 

3 cups of fish stock
1-2 bunches of blanched parsley
2 tbsp of butter
salt to taste

10 oz of Mafadine pasta cooked al dente

Buerre Blanc
1 cup of white wine
1 cup of cream
1- 11/2 sticks of butter
1 lemon juiced and 1/2 tsp of zest
1 sprig of thyme
1 garlic clove
Salt to taste

Parmesan and parsley sprigs to garnish

For the fish stock,

Have your butcher fillet the snapper, if you don't know how or go here (the link is for flounder but gives you the basics).  Then cut the collar of the fish and reserve for another use.  Take the gills out and discard.  Then take the whole fish and rinse well under cold water to rid of any blood ( blood will turn your stock cloudy)  The place in a pot with the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer and reduce by at least half.  The stock should have a rich deep flavor.  If the stock still taste very mild and watery, then reduce a little more until you have a deep flavor profile.  Strain out and discard the contents.   Then take 3 cups of the fish stock and place in a blender with the blanched parsley.  Puree until smooth and season with a little butter and salt.  Set aside and keep warm

Buerre Blanc Sauce,

In a small sauce pot add white wine, zest, thyme, and garlic.  Reduce the liquid by until the wine is just about evaporated (about 3/4 reduced). Then add the cream and reduce that by half.  Then  finish by adding to the sauce the butter 1 tbsp at a time until it has emulsified. Season with salt and lemon juice, strain if desired.  Set aside and keep warm.

To Finish, 

Bring a pot of salted to water to a boil.  Place mafadine pasta in the pot, cook until al dente.  Meanwhile in a large saute pan add 2 cups of parsley sauce.  Season snapper with salt and place in the sauce.  Have the heat on medium.  You gently want to cook the snapper in the sauce until it is just done.  It should only take a minute or two.  Toss in the strained out pasta and cook for another minute or two so the pasta soaks up the sauce.  Season everything with salt and pepper.   Then place a few spoonfuls of the buerre blanc sauce in the bottom of the bowl.  Place the snapper mafadine pasta on top.  Then with the left over 1 cup of parsley sauce use a hand blender and froth the sauce.  Spoon the froth over the pasta.  Finish with parmesan and parsley sprigs.  Serve and enjoy!

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Mexican "Creamed" Corn

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Mexican "Creamed" Corn

This was the second course in Jp and Eloise's 25th anniversary Dinner.  I bought this wonderfully sweet organic corn earlier in the morning and I wanted to do corn on the cobb.  So I planned on doing that but right before I was about serve the dish I decided to cut the corn off the cobb and just serve it on a plate.  The corn was roasted on the grill in its husks and that helped bring out the natural sweetness in the corn.  The other trick to this dish for the "cream", you actually juice the corn and make the sauce from the juice.  When you add a little pinch of salt to the corn juice, the sugar in the corn comes out and the juice thickens the a creamy consistency.  Corn on corn, nothing better come summertime. This is a cross between Mexican corn and creamed corn without cream.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy this simple dish!

Mexican cream corn

6-8 ears of corn in husks roasted
6-8 ears of corn cut off the Cobb and juiced
Salt to taste

1 tsp of chipotle powder
2 oz of semi dried cheese I used ricotta, manchego or typical is cotija
Cilantro leaves
 

For the roasted corn,

Simply place corn on the grill still in its husk.  Grill for 3-5 minutes on each side.  Then take out and allow to cool completely.  Peel and Cut the corn off the cobb trying to keep the kernels intact as much as possible.  Place each corn cobb cut off on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper in piles for each person you are serving.  Season it with salt.

For the corn sauce,

simply place corn juice and a pinch of salt in a sauce pot.  Place the pot on medium heat and whisk often to prevent scorching.  The corn juice will thicken up from the natural starch and sugars, and it will become thick.  Adjust seasoning with salt and lime if desired, and set aside and keep warm.

To Finish,

Place the corn in the oven at 400 degrees to just heat up and get hot.  Then place each portion on the plate.  Add the sauce over top and sprinkle with chipotle powder, cheese, and cilantro sprigs.  Serve and enjoy!

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Buttermilk Chocolate cake with Blackberry Sorbet and Buffalo Ricotta Icecream

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Buttermilk Chocolate cake with Blackberry Sorbet and Buffalo Ricotta Icecream

Here is a fantastic easy dessert that was absolutely loved by Jp and guests.  It takes a classic chocolate buttermilk cake and adds some blackberry for tartness and some ricotta sorbet for creaminess.  This is a great summer recipe when the berries are growing wild on the vines.  No need to make super sweet frosting for this recipe, let the sorbets be the refreshing ingredients in the dish.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake
1 3/4 cup ap flour
2 cups of sugar
3/4 cup of cocoa powder
2 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of salt
1 cup of buttermilk
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
2 eggs room temp
1 tsp of vanilla
1 cup of coffee

Blackberry sorbet
2 pints of blackberries
2 1/3 cup of water
2 cups of sugar
1 lemon juiced

Ricotta Sorbet

415g milk
135g trimoline inverted sugar
110g sugar
50g glucose
335 ricotta drained
85g creme fraiche
10g lemon juice
6g salt

Blackberry sauce
2 cups of blackberries
1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp of agar

1 cup of blackberries, powdered sugar, and basil leaves to garnish

For the buttermilk cake,

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray either a half sheet pan or a rectangular baking pan.  Mix the dry ingredients in a stand mixer.  Then in a separate bowl mix all the wet ingredients.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until just done.  Take out and allow to cool to room temperature

For the blackberry sorbet,

Place water, berries, and sugar in a pot.  Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.  Then cool slightly and place in a blender and  Puree until smooth, add the lemon juice, strain into a bowl 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 blackberry sauce,

Put all the ingredients in a small sauce pot except for the agar.  Bring to a boil  and cook for 10-12  minutes until the black berries start to break down.  Using a hand blender puree the sauce and strain.  Then pour the sauce back into the pot and add the agar.  Cook for 3 minutes and 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 Ricotta Ice Cream,

In a small sauce pot heat milk over medium heat then add in the sugar, trimoline, glucose, until dissolved.  Then pour the milk into a blender with ricotta and creme fraiche and puree until smooth.  Strain through a strainer into a bowl with an ice bath.  Add lemon juice and salt to season.  Cool completely then pour into your ice cream maker and use according to your ice makers directions.  When done place in a air tight container in the freezer until ready to use.  

To finish,

Using a round cookie cutter cut out rounds of cake.  Place them on a plate and dust them with powdered sugar.  Then add dots of the berry sauce, along with slices of blackberries.  Add the sorbets one on top and one next to the cake.  Finish with some tiny basil or mint leaves.  Serve and enjoy!

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Pistachio and Chocolate Opera Cake

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Pistachio and Chocolate Opera Cake

Here is a little twist on the classic opera cake which normally consists of chocolate, coffee, almond sponge cake.  I made it with pistachios and chocolate with different variations of each.  If you love pistachios and chocolate you will love this dessert.  This is a dessert I made a few weeks ago that was a huge hit.  I served it with pistachio ice cream.  Pretty straight forward baking for this dessert, it just has a several steps to the layers.  Not hard though.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Pistachio and Chocolate Opera Cake
Pistachio Sponge
150g 3 eggs
54g 3 yolks
111g sugar
35g flour
25g almond flour  4 tbsp
35 g pistachio flour 1/4 cup ground pistachio
128g 3 egg whites
3 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
Drops of pistachio extract

Chocolate Sponge
150g 3 eggs
54g 3 yolks
111g sugar
35g flour tbsp
25g pistachio flour
35 g cocoa powder
128g 3 egg whites
3 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt

Quick Pistachio Butter Cream
2 sticks of butter room temperature
3 cups of powder sugar
1/2 cup of pistachio paste
drops of pistachio extract

Ganache
1 cup of heavy cream
1 lb bittersweet chocolate

Chocolate Mirror Glaze
10g Gelatin beef powder
210g Sugar
110g Water
65g Cocoa Powder
65g Heavy cream
50g Dark Chocolate

 

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.  

Chocolate Sponge,

Same process as the pistachio sponge.  

For the Ganache,

In a small pot add cream and bring to a boil.  Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate.  Wait 1 minutes and then mix well with a whisk until the chocolate is completely smooth and melted.  Allow to cool to room temperature.  

For the Buttercream,

This is a quick version of buttercream.  Add butter, powdered sugar, along with pistachio paste to a stand mixer bowl.  Mix with a paddle attachment 2-3 minutes until smooth. Add a drop or two of pistachio extract and mix well.  

For the Mirror Glaze

In a small bowl bloom gelatin powder in 3 tbsp of water.  Place sugar, water, cocoa powder, and cream in a pot and turn on medium heat.  Stir regularly until it comes to a boil.  Then add in the chocolate.  Stir until completely combined.  Then add in the gelatin and stir until smooth.  You can use the glaze immediately if you want or you can save the glaze for another time, just bring the mixture up to 110 degrees before using.  

To Finish,

You can either cut your sheet cake in half or in thirds depending on how big you want your cake to be.  If you don't want any waist you can cut in half.  Place the pistachio cake on the bottom and then spread a layer of the pistachio buttercream on top.  Then place a piece of the chocolate sponge on top.  Add a layer of the ganache on top and spread evenly.  Add another layer of the pistachio sponge and butter cream.  Then top off with the last layer of chocolate sponge and ganache.  Chill for a few hours and then pour the mirror glaze on top for a nice finish.  Accompany the cake with a side of pistachio ice cream.  Serve and enjoy!

 

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Eggplant, Olive, Jalapeno, and Sheeps Feta

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Eggplant, Olive, Jalapeno, and Sheeps Feta

This recipe has a different flavor profile, cooking technique, and feel even though the presentation looks similar to my eggplant "Parmesan" I did a while back.  This is a mediterranean inspired recipe all the way.  Jp and Eloise both loved those flavors and said it was the best eggplant he has ever had.  It seemed like flavors I haven't made in awhile and seemed like a good choice.  The olive sauce I've made before but I thought of braising whole tiny eggplants in the sauce.  I took a cake tester and pricked tiny holes in the skin of the eggplant.  This allows the sauce to penetrate the eggplant and release some of the steam that the eggplant might have as it cooks.  The jalapeno in the sauce adds some heat to the dish along with the silkyness of the olives.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

4 small eggplants (graffiti or any other smaller size eggplant)

Mushroom Conserva (adapted from Thomas Keller)
2lb of wild mushrooms (mitake, Beech, Cremeni, Porcini, Shitake, etc...)
1 cup of grape seed oil
1 cup of olive oil
5 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
1 large sprig of thyme and rosemary
1/4 cup of lemon verbena leaves
3 tbsp of sherry vinegar
1/2 onion
salt and black pepper

Olive nage

1/2 onion sliced
8 oz castelvetrano olives
1 1/2  jalapenos sliced
3 garlic cloves
2 1/4 cup of whey or chicken stock
1/2 cup of white wine 95 g white wine
1 cucumber sliced
Few sprigs basil

1 oz Sage Flowers
1 oz oregano leaves, 
2 oz sheep's milk feta
2 tbsp capers
1 /2 cup toasted bread crumbs

Mushroom Conserva,

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

For the olive nage,

In a small sauce pan on medium heat add 1 tbsp of olive oil, onions, jalapeno, garlic, and castlevetrano olives.  Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes.  Then take the lid off and deglaze the pan with white wine.  Reduce the wine by half and then add whey and cucumber juice.   Bring to a boil and then turn down and simmer for 10 minutes. Then pour everything into a blender and add basil leaves.  Puree until smooth.  Adjust the seasoning with salt if needed. 

For the Eggplant 

In a braising pot add a little olive oil to the pan.  Prick a few holes in the eggplant, season with salt and sear in the pan for 1 to 2 minutes on each side.  Then pour in your olive sauce and bring to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 30-40 minutes until the eggplant is tender all the way through.  

To finish, 

Carefully peel the eggplant and season lightly with salt.  Place the eggplant on a sheet pan lined with parchment. Pour a ladle of sauce over the eggplant.  Right before serving place in the oven at 400 degrees until the eggplant is hot all the way through.  Then place on a plate and ladle another ladle full of sauce over top.  Place sheep's milk feta, capers,  mushrooms, herbs, breadcrumbs, and flowers on top.  Serve and enjoy!

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"Vichyssoise" Potato and Leek

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"Vichyssoise" Potato and Leek

Here is a playful dish using two humble ingredients the potato and the leek.  A classic combination which can be combined multiple ways but in this case it is used to make a soup which can be typically served hot or cold.  This is served hot and vichyssoise is just a little play on words because vichyssoise is usually the cold version.  I decided to make the soup and use it as the sauce for ricotta gnocchi.  I added some crunch bread crumbs and some preserved mushrooms to give a little acid and texture to the dish.  This recipe is really simple and straight forward with concept and flavors.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it! 

Vichyssoise 

1 1/2 Idaho potato cooked steamed or boiled and then dried
1 cup of ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 cup of flour plus more
2 tsp of salt 

Potato and Leek soup
1 peeled idaho potato large diced
2 leeks white only
2 garlic cloves
1 sprig of time
2 fresh bay leaves
2 tbsp of butter and olive oil
1/4 cup of white wine
3 cups of chicken stock or water
1/2 cup of cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Mushroom Conserva (adapted from Thomas Keller)
2lb of wild mushrooms (mitake, Beech, Cremeni, Porcini, Shitake, etc...)
1 cup of grape seed oil
1 cup of olive oil
5 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
1 large sprig of thyme and rosemary
1/4 cup of lemon verbena leaves
3 tbsp of sherry vinegar
1/2 onion
salt and black pepper

Sage Flowers, oregano leaves
1/4 cup fo toasted bread crumbs

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

Mushroom Conserva,

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

For the Soup,

Add butter and olive oil to a small pot along with the leeks and spig of thyme. Season with 1 tsp of salt and cover the pot.  Have the heat on medium-low to sweat the onion for 5-7 minutes without browning.  Take the lid off and add the sliced garlic and cook for another minute.  Deglaze the pot with white wine and reduce by half.  Then add the potatoes and stock.  Bring to boil and turn down to a simmer and cover.  Cook for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are just done.   Then add the cream and cook for another 3 minutes.  Place all the ingredients in a vitamix and puree until smooth.  Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

To Finish,

In a pot of salted boiling water add your gnocchi to the pot. Once the gnocchi float to the top skim them out of the water and place them in the pan with 12 ounces of the potato soup.  Adjust the seasoning with a pinch of salt.  Add the some of the mushrooms to the pan until they are warmed through. 

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Beef Tartar with Horseradish Pink Peppercorn Cracker

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Beef Tartar with Horseradish Pink Peppercorn Cracker

Here is a great little appetizer that really is simple and delicious.  Jp and Eloise had some friends from U of Texas coming over because one of them was changing jobs and wanted to come and say hello before they started their new position in another city.  Jp and Eloise just wanted a few appetizers to serve them when they came over with a celebratory shot of Patron. This is a really traditional beef tartar with a horseradish and pink peppercorn cracker.  The cracker is what really makes this hors d'oeuvre special.  I had made this cracker before and decided it was time to bring it out again for this recipe.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

 

Beef Tartar

12 oz of beef tenderloin small diced
1 1/2 tbsp of capers
1 tbsp of whole grain mustard
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 shallot minced
3 tbsp of snipped chives
Salt and fresh cracked pepper

Horseradish Cracker
150 g Almond Flour
90 g Butter, room temperature
40 g Confectioners’ sugar
40 g rice flour
40 g potato starch
4 g Salt
1 Egg
20 g oil Olive (olive, garlic, vegetable, etc.. anything you want)
100 g Isomalt granulated
3 tbsp crushed pink peppercorn
3 tbsp fresh horseradish grated

Horseradish Cream
1 cup of creme fright
3 tbsp prepared horseradish
1 lemon zested and half juiced
Salt and Pepper

 

Preheat Oven to 275

In a stand mixer add almond flour, butter, salt, rice flour, potato starch, and powdered sugar.  Mix well and then add egg and oil to make a smooth dough.  Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile line a sheet pan with silpat and take out an offset spatula.  After 20-30 minutes take out the batter and using the off set spatula try to spread as evenly as possible. Then take a microplane and grate the horseradish all over the thin batter. Next add the crushed pink peppercorns.  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, you can cut the crackers at this point if you are looking for a specific shape.  Take out and let it cool for at least 5 minutes.  Set aside in a airtight container.

To make the horseradish sauce place creme fraiche, horseradish, zest and juice of the lemon into a bowl and stir well.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside until ready to serve.

For the Tartar

Place all the ingredients in small mixing bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to use.

To Finish simply take a melon baller scoop and fill with the tartar.  Place on top of the horseradish crackers.  Place a dollop of cream, chives, and flowers.  Serve and enjoy!

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Perdale Sole with Green Garlic, Turnips, Marble Potatoes

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Perdale Sole with Green Garlic, Turnips, Marble Potatoes

Here is a wonderful fish dish that uses local west coast perdale sole with green garlic in multiple facets.  This is a end of winter dish going into spring.  Aesthetically, green garlic looks a lot like a green onions but instead of round tops like the onions, the garlic are normally a little flatter.  The flavor is more garlicky tones than onion as well. The recipe is pretty straight forward as far as ingredients and flavors.  I used the garlic tops for the sauces and pickled the stalks as well.  Here is the recipe, I hope you enjoy it.


1 lb of perdale sole 

Green garlic Broth
3 cups water
2 cups of green garlic tops blanched

Green Garlic Sauce
Reduce 2 cups and add 3 tbsp of butter
Salt

Green Garlic Gel
1 cup of top water
1 tsp agar
Salt

Pickled green garlic
1/2 cup sliced green garlic stalks
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp salt

Marble potatoes
12 oz marble potatoes
2 cups of duck fat
2 sprigs of thyme, garlic, onion

Yellow turnips confit
2 cups of duck fat
2 sprigs of thyme, garlic, onion

8 oz halved Fried Brussels
4 oz mitake mushrooms

Snipped chives

For the Potatoes and Yellow Turnips

Wash potatoes and turnips and pat dry.  Then place them each in a small separate pot with duck fat, thyme, garlic, and onion.  Bring the pot up to a low simmer.  Keep on low and cook for roughly 30 or until tender and cooked through (test with a cake tester).  Turn off the heat and set aside and keep warm.  

For the Pickled green garlic,

Place the sliced green garlic stalks in a small stainless steel bowl.  Place all the other ingredients in a small pot.  Bring to a boil until the salt and sugar have dissolved and the pour over the green garlic stalks and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to cool to room temperature (Can be done in advance). 

For the Green Garlic broth, Gel , 

Bring 3 cups of hot water to a boil.  Place blanched tops in a vita mix.  Pour the water over top and puree until smooth.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer.  Place 1 cup of the broth in a pot with agar agar and cook for 3-5 minutes stirring constantly.  Season with salt a pour into a shallow dish.  Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour or until set.  Then take a knife and cut the hardened gel and place in a vitamix.  Puree until smooth and pour into a squeeze bottle.  Set aside for later.

For the Green Garlic Sauce,

Take the leftover 2 cups of the garlic broth and reduce it by half.  Then stir in the butter and adjust seasoning with salt and lemon juice if need be.

To Finish,

In a large saute pan add 1 tbsp of butter and duck fat with the mitake mushrooms.  Cook for 4 minutes and then add the potatoes, the fried brussels, turnips.  Season with salt and pepper and keep warm. Meanwhile, season the sole with salt on both sides and place it in a saute pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium high heat.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown and then flip over and cook for 1 minutes.  Take your garlic gel and make a circle in the middle of the plate.  Then place a spoonful of sauce in the middle of that.  Place your vegetables in the middle of the garlic sauce.  Take the fish out and place on top.  Place a few of the pickled garlic stalks on top of the fish along with snipped chives.  Finish with a little olive oil around the plate.  Serve and enjoy!

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Brunch! Rye Crepe, Mushrooms, Basil, and Mornay Sauce

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Brunch! Rye Crepe, Mushrooms, Basil, and Mornay Sauce

Here is a brunch recipe I made a few weeks back that was a huge hit!  I wanted to make crepes using a flour that would give more of a savory flavor and I thought rye was a great fit.  I love the flavor of rye; I also decided to add some anise seed to the batter to give the crepe more depth of flavor.  The filling is straightforward with spinach, mushrooms, and basil.  The sauce is a classic cheese sauce to give richness to the dish.  This is a crepe dish that takes me actually back to Argentina.  I think I have a similar dish years ago when I was visiting in Buenos Aires.   Here is a simple recipe that anyone can make at home.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Rye crepe
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup rye flour
3/4 cup of AP flour
1 /2 tsp anise seed
1 tsp salt

4 oz mitake
4 oz trumpet royal
2 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup sherry wine
1 cup of spinach
2 tbsp of basil

Mornay
2 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp of flour
3 cups of milk
3 oz of gruyere
1 oz of Parmesan 

Dill, flowers , cilantro

For the Crepe,

In a bowl add milk and eggs.  Whisk well.  Then add the flours, salt, and anise seed.  Mix well.  The batter should be slightly thick but not nearly as thick as a pancake batter.  In a small saute pan (9") add a little butter or spray on medium high heat.  Add one 2-3oz ladle of batter in the center of the pan and then twirl the pan in a clockwise motion to distribute the batter evenly throughout the pan.  Let it cook for 30 seconds until golden brown and then flip it over.  Cook for 5-10 seconds and then place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Continue the process until all the crepes are cooked. 

For the Filling,

In a large saute pan add 1 tbsp of butter, 2 tbsp of olive oil, and mushrooms.  Cook for 5 minutes and then deglaze with sherry wine.  Cook the sherry wine until there is just a little bit of moisture left in the pan.  Then add the spinach and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add the last tbsp of butter along with salt and pepper.  Finish with chopped basil and set aside.  

Then take the filling, once cooled slightly, and fill each crepe by placing the filling in the middle and rolling the crepe up.  Place either on a sheet pan to reheat in the oven or a microwave safe dish.  

For the Mornay

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 both cheeses stirring with the whisk until completely melted.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside and keep warm.

To Finish 

Simply heat the crepes up before serving either covered in a 350 degree oven or in a microwave until hot.  Once hot ladle the mornay sauce over the crepes and garnish with micro herbs and flowers.  Serve and enjoy!

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Smoked Short Rib with Green Garlic, Guac, and Marble Potatoes

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Smoked Short Rib with Green Garlic, Guac, and Marble Potatoes

This recipe uses the big green egg to smoke the short ribs into perfection! Here is a recipe I served a few weeks ago to Cheech Marin, Angus Mitchell, Mr. Capra and Jp.  It was a guys night that came down to meat and potato.  It was a little more to this dish than just meat and potato, I also incorporated the green garlic which is in season and a little fresh guacomole.  Rounded out the dish with a little crunch from fried onions. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Short rib
4 lb wagyu boneless short ribs cut into 5-6 oz blocks
1 cup soy
1 Cara cara orange
1 ginger
6 garlic cloves
2 kafir limes juiced
3 tbsp of cilantro
1 tbsp of ssam jang
1 tbsp of sirracha and sambal
2 tbsp of sesame oil
1/4 cup oil
1/2 onion

Guacamole
3 avocados
1/2 grilled red onion chopped fine
1 tbsp Tabasco, 1 tbsp lime juice, 1 tbsp of chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper

Green garlic gel
3 cups water
4 tsp of agar
2 cups of green garlic tops blanched
Salt

Pickled green garlic
1/2 cup sliced 1/8-1/4 inch thick green garlic stalks
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp salt

Marble potatoes
12 oz marble potatoes
2 cups of duck fat
2 sprigs of thyme 

Fried shallots

For the Short rib,

Heat Big green egg to 250 degrees. Place all the ingredients into a blender to make a marinade.  Then take 2-3 sheets of aluminum foil and make a little boat.  Place the short ribs inside the aluminum "boat".  Then pour the marinade overtop the short ribs in the foil.  Place the short ribs in the green egg and baste them every 45 minutes.   Cook for about 4-5 hours until they are completely tender

For the Guacamole,

Place all in a bowl and mix with a whisk until somewhat smooth.  I like to have chunks of avocado in my guacamole and not a smooth puree.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

For the Marble potatoes,

Place fat and potatoes in a small pot.  Bring to a light simmer and cover.  Cook for 20 minutes until potatoes are tender all the way through.  Let them keep warm until ready to serve.

For the Pickled green garlic,

Place green garlic in a small bowl.  Place vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small pot.  Bring to a boil until sugar and salt have dissolved.  Then pour hot liquid over the green garlic.  Cover until completely cooled.  Can be done ahead of time

For the Green garlic gel,

Place water, blanched tops into a blender and puree until smooth.  Strain out into a pot and add agar agar.  Bring to a boil for 3-5 minutes.  Season with salt and then pour onto a shallow pan.  Place in the refrigerator until it has cooled and set.  Then take a knife and cut little squares all over the gel.  Place all of that back into a blender and puree until smooth.  It should be thick.  Adjust the seasoning if need be, then pour into a squirt bottle. 

To Finish,

Place a oval ring of the garlic gel around the plate.  Place a little spoonful of the guacamole in the center of the plate.  Add a few potatoes around the edge of the gel and place a pickled garlic on top of each potato.  Then add two pieces of the short rib and drizzle some of the reduced marinade and juices from the cooking "boat".  Finish with some fried shallots and cilantro.  Serve and enjoy!

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Baby Butternut Squash with Bordelaise and Bone Marrow

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Baby Butternut Squash with Bordelaise and Bone Marrow

Here is a great and simple butternut squash dish that I did a few weeks ago.  I purchased some local mini butternut squashes that I simply grilled until they were charred and tender.  I decided to treat this grilled squash as a piece of meat by stuffing it with bone marrow and then topping it with a rich beef bordelaise sauce.  Finished this dish with a few herbs and toasted croutons.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it! 

Butternut squash with marrow
5 baby butternut squash grilled
3 large pieces of bone marrow
Bordelaise sauce see recipe

Micro mustard greens
Torn bread croutons
2 tbsp of snipped chives 

For the Butternut,

Start grill and place butternut squash on the grill.  Cook the butternut squash until it is charred on every side until it is tender and cooked all the way through (25-40 min).  Allow to cool, then peel carefully the charred outside of the butternut squash, keeping the stem intact.  Carefully take out the seeds at the bottom of the butternut trying to keep the shape of the squash as best as possible.  Then take a small pan and place on medium high heat, season marrow with salt and pepper.  Sear the marrow for 30 seconds on each side then take out of the pan.  Place 1 piece of marrow in each cravess where the seeds where at the bottom of the squash.  Continue with the rest of the butternut. 

To Finish

Place butternut on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Drizzle each butternut with a little of the bordelaise sauce and salt.  Then right before serving place the squash in a preheated 400 degree oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until hot.  Take out of the oven and place on a plate.  Pour another ladle of sauce on top.  Finish the squash with bread crumbs, chives and mustard micros.  Serve and enjoy!

 

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Cheese Agnolotti Chestnut Pasta with Brussels and Basil

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Cheese Agnolotti Chestnut Pasta with Brussels and Basil

Here is pasta dish that I wanted to highlight with chestnuts.  Chestnuts are fantastic ingredient in the winter that have that natural kind of sweetness to them.  Chestnuts can be very versatile from simply roasting them to ground up into pastry or in this case pasta.  I had an impromptu dinner and decided to serve this as one of the courses.  Here is another great vegetarian recipe that will please any guests you might have over for dinner or lunch.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Chestnut pasta
200g or roughly 1 1/3 cup chestnut cooked and peeled
2 1/2 cup flour
1 cup semolina
4 eggs plus 2 yolks
2 tbsp water
Salt

8 oz petit basque finely grated
4 oz Comte finely grated
2 oz  sartori bellavitano Espresso coating removed and finely grated
8 oz creme fraiche
Salt  and pepper 

10 oz Brussels sprouts slice in thirds and fried
8oz mitake mushrooms
1/2 cup chestnuts halved
8 oz chicken broth or vegetable (vegetarian)
1 stick of butter
Salt and pepper 

Basil leaves

For the Cheese Filling,

In a bowl mix all the finely grated cheese with creme fraiche and season with salt and pepper.  Then place in a plastic disposable pastry bag.  Set aside in the refrigerator until the pasta is ready.  

For the Pasta

Place 2 cups of flour and chestnuts in a food processor.  Puree until completely smooth.  Then add the rest of the flour with semolina in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour.  Add eggs, water, and salt.  With a fork stir the egg mixture until it starts to form a ball of dough.  Then use your hands to form the dough.   Add more flour if the dough is wet.  Knead the pasta for 5 minutes and then cover and 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.  You should have long sheets at this point.  Using your pastry bag pipe the cheese mixture along the bottom of the pasta leaving about a 1/2 inch from the edge.  Run it along the whole length of the pasta sheet leaving about an inch or two at the ends.  Then take a pastry brush or spray bottle of water and brush the top portion of the pasta sheet.  Take the bottom part pasta closest to the filling and roll over to the brushed top portion.  You should now have a long tube like pasta running all the way down the length of the pasta.  Now, at every 1/2 inch use your index fingers and press down with with each index finger to create a little "ravioli"  Continue the same thing all the way down the pasta sheet.  Then using a pinwheel cutter cut away the excess pasta at the top.  Then cut in between each press that you make with your fingers to create each agnolotti.  

For the Brussels 

In a small sauce pot add 1/2 cup of grape-seed oil and bring up to 325 degrees.  Take your brussels that are sliced and quickly add them to a pot and immediately cover the pot.  Cover the pot for about 20 seconds until all the natural water in the brussels has been cooked out.  If you don't do this the oil will splatter everywhere ( just think water and hot oil, bad combination) After 3-5 minutes the brussels will become nice and crispy and golden brown.  Take a strainer and strain out.  Season immediately with salt.  Set aside

To Finish,

In a large saute pan add 1 tbsp of butter, oil, and mitake mushrooms.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Add your chestnuts and cook for another 2 minutes and then pour in the chicken or vegetable broth.  Meanwhile place your pasta in salted boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes until they float to the top.  Strain off and place in the saute pan.  Let it simmer for 1-2 minutes and then add the rest of the butter to make a pan sauce.  Season the whole pan with salt and pepper.  Place a few spoonfuls of pasta and mushroom into each serving bowl.  Finish with the fried brussels and fresh basil leaves, Serve and enjoy!

 

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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!

Gnocchi blue cheese grapes.JPG

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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! 

 

beef, onion, potato.JPG

 

 

 

 

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