Culurgiones

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Culurgiones

Here is the signature pasta dish from Sicily. I’ve been to Italy several times but never had the opportunity yet to visit Sicily. I look forward to that opportunity if I ever get that chance. In southern Italy a semolina style pasta dough is more common than the northern style with eggs. You can choose whatever dough you are more comfortable with but the one I gave is the semolina style dough.


Pasta see recipe

Culurgiones

1 russet potato boiled and mashed

2 oz mozzarella

2-3 oz each Parmesan and manchego

2 tbsp of chopped tarragon and chives

3-4 tbsp of butter

3 tbsp of creme fraiche

Salt and pepper

Tomato butter see recipe

Pesto sauce see recipe


For the Filling

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and allow to cool to room temperature.

For the pasta

In a bowl with both flours mixed well. Make a hole or well in the center of the flour. Add the water and mix with your hands until you make a dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and then wrap and allow it to rest. Then using a bench scrapper or knife cut the dough in half. Then take your dough and pass it through the pasta machine and work it down to the 2nd to last setting. Repeat the same process. Then use a 3 1/2-inch ring mold to cut out circles. Then take your filling and place in the center of the round disk. You want to over stuff the round. Then fold the pasta into a “taco” shape around the filling. Fold in the bottom of the taco and pinch the edges together. As you are folding the seam you should be pushing the filling out the the round. Continue this step until the pasta is sealed tightly. It should look like a zipper. Continue until you all have no more filling

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Tomato sauce

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


For the Pesto,

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


To Finish,

Place a pot of salt water on the stove and bring to a boil. Place the culurgiones in the water and boil for 2-3 minutes. Strain out and place in two different pans. Place some of the pesto in one pan and place the tomato butter in the other pan. Season with salt and pepper and place in a bowl. Shave a few pieces of parmesan on top. Serve and enjoy!

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Indian duck tacos

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Indian duck tacos

Indian duck tacos, never heard of such a thing? Duck is not such a obscure ingredient in Indian cuisine, I remember having a few fantastic duck dishes in London. Well I can tell you this was a huge hit. Jp loves indian flavors and loves Mexican as well. So why not marry the two together is what I thought. Again this something that I recently made again and it really is great. If you like sauces with flatbread you will love this recipe.

Duck leg Marinade

4 duck legs

5 garlic cloves

1 tbsp ginger

5 Kashmir Chili with seeds

2 tbsp of Graham Marsala

2 tbsp of ras al hangout

1/3 cup yogurt

1/3 cup oil

Flat bread

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon fine salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tbsp cilantro chopped

2 tablespoons minced jalapeño with seeds

1 teaspoon ras al hangout

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seed

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Ghee, butter and olive oil

Mint and Cilantro see recipe

Yogurt Sauce

1 cup of greek yogurt

1 small cucumber small diced

3 tbsp of fresh chopped mint

1 lime juiced 

Salt to taste

Micro cilantro and roasted onions to garnish

For the Duck,

Place the duck leg in a plastic bag or bowl. Place the rest of the ingredients in a blender and puree. Pour the marinade over the duck legs and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours. Then preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Place the duck legs and marinade on sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Season the legs with salt and place them in the oven. Roast duck legs after marinate for about an hour at 350 degrees oven, take out and let it rest.

For the yogurt

Place all the ingredients in a bowl, mix well and season with salt and pepper. Keep cold until ready to use.

For the flatbread (tortillas)

Place all the dry ingredients and spices together. Then add all the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix until the it comes into a dough. Allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes. Then divide the dough into 1 oz balls. Cover the dough and allow the balls to rest for another 20 minutes. Then take a rolling pin and roll the dough thin to 1/8 thick. In a pan on medium high heat add 1/2 tsp of oil or ghee to the pan. Add one tortilla to the pan. Cook for 20-30 seconds on side and then flip. Take out and place in foil. Continue until all the tortillas are made.

To Finish,

Take the duck legs and cut all the meat off the bones. Heat up again if necessary. Take a tortilla and place some yogurt on the bottom of the tortilla. Add the meat and top with the mint and cilantro sauce. Finish with onions and micro cilantro. Serve and enjoy!

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Beef Brisket Pastrami

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Beef Brisket Pastrami

Pastrami is probably one of my favorite meat preparations I could never grow tired of eating. Whenever we go to any deli anywhere whether in NYC, Austin, or L.A. that is always my go to sandwich I end up ordering. I love pastrami! The best gourmet pastrami I have ever had is hands down Eleven Madison Park. This is basically their recipe from the second edition of the EMP cookbook. When I went and had dinner there this pastrami was melt in your mouth delicious. They said that they researched all of the great pastrami’s in NYC and worked on their recipes based on those they researched. I thought when I ate it that it was sous vide because it was so tender. They didn’t sous vide it but they do use the combi oven to reheat for each portion which allows the meat to be extremely moist. Again this is their recipe pretty much I did leave out the honey in the brine because I didn’t use that in mine. I also smoked mine in the green egg and then held in my oven until I was ready to serve. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy!

2 Beef Briskets trimmed of excess fat

Brine

8 g of black peppercorns

11 g of yellow mustard

5 g of coriander

9 kg of water

600 g of salt

550 g of sugar

120 g of pink curing salt

180 g of dark brown sugar

15 cloves

5 g of red pepper flakes

5 g of whole allspice

2 cinnamon sticks crushed

3 g of bay leaves

5 g of whole cloves

3 g of ground ginger

Pastrami spice mix

2 small brisket

41 g of coriander seeds

62 g of black peppercorn

29 g of fennel seeds

42 g of mustard seeds

13 g of smoked paprika

Place all the ingredients for the brine except for half the amount of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. The allow to cool completely ( you cold add ice to the brine to cool it down fast). Once cold, pour the brine into a container that can hold 2 briskets with the brine. Add the briskets and the rest of the water so that the briskets are completely submerged. You can add a weight to the brine or cover the whole container with parchment paper to keep it submerged. Place the brined briskets into a refrigerator. Allow the briskets to brine in the refrigerator for 5 days. Then take out and since of all the spices and herbs. Take your spices and grind in a coffee grinder until coarse (not dust or powder). Season your briskets heavily with the spice mixture.

Bring your big green egg up to 250 degrees. Smoke your brisket for roughly 12 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees. At this point it is a great idea to wrap your briskets in parchment paper and foil and hold them in your oven at 150 degrees until you are ready to eat the pastrami. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

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Chestnut and White Truffle Pasta

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Chestnut and White Truffle Pasta

Here is a seasonal winter pasta recipe using chestnuts and white truffles. Chestnuts are rich and flavorful with the earthiness of white truffle gives this pasta an over the top flavor. I love stuffed pastas and I thought a little cheese with the chestnuts would round out the dish. Nothing to difficult just a few expensive ingredients. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Chestnut and cheese filling

10 oz of boiled chestnuts

8 oz of ricotta cheese

2 oz of petite basque

salt and pepper

Pasta dough see recipe

Celery root puree see recipe

1 1/2 sticks of butter

6 oz of pasta water

1 tsp white truffle oil (optional)

1 white truffle shaved

For the Filling,

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and place in a plastic pastry bag and keep cool.

For the Pasta

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

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

To Finish,

Place your chestnut agnolotti pasta in salted boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes until they float to the top.  Strain off and place in the saute pan with a little bit of pasta water, add the butter to emulsify into the water and pasta. Season with salt.  Place a spoonful of celery root puree in the bottom of the bowl. Then place 3-4 pieces of the agnolloti on top. Spoon a little of the butter sauce on top. Grate fresh parmesan on top, add chives, and fresh shave white truffles (add a little truffle oil if your truffles are lacking in a flavor). Serve and enjoy!

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Challah Bread

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Challah Bread

A classic Jewish style bread that is normally braided and consumed a the beginning of the Sabbath. This bread is rich with eggs, milk, and similar to brioche with the exception that it isn’t loaded with butter. Challah is fantastic for sandwiches, french toast, bread pudding, and simply sliced with a little butter and salt. This dough is really not difficult but, like most baking, takes a bit of patience but can be done in one day. Here is the recipe, I hope you try it and enjoy it!


Challah Bread 2 loaves

1 3/4 cup milk

1 1/2 tbsp of yeast ( a little more than 2 packages)

1 tbsp of sugar plus 1/3 scant cup

1/2 cup of oil

4 eggs plus 1 more for brushing

6 cups of bread flour

1 cup of all purpose if needed

1 tbsp of salt


For the Dough, Preheat oven to 350

In a mixing bowl add warm milk, yeast, and 1 tbsp of sugar. Whisk together well and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Then add oil, eggs into the bowl. Add 6 cups of bread flour and salt and turn the mixer on low speed. Mix until the the dough starts to come together. If need be add the 1 cup of the all purpose flour. Once the dough comes together. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead for 5-7 minutes. Coat the mixing bowl with oil and place the dough back in the bowl. Cover with a towel and allow the dough to double in size. Then take the dough out of the bowl. Divide the dough in half. Then divide each half into 3 equals parts. Take the 3 equal pieces of dough and roll them out to about a 1 - 1 1/2 ft long. Then take the 3 ropes and braid them interweaving them. Place the braided dough onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Cover the loaf with a towel and allow the loaf to proof for another hour. Take the last egg and beat well, brush the loaf with egg wash and cover with poppy seeds and place in the oven and bake 30-35 minutes until the internal temperature hits 190 degrees. Take out and let it cool on a rack until completely cooled.

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Snapper Crudo with Red Pepper jam and Caviar

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Snapper Crudo with Red Pepper jam and Caviar

This snapper crudo JP said was one of the best crudo’s he has ever had. He loved it so much I served it to him two nights in a row. That is saying a lot and this recipe is a true testement to keeping things simple and clean. I made a spicy pepper jam that gave the dish a little heat and sweet. Really straight forward recipe with caviar being the icing on the cake. Here it is I hope you enjoy it!

Snapper Crudo

10 oz of snapper sliced thin

Dressing

2 tbsp of sesame oil

4 tbsp of white balsamic

4 tbsp of soy sauce

1 radish sliced thin

1 oz of caviar

micro cilantro

red sorrel, nasturtium


Red pepper jam

10 red shisito

10 red chilis

2 red peppers

3 red fresno chili’s

3/4 cup of water

1/2 cup of sugar

1 tsp of salt


For the pepper jam,

Place all the peppers including the seeds if you want it really hot into a food processor. Puree for 15-20 seconds. You want to puree until the peppers are a small diced size, don’t puree to mush. Add the peppers to a pot with water and sugar. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes and then cool to room temperature.

To Finish

Place all three ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and mix well. Slice snapper on an angle and place on the plate. Season the fish lightly with salt. Dress the snapper with the white balsamic dressing. Add red pepper jam to the plate. Finish the plate with radish, caviar and fresh herbs. Serve and enjoy!

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The Best Apple Pie

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The Best Apple Pie

It doesn’t get any more american than apple pie. I’m finally getting around to posting my recipe on apple pie that I always use during the holiday season. What separates this from other apple pies is using the yellow delicious apples or yellow opal. To me they have a sweetness and flavor that is perfect for apple pie. I used the left over pie crust to do a lattice design on the top. Feel free to top with a whole layer of tart dough or use a streusel topping. I’ve used both and either way you can’t go wrong. Here is the recipe for this straight forward apple pie recipe, but one that will definitely be in your recipe file.

Apple pie

6-8 big Yellow delicious apple or opal peeled and sliced.

1 1/4 cup brown sugar

Pinch of salt

4 tbsp of flour

2 tsp of vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

Pinch of allspice, nutmeg

1/2 stick of butter cut into tiny cubes

Sprinkle turbinado sugar on top.


Pie crust (recipe here)


Directions:

For the Tart dough

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

For the apple pie

Slice apples place in a bowl thin sprinkle with brown sugar. Add vanilla, flour, and mix well with a wooden spoon. Fill pre baked pie shell really full. Add the pie crust lattice by alternating the strips of the pie crust on top. Add cubes of butter in-between each open square. Sprinkle with sugar and bake at 375 for about 45 minutes or until apples are tender. Take out and allow to cool completely

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Roasted Carinival Squash with Persimmon, Lime, and Ssamjang

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Roasted Carinival Squash with Persimmon, Lime, and Ssamjang

Squash and persimmons are two ingredients that are plentiful and perfect during the late fall to early winter months. The persimmons on the west coast during these months are truly amazing. The natural sweetness is really enough to eat on its own, you really don’t need to do much. This is a pretty straight forward recipe but one that everyone just loved. You have the sweetness from both the squash and persimmons, you have some spice from the saamjang paste, some acid from the white balsamic and lime, and a little texture and nuttiness from the chestnuts. This is a great vegan recipe and one that could easily be a starter for any dinner party. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 carnival Squash deseeded, cut into 8 equal pieces

2 tbsp saamjang
2 tbsp Basil chiffonade
1 Fuyu Persimmon shaved
1 tbsp White balsamic
1 roasted Grated chestnut
2 tbsp Ssamjang
1 lime zested
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees,

Place carnival squash on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Drizzle each piece of squash with olive oil and salt. Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the squash is tender but not mushy. Take out and allow to cool to room temperature.

To Finish,

Take the cooled squash and spread a little saamjang paste on the top of each one. Place back in the oven to heat up for 5-7 minutes just to get hot. Then take out and cover each wedge of squash with 4-5 slices of persimmon. Place each one on a plate. Then drizzle each one with a place of white balsamic, lime zest, and shaved chestnuts. Serve and enjoy this easily recipe!!!

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Cauliflower Rice, Almond, Curry

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Cauliflower Rice, Almond, Curry

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

Cauliflower

1 lb of riced or diced cauliflower

1 1/2 tbsp of curry powder

2 tbsp of olive oil and butter


“Indian Romesco Sauce”

2 roasted yellow peppers

1 Serrano

1/4 cup marcona almonds

1 garlic clove

1 tbsp of graham Marsala

1/3 cup of olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


1 head of purple cauliflower

2 tbsp of olive oil

1 tbsp of ras al hanout

Salt to taste

1/2 cup of roasted sliced almonds

Cilantro


For the Romesco,

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

For the Cauliflower, Preheat oven 400

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

To Finish,

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


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Pecan Pie (Tart)

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Pecan Pie (Tart)

The Best pecan pie recipe!

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

Tart dough

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

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

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Flour, for rolling the dough

Filling:

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/8 cup packed light brown sugar

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

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

3 cups chopped toasted pecans

1 to 2 tablespoons bourbon

1 vanilla bean scraped or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tsp of orange zest (optional)

For the Pie Crust

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

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

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

For the Filling

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

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

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Black Cod, Red wine, Onion and Tomato

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Black Cod, Red wine, Onion and Tomato

How to make an easy and delicious fish recipe

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

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

1 cup of cherry heirloom tomatoes

8 cipollini onions

2 tbsp of olive oil

1 sprig of rosemary and thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

Bordelaise Sauce

4 beef bones with marrow separated

4 carrots chopped

1 onion chopped

2 leeks chopped

4 celery sticks chopped

1 cup of mushrooms

1 whole garlic bulb

2 bay leaves

3 sprigs of thyme

1 small can of tomato paste

8 cups of water

3 cups of good red wine

2 tbsp of olive oil

salt and black pepper

Red Sorrel to garnish

For the Bordelaise sauce

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

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

For the Onions

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

For the tomatoes 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

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

To Finish,

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

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Gnoccetti Sardi with Pesto

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Gnoccetti Sardi with Pesto

How To Make Home Made Pasta Gnoccetti-Rocchetti

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

Semolina Pasta

2 cups semolina

1 cup 00 flour

1-1/4 cup warm water

salt optional


Pesto

4 oz basil

2 garlic cloves

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

1 oz of parmesan cheese

1 -1/4 cup of olive oil

salt to taste


For the Pasta,

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

For the Pesto,

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

To Finish,

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

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Ricotta Cheesecake with Passion Fruit and Feuilletine

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Ricotta Cheesecake with Passion Fruit and Feuilletine

Cheesecake is really an easy dessert


Ricotta cheesecake

1 lb Ricotta fresh

8oz cream cheese

1 cup 3 tbsp sugar

2 oz of creme friache

1 tsp vanilla paste

1 tsp of almond extract

3 eggs

3 yolk


Hazelnut shortbread

2 cups flour

1 cup of Hazelnut

2 sticks of butter

1 tsp of salt


Passion Fruit Curd

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

1/2 cup of sugar

3 eggs

1 stick of butter


Feuilletine recipe

For the cheesecake,

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

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

For the Shortbread,

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

For the Passion fruit curd,

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

To finish,

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

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

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

“Twist on Thai”

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

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

Red Curry Sauce

1 finger of ginger sliced

1 lemongrass stalk sliced

1/2 onion sliced

4 garlic cloves

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

2 red peppers chopped

2 cans of coconut milk

4 oz of red curry paste

2 1/2 oz of palm sugar or granulated sugar

1 tsp of fish sauce (optional)

2 tsp of sesame oil

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

4 white sweet potatoes roasted

1 cup of wild rice fried (see recipe)

Pickled Myoga Ginger

6 myoga ginger cut in quarters

1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar

1/3 cup of sugar

Black Garlic Mayo

2 bulbs of black garlic peeled

1 cup mayo

salt

micro cilantro

For the Red Curry,

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

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

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

For the black garlic mayo,

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

For the pickled myoga,

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

To Finish,

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

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Jicama Rose with Black Garlic and Avocado

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Jicama Rose with Black Garlic and Avocado

Healthy Snack

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

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

1 Jicama peeled and sliced 1/16-thick

1-2 avocados

4 red radishes sliced thin

4 oz ssamjang paste

1 cup of fresh mint leaves

1 oz of micro cilantro

Black Garlic Mayo

3 black garlic bulbs peeled

1 cup of mayo or veganaise

salt to taste

For Jicama,

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

For the black garlic mayo,

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

To Serve,

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

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Pici cacio e pepi

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Pici cacio e pepi

“Cheese and Pepper”

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

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

Semolina Pasta

2 cups semolina

1 cup 00 flour

1-1/4 cup warm water

salt optional


3/4 cup pasta water

4 oz of shredded parmesan cheese

1-1/2 sticks of butter

12 oz of pici pasta cooked

1-2 tsp of fresh cracked pepper

salt to taste


For the Pasta,

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


To Finish,

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

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Pine nut Custard with Matsutake and Wasabi

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Pine nut Custard with Matsutake and Wasabi

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

Pine nut custard

1 1/2 cup cream hot

2 eggs plus 2 yolks

3/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Salt to taste

Smoked bone broth

5 smoked beef rib bones

4 oz mixed mushrooms dried

1 leek

1 garlic bulb

10-12 cups of water

Salt to taste

6 matsutaki mushrooms quartered

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp olive oil

2 matsutaki mushrooms sliced raw

1 wasabi fresh grated

Opal basil and cilantro

For the Smoked beef broth,

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

For the Pine nut custard, Preheat oven to 300 degrees

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

To Finish,

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

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Strawberry and Rhubarb Tart

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Strawberry and Rhubarb Tart

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

Rhubarb Strawberry tart 

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

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

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

For the Tart dough

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

 For the pie filling,

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

For the sorbet,

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

To Finish,

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

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"Lobster and Potatoes"

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"Lobster and Potatoes"

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

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

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

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

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

For the Duck jus,

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

Mushroom Conserva,

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

For the leek sauce,

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

To Finish the dish,

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

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Salmon and Foie Terrine with Lemongrass and Canary Melon

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Salmon and Foie Terrine with Lemongrass and Canary Melon

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

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

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

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

Shiso leaves
Cilantro flowers
Chives
Cilantro oil

For the Salmon,

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

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

For the melon broth,

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

To Finish,

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

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