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Veal Bacon

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Veal Bacon

Well this is a first for me, baby bacon.  I have never had veal bacon or heard of it, but I will say it turned out really delicious.  So a little while ago I bought 3 veal breast that got mixed up with 3 veal shoulders, you can read all about it with one of my older posts.  But I am down to my last veal breast which is fairly large.  I wanted to make bacon out of half of it.  The other half I made Veal pastrami which I will post shortly.  Both take a similar path to begin with which involves curing the meat.  It is a really easy process but just takes days to get to your final product.  To make this veal bacon, start to finish, will take you about a week or so.   So if you are in hurry, lets begin.

1 whole veal breast trimmed slightly of the excess fat

1 cup of salt

1/2 cup of sugar

2 tsp of pink curing salt

1 tbsp of mustard seeds

1 tbsp of coriander seeds

1 tbsp of juniper berries

4 garlic cloves

1 shallot

1 bay leaf

Water to cover completely 

To make the cure,

In a pot add salt, sugar, coriander, mustard, garlic, juniper, shallot, bay leaf, and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until all the salt and sugar has been dissolved, roughly 3-5 minutes.  Then turn off the heat and let it either cool to room temperature or add 2 cups of ice to speed up the process. Once the water is close to room temperature you can add your pink salt to the water.  Then place your veal breast in a container that is large enough to hold the veal breast and be completely cover with the water or brine mixture.  Pour the brine over the veal and let it cure for 3 days.  You can flip the veal over once a day to insure even curing.  You can cure it up to 5 days if you want but the veal breast is fairly thin so I did mine for 3 days.  Then take the veal breast out of the cure and wash off completely in cold water (Here is where I cut mine in half and left half for my pastrami).  Place the veal breast on a rack (think cookie or cake rack).  Take a sheet pan and place a piece of parchment paper down on top of the sheet pan.  Then place the rack on top of the sheet pan.  The parchment paper will catch any excess water that drips down from the veal breast.  Place the uncovered rack in the refrigerator for at least 48 hours to dry the meat out. The rack also insures that the bottom of the meat will dry out as well.  

Smoking the Veal Bacon

After the 48 hours are over, pull the meat out of the refrigerator.  Then either in a stove top smoker or outside smoker.  I used a stove top smoker with a combination of hickory, mesquite, and apple wood chips.  Smoke your veal breast (bacon) until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees.  Then cool completely.  The next day you are ready to slice thin and fry up your veal bacon (baby bacon).

 


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Black Truffle Duck

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Black Truffle Duck

Duck and black truffles are some of Jp's favorite things.  So when I come across black truffles at the market I have to get some.  This dish was inspired a little from a recent dinner at Eleven madison park where I had celery root puree with black truffle sauce that was really a perfect dish.  I didn't use celery root but I did make a black truffle sauce along with a potato puree.  I didn't sous vide or do too much other than marinate the duck a little.  Jp likes his duck a little more medium than medium rare so the picture reflects that temperature.  This was really a big hit and I was happy the way it all turned out. 

2 duck breast cleaned and scored 

1 tbsp black truffle oil

1 tbsp olive oil

1 garlic clove sliced

1 rosemary sprig 


Black truffle sauce

1/2 onion sliced

1 portobello sliced

2 garlic cloves sliced

1 leek sliced

1 cup of stems from oyster, shitake, beech

1 cup of shitake mushrooms sliced

1 can of black truffle juice

4 cups of chicken stock

1 sprig of thyme

2 tbsp of cornstarch

2 tbsp of water

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp of chopped black truffles


Potato Puree

2 lb of potato peeled and large chopped

1/2 cup of milk

1 1/4 stick butter

salt and pepper to taste


1/4 cup of blanched fava beans

2 leeks sliced 1/2 inch rounds washed

4 oz of white and brown beech mushrooms stems removed for sauce

2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil

Black truffle to garnish


For the potato puree,

Simply add chopped potatoes into a pot and fill with water.  Add a few tsp of salt and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until tender.  Strain off the water and pass the potatoes through a food mill.  Then add potatoes back to the pot and add milk, butter, salt, and pepper.  Stir until well mixed and seasoned well.  Cover and keep warm.

For the truffle sauce,

Take onions, leeks, mushrooms, stems and scraps of mushrooms, garlic, chicken stock, truffle juice, thyme and place in a pot.  Bring to a boil and then simmer very lightly until the stock has reduce by half.  Then make a slurry by mixing water and corn starch together.  Bring the stock back to a boil and stir in the corn starch slurry.  Turn down again and simmer for 10 minutes.  Then strain out the sauce through a fine strainer, set aside, and keep warm.  

For the duck,

Season with the duck breast with salt and pepper.  In a screaming hot, cast iron skillet, add the duck breast skin side down.  After 1 minute turn the heat down to medium low.  Cook the duck breast for about 15 to 20 minutes on low so the skin slowly renders down.  You can pour out of some of the fat if there is too much in the pan.  Once all the skin has rendered down to a "bacon" state, flip the duck breast over for 20 seconds and then place on a cutting board to rest  for at least 5 minutes.

To Finish,

In a hot saute pan add butter, olive oil, and sliced leeks.  Cook for one minute and then add your mushrooms.  Try to keep the leeks intact for now.   Cook for 5 minutes flipping the leeks over half way through.  Add the fava beans and cook for another minute.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place two spoonfuls of mashed potato on the plate.  Then add the diced truffles to the sauce.  Place the leeks, mushrooms, and fava beans around the puree.  Take the duck and slice in half lengthwise, place it next to the puree.  Spoon in the sauce and top the dish off with a little fresh sliced black truffle.  Serve and enjoy!




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"Coffee and Toast"

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"Coffee and Toast"

Here's a fun dish I was playing around with today.  I was giving some cold brew coffee from a friend of mind who is working with Kohana coffee company.  I was asked to make a recipe with cold brew kohana coffee.  Most people drink their coffee in the morning or for mid day break with a piece of pastry.  I personally am not a huge fan of coffee.  The times I drink it, which is very rarely, I have to add lots of sugar and cream to make it sweet enough to drink.  There was a time when I lived in San Francisco that I was drinking mocha's on a somewhat regular basis.  During my stint there I probably drank more coffee then any other time in my life.  Trying to think of dish that would be something a little unique I thought of the coffee beans themselves for inspiration and also what people have with their coffee.  A lot of people in the morning just like a simple croissant or piece of toast with a little jam.  I took that idea and ran with it.  This is what I came up, foie gras-hazelnut coffee "bean" with pain perdu and coffee jalapeno gel.  I had all of the ingredients on hand which made the dish come together fairly easily.  

Foie Gras Torchon

1 A Foie Gras (roughly 2lb) cleaned

1 tsp of pink salt

1 tbsp of salt

1 tbsp of sugar

2 tbsp of sauternes 

 

Coffee Glaze

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup cold brew kohana coffee

1/4 cup sugar

 

Coffee Jalapeno Gel

1/2 cup cold brew kohana coffee

1/2 cup of water

1 jalapeno cut in half

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp of agar

Pinch of salt

Candied Hazelnuts

1 lb of peeled hazelnuts

1/2 cup of powdered sugar

2 tsp of water

1 tsp of salt

pinch of cayene pepper

 

Pain Perdu (french toast)

3 slices of challah bread cut into sticks 

1 egg

1 cup of milk

1 tsp of vanilla

1 tsp of cinnamon 

 

Chocolate Glaze

8 oz of dark 63% chocolate

1 tbsp of vegetable oil

 

1/2 cup of milk for foam

1/4 cup of sliced strawberries

 

For the Foie Gras Torchon,

This you will need a few days in advanced to make.  You can see my post on 24hr torchon if you want to try and do it faster but this is the more traditional recipe.  Clean the foie gras of any blood veins and extra fat using tweezers or a knife.  Then season the foie gras with sauternes, salt, pink salt, and sugar. You want to season the foie gras aggressively so might need a little more salt or sugar.  You want to coat everything well.  The take two pieces of plastic wrap about 2 feet long and overlap them.   Place the foie gras in the bottom third of the plastic wrap in a log or sausage like form.  Then roll up the foie gras in the plastic wrap like a sausage using a pin or toothpick to prick holes in the plastic wrap to help reduce air gaps in the foie torchon.  Tie off both ends of the log with twine and place in a cryovac bag.  Seal air tight and let the foie marinate overnight.  The next day bring your sous vide machine and water bath to 140 degrees. If you don't have one just use a pot of water and try to keep at a 140 degrees.  Take the foie out of the refrigerator and place the cryovac bag in the water bath.  You might need to place something on top to weigh it down if it floats to the top of the water.  Poach for 10 minutes and then place in a ice bath for 3 minutes.  If you don't want a torchon or round shape you can at this point take the foie gras out of the bag and push it through a tamis or fine mesh sieve.  If the torchon separates you can place it into a food processor and puree until it emulsifies back together.  Then you can place in a terrine or loaf pan or on flat sheet pan lines with plastic or acetate and weigh it down over night.   If you don't mind the torchon or round (sausage) form then keep the foie gras in the ice bath for another 3 to 4 minutes.  Then take the foie out of the cryovac bag but keeping it in the plastic and wrap the same way with cheese clothe.  Tie both ends of the foie wrapped in the cheese cloth.  Then take one end of the tied cheese cloth and tie it to a rack or shelf in your refrigerator so that it can hang like sausage.  It should be hanging freely so that gravity can weigh the torchon to a tight sausage.  If it is resting on something it won't set properly.  Let it hang overnight.  The next day it will be ready for the next step. So you need roughly 3 days to make the torchon.  

For the coffee glaze

Take water,sugar, cold pressed coffee and place in a pot.  Bring to boil and simmer for 6 minutes.  Pour into a small bowl and cool to room temperature.  

For the candied hazelnuts

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees                                                                                                        Place powdered sugar and water in a mixing bowl, mix well using a whisk.  Then add the hazelnuts to the bowl and coat well.  Season with salt  (Feel free to add spice here curry, paprika etc..) Place in the oven and bake for 15-17 minutes stirring the nuts every 5 minutes with a rubber spatula.  Take out when golden brown.  Once cooled completely chop the hazelnuts finely and place in a bowl.

For the coffee jalapeno gel

Place coffee, water, jalapeno, and sugar in a small pot.  Stir in the agar and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes stirring periodically.   Then pour into a shallow baking dish through a fine mesh strainer.  Place int the refrigerator until cooled and set (approx. 30 min) Then take a knife and cut up the gel, place into a blender until smooth.  Place in a squirt bottle and set aside.

Take the torchon and slice 3 slices 1/2 inch thick.  Cryovac the rest of the torchon for another use later (freeze if not using within a few days).  Working quickly, using a micro melon baller, make tiny balls of the foie gras torchon and place on plate.  Place the plate back in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to keep the foie from melting.   Then gather your coffee glaze and chopped hazelnuts.  Using a small fork dip a few foie balls into the coffee glaze and then immediately into the chopped hazelnuts until the foie balls are coated well.  Place on another plate and place back in the refrigerator.  Repeat until all the balls are done.  Then smash the balls down a little bit so they are a little more flat resembling more of a coffee "bean".

Make the chocolate glaze by add dark chocolate and oil together in a bowl and place over a double boiler.  Melt and mix well.  Then take off the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.  Then take the hazelnut crusted foie "beans"  and dip into the chocolate using dipping tools or a fork.  Place on a wire rack with a sheet pan or parchment paper underneath.  After you have done five or so "beans" take a toothpick and make a line in the bean to make it look natural.  Repeat and place in the refrigerator.  

Make your pain perdu,

Mix eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon with a whisk. Dip the bread in the batter and place in a medium hot pan with a little butter.  Cook for 2 minutes on each side.  Repeat with the remaining bread until all are done.  Keep warm.  

To bring it all together,

Place milk in a foamer and foam until light and airy.  Place the pain perdu down on the plate.  Add 5 foie coffee "beans" to the plate.  Add dots of the coffee jalapeno gel next to the "beans".  Then finish off with slices of strawberry and top the pain perdu with the milk foam.  Serve and enjoy!

 


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Thai Green Curry

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Thai Green Curry

Here is a great thai green curry recipe that I have been making for years.  It doesn't take that much effort to make it taste good but does take a variety of ingredients.  Most curry pastes have dried shrimp in them but you can find some pastes without them if you have allergies with shell fish.  You can also opt to make your own curry paste if you want to go that route, I did not for this recipe.  Galanga root is an ingredient often used in thai cooking but something that is normally hard to find.  If you can find it, use it, but ginger is a great substitute if you can't since they are closely related.  Normally you have curry with rice but I had some rice noodles so I use that for this dish.  I also had quail which I grilled for the protein.

 

Thai Curry

1/2 onion sliced

5 garlic cloves chopped

1 lemon grass stalk chopped

1 finger of ginger sliced plus 1 finger of galanga if you can find it

1 cinnamon stick

1 tsp of whole all spice 

2 pc of star anise

3 kaffir lime leaves

1/4 cup of palm sugar or regular sugar

1/4 cup of green curry paste

2 cans of coconut milk

2 tsp of fish sauce

1 bunch of cilantro 

1 bunch of mint

1 bunch of thai basil

2 tbsp of sesame oil

 

8 quail deboned

2 tbsp of soy sauce

1 lime juiced

1/4 cup of green curry sauce

2 garlic cloves chopped

 

1 package of vermicelli rice noodles 

5 baby carrots blanched and oblique cut 

8 oz of shitake mushrooms sliced

1/2 onion sliced

2 tbsp of sesame oil

1 cup of cilantro leaves, thai basil, and mint mixed

For the Sauce

In medium sauce pot on medium heat add sesame oil, onions, garlic, ginger(galanga), lemongrass, kaffir lime, cinnamon, allspice, and star anise.  Cook for 5 on medium to low heat.  You do not want to brown the vegetables but you do want them to release all of their flavor.  Once you have sweat the vegetables then add your sugar and green curry paste.  Cook for 2 minutes and then add the 2 cans of coconut milk.  Bring to a boil and then turn off.  Finish the sauce with fish sauce and 1 tbsp of each cilantro, mint, and thai basil.  Let the herbs steep for 5 minutes.  Then strain off into a blend and add the rest of the mint, basil, and cilantro.  Blend until smooth and bright green.  Then set aside to cool to room temperature.  

To marinate the quail,

Place quail in a zip lock bag with soy sauce, 1/4 cup of the cooled green curry sauce, garlic, and lime.  Let the quail marinate for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile take a pot of boiling salted water and cook your rice vermicelli for 3-4 minutes or until tender and cooked through.  Strain off and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking.

Preheat grill,

To finish take the quail out of the refrigerator 30 minutes early to come to room temperature. Then in large saute pan high heat add the sliced shitake mushrooms.  Cook for 3 minutes until they start to brown, then add your onions.  Cook for 2 minutes and then add your carrots and noodles. Add 1 cup of the green curry sauce and cook for 3 minutes until all is incorporated and hot.  Then take the quail out to the grill and season lightly with salt.  Grill the quail for 2-3 minutes on high heat on each side.  Take off  the quail and let it rest for 5 minutes.  Finish the noodles with the cup of mixed herbs and a pinch of salt if needed.  Place a spoonful down in the bowl.  Cut a portion of the quail leg and breast.  Finish with a spoonful of sauce and serve

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Lamb Korma Tacos

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Lamb Korma Tacos

This recipe is all about getting rid of the left overs.  I made some lamb shanks the other day in a korma sauce and had some left overs.  I wanted to find another way to repackage the left overs because normally the family doesn't like leftovers. I thought of making a type of roti or indian bread with garbanzo bean flour (Urad Flour).  I made a cross between crepe and tortilla with classic indian flavors.  I topped the taco off with spring onions, peanuts and chopped cilantro.  That was really the extent of what this dish is all about. A simple, easy recipe that could easily substituted with any other left over indian dish like chicken tikka masala.

 

Lamb Shank Korma

6 lamb shanks

1 onion sliced

6 garlic cloves chopped

1 jalapeno cut in half

1 tbsp of chopped ginger

1/4 cup of golden raisins

1/4 cup of almonds

1/4 cup of cashew

1/4 cup of peanuts

4 tbsp of cumin 

1 tbsp of curry

2 tbsp of garam masala

2 cardamon pods

1 tsp of fennel seeds

1 tsp of mustard seeds

1/4 tsp of cayenne

6 cups of water or lamb stock

1 cup of yogurt

1 can of coconut milk

2 tbsp of ghee

 

Garbanzo bean tortilla

2 cups of garbanzo bean flour

1 egg

2 1/2 cups of milk

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp of ground cumin

1 tsp of tandoori spice

1 tsp of tumeric

1 tsp of black pepper

1 tsp of paprika 

ghee

 

1/2 cup of spring onion bottoms sliced thin

3 tbsp of chopped cilantro 

1/4 cup of chopped peanuts

 

For the lamb shanks

Season lamb shanks with salt an pepper on all sides.  In a pressure cooker or braising pot add on medium high add ghee and shanks.  Sear on both sides for 3 minutes.  Then add all the spices and vegetables.  Cook for 2 minutes and then add the yogurt, coconut milk and water or stock.  Place the lid on the top of the pressure cooker and bring to medium high pressure and cook for 45 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally if you have the time. Or bring to a boil in your braising pot, cover, and turn down to a simmer.  Cook for 2 1/2 hours or until the lamb shank is tender.  Then strain out the liquid from the lamb shanks.  Place everything into a vitamix and puree until smooth.  Adjust the sauce with salt if needed.  Then pour the sauce back over the lamb shanks.  Keep warm.

For the Garbanzo tortilla's 

Mix the dry garbanzo bean flour with all the spices.  Mix the egg and milk together.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Mix well with a whisk.  Then in a small non stick pan on medium heat add a pinch of ghee or spray.  Add 2 oz of the batter into the pan and mover the pan around in a circular motion, like making crepes, to distribute the batter evenly in the pan.  Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side and repeat the process until all done.  Should have roughly around 20 or so tortilla's.  

To bring it all together simply take the lamb shanks and pull the meat off the bone.  Place in the middle of the garbanzo roti.  Spoon some of the left over sauce on top.  Season with a little salt. Then add your spring onions, cilantro, and chopped peanuts.  Serve with a slice of lime and enjoy!


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Short Rib Takoyaki

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Short Rib Takoyaki

Takoyaki, you say?  Never heard of it right?  Your not alone, its not something you see normally on Japanese menus here in america.  Takoyaki is a street food in japan that normally consists of a little dumpling stuffed with Octopus, traditionally speaking.  The batter is normally made with dashi and dried bonito flakes along with green onions.  I recently went to the local asian market where they sell the specially made takoyaki pans, the one I bought is cast iron but they sell a variety of different ones online including non stick electric.  These are great little appetizers that can be created in a variety of ways.  You can get very creative and stuff the dumplings with what ever you fee like.  I'm actually going to include two recipes in one because I've made some with duck legs a few weeks ago with minor differences.  Here is the recipe for braised short rib takoyaki

Short ribs

3 lbs short ribs  (6 duck legs if using duck)

1 onion

1 finger of ginger sliced

4 cloves of garlic

1 leek

1/2 cup of soy sauce

1/2 cup of orange juice

1/2 cup of gochujang paste

1/4 cup of black vinegar

1/4 cup of mirin

2 jalapenos

2 carrots

4 cups of water

2 tbsp of sesame oil

Any scraps of mushroom stems, green onions, peppers can also be added to the braise if you have them

2 tbsp of corn starch 

2 tbsp of water

 

Takoyaki batter

1 2/3 cup of dashi or beef stock (duck stock if making with duck legs)

1 1/2 cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 tsp of soy sauce

Optional is bonito flakes, green onoins, and shredded nori

 

Garnish

1//4 cup of sweet soy sauce

1/2 cup of reduced braising liquid

1/2 cup of miso mayo

1/4 cup of chopped green onions

1/2 cup of garnish  Noritamago Furikake or make your own (2 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds, 2 tbsp of bonito flakes, 2 tbsp of chopped nori, 2 tbsp of green onions chopped,  2 tbsp of hard boiled egg yolk.

 

In a pressure cooker or braising pot add sesame oil and short ribs (or duck legs).  Sear for 3 minutes on each side and then add all of the vegetables (onion, carrot, leek, garlic, ginger, etc.) and cook for 1 minute.  Then add your orange juice, mirin, and vinegar.  Reduce that by half and then add your soy sauce and gochujang paste. Add your water and place your pressure cooker top and seal according to your instructions.  Bring to high pressure and cook for 50 minutes and then release the pressure.   If you using a regular pot.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and cover.  Cook for approximately 2 1/2 hours or until tender.   Strain of the liquid from the short ribs, ladle any of the fat from the top of the liquid off and discard.  Place the liquid in a small pot and bring to a boil.  Take the corn starch slurry (water and cornstarch) and thicken the braising liquid.  Turn down to a simmer and cook for another 5 minutes.  Adjust the seasoning if needed and set aside.  

Take the meat off of the bone discarding the bones and any fat.  Season with a little salt and 4 oz of the thickened braising liquid.  Set aside.

 

For the Takoyaki batter

Take 1 2/3 cup of dashi (fish broth) or beef stock or duck stock if cooking duck legs and place in a bowl.  If using home made stock that is gelatinous then bring to a liquid state but not hot.  Then add soy sauce, pinch of salt to the stock and stir.  Mix flour and baking powder together in a bowl.  Add the dry ingredients to the stock mixture.  Stir until well incorporated.

To make the takoyaki, simply place your pan over medium heat and let it warm up for 3-5 minutes.  Then spray or brush a little oil into each one of the dumpling circles.  Ladle about 2 ounces of batter in each dumpling mold.  Then take a small spoonful of short ribs and place in the middle.  Don't worry if the batter comes outside of the dumpling mold.  Let it cook for 3-4 minutes and then using chopped sticks or skewers flip the dumplings over folding any of the excess batter underneath the dumpling.  Cook for another 2 minutes.  Then place on to a plate.

Finish the dumplings by garnish them with a drizzle of thickened braising liquid, sweet soy, miso mayo, noritamago, and green onions 

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Asian Surf and Turf

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Asian Surf and Turf

This was a request from work this week was surf and turf.  The rest was up to me to figure out how to make the surf and turf and with what proteins to use.  I choose filet because everyone loves it and its easy but expensive for sure.  The surf I choose flounder because it looked great and I haven't used it in a while.  I choose to sous vide both the meat and the fish although I think I would change the fish to just searing in a pan or even grilling next time.  I just don't think that flounder has the depth of flavor and fat content to stand up to the sous vide in my opinion 

 

Pea Sauce

1 cup of english peas

1/2  can of coconut milk

3 sprigs of mint leaves

Salt to taste

 

Black Garlic aioli

2 egg yolks

2 bulbs of black garlic

1 tbsp of whole grain mustard

1/3 cup of oil

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Tenderloin

4 5 oz steaks

3 tbsp of almond miso sauce (recipe below)

 

1 lb of flounder cut into 4 pieces

2 tbsp of butter

1 tbsp of ginger

 

Smoked rutabaga puree

2 medium sized rutabaga peeled and large diced

2 tbsp of butter

 

1 head of bok choy cut in 1 inch pieces

2 tbsp of gochujang (Korean fermented red pepper paste)

1/3 cup of water

1 tsp of butter

Salt to taste

 

Almond Butter Miso

2 tbsp almond butter

3 tbsp of blond miso

1 tbsp of sambal

1/4 cup of water

 

Salmon roe to garnish

 

For the English pea sauce,

Place a small pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil.  Place the english peas in the water to blanch for about 1 and 1/2 minutes or until the peas are tender.  Strain out and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.  Then place them in a blend with coconut milk and mint.  Puree until bright green and smooth.  Season with salt, strain the sauce and set aside.

 

For the Rutabaga puree,

Set up a stove top smoker with cherry and hickory chips.  Place the diced rutabagas in the smoker, cover and turn on the heat.  Smoke for 3 minutes and then turn off the heat.  Allow the rutabagas to stay in the smoker for the next 20-30 minutes to allow them cool to room temperature and soak up in extra smoke.  Then place the rutabagas in a pot of water with salt and boil until tender.  Strain off the rutabagas once they are cook through and place them in a food processor.  Process until smooth with a little butter and season with salt and pepper.  Keep warm and set aside.

 

For the Beef

Make the almond miso paste by adding all the ingredients together in a bowl and mixing well.  Then place the tenderloin into the cryovac bags.  Place 3 tbsp almond miso paste into the bag.  Seal the bag air tight and place in a water bath set at 137 degrees.  Cook for approximately 30 minutes.  Then take out and set aside to finish later.

 

For the Black garlic aioli,

Place egg yolks, black garlic, and mustard into a food processor.  Puree until smooth and then slowly drizzle in the oil until you get a smooth aioli.  Season with salt and if the aioli is too thick you thin it out with a little water.   Set aside

 

For the Bok choy,

Take the bok choy, gochujang paste, water, and butter and place in a small pot.  Bring to a simmer and cover with a lid.  Cook for 7 minutes or until the bok choy is tender.  Season with salt and keep warm.

 

For the Flounder,

Place the flounder in a cryovac  bag with butter and ginger.  Seal air tight and place in the same water for 9 minutes.  Then take out and season with salt.  You can sear the fish in a pan for 1 minute for a little contrast in texture which is what I did but you don't have to.  Again the fish turn out good but I think that I would cook the fish the whole way through in a pan and skip this step of sous vide with this particular flounder.  Another fish like bass, cod, or even salmon with a lot more oil holds up a little better.

 

To finish

Take the meat out of the bag and season with salt.  Place the steaks in a hot saute pan with a tbsp of oil. Sear for 1 minute on each side and then place on your cutting board.  Place a spoonful of rutabaga puree on to the plate.  Add your black garlic aioli around the puree. Then slice the beef and place on top of the rutabaga puree.  Then on the other side of the plate add your gochujang bok choy.  Place your flounder on top.  Then spoon the english pea sauce on top of the fish.  Finish the dish with a little salmon roe on top of the flounder.  Serve and enjoy!


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Duck Confit Ravioli with Broth, Spinach, and Foam

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Duck Confit Ravioli with Broth, Spinach, and Foam

If there was one dish or version of this dish, that I would call my signature dish it would be the ravioli of this recipe.  I love duck confit, and love the fact that it is so versatile.  The first time I made this dish was probably 10 years ago.  I used to make this dish with a fennel cream and fennel oil but I try not to use too much cream.  I recently did a photo shoot of my latest version which should go in my cookbook and new website I am currently working on. This is a really straight forward recipe that just takes a little love putting it together.   You can add more depth of flavor with duck broth which takes the place of the heavy cream I used in my original version.  I added a little spinach and mushrooms to dish for a little more balance of flavor.  

Duck Confit ( see recipe )

1 onion grilled and chopped

5 oz of petite basque cheese grated

1 tbsp of black truffle oil

Basic Egg Pasta (see recipe)

Duck Stock

2 whole duck carcasses roasted 

1 onion

2 carrots

1 leek

1 whole garlic bulb cut in half

1 sprig of thyme 

2 stalks of celery

1 tbsp of peppercorns

1 gal of water

Duck Foam

2 cups of duck broth

2 tbsp of butter

1 tbsp of black truffle oil

1 tsp of sucrose

1 tsp of lecithin

1 lb of baby spinach

1/2 lb of shitake mushrooms quartered

2 tbsp of butter

2 tbsp olive oil

For the duck broth

Place the roasted duck bones and the rest of the ingredients into a pressure cooker. Bring to full pressure and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Then let the pressure release naturally.  Take the lid off and strain through a fine mesh strainer.  If the broth isn't rich in flavor you can place in pot to reduce the broth to concentrate the flavor.  Keep warm and set aside for later.

For the ravioli

Take the duck confit and remove the meat off the bone discarding any of the fat and place in a bowl.  Chop the grilled onions fine and add to the bowl of duck confit.  Shred the cheese and add to the mixture.  Mix well adding the truffle oil.  Season the mixture with salt  and pepper and set aside.

Using your basic pasta dough recipe, roll out the dough using the steps talked about in that post until you get the thin layer of pasta on the third time through.  Then using square ravioli molds cut the pasta the length of the molds. Then lay one layer of pasta down in the molds.  Take your filling and fill each mold.  Using pastry brush with water, brush the pasta around the fillings.  Take a second piece of pasta the length of the molds and place it on top.  Press down using the molds.  Then take a rolling pin and roll over the pasta which should cut each individual ravioli.  Discard the excess pasta and repeat the steps until you have all the dough and filling used.  Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and lightly dusted flour.  Set aside until later

Duck foam

Add all the ingredients in a blender and blend for 20 seconds.  Adjust the seasoning if need be.  Then with a hand blender blend just the top of the broth which should create a nice foam.  Set aside until ready to plate

To finish

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Meanwhile in a saute pan on medium high heat add butter, olive oil, and mushrooms.  Saute for 5 minutes until the mushrooms are bit tender.  Add a cup of duck broth to the mushrooms along with the spinach and turn down to low.  Place the raviolis in the water for about 3 minutes or until they are tender and float.  Strain out and place into the pan with mushrooms and spinach.  Season everything with salt and pepper.  Place as many ravioli's as you want for a portion along with the mushrooms and spinach.  Spoon in broth around the bowl.  Finish with the duck foam and a drizzle of olive oil.  Serve and enjoy.

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Corned Duck Terrine with Rye, Mustard, and Radish

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Corned Duck Terrine with Rye, Mustard, and Radish

This dish was conceived simply by wanting to make corned duck ( like corned beef except with duck breast).  I tried a version of this at some local event I went to last year and thought that it was really a great idea.  This recipe is definitely a more experimental and I might do things a little differently next time, but we will see.  Corned is just basically a term for cured.  Curing proteins starts with a simple ingredient of salt.  It can either be in a brine or you can do a dry cure. You start with salt and sometimes sugar can be added along with spices and maybe some vinegar.  If you want the color to remain bright you can add a touch of pink curing salt and this keeps the color bright and vibrant but it isn't necessary for the final product, it is strictly for aesthetics.  The corned duck turned out well, the flavor was good, the texture wasn't bad but I decided to grind my duck breast into ground meat and then form a pate with  it.  I might try to keep the duck breast whole next time and cook it like corned beef brisket in a broth until it is really tender and see how that compares.  I thought about doing both this time but I only cured 4 duck breast and I didn't think it was enough to do both for the terrine.  

Once the terrine of corned duck was done I thought of making some rye bread with a mixture of rye and eikorn flour.  Flavor was great the bread was a little dense because of the eikorn flour but once it was toasted with a little butter and olive oil it really turned out well.  I finished the dish with a pickled mustard seed mayo, gherkins, and radishes.  All the flavors combined great and again JP was really happy with it, and so was I.

Here is the recipe

4 duck breast (roughly 2 lb) cleaned and trimmed

1 cup of salt

1 tsp of curing pink salt

1/4 cup of sugar

1/8 cup of champagne vinegar

1 tbsp of mustard seeds

1 tbsp of coriander seeds

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp of peppercorns

2 garlic cloves smashed but kept whole

8 cups of water

Rye Bread

2 cups of warm water

1/4 cup of brown sugar

2 tbsp of yeast

1/4 cup of molasses

3 1/2 cup of rye flour

3 tbsp of cocoa powder

1 tbsp of caraway seeds

2 tsp of salt

1/4 cup of butter melted

3 1/2- 4 cup of eikorn flour

2 tbsp of wheat gluten (optional)

2 tbsp of butter

1 tbsp of olive oil

Pickled mustard seeds

1/4 cup of yellow

1/4 cup of brown

1/2 cup of apple cider

1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp of sugar

2 tsp of salt

Pickled mustard mayo

1/2 cup of pickled mustard seed

1/4 cup of veganise or mayo

salt and pepper

1 red radish sliced paper thin

1 watermelon radish sliced paper thin

2 gherkins sliced thin

3 tbsp of chopped chives

1 tbsp of rosemary flowers

For the duck,  (2 days ahead)

Place water salt and sugar into a pot and bring to a boil to dissolve both ingredients, turn off the heat and add the all the spices except the pink salt.  Then pour into a container and cool completely.   Once cooled add the duck breast and pink salt.  Refrigerate for 2 days.  After the first 24 hours your can turn the duck breast over if the have been floating, or anchor the duck breast with a weight.  After 2 days drain and rinse the duck breast.  Now here is where you could do things differently if you wish, and I might next time I do the recipe.  Here took the duck and passed it through a meat grinder, but you could keep it whole and just cook the duck breast until it is tender and falling apart.  Then I lined a terrine mold with plastic wrap and placed the ground duck into the lined terrine mold.  Fold the plastic over the top and place the lid on top.  Place the terrine mold in a roasting pan and pour hot water half way up the side of the terrine mold.  Place in the oven for about an hour or until the middle of the terrine reads 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.   Take out and let it cool to room temperature.  Then take a weight and weigh the terrine over night.

For the pickled mustard seeds

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add mustard seeds for 30 seconds.  Then strain off under cold water.  Then take the same pot and add the vinegar , salt, and sugar.  Bring to a boil and then add the mustard seeds.  Allow to cool to room temperature and then cover and leave out over night.  Then they are ready to use.    To make the mayo simple mix it with a 1/2 cup of pickled mustard seeds and season.

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees

For the rye bread

Mix warm water with brown sugar, and yeast.  Let it activate for 10 minutes.  Then in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook add molasses, melted butter, caraway, salt, cocoa powder ( gluten optional ).  Then start adding the flours 1 cup at a time until the dough is mixed well.  You might have to add little more flower depending on how wet the dough looks.  Once combined knead for 3 minutes and the let it rise for an hour and half.  Then punch down and divide into two loaves.  Then place in two loaf pans and cover again to let it rise for another hour.  The drizzle with a little olive oil and salt and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.  Take out and let it cool completely.  When cooled slice the bread 1/4 inch thick.  In a saute pan add 2 tbsp of butter and olive oil and toast on each side to golden brown.  Season with salt and set aside.

To finish

Trim the edges of the bread and snack on it.  Then take your terrine mold and slice the corned duck.  Place a slice on top of the bread, then cut the bread to the exact size of the terrine slice.  You want roughly a two bite size portion for this hors d' oeuvres.  Then take a spoonful of the mustard-mayo and smooth over top the corned duck.  Place the sliced gherkins down the center.  Top with chopped chives and rosemary leaves.  Then add one slice of red radish and one slice of watermelon radish.  Serve and enjoy!

By the way this corned duck does make a delicious hash with potatoes and fried egg on top for breakfast.

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Peruvian Braised Veal Breast with Aji Panca, Potato dumplings, Popped quinoa and Chicha Morada

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Peruvian Braised Veal Breast with Aji Panca, Potato dumplings, Popped quinoa and Chicha Morada

Finally getting around to using some of my veal breast that I ordered awhile back.  The breast is a great versatile cut of meat that is great for braising or slow cooking.  You can also make homemade bacon with it as well.  I was really wanting to go Peruvian for this recipe because I stopped off at the local latin market and was inspired by some of the ingredients there.  I saw some purple corn and remembered the drink I had in Peru called Chicha Morada.  Very easy to make chicha, you simply boil purple corn cobs with water, then add spices and sugar.  Great drink that can be served hot or cold.   You always think of potatoes when doing peruvian food, so I made some potato dumplings that are very similar to gnocchi but using a pate a choux dough and salsa verde. Topped the dumplings with puffed quinoa and fried hominy for crunch.  

1 whole veal breast trimmed of fat and cut in half ( roughly 4 -5 lbs)

1 jar of aji panca paste

3 tbsp of coriander seed

3 tbsp of cumin seed

2 tbsp of paprika

2 bay leaves

8 cups of water

32 oz of whole tomatoes

1 carrot chopped

1 jalapeno

1 onion

6 garlic cloves

3 tbsp red palm oil

Potato dumplings

1 large potato boiled skin removed

1/2 cup of water

1/2 stick of butter

1/2 cup of flour

2 eggs 

1 tsp of salt

2 tbsp. of butter

Salsa Verde (huacatay)

1 bunch of cilantro

1 bunch of epazote (huacatay if you have it)

2 jalapenos

2 garlic cloves

1 oz of parmesan 

1/2 lime juiced

1 cup of olive oil

salt to taste

1/4 cup of red quinoa rinsed and dried

1 tbsp. of olive oil (optional)

salt to taste

1 cup of hominy 

2 cups of oil

Chicha Morada 

3 dried purple corn cobbs

3 liters of water

1 star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

3 cloves

1 lemon juiced

2 peels of pineapple ( if you have them)

1 cup of sugar

For the Chicha Morada (drink- no picture shown)

Take purple corn cobs,3 liters of water, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, lemon juice and pineapple peal and place in a pot.  Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour and a half.  Then add the sugar and cook for another 10 minutes.  Strain out the chicha and serve hot, cold, or room temp.

For the Lamb breast,

Toast cumin and coriander together and then grind in a spice grinder.  Add red palm oil to a pressure cook on medium heat. Season breast with salt and fresh ground spices including the paprika.  Sear each breast for 1 minute on each side and then add all of your ingredients.  Secure the lid on the pressure cooker and bring to high pressure.  Cook for 1 hour and then release the steam.  Carefully remove the breast with out it falling apart and place on a sheet tray to cool.  Then place the rest of the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.  Set aside until ready to use. 

For the salsa verde

Place all of the ingredients into a food processor except the olive oil.  Puree until smooth and then while the food processor is still running drizzle in olive oil in a steady smooth stream.  Season with salt and set aside.

Bring 2 cups of oil up to 350 degrees

For the fried hominy,

Simply drain, wash, and dry hominy.  Then add a handful of hominy to the pot and cover so the oil doesn't splatter and burn you.  Leave just a little opening on top so the pot isn't covered 100% which allows the heat to escape and not steam your hominy.  Cook for 2 minutes until crunchy and golden brown.  Drain onto a paper towel and season with salt.  Set aside

For the popped Quinoa,

Take a non stick pan and turn the heat to medium high.  Once the pan is hot you can add the oil if you wish if not just add a few quinoa grains to the pan they should pop with in a few seconds.  If they do then discard and you are ready to add the rest of the grain to the pan.  You can use a partial lid if you wish but it is not necessary.  Be careful not to burn the quinoa.  Cook for a few seconds until most of the quinoa has popped and then pour out onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan. Season with salt and set aside.   

For the potato dumplings

Take water, butter, and place in a pot over medium high heat.  Once the butter has melted, turn down to low and add in your flour with a wood spoon.  Stir for two minutes and then place into a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Then take your boiled potato and push through a ricer or food mill and add it to the dough.  Turn the mixer on low and mix well.  Add 2 tsp of salt and then add one egg at a time until it completely get incorporated.  Then add the second egg.  Once fully incorporated, transfer the dough to a pastry bag.   

Get a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Once the water has come to a boil, take a pairing knife in your left hand and your pastry bag filled with the dumpling dough in your right hand and squeeze in a steady, firm, consistent flow.  Using your left hand with the knife to cut 1/2 inch pieces over the boiling water.  The pieces should drop into the water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.  Continue until all the dough is finished.  Then strain out the dumpling into a pan with 2 tbsp. of butter, reserving 1 cup of the boiling water (you may not use it all).  Add 1/3 cup of the boiling water to the dumplings and butter, along with 1/4 cup of the salsa verde.   Toss everything together on low heat and season with salt and pepper.  Keep warm and set aside.

To finish

Cut 3oz portions of the veal belly into blocks.  Then in non stick pan on medium high heat sear the veal breast to get a nice crust on the fat side.  Turn over and cook until warm all the way through.  Then add a couple spoonful's of potato dumplings on to the plate.  Add a spoonful of the Aji Panca sauce onto the plate next to it.  Place the veal breast on top of the sauce and finish with fluer de sel.  I served this with a side of guacamole that had a little of the salsa verde  in it ( not shown) and a glass of the chicha morada. ( not shown)

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Pheasant sous vide and confit with salsify fried, puree, and braised.

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Pheasant sous vide and confit with salsify fried, puree, and braised.

This is a great recipe for the winter using a few ingredients in multiple ways to achieve different flavors, textures, aromas.  Salsify is a great vegetable that is really under used in my opinion.  One that is very versatile and to me, has great flavor.  I thought pheasant would be a great bird to go with this vegetable and tried to use the legs in one application and the breast in another.  This was a dinner I did a few weeks ago that was a big hit with both JP and Eloise.  

2 whole pheasants

1 tbsp of fennel seed

4 tbsp of coriander seed

4 tbsp of olive oil

4 tbsp of butter

Leg confit

4 legs

1 carrot

1 onion

3 garlic cloves

1 sprig of thyme

1 sprig of rosemary

5 cups of duck fat

Pheasant Stock,

Back bone of, wings, and any other bones of pheasant

1 onion

1 carrot

1 celery stalk

1 bay leaf

8 cups of water

1 thyme sprig

1 bunch of Mustard greens or Swiss chard blanched and large stems removed

10 whole salsify peeled, ends cut off, and put in lemon water

Puree

4 whole salsify sliced thin

2 cup of cream

1/4 cup of olive oil

Salt and pepper

4 salsify cut into 1 inch pieces boiled until just done

1/4 cup of parmesan shredded

salt and pepper

2 salsify shaved paper thin and fried

1 1/2 cups of duck fat or vegetable oil for frying

Skin from legs fried into cracklings

Preheat oven to 275 degrees

For the Pheasants

Cut the legs away from the pheasant.  Season heavily with salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic.  Let the legs cure for at least 8 hours, preferably up to 24 hours.   Then take the legs and place in a pot, add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and bring to a hard simmer.  Then cover the pot and place in the oven.  Cook for 2 1/2- 3 hours or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.  Take the pot out of the oven and cool for 15 minutes.  Then pull the legs out of the pot and place on a plate.  Carefully remove the skin of the legs and set aside for later.  Take all the meat off the bones, making sure there isn't any cartilage or bones in the meat.  Take two big pieces of plastic wrap and overlap them flat on your surface.  Season the meat with salt and pepper if needed and place all of the meat in a row about an inch from the bottom of the plastic wrap.  Using the plastic wrap as a guide roll up the leg meat into a cylinder, tying off each end.  Place the roll into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours until it sets.  After 2 hours take your cylinder out.  Place two new plastic sheets like the above step.  Then place your blanched and dried mustard greens or chard leaves flat on your plastic wrap overlapping each leaf.  Unwrap your leg cylinder and place in the bottom part of your leaves.  Then roll up the leg meat using your plastic wrap and leaves into a cylinder.  Tie off both ends and place back into the refrigerator for at least an hour.  

For the breast of the pheasant.  

Keep the breast on the carcass.  So you should have two birds with no legs.  Cut away the wing tips, and remove most of the back bone where the legs where so the bird should be mostly on the breast bone.  Place all the bones into a pressure cooker.  Add the rest of the ingredients for the stock and seal the pressure cooker.  Bring to heavy pressure and cook for 1 hour.  Let the pressure escape naturally and then strain out.  Let it settle for a minute and then ladle out the fat on top of the broth.  Set aside and keep warm. 

Grind together coriander and fennel seeds in a spice grinder.  Drizzle each bird (breasts) with 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Season with the spice mixture and place in a cryovac bag.  Repeat with the other bird.  So you should have 2 bags with 1 bird in each minus the legs and part of the backbone.  Divide the remaining butter and oil between the 2 bags and seal air tight.  Place in a water bath at 135 and cook for 45 minutes.  Then take out and rest.

For the salsify,

Take 4 whole salsify out of the 10 and sliced 1/4 inch pieces and place in a pot with cream.  Add 2 pinches of salt and bring to a boil.  Turn down to very gentle simmer and cook for 25 minutes or until tender and cooked through.  Strain off the cream and reserve for later.  Add the salsify to a blender with just 1/4 cup of the cooking cream.  Puree until smooth, while it is blending slowly add the oil to emulsify the puree.  Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.  

Take another 4 whole salsify and cut into one inch pieces.  Simmer in salt water until just done.  Strain off and set aside.  Then take the left over cream from the above application and place in a pot you just strained out.  Bring to a boil and add the parmesan cheese.  Season with salt and pepper and then add the inch salsify to the pot.  Turn off the heat and keep warm.  Adjust the seasoning if need be.

Then take the last two salsify and with a vegetable peeler shave pieces of the salsify.  In a small pot add duck fat or oil for frying.  Add a few pieces to the oil and fry until golden brown.  Strain out on to a paper towel and season with salt.  Repeat with the remaining salsify.  

After you fry the salsify, take the skin from your leg meat and place in the duck fat until it crisp-ins.  Strain out and season with salt. 

To finish 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Take the pheasant out of the bags and place into a shallow pan.  Season the breast with salt and pepper and place in a skillet.  Place the birds into an oven and finish cooking for 10 minutes.  Take out and let it rest.  Meanwhile take your leg roulade out and take the plastic wrap off ; slice into once inch rolls.  Place the rolls in the 1 cup of stock in a shallow pan.  Place on the stove with a lid and gently heat for 5 minutes or until warm all the way through.  To Plate add a spoonful of the salsify puree on to the plate.  Add your leg roulade on top. Top that with fried salsify.  Then take parmesan salsify and place three pieces on a plate.   Add the pheasant cracklings on top of that.  Then take the breast and de-bone from the carcass.  Cut a center cut from the breast and place on the plate.  Serve with a side jus (stock) and enjoy!

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Sous Vide Venison Tenderloin with Beet Arancini Di Riso and Tarragon Sauce

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Sous Vide Venison Tenderloin with Beet Arancini Di Riso and Tarragon Sauce

Venison is something you don't come across very often unless your a hunter.   Believe it or not, I have never been hunting before.  A year or two ago I did go with a co-worker to a ranch with over a hundred deer and the herd needed to be thinned out a little.  He shot the deer and we both skinned, gutted, and butchered the deer.  I made

jerky

with some of the meat which turned out great.  Here I have the tenderloin for this recipe; JP said it was one of the best and tender venison dishes he has ever had.  Really straight forward sous vide with the tenderloin.  Then I had a few beets and decided to make risotto but didn't want to serve risotto in the normal fashion so I decided to fry the risotto.  I paired that with a tarragon sauce and finish with some maroon carrots, spinach, and mushrooms.

4 pieces of venison tenderloin (1 1/2 lb- 2 lbs) 

2 tbsp of butter

2 tbsp of olive oil

3 tbsp of pink peppercorns

3 tbsp of green peppercorns

1 1/2 tbsp of black peppercorns

Beet Arancini di Riso

2 large beets boiled and peeled

32 oz of chicken stock

2 shallots small diced

1/2 cup of white wine

1 cup of aborio rice

1 cup of grated parmesan cheese

3 oz of petite basque grated

1 tbsp of chopped fresh basil

salt and pepper to taste

3 tbsp of olive oil 

1 tbsp of butter

Breading

3 cups of panko ground

2 cups of flour

2 eggs-2 cups of milk (egg wash

Tarragon Sauce

2 anchovies

1 1/2 tbsp of whole grain mustard

2 garlic cloves

1/8 cup of sherry vinegar

3 tbsp of chopped tarragon

1 1/4 cup of mayo

salt and pepper to taste

2 baby maroon carrots shaved and blanched

8 oz of cremini mushrooms quartered

1 lb of baby spinach 

2 cloves of garlic minced

3 tbsp of olive oil

1 tbsp of butter

2 cups of grapeseed oil for frying

For the Beet Risotto 

Take peeled and cooked beets and place in a blender with chicken stock.  Puree until smooth. Then take a small pot on medium high heat with olive oil, butter, and shallots.  Saute for one minute, then add minced garlic and aborio rice.  Toast for 1 to 2 minutes without burning.  Then deglaze with the white wine.  Cook the wine all the way down and then add the beet-stock mixture 8 oz at a time.  Season with salt.  Continue cooking the rice stirring every once in a while to make sure the rice is not sticking to the pot and burning.  Then add some more stock and continue the steps.  Cook the rice for about 20 minutes or until the rice has just a little bite to it ( think al dente).  There shouldn't be a lot of liquid at this point.  Then add the cheeses which should make the risotto nice and creamy.  Season with salt and pepper and more cheese if need be (risotto should be red in color).  Then pour onto a sheet pan to cool.  Place in the refrigerator to cool completely.  Once cooled add the chopped basil.  Take a small ice cream scoop and scoop little balls of risotto onto another baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Continue until all the risotto is done.  Then set up a basic breading station with flour, egg wash, and bread crumbs.  Season each with salt and pepper.  Then take the risotto arancini and place first in the flour, then egg wash and then bread crumbs.  Continue the process until you have all the risotto arancini done.  Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to fry. 

For the Venison Tenderloin

If the tenderloins are really small and thin then truss two together (

see Lamb recipe

).  If they are a good size then just tie with butcher twine about every 1/2 inch to have more of a cylinder shape.  Take the peppercorns and grind in spice grinder somewhat coarse.  Then take the olive oil and drizzle over the tenderloin.  Season lightly with pepper mixture.  Place into a cryovac bag, add butter, and little more olive oil.  Seal and then place in a water bath at 133 degrees for 20 minutes.  Take out and rest.

For the Tarragon sauce

In a blender add anchovies, garlic, and tarragon.  Pulse a few times then add the mustard, vinegar, and mayo.  Blend until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside

For the Vegetables,

In a medium size saute pan on medium high heat add olive oil and mushrooms.  Saute for 5 minutes and then add the garlic and spinach.  Cook for another 2 minutes and then push all the ingredients over to one side of the pan.  Add your blanched carrots to the pan and cook for 1 minute to just heat the carrots through.  Set aside and keep warm.

To finish.

Add grapeseed oil to a cast iron skillet and bring to 335 degrees.  Add a several risotto balls to the cast iron and fry on all sides for 3 minutes roughly or until golden brown.  Scoop the balls out using a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.  Season lightly with salt.  Continue the process with the remaining arancini.  Then take the venison out of the bag and season with salt and more of the peppercorn mixture on all sides.  In a saute pan on medium high heat add 2 tbsp of olive oil.  Sear the venison for 1 minute on each side just to brown and warm through.  Take out of the pan and rest the meat for a few minutes.  Cut the strings off the venison and then cut into portions.  Take three spoonfuls of tarragon sauce and place on the plate.  Place one arancini on top of each spoonful of sauce.  Then place the venison next to arancini.  Add the spinach and mushrooms, and finish with the carrots.  Serve and enjoy!

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Braised and Roasted Veal Shoulder

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Braised and Roasted Veal Shoulder

For this recipe I used two of my latest toys I have here in my Austin kitchen.  The first one is a pressure cooker. Maybe one of the most efficient pieces in a home kitchen that can really cut your time easily in half.  The second is my awesome pizza oven from my good friend Sarah Slaughter and David Eberhardt at

Texas Oven Co.

  There isn't much of a substitute for a wood oven and getting that flavor infused into whatever you are cooking.  I recently had ordered some veal breast from whole foods and they completely botched up my order by first, taking 3 weeks to receive my order and then come to find out that they had given me veal shoulder instead of veal breast.  Well, I went back to whole foods to return the shoulder and they said they cannot take meat back once it has left the store.  If I returned the meat they would have to destroy it, so they said just enjoy it.  To make things right they would give me the amount of veal breast that I already paid for with the shoulder and compensate me that way, which they did.  They also through in a few other free items that I was shopping for for the inconvenience.  So I got 3 whole veal breast, and 3 whole veal shoulders for the price of 3 veal shoulders.  So all in all, I came out with a pretty good deal.  Now I have more veal than I know what to do with, so you might be seeing some different recipes coming soon all with veal.

1 veal shoulder (clod) trimmed

1 bunch of parsley

4 sprigs of rosemary

1 bunch of thyme

6 garlic cloves

1 bunch of oregano

4 leaves of sage

1/2 cup of olive oil

Salt and pepper

2 carrots

2 stalks of celery

1 onion

6 cloves of garlic

1 bunch of leek tops

8 cups of chicken stock (veal stock or water)

scraps of any green onion, chives, fennel tops, or mushrooms

2 bay leaves

Start a fire to heat up your wood oven.

For the Veal shoulder,

Take all your herbs and garlic and place in a food processor.  Pulse until it all looks like a consistent size.  Then add your olive oil until it just becomes like a paste.  ( you might need a little less or a little more depending on how much herbs you have). Take your shoulder and lay it flat on the cutting board.  My shoulder came rolled and tied, so I untied mine and trimmed the inside of excess fat.  Then I smeared both sides of the shoulder with the herb mixture with a heavier amount of the herb mixture emphasized on the inside.  I seasoned it heavily with salt and pepper and then rolled the shoulder back up and tied it with butchers twine.  Season the outside as well with salt and pepper.  I had just a little bit of the herb mixture left over so I saved it for later.

Then place all the vegetables, herbs and stock into a pressure cooker.  Place the shoulder inside as well.  Place the lid on according to your pressure cooker and bring the pressure up to heavy pressure.  Cook for 45 minutes on high pressure and then turn off.  Allow the pressure to dissipate naturally.   Once the pressure is gone, take the shoulder out and place in a cast iron skillet.  The shoulder should be very tender.  I add the left over herb mixture on top of the shoulder and then place in my wood oven.  My oven was around 550 degrees, I just wanted to roast the outside of the veal shoulder to get some color and wood flavor.  The shoulder was already tender so it didn't need to cook much longer.  I place a few sprigs of rosemary in the bottom of the pan.  It took about 10 to 15 minutes to give a nice roasted color and flavor to the shoulder.  Then pull out and let it rest.  I served this with roasted vegetables and potatoes in the oven.

I then strained the broth that the veal was cooked in and reduced it by half.  I thickened the stock with a little cornstarch, seasoned it with salt, pepper, and thyme.  I poured that overtop the veal shoulder as a thin light sauce.  Serve and enjoy! This really would have taken at least 3 or more hours but I made this in about an hour and a half.  I am very happy to have both of my new toys readily available.

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Black Truffle Halibut with Buffalo Tenderloin  (Surf and Turf)

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Black Truffle Halibut with Buffalo Tenderloin (Surf and Turf)

This recipe came about from having some left over pieces of buffalo tenderloin and utilizing the last few weeks of halibut season.   I had some domestic black truffles I had bought a few days earlier and thought that this could be a great french dish to utilize them.  I had made a black truffle butter to crust the halibut with that I served on top of a silky smooth celery root puree.   The puree uses a little different technique then simply boiling in water and pureeing with butter.  I paired both of the proteins with different  textures of brussel sprouts to round out the dish.  I sous vide the buffalo tenderloin with foie gras, beef stock, and butter which afterwords was pureed for the sauce.  It might sound a little on the rich side but in small portions it is well balanced.  Here is the recipe for your enjoyment.

1 lb of halibut cut into 3 oz pieces

4 tbsp of butter room temperature

1 small black truffle chopped

1 tbsp of black truffle oil

salt and pepper

1/4 cup of panko crumbs

Celery root puree

1 large celery root peeled and large diced

8 oz of cream

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

8oz of baby purple brussel sprouts blanched

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 garlic clove minced

4 4 oz pieces of buffalo tenderloin steaks

2 oz of foie gras raw or

terrine

4 oz of demiglace or beef stock (gelatinous, not watery)

2 tbsp of butter 

1 lb brussel sprouts shaved

1 fennel bulb shaved

2 shallots shaved

2 garlic cloves minced

3 tbsp of olive oil

1 tbsp of butter

salt and pepper

8 oz of shitake mushrooms sliced

2 tbsp of olive oil

2 tbsp of butter

salt and pepper

For the celery root puree,

Place cream, celery root, and a pinch of salt into a small pot.  Bring to a boil being careful not to burn the cream and then turn down to a simmer.  Cover the pot and simmer on low for 20 minutes or until the celery root is cooked through.  Strain out the cream into a bowl and set aside.  Pour the celery root into a blender and puree.  While the blender (vitamix) is on, pour a little of the cream back in, just enough until the puree is smooth ( approx. 2-4oz ).  Then while the blender is still on, slowly pour in olive oil until you have a smooth, semi thick puree.  The olive oil will emulsify with the puree to give an added richness to the puree without the use of butter.  Pour the mixture back into the pot and keep warm.  Adjust the seasoning if needed.

For the Tenderloin

Set your sous vide machine to 133 degrees

Place all the ingredients into a cryovac bag, seal, and place into the water bath.  Poach for roughly 35-40 minutes.  Then take out and set aside.  Once it has had time to cool, cut the bag open and pour all of the juices from the bag into a small bot.  Bring to a boil and add 2 oz of the left over cream from the celery root puree to the pot.  Then using a hand blender, blend the liquid until it emulsifies into a smooth sauce.  Set aside and keep warm until ready to plate.

For the brussel sprouts,

In a medium hot saute pan add olive oil, butter, shaved brussels, onions, and fennel.  Saute for 3 minutes and then add the garlic.  Cook for another minute or two until the vegetables have browned a bit and are tender.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

For the baby purple brussel sprouts simply saute them for a minute in olive oil and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

For the mushrooms simply saute in a medium hot saute pan with butter and olive oil for 4 minutes.  Then add the garlic and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside and keep warm.

For the halibut

Place butter, truffle, truffle oil, salt and pepper into a small bowl.  Mix well with a spoon.  Then take your halibut and drizzle with a little olive oil.  Season with salt and then place a spoonful of the truffle butter on top of the fillet side of the fish.  Smear the butter evenly over the fish and then sprinkle with panko crumbs on top.  Then take a few tbsp of olive in medium hot non stick pan and place the fish face down.  Season the bottom side of the fish with salt.  Cook for 4 minutes or until the fish is golden brown then flip over for 1 minute.  Take the fish out to rest.  You want to cook halibut until it is medium to medium well because the fish will continue to cook all the way through.  Halibut can easily over cook and become very dry because of the lack of natural oils and fat in the fish.

To finish the dish, season buffalo fillets with salt and pepper.  Place them in a hot saute pan with a little olive oil.  Sear them on both sides for 2 to 3 minutes.  Take out and let them rest.  Then place two spoonfuls of celery root puree down.  Place the halibut and purple brussel sprouts on top.  Finish the halibut by shaving fresh black truffles on top.  Then take a round ring mold and add your shaved green brussel sprout mixture.  Take the ring mold off and add a few mushrooms on top.  Then slice two slices of tenderloin and place on top.  Spoon the foie gras reduction sauce around the dish.  Finish with a little fluer de sel on top of the steak and serve!

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Sous Vide Tandoori Quail with Butternut Squash Yogurt, Fingerlime, and Patty-pans

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Sous Vide Tandoori Quail with Butternut Squash Yogurt, Fingerlime, and Patty-pans

Quail for me has always been a great tasting bird but sometimes can be a bit tricky to get it just right.  Normally you don't want to cook the breast more than a medium because it will be overly dry.  The legs, for  me are the best part because they stay tender and juicy as with most fowl, and are a lot more forgiving.  Sous vide is a great way to cook quail to keep the whole bird tender and juicy.  Marinating the bird is also another way to insure a tender juicy bird.  This recipe combined lots of different flavors and textures which produced a delicious dish.

8 quail

3 tbsp of tandoori paste

4 tbsp of soft butter

3 garlic cloves minced

Salt and pepper

1 small butternut squash diced

1 cup of goat yogurt

1 tbsp of ground cumin

salt and pepper

4

fingerlimes

, "caviar" removed

1 cup of patty-pan squash blanched

1 tbsp of curry powder

2 tbsp of olive oil

8 oz of maitake mushrooms

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp of butter

For the quail

Mix butter, garlic, and tandoori pasted in bowl until combined well.  Take the quail and trim the tips of the wings off with a knife. Then place into a cryovac bag along with the tandoori mixture, try to make sure the mixture gets all over the quail.   Seal the bag air tight according to your machines directions.   Then place into a water bath set at 140 degrees.  Cook for 25 minutes and then take out and set aside.

Meanwhile take your butternut squash and boil in salted water.  Cook for 10 or until the they are cooked through.  Strain out, puree until smooth, and chill.  Combine the butternut squash with the goat yogurt and ground cumin. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

For the Mushrooms

In a hot medium saute pan add oil and butter.  Add the mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes until the mushroom get a nice crust on the outside but still remain a little tender.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

For the patty pans

Simply place blanched patty pan squash in a hot saute pan with olive oil.  Season with curry powder, salt and pepper.  Cook for 3 minutes and then turn off the heat.

To finish the dish

I finished my quail on the grill.  Take your quail and season with salt.  Then place on a hot grill and cook for 2 minutes on each side.  Then let the quail rest a few minutes while you assemble the plate.  Add a few spoons of butternut squash yogurt, add your pattypans, and maitake mushrooms.  Cut the legs off the quail and place on the plate.  Then cut the breast in half and place on the plate.  Finish the dish with micro greens and fingerlimes and enjoy!

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Harrisa Baby Lamb Rack with Puffed Wild Rice and Sweet Potato "Brioche"

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Harrisa Baby Lamb Rack with Puffed Wild Rice and Sweet Potato "Brioche"

I saw these beautiful baby lamb racks the other day at whole foods and couldn't pass them up.  I remember cooking baby lamb racks years ago the traditional way of roasting in the oven and for some reason they came out tough.  They weren't over cooked, maybe they were undercooked.   I know sometimes when you undercook lamb it has a tendency to be a little tough.  I've had baby lamb chops since then at one notable place in Paris

L' Atlelier

by Joel Robuchon and it was one of the most tender pieces of lamb I have ever had.  They cooked their baby lamb on la plancha, I sous vide mine and then finished it in a pan.  I also paired this lamb with sweet potato "brioche".  " Brioche" because it was made using the technique of

isi siphon

and "baking" in the microwave.   This was a lunch dish I made for a few guest we had in town.  Three guys that all scarfed their plates down and also had seconds.   The dish came out extremely tasty with hints of modern techniques in the recipe.

2 baby lamb racks trimmed and cleaned

3 tbsp of harrisa paste

4 tbsp of butter soft

3 garlic cloves minced

2 tbsp of olive oil

Puffed wild rice

1/4 cup of wild rice

2 cups of grapeseed oil for frying

Salt

Sweet potato brioche

3 eggs

120 grams of roasted sweet potato ( no skin )

50 g milk

60 g ap flour

50 g of butter

30 g of sugar

3 g of salt

2 g of ground cumin

.5 gr of cinnamon

paper cups ( microwave safe )

2 charge cartridges

Butternut Squash Yogurt

1 small butternut squash

1 cup of goat yogurt

1 tbsp of ground cumin

salt and pepper

Hummus

1 can of garbanzo beans

3 cloves of garlic

3 tbsp of tahini

1/3 cup of water

1 cup of olive oil

1 lemon juiced

salt and pepper

For the lamb

In a bowl mix harrisa paste, butter, and garlic.  Rub all over the lamb and place in the cryovac bag.  Seal the bag according to your machines instructions.  Then place in a water bath set at 137 degrees.  Cook for about an hour.  Then take out and let it rest to room temperature

For Puffed wild rice.

Place grapeseed oil in a pot for frying.  Bring to 350 degrees.  Then take 1/4 cup of wild rice and place in the fryer.  Place a lid on for 3 seconds just encase there is any that have moisture.  Take the lid off, the wild rice should have puffed up and should be lightly brown. Strain off the wild rice and season with salt.  Set aside until ready to use.

For the hummus

Place garbanzo beans, garlic, and tahini in a food processor.  Puree for 15 seconds, then while the processor is still running start add the water and olive oil.  Alternating a little of water and then a little of the olive oil.  Once the garbanzos start to pureed really smooth you can add all the water and then the rest of the olive oil.  Finish with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  Set aside until ready to use.

For Butternut squash

Meanwhile take your butternut squash and boil in salted water.  Cook for 10 or until the they are cooked through.  Strain out and puree until smooth (1 1/2 cup) .  Combine the butternut squash with the goat yogurt and ground cumin. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

For Sweet Potato Brioche

Place all the ingredients into a vita mix or blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into a

isi siphon

and charge with the first charge.  Shake very well ( 1 min) then add the second charge. Shake again very well to make sure the air gets all the way through the batter.  Then spray small paper cups with non stick oil and make three wholes around the bottom 1/3 of the cup and one whole in the bottom.  Then take your siphon and shake it well, fill the paper cup about 40 percent of the way up with the brioche batter.  Place the cup in the microwave for 40 seconds then take the cup and flip upside down to continue letting the brioche cook.  Continue with more cups as you need them.

To finish the dish take the lamb out of and season with salt on both sides.  Then in a large saute pan on medium high heat add oil and the lamb rack.  Sear the lamb for 3 minutes and then turn over and cook for another minute and a half.  Then turn off the heat and take the lamb out of the pan to rest.  Meanwhile add yogurt and hummus to the plate, top hummus with puffed wild rice.  Slice the lamb rack and finish with the sweet potato brioche.

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Lamb Breast (Belly) with Eggplant Chips, Za'atar, Pomegranate, and Goat Yogurt

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Lamb Breast (Belly) with Eggplant Chips, Za'atar, Pomegranate, and Goat Yogurt

Lamb breast or belly is a great cut of meat for braising or stuffing but is not always found in the market.  This cut of meat is normally cheap but doesn't have a ton of meat on it.  Lamb breast is very tender, juicy, and very flavorful because of the fat content.  This cut, if your not familiar with it, is very much like a spare ribs or think, lamb bacon.   The skin can crispin to a crunchy consistency and meat stays nice and tender.  It really is easy to prepare and the results are fantastic.   Whole foods here in Austin is doing a seasonal special on Icelandic Lamb for the next few months and when I saw they had lamb belly I had to get it.  I took this preparation into a Mediterranean direction because I had pomegranates from our tree, local eggplant, and goat yogurt.

2 pc Lamb breast with bones (3 lb roughly)

1 onion

5 garlic cloves

4 tbsp of Za'atar spice

2 tbsp of vadouvan spice

2 carrots

1 celery

1 cup of pomegranates seeds

2 jalapenos

2 bay leaves

2 cup of white wine

4 cups of water

3 tbsp of olive oil

Eggplant chips

1 eggplant roasted

3/4 cup of potato flour

5 tbsp of water

1 tbsp of chopped cilantro

salt to taste

1 head of cauliflower cut into florets and roasted

1 cup of goat yogurt

1 lemon juiced

1 tbsp of dried dill

1 tbsp of za'atar spice

salt and pepper to taste

Pomegranate gastrique 

1 1/2 cup of pomegranate juice (mine was white because of our seeds where white)

1/2 cup of champagne vinegar

1 tsp of salt

2/3 cup of sugar

1 cup of roasted pistachios chopped

micro greens

Fluer de sel

For the Lamb breast

Season both sides of the lamb breast with salt, pepper, za'atar, and vadouvan spices.  In a large braising pot add 3 tbsp of olive oil and the lamb breast.  Sear on both side for 2 minutes.  You don't want to sear the meat too long or otherwise the spices with burn.  Add all your vegetables and cook for 2 minutes.  Then add the white wine and reduce by half.  Then add water and pomegranate seeds.  bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a light simmer.  Cook for 2 1/2 hours until the lamb is fork tender.  Let it cool for about 20 minutes in the liquid and then pull out and put the lamb breast on a sheet pan.  Now is a good time to take out any of the bones and cartilage from the breast.  They should pop right out.  Then turn the breast over so that the skin side is up and place a piece of parchment paper on top of the breast.  Place another sheet pan on top and place two large cans or bricks on top to weight the breast down.  Place in the refrigerator over night.

For the Eggplant chips

Take roasted eggplant and place in food processor.  Add a tsp of salt and potato starch and puree.  While the food processor is running add 4 to 5 tbsp of water to make a smooth dough.  The dough will be a little sticky and you can add a touch more potato starch.  Place the dough between two pieces of plastic and roll the dough out thin enough to be placed into a pasta machine.  Then take the dough and run it through your pasta machine until you get down to the second to last setting.  Then cut your dough into 1 foot pieces and wrap with plastic.  Place into a steamer and steam for 10 minutes.  Let the eggplant cool for a minute, then unwrap and place flat on a silpat.  Place the eggplant sheets that are one the silpat into a food dehydrator for about 3 hours set on 150 degrees.  Then to finish the chips you can take a small pot of frying oil and set to 325 degrees.  Place in the fryer and fry for about 5 to 10 seconds.  Strain out and season with salt.

Pomegranate gastrique

Place all the ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil.  Turn down and simmer for about 15 minutes until it thickens slightly.  Cool to room temperature.

For Goat yogurt

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and season with salt.  Set aside until ready to plate.

To Finish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Take cauliflower florets toss with olive oil salt and pepper and place in the oven for 20 minutes ( I roasted mine in my wood oven, for added flavor). Take out the lamb breast and remove the weight, sheet pan, and parchment paper.  Cut the lamb breast into 1 inch blocks (You can follow the cuts from the butcher).  Then in a cast iron pan on medium high heat add a tbsp of oil or lamb fat and sear the lamb for 2 minutes skin side down.  Place the pan in the oven and roast for 12-15 minutes until the skin is crispy and the meat is tender and juicy.  Take out and season with flue de sel.  Finish the plate by add the yogurt, gastrique, and pistachios.  Garnish with micro greens and serve!

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Sous Vide Kobe Striploin with Parsley Root Puree, Chanterelles, and Bordelaise

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Sous Vide Kobe Striploin with Parsley Root Puree, Chanterelles, and Bordelaise

This recipe stemmed from me wanting to make a classic beef stock and demiglace type sauce for a steak dinner.  Demiglace typically is made from veal bones and not beef bones and normally takes a day or two to make. I have not made a reduction beef sauce in a long time because it seems like in the last number of years high end restaurants don't really serve these types of "heavier"sauces a lot anymore.  It is also a lot easier and time consuming to make a

chimichurri

or

romesco

type sauce to accompany a steak than to simmer a sauce for hours.  I really wanted to make a classic bordelaise sauce that is finished with bone marrow because you can't progress in contemporary food without having the foundation of the classics, whether by recipe or techniques.   There is a reason it is classic, its because it has been tested and it works.   Nothing wrong with using a little of the old with a little of the new.  

I had parsley root which I absolutely love.  The root has a sweetness to it that is similar to parsnips but I prefer parsley root a little more.  I wanted to use the tops (parsley) and make a gel with it to accompany the vegetables.  I also had some beautiful boiler red onions that I stuffed with gorgonzola dressing to give a little more depth to the dish.  I sous vide the kobe striploin to give the meat that buttery texture and brought the whole dish together with the rich bordelaise sauce.

4 Wagyu striploin inch thick

4 tbsp of butter

2 tbsp of black truffle oil

2 tbsp of olive oil

Bordelaise Sauce

4 beef bones with marrow separated

4 carrots chopped

1 onion chopped

2 leeks chopped

4 celery sticks chopped

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

10 red boiler onions roasted and peeled

2 tbsp of olive oil

Blue cheese dressing

1/2 cup of mayo or veganaise

1/4 cup of creme fraiche

1/2 cup of gorgonzola cheese or other blue cheese

2 tsp of worcestershire sauce

1 tsp of tabasco sauce

1 tbsp of black pepper

salt to taste

Parsley Gel

2 small bunches of parsley

11/2cup of water

1 lemon juiced

2 tsp of agar

salt to taste

Parsley root puree

6 large parsley root peeled and chopped

1 potato peeled and chopped

3 tbsp of butter

3 tbsp of milk if needed

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup of chanterelles cleaned

2 tbsp of butter

salt and pepper

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees

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 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.

Sous vide machine set to 130 degrees

For the Kobe striploin,

Take 2 cryovac bags and place 2 strip steaks in each.  Divide the truffle 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 1 hour and half.  Take out and let the steaks rest until room temperature.

For the boiler onions,

Toss raw onions with olive oil.  Place in the oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes until soft.  Let them cool slightly and then peel.  While peeling try to take out just the core layer of the onion.  This will leave a little pocket for the blue cheese dressing.  For the dressing combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season.  Then place in a squeeze bottle and fill the middle of the red onions.  Set aside until later.

Parsley gel,

Take a pot of boiling salted water and blanch the parsley tops for 5 seconds in the water.  Place immediately in a ice bath.  Drain off and squeeze out excess water.  Place 1/2 cup of water and lemon juice in a blender with blanched parsley tops.  Blend for 30 seconds, if it completely blended smooth puree don't worry.  In a small pot add 1 cup of water.  Bring to boil and add agar.  Stir for 5 minutes and then pour into the blender.  Blend until smooth, season with salt and then pour into a sheet pan and place in the freezer.  After about 10 to 15 minutes it should be cool and firm.  Place everything back in the blender and puree until smooth.  Place in a covered container until ready to use.

Parsley puree,

Place chopped parsley root and potato in a pot and fill with water.  Add salt, bring to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes until both potatoes and root are tender.  Strain off water, puree either with hand blender or food processor or ricer.  Add milk, butter, salt and pepper to the puree.  The consistency should be like a creamy mashed potato.  Keep warm and set aside.

To Plate,

In a hot sauté pan add oil, butter, and chanterelles.  Saute for 5 minutes on medium heat and then add 4 oz of bordelaise sauce and 4 oz of water.  Cover and cook for another 5 minutes, then add your boiler onions to the pan and cook until the sauce is almost gone and the mushrooms are tender and the onions are hot.  Season with salt and pepper.  In another hot sauté pan add 2 tbsp olive oil.  Take the steaks out of the cryovac bags and season with salt and pepper.  Place the steaks in the hot sauté pan and sear on each side for 2 to 3 minutes.  Then take out and rest the steaks while your plate.  Add a streak of gel to the plate.  Spoon a ladle of your bordelaise sauce.  Add your puree and mushrooms.  Slice the beef and place on top of your bordelaise sauce.   Season the strip with salt on cut side.  Add the red boiler stuffed onion and micro arugula for garnish.   Serve and enjoy!

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Smoked Chicken with Lima Bean Puree, Chanterelle, and Truffle Foam

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Smoked Chicken with Lima Bean Puree, Chanterelle, and Truffle Foam

I loved smoked meats, it is one technique to insure lots of flavor.  Smoking though, does take a little bit of babying so you do need a bit of time.  One of the only other drawbacks of smoking is if your heat is too hot your meat will cook too fast and dry out.   It will also taste harsh from too much smoke and possibly bitter. This recipe for smoked chicken doesn't have the barbeque flavor you would think of but taken more in a modern approach.  I had these amazing wild mushrooms, lions mane (which I've never seen before), chanterelles, and really meaty lobster mushrooms.  I marinated the chicken with chimichurri which had a great contrast of vinegar, herbs, garlic, and chili flakes.  Then smoked it for about 3 1/2 hours.  The meat turns out really moist and juicy.  I served it with this wonder fresh lima bean puree and the wild mushrooms.  Topped it off with a little truffle mushroom foam. 

2 Whole Chickens

2 carrots

2 lemons

2 shallots

4 garlic cloves

1 cup of

chimichurri

  (didn't use dill just change parsley and oregano to 1/2 cup each)

Salt and Pepper

1 bag of charcoal with wood chips (hickory, apple, cherry )

Lima Bean Puree

10 oz of  fresh lima beans

1 cup of water

2 tbsp of butter

1 tbsp of mascarpone

2 tbsp of creme fraiche

1 tbsp of basil

1 tbsp of mint

salt and pepper

Mushroom Stock

6 oz of dried shitake mushrooms

2 oz of cremini mushrooms

4 oz of mushroom scraps from lobster mushrooms, chanterelle, and any other you haves

1 shallot

1 carrot

3 garlic cloves

6 cups of water

Mushroom Foam

1 1/2 cup of mushroom stock

1 tbsp of truffle oil

3 tbsp of butter

salt and pepper

Chanterelle and Lobster Mushroom

4 oz chanterelle mushrooms cleaned

4 oz lobster mushrooms cleaned

4 oz cremini mushrooms cleaned

2 oz Lions mane mushrooms

3 shallots peeled and quartered

3 garlic cloves minced

1/2 cup of lima beans blanched

2 tbsp of olive oil

2 tbsp of butter

1/2 cup of mushroom stock

1 tbsp of chopped basil

For the chicken

Marinate the chicken for at least an hour if possible.  Get your charcoal going for your smoker or wood if your using all wood.  You want to have the temperature around 200-225 for this recipe.  Soak your wood chips if you prefer (sometimes I don't and just use them as is) .  Stuff both chickens with all the vegetables and lemons.  Season both sides of the birds with salt and pepper.  Place each on a aluminum foil and place into the smoker.  Add 2 hand fulls of wood chips to the coals.  The coals I use also have mesquite inside of the coals so you can get away with not feeding the wood chips every 20 minutes.  Let it smoke for about 50 minutes and then add a little more coals and more wood chips.  Repeat the process 2 or 3 more times until the chicken reads 165 degrees inside the thighs.  Take out and let it rest for at least  25 minutes.  The chicken will continue to cook.

For the Mushrooms,

Clean mushrooms one at a time by submerging them in bowl of cold water.  They mushrooms will float to the top, scoop them out with your hands and place into a salad spinner.  Spin dry the mushrooms and lay flat on a sheet pan lined with a towel.  Continue with the other mushrooms if really dirty.  Trim the stems and set aside for the stock.  Set the mushrooms aside until ready to cook

Meanwhile get your mushroom stock going.

Add all of the ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer.  You start off with 6 to 7 cups of water and you want to reduce it down until it taste like mushrooms and not water, approximately 2 cups.  Season lightly with salt and set aside

For the Lima bean puree

In a small pot add water, butter, salt, and fresh lima beans.  Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cover with a lid.  Cook for about 6 to 8 minutes until the beans are completely tender.  Drain off the liquid but reserve it.  Place the beans inside a food processor along with the mint, basil, and mascarpone.  Puree for 1 minute.  Then add the creme fraiche and puree.  While the food processor is on add a little of the blanching liquid to the puree to create the right consistency (think creamy mashed potatoes)  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

For the foam

Combine 1 1/2 cup warm stock with butter and truffle oil in a tall skinny container.  Season with salt if need be.  Test the foam with a hand immersion blender. Blend just the top of the liquid, tilting the container slightly.  The broth should start to foam.  Once it foams up a lot set aside.

To bring it all together

In a small pot add butter, oil, shallots, and mushrooms.  Saute for 8 minutes then add the garlic.  Cook for another 2 minutes and then add the 1/2 cup of mushroom stock.  Cook the mushroom until almost all the liquid is gone and the mushrooms are tender.  Season with salt, pepper, and basil.  Then place a spoonful of mushrooms on the plate.  Next to it add a little bit of lima bean puree.  Then add a thick slice of chicken.  Finish by blending the foam again and scooping out the foam.  Garnish with rosemary flowers and serve!

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Beef Cheek Agnolotti with Eggplant Parmesan Sauce

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Beef Cheek Agnolotti with Eggplant Parmesan Sauce

Cheek meat is probably one of my favorite cuts of meat.  It is normally extremely tender when you slow cook the meat using the braising technique.  Beef and pork cheeks are probably one of the easiest to obtain at the market.  Cheek meat from lamb and veal are a little harder to come across although they are available (ask your butcher).  If you can get them I would highly recommend you trying them.  Halibut cheeks are also wonderful and they have a completely different texture than the fillet, but I'm not doing fish today.  Beef cheeks are a lot bigger and fattier because of the animal.   You do loose a bit of weight from the beef cheeks because of the fat you need to trim away, but again it is well worth it.   I decided to braise the cheeks and stuff the meat inside some home made agnolotti pasta and serve with a wonderful variation to tomato sauce.  With it being summertime and having an endless array of tomatoes, it is always nice to have something to do with them if you are looking to cook with them.  This sauce is really good and could easily be eaten as a soup

Semolina Pasta

3 cups of semolina flour

4 eggs and 1 egg yolk

3 tbsp of water

2 tbsp of olive oil

1 tsp of salt

flour for dusting

Beef Cheek Braise

3 lb of beef cheeks cleaned and trimmed of fat, cut into 2 by 2 inch pieces

3 tbsp of olive oil

1 large onion

1 leek

1 garlic bulb cut in half

2 carrots

2 stalks of celery

3 cups of red wine

1/4 cup of tomato paste

5 cups of water or stock

1 sprig of rosemary

2 large sprigs of thyme

2 bay leaves

Scraps-- if you have green onions, mushrooms stems, tomato scrapes, parsley toss those in as well

1 tbsp of white truffle oil 

salt and pepper

Eggplant Parmesan Tomato Sauce

2 large eggplant roasted or 6 japanese eggplant  (we had both varieties growing

4 cups of fresh heirloom tomatoes

1 onion chopped

4 garlic cloves minced

2 tsp of chili flakes

4 cups of chicken stock or water

3 oz of fresh parmesan reggiano  cheese

5 tbsp of olive oil

1/4 cup of basil leaves

salt and pepper

Garnish

parmesan cheese

chives

For the beef cheeks

In a large braising pot on medium high heat add your olive oil.  Then season the trimmed beef cheeks with salt and pepper on both sides and add to the pot.  Sear the cheeks for about 5 minutes on the first side and then turn over.  Cook for 2 minutes and then add all of the vegetables ( onion, carrot, celery, leek, garlic bulb, herbs).  Cook for another 3 minutes and then add the red wine.  Let the wind reduce by half and then add the tomato paste and stock.   Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and cover the pot. Let the cheeks braise for 2 1/2 hours or until the meat is very tender.  Turn off and let the cheeks start to cool down in the liquid. 

For the pasta,

On a cutting board or in a large wide bowl add your flour.  Make a well in the middle of the flour and add your eggs.  With a fork or your finger mix the eggs.  Add your water, oil, and salt to the eggs.  Then with your fork gradually start pulling flour from the bottom and inside of your well into the egg mixture.  Continue to do so until you can't use your fork anymore.  Then get rid of the fork and use your hands to form a smooth dough.  Knead for 5 minutes and then wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

For the Eggplant parmesan sauce

In a large sauce pot add olive oil and onions.  Saute for 4 minutes and then add chili flakes, and garlic.  Cook for another 2 minutes and then add your tomatoes.  Season the tomatoes with salt aggressively.  This will draw out the water of the tomatoes.  Add your stock or water and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cover for 30 minutes.  Then add your roasted eggplant ( no skin, just pulp) and continue to cook for another 30 to 45 minutes.  Then transfer everything to a blender (vitamix, you might have to do in batches) adding basil leaves and the parmesan cheese.  Blend until smooth.  Continue until all is blended smooth.  Adjust the seasoning if needed with salt and pepper.  You might have to add a bit of water (or half and half for a creamier texture) if it is too thick.  keep warm and set aside.

Meanwhile, take out the beef cheeks while they are still warm and place in a bowl.  Also scoop out the onion from the braising liquid and place in the bowl with the cheek meat.  Using tongs or your hands break up the meat and onions into small bits. You want the meat really small so that it will be easy to fill the pasta.  Season the meat with salt, pepper, truffle oil, and a little of the braising liquid if the meat seems a little dry.  You want the mixture to be moist but not overly wet.  Set aside and let it come to room temperature.

Then take out your paste and cut in half, keeping the one half covered.  Take the other half and roll out thin enough to get into the pasta machine, using flour to dust as needed.  Using the pasta machine start putting the pasta through the machine.  I normally run my pasta all the way down folding the pasta 2 to 3 times to work up the gluten.  Then on the third time through I take it down until about the 5 or 6 slot on the kitchen aid attachment pasta machine.  Again using flour as needed.  Then taking your biggest round cookie cutter make a round cut in the pasta.  Peel away the excess and use again.  Take your round pasta and place a spoonful of the cheek mixture in the middle.  Repeat until all the rounds are filled.  Then with a  pastry brush and a cup of water ( you can use egg too instead of water) brush around half of the round.  Then fold the pasta over to create a half moon or empanada shape.  Place on sheet pan lined with parchment paper and flour dusted.  Repeat until all beef mixture has been used.  You should be able to get about 40 to 50 agnolotti's depending on how big your rounds are.  You will probably have pasta left over and use for another application. 

Place a pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil.  Once it has come to a boil place as many agnolotti's as you want to eat into the water.  Boil for about 3 to 4 minutes or until they float and are tender.  Strain out into a saute pan and add your eggplant parmesan sauce.  Adjust seasoning if needed and then place on the plate.  Finish the pasta with fresh grated parmesan, chives, and olive oil.  Serve and enjoy a taste of Italy!

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