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Hoja de Santa Short Rib

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Hoja de Santa Short Rib

This is recipe is one that is definitely inspired south of the border.  I had a coworker who is from Honduras and her mother, who lives there, sent me a jar of anchiote. Now you can find anchiote in any Latin market and it is what is used in making the color ,yellow, in cheddar cheese.  It doesn't have an overwhelming flavor unless you use an extreme amount.  Now the jar that was sent me wasn't the normal seed like anchiote you find in the store.  It was a smooth bright red purée.  The purée was made by cooking the seeds in water for a long time until the seeds thickened the water to make a smooth paste. 

We have hoja de Santa growing every year in the spring and summer months.  It is a great herb that is great for wrapping things in because the size of the leaf.  For this recipe I cooked the short ribs in the pressure cooker with the anchiote and then wrapped the short rib in the hoja de Santa to finish the dish. Here is the recipe. 

3lb short rib
1 onion
4 tomatoes
2 tbsp anchiote paste
6 garlic cloves chopped
3 red jalapeños
1 tbsp of ground cumin
2 dried anchos chiles
4 dried New Mexico chiles
1 cup of white wine vinegar
6 cups of chicken stock

1 tbsp of grapeseed oil

10 leaves hoja de Santa blanched

1 head of green cabbage shredded fine
1/2 tomatillo salsa

1 jicama julienned

1/4 cup of mayo

For the Slaw,

In a bowl add jicama, tomatillo salsa, mayo, and green cabbage.  Season with salt and mix well.  Set aside for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors mend together. 

For the short ribs,

I cooked mine in a pressure cooker but you can do the same steps with out one and simply braise in a pot.  Season short ribs with salt and pepper.  Place your pot on the stove over a medium high heat with 1 tbsp of oil.  Sear the short ribs on each side for 3 minutes, you might need to do this in batches if your pot isn't big enough.  Then add onions, fresh and dried chiles, garlic, and cumin.  Cook for 2 minutes and then add achiote, vinegar, and tomatoes.  Cook for 1 minute and then add your chicken stock.  Place the lid on the pressure cooker and bring almost to full pressure.  Cook for 45 minutes and then let the steam release naturally if you have time.  ( If braising in a pot, bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer.  Cook for 2 1/2 hours until tender).  Then take the short ribs out of the liquid, remove the bone along with any excess fat and set aside to cool to room temperature.  Place all of the liquid into a blender and puree until smooth.  Season with salt and set aside.

Once the short rib has cooled to temperature you can handle, wrap each short rib in hoja de santa leaf.  Continue with same process until all have been wrapped.  To finish the dish simple place the short rib in the oven or on the stove to warm through, then add a spoonful of the sauce down on the plate.  Cut the short rib in half and then place on top of the sauce.  Place a spoonful of the slaw behind the short ribs and garnish with a few cilantro leaves.  Serve and enjoy!


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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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Spinach and Ricotta Tortelloni

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Spinach and Ricotta Tortelloni

Normally you will find recipes with spinach and ricotta filling for ravioli's.  In this recipe I decided to make the pasta out of the spinach and fill the tortelloni's with ricotta and parmesan.  I used some spring vegetables like fava beans and asparagus to round out the dish. This recipe screams spring because of the vibrant green colors that reflect mother nature.  Simple ingredients for an easy dish.   Here is the recipe

Spinach Pasta

2 bunches of spinach blanched and drained

3 eggs

2 egg yolks

3 1/2-4 cups 00 flour

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 tsp of salt


Ricotta filling

1 lb of ricotta drained

4 oz of grated parmesan

1 egg

1 lemon zested

Salt and pepper to taste


Sauce 

2 cups of chicken stock

1 stick of butter

Salt and pepper to taste


1/2 cup of fava beans blanched and peeled

1 bunch of asparagus, stalks shaved and tips cut in half

1 garlic clove minced


Parmesan Foam

4 oz of parmesan rind

2 cups of milk

1 tsp of lecithin

1 tsp of salt


For the spinach pasta,

Take two bunches of spinach and blanch in boiling salted water for 15 seconds and then strain out and place in an ice bath to cool.  After the spinach is cooled take it out of the ice bath and squeeze as much water out of the spinach as possible.  Place the spinach in a blender with the eggs and olive oil.  Puree everything until smooth and bright green.  Pour the mixture into the center of a bowl.  Place 3 1/2 cups of flour around the outer edge of the spinach in the bowl.  With a fork stir the flour into spinach mixture until it starts to form a ball of dough.  Then use your hands to form the dough.   Add more flour if the dough is wet.  Knead the pasta for 5 minutes and then cover and rest for at least 30 minutes.

For the ricotta filling,

Place all the ingredients except the egg into a food processor. Puree everything until smooth.  While the food processor is still running add your egg.  Season with salt and pepper and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

To make the tortelloni,

Take your pasta and cut in half.  Leave one half covered while you work with the other half.  Take one half of the pasta with a rolling pin and roll until the dough is thin enough to fit inside the biggest setting on your pasta machine.  Then run the pasta all the way down to the lowest setting twice.  Then on the third time run it down to the second to last setting.  Use a little flour for dusting.  Using a big cookie cutter cut rounds in the pasta.  Then take out your ricotta and get a small bowl of water and a pastry brush.  Place a big spoonful of the ricotta filling in the middle of the pasta circle.  Brush water around half of the outer edge of the round pasta. Fold over the pasta.  Then take one corner of the past and fold it under the opposite corner.  Repeat until all the filling is gone.  Place on a sheet pan lined with flour or cornmeal.

For the parmesan foam,

Add milk and parmesan rinds in a pot. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until the milk taste like parmesan.  Season with salt and add the lecithin with hand immersion blender.  Foam by just blending the top of the milk.  Keep warm and set aside.  

To finish the dish,

Get a pot of boiling salted water for the pasta.  Meanwhile in a saute pan with a tbsp of olive oil add the asparagus tips, garlic, and fava beans.  Cook for one minute and then add your chicken stock.  Place 20 tortelloni's in the water and cook for 3 minutes.  Reduce the chicken stock by half.  Then strain out the tortelloni's into the chicken stock and vegetables.   Add your butter to emulsify the sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.  Finish with the shaved asparagus stalks.  Spoon on to the plate and add the foam.  Drizzle a little olive oil over top, 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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Hot and Sour Soup

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Hot and Sour Soup

This is one of my favorite soups to order when I go out to eat for chinese food.  I love the contrast between the spicy and the sour.  Normally you have a wide range of vegetables in the soup including mushrooms, bamboo shoots, tofu, and green onion to name a few.  I added some baby corn and water chestnuts to mine just because I had them in my pantry and for a little crunch.  This recipe is great for the long winter days that seem to never end.  The recipe is straight forward and doesn't take all day to make.  


Hot and Sour Soup

4 oz of beech mushrooms

1 onion sliced

1 tbsp of ginger minced

3 garlic cloves minced

2 tbsp of sambal

1/4 cup of black vinegar

1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup of soy sauce

1 qt of chicken stock

1 qt of mushroom stock (Optional you could just use all chicken stock)

8 oz of baby corn sliced

4 oz of sliced water chestnuts

4 eggs

3 tbsp of sesame oil

2 tbsp of sugar

3 tbsp of corn starch with 3 tbsp of water

1/2 cup of bamboo shoots julienned

Salt to taste

1/4 cup of chopped green onions

2 cup of fried wonton skins


Mushroom Stock

8 oz of dried shitake mushrooms

2 qt of water

3 garlic cloves

1 shallot

1 cup of mushroom stems and scraps from any other mushroom


For the mushroom stock

Add all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and reduce by half or until you have a strong mushroom flavored stock.  Strain off and set aside


For the soup

In a soup pot on medium high add sesame oil, ginger, and onion.  Saute for 2 minutes and then add garlic and mushrooms.  Cook for 2 more minutes and then add both of the vinegars.  Reduce them by half and then add your stock (chicken and mushroom) and soy sauce.  Take your eggs and whisk like your going to make scrambled eggs.  Bring the stock to a boil. Place a fine mesh strainer over the soup and pour your eggs into the the strainer over the soup.  Push the eggs through the strainer into the boiling soup.  This will give you the egg texture in the soup that is the same as egg drop.  Add your bamboo shoots, corn, water chestnuts, and sambal.  Cook for 3 minutes and then add your corn starch. Cook for 5 more minutes and Season the soup the with a little salt if and sugar if needed.    Finish the soup with green onions and fried wonton skins.  Serve and enjoy!




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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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Kona with Puffed Forbidden Rice, Almond Miso, Kumquats, and Lapsang Veloute

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Kona with Puffed Forbidden Rice, Almond Miso, Kumquats, and Lapsang Veloute

I had made a version of this dish a while back but the pictures didn't turn out that great so I thought I would make another version adding a few extra elements.  Lots of flavors going on in this dish but it all really works well together.   A lot of times dishes come together for me by prepping different items, for instance: last week I had dried some cooked forbidden rice ( for puffing ), made candied kumquats, and had some toasted garlic on hand.  Having prepared ingredients that can keep for an extended period of time helps bring a dish together a lot quicker at home.  I bought the whole fish so I made fish stock from the carcass which I turned into the sauce.  That is basically the dish with a few added ingredients to bring everything together.  

1 3-5 lb whole kona kampachi  fillet and portion into 4 oz pieces

Fish Stock

1 carrot

1 celery stock

1 turnip

1 onion

1 sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

1 whole garlic bulb cut in half

1 leek

1 gal of water

Lapsang Veloute

1 tbsp of butter

1 tbsp of flour

3 cups of fish stock 

1 tbsp of lapsang souchong tea

salt to taste

Almond miso paste

1/2 cup of smooth almond butter

1/4 cup of yellow miso

1/3 cup of warm water

1 tbsp of sambal chile paste

Candied kumquats

8 kumquats sliced thin

1/2 cup of sugar 

3/4 cup of water

1 cup of dried cooked forbidden black rice

1/2 cup of chopped green onion

3 tbsp of fried garlic

1 red radish sliced thin

micro arugula 

For the Fish stock

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

For the Sauce

Melt butter in a medium sauce pot over medium heat.  Once the butter is melted, add the flour to make a roux.  Cook for 1 minute and then add a cup of the fish stock and stir well.   Let it combine completely and then add the rest of the 2 cups of stock.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Cook for at least 10 minutes and let the sauce thicken until it glazes the back of a spoon.  Then add the lapsang souchong tea and steep for 4 minutes.  Season with salt and strain out.  Keep the sauce warm until ready to use.

For the Candied kumquats

Place water, sugar, and kumquats in a small pot.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.  Simmer for 10 minutes and then turn off and cool to room temperature.  Set aside for later.

For the Puffed rice

A day before cook forbidden rice, cool it and then dehydrate or dry in an oven over night.  Then take frying oil and bring to 350 degrees.  In small batches add the dried forbidden rice to the oil.  The rice should puff up within 5 seconds, if it doesn't you might need to bring the temperature of the oil to 375.  Once puffed and browned slightly strain out on to a paper towel and season with salt.  Repeat the process until you have roughly a cup of puffed rice.

For the Almond miso

Place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well.  Set aside until ready to use.

To Finish

Take the kona and season with salt on both side.  Heat a non stick pan on medium heat.  Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to the pan.  Place the fish fillet side down in the pan.  Cook on the one side for 4 to 5 minutes, if the heat is too hot turn it down to medium low so the fish cooks fairly slow but gets a nice crust on the fish.  Meanwhile in a mixing bowl add puffed rice, fried garlic,  and chopped green onions and mix well.  Place a spoonful of the veloute sauce down on the plate.  Flip over your fish and cook for 10 seconds to just finish the cooking. Then take out of the pan.  Place on the plate next to the sauce.  Then add your puffed rice mixture on top of the fish.  Garnish with micro greens, and a few slice of drained candied kumquats.  Add a spoonful of almond miso next to the fish and add a slice of radish and greens to finish the dish.  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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Tuna with watermelon radish and shitake-edamame "mille feuille"

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Tuna with watermelon radish and shitake-edamame "mille feuille"

Well, after the busy thanksgiving holiday I am finally getting around to posting another recipe.  During the thanksgiving week I am too busy to take decent pictures of the meal worth posting but hopefully will next year with traditional recipes.  This recipe has nothing to do with thanksgiving but everything to do with Tuna.  I try not to serve tuna but maybe once a month because of the massive over fishing.  Finding fish now that isn't on some sort of list seems like it is harder and harder to come by. The farm raised, especially ones in Asia, don't have the same regulations as the USA so they feed the fish all sorts of antibodies and who knows what.  On the other hand you have some of the wild fish that is either high in mercury or is mislabeled at the market.  I have also heard that the power plant explosion in Japan has already start to makes its way over to California and that they have detected small radiation levels in the kelp off the coast of southern California.

I love fish and don't have any plans to stop eating it but I am just a little concerned about the depletion of our fish and how polluted some of our waters have gotten.  It is hard to know what is the best solution because a lot of these things you can't see, taste, or smell.  My opinion is contrary to a PETA video I saw roughly a year ago where they showed cruelty to animals and they said that meat is the problem.  Meat, fish, vegetables, and flour are not the problem, the way we treat our food chain and how we disrupt (GMO) everything in that chain is the problem.  The food was created for our energy and pleasure; man has changed all of that to the point where the things that should nourish our bodies are actually killing us.  Wheat is one of the oldest ingredients in the world.  They have been making bread for thousands of years and within the last 50 years flour and bread is all of a sudden bad for us? What have we done with that what?  Sorry to go on a little rant but food is not the problem, man and greed are.

1 1/2 lb sushi grade tuna trimmed and cut into

blocks

1 tbsp of sansho (japanese pepper)

3 tbsp of sesame oil

salt to taste

"Mille Feuille"

1 lb of shelled edamame

1 avocado

1 jalapeño

2 tbsp of cilantro

1/2 lime juiced

Salt to taste

1 lb of shitake mushrooms stems removed and small diced

1 tbsp of garlic minced

1 tbsp of ginger minced

1 tbsp of shallots minced

1/8 cup of mushroom soy sauce

2 tbsp of tamari

2 tsp of sambal chile paste

2 tbsp of chopped cilantro

3 tbsp of sesame oil

1 tbsp of butter

Black Garlic and Fennel Aioli

2 black garlic bulbs peeled

1 small fennel bulb

11/2 cups of water

1 egg yolk

1/2 cup of grapeseed oil

salt to taste

1 sheet of puff pastry

Watermelon radish pickle

1 watermelon radish peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thin

1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar

1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup of sugar

1 jalapeno

1 tbsp of mustard seeds

1 tbsp of coriander seeds

1 bay leaf

1 tsp of salt

1 dozen of quail eggs hard boiled and peeled

snow peat shoots

miso mayo

thai basil flowers to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees,

For the puff pastry, Take 2 sheets of parchment paper ( same length as a sheet pan ) and lay one flat on the a sheet pan.  Lay the puff pastry flat on the parchment paper and sheet pan.  Lay the second parchment paper on top with a second sheet pan on top of the puff pastry.  You are basically weighing down the puff pastry so it doesn't puff up much.  I baked my for roughly 45 minutes.  But I flipped my puff pastry over after about 25 minutes because sometimes one side gets more browned than the other side.  So you want to cook it evenly.  The puff pastry I used was from whole foods and not pepperidge farms but you can use any brand you want or even used home made puff pastry.  It really isn't that hard to make and maybe I will post that in future post.  Once it is completely cooked and browned, take out and cool to room temperature.

Mean while make the filling,

For the edamame, take a pot of salted water and bring to a boil.  Place the shelled edamame beans into the water.  Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes or until the beans are just done.  Strain out and place in a ice bath to stop the cooking.  Strain off completely once cooled and dry.  Place jalapeno, cilantro, and edamame beans into a food processor.  Puree for 15 seconds until everything is broken down.  Then scrapes the sides, add salt, lime, and pulse again.  You don't want baby food, you want to leave some of the texture of the beans in the puree.  Take out and place in a bowl.  Then take your avocado and make a very small dice.  Fold the avocado into the edamame puree.  Adjust the seasoning if needed and set aside until ready to use.

For the shitake mushrooms,

In a hot saute pan add butter, sesame oil, shallots, ginger, and mushrooms.  Saute for 5 minutes, then add the garlic.  Cook for one minute and then add the soy sauces, and sambal chile paste.  Cook until there isn't any more liquid left and the mushrooms are tender.  Finish with cilantro and set aside.

For the watermelon radish pickle

Place vinegars, sugar, salt, and spices into a pot.  Bring to a boil and then pour over the watermelon radish.  Let it sit and marinade until ready to use.  This can be done days before.

For the quail eggs,

Simple place the eggs in a pot of boiling water for 4 minutes.  Strain out and cool.   Then peel and set aside.

For the black garlic-fennel aioli,

Place thinly sliced fennel, black garlic, and water into a pot.   Add a pinch of salt and bring boil, cover and simmer until the fennel is very tender and the water is just about gone.  If the water evaporates before the fennel is done just add a little more water.  Then place the fennel, black garlic and just a tiny bit of water into a vitamix.  Puree until smooth.  Then add your egg yolk.  Then take your grapeseed oil and slowly add it to the mixture.  You might need to add a little more oil if the mixture is too thin or add a little water if the mixture is too thick.  Season with salt and set aside.

For the tuna,

Drizzle 1 tbsp of sesame oil over the tuna.  Season the tuna with salt and sansho pepper on all four sides.  Then add the remaining sesame oil to a hot saute pan.  Place the tuna in a saute pan and sear on each side for 1 minute.  Then take out and rest for a minute while you finish the plate.

Take a pastry brush and brush some of the black garlic aioli on the plate.  Then take your puff pastry and carefully cut even pieces about 2 inches long.  The take two pieces and add just a small layer of miso mayo on each side of the puff pastry.  Then on one piece add your mushrooms.  On the other side add your edamame mixture.  Then sandwich together and place on the plate.  Garnish the top of the "mille feuille" with thai basil flowers.  Then slice the tuna and place on top of the black garlic aioli.  Add the quail eggs, snow pea sprouts and dots of miso mayo.  Finish by taking a rolled piece of watermelon radish.   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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Sweet Potato Ravioli with Brown Butter and Sage  (chile, lime, meringue)

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Sweet Potato Ravioli with Brown Butter and Sage (chile, lime, meringue)

Going into fall there seems to be an endless amount of sweet potatoes.  I am always looking for a different ways to serve vegetables; I thought of a little twist to the classic pumpkin ravioli with sage.  Sweet potato is great substitute for this classic because of the natural sweetness in the sweet potatoes.  I love fresh stuffed pastas and I don't know many people who don't.  This is a perfect dish for this time of year when the weather is getting cooler.  I added some abalone mushrooms along with some trumpet royal.  Also added a little spinach for greens.  For the pasta I used the traditional 00' flour from Naples that is extra fine ground.  Finish the dish with with brown butter and as an added twist, try a little chili lime meringue.

For the Pasta

3 cups of 00 flour

3 eggs

2 egg yolk

2 tbsp of olive oil

1/2 tsp of salt

For the filling

2 sweet potatoes roasted and peeled

1 oz of Parmesan cheese grated

Salt and pepper to taste

8oz abalone mushroom diced

4 oz trumpet royal mushrooms sliced

2 garlic cloves minced

1 lb of baby spinach 

3 tbsp of olive oil

3 tbsp of butter

salt and pepper to taste

1 stick of butter

15 leaves of sage

2 cloves of garlic

salt to taste

Parmesan to finish

For the pasta, 

Place the flour in a bowl, make a well or hole in the center of the flour.  Place the eggs, olive oil, and salt 

into th

e center.  Using a fork, beat the eggs and oil until smooth.  With the fork,  gradually stir in the flour little by little working your way to the outside of the bowl until the egg isn't so sticky.  Then use your hands instead of the fork, begin forming the dough by folding the flour into the mixture.  Continue the folding action until the dough is smooth and not sticky.  Adjust the amount of flour depending on how sticky the dough is. Once the dough is formed,  knead it for 5 minutes,  wrap it in plastic and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.  

For the filling,

Place roasted sweet potatoes and parmesan cheese into food processor along with salt and pepper.  Puree until the mixture is completely smooth.  Then place into a pastry bag with a plan tip.  Set aside until ready to fill the mixture. 

After the filling is ready take your pasta dough and cut in half.  Keep one half covered in plastic while you work with the other half.  Take the half and roll out slightly with a rolling pin until the dough is thin enough to go through the pasta machine.  Working your pasta through the pasta machine, lowering the setting after every time through.  Repeat this process 3 times to work the gluten in the dough and make it really smooth.  You might have to add a little flour if it is a little sticky.  On the  third time through take the setting down to number 7 if you are using a kitchen aid pasta attachment.  Then lay the dough flat on your surface making sure that there is enough flour on the bottom not to stick.  Cut the dough in half.  Then take your filling and pipe a good amount of filling every 2 1/2 inches on one half of the dough.  Brush water around the edges of the dough and filling.  Then place the second half of dough on top.  Making sure to seal around the filling so there aren't any air pockets.  Then take a fluted wheel cutter or a round cookie cutter and cut out your ravioli's.  Place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper dusted with a little flour.  Repeat the process with the remaining dough and filling.  Set aside until ready to use.

Bring a pot of salt water to a boil.

In a large saute pan add olive oil, butter, and mushrooms.  Cook for 7 minutes and then add the garlic.  Cook for another 2 minutes and then add the spinach.  Cook for 2 minutes season with salt and pepper and keep warm. 

In another large saute pan on medium high heat add your one stick of butter.  Then place 20 raviolis into the water.  Cook the ravioli's 2 to 3 minutes.  Once the butter starts to brown add your sage leaves and garlic.  Cook for 20 seconds and then add a little of the pasta water to the pan.  Strain your ravioli's into the brown butter.  Season with salt and pepper.  To plate add 3 to 5 ravioli's to the plate add your mushrooms and spinach in the center of the plate.  Add a little of the brown butter sauce around the plate and finish with parmesan. 

Now this is a slight variation to the recipe.  I recently had a dish with sweet potato with a chili, lime meringue.  Think sweet potato with marshmallow and a little heat.  Since I had some egg whites I thought of adding this as a little variation.  I can tell you this brought a whole new dimension to the dish. 

2 tbsp of fresh chile powder ( ancho, anaheim, new mexico, pasillia )

1 lime zested and half juiced

1/3 cup of sugar

3 egg whites

pinch of salt

Simply add all the ingredients together except the lime zest and juice.  Heat over a double boiler stirring constantly until the egg whites reach 160 then pour into a isi canister and charge with two cartridges shaking after each one for at least a minute.  Then foam a little onto the plate next to each ravioli.       

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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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