Pacific Snapper Escabeche

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Pacific Snapper Escabeche

This was a fun appetizer I originally made for new years eve last year. But instead of making it with snapper I used hamachi in the original recipe. Everyone loved it! One guest couldn't get enough she kept coming back for seconds and thirds +++. The is a quick version of escabeche. I haven’t really thought about serving this again but with the summer heat coming I thought it is a great dish to serve that is refreshing and delicious. It is something that is simple, doesn’t take that long and it can last for weeks in the refrigerator ( the vegetable portion). Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 lb of red snapper sliced thin (nigiri style)

Escabeche

1/4 cup each sherry vinegar, apple cider, and rice wine

1 cup olive oil

3 shallots or 1/2 red onion brunoise

1/4 cup of capers and some of the juice

2 jalapeños brunoise

1 red, yellow, and orange bell pepper brunoise

1-2 tbsp of salt

1 garlic clove minced

1-2 tbsp of chopped dill


Dill and micro greens to garnish

For the escabeche,

In a small pot add all the vinegars, juice from the capers, and 1 tbsp of salt. bring to boil. Meanwhile place all the vegetables, capers, garlic in to a heat proof bowl. Once the vinegar comes to a boil and the salt is dissolved pour the vinegar over all the vegetables. Then add the oil and probably another tsp or two of salt. Let it cool completely and then add chopped dill.

To Finish,

I took store bought sardines and emptied them out of the fish, washed them and used them as my plate. Place 4 to 5 pieces of snapper in the bottom of the tin. Season them with salt. Then take spoonfuls of the escabeche and spoon all over the fish. Top with micro greens and dill. Side note: the longer you leave the escabeche on the fish the more it change the texture (not a bad thing) from the vinegar. I would say to let it sit about 3-5 minutes before you serve it that way the flavors can marinate together, but you can wait as long as an hour if you would like. Serve and enjoy!

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Chocolate Cigars with Honey Ganache

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Chocolate Cigars with Honey Ganache

So when you’re in Cuba you have to try a cigar right? Here is a dessert that was fun to make for a new years eve party. I made these last year for a themed party called “Havana nights”. The night was filled with lots of little fun cuban themed items but the dessert was the real show stopper. I have to admit that I found a similar recipe online which I have based mine off of. I know there are a lot of different recipes for dessert cigars but this one was one that was probably the least labor intensive compared to the rest of them. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Chocolate Tuiles

3 large egg whites

½ cup confectioners’ sugar

pinch kosher salt and a pinch of cinnamon

½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly


Honey ganache

1/4 cup honey

7 oz bittersweet chocolate

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tbsp butter


For the Honey Ganache

Add cream and honey to a pot and bring to a boil.  Meanwhile place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl.  Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and let it sit for 1 minute.  Then whisk until completely smooth.  Then add the butter until shiny and smooth. Let it cool for 20 minutes and then fill a disposable pastry bag and let it cool completely. Don’t put it in the refrigerator if you are going to fill them right away because the ganache will be too cold to fill the cigars.

For the Cigars

I had an old silicon mat that I took and cut a 2 1/2 inch by 4 1/2 inch rectangle. This is what I used as my template for my cigars. Then in a food processor or bowl mix all the ingredients together well until it becomes a smooth batter. Place the batter in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. Then Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take a sheet pan lined with a silicon mat (silpat) and using your template spread 3 thin rectangles of batter in the template using a small off-set spatula. Place in the oven and cook for about 8 minutes. Working fast now, open the door to the oven and take one tuile out of the oven. Immediately using a cannoli tube or a small wooden rolling pin roll the tuile around the tube. Hold it for a second and then continue with the other two. Three was about as many as I could do at one time before the other ones became to crisp to work with. As soon as the tuiles start to cool they become crisp. So you have to work fast when take them out of the oven. It will probably take a few trial runs before you get into a groove cranking them out. I think I doubled the recipe and ended up making about 50 or so of these cigars. So it was a little bit of a process but the end result was great.

To Finish,

You can get some edible paper from an arts and crafts or specialty baking store (Michaels in Austin) along with edible ink which allows you to make your wrapper (more for looks because it doesn’t taste that great). Then once cooled completely you can take your pastry bag with honey ganache and fill your cigars with them. You don’t want to fill them too far in advanced because at some point the tuiles will soften from the ganache. You can fill them 20-30 minutes probably an hour but I wouldn’t do these a day before you are going to serve them. I was lucky enough to have a nice wooden box that had the top glass so you could look in. I filled the box up with coffee beans which gave them a bit of a coffee aroma. Just another flavor boost! Now time to serve and enjoy!


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Kohlrabi with Wagyu Tallow and Lemon

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Kohlrabi with Wagyu Tallow and Lemon


Here is a great vegetarian dish with a little addition of beef fat (that can easily substituted with your favorite oil) This recipe is really one that tries to use every part of the kohlrabi vegetable in as many different ways as possible. The first is taking a few of them and confit them (or cooking them slowly in beef fat or oil). The next is chopping them up really small and frying them. I had the greens as well so I sauted those in a little butter. I also quick pickled raw slices of kohlrabi. I gave the whole dish a little citrus flavor with a lemon puree that was sweet and sour. This was a real hit with the guests. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

3 kohlrabi peeled

4 cups of wagyu tallow

3 cloves of garlic

1 sprig of thyme

1 1/2 kohlrabi shaved thin

1 1/2 tsp salt

3 tbsp of white balsamic


1 1/2 kohlrabi fried

3 tbsp of chives

1 tsp lemon zest

Salt to taste


Lemon purée

4 lemons roasted

2 egg yolks

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup simple syrup or candied buddha hand here

1 1/2 tsp salt


Tops of 6 kohlrabi

2 tbsp of butter and beef fat

1/3 cup of water

Salt to taste

Mustard greens


Kohlrabi Fried,

Meanwhile in a food processor place 1 1/2 kohlrabi that are chopped and 1 cup of water. Puree them in the food processor until all the kohlrabi are small little pieces (think brunoise or small dice) and are about the same size. Strain out the water from the kohlrabi and try to dry as much as possible with paper towels. Then in a small pot with oil at 325 degree fry the kohlrabi in batches until golden brown. Strain out and season with salt.

For the Confit Kohlrabi,

Place all the ingredients into a pot and slowly bring it to a simmer and then turn down to low and cover.  Cook until the kohlrabi are tender all the way through roughly about 25-30 minutes..  Then allow them to cool in the fat or oil.  

For the quick pickled Kohlrabi,

Place all of the ingredients into a cryovac bag and seal air tight. Let them infuse for at least 3 hours.

For the lemon puree,

Drizzle four lemons with a touch of olive oil and salt. Wrap them in aluminum foil and roast them in preheated oven at 400 degrees. Roast them for an hour and then cool completely. Then place all the ingredients into the vita mix except for the olive oil. Turn on and puree until smooth. Then while the blender is still on add the olive oil in a steady stream. Season with salt. This will probably be a bit bitter and strong tasting. A little bit goes a long way but it is a nice contrast with the earthy vegetables.

To Finish

Take one of your confit kohlrabi and with and apple corer cut out 4 round cylinders. Place a tablespoon of the beef fat in a small saute pan on medium high along with the kohlrabi cylinders. Cook for 2 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Season with salt and then place one on four different plates with a sprig of petit mustard on top. Take the other two kohlrabi that are confit and cut in half horizontally. Using a round cookie cutter cut rounds which should give you a total of four. Season light with salt and then add the fried kohlrabi and chives on top. Place on each plate. In another saute pan on medium high heat add beef fat and the tops. Cook for 1 minutes and then add the water and cover for 4 minutes. Take off the top add the butter, salt, and pepper. Place on the plate and add the pickled sliced kohlrabi on top. Drizzle with a little beef fat if desired. Serve and enjoy!

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Black Cod, Olive, Tomato

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Black Cod, Olive, Tomato

Another light and straight forward recipe for the hot summer days. I love the flavors of the Mediterranean and this recipe screams just that. Tomatoes, Olives, Fish, and Onions. That is really all there is to this recipe. What makes this a little different is I decided to sous vide the fish and I probably cooked it a little longer than I should but thankfully black cod is very forgiving and it made this a fantastic “mistake”. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 lb of black cod cut into 4 4oz pieces

2 tbsp of butter

8 torpedo onions roasted

Tomato sauce

1 onion diced

32 oz of box or fresh heirloom tomatoes diced

1/2 cup of water

3 garlic cloves

1/4 tsp of chili flakes

salt and pepper to taste (basil)

Green Olive puree

12 oz castlevetrano olives pitted

1 garlic cloves

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Olive oil

Micro arugula

For the Onions,

On a sheet pan lined with parchment add onions to the pan and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and place in a preheated oven at 375 degrees. Cook for 25-30 minutes until tender all the way through. Take out and cool completely. Then peel the outer layers that are tough.

For the Olives

For the green olive puree place olives and garlic into a food processor.  Puree and add the oil during the process.  No need to season because of the saltiness of the olives.

For the Tomato Sauce

In a large pan on medium high heat add oil, chili flakes, and onions.  Cook for 2 minutes and then add garlic and tomatoes. Season lightly with salt and add the water.  Cover and cook for 30 minutes.  Take a hand blender puree so it is fairly smooth.  Cook for another 5 minutes. Finish the sauce with salt and fresh basil if desired.  

To Finish

Take your black cod piece and place 2 fillets in 2 separate bags. You don’t want the fillets to touch if possible or otherwise they will stick together once they are cooked. Place 1 tbsp of butter in each bag and then seal air tight. Place in a water bath at 132 degrees. I cooked it for about 18-20 minutes. Then take out and rest for a minute. Take the fish out and season lightly with salt. Because of the flakiness of the cod you can be surgeon like and partially separate some of the layers and stuff it with the olive puree. Place the fish and onions back into the oven for 3 minutes to heat through thoroughly. To plate add some tomato sauce to the plate. Take the fish out and place on top of the sauce. Place the onion next to it. Drizzle with olive oil everything. Then finish with micro arugula. Serve and enjoy!

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Farro with Grilled Asparagus and Greens

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Farro with Grilled Asparagus and Greens

This was a final course I did recently for a dinner not to long ago.  Most of the recipes I have been creating lately have be vegetable driven.  Eloise and Jp's diet has changed for less meat and more vegetable base.  Jp still wants a little protein in most of the meals but this is one course where I snuck the protein into the broth of the cooked farro.  This is basically a farro risotto with grilled asparagus and butter lettuce.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Farro with asparagus with marrow stock

1 cup of farro rinsed and soaked
6 cups of bone marrow stock
Salt to taste

Bone marrow stock
8 marrow bones roasted
3 carrots large chopped
1 large onion chopped
4 stalks of celery
1 fennel
1 garlic bulb
Fresh thyme, bay leaf
14 cups of water

2 bunches of asparagus grilled
2 oz Parmesan
2 tbsp chives

1 bunch of baby butter lettuce
Olive oil

For the stock,

Preheat oven 400 degrees. First roast your bones for 30 minutes stirring them after 15 min (if your using raw bones. Then caramelize all your vegetables in a large 3-5 gallon stock pot (or the biggest pot you have ) with a little olive oil. Cook for 15 minutes or until nicely browned but not burned. Then place all the roasted bones and herbs in a stock pot .  Fill it up with cold water.   Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.  Let it cook for or reduce by half.  You want to skim off the fat periodically as it rises to the top with a ladle.  Once it has reduce by half, strain off and set aside.  

Grilled Asparagus,

Simply drizzle olive oil, salt, and pepper on the asparagus. Grill for 3-4 minutes to get them slightly tender and grill flavor. Don’t over cook! You want them crunchy still. Once cooled cut the tops off at about an inch. Slice the rest of the asparagus stalks for the risotto

For the Farro Risotto,

In a small sauce pot add olive oil and your drained farro.  Toast your farro for 2 to 3 minutes and then ladle your stock over the farro just enough to cover it.  You want to add a little salt into the liquid and rice so that it is seasoned and not bland. Stir occasionally so the farro doesn't stick to the pan. I am a believer in not having to stand and stir the rice every second because you have the tendency to break the rice kernels by over stirring.  You stir enough so that there is liquid and that the farro doesn't stick and burn.  Once the first round of stock has cooked and evaporated then repeat the first step.  You will probably do this 3 to 4 times unitl your risotto gets close to the point of finishing.  Risotto should be classically be al dente, with a little bite to it.  Other wise you will have an over worked mushy rice, which no one wants to eat.  But in the case of Farro you want it pretty done all the way through, I would cook it a little closer to done than closer to al dente.

To Finish

Finish the risotto by adding the sliced asparagus stalks.  Cook for a minute and then add your butter and parmesan cheese.  The rice should be nice a creamy now and you want to finish with salt, and pepper.  Top the risotto with a little parmesan and butter lettuce. Drizzle olive oil on top. Serve and enjoy!

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Corn and Black Truffle Ravioli

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Corn and Black Truffle Ravioli

Summertime for a chef is normally an endless array of ingredients and combinations. This recipe is one that is proven to work, sweet corn with pasta and truffles. It works if you like truffles and sweet corn. Some don’t like one or the other or both. You can’t please everyone! But for those of you who do enjoy both with pasta as I do then you know this is a no brainer. You also add the sweetness and acidity of the tomatoes to round out the dish. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Basic pasta see recipe

Corn Puree

2 cups of corn juice

1 tbsp of truffle oil

salt and pepper

Corn filling

8 oz of ricotta

2 oz of parmesan

1 cup of corn puree

salt and pepper

truffle oil (if need be)

1 cup of cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup of corn

2 tbsp of butter and olive oil

1/4 cup of pasta water

1/4 cup of cream

truffle oil to drizzle

salt

For the corn puree,

simply place corn juice and a pinch of salt in a sauce pot.  Place the pot on medium heat and whisk often to prevent scorching.  The corn juice will thicken up from the natural starch and sugars, and it will become thick.  Adjust seasoning with salt and truffle oil and cool completely  

For the filling,

In a bowl, simply mix the cheese with the corn puree until completely smooth. Season with salt and pepper and truffle oil if needed. Then place in a disposable pastry bag with no tip. Keep cool.

For the Pasta

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

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

To Finish,

In a large saute pan add olive oil, corn, and tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Place your corn agnolotti pasta in salted boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes until they float to the top.  Strain off and place in the saute pan with a little bit of pasta water. Add a touch of cream and the butter to emulsify into the water and pasta. Season with salt.  To the plate Then place 3-4 pieces of the agnolloti. Spoon a little of the butter sauce on top. Add the corn and tomatoes on top. Grate fresh parmesan on top, add truffles (add a little truffle oil if your truffles are lacking in a flavor). Serve and enjoy!

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Chicken, Zataar and Olive

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Chicken, Zataar and Olive

Here is one of the 6 courses I made last week for Frans Drescher.   This was the only meat dish of the evening.  I had made earlier in the day a 3 course lunch and this was apart of the 6 courses for dinner plus breads so it was a busy day to say the least.  I literally didn't know what I was going for when I started but this is what was the end result; a Mediterranean chicken with olive butter sauce. 

Chicken and olive
2 large chicken breast skin on
3 tbsp of zataar spice
Salt and pepper
4 tbsp of butter

Olive sauce
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup of beldi olives or Kalamata
1//3 cup cream
3-4 tbsp of butter
Splash of lemon or sherry vinegar

 

For the chicken

If you have a sous vide machine set the water bath temperature to 132 degrees.  If you don't have a machine, get a pot of water on low and try to manage the water temperature around 132 degrees.

For the chicken.  Lay the chicken on a piece of plastic wrap.  Butterfly the chicken and then place another piece of plastic on top.  Then pound the chicken into a thin fillet.  Repeat with the rest of the chicken breast. Then discard the top plastic wrap. Season the chicken aggressively with zataar spice. Season lightly with salt on the same side of chicken as well. Then roll the breast up and tie with butchers twine about 5 -6 times.  Repeat the process until all are done.  Place the chicken into a plastic cryovac bag, add butter into the bag with the chicken.  Seal the bag with no air and place into the water bath.  Sous vide for about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. The take out and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.

For the Olive sauce
Place olives and wine in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook until 1/4 of the wine is left and then add the cream. Bring the cream to a boil and then turn down and simmer for 2 minutes. Place everything into the vitamix and puree until smooth. While the sauce is blending add butter to emulsify the sauce. Finish the sauce with a touch of lemon or sherry vinegar. The sauce shouldn’t need any salt because of the olives are very salty.

To Finish,

Take the sous vide chicken out of the bag and lightly season with salt on the outside of the chicken. Place a hot saute pan or cast iron on high. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil and butter if you desire to the pan. Add the sous vide chicken to the pan and brown for 2 minutes on each side of the chicken rolling the chicken over until you have a nice brown crust on the outside of the chicken. Then take the chicken out of the pan and rest on your cutting board. Cut the string away from the chicken and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice the chicken in 1 inch pieces and then top with the olive sauce. Serve and enjoy!

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Fish and Chips

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Fish and Chips

So why not wrap the fish in the chips? This recipe was inspired by not only the classic fish n’ chips but a appetizer we used to make back 20 years ago in a Dallas hotel I was sous chef at. We used to take a scallop and par cook it and then wrap it in chinese broccoli leaves. Then we would take julienned potatoes that were blanched and wrap the potato around the scallop and You would finish by placing the bundle into a tempura batter and then frying it!. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Fish and chips
1 lb cod or black cod cut into 6 2.5 oz pieces
1 1/2 potatoes peeled and julienned and blanched
1/2 cup rice four
1/2 cup corn starch
1/4 flour
3/4-1 cup cold soda water

Asian gribiche
6 hard boiled egg yolks
1/2 cup of oil
1 garlic clove
1 Habanero
2 tbsp Dijon
1/4 cup pickle juice
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp of koji
3 tbsp of tamari
Salt if needed

Celery leaves fried
Horseradish grated
Chives

For the Gribiche,

Place hard boiled yolks, habanero, garlic, soy, koji, pickle juice, vinegar, and mustard in a blender.  Puree until smooth, while running add oil in a smooth, slow, steady stream until the sauce emulsifies.  season with salt.   Set aside for later.  


For the Fish,

In a bowl place flour, rice flour, and corn starch in a bowl. Season lightly with salt and then pour in the soda water. Stir together with a whisk until it resembles a light batter. Take a handful of julienne potatoes that have been drained well and place them into the tempura batter. Then try and place 1 piece of fish in the middle and wrap the potato and batter all around the fish.

To Finish

Place the fish into a 350 degree fryer and fry for 4-5 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Take out and place onto a paper towel to drain. Season with salt. Repeat with the remaining pieces of fish. Place a spoonful of the gribiche sauce onto the plate. Place the fish and chips on top. Finish with fried celery leaves, chives, and horseradish freshly grated. Serve and enjoy!

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2nd option with no celery leaves

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Poached Pear, Sabayon, Palmiers

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Poached Pear, Sabayon, Palmiers

This dessert recipe is actually one I decided to use for a brunch item. I needed something easy and simple that wasn’t going to take all day to make. I already had poached pears left over from another application and all I needed to make was the palmiers and the sabayon. You have texture with the cookie, rich with the sauce and fruity with the pears. Simple and easy but very delicious. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Poached Pears,

4-5 bosc or anjou pears peeled

1/2 cup of mead

6 cups of water

1 cup of sugar

1 lemon zest and juice

1 cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

1 star anise

1 tsp of salt

Sabayon

4 egg yolks

4 tbsp of mead

4 tbsp of sugar

1 orange zested and splash of juice

Palmiers

1 sheet of puff pastry

1/2 cup of sugar (roughly)

pinch of salt


For the Poached pears,

Cut peeled pears in half and take out the cores.  Then place them in a pot with water, sugar, mead, lemon peel and zest, all the spices.  Then take a piece of parchment paper and cut a square.  Then fold it over in half into a triangle and then fold it again diagonally into a smaller triangle.  Then fold two more times continuing the triangle.  Then cut the point of the triangle off and cut around the outer edge to fit the size of the pot. Open the paper up (This is called a Cartouche), the paper should be a round circle that fits inside the pot with a whole in the middle of the paper.  This is basically a lid for the pears so they stay submerged.  Slowly bring the pot to barely simmering.  Cook for 20-30 minutes or until the pears are tender all the way through.  Check them with a cake tester or toothpick.  Cool to room temperature. 

For the Palmiers Preheat Oven to 400 degrees

Lightly roll your puff pastry sheet out into a square. Take 1/8 of a cup of sugar and pour all over your surface. Then place the puff pastry on top of the sugar. Then take about 1/3 cup of sugar or an even layer of pour all over the puff pastry. You can add a pinch of salt to the sugar as well to give a little contrast between salty and sweet. Using your rolling pin or your hands press the sugar into the dough, this way the sugar doesn’t fall out when your folding it. Fold the sides of the square towards the center so they go halfway to the middle. Fold them again so the two folds meet exactly at the middle of the dough. Then fold 1 half over the other half as though closing a book. Once the puff pastry has been sealed then slice 1/2 inch slices and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 8 minutes and then flip over and bake for another 5 minutes until golden brown and caramelized. Take out and let it cool on a cooling rack.

For the Sabayon,

Place egg yolks, sugar, zest, juice, and mead into a stainless steel bowl.  Place over a double boiler or a pot with a little water in it simmering.  With a whisk continuously stirring, whisk the egg yolks mixture until they are thick and a airy but not scrambled (should take a few minutes to thicken).  Take the bowl off the heat.  Adjust the seasoning if need be.

To finish,

Simply place spoonful of the sabayon on the plate. Take a half of the poached pear and slice and place next to the sabayon. Take a palmiers and place on top. Serve and enjoy!

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Cabbage with Pistachio, Anchovy, Citrus

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Cabbage with Pistachio, Anchovy, Citrus

This is a dish inspired by the salad I ate at Osteria Francescana, a three-Michelin-star restaurant based in Modena, Italy from world famous chef Massimo Bottura. I ate there with my cousins late last year and the meal was really great. The first course after the amuse bouche tastings was a “romaine” salad they might of called it a “Caesar” but it was anything but that. They placed this salad in front of us and I immediately said ”this is probably the best salad you will ever have, or at least it better be”. Typically if you are eating in one of the worlds best restaurants the last thing you want to eat or order, is a salad. Let me tell you that this was not your ordinary salad. It takes them roughly 20 minutes to plate this salad. Under each leaf is flavors of anchovy, citrus, cream, pistachio and probably a few other ingredients I have forgotten. They also spray each of the leaves with the dressing. With out a doubt it was the best salad I have ever had and probably ever will have. Visually it looked just like a plain baby romaine salad.

I took that same idea as far as flavors are concerned and used it for some baby cabbage that I bought at the farmers market. I cooked it gently a few different times and then topped it with a fennel-orange puree, pistachio butter, and anchovy puree. JP absolutely loved this and thought it was really amazing. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Cabbage

3 small baby cabbages blanched twice and then grilled

Fennel Orange puree

1 fennel sliced

1 leek white only sliced

1 tangerine zested

1 1/2 cup of tangerine juice

4 tbsp of olive oil

4 tbsp of butter

3 tbsp of cream

salt to taste

Pistachio Butter

1 cup of pistachios roasted

1 cup of milk

1 cup of cream

1/2 cup of parsley leaves

Anchovy paste (store bought, or make your own)

Cabbage micro greens, chive blossoms

Olive oil

Espelete or Cayenne Pepper

For the Cabbage

Blanch the cabbages whole for 3-4 minutes. Then take out and cool. Then cut in half and blanch again for 3-4 minutes. Take our and place face down on a plate. When cooled completely then oil lightly, season with salt, and grill for 2-3 minutes just to give it a little grill and smokey flavor. Set aside to cool.

For the Pistachio Butter

Place pistachios, cream, and milk in a pot.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to light simmer.  Simmer for 30 minutes and strain out the liquid.  Place the pistachios into a blender with the parsley leaves. Add roughly 1/3 cup of liquid back into the blender.  Blend until completely smooth, you might need to add more liquid if it is too thick.  Season with salt and place in a squirt bottle.

For the Fennel Orange Puree,

In a small sauce pot on medium heat add 2 tbsp of butter and olive oil. Add the leek, fennel, and 2 pinches of salt to the vegetables. Cover and cook for 10 minutes allow the vegetables to cook but not brown. Then add your zest and tangerine juice. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the cream and cook for 3 minutes. Then place everything into a vitamix or blender and puree until smooth. I added a little more butter and olive oil to smooth out the sauce and make it a little richer. Season with salt. and set aside to cool. When room temperature pour the sauce into a squirt bottle.

To Finish,

Place cabbage in the oven for 3-5 minutes just to warm up. Take out and add dots of pistachio, fennel puree, and anchovy paste all over the cabbage. The anchovy should just be small amounts because of the strong flavor. Then drizzle the cabbage with olive oil. Garnish with micro cabbage, chive blossoms, and espelete or cayenne chile powder. Serve and enjoy!

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Asparagus Pesto "Pasta"

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Asparagus Pesto "Pasta"

Here is a vegetarian dish that anyone who loves pasta and pesto would love. There are only a few ingredients which means light on the pocket book and prep work. This is what spring/summer cuisine is all about. I bought some jumbo asparagus from the farmers market that were absolutely amazing raw and this recipe could easily be raw if you so desire. There is no real trick to this recipe other than having a great peeler, delicious pesto and asparagus. It only takes about 20 minutes start to finish if you already have your pesto made. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

2 jumbo bunches of Asparagus shaved with peeler

1/4 cup of pesto

1/3 cup cream

3 tbsp of butter

Salt pepper

Parmesan to garnish

olive oil to garnish

For the Asparagus,

Simply cut the ends of the asparagus off that are tough and woody, the jumbo ones I bought only needed a little trimmed off the bottoms because the majority of the stock was crunchy and delicious. Then take your peeler or mandolin and shave thin strips of asparagus. When the stalks break or dwindles down to just the tips just use a knife and slice the tips to the same size as the rest of the asparagus.

To Finish

Place a pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil. In another large saute pan add cream and pesto and start to warm up. Then place all the shaved asparagus in the boiling water for 3-5 seconds then with a spider or strainer strain out the asparagus and place immediately into the cream and pesto. Add the butter and let the sauce thicken slightly so that it coasts the asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and maybe add a little more pesto if needed. Using a large grill fork try to twirl the “pasta” (asparagus) around the fork and place on 4 different plates. Take the extra sauce left in the pan and spoon over the asparagus. Finish with fresh parmesan and olive oil. Serve and enjoy!

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Parsnip Tortelli with Foie Gras Sauce

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Parsnip Tortelli with Foie Gras Sauce

I recently went to Italy and I have been on a big pasta kick lately. Here is one that I made a few weeks ago that was a huge hit. This is not your traditional filling or flavors with parsnip and foie gras. I add some aged balsamic to offset the richness of those two ingredients. I also added a little crunch with fried parsnips and brightness with celery leaves to round out the dish. I am extremely grateful and really looking forward to returning to Italy later in the year for more pasta, pizza, and gelato. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Basic Egg Pasta

2 eggs

3 egg yolks

2 tbsp warm water

2 cups flour

1 cup semolina

1 tsp of salt

Parsnip filling

3-4 large parsnips peeled and sliced

2 tbsp of butter

2 tbsp of olive oil

1/2 tsp of salt

8 oz mascarpone

2 oz Parmesan cheese

2 tbsp of cream if need be

Salt and pepper

Foie sauce

12 oz of foie gras

3 cups of smoked beef broth

4 tbsp of butter

Salt, pepper, sherry vinegar to taste

3 whole parsnips peeled and chopped

1/2 cup of celery leaves (from the heart)

1 small bottle of the best aged thick balsamic (Mussini 30 Year Balsamic Vinegar, Delizia)

or Gourmet Blends Balsamic

For the filling,

In a medium sauce pot add oil, butter, and parsnips, with a fair amount of salt distributed evenly on the parsnips. You want to have the heat on medium-low because you don't want to get any color on the parsnips. Place a lid on top and shake the pot every other minute to move the vegetables around. The salt will leach the water out of the vegetables and will cook in their own juices. Cook for 20 minutes and then check it, cook for another 10 minutes until tender. Then place into a food processor or vita mix to puree until silky smooth with a touch of cream, mascarpone, parmesan, salt and pepper.


For the Pasta

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

Take your pasta and cut in half. Leave one half covered while you work with the other half. Take the half of the pasta with a rolling pin and roll until the dough is thin enough to fit inside the biggest setting on your pasta machine ( I use the kitchen aid attachment). Then run the pasta all the way down to the lowest setting twice. Dusting the dough with flour if it is too wet. Then on the third time run it down to the number 6 or 7 setting depending on the strength of the dough. Again, Use a little flour for dusting. If you feel like the dough is very strong and good density to it you might be fine with a 7 setting. If you feel like the dough is "loose" and doesn't have the structure to it then you might want to go a little thicker with a number 6 setting. One you have the flat pasta all laid out you can take an adjustable pasta cutter (here) and cut 1/2 by 1/2 inch squares. Fill each pasta with just a small amount of filling. Brush each one with water and then fold over into a triangle, then pinch the ends together to make a tortellini shape. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

Parsnip Fried,

Meanwhile in a food processor place 3 parsnips that are chopped and 1 cup of water. Puree the in the food processor until all the parsnips are small little pieces (think brunoise or small dice) and are about the same size. Strain out the water from the parsnips and try to dry as much as possible with paper towels. Then in a small pot with oil at 325 degree fry the parsnips in batches until golden brown. Strain out and season with salt.

Foie Sauce,

Place the 3 cups of beef stock in a pot and reduce down to 1 1/2 cups. Then place a saute pan on high heat. Season foie gras with salt and pepper and cook on both sides for 2 minutes. Pour the chicken broth into a vita-mix along with the cooked foie gras and fat that is in the pan. Puree until smooth and add the butter, sherry vinegar, and season with salt. Set aside and keep warm.

To Finish,

Place a pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil. Place 20 tortellini in the water and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Strain out and place in the sauce pan with a little pasta water, foie sauce. Cook for a minute. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if need be. Then portion the tortellini into 4 bowls. Top off with parmesan, fried parsnips, celery leaves and drizzle with balsamic. Serve and enjoy!

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Green Vegetable Tikka Marsala

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Green Vegetable Tikka Marsala

Jp loves indian cuisine, the spices and flavors he really really enjoys! But it is one cuisine that he doesn’t frequently eat out at when given the opportunity I’m not cooking. So lately he likes to have something with those flavors once ever other week if not more. Not only that but vegetarian is also a trend both Jp and Eoise want to eat at least 4 times a week. I had some green heirloom tomatoes and I thought why not make a green tikka masala with different vegetables and lentils. I finished the vegetable masala dish with almonds and mint, so not traditional but definitely tasty. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!


Green tikki Masala

1 onion sliced

1 tbsp ginger

3 garlic cloves sliced

1 large Serrano hot

3 green tomatoes

2 cups vegetable stock or water

1 can coconut milk

2 tbsp of Garam Marsala

1 tbsp cumin ground

1 tbsp curry

1 bunch of spinach

1/2 bunch mint

1/4 bunch cilantro optional

1 stick butter

Salt to taste

Vegetables

1 cup red cabbage large diced

1 zucchini oblong cut

1 red pepper diamonds

1 cup of Brussels quartered

1 cup of red fingerling potatoes sliced

2 cups sweet potato

1/2 onion diced

1 tbsp of curry

1 tbsp garam Marsala

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp tandoori spice

2 tbsp of butter and olive oil

Salt

2 cups of water or vegetable stock

1/2 cup of beluga lentils

2 garlic cloves

2 tbsp of garam Masala

Salt

1/2 cup of mint leaves

1 cup of marcona almonds

For the Beluga Lentils,

Place all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook the lentil for about 25-30 minutes until they are tender all the way through but not over cooked. Set aside to cool.

For the Green Tikka Masala

Add to the same pot onions, ginger, serrano chiles, and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes and then add the cumin, curry, and garam masala. Cook for 1 more minute and then add the stock, coconut milk, and tomatoes. Add 1 tsp of salt and bring all of this up to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes and then in batches, puree the sauce in a blender with spinach, cilantro, and mint until smooth. While the blender is still on finish the sauce with a little cold butter. (You can leave the butter out but adding it adds a richness to the sauce). If the sauce is not spicy to your liking then add some cayenne pepper until you get the desired heat you want. Pour the sauce back in the pot and keep warm.

To Finish,

In a large saute pan add butter, olive oil, and all the vegetables. Cook for 5 minutes and then add all of the spices and salt to taste. Cook for another 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add 2 cups of the sauce and 1 cup of the cooked lentils. Cook for 2 minutes and then adjust the seasoning if need be. In a bowl spoon vegetables in the center. Top with another spoonful of sauce if desired. Then garnish with mint and almonds. Serve and enjoy!

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Warm Lima Bean Salad with Mint Pesto

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Warm Lima Bean Salad with Mint Pesto

Here is a warm bean salad with fresh arugula and mint pesto. The salad is not only bright and refreshing but is something that can be a great source of protein for vegetarians. I decided to use small dried lima beans for this recipe but feel free to use any of your favorite beans. I had some fresh local jalapeno sheep’s milk cheese and offset that soft texture and spice with roasted candied pecans. The salad is really simply with clean flavors that can be served cold or warm, either way your guests will be happy. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 1/2 cup of fresh white lima bean

5 cups of water

1 onion charred

1 sprig of thyme and bay leaf

2 garlic cloves

2 tsp of salt

1/4 cup of pistachio mint pesto

1 cup of mint leaves

2/3 cup of roasted pistachios

2 tbsp of parmesan

1 garlic clove

3/4-1 cup of olive oil

6 oz of arugula

3 radishes julienne

1 cup of candied pecans see recipe

3 oz of jalapeno sheep’s milk cheese

Green garlic oil see recipe

Mint Pesto,

Place all of the ingredients except for the oil in a food processor. Turn on and puree, while the processor is still on slowly add the olive oil. Stop and scrap the sides if need by, season with salt and pepper once all the oil has been added. Pour out into a bowl and set aside for later.

For the Beans,

Soak beans in cold water for at least an hour if possible. Strain off the beans and place In medium pot place b with with charred onion, garlic, and herbs on medium high heat. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a light simmer and cover. Cook for 30 minutes and then add the salt (if you add the salt at the beginning it makes the beans tougher so it will take long to cook) continue cooking for a total of 45-1 hr or so minutes until the beans are tender and cook through. Set aside to cool.

To Finish,

Strain the beans out of the water but save the water for another application. Place 2 cups of beans in small saute pan and add 3 tbsp of mint pesto. Season with salt and pepper and just warm the bean on low heat. Meanwhile in a mixing bowl add arugula, radish, and pecans. Add 1 tsp of mint pesto and 1 tbsp of olive oil, mix well and season with salt. Place 2 spoonful of beans in the bottom of the bowl. Then take some of the jalapeno cheese and crumble on top of the beans. Then take the arugula salad and place on top. Take some green garlic oil (or mint pesto oil, or olive oil and drizzle around the bowl. Serve and enjoy!

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Sticky Toffee Pudding

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Sticky Toffee Pudding

Dates are one of my kids favorite things to eat. They have a date literally every morning before breakfast. When we are out west during the summer months it is one of their highlights about going to the farmers markets because they usually have multiple local farmers with different varieties of dates giving out samples. My favorite are the medjool because they seem to be the most sweet but they are all good in my opinion. This recipe is basically a date cake with caramel sauce and salted caramel ice cream. It is amazing to say the least. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Sticky toffee pudding

1 cup fresh medjool dates, pitted

1/2 cup warm water

3 tablespoons butter; cold, unsalted, cubed (plus more for greasing)

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

⅓ cup plus 1 teaspoon Demerara sugar

⅓ cup plus 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar

2 eggs

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon vanilla paste

Patron Caramel sauce

4 oz butter

8oz brown sugar

4oz of xo patron café

6 oz of cream

Salted Caramel Ice Cream see recipe

For the Cake,

Heat the oven to 350 and grease a deep 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Combine the 3 tablespoons butter, baking soda, a pinch of salt, Demerara sugar, 1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar, eggs, flour and vanilla extract in a food processor and pulse until just combined. Add the dates and 1/2 cup of the water to the mixture; pulse until nearly smooth (specks of dates should remain visible). Pour the mixture into the baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes, until just firm to the touch. (When the pudding has finished baking, remove from the oven and heat the broiler. Put the rack about 4 inches from the heat source.)

For the Sauce

Simply place brown sugar and butter in a small pot and turn on medium heat. Cook until sugar and butter are melted. Then add the patron and flambé. Let all the alcohol cook off and then add the cream. Whisk until all is combined, cook for 1-3 minutes until you have the desired thickness and turn off the heat. Set aside.

You can take half of the sauce and pour on the top of the pudding. Place the cake under the broiler and let it broil until it starts to bubble. Take out and slice individual pieces.

To Finish,

Place a piece of cake on the plate. Take a scoop of salted caramel ice cream and place next to it. Spoon some of the extra sauce on top. Serve and enjoy this delicious dessert!

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Spinach and Ricotta Agnolotti

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Spinach and Ricotta Agnolotti

Spinach and ricotta is a classic italian combination when it comes to pasta. Why not do a multicolor pasta though with some of the fantastic spinach that is growing wild during the spring months. That is exactly what I decided to do. Take a little extra time and work but adds a little more to the aesthetics of the dish. Pretty straight forward pasta recipe other than that. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Spinach pasta

2 cups flour

1 cup semolina

4 eggs

1 cup spinach cooked drained and pureed (2-3 tbsp of spinach puree)

splash of water

salt

Basic Egg Pasta see recipe

Cheese filling

1 lb of ricotta

2 oz of parmesan

2 oz of asiago or trugalo

salt and pepper

1 cup of bread crumbs

1/2 cup of parmesan cheese

3 tbsp of cream

2 tbsp of snipped chives


For the Cheese Filling,

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and place into a plastic pastry bag.
For the Basic Pasta

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

For the Spinach Pasta

Use the same ingredients and technique except add the spinach puree

Take your basic pasta and cut in half. Leave one half covered while you work with the other half. Take the half of the pasta with a rolling pin and roll until the dough is thin enough to fit inside the biggest setting on your pasta machine ( I use the kitchen aid attachment). Then run the pasta all the way down to the lowest setting twice. Dusting the dough with flour if it is too wet.

Repeat the same steps with your spinach pasta. Then on the third time you want to roll each the egg and spinach pasta thin enough to feed the pasta machine. But before you feed it the third time you want to cut each dough in half lengthwise. Take one half of the egg pasta and half of the spinach pasta and carefully pinch them together to make one dough. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough. Take your mixed pasta dough, the egg pasta and the spinach pasta, through the first setting of the pasta machine. Continue all the way down to 6.

Using your pastry bag pipe the cheese mixture along the bottom of the pasta leaving about a 1/2 inch from the edge. Run it along the whole length of the pasta sheet leaving about an inch or two at the ends (one long tube of filling). Then take a pastry brush or spray bottle of water and brush the top portion of the pasta sheet. Take the bottom part pasta closest to the filling and roll over to the brushed top portion. You should now have a long tube like pasta running all the way down the length of the pasta. Now, at every 1/2 inch use your index fingers and press down with with each index finger to create a little "ravioli" Continue the same thing all the way down the pasta sheet. Then using a pinwheel cutter cut away the excess pasta at the top. Then cut in between each press that you make with your fingers to create each agnolotti. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and extra semolina flour to help prevent sticking. Set aside while you aside while you repeat the same process with the other half of the pasta dough.

To Finish

Place your Spinach agnolotti pasta in salted boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes until they float to the top. Strain off and place in the saute pan with a little bit of pasta water, cream, and butter to emulsify into the water and pasta. Season with salt. Place four on a plate and top with toasted bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and chives. Serve and enjoy!

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Kampachi with Nasturtium Flowers

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Kampachi with Nasturtium Flowers

This recipe is all about spring and freshness. The spring is when all the flowers and plants are taking off. Whether in Austin or Malibu Nasturtiums can thrive, but because I was out west for this recipe there is a few different patches where the nasturtiums have really taking over. If you have never had nasturtium before they are beautiful herbaceous flower that grow like weeds and can take over an entire area. They have a distinct peppery flavor and can be used as a vehicle to combine with other ingredients to make a great recipes. In this case I left them raw and simply stuffed them with raw kampachi tartar or poke. The combination of the raw fatty kampachi with the peppery flowers where not only appealing to the eye but also to the taste. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Kampachi Tartar or Poke

8 oz of small diced Kampachi

3 tbsp of chopped green onion

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

2 tbsp of sesame seeds

1/4 tsp of sansho pepper

1/2 tsp of salt

1 tbsp of sesame oil

1 tsp of sirracha

1 tbsp of soy sauce

1 half of avocado small diced

2 tbsp of nori komi furikake

2 dozen nasturtium flowers and petals

For the Kampachi Tartar (Poke)

In a small mixing bowl add all the ingredients of the tartar, mix well, season, and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.

To Finish,

Simply take one to two tsp of the kampachi tartar and stuff the nasturtium flowers. Place a petal on the plate and place two ( or as many as you want) stuffed flowers on each plate. Serve and enjoy

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Apple Rose Tart with Vanilla Bean Custard

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Apple Rose Tart with Vanilla Bean Custard

Here is a light and easy dessert that you don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen preparing. This is basically homemade vanilla pudding with a poached apple baked inside a puff pastry square. That’s really what it boils down to for this recipe. The apples I used are fuji which are a little sweeter but you can use whatever your favorite variety of apple is. Maybe you like your apples a little more tart so maybe a granny smith or something similar would work better. Maybe you don’t like apples but love pears! Great! no problem, easy substitution. The most work is probably poaching and rolling the apples into “flowers”. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Apple custard tart

Pastry cream

2 cups milk

1/2 cup of sugar

1 vanilla bean

4 egg yolks

1/4 cup of corn starch

2 tbsp of butter

pinch of salt


5 fuji apples peeled cut in half de-seeded

4 cups of water

1 lemon peel and juiced

1/2 cup of sugar

1 cup of white wine

2 star anise

1 cinnamon stick


6 2 oz puff pastry squares

1 egg beaten

sugar for topping

oven at 400 degrees


For the Poached Apples,

Cut peeled apples in half and take out the cores. Then place them in a pot with water, sugar, wine, lemon peel and zest, all the spices. Then take a piece of parchment paper and cut a square. Then fold it over in half into a triangle and then fold it again diagonally into a smaller triangle. Then fold two more times continuing the triangle. Then cut the point of the triangle off and cut around the outer edge to fit the size of the pot. Open the paper up (This is called a Cartouche), the paper should be a round circle that fits inside the pot with a whole in the middle of the paper. This is basically a lid for the apples so they stay submerged. Slowly bring the pot to barely simmering. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the apples are tender all the way through. Check them with a cake tester or toothpick. Cool to room temperature. Once cooled slice each half very thinly. Gently fan out the apple slices to you have a long line of slices but are still touch one another. Then roll up the slices into a rose shape. Set aside

For the Pastry

For the pastry cream, scald the milk and vanilla bean in a medium sauce pot. Turn off the heat when the milk starts to a boil. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a food set to high, until the eggs and sugar form pale white ribbons. Add the corn starch to the eggs and beat for 30 seconds. Temper the eggs by whisking in one ladle of milk at a time until all the milk is incorporated with the egg and flour mixture. Place the egg mixture back into the pot on low heat and whisk continually to thicken the pudding. Allow about 10 minutes on low, but don't boil. Once it has thickened, pour the pudding into a bowl ( you can pour through a strainer if desired ). Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the pudding so it doesn't form a skin, and place in the refrigerator. Leave the vanilla bean in the pudding until everything has cooled, then discard the bean.

To Finish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl beat one egg and brush the outer edges of the 6 squares of puff pastry. Take an ice cream scoop and fill with cold pastry cream. Place 1 scoop of pastry cream in the middle of each puff pastry square. Then take your apple roses and place on top of the pastry cream. Repeat with remaining tarts. Then sprinkle the tops with sugar if desired. Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and pastry has been cooked through. Take out and cool or eat immediately. Serve and enjoy!

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Carrots with Dukkah and Manouri Cheese

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Carrots with Dukkah and Manouri Cheese

Here is an easy middle eastern inspired carrot recipe that packs a punch in the flavor category. Dukkah is a middle eastern spice mix consisting of nuts, seeds, and spices. The recipe can easily be alternated with different nuts or spices to give you all kinds of different flavor profiles. It can be used on any kind of protein or vegetable so it is very versatile and pretty simple to make. In most cases you would roast all of the nuts, spices, and seeds and then coarsely grind together to make your spice mix. In this case I didn’t do that because I ended up roasting the spice mix with the carrots so I didn’t want the spice mix to burn, therefore I didn’t go with the traditional route for preparing the spice mix. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Dukkah spice

2 tbsp sunflower seeds

½ cup hazelnuts

2 tbsp almonds

1 tsp fennel seeds

3 tbsp coriander seeds

3 tbsp sesame seeds, white

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp green peppercorns

1 tbsp sweet paprika powder

2 tbsp sesame seeds, black

1 tsp coarse sea salt

1 tsp sumac

1 tsp of red pepper flakes

1 lb of globe carrots

6 tbsp of olive oil plus 3-4 tbsp of dukkah

2 oz of manouri cheese

1 oz of fresh dill

For the dukkah,

Place nuts in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are ground up fairly small but not into butter. Place all the spices and seeds into a coffee grinder and coarse grind. Then mix everything together really well with salt.

For the Carrots,

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take your carrots and cut them all in half after they have been washed and cleaned. Then take a small bowl and pour in olive oil and 3-4 tbsp of dukkah, mix well. Then on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper spread our the carrots. Take your olive oil-dukkah mixture and spoon all over the carrots generously. Season the carrots with a sprinkling of salt and then place them in the oven for 25 minutes. The dukkah should toast and almost become crunchy during the roasting process. It adds a nice contrast to the finish carrots which become soft when cooked.

To Finish

Simply place all of the carrots on the plate. Take the dukkah that has become crunchy on the sheet pan and place all on top of the carrots (if it has fallen off). Take diced up pieces of manouri cheese and place around the carrots. Finish with a little drizzle of olive oil and dill sprigs. Serve and enjoy! ( An alternative could also be to take 3 tbsp of dukkah and mix with 1/2 cup of yogurt and place that underneath the carrots as a “sauce”).

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Corvina with Artichoke and Tomato Saamjang Sauce

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Corvina with Artichoke and Tomato Saamjang Sauce

This was wild mexican sea bass or corvina. Very popular in latin america but not as popular stateside. This look like a great piece of fish so I decided to go with it. Very simply prepared with just sauteing the fish and pairing it with a spicy tomato sauce. I added the artichokes to this dish and it turned out to be a very good dish. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Corvina with Tomato Saamjang and artichoke

1 lb of corvina cut into 4 oz pieces

2 tbsp of olive oil

2 tbsp of butter

salt and pepper

Tomato saamjang sauce

1/2 onion

4 hierloom tomatoes

3 garlic cloves

1 cup of water

3 tbsp of saamjang

4 tbsp of butter (optional)

5 baby Artichokes see recipe

mustard frill to garnish

For the Artichoke Baragouile,

Take the artichokes and pull off the outer tough leaves (wearing gloves helps you not to get pricked). Then take a pairing knife, cut off the tops and trim the bottoms of the green outer skin trying to keep the stem intact. Trim the stems as well of all the green tough skin. Immediately take one half of a lemon and wipe the artichoke all over to stop the oxidation process. Place in a pot filled with water, white wine, and 1 lemon juiced. Continue until you have all the artichokes peeled. Then add the rest of the ingredients along with salt. Take a piece of parchment paper and cut a large square. Then fold it over in half and then in half again. Then fold it diagonally into a triangle. Then fold two more times continuing the triangle. Then cut the point of the triangle off and cut around the outer edge to fit the size of the pot. Open the paper up (This is called a Cartouche), the paper should be a round circle that fits inside the pot with a whole in the middle of the paper. This is basically a lid for the artichokes to keep them submerged under the water. Bring the pot up to a slowly to simmer, where the water is just barely bubbling. Cook the artichokes until they are just tender all the way through. Test the artichoke with a cake tester to check the doneness. Take off the heat and let the artichokes cool to room temp.

Tomato Saamjang Sauce,

Preheat grill until hot. Then take your tomatoes and char them good so they have a nice blackened exterior. Then place the tomatoes in a small pot with water and ssamjang. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook for about 15-20 minutes and then puree in a vitamix. While the blender is running add the butter. Adjust the seasoning with salt if need be. Set aside and keep warm.

To Finish,

In a saute pan on medium high heat add oil. Season the corvina with salt on both sides and place fillet side down in the pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes on that side and then add the butter. Meanwhile in a large saute pan heat your artichokes up until hot. At this point turn the fish over and cook for 1 minute and then take out of the pan. Place a spoonful tomato sauce on the plate. Add the artichokes next to it. Place the fish on top of the sauce and garnish with mustard greens. Serve and enjoy!

corvina with saamjang and artichoke.jpg

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