Friday, September 28, 2007

Pickled silly

So I picked up the recent issue of Gourmet, and was completely enthralled with David Chang's recipes. I really like the clean tastes and the pickles were a great idea for people to try. So off to the market I went. I wanted to make some pickles for some upcoming events. PIckles as a condiment are wonder vehicles for flavor and textures. A great acidic counterpoint to savory dishes. So I will make some of his pickles here and some others> In the coming weeks I will pull them out and show you some of the ideas to fruition.

Basic Pickling Solution
6 cups water
1 1/2 cups rice wine vinegar
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt

Bring water and other ingredients to a boil in a non reactive sauce pan. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve.
Remove and steep with flavoring components separately.

I have chosen to pickle some sunchokes (jerusalem artichokes) with shichimi togarashi (asian 7 spice, recipe follows).
I will also do some multi colored carrots in coriander, and celery root with caraway and fennel seed.

Steep 1 1/2 tsp of each ingredient with 1/3 of the pickling solution. Place julienned veg in separate airtight containers and cover with pickling solution. Cover and chill for 1 week. Shaking jar occassionally.
This is a great basic recipe to get you started. The possibilities are pretty much endless. have fun

Shichimi togorashi
3 tbs sancho pepper
3 tbs tangerine or orange peel (dried and grinded, available at asian markets)
3 tbs chilli pepper
2 tbs garlic
1 tbs nori flakes
1 tbs black sesame seeds
1 tbs toasted sesame seeds

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

salmon tataki

Well, the avocado vase was just not as good an idea in practice as it was in theory. If anyone else has done something resembling a vase made from avocado mash that is frozen and cut to size, please let me know. In the end I had made some sushi rice for another use and just made a mold of it and hollowed out the center. Sauteed and cooled down. The salmon tataki came off well, especially with the jalapeno salsa. Some balsamic and wasabi reduction finishes the dish.

Jalapeno salsa
100 gr. finely chopped jalapeno ( I used red and green)
50 gr finely chopped shallot
1 tbsp+ 1 tsp chilli oil ( I used one that I infused with Indonesian long peppers)
4 tbsp lime
2 tbsp cilantro chopped
1 tsp smoked sea salt

And please anyone who has successfully molded avocado please share....

Saturday, September 22, 2007

What's new

Wow, this has taken entirely too long. When last I typed, I was just starting a blog, I intended to devote time to. Hah. How life makes fools of us all. Well the kitchen is finished and the work steady. I had great plans to come on every Sunday and ramble on (as those who know me will attest......Man can he go on and on.) about everything food related. That was the plan. Maybe I should have thought about the timing a little more. Must have something to do with being a chef and being so "a la minute". I can really only see the next meal, not always the whole picture.
What all this boils down to is this. After getting the kitchen going and putting our name out there. My wife and I had our third son. You would think that having had two previous, I'd have known the work and sleep defficit quotient. But as I said before, not great at the big picture thing. So although I have pined over this site and all I want for it, my family until now has been more in need of my full attention.
Thats it for the excuses and the appologies ( for the three poeple who have read this blog, thanks mom, Nahad, and that person that got lost on the info superhighway and ended up here).
This week I want to try an idea that I have had in my head for a while now. It's a combination of ideas that I gleaned from various sources. It starts with a few slices of salmon sashimi. This gets topped with a jalapeno relish (a la Nobu).
There is another component to the dish I have wanted to try. An avocado vase, holding a small salad. The idea of freezing an avocado mash in a thin sheet is something I have seenon a few blogs recently. After freezing the sheet can be cut to any shape. So far all I have seen are flat shapes on plates. I figured you could cut strips and wrap them around a cylinder and back into the freezer till service. Pop it out and fill with small lettuce leaves. I'll take some pics as I go. Heres hoping the avocado idea plays out.