Monday, May 2, 2011

Roasted and Fried Rolled Shoulder of Pork

This is another recipe involving crispy pig skin. The other two entires, puffy and crunchy, were the basis for this attempt. It uses a picnic roast, which is from the shoulder, but cheaper than the Boston butt.
1 each pork picnic roast/pork arm picnic
soy sauce
brown sugar
frying fat
Lay the shoulder skin side up and take off all of the meat resting above the two bones and joint. This will leave you with a slab of skin with a little fat and meat underneath it.
Rolled and baked shoulder
The bones and rest of the shoulder(a majority of it will be left behind) can be use for something else. Lay the slab you have removed flesh side up and season with salt, pepper, and sugar. Add a few dashes of the soy to the very center of the meat and roll the skin over so that the open ends of skin meet. Hold this roll tightly and secure with several knots tied with thin twine.
After frying, the skin puffs
Rub the outside with more salt and bake at 325F for 2 hours. Turn it over, turn down the oven to 250F and bake for an additional 3 hours. Remove from the oven and pan fry in very hot oil so that the skin puffs. Slice once it cools slightly.
The cross section
The skin is a hybrid of crunchy and puffy, the meat is tender and juicy.
Plate it up!
Roasted and Fried Rolled Shoulder of Pork on a duck fat and sour cream bun with sweet and sour mustard sauce


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Smoked Banana Ice Cream

Bacon? If its smoked, its bacon. Or, at least that seems to be the zeitgeist of the food world.
This banana ice cream has a lot of dairy(as iced creams should) and no egg.
185g smoked ripe banana
200g cream
240g milk
5g salt
130g sugar
4g lemon juice
4g squid ink
Place everything into a blender and blend until completely smooth. Chill and churn into ice cream.
Plate it up!
Smoked banana ice cream with browned white chocolate bonbon, frozen white chocolate, burnt banana, and grey salt.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Canelé - Without copper molds

This is the recipe and method I have developed from the results of my trials of making canelé without a copper cooking vessel.
500g milk
40g butter + 15g
1 vanilla bean
40g rum
125g ap flour
4g salt
220g sugar
56g egg
40g egg yolk
15g beeswax
A mold lined with wax.
Warm the milk with 40g of the butter until the butter melts. Blend the whole eggs and yolks into the warmed milk and butter. Once incorporated, add the sugar, flour, rum, salt, and vanilla. Blend everything for a few seconds and then place into a container and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Stir gently and pass through a fine strainer. Melt the beeswax with the reserved butter. Line the mold with a thin layer of the wax-butter.
Pour the  batter into the mold, three-quarters full, and place the mold on a wire rack so that the base of the mold does not conduct more heat that the rest of the mold during baking. Loosely cover the top of the mold with foil to protect the opening from browning before the sides and bottom. Bake at 350F for 80 minutes, uncover and bake for another 30 minutes, or until dark brown. Un-mold while hot and eat while still warm.
It's already plated... just eat it.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Squid Stew

I kept the aromatic base for the stew separate from the other flavor components. While this may not be a traditional step in making a stew, I still think calling this dish a stew makes good sense.
80g extra virgin olive oil + 80g
240g small diced celery
290g small diced fennel
246g small diced onion
12g salt
20g vegetable peeled lemon zest + 8g micro-planed lemon zest
22g garlic
3g dried oregano
650g Liebfraumilch
830g cleaned squid
800g whole canned tomatoes
50g heavily reduced neutral fish broth
Tender veggies after sweating
6g hot sauce
12g lemon juice
Place 80g of olive oil in a pot and get it hot, but not to its smoking point.  Add the diced vegetables and the salt. Make the vegetables sweat in the fat until they are tender. Remove everything from the pot, set aside, and cool.  Slice the heads of the squid into thin rings and leave the tentacles whole. To the same pot as before, add the other 80g of olive oil. Place the heat on high and add the garlic, large lemon peels, oregano and squid.  Cook everything in the fat until the squid proteins are fully set and start to release liquid. Let the squid simmer in its own liquid for 20 minutes. Then, cover with the wine and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Pass the tomatoes through a course food mill and add to the squid with the fish broth.  Simmer until the squid is a creamy, but still slightly chewy texture.  Add the hot sauce, lemon juice, and micro-planed zest. Cool and reserve. Reheat the squid and tomato base with the tender vegetables to serve.

Plate it up!
Squid stew with whole wheat croutons, striped bass, firecracker sauce, and butter radish sprouts.
The bigger picture
I love mayo and squid stew


Friday, December 3, 2010

Potato Gnocchi/Gnudi

Is the perfect potato gnocchi actually more rightly called a potato gnudi? I'm not sure, but this potato dumpling recipe is almost all fluffy, unadulterated, potato flesh.
Steamed potatoes
Russet potatoes
AP flour
Fine grain salt
Food-milled potatoes
Cut the potatoes in half and steam them until soft. Pass them through the finest setting on a food mill onto a tray, sprinkle with salt and let cool.  Form into small balls and roll in the flour.
Cover with more flour and let sit for 2 hours in the fridge. Blanch for 5 seconds in boiling water, let cool on a tray, redust/cover with flour. Chill again for 2 more hours. At this point they are ready to be reheated and eaten.

I tried some different potato doughs...

... and some different coatings.

After blanching; adding back to coat again in flour.

Plate it up!
Potato gnocchi and olive braised lamb with picked yellow squash


Monday, November 15, 2010

Ricotta Gnudi

When talking about food, words from many different languages are often used. This can cause quite a lot of confusion, especially when the speaker doesn't understand the language that they using to reference a food item (What is this? I wanted the Tiramisu!). What it really comes down to is a need to define terms. However, because I didn't grow up using certain words, like gnocchi, I only understand them from a limited point of view. Therefore, right or wrong and for the purpose of this recipe, I understand "gnudi" to refer to a naked ravioli(filled pasta, pierogi, jiaozi, maultasche?), that is to say, lacking a pasta outside.
Drained ricotta
Now that definitions are out of the way, I will now provide some further ideology behind this recipe. The nakedness of the filling makes it difficult to cook and shape. If the filling is not stable enough it will fall apart when moved and during the cooking process. On the other hand, making the filling too durable turns the delicate gnudi into something hard and undesirable. Adding something like egg will thin the initial filling, but thicken it when cooked. Adding something like flour will thicken it initially, and further thicken when heated. I wanted my naked filling to be as delicate as possible. I came to the conclusion that the best way to maintain a moist and supple texture, while still achieving mobility, was to have a very thin protective layer on the outside. Basically, it is the thinnest, tightest fitting ravioli you can make; a dough forms directly around the filling.
Piped filling before drying
250g drained ricotta
25g egg yolk
2g salt
12g grated Parmesan
8g ap flour
8g lard
40g swiss chard, stems removed
1qt ap flour
2qt water
Balls buried in flour
Get a large, dry pan hot over high heat, but not so hot that when you add the lard it burns immediately(still pretty hot). Add the lard, let it melt for 2 seconds, tilt the pan to coat, and then throw in the chard. Stir over high heat for 1-2 minute until the chard is completely wilted and it is starting to look dry. Remove from the pan and let cool on a cutting board. Chop the chard very fine.  Add the chopped chard to the eggs, salt, parm, and flour and whisk briefly. Pass the ricotta through a fine tammis and stir it into chard mixture.  Place the ricotta mixture into a piping bag and pipe into piles(I tried to make them the height of a quarter, see below) on a flour dusted silicon mat or piece of parchment paper.  Let sit, uncovered, in the fridge for 6 hours. Remove from the fridge and gentely shape the slightly dried out ricotta into balls. Place them into the bottom of a roughly 1 foot by 1 foot baking pan coated with .5cm of the ap flour. Once all of the balls are sitting in flour, cover them with the remaining flour and return to the fridge for 2 hours(as seen above). Bring the 2 quarts of water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and add the balls in small batches. Cook for about 5 seconds(just enough time to gelatinize the flour starch and let cool on a plate. Return them to the baking pan lined with flour as before and cover again with flour. Let rest in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Bring the water to a boil again and blanch a second time until the middle is warm.

The picture below shows the nudi in a very delicate state, the only reason they are able to hold together is because the middle is still cold.
After the first(5 second) blanch in water, before re-flouring
Ricotta and swish chard gnudi with celery root puree, okra-tomato sauce, brown butter mushrooms, and kumquat zest
The middle of these is very soft. However, if you blend everything together(and omit the flour) until very smooth the end result is a burst of cheesy, milky liquid in your mouth, but shaping them is a nightmare. This recipe is a good balance of stability and suppleness.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hot Sauce

Non-usable pepper part
I picked out the hottest peppers I could find; a mix of habanero and scotch bonnet. About 2/3 were red varieties and 1/3 yellow or orange.
800g hot peppers
60g sugar
50g garlic
50g apple cider vinegar
8g salt

Pepper flesh
De-seed and de-vein the peppers so that you have a pile of just their flesh. Blend this with the sugar, garlic, vinegar, and salt.

This recipe relies on removing all of the parts of the pepper which contain capsaicin but no flavor. They make the sauce hotter and dilute the flavor. I think about it like this, using just the flesh means a higher ratio of flavor molecules to capsaicin molecules.


Plate that hot sauce!
Fried stuff (fritto misto) with firecracker sauce (mayo+hot sauce)