Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pan Seared Duck Breast with Tomato Salad

Saturday's quick and light dinner. I found some beautiful heirloom tomato at the neighborhood farmer's market and paired the salad with a crispy skin seared duck breast. The sauce for the duck was a red grape and white wine reduction with lemon zest, butter, salt and black pepper.
Heirloom tomato with queso Cotija dressed with olive oil.
Pan seared duck breast with grape and wine reduction.

Pan Seared Pork Loin Chops

I wanted an easy dinner with lots of meat last night so brined a couple of pork loin chops for about an hour then pan seared them after rinsing the chops, patting them dry and putting on a simple dry rub.

Dry rub:
- Sea salt
- Cumin ground in mortar
- Cayenne
- Brown sugar
- Garlic powder

Chops are seared and fresh sage and garlic cloves were roasted in same pan. Served with Dijon and horseradish.

Provençal Fish Soup and Steamed Mussels

This soup was adapted from a clip I watched with Raymond Blanc doing a Provençal peasant fish soup. I didn't have the different kinds of fish he used as it is impossible to find variety of small whole fish in the States unless you live next to a fishing port with independent fishermen. It's a shame that people in this country haven't developed the palate for a wider variety of seafood than what the big supermarkets push at them like tuna, salmon, snapper, etc. There is so much out in the oceans that are tasty and more sustainable than what most people in this country consider as seafood. Anyway, I digress (because I can't stand learned ignorance when it comes to food).

Sweating down celery, onion, tomato, fennel, garlic.
Fish trimmings from a monkfish and tomato paste added along with reduced dry white wine.
Water added to cover ingredients and simmered for 20-25 minutes.
Bones are removed then soup is liquified in blender then strained through a fine sieve. Garnished with parsley chiffonade.
Mussels are steamed in white wine with garlic and black pepper then garnished with parsley chiffonade.

Classic Brioche with Lots of Butter

This was my second attempt at making brioche. I used a recipe from the King Arthur Flour website that can be found here.

For once, I followed the instructions exactly and it turned out beautifully.

Brioche sponge
Preferment or sponge for dough.
Brioche dough
Dough after all flour has been incorporated and rested in refrigerator overnight.
Brioche dough
Dough just out of plastic tub.

Shaping brioche dough
Shaping dough. 

Brioche dough log in pan
Dough shaped and rolled into a log and placed in pullman pan. I baked it with cover on until the last ten minutes so that the top would brown but not burn.

Brioche dough log in pan
Brioche loaf just out of oven. You can tell how much butter is in dough due to sheen on surface.

Sliced classic brioche
Buttery brioche loaf just sliced.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Korean Stir Fried Noodles with Chicken and Kimchi

This was a quick dinner. I had leftover cold Korean sweet potato starch noodles from the other night so I quickly marinated some dark chicken meat in gochujang, red miso, sesame oil and salt that was stir fried along with some crimini mushrooms, onion, then the noodles. The noodles had been dressed with soy sauce, gochujang and sesame oil previously so it only needed to be stir fried enough to be warmed. The garnishes were scallions, cilantro and Korean radish kimchi.

Vietnamese Cabbage Salad with Poached Pork and Shrimp

This is a variant of a very popular and common Vietnamese salad with poached chicken (goi ga). I swapped out chicken for slow poached pork and shrimp cooked in liquid of water, soy sauce, fish sauce, cider vinegar, bay, star anise, garlic and chile de arbol. The veggies in the salad are red cabbage, poached shiitake, Vietnamese coriander, mint, pickled carrot, Thai chile, pickled onion and cilantro. It was served with toasted sesame and dried shrimp rice cracker (not shown).

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Spanish Themed Meal

Prepping for gazpacho.
Spicy cucumber gazpacho with garlic thyme croutons.

Galician style octopus marinated in garlic infused Spanish olive oil and pimento. Dressed with Meyer lemon juice at serving.

Korean BBQ Pork and Cold Noodles

Korean daikon, bean sprout and dried anchovy kimchi.

Cold Korean noodles dressed with soy and sesame oil, topped with kimchi.

Pan grilling marinated pork. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Turmeric Noodle Soup Two Ways

With egg yolk, Thai basil, fried shallot chips, hoisin and sriracha.
With poached pork shoulder, Thai basil, shiso, fresh chile, green onion and fried shallot chips.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Baked Red Pepper Stuffed with Mushroom Risotto and Rolled Veal Medallions

Close up of baked pepper
Veal medallions were stuffed with julienned zucchini, dredged in flour and fried with sliced onion and a sage leaf.

Homemade Ramen with Packaged Dry Noodles

This ramen was made with a beautiful thick pork feet stock that simmered for five hours. Some of the key flavors in final broth was caramelized onion, garlic and ginger.

I made a huge pot of broth of which I froze half and kept the other half for immediate use. As typical with ramen, it is a matter of variations on a theme. In this case, I'm using packaged dry ramen noodles, discarding the soup base. I simmered some small slabs of spareribs in the stock until tender, took it out and glazed it with some sesame oil hoisin sauce then quickly broiled in oven. Other ingredients are usually just whatever on hand but by making a homemade stock, you can transform lowly packaged ramen into a whole other kind of meal.

Served with various toppings: Egg, pig feet, cha siu, roasted corn, organic celery stalk and tops, crimini mushroom, scallion and cilantro.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

How This is a Ten Minute Quick Brunch: Chicken Rice Vermicelli Noodle Soup with Greens

Better than oatmeal.

The trick:

Chicken broth is leftover from liquid I poached chicken for last night's dinner. I added five spice, ginger, onion powder, star anise, bay, chile de arbol, fresh garlic, fish sauce, mirin, cider vinegar, checked seasoning and I had a basic soup broth.

Leftover shredded chicken from last night.

Lettuce, scallions, cilantro already chopped and in plastic container in fridge.

Shredded pickled carrot is always a regular item in fridge for banh mi sandwiches and other dishes.

Fried shallot chips made by microwaving with a bit of oil for 30 seconds.

Hoisin sauce, sriracha and lemon juice for topping.

Way better than oatmeal.

Making Corn Tortillas Without A Press

Making a dough ball about the size of a ping pong ball; good for authentic tacos.
Pressing dough between sheets of plastic flat with side of a bench scraper.
Work from center and flatten tortilla toward edges, rotating the dough.
Makes about a four inch tortilla.
Cook about 30 - 40 seconds on a side.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Watermelon Radish, Tomato and Cilantro Salad

Watermelon radish, tomato and cilantro salad with queso Cotija in white balsamic and chile dressing.

Mexican Rice and Cheese Stuffed Chiles

Out of the oven, rested and topped with more pepper jack, pimento and cilantro.
Cheese is still bubbling just out of oven.
Just out of oven.
Stuffed with rice, cheese and topped with jalapeno slices and red onion.
Mexican rice with fresh tomato, red onion, garlic and safflower cooked risotto style.
Mexican rice risotto style cooking.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Radish Green Lime Jalapeno Pesto

Ready for crostini or pasta.

Greens, garlic and pistachios in food processor.
Radish greens just picked from the garden.
Freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano. This is very aged cheese and was a workout to grate even with Microplane.

- Radish greens
- Garlic, crushed
- Parmesan or Pecorino, grated
- Good extra virgin olive oil
- Lime zest 
- Lime juice
- Jalapeno, roughly chopped
- Salt

Chicken and Cheese Stuffed Anaheim Chiles

Fresh salsa and cilantro added and ready to serve.
Just out of the oven
Topped with sharp cheddar and pepper jack cheeses.
Blanching the Anaheim chiles.
Braising chicken in stock seasoned with Mexican oregano, garlic, chile powders, cumin, coriander.