Friday, November 28, 2008

Something Traditional...With A Florida Twist

After praying to the "Gods of Mise En Place" for a bountiful work station, one of my friends at work (Chris) and I began to brainstorm on the nights all started with Chris wanting to make pretzel gnocchi...then swordfish with a horseradish crust was discussed....then a Gorgonzola Dijon sauce. After we decided on the components,an order for crab cakes came in, which made Chris reminisce about when he was in culinary school and making cod cakes......long story semi-shorter, I told him about a crab cake and Key Lime remoulade dish I served at the Caribbean place I had here is the recipe for...

Key Lime Remoulade

1 Gallon Mayonnaise
2 T Old Bay Seasoning
1 t Cayenne
1/2 C Key Lime Juice
14 oz Can Coco Lopez
1/4 C Capers, Minced
2 Red Bell Peppers, Minced
2 C Scallions, Minced

Mix all ingredients until well blended and refrigerate until needed.

Simple recipe, but so delicious...obviously home made mayo is better, and if you live in florida where you can get Key Limes easily, grate the zest into the remoulade,other wise bottled juice is fine.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Speaking of my partner in crime....

Here is Hank...pretending to do real work...

Chef in Training

Here is my older son Braeden helping me make mint chocolate chip ice cream for his mother. He did a great job! The custard base didn't even curdle, although he put in too much green food coloring. I am currently working on 2 top secret flavors, more on those with accompanying recipes in the future.

Playing catch up....

After dealing with an interruption of my internet service...I'm posting several articles that I had typed up to post but...ended up staying on my hard drive for a week or so....A few months ago Hank, my partner in crime at 206 Front, and I had made some Shrimp and Scallop Chorizo and Duck Proscuitto for a special that we were going to do, sort of a fish & fowl dish...the Proscuitto came out tasty, but not quite right for what we wanted to do and the chorizo...disappeared (for lack of a better word), so we ended up doing a Grilled Salmon with Eggplant Linguine. I would like to thank Chad over at chadzilla for inspiring the other dish I fooled around with that night. I don't remember the components other than the shrimp, spiced walnuts, and the Gorgonzola 'marble'.

Chef = Tough

In an attempt to out-tough Chef Paul Prudomme, who was shot during an event on March 25, 2008, and continued to cook.....I passed a kidney stone Thursday morning (November 20, 2008 without the benefit of pain killers), then worked a 12 hour shift at 206 Front on opening night of High School Musical 3 at the Saenger Theater. So in honor of the man who brought blackened fish to popularity, here is my Mole Rub that I came up with when I opened the Caribbean restaurant that caused me to quit being a chef for a while....

Mole Rub
1/2 C Cocoa Powder
1/2 C Powdered Sugar
1/3 C Kosher Salt
2 T White Sesame Seeds
2 T Black Sesame Seeds
4 T Ground Nuts
2 T Ground Black Pepper
1 T Ground Ancho
1 T Ground Chipotle
1 T Ground Guajillo
1 T Ground Habanero
1 T Ground Jalepeno
1 T Ground New Mexican Red
2 t Ground Ginger
2 t Ground Anise
2 t Ground Cinnamon
1/2 t Ground Cloves
1 T Ground Coriander
1 t Dried Oregano
1 t Dried Marjoram
1/2 t Ground Allspice

Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container.

Incidentally, I remember reading through one of the "Ideas In Food" notebooks and seeing a note about finding a mole flavoring for something....can't remember which one, but here's a pretty good one Alex & Aki.

When is a Caesar not a Caesar?

When it's de-constructed....

Sour-dough bread run through a pasta machine, fried in butter and seasoned. Romaine leaf, anchovy, garlic sliver, and Parmesan consomme with a few drops of lemon juice. Take a bite, do the shot.....

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hot and Cold....

Okay, so here is the first recipe...It started out as a bet many years ago, when a co-worker said "I bet you can't make ice cream with this." Well, I turned around to see what he held in his hand, low and behold, he revealed the "Mighty Habanero." I thought to myself, well, there are hints of citrus and apricot...why not? It turned out that my first attempt tasted fantastic! It certainly is not for everyone though, even though the cream tames the heat quite a is HOT!

Margarita Habanero Ice Cream

Zest and juice of 3 limes
1 oz tequilla
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
8 egg yolks
1 qt heavy cream
2 habaneros, minced

Place the lime zest, salt and habaneros in a sauce pan with the cream and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat to cool slightly. Meanwhile, whisk together the yolks and sugar until pale and thickened. Temper the yolk and sugar mixture with some of hot cream taking care not to curdle the yolks, then place the mixture into the rest of the cream and while stirring constantly, heat gently until the custard coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice and tequilla. Cool completely and churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers directions.


Why Metaphysics and Alchemy?

Metaphysics is supposed to answer the question "What is the nature of reality?" through the investigation into what types of things there are in the world and what relations these things bear to one another.

To me the nature of reality is...we all need to eat! More important is the need to explore the ingredients (common or obscure), the techniques (simple to advanced), and how the two relate to one another to appease the hunger in a pleasing manner.

Alchemy refers to both an early form of the investigation of nature and an early philosophical and spiritual discipline, both combining elements of chemistry, metallurgy, physics, medicine, astrology, semiotics, mysticism, spiritualism, and art all as parts of one greater force. The best known goals of the alchemists were the transmutation of common metals into gold or silver, and the creation of "the elixir of life."

As a simple example of transmutation and how it relates to food: how do you make two pieces of bread and some cheese (in this case the common metal) better? Hmmmmm, we transform it to "Silver" by placing the cheese between the two slices of bread, but to transform it into "Gold" we smear the outer layers of the bread with softened butter and apply heat until golden brown and delicious.

So, that being said, there will be recipes, experiments, and descriptions of the daily grind in a professional kitchen or two (more on that later).