Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mass A Peel aka TGI Freaky Friday's


I was peeling potatoes to make silky pommes puree (apple & potato). Reserved the skins and baked them @ 275F for about 10-15 minutes. They curled up and made these wonderfully crispy potato skin....chips...crackers....leper batons? I actually planned on frying them and was just simply baking them at low heat to dry them out for premium frying. However, I lost track and this is the result. It's healthier too. This would be great to throw in a coffee grinder and make potato skin powder. Give TGI Fridays a run for it's...creativity?

Or just to fuck with such a franchise, make a dish of fried pork skins with potato skin powder, whipped roasted scallion puree and candied jalapeno or a jalapeno sambal. Something like that.

I might be able to market these in a vacuum-sealed bag and flavor them accordingly. A healthier potato chip would be exactly designed for those who drink Diet Coke, Sprite Zero and are fooled into thinking that Lipton Green Tea actually contains antioxidants.

I love potato skins. Dried and crispy versions should not go unnoticed. I've been also craving to dehydrate and grind random items into powder.

And I will...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Roasted Butternut Squash Gnocchi

Roasted 1/2 a squash (1.5 hours) and 2 potatoes (1 hour) in the skin with no seasoning at 375F
Once cool enough to handle, peeled and pushed potato through a food mill (or through a sieve or ricer)
Scooped out the flesh of the squash into the same bowl with potato
Replaced 1/3 of standard gnocchi recipe's potato measurement with the squash
flour, 1 beaten egg, parmesan, nutmeg and salt were added and kneaded into a dough (adding flour as necessary considering the squash will make the dough a bit limp)
Once kneaded to a pliable dough, rolled out into a fairly thin log on a floured work surface and cut 1 in. pieces.
Tossed those pieces into a bowl of flour to coat evenly.
Boiled in salted water 3-4 minutes.

The rest is up to you.
To test out my recipe, I browned butter over medium heat and added a few whole leaves of sage to crisp them up. Added salt and pepper. Tossed a few gnocchi in the pan. It faired pretty well. Actually, it fared pretty well.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Potato-Crusted Haddock . Bosc Pear . Golden Beets . Cranberry Red Wine Reduction

I have to be honest. This dish was...okay. Actually, it was good, but I wasn't too excited. This is another exercise in using what I have in my fridge. For that, it's not so bad. But as a conceptual dish, there's nothing special or apparently cohesive going on. Looks nice, though. There was even some mishaps with the fish. I had shingled the potato slices (dipped in brown butter and flour, which smells fantastic!) over one side of the haddock (skinless) fillet. I let it rest in the fridge for 1/2 hour to sort of cement itself to the fillet. Upon flipping, I realized that I did not let it sear long enough on potato side for it to set. Shingles went flying like a mild hurricane just passed through my fry pan. I was able to rearrange them afterwards, but it's not what I wanted. Premature flipping calls for a do over.

Anyways, my point is for readers to not be fooled by what I post. I will never post something just because it looks pretty. It has to have flavor. In this case there was flavor, just not the right flavor I was looking for.

Trust me to be honest with you. I had another shingled fillet leftover and I just cooked it about 10 minutes ago. Simple, with some sliced Shiitakes tossed in soy sauce and lemon. The fish was more successful in flipping, but a bit more black than golden.

Whatever, I feel like I'm rambling.

Moral: flavor is more important than presentation

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Eye vs Mouth

There are a lot of factors involved in eating. Our brains associate with color, aroma, aesthetic and texture way before we even taste anything. What do you think this post is about? What are the dishes and ingredients above? What if you gave the diner a preconception of the dish and completely turn your taste buds against the rest of your receptive triggers resulting in a battle of the senses. Your eyes see one thing, nose smells another and tongue tastes something completely different. Would this be unpleasant? Will it give the adventurous eater a boner or the universal palette of an eyebrow-raising gourmand another eyebrow to raise?

I believe the second picture gives it away, but the focused ingredient above is mushroom.
King Oyster Mushrooms, to be precise. I dethroned these from a local Asian grocery, at an affordable price, mind you.
Upon wielding my chef's sword to these tree trunk mushrooms, I noticed an extreme resemblance to a friendly mollusk.

Keep in mind, this is a mushroom that's named after an oyster, looks like a scallop, and tastes meaty.

Above is Espresso-crusted King Oyster Mushroom with Caramelized Onions, Celery, Garlic-Red Wine Reduction, Lemon and Shaved raw King Oyster Mushrooms as well.
It's not my ideal dish for this discovery, but it's in the making.

What can I do to best compliment the mushroom and make it the centerpiece?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving Ragout aka Leftovers from Scratch

Farfalle with Turkey & Pumpkin Ragout

Sometimes leftovers go right over your head. You figure you'll reheat it, or not, or just put it in a sandwich. What if you made leftovers from scratch? I guess that's pretty much what I did here. I went shopping the weekend after Thanksgiving to find most of said holiday items were appropriately reduced in price. Taking advantage of that, I brought home some belated festive ingredients. I've been obsessed with notion of authentic Italian cuisine, or at least delicious Italian food. Being as though it's nearly impossible to obtain in Florida, let alone North America. If you do find it, you tend to pay a pretty penny. So, I thought if I can't make it authentic, let me at least make it delicious. Here's what I did:

-Browned three turkey legs (gotta love dark meat) on all sides till golden (not cooked) in olive oil.
-Meanwhile, I caramelized a whole spanish onion, sliced in a separate pan and preheated the oven to 350F.
-I also boiled a saucepan with water and sugar and added about two handfuls of fresh cranberries until they popped, then I let them cool in the pan with the liquid.
-Set the browned turkey legs aside, added a mirepoix (carrot, onion, celery) plus diced Calabaza squash to the same oil the legs were browned in.
-Let it saute and then deglazed with red wine.
-I threw the caramelized onions in the mix and deglazed that pan as well. Added the deglazing juice to the mix.
-Reduced everything over medium high heat until dry.
-Added back the browned turkey legs, threw in two cans of peeled San Marzano tomatoes and enough stock to come up 3/4 way up the sides.
-Brought that to a simmer and put it in the 350F oven and covered (here I used aluminum foil to cover)
-Left it to cook for roughly 1 hour.
-Took out the turkey legs and shredded the meat.
-Meanwhile, I threw the sauce in the blender to mash it up. Not too fine, leave a bit chunky.
-Added the shredded turkey meat and sauce back to the pan.
-Added fish sauce, salt, fresh oregano, black pepper, chipotle puree, ketchup and the cranberries strained from its liquid.
-Adjusted seasoning.
-Served with farfalle (bowtie) pasta, parmesan cheese, chili flakes, olive oil and chopped celery leaves.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Anyone Who Had a Heart

Marinating beef hearts
garlic, ginger, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, coco vinegar, aji amarillo, fish sauce

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Oregano Gangster

Knaus Berry Farms is in town.
They're a group of Dunkers (not Amish) who have planted themselves in South Miami soil. Excited, Christina & I took the Oldsmobile in flight to the Redlands to see the varied display of produce and baked goods in store for us. There's a buzz about the cinnamon buns which doesn't really interest me, but I was still intrigued by the hype. Upon arrival I was slightly disappointed that it was as small as it was. There was more baked goods than produce. But this beautiful zip-loc bag of fresh micro oregano was well worth the trip (as well as the satisfaction of supporting farmers and local produce of any kind).

But now I have this fairly large amount of oregano and it needs to be used. I've so far sprinkled it here and there and had it in a labor-intensive bolognese (inspired by Heston Blumenthal) that was well worth it.

Oregano reminds me mostly of Italy and Peru so my plan is to do a beef heart risotto for the best of both worlds. Very soon.

The cinnamon buns were pretty good.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hey, don't throw that away!

You've just braised a lot of meat. It takes a lot of liquid to cover it. After fishing out those succulent, bone-hugging, tender morsels of whatever protein it may be there's usually a lot of braising liquid left over. Generally you would spoon some of this over said morsels when serving, but notice I said: spoon.
My point being that the rest of that liquid or stock is not to go to waste. I had a mini tub full of left over braising liquid. So I strained some over a fine sieve into a sauce pan. Added salt, pepper, honey and tamarind. I let that sucker boil and then simmer for at least half an hour until it was reduced by more than half (eyeballing that) leaving a spoon-coating sauce that will go great on any future beef, pork, game or poultry.
We need to be wise, resourceful and creative especially in such modern times of Depression-era potential. Plus, it just makes sense! Make a meringue out of those separated egg whites, use that rendered bacon fat to fry something else. Forfeit your French forefathers willingness to "discard". That word is starting to look uglier in every cookbook I read it in.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Roasted Pig's Head (three course menu)
Celeriac Soup with Dried Peaches
Thanksgiving (in coordination with family's fussy taste)
Dehydration without a dehydrator
Perfecting my curry
Indian-inspired braised meats
Dinner for my Father (not fussy, but specific)
Celeriac experiment (roasted vs boiled)
Toying with egg whites
Sticky rice!
chili's and sambals.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


This is an unconscious practice in getting closer to monochrome dishes. I'd like to try this again with lardo instead of bacon and garlic chips to replace the crisp aspect and add some extra flavor. I've made lists of ingredients in order of color and now its a 1st grade game of mix & match. Maybe i'll get a happy face sticker on my menu, but only if I give each diner an apple at the beginning of the meal (and if it tastes good).

Let me list some ingredients in white off the top of my head:
fish (white-fleshed of course, too many to list)
marcona almonds

Please, everyone add to this list!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Simple Pleasures

the melon coated smell of a fresh cut butternut squash.
if only scratching the screen made a difference...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

About Last Night...

Roasted Fennel Salmon . Five-Spice Purple Potato Puree . Tamarind Gravy .
Pickled White Asparagus . Cilantro Chimichurri . Fuji Apple Chips

Friday, November 6, 2009

Geographical Gems

Whether this were food or rock, it's quite a discovery. These starchy jewels are purple potatoes. Reminds me of Peru and how these would look beautifully roasted against some golden Huancaina sauce or sliced thin and dehydrated to pair with a salmon tiradito. Imagine settling amongst condor-ridden mountains, your molars gummed with bits of coca leaf and discovering these amethyst tubers almost of currency quality. If this were a crayon, it would be sitting to the left of "Chicha Morada". The masses must be notified immediately! Don't let these beauties go to waste.

Although, they taste like they contain less sugars than your average white, they hold well up to spices and after all make a lovely presentation.

Purple prince of papas prays to be poked and prodded, positively prompted to Promethean product and playfully presented on the plate.
Short Rib Nihari . Butternut Squash Soup . Crispy Asparagus .Oven-Roasted Campari Tomato

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Flour Child

Found this while visiting my close friend Arik in South Philly. We passed by at least three cheesesteak stands and this is what I end up purchasing. (Well, I also bought a palmful of licorice sticks to chew on). There's actually a cute little open Italian market that spans a few blocks. This spice market was indoors amongst all the butchers and produce specialists. From Gambinos to garbanzos, I'd say. They had a lovely array of fairly exotic and fairly average spices. Unfortunately no curing salt, which offed my hope considering the door to door butchery that was occurring.

There was a sparkle in my eye when I passed by this bag of Pumpernickel flour, because If you take a look at some previous tweet-like note jotting posts of mine you'll notice my interest in making Pumpernickel Crepes.
You will be seeing this 1 lb. bag's progress, and I hope I get some good use out of it because replenishments are miles away and I'm not about to have Arik smuggle Pumpernickel Flour though the airport with each visit. Maybe I can just find it around here.

Ideas are in flight, and once time and money are on board we'll be ready to land.
I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cabrito Cabesa Pictoral

Fat Crabs, Lean Lambs & Jean-Claude Canned Ham Part 1

So, I'm in NYC again. We've got Howard, Humberto & Hann with Humberto's 15 year old stepsister, Laura. Enjoying a brisk walk (very brisk!). Excited for the culinary adventures ahead, we casually walk through Madison Square park. Feeding Laura's desire for a real city street cart hot dog, Humberto kindly assists her...well, no...coldly points in the direction of a hot dog cart and as he puts his arm down something beautiful comes into focus. A large spitfire with a whole, semi-gutted lamb that would make Shari Lewis rotate in her grave in sync with our little friend. Basted beautifully in a greek blend of yogurt, cumin & coriander it stood out amongst the culturally confusing crepe stand and campy "Viking" cuisine. With every rotation, we got a good view of the melting innards that just screamed to be consumed! Humberto politely asks Steve the Greek (one of the chefs) the cost of having some innards on toast. Liking our style, I saw the excitement in everyone's eyes. But the real excitement was in the lamb's eyes. Which were gracefully shucked  out of the head and handed to us to pop back as sort of an innards inititation. The head chef of Fatty Crab (who hosted this food stand along with sister restaurant Cabrito) gladly took a cleaver to split the head in two. Chef Dave (of Cabrito) gladly tweeted our readiness to chow down on cabrito's cabesa. Meanwhile, Steve revealed a separate container of reserved offal that was not in the fire. Heart, Liver, Testicles? maybe. Thinly sliced and sandwiched in a baguette with cilantro, tomato's and more of the yogurt sauce sort of represented a Banh Mi at first glance. Like dandy savages we took to that head and scarfed down the sandwiches. People walked by in disgust and interest, but if they knew what went into a hot dog, they may think twice. However, we were not through with our friend. So after thanking the rock star chefs of Fatty Crab & Cabrito we wrapped it in aluminum foil and took it around town. All I have to say is that we ended up at Grand Sichuan restaurant ordering a hot pot and having the lamb's head at our side, you might be able to piece together the temptation at hand. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this entry to see what we did with the lamb's head later that night.

Part 3 will involve us making a stock out of the head and a meal to follow.

Lamb's Head Pumpkin Soup with Preserved Eggs and Chive Flower.

Very Halloween. But  even if you have a hollow ween, grow some balls and eat some too.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Boiled Chicken . Sichuan Peanut Chili Oil . Fennel & Apple
Served Cold

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Before I Forget

Malta for braising
Powdered Parmalat
Cocktails as dishes
Yogurt from scratch
Angostura bitters broth
Short Rib Nihari
Truffled Truffles
Malta for sauces
-braised spinach

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Gravlax & Black Radish

First attempt at incorporating these radishes from the previous post.
Also first attempt at incorporating gravlax. As you may or may not know,
gravlax is salmon cured in scandinavian flavors. I had made some weeks
ago. Finding it too salty, I put it in the freezer and figured i'd take it out
when I feel ready to use it. That day came, so after taking them out I
immediately introduced them to the mandoline. Right out of the freezer makes for easier slicing.
Mandolined the radish as well and let it marinate in a dressing of
olive oil, coconut vinegar, sesame oil, black pepper, balsamic, chili oil and sugar.
Garnished with cilantro. Tasted okay. The radish has an overwhelming
rooty flavor that i'd like to subdue. i added some thin-sliced granny smiths
to add sweetness. Next time: jalapeno, red apple, less dressing, fine dice of radish instead of thin slice. Maybe fennel.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Trip To The Farmer's Market

Black Radish

These beautiful, charcoal-hued roots look like they're still in the ground. But they taste wonderful. Spicier and meatier than your average red radish. It's like biting into a piece of jicama that has been marinating in horseradish all night. It actually gives off the same tongue-numbing effect that sichuan peppercorns have. Sprouts a whole new garden of ideas. Substituting traditional sichuan flavors with black radish. Maybe cleaner tasting versions of sichuan dishes. Although I haven't much desire to toy with such a perfect cuisine. Well, here are some off-the-top ideas anyway.

spicy lamb's tongue salad with black radish, fennel, chili oil, tomato, cilantro
salmon ceviche with black radish, anise oil, kalamata, yuzu, nori
dehydrated black radish chips------>fish & chips
black radish raita
black radish on oysters with apple
black radish cream.^
served with roast beef
rice with shrimp paste, coconut, black radish, coconut milk, pistachio

Friday, September 25, 2009


Oxtail Napoleon
Cassava Beurre Blanc
Trio of Russian Smoked Fish
Pickled Garlic Chips
Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Stuffed Tentacles
Lemongrass Broth
Pumpernickel Pretzel
Pumpernickel Crepe
Shortbread Pudding/Sauce/Puree

Monday, September 21, 2009

What's In The Fridge?

PorkChop.Kimchee.Mashed Potato.Tamarind Gravy.Avocado Ceviche

Three different acidic elements help cut the fat of the pork and the richness of the mashed potato. Kimchee brings fermented spicy flavor, tamarind has a cutting acidity, and the avocado ceviche provides citric counterpoint. Actually, the pork and kimchee alone make a great combination. I originally wanted to mix coarse mustard in the potatoes and intended more of a tamarind jus that ended up a gravy, but still proud of it. I would've preferred either a tenderloin or pork belly for this dish, but as the title suggests, I was feeding the recession and emptying out the fridge.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Recommended Reading

Dear Mailman,

You hold my nerves on end. Your 9-5 brings citizens pain, joy & junk. But when that brown package decorates my doorstep, I dismiss pain & junk.

The bills can wait and so can Puff Daddy's sample fragrance (although jet-skiing in a tuxedo while naming your cologne after Martin Luther King Jr. is quite intriguing). My latest arrival is Rick Stein's Complete Seafood. A complete and thorough guide to preparing, cooking and serving fish and seafood. The past 4 books purchased have been my most helpful culinary guidelines. Oprah may or may not agree, but I'm pretty sure these are some of the top books of the past few years.

Alinea Grant Achatz
This restaurant in Chicago has been at the forefront of "molecular gastronomy" and at the forefront of labeling it a misnomer. Yes, it is kind of a tired term. It's just food, folks. The difference here is experience and presentation and, in my opinion, Achatz does it the best. Proven more by releasing a cookbook to show that plenty of these can be done at home. Although a lot of recipes call for acetate, liquid nitrogen, Ultra-Tex 3 and sodium alginate (to name a few) there's plenty to attempt with common ingredients. I never really try full recipes from this book (or usually any book) but it's great for learning new techniques and turning your brain on it's side. (I'm also working on a list of places to buy these supposed far-fetched ingredients sans the internet). Plus, visually it makes a great coffee table read. Some of the best dishes I've ever witnessed.

Happy In The Kitchen Michel Richard
Michel clearly has a unique and dedicated love for his craft. This book has an easy playfulness with such dishes as "Low Carb-o-nara", "Virtual Eggs" and "Carrot Risotto". But every recipe i've tried from this book has turned out pretty successful. I mean it got me out of the weeds with my short rib problem. Plus, the "Faux Gras" is a great cheaper pate that is delicious (it also calls for a whole stick of butter)

Complete Seafood Rick Stein
Just received this one. I knew I had to purchase this immediately after flipping through it at the bookstore. It's one of the handiest fish and seafood guides I've ever seen. Thorough in it's visual demonstration, it even breaks down the break down of different fish for different use (broiled, raw, grilled, baked, wrapped in puff pastry) plus a complete index of where the seafood swims and it's visual identification.

On The Line Eric Ripert
Another sea-centric recipe log with half the book dedicated to the flow of an upscale, Michelin-rated, well-tuned professional kitchen. (Not just any, Eric has been acclaimed by most to be the best seafood chef in the world). Aligned with the dish conception process and a typical day, well, on the line. But besides that the recipes are awesome. Almost overwhelming, you don't know where to start. Every dish seems meticulously well-crafted and goes through many mouths before reaching the diners'. This kind of attention to detail is the greatest part of Ripert's rapport.

Other selections to soon be delivered by you: Charcuterie Michael Ruhlman, Michael Mina Cook Book Michael Mina, Under Pressure Thomas Keller, Il Viaggio Di Vetri Vetri/Joachim

Thank you, postal provider. Someday I'll invite you in for dinner.



Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Short Ribs.Mushroom Polenta.Leek Salad

This dish will never defeat me again! I finally have it. I give many thanks to Michel Richard's book (which, if you have not taken a look at, please do). Submerged in a whole bottle of wine, plus enough chicken stock to finish covering the ribs. Added to that: carrots, onions, leeks, thyme, rosemary, clove, anise, bay leaves. Then, threw in a 275 degree oven for 2.5 hours. Tender, silky, beautiful. I had tried braising meat at least 5 times before, every time discouraged from dried out overcooked meat. This is a simple dish, but I'm going back to basics! Fundamentals are fundamental after all, aren't they?

Two things i recommend for braising (contrary to many cookbooks & recipes I have read time and again):
-Make sure your meat is COMPLETELY submerged in whatever liquid it is you are using to braise.
-Use the oven. It's a much better way to control your temperature. The stovetop never seems to do the right job.

Next to tackle are oxtails. I actually grew up eating them, and prefer them to short ribs. Maybe make a caramel from the braising liquid serve with a risotto. Ultra rich!
It'd be great to make Philly Cheesesteaks with this meat. Melt a blend of strong cheeses or maybe some brie on toasted brioche.

See you soon!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Trailer Treasure

Lately, NW 17th Ave. has become my latest highway. I've almost got it memorized and will soon be able to determine intersections solely by their surrounding businesses. But there is something keeping me on my toes. Preventing that drive down south from monotony.
Taco Trucks.
Sounds simple enough. A half-size trailer pumping out quick, flavorful meat slathered on soft, floured vessels like a one-man or one-woman factory. Keep in mind that this is fairly new to Miami. There's always been a struggle for authentic, let alone, delicious Mexican fare. These trucks are little pods of light and hope down the narrow tunnel that is: Mexican food in Miami.

I remember one taco truck, specifically caught the mouths of many and was even awarded best Mexican by the Miami New Times. It used to be parked at Douglas Park on weekends and occasional weekdays. It's very confusing, actually. The truck proprietors decide at random when to show up. I suppose that's part of the adventure, hunting them down. But now there's a truck on 28th and another on 19th, both on 17th ave. Plus, there's also new restaurants sowing their seed and almost getting overwhelming. This is a fairly recent boost. I have yet to try 90% of these establishments, but am ready, willing & able.

One taco truck was mediocre, didnt have much variety and I think was actually owned by a Dominican family. (I wish they were serving Dominican food).

Why don't more people jump on this bandwagon and open a wagon of their own? The cultural variety thriving in this Magic City should expand to more than hot dogs and tacos. At least in the late night, portable sense.

If this continues, I'm going to base every move I make on where the trucks are setup. So I can just go downstairs and gnaw on some tender, spicy pig organs nestled between crisp radish, bright cilantro and raw onion.

Dreams soon to become reality!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

NYC Feasting

It's been a while.
I was caught with a nasty virus (ironically might've been food related) for about a week.
Then I took a lovely trip to New York City to play a few shows and gorge in the boroughs.
My stomach was playing double dutch with my tongue on every corner of every street and I don't think I ever repeated a meal or dish. (Although I ate a lot of stomach and smoked fish)
Here's a list of dishes had during my plump and lush visit to the Big Apple. (however, I never bit off more than I could chew)

Cold Sichuan Ox Tongue & Heart
Asam Laksa
Briased Goose Web & Sea Cucumber
Crispy Squid Tentacle
Fruit Salad with Squid & Shrimp Paste
Malaysian Curried Pancake
Duck Web Salad
Lychee Martini
Salt & Pepper Sardine (?)(whole tiny fish) [Dim Sum]
Shrimp Dumpling [Dim Sum]
Crispy Taro Dumpling [Dim Sum]
Scallop Dumpling [Dim Sum]
Braised Chicken Feet [Dim Sum]
Mees Rames (sp?)
Gado Gado salad

Flushing & Jackson Heights
Curry Fishball on a stick
Peking Duck Pancake
Sichuan rare beef soup
Yaks Butter & Salt Tea
Tibetan Spicy Tripe
Mango Lassi
Lotus & Preserved Egg Dumpling
Winter Melon Pastry

Cold Smoked Butterfish
Cold Smoked Turbot
Cold Smoked Salmon
Beet Salad
Beet Casserole
Carrot Salad
Pickled Tomato
Caviar (Sturgeon)
Pickled Apple
Raw Clams (Coney Island)
Plum Cordials
Pickled Garlic
Corn Dog (Coney Island: delicious!)
Half Sour & Sour Pickles
Russian Raisin Malta
Black Currant Soda

Smoked Beer
Spicy Bloody Mary
Goat in Okra Sauce
Goat in Eggplant Sauce
Ivory Coast BBQ whole fish w/ various condiments
Cecina Tacos
Chicken Mole Tamale
Duck Hash
Zucchini Flower Pupusas (Loroco y Queso)

Fig-infused Vodka
Dirty Martini

Veal Tongue in Horseradish Sauce
Cold Red Borscht
Various Cabbage slaws (Cole Slaw/Sauerkraut/Red Cabbage)

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Perfect Cup of Coffee

Sort of an impossible subject title to follow. Many will argue on what the perfect cup of coffee is. When I say many, I mean people, ethnicities, races, subcultures, sexes, traditions, cultures, ways of life. The world takes their coffee very seriously and some with cream & sugar. So who's to say which coffee is the best? Is it Cuba's potent thimbles of viscous espresso? Ethiopia's meticulously spiced brew & blend revealing a lesson of history with every sip? Vietnam's unique and smart combination of condensed milk and French roast? Or maybe it's a ventidoubleshotskinnymochasugarfreevanillamacchiatolatte with 1/2 soy, 1/2 skim, couple of ice cubes, extra whipped cream, low fat margarine, fortified pomegranate-acai energy wheatgrass shot of...

You know, most American's prefer the water based drip sipped from the styrofoam at your local mechanic's waiting room. I guess you can get used to anything (like Sweet 'n' Low).

I'm wondering....I'm wondering if it is possible to make that perfect cup of coffee. Considering that coffee is deeply rooted in tradition. Tradition usually comes with a side of pride. Pride can be paired with hard-headedness. Probably not.

I'm actually kind of new to coffee. Was never much into it. But after seeing all these different takes and the endless possibilities yet to be explored, it got my tail wagging.

What if I spiced a cuban roast with cardamom, cloves and cinnamon, blended it with condensed milk and served it over ice?

Savory applications have always interested me as well. (Ground coffee beans make a great crust on beef)

You know some Ethiopians like their coffee with salt?

It's time to move out of Maxwell's house, get a chock full o' sense and expand your coffee palette. If you find the perfect cup of coffee, please bring me some (I usually wake up around 10)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Simple Pleasures

Slicing open a perfectly roasted piece of meat and pushing it slightly, watching it give away clear juice.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Who Knew?

Who knew I would ever be doing a double take in the canned seafood aisle?

Who knew that a Spanish delicacy starting at $165 per lb. would be available at Publix in Miami Shores for $3.99 per 4 oz.?

Suspicion arises, and the orange hued piece of garlic(?) garish and proud peeking through the "gulas" in the picture does not help. What is that?! Maybe it's another piece of eel? If they don't have aesthetic quality control, does it carry over to their control over other qualities?

Okay, by this time I've been staring for way too long and the Publix employee is politely and silently trying to tell me to get out of his way. I can think and walk at the same time. So as I ponder blindly through aisles 4-11 I realize that I have to buy these, because they might be seasonal and would hate myself for passing up such an opportunity.

So as soon as I get home I empty out every condiment, fruit and vegetable in my fridge and display them across the table like an arsenal to attack my Iberian serpeintitas. I go at it with mustard, horseradish, onions, strawberries and lemon. They all work in their own way (although the mustard and strawberry together fought a losing battle)

After downing that can, I've so far purchased a can with every trip to the grocery. Now I'm going to attempt sauteeing it. Garlic,
chilis and cilantro should do just fine. Start simple, then experiment further with every purchase. That's my plan! They are naturally sweet and should play nicely with others.

You will be hearing more from me on this subject.

Is it worthy of a Gourmet Recession title? I'll think about it, but it makes one hell of an impressive appetizer! For Sure!