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.