Sunday, August 29, 2010

Another late night snack.
Bleu Cheese
Pumpkin Seeds

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Watermelon Rind

I love to leave a sliver of flesh on the rind, for a touch of sweetness and the beautiful gradient. The gradient that won't matter once ground into a delicious chutney. Yes, there is much to do with the remainder of fruit. The outer layers. The same way I'll dehydrate potato skins and grind them for a crust or powder; I'll kimchee, pickle, preserve, ferment and chutney a watermelon rind. It's a fun way to take apart an ingredient and reincorporate it, sort of deconstructed, in a dish. Imagine how much more fun watermelons would be to eat if they were bite size and eaten whole.

Preventing waste is something I grew up on, and finding creative ways to do it excites me even further. The chutney I made is inspired by my grandmother. Simply:

-Saute lemon slices (rind on) in a bit of olive oil; medium heat
-Add minced serrano chilies and ginger
-Add chopped watermelon rind (green and white)
-Cook for a couple minutes, until the lemon flesh has melted into the pan
-Add salt, sugar & white vinegar. Cook for 1 more minute
-Remove from heat. Blend all the ingredients in a blender or grind finely in mortar and pestle.
-Refrigerate. It's best served cold with just about any hearty dish. Preferably curries.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Coffee & Potato Skin Crusted NY Strip
Bleu Cheese Panna Cotta

Strawberries Three Ways
Macerated in Gin
Oven Dried

Basil Powder
Celery Strips

-Needs a starch and a sauce.
Where are the confit potatoes?! In the fridge, of course, as my fork arrived at the plate it's face turned strawberry-red (if it had a face; a cute little fork face) embarrassed by the fact that it didn't have any fat-soaked confit potatoes to sink its' claws into.
The sauce didn't turn red, but probably grey as I left the strawberry and celery leaves in their respective china waiting to be blended into a vibrant green emulsion, only to better accent the already plated flavors. Now the only green left is of envy. Also a balsamic-mauby reduction was supposed to be in the works.

-Don't plate the panna cotta too soon.
I've never made panna cotta before. For some reason, I decide a savory bleu cheese one would be a great place to start off. Don't get me wrong, the flavor was on point. I wanted to plate it ahead of time to see how it came out, because I didn't want to make the dish if the panna cotta didn't hold up. It held up, but started to melt as I was setting up everything else to be plated. I felt I needed to rush which also attributed to the loss of sauce and starch.

-Don't get caught macerating....the wrong way
An hour ahead I sliced strawberries and marinated them in sugar, salt and Plymouth gin. The raw flavor of the gin was very unpleasant. Here's what I can do: 1. Remove the idea from this dish 2. Cook the gin to remove the raw flavor 3. Macerate with another spirit: red wine or tequila perhaps.

In conclusion:
I am happy with this dish, but it is definitely a rough draft. It's actually an idea (flavor combination) from 3 or 4 years ago that I've always been excited about and finally felt ready to give the flavors the proper treatment. Food editor sounds like an interesting job to make up.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Late Night Simplicity

Thyme Infused Potato
Bleu Cheese
Kalamata Olive Oil
Truffle Oil
Fig White Balsamic
Black Pepper

I don't know what the verb for confit is, but that's what I was doing to some potatoes I had squared off into planks for a sooner than later ribeye dish I'm working on. I had a lot of leftover, irregularly shaped tater ends and could not waste them. So I boiled them ever so easily in salted water with thyme sprigs and a bay leaf. Planning to fry them the next morning, I was ready to pack them up when I realized that midnight wasn't the only thing that had struck. Hunger calls and what better way to tame it then the beautiful and starchly simple tubers that drain before me. I donned my superhero persona as the Refrigeraider and improvised my way to a late night snack. It's about 2:30 in the A.M. and I am not about to reduce, simmer, fry, poach, steep, marinate, macerate or saute anything else. A warm and somewhat elegant potato salad suited fairly and I must say was quite tasty and not too filling. This would be a delicious bar snack. Maybe for a sports bar that only has medium-width screen TV's showing cricket and badminton during the off season. Oh, a pretentious sports bar. I think I'll call it: Miami Prime II: The Squeakquel