Monday, August 25, 2014

Breakfast Bolognese

Bolognese is a beautiful thing. The quintessential ragú of meat and tomatoes where fat and acidity breaks down into a rich stew of balanced sweetness and umami flavors. Loaded with nostalgia as well, because I'm sure most of our mothers have made some form of pasta & meat sauce for us (tu mámi flavors?).

Most recipes for bolognese will call for ground beef and/or pork, but the beauty of this dish is that you can toss in whatever scraps or combination of meat you have. Leftover charcuterie, pancetta, sausage, ham, bacon, etc. My favorite combo is oxtail and bacon. This time around I used breakfast pork sausage, bacon and headcheese. Considering the breakfast flavors that are very specific to sausage and bacon, I thought about how I could further those flavors to complete a bolognese inspired by breakfast.
After the fat was rendered from the diced bacon and torn apart breakfast sausage & headcheese, I added diced onions and jalapeños until golden and really starting to come together. To that, I included garlic, bay leaf, cinnamon, star anise, soy sauce and some leftover red wine I had laying around (Charles Shaw Cabernet; only the best for me). Once the wine reduced and the brown bits were scraped up from the bottom I added peeled plum tomatoes and let that sucker simmer for about an hour and a half, once the tomatoes melted into the sauce and all the molecules mingled.  Added fresh cherry tomatoes and adjusted the seasoning with salt. Now it's time to assemble.

I paired the breakfast bolognese with french fry gnocchi and topped it off with an egg poached in coffee, soy sauce and maple syrup. Garnished with scallions, tarragon, basil and hush puppy breadcrumbs and black pepper.

The flavors of breakfast are definitely in there: egg, sausage, bacon, maple syrup, coffee and fried potatoes. I'm not looking to be overly conceptual with a novel idea, I just want to introduce familiar flavors to each other. Oh, and don't forget the runny egg yolk. That's almost as important as breakfast itself:

                          The Secret of the Ooze

Monday, August 18, 2014

Revisiting the Green Goddess

Green Goddess is one of those salad dressings invented 90+ years ago at an hotel restaurant, much like the Caesar and Thousand Island. Creamy, from the 1920's and maintaining a steady popularity throughout America. These condiments have often popped up in garish, dusty cookbooks and housewife club manuals; feeding U.S. bellies while quickly going out of style in the modern age due to its mayonnaise-laden heaviness (an undesirable feature for our "health-concious" population). I admit to dismissing the Green Goddess for a long time, but I've always loved how the term "green" can be open for interpretation. The Goddess was no exception.

Most recipes call for mayonnaise and sour cream, which are not staples in my pantry. I decided to substitute those ingredients for avocado and essentially considered what I had on hand that was also green.

• charred tomatillo
• avocado
• garlic
• anchovy
• lime juice
• carrot tops
• tarragon
• basil

This is what is pictured above. I threw all of these ingredients into the blender and adjusted it with salt, nutritional yeast, homemade pineapple vinegar, coconut oil and some coriander fruit I had drying out in the windowsill. Now I see the potential of this dated dressing. It is delicious on practically anything.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Chamomile Doughnut

made a yeasted doughnut and tossed it in a ground mix of dried chamomile flowers and white sugar.

it lends itself very well to apple, honey and almond flavors.

chamomile is subtle and complex all at the same time.

this makes for a great August/September doughnut, as summer bleeds into autumn.

milky beverages of any temperature will pair just fine.