Tuesday, December 8, 2015

In Conclusion

This is the final post for Gastronaut Jones. I was happy to have this digital outlet to discuss food and how it can be constructed and deconstructed. The desire to expand this vision and shift my focus has led to a new project that I started assembling earlier this year.

Fish Head In A French Press will be the creative umbrella and production company for all of my future endeavors. The first project under FHIAFP is a seasonal magazine of the same name, now for sale. There are also links to all of my current blogs as well as some original music, soon to come. I will be posting similar food-related ideas and dishes as well as other subjects. You can find them all on the new website. 

For everyone who has followed me or visited this website, thank you.



*enter space travel-related signoff here*

(2009 - 2015)

You can still find and follow me here:

Fish Head In A French Press
Quick Brown Fox

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Breakfast Curry

Breakfast Curry Powder

cara cara orange peel
star anise

Curry is so versatile. Even though it is often a one pot dish, the complexity of a good curry is unparalleled. I'm constantly trying to define what makes a good curry and refine my own in the process. In doing so I've tried a lot of different combinations of spices and ingredients; considering the seasons, current mood or how I want to highlight a main ingredient.

One result that I am happy with is my breakfast curry blend. I began by considering what spices lend itself best to the morning and what pairs well with most (Western) breakfast options. Not an attempt at "fusion", but an example of what curry is capable of and using it as a subtle addition rather than an assertive overtone of flavor.

I've since kept it on the countertop and have been finding ways to creep it into breakfast each morning.




Friday, February 6, 2015

Three in One

[from top to bottom]

I'm back at it with chicken skins. This time digging deeper and exploring how much can be extracted from this thin, floppy and eventually magical layer of poultry. (It is THE reason we like fried chicken, right?) One beautiful aspect of cooking chicken skin is the byproduct it yields. After all the prep and cooking is done, I'm left with three ingredients: gribenes, schmaltz and chicharrón. The first two ingredients are lifted from the Jewish lexicon and is a breakdown of the German word griebenschmalz, which loosely translates to lard or crackling fat. Gribenes are the crisp nuggets of skin that are left over from rendering the skin fat (schmaltz) and are usually fried with onions, flavoring the schmaltz and gribenes all at once. The chicharrón, in this case, is really just a crisp brittle skin. When you remove the fat and keep it flat while cooking, you're left with what can best be described as a chicken chip.

The prep & cooking:

After scraping the excess fat from the underside of the skin, I sandwich the skin between two sheet pans and drop it into a 275F oven for about 1 to 1.5 hours or until crispy. While the skin is in the oven I heat the scraped fat in a small pan over low heat. As the fat renders the left over proteins (essentially more skin) start to brown in their own fat. These are the gribenes. Once they are golden and all of the fat (schmaltz) has been rendered, they are ready. 

One ingredient producing three results.