Wednesday, December 16, 2009

angus tenderloin with sausaged-mashed potatoes and balsamic soaked cippolini onions

joshua robot came over for dinner last night and brought some really awesome ceramic plates by the very talented autumn higgins, out of portland.

just as an experiment in a normal cooking setting (as in trying to turn out a meal in about an hour, and not slow cooking, and not a tough cut of meat), rubbed two small angus tenderloin cuts in salt, pepper, crushed garlic and fresh thyme, vacuum sealed them in plastic bags, and threw them in the thermal immersion circulator at 115-degrees F for about an hour. the goal was to either partially cook them or to at least infuse the flavor of the seasonings into the meat.

quartered two large russet potatoes length-wise, then cut into 1/4-inch thick slices, tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper. placed the sliced potatoes in a 425-degree oven on a baking sheet, covered in parchment paper, until fork tender, flipping them at some point. threw the potatoes in a mixing bowl with 3T. of butter, 1 clove of garlic, and fresh thyme (all of which had been mashed together in a mortar and pestle, making a compound butter of sorts). mashed the potatoes by hand, adding some chicken stock, and a splash of milk. removed a link of the garlic sausage from the casing and sauteed the meat in a little vegetable oil until cooked. added the sausage to the mashed potato mixture, once the mash consistency seemed good. a splash of sherry vinegar, and a little salt and pepper to taste finished these off.

peeled, and removed the ends from a handful of cippolini onions. melted a few tablespoons of butter in a sautee pan and browned both cut sides of the small onions until they were a little bit tender and had some good coloring. placed the hot onions in a small prep bowl containing about 1c. of balsamic vinegar and let sit covered until the meal was ready to plate.

pulled the tenderloin cuts from the circulator and removed the chunks of garlic from the surface of the meat. in a very hot skillet, seared off both sides of the steaks in butter with a few sprigs of thyme, basting as necessary. pulled the steaks when they felt right, tented with foil on a plate and let sit for a few minutes.

removed the onions from the balsamic soak, and plated everything up.

[notes: the flavor was nicely infused into the cuts of meat, but with such a tender cut, it seemed unecessary. it's possible that the hour or so in sous vide produced a more uniform tenderness in the meat, but it's hard to tell. haven't been cooking/eating much beef. probably because pork is better.]

fresh garlic sausage with sauteed kale, pan-seared bacon cornbread, and thyme sawmill gravy

stuffed some garlic sausage the night before (with vadim and peter), with pork scraps (from last weeks butchering extravaganza), olive oil poached garlic, garlic powder, fresh garlic salt, pepper, and thyme. cooked the sausage in a skillet with a few drops of vegetable oil until both sides were brown, then sliced in half and seared them, cut side down, in the skillet until lightly browned. removed the sausage from heat and set aside, covered.

soaked some kale in cold water, dried, and sliced into thin strips. sauteed two finely chopped shallots in 2T. butter, with a pinch of salt, pepper, cayenne, and mustard powder, until tender, then deglased with 1/2c. chicken stock and let reduce slightly. added kale, and sauteed until tender, then removed the pan from heat and added 2T. of sherry vinegar, tossed and let sit until ready to plate.

had some leftover reinhart bacon cornbread from the night before. sliced the cornbread into 3/4 pads, smothered in butter and seared in a dry sautee pan until brown and crisp.

added 1T. of lard to the skillet (still containing the drippings from the sausage), and put it back on heat. poured 1c. of chicken stock into the skillet, with a pinch of salt, pepper and a few sprigs of thyme. put about 1T. of flour into the skillet and stirred constantly until thick. poured the gravy through a sieve and discarded the bits.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

sous vide experiment: perfectly well-done chuck fillet

sous vide experiment: perfectly well-done chuck fillet, originally uploaded by aarn! +15th December, 2009+.

rigged up a thermal immersion circulator from random parts from the electronics lab and a 6-qt crock pot. vacuum sealed a 1.5-lb chuck fillet in a plastic bag with a few sprigs of tarragon and two crushed cloves of garlic. placed the bag in the 146-degree bath of the circulator for 3.5-hrs (70-mm thick cut @ 146-deg bath temp - according to baldwin's practical guide to sous vide cooking). the cut came out perfectly well-done, uniformly cooked, and juicy. ideally the cut would have been cooked to a lower temperature and then finished on high heat, but those kind of luxuries don't exist when you are running an experiment at your office.

Monday, December 14, 2009

"the pig & the butcher": akimenko meats x quarter productions

akimenko meats x lickmybalsamic - pig day!, originally uploaded by aarn! +14th December, 2009+.

a little change of format here. i've been spending a lot of time learning, cooking, and working on new foods and ventures. a good friend of mine, vadim, of the future akimenko meats, our friend steve from quarter productions, and lick my balsamic, teamed up with 10 other individuals to finance the purchase of an entire pig. we then rented out a professional kitchen and had a video shoot while vadim took the animal apart. this is the second time in the last few months that i have seen the complete breakdown of a pig, and each time it has been an amazing experience. steve managed to capture the art as well as the passion that is involved in such an activity (when done right) in his video "the pig & the butcher." big thanks to everyone who helped finance this (enjoy your meat!) and everyone who was involved. in the last week since the butchering, cuts of meat have been cured, rubbed, smoked, baked, sous vide, pulled, deep fried, and frozen. at this point only about 1-lb of the 211-lb pig has gone to waste. a picture set of the butchering can be found here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

juniper and thyme-rubbed and smoked venison ribs with brown rice and beans and herbed butter roasted beets

went on a little trip to do some research for a project with vadim (future proprietor of akimenko meats). ended up out in new braintree, ma at misty river view farms, the largest venison farm in massachusetts. david and rhonda were nice enough to give vadim a nice looking rack of venison ribs to mess around with.

mashed together a few cloves of garlic with six juniper berries (christina's spices), black peppercorns, a few sprigs worth of fresh thyme, a generous amount of salt, a heavy pinch of sugar (about 2:1, salt:sugar), and a splash of canola oil in a mortar and pestle, until a well-mixed paste. removed the membrane from the bottom of the venison ribs, then rubbed them with the paste, focusing on the fleshier parts. put down a layer of lightly ashed-over charcoal in the fire box of the smoker, topped with a layer of aromatic african mahogany chunks (which had been soaking all day, thanks to the turk for scraps from his
shop). placed the ribs in the smoking chamber and adjusted the airflow to maintain a 200-degree chamber temperature. smoked the ribs for about 3hrs, then finished in aluminum foil in the oven for an hour or so.

browned a handful of diced pieces of home-cured pork belly with julienned chicken skin (in an open pressure cooker), until the skin was tender and the fat had been adequately rendered. added a 1T. of unsalted butter, a diced onion, a few cloves of crushed garlic, a couple of sprigs of thyme, dry mustard powder, a pinch of cayenne, some tony chachere's seasoning, a pinch of marjoram, and cumin powder. simmered until the onions were tender, then added 2c. of organic short grain brown rice and lightly toasted over medium heat until slightly darker in color and most of the oil had been absorbed from the pan. added 4c. of boiling water, stirred lightly, then covered the pressure-cooker on low heat until the rice was almost done (40-min or so). added a layer of re-hydrated black beans on top of the rice, and covered again, to steam the beans and come up to temperature (did not stir in, rice continued to cook for a few minutes longer). stirred in the beans once the rice was done, removed from heat and left covered until ready to eat.

crushed two cloves of garlic with some thyme, smoked paprika, caraway seed, salt and pepper, in the mortar and pestle. added 2T. of softened butter and mashed until a nice loose compound butter. coated a handful of rinsed and trimmed beets (parker farms) in the butter mixture, then roasted at 425-degrees in a covered pan until fork-soft, peeled, quartered, and tossed in julienned fresh mint and orange zest, to taste.

[lots of stuff/fantasic plating: vadim]

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

smoked and ginger beer-steamed spare ribs with fresh turnip salad

smoked and ginger beer-steamed spare ribs with fresh turnip salad, originally uploaded by aarn! +21st October, 2009+.

tossed a medium-sized rack of spare ribs (lionette's market), which had been rubbed with salt and pepper, in the main chamber on the offset-smoker. stoked a two-tier fire, consisting of a layer of charcoal briquettes (fired about half-way in a chimney starter) topped with a layer of oak (tongue-and-groove wainscoting!! taken from vadim's backyard), in the fire-box. smoked at 200 to 250-degrees for about an hour, then transferred the ribs to a 1-in sheet pan equipped with a baking rack. filled the bottom of the sheet pan with saranac ginger beer, covered the whole pan with aluminum foil, and let bake at 225-degrees for 3-hrs (there was a water bath in the bottom of the oven as well, probably unnecessary).

mixed together crushed garlic, a splash of apple cider vinegar, dry mustard powder, yellow mustard, salt and pepper, some fennel greens, and some diced feta cheese, and then drizzled in some canola oil until at the desired consistency. dressed some thin slices of raw turnip with this mixture, plated with the ribs.

[notes: i didn't take the strap off the back of the ribs, and didn't put much thought into a dry rub because i was in a rush. some additional ingredients in the dry rub would have helped a bit. also, the ginger
beer steam-bath flavor didn't really attach to the meat the way i thought it would. there are a few samples out with some friends now, we'll see what they think (about the ginger beer flavor and whether or not it exists). basically, the simple smoky flavor and tenderness of the meat was complimented very well by the fresh turnip and garlicky dressing. smoke on.]

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

shaved slow-roasted rare pork loin with peach-onion chutney and chevre

made a brine base by heating 1-gal of water and dissolving into it 1c. kosher salt and 1/2c. sugar. seasoned the brine, while still slightly warm, with many springs of dill, 8-cloves of crushed garlic, a few cloves (4?), and lots of fresh cracked pepper. placed the brine in a large non-reactive tub and chilled in the refrigerator. placed a 5-lb pork loin (strap-on) in the brine and let sit, covered and refrigerated, for 16-hours. removed the brine liquid from the tub containing the pork, and let the pork sit for 24-hours, covered in the refrigerator (to allow the salt concentration to normalize throughout the meat).

in a mortar and pestle ground together a few cloves of garlic, 1.5t. smoked paprika (christina's spices), 1t. dry mustard powder, a dry tobasco pepper, salt and pepper, and 1T. canola oil. patted the pork loin dry and then covered the entire outside surface with the ground paste. placed the pork loin on a rack on a baking sheet in a 225-degree oven for 2 3/4-hours, until the internal temperature of the meat was around 130-degrees, then rested for an hour or so, “tasted” and then chilled.

in a small sauce pan simmered 1/2 of a medium sized onion, thinly sliced, with a little canola oil, salt and pepper. added 1/2 of a large peach (about a 1:1 ratio of onion to peach), which had been cut into thin matchsticks, and about 1T. of molasses. simmered until the peach was softened, but still firm in the middle.

shaved the slow-roasted pork loin thinly and placed on a toasted sesame seed bulkie roll (hi-rise bakery), topped with the onion-peach chutney and a smear of chevre.

[brine ratio: ruhlman]

light hen of the woods mushroom risotto with pressed italian sausage

rinsed well and chopped a 1-lb hen of the woods mushroom (parker farm). sauteed the chopped mushroom in 2T. of butter, with a pinch of salt and coarse ground black pepper, until tender (about 15-min), then added 3-cloves of garlic which had been crushed in a mortar and pestle with 1.5t. of caraway seed, and a diced half of a green pepper (wasn't planning on making risotto initially, so this seems kind of out of place in retrospect, but it added some nice flavor and color, regardless of the vision). simmered for a bit with a touch of sherry, then added 1c. of dry risotto. slowly added boiling water from a hot kettle on the stove until the risotto was the right consistency, then mixed in 1/3c. of low-moisture whole milk mozarella, and approximately 1.5oz of plain goat cheese (chevre). lightly simmered until the dish was holding together properly. served on a warm plate with a slice of sweet italian sausage (stillman farm), which had been pressed on a cast iron skillet until nicely browned.

[notes: was shooting for a lighter risotto, using the mozarella (unconventional for risotto, but what was on hand) as a binder, and the chevre as a tangy and creamy addition.]

Thursday, October 8, 2009

hearty polenta pancakes with apple-puya sauce

hearty polenta pancakes with apple-puya sauce, originally uploaded by aarn! +8th October, 2009+.

mixed together 1/2c. sifted all-purpose flour, 1/2c. maseca corn flour, 1/2c. dry polenta, 2T. ground flax seed, 1 1/2t. baking powder, 1 1/2t. dark brown sugar, and 1t. salt. in a measuring cup, beat two eggs with 2T. canola oil, and 1.5c. whole milk. folded the liquid into the dry, whisked for a minute, then let sit for 15-minutes or so.

finely diced a small macoun apple (parker farms) and simmered in 1T. unsalted butter with a single sliced dry puya pepper (from christina's spices), and 1T. of dark brown sugar. added a pinch of salt, and then transferred the diced chunks and liquid to a mortar and pestle and lightly brutalized the softened mixture until at the desired consistency.

melted a little butter in a hot skillet, poured the right amount of pancake batter in, shook until the right thickness, flipped. that's a pancake. served on some warmed plates with a little of the apple-puya mixture.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

skillet-baked dill, apple, and mozzarella biscuit

skillet-baked dill, apple, and mozzarella biscuit, originally uploaded by aarn! +29th September, 2009+.

there has been a savory biscuit trend going on in the boston area cafes lately, decided to just throw together some ingredients without too much direction and see how it turned out.
cut 4T. of chilled and sliced unsalted butter into 1/2-lb (~3 1/2-4c.) of sifted flour and 1/2c. of maseca corn flour. mixed in 1 1/2t. salt, 3t. baking powder (would have kept all of the dry ingredients together, but things were just kind of flying into the bowl), 2T. finely chopped fresh dill, 1/2c. shredded low-moisture whole milk mozzarella, a diced medium sized apple, and 1 1/4c. whole milk. transferred the thick batter into a greased 10" cast iron skillet, dusted the top with some coarse ground black pepper, and baked at 425-degrees on a middle rack until the bottom was browned and the peaks started to show some nice color, about 28-minutes (5+5+5+5+5+3?). cooled on a wire rack for a few minutes, then served.

[notes: kind of greasy, didn't use the best cheese possible, but turned out pretty well for just winging it. basically started with a known self-rising flour recipe (1c. flour, ~1t. baking powder, ~1/2t. salt) and then just added ingredients until it was ready to hit the oven.]

Friday, September 25, 2009

herb roasted turkey salad with fresh grapes and blueberries

herb roasted turkey salad with fresh grapes and blueberries, originally uploaded by aarn! +25th September, 2009+.

trying to come off of a bit of a hiatus here.

folded 2T. of fresh chopped thyme, savory, and oregano (that's 6T. total), 4 cloves of chopped and crushed garlic, salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne into a stick of softened butter. cut a few slits where necessary, and separated the skin from the meat on a 15-lb turkey (using an upside down spoon to reach further under the skin and get the small spots). filled a spoon with the herbed butter and deposited spoonfuls under the skin, then worked the balls of butter into a even coating under the skin, by pushing the masses flat from outside. reserved about 2T. of the herbed butter to rub over the outside of the bird. stuffed the cavity of the turkey with two roughly chopped onions. placed the turkey in a disposable aluminum pan, covered with aluminum foil, and put the pan on a hot gas grill. cooked on the grill for about 2 1/2-hrs (didn't have a working temperature gauge, the heat was set to low after the turkey had cooked for a bit), basting and adding liquid as needed (to avoid scorching the bottom, since the bottom of the pan was on direct heat), until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast meat read approximately 180-degrees on an instant read thermometer.

the next day, after the turkey was eaten for dinner, the remaining dark and light meat was pulled by hand, mixed with a finely diced onion and a heavy helping of mayonnaise, seasoned with some fresh thyme, a dash of cayenne, a little paprika, a pinch of curry powder, salt and pepper. mixed in some fresh blueberries and grapes, served on some thick slices of toasted challah with some sliced tomato and romaine lettuce.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

rubbed sage and fresh black mission fig focaccia

rubbed sage and fresh black mission fig focaccia, originally uploaded by aarn! +18th August, 2009+.

mixed 3c. of flour into 1 2/3c. room temp water, 2 1/4t. table salt, 1 1/2t. instant yeast, 2t. sugar, 5T. extra-virgin olive oil, and 2 1/2T. sage leaves (chopped up somewhat small and then rubbed in the palm of your hand until it smells nice). folded into the dough three fresh black mission figs, which had been cut into thin rounds cross-wise and then quartered (so as not to destroy the fig matter or make a fig-tasting dough). let the dough sit oiled in a bowl for one hour, then transferred to an oiled baking sheet and made finger indentations every two inches in a grid like pattern, and let rise for an additional hour. topped the dough with three more fresh figs, cut into rounds crosswise, more fresh chopped and rubbed sage, and some extra coarse sea salt. baked in a 400-degree oven (with a water bath in the bottom...a pyrex measuring cup filled with 1/2c. water, placed directly on the bottom of the oven) for 10-minutes, then rotated and baked for another 7-minutes or so, until lightly browned, but not crispy on the bottom. during baking, a plastic condiment bottle was used to squirt water on the walls of the oven every few minutes or so. the water bath was removed after the first 10-minutes. moved the bread from the baking sheet to a large cooling rack and brushed the top with the white of an egg.

[notes: was trying to make something pretty neutral in flavor, not too overpowering or anything, for a wine tasting. this was a hit. recipe is modified from cook's illustrated (for a pizza bianco).]

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

summer corn black bean and farm fresh vegetable salad dressed with cilantro and lime with spicy broiled white corn chips

muddled a handful of chopped cilantro leaves and a crushed clove of garlic in the juice of 1/2 of a lime. mixed in a pinch of salt, pepper, and ground hot red pepper, 1t. of spicy dijon mustard, and 1t. of mayonnaise, then slowly whisked in 2T. of vegetable oil, to taste and consistency. tossed the dressing over some fresh leaves of lettuce, sauteed spring onions and black beans (seasoned with some cumin and crushed red pepper), thinly sliced cucumber, green and yellow squash, a nice tomato, another handful of fresh cilantro, and a boiled ear of sweet corn which had been cut from the cob.

broiled a few small white corn tortillas, which had been tossed in a little vegetable oil, salt, pepper, cumin, and ground red pepper, until brown and crisp on top.

plated the salad in some chilled bowls with a side of the spicy chips.

[beans and stuff: trisha]

Monday, August 10, 2009

brined provençal herb roasted chicken with sauteed collard greens short grain brown rice and quick pickled vegetables

submerged some frozen chicken breasts in a ~10% salt water solution with two cloves of crushed garlic, 1t. dried marjoram, 1t. dried mustard powder, and fresh cracked pepper (put a plate on top to ensure contact with the brine). after about an hour the chicken had fully defrosted. let the chicken soak in the brine for an additional hour, then pat dry and tossed the breasts in some provençal herbs (savory, fennel, thyme, lavender, basil?) with a crushed garlic clove and a pinch of spicy ground red pepper. placed the breasts on a baking sheet (probably would have been better on a rack, the breasts were so moist that they didn't really develop a crust) in a 400-degree oven for 15-minutes on the first side and 7-minutes after flipping, then sliced the breasts up and plated.

sauteed a finely sliced medium sized spring onion bulb in 1t. of vegetable oil, until soft, then added a clove of crushed garlic, let simmer for a minute and then added 1/4c. of sherry. after the sherry had reduced a bit, added 4 chopped leaves of collard greens(i think, the csa gets confusing), and let simmer until soft. before serving, added 1T. of seasoned rice vinegar.

brought 1.5c. water to a boil, then added 3/4c. of short grain brown rice and cooked for about 40-minutes until cooked but still a little crunchy. mixed in the chopped green stalks from the spring onion.

made a brine with salt water and some seasoned rice vinegar, with a clove of crushed garlic, submerged some really thin slices of cucumber and yellow squash. let this sit in the refrigerator for about an hour.

plated the sliced chicken with the rice and sauteed greens, topped with some of the quick pickled vegetables (discarded the brine).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

yogurt cucumber red cabbage and dill salad with hard boiled egg

brought a pot of water containing three eggs to a boil. after reaching a boil, let the pot sit, removed from heat for 10-minutes. then removed the eggs, chilled, peeled, and sliced.

mixed together 2 cloves of crushed garlic, 3/4c. of lowfat plain yogurt, 2T. of mayonnaise, 1.5t fresh chopped dill, and a pinch of salt and pepper. tossed in the dressing one thinly sliced spring onion stalk with a large bulb (with a little of the greens), one large cucumber, 1/2 of a small red cabbage, and whole toasted pepitas. plated the salad in some chilled bowls with a side of hard boiled egg.

[notes: this really was a great salad, the picture didn't doesn't really do it. this salad is a spin off an old french recipe (which immediately makes it cool, right?), on hot days this french guy said that they would make a spread of chilled hard boiled eggs slathered (i think he used a different word) in a yogurt garlic and mint sauce. he said that it took the edge off on the hot days, sounded crazy, but delicious. all of the veggies were from parker farms, btw.]

Monday, July 20, 2009

summer pasta salad with fresh vegetables and light miso dressing

mixed together 1.5T. spicy brown mustard, 2T. soy sauce, 1T. sherry vinegar, 1T. white miso paste, a pinch of garlic powder, dried onion, salt and pepper. poured the dressing over shaved yellow and orange carrots, finely chopped green onion, thin slices of asian turnips, sweet peas, chunks of raw cauliflower, slices of granny smith apple, and 1/2lb. of penne pasta, cooked al dente and rinsed in cold water and drained well.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

spicy grilled lime and basil fava beans with a crusted savory polenta lava cake

lightly sauteed 1/4c. finely diced home cured pork belly in 1T. olive oil until the fat rendered and the meat was lightly browned. added two cloves of crushed garlic, a little salt, fresh cracked pepper, and a bay leaf, simmered for a bit, then poured in 1 3/4c. boiling water, and a 1/4c. can of tomato sauce. brought the liquid to a rolling boil, then added 1/2c. dried polenta, whisking continuously until thick, then stirred in 1/4c. Grated dubliner cheddar and 1/4c. grated parmesan cheese. prepped two ramekins by spraying them with canola oil, dusting the oiled insides with cornmeal, and adding a base layer of pankos which had been tossed in some dry mustard powder and salt. the hot polenta was then poured into the ramekins, allowed to cool for 15-minutes, and then transferred onto a plate, upside down, still in the ramekins until ready to serve (at which point the ramekins were pulled off, leaving a mold of polenta crusted with seasoned pankos and cornmeal, with a gooey polenta center).

tossed some fava beans in a few cloves of crushed garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, then placed on a hot grill, about 5-minutes per side, until nicely charred. plated the beans topped with a squeeze of lime juice, a dash of cayenne and some ribbons of fresh basil.

[fava bean idea: 101cookbooks]

Monday, June 29, 2009

farm fresh salad with ginger-tahini dressing over a bed of seasoned egg noodles

chopped up and washed a handful of fresh greens from the parker farm CSA: romaine and red leaf lettuce, and chicory. boiled an ear of corn, sliced kernels from the cob and chilled. added to the greens julienned young carrots and thin halved rounds of asian turnips (white lady).

grated 1.5t. fresh ginger into a bowl. added to it, 1 clove of crushed garlic, a pinch of cinnamon and salt, 1.5T. seasoned rice vinegar, 1T. soy sauce, 1t. spicy dijon mustard, 1t. sriracha chili sauce (more to taste, later), and 2-4T. smooth tahini, then slowly mixed in canola oil until the desired consistency and taste.

garnished with blanched and chilled sugar snap peas (steve parker's famous), and served over a bed of chilled egg noodles which had been tossed in sesame oil and coated in crushed peanuts.

kosher salt and rice vinegar marble rye crisps

kosher salt and rice vinegar marble rye crisps, originally uploaded by aarn! +29th June, 2009+.

salvaged a loaf of fresh bread that didn't turn out so great (didn't rise enough, dough sat around for a while, too firm) by slicing it into 1/8-in thick rounds, crosswise,
seasoning the slices with seasoned rice vinegar, a spritz of oil, and some salt and pepper. baked on a lightly oiled baking sheet, in a 425-degree oven, for 7-minutes on a
singe side, then pulled and let cool on a rack until crisp. served with a few different topping options/combos blue cheese, some thinly-sliced vidalia onion, and black currant jam.

[original dough: nic]

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

pureed broccoli stalk soup with roasted potato parsley and lemon garnish with fresh white whole wheat boule

trisha salvaged a bag of broccoli stalks from her place of work yesterday and made this delicious soup. she sliced the broccoli stalks into 3/8-in thick rounds, tossed them in some olive oil, salt, pepper, celery seed, and fresh basil, then roasted them in a 400-degree oven until nicely browned. added the broccoli to a stock pot with onion, garlic, and celery, which had been slowly sauteed in olive oil (soup day is a bad day to be out of butter). braised the broccoli in some amontillado sherry, and pork and fig stock (yes, that's right, it was in the freezer from the fig braciole dish. it was the braising liquid.) for an hour or so, until fully tender. blended the contents of the pot until smooth and added some more pork and fig stock, some water, 1/2c. or so of buttermilk, and let simmer for a little while longer.

tossed some cubed potatoes and diced red onion in some fresh parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil. roasted in a 400-degree oven until tender.

mixed together lemon juice, shredded parmesan, and fresh parsley.

mixed 1T. of dried yeast into 2c. of room temperature water (let stand for a few minutes). while mixing added 2t. sugar, 2/3c. olive oil, and 3t. salt, then slowly added 1.5-lb white whole wheat flour, then removed from the mixer and kneaded by hand until smooth, cut into two pieces, shaped into a boule, and let rise on parchment paper on a baking sheet for an hour. baked on a middle rack in a 400-degree oven for 30-minutes, with humidity (spray and bath), rotating a few times, then let cool on racks for 30-minutes.

served the soup in some large-rimmed soup bowls garnished with some of the roasted potatoes, and drizzled with some of the lemon juice, parmesan, and parsley mixture, with a slice of the fresh boule on the side.

[bread recipe: kraus + mader, soup: trisha]

Thursday, June 18, 2009

spicy black bean and fresh cilantro wraps in buttery broiled flatbreads

sauteed some onions and black beans in a little oil, and seasoned with garlic, chili powder, some hot sauce, salt and pepper.

cut 1.5T. butter into 1 3/4c. flour, added a pinch of salt, then slowly mixed in 3/4c. or so of luke warm water. folded/kneaded until smooth, and still goopy, then let sit for an hour at room temperature. rolled small balls of the dough out on a well-floured surface, then put them on a rack in a sheet pan and broiled each side until lightly colored, but not dry.

topped the chapatis with some of the spicy beans, a splash of salsa, some fresh salad greens, fresh cilantro, and a little crumbled feta.

banana-tahini bread roll experiment

banana-tahini bread roll experiment, originally uploaded by aarn! +18th June, 2009+.

just made these on a whim, without any real structure or foundation. as with most of these recipes, the amounts are approximate, this one needs a little fine tuning.

mashed-up an overripe banana with 2T. smooth tahini, 1.5T. butter, 1.5T. brown sugar, a pinch of salt, 3/4c. flour, 1/2c. cold water, 1t. active dry yeast. didn't dissolve the yeast in the liquids because it was up in the air what the leavening agent would be. seemed to work out. kneaded until fairly smooth, then placed in the refrigerator for an hour. removed the dough, broke into ten small balls and let rise in an oiled and floured muffin pan for another hour, then baked at 350-degrees for 15-minutes (rotating the pan a few times during), until slightly brown.

[notes: need to take a minute to check the dof setting in the future. was also a super low-light photo. these had a nice taste, the tahini flavor didn't come out until the next morning after they were allowed to cool on a rack and then stored in a paper bag. some nuts might have been nice, however, the idea was to make a normal style bread, with banana and tahini flavors, and maybe some chunks, not a cake or loaf.]

Saturday, June 13, 2009

farm fresh salad with spicy tahini tvp crisps and coriander-garlic vinaigrette

rehydrated about 1.5c. of dry tvp in some hot tap water, until fully expanded. then strained and rung dry using a fine metal sieve. mixed into the tvp a beaten egg, 3T. smooth tahini, 1.5T. coarse cornmeal, 1T. honey, 1T. canola oil, some lemon juice (maybe 1/2 lemon), a crushed clove of garlic, 1/2-1t. cayenne, 1t. coriander, salt and pepper. mixed well, then folded the mixture in a large piece of parchment paper, and rolled out with a rolling pin until about 1/4-in thick throughout, then peeled back the top layer of
paper. heated 2T. of canola oil in a medium frying pan, and used a spatula to slide along the bottom layer of parchment paper and delicately pick up a spatula sized layer of the tvp mixture, and flip into the hot oil. cooked a few of these sheets of tvp, without disturbing, until lightly browned on the first side, and then flipped and repeated. each new batch of crisps required a little more oil. wasn't trying to deep fry anything, but that probably would have been a better approach. the medium frying temperatures produced a better tasting result, hotter temps gave a better texture. sliced the finished product into 3/4-in wide strips after cooling on some paper towels on a plate (huh, just like deep frying).

whisked together 2T. seasoned rice vinegar, 1T. honey, 1 crushed clove of garlic, 1t. ground coriander, and a pinch of salt and pepper, then mixed in about 2T. of canola oil, until to the right taste and consistency.

chopped up and washed a handful of large spinach, red leafy lettuce, chicory, pea tendrils and romaine (all from the first delivery of the new parker farm csa via metroped!!), tossed in the dressing with some sauteed red onions and topped with a few of the crisps in a chilled rimmed soup bowl.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

eleventh hour tangy smoked and pulled pork with creamy buttermilk coleslaw

rubbed two 7-lb bone-in pork butts with a mixture of 1t. fresh ground black pepper, 1t. ground cayenne pepper, 2T. ground arbol chile, 2T. ground coriander, 1T. dark brown sugar, 1T. dried oregano, 4T. spanish paprika, 3T. kosher salt (ground some of this fine, the thought was that the fine salt would penetrate better and do a different job than the larger crystals), and 1T. ground white pepper, then wrapped in plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for a while and then at room temperature. 9-am, evan from atk arrives. after a run to the local supermarket, the first chimney starter full of coals is fired up. 11-am, the butts are in the offset smoker stoked with hot coals, and chunks of hickory (which had been soaking in water for about 20hrs). the first sight of the bellowing smoke was beautiful. high-fives were exchanged. then the struggle began. after accidentally peaking-out somewhere around 400-degrees, the smoker maintained a temperature near the target temperature of 250-degrees for an hour or so, then dropped to 215, which is where it slowly smoked away for the next four hours. 4-pm, enter marcus from atk. marcus masterfully worked the coals and wood until 11pm. at about 5 or 6-pm the butts were wrapped in aluminum foil and transferred to a 250-degree oven, with a pan of water in the bottom for humidity. the first target for the internal temperature was 150-degrees at the thickest spot (when they were pulled from the smoker), and then at 190-degrees they would be done and ready to pull. the butts cooked away until almost 10-pm when they were unwrapped, pulled in their own juices, and then finished with a tangy bbq sauce.

lightly sauteed a large yellow spanish onion in 2T. vegetable oil, with three or four large minced and crushed cloves of garlic, until tender. mixed into the sauce pan 1c. cider vinegar, 1c. worcestershire sauce, 2T. ground dry mustard seed, 4T. dark brown sugar, 4T. spanish paprika, 2T. kosher salt, 2t. ground cayenne pepper, and 2c. catchup, and let this simmer for about 15-minutes.

evan cored and chopped fine one medium head of green cabbage, and mixed that together with two large peeled and shredded carrots. set the mess in a colander and tossed with a bunch of kosher salt to let wilt for an hour before being rinsed under cold water and dried. placed the slightly dehydrated carrot and cabbage mixture in a large bowl and tossed in a creamy dressing consisting of 2/3c. buttermilk, 1/4c. miracle whip (oh yeah, barf!), 1/4c. real mayonnaise, 1/4c. sour cream, 8 scallions chopped fine, 2t. sugar, 1t. spicy dijon mustard, and 1/4t. ground black pepper.

tossed a pile of the juicy pulled pork on some cheap hamburger buns with a helping of the 'slaw on top.

[sauce + rub: ruhlman & polcyn, slaw: cooks country]

tender rubbed and smoked spare ribs

tender rubbed and smoked spare ribs, originally uploaded by aarn! +3rd June, 2009+.

removed the membrane from the bottom of two untrimmed 4-lb racks of spare ribs. rubbed the ribs with the same rub as the pork butts [1t. fresh ground black pepper, 1t. ground cayenne pepper, 2T. ground arbol chile, 2T. ground coriander, 1T. dark brown sugar, 1T. dried oregano, 4T. spanish paprika, 3T. kosher salt (ground some of this fine, the thought was that the fine salt would penetrate better and do a different job than the larger crystals), and 1T. ground white pepper]. placed the racks in a 250-degree offset smoker with smoldering chunks of hickory for a few hours, using a mixture of 1c. cider vinegar, 1T. red pepper flakes, 1T. kosher salt, and 1T. sugar, to mop the rib occasionally. after three hours or so, the ribs were pulled, wrapped in tin foil and placed in a 300-degree oven until the bones pulled away when tugged, about two hours.

[rub: ruhlman & polcyn, pitmaster flash: marcus]

Thursday, May 21, 2009

whole wheat pesto pork and squash lasagna

whole wheat pesto pork and squash lasagna, originally uploaded by aarn! +21st May, 2009+.

started a quick sauce by sautéing a medium-sized vidalia onion in a splash of olive oil, then adding salt, pepper, bay leaf, and thyme. after that simmered for a bit, added three cloves or so of chopped garlic, then after the garlic was giving off a nice aroma, deglased the sauce pan with 1c. or so of red wine. when the wine was almost fully reduced, added a quart can (yes, a can, short notice meal here) of peeled plum tomatoes. after the sauce cooked for a bit, a potato masher was used to break down the tomato solids. reduced this sauce for about an hour while the rest of the meal was being prepared.

grated 3/4-lb of low-moisture whole milk mozzarella. mixed together 1-pint of whole milk ricotta cheese, 2 eggs, 1/2-lb of the grated mozzarella, salt and pepper. set aside the remaining 1/4-lb of grated cheese for topping the lasagna.

in a food processor, chopped 1-clove of garlic, 10-15 basil leaves, 2-3T. pine nuts, salt, and drizzled olive oil in until thick and pesto-ish.

grilled quartered zucchini and yellow squash which had been tossed in salt, pepper, and olive oil. also grilled 3/4-in strips of pork sirloin which had been tossed in salt, pepper and olive oil, until only about 50% cooked, then pulled them and tossed in the pesto.

mixed together 1-lb of white whole wheat flour and 5-eggs, adding a little olive oil and salt, and then a splash of water to get it to the desired consistency. tossed this in the refrigerator to firm up for a few minutes, then rolled out into sheets, cutting the sheets to size and layering the lasagna as it was rolled.

in the pans, put a layer of sauce followed by a layer of pasta, then a layer of the ricotta binder, a layer of pasta, a layer of red sauce, maybe a layer of red sauce or ricotta with squash, then a layer of pasta, a layer of pesto pork with the ricotta, a layer of pasta, some sauce, topped with the remaining shredded mozzarella. baked covered in a 350-degree oven for 30-minutes, then broiled until the mozzarella looked nice, and let rest for 15-minutes at room temperature before cutting a plating on some warmed

[notes: made one bread pan and a medium casserole dish of lasagna. this recipe is a spin on a recipe from gilman to caleb. hadn't made it in years. or any lasagna. it was like 80-degrees out yesterday, great day for a winterish baked pasta dinner. pulled off this entire meal, less the actual baking of the lasagna, in one hour. the only reason why this was made with white whole wheat flour was because it was the only flour in the house. whole wheat has its place, it's not in pasta. would have rather used semolina or white all purpose. thinner strips of the pork and squash would have made the overall texture of the dish a little better. but seriously, lasagna always turns into a mess, a really sharp knife helps.]

Thursday, May 14, 2009

slow-cooked bistro steak with salty sage puree and lightly dressed mesclun salad

this was really an experiment in slow-cooking. the goal was to see how uniformly cooked and tender a lacy piece of meat could be made when essentially smoked under very indirect heat. a 0.6-lb, approximately 2.5-in consistent diameter and 8-in long hanger steak was blotted dry and rubbed with a little salt and pepper. dumped a few pounds of red hot coals into the fire box of the newly restored silver smoker, and placed the meat on the rack closest to the firebox in the main drum of the smoker. 1.5-hrs later (under indirect heat somewhere around 200-250 degrees), the half-pound steak had normalized at the target temperature, approximately 125-degrees, and was removed from the heat, sliced-up, and plated.

simmered 1.5T. of butter and a splash of sherry with 1 chopped rib of celery and 5 chopped sage leaves, then ground and pushed through a sieve, salted and whisked in a little extra virgin olive oil.

the mesclun was dressed with a little seasoned rice vinegar, olive oil, a pinch of mustard, and some salt and pepper.

[notes: not sure if it was the charcoal, the technique or the cut of meat, but this meat had a little bit of a gamy flavor that wasn't entirely unpleasant. the order of apple wood smoking chips should be coming in the next few days, that should be interesting, sorry neighbors. since the point of the experiment was to make a tender throughout piece of meat from a $5 slab of steak, this was a success, however, a little crust on the outside wouldn't have been bad. the idea was that it would be harder for the low temperatures to penetrate a seared and dry layer of crust, if high heat was applied first. maybe backing off about 15-degrees before the target temperature and dropping the meat onto a rack in the firebox for a few seconds would be worth a shot next time. also, the sauce worked very well with the meat, however, if it were emulsified into an egg in a bain-marie type setup with a little more acid to start, that could have been nice. furthermore, taking a few minutes to get a decent photo would have been nice as well. that is all.]

Monday, May 11, 2009

blackened local perch with goat cheese and golden beet salad dressed with garlic vinaigrette

rubbed the fleshy side of some perch fillets in a blackening seasoning consisting of the following spices ground together: 1t. sweet spanish paprika, 1t. black pepper, 1t. salt, 1/2t. cayenne, 1/2t. dried garlic flakes, 1/2t. dried onion flakes, 1/2t. dried oregano, 1/2t. white pepper, 1/2t. dried thyme, 1/2t. dried mace, and 1 small tobasco pepper. drizzled 1T. of clarified butter over the coated, fleshy sides of the fillets (probably should have patted the fillets dry, then brushed with clarified butter and then time). let a clean and dry skillet sit on a 14,000-btu flame for about 10 minutes until white hot and smoking. placed the fillets in the hot pan, seasoned side down, making sure to drop away from the body (this pan was seriously hot), and let cook until nicely colored throughout, probably about 1-2 minutes, then flipped the fillets to the skin side, spooned another 1T. of clarified butter over the top, and put the skillet into a 350-degree oven for 6 minutes (the tension on the skin side of the fillets made the fish curl up a bit, but the skin was delicious and held the fish together under such great heat).

tossed some chopped up romaine lettuce in a vinaigrette of 1T. lemon juice, 1 clove of crushed garlic, 1t. brown mustard, salt, and pepper, slowly emulsified with vegetable oil to taste and viscosity. served with some boiled, peeled, and sliced golden beets and crumbled fresh goat cheese.

[modified seasoning recipe: the best of new orleans by dojny]

Thursday, May 7, 2009

fig and toasted pepita braciole with hand-cut egg fettuce in a celery and red pepper puree

tenderized a few half-inch thick slices of pork sirloin roast (it was all they had at the store, was looking for some shoulder...after tenderized the slabs of meat were about 4x7x3/8-inches). ground three ounces of dried figs (maybe 8 dried figs) with a 1/2c. of toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), 2 cloves of garlic, 1 1/2T. of fresh chopped parsley, and 1 1/2T. of fresh chopped oregano, then mixed into the paste 1T. of canola oil, 1 egg, 3oz or so of grated romano cheese, and salt and pepper. spread a thick layer of the paste onto the middle of the tenderized pork, covering about 2/3 of the surface, leaving the leading and trailing edges without filling. then rolled the sirloin around the paste and wrapped the circumference and down the rolled axis with some kitchen twine (wrapped the long way, to keep the filling from coming out).

sauteed a diced 1/2 of a large yellow spanish onion and 1 chopped rib of celery in 1T. butter, with a little fresh oregano and bay leaf (and salt and pepper), until the onion was slightly translucent, but still firm, then moved the onion and celery to the sides of the sauce pan and seared all of the outside surface of the tied braciole logs (including the ends, the thinking was that this would help keep the filling inside). after the outer surface of the wrapped meat was slightly browned, the pan was deglazed with 1/2c. of amontillado sherry, which simmered for a minute and then water was added to fill the pot to the point where the meat was about 1/2-in shy of being completely submerged. the braciole was braised, covered, for an hour in the barely simmering liquid (re situated a few times during the hour, using some tongs).

roasted a large red pepper over a flame, then bagged/steamed for a few minutes, peeled, seeded, and sliced. ground the red pepper with 1 1/2T. of fresh chopped parsley, and 2 diced ribs of celery and a single finely chopped shallot, which had been sauteed until soft in 1T. of butter (and a splash of sherry). pushed the ground mixture through a sieve, seasoned with salt, pepper, and lemon zest and a pinch of cayenne to taste.

mixed together 1c. of sifted flour, the yolk of 4 eggs, 1t. salt, and 1/8c. of water (give or take), then worked by hand until a homogeneous consistency. the pasta dough was then placed in the refrigerator for about 45-minutes, then rolled out and cut by hand with a very sharp knife into 3/4-in thick strips, then tossed in a bowl with a lot of flour to avoid sticking. boiled the pasta in some water with oil and salt, then sauteed the pasta with the red pepper and celery puree, using a splash of the pasta water as a

the braciole was removed from the twine, sliced, and plated with the dressed pasta. a drizzle of the braising liquid was poured over the braciole.

[photo/red pepper: trisha]

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

the booch: crisp and refreshing fermented kumbucha tea

the booch: crisp and refreshing fermented kumbucha tea, originally uploaded by aarn! +5th May, 2009+.

this is a mishmash of a recipe from the original scoby owner and a few recipes from various sources. brought 4Qt. of water almost to a boil. dissolved into the water 1/4c. of maple syrup (this culture had been fed with maple syrup before), and 3/4c. of dark brown sugar. steeped 4t. of mem tea's darjeeling blend in the water and sugar mixture for 15-minutes, strained the liquid into a large 4Qt. glass jar (with a loose fitting glass lid, to allow for a minimal amount of air circulation), and let cool to 90-degrees. when cool, the scoby (or mother or mushroom or whatever) was added, along with a little over a cup of the previous batch of fermented tea. the container was closed and left to sit in a dark cupboard for 8-days. the fermented product (less a cup or two to feed the next batch) was then transferred to a locking 4Qt. glass jar and placed in the refrigerator to keep.

[scoby/recipe: sam franklin, happyherbalist, seeds of health]

Monday, April 27, 2009

scallop, shrimp, sea bass, pear and tarragon ceviche with grilled white chapatis

marinated 1/2-lb of raw scallops, 1/4-lb of raw shrimp, and 1/4-lb of sea bass, all of which had been sliced into rounds or cubes about 1/3-in thick, in the juice from four lemons and four limes, the zest from one lime, 1/2 of a red bell pepper finely chopped, 1T. of finely chopped habenero pepper, two cloves of crushed garlic, and 1t. of salt. let this stand covered in the refrigerator for one hour, lightly mixing once or twice along the way. strained most of the marinating liquid and added to the seafood and pepper mixture: 1/4c. of extra-virgin olive oil, diced 1/2 of a large pear, finely sliced 1/4 of a red onion, 2 finely sliced scallions, 1 1/2T. of finely chopped fresh tarragon, 1t. sugar, and fresh cracked black pepper to taste.

mixed 3/4c. of warm water and 1t. of salt into 1 3/4c. all purpose flour, kneaded and let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature. took globs of the goo with a floured hand and pushed them into rounds and stretched to shape on a floured work surface, then placed each flattened dough piece on a low temperature grill until slightly charred and still moist on the inside. the best tasting ones were puffed full of air but still a little gummy around the edges.

plated the ceviche in chilled bowls on a larger plate with the chapatis and a sprig of tarragon. a glass of oyster bay sauvignon blanc was paired with this dish.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

slow cooked country style ribs over a savory slightly-deconstructed applesauce/chutney with bacon wild rice and poached asparagus

started a braising stock from pureed onion, garlic, shallots, and celery. lightly simmered the pureed mash in 2T. of butter, deglazed with a little sherry and added 1.5c. of water, 3T. of dark brown sugar and a lot of hand ground spices (dried mace, marjoram, caraway seed, a dried tobasco pepper, celery seed, salt and pepper). simmered the liquid for a few minutes then let cool and poured over 1.5lbs of coutry style ribs from stillmans farm, in a deep casserole dish, and let cook, covered, in a 175-degree oven for over two hours. the internal temperature was around 140-degrees when the ribs were pulled and then transferred to a hot grill for some color and texture.

thinly sliced 1/3 of a large yellow spanish onion and placed it in a sauce pan with 2/3 of a braeburn apple which had been julienned into matchsticks, and 1T. of butter. let the apples and onion soften and brown a little, then deglazed with a splash of whiskey and added 1T. of molasses and 1T. of worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. let this cook down until all of the liquid had been absorbed/evaporated and there was a nice light syrup coating the apples and onion, then removed from heat and covered until ready to use.

browned some large chunks of farm bacon (3/8-inch cubes), removing as much of the drippings as possible, then added some diced yellow spanish onion and diced celery ribs, and lightly simmered until the onions were tender (with a little salt and pepper). added 1c. of wild rice and let that crack over the heat and absorb the remaining bacon grease until the wild rice was a little toasted, then added 3c. of boiling water and cooked for 35-minutes. mixed in some paprika, bay leaf, cayenne pepper, and soy sauce, and a splash of seasoned rice vinegar, just before serving.

the ribs were served over the warm applesauce/chutney with some of the wild rice and some asparagus poached with a little butter.

Monday, April 20, 2009

dubliner cheddar, farm bacon, tomato and basil on whole wheat tuscan bread

cooked up some 1/4-inch thick slices of some local farm bacon. spread some of the bacon drippings on a few slices of toasted tuscan whole wheat bread. placed on the bread some thin slices of dubliner cheddar, the bacon, whole leaves of fresh basil, and some tomatoes which had been tossed in some olive oil, lemon juice, and black currant jam.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

sea salted everything bagels done right

sea salted everything bagels done right, originally uploaded by aarn! +14th April, 2009+.

mixed together 1c. plus 2T. warm water, 2 1/4t. active dry yeast, and 2 1/2t. sugar, and let sit for 5 minutes or so. stirred into the wet mixture 1T. melted vegetable shortening, 1 1/2t. sugar, and 1 3/4t. salt, and then slowly added 4c. of all-purpose flour, one cup at a time as it mixed. kneaded by hand for 10-minutes, then placed in a warm spot to prove for an hour (covered with plastic wrap to avoid crusting). after the dough had doubled in size, it was punched down and formed into a large log, allowed to let sit for a minute, then divided into 8-10 pieces which were rolled into logs and then pinched together at the ends with a smear of water, forming the bagel shape. it just happened that the bagels were allowed to rise for an additional 30-minutes as they waited to be poached, this couldn't have hurt. in a large pot, 4-quarts of water, 1T. sugar, and 1/2t. salt were brought to a boil. four at a time the raw bagels were poached in the bath for about 30-seconds per side, allowed to drip off the excess water for a few seconds with a skimmer spoon, then placed on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and seasoned while still wet. the seasoning was a dry mixture of spices from christina's in inman square: blue poppy seeds, garlic flakes, onion flakes, sesame seeds, and sea salt. the bagels were then baked in a 425-degree oven for about 18-minutes, rotating the tray at about 10-minutes to allow for a more uniformed color and texture.

the bagels were served warm with fresh churned butter, red onions, capers, smoked salmon, egg salad, and whipped cream cheese.
[modified recipe: joy]

fresh heavy cream butter

fresh heavy cream butter, originally uploaded by aarn! +14th April, 2009+.

using the whisk attachment (in a chilled mixing bowl) on the stand mixer, mixed a pint of heavy cream and a pinch of salt on a high speed until it was thick whipped cream. then switched over to the paddle attachment and churned on one of the slower speed settings, slowly adding about 1c. of cold tap water. let this mix for about 20-minutes until the butter had separated from the liquid, then dumped the mixture through a cheesecloth lined strainer, wrapped and lightly squeezed the remaining water out of the butter with the cloth, and then refrigerated until ready to go onto the table. if water hadn't been used to aid in the separation, the strained liquid would be traditional non-cultured buttermilk...maybe next time. this butter was served with fresh bagels.

Monday, April 13, 2009

san jorge and habenero cheddar quesadillas with spicy black beans, fresh salsa, guacamole, and beansprout 'slaw

this was a collaborative effort at the house. maddie and nic made some guacamole, spicy black beans, and an interesting bean sprout 'slaw with red cabbage and a nice light dressing. don't have much more info on what went into those. trisha made a similar salsa to some previous posts, laden with fresh cilantro and finely chopped onion.

made some fresh flour tortillas. mixed 1 1/2c. flour, 1/4t. salt, 2T. butter, cutting in the butter until mixed. then added 1/2c. warm water and worked until about the consistency of a wet bread dough. the dough was then rolled into a ball and allowed to sit for a few minutes. it was then cut into rounds and rolled out into six 10-inch tortillas with a french rolling pin. a large frying pan was warmed over medium heat, lightly wiped it with vegetable oil, and the uncooked tortillas were filled with cheese, folded, and then placed in the pan until each side had nice coloring, was crispy, and the cheese was obviously melted.

quesadillas were plated with all of the fixin's and a little sour cream, and washed down with some dos equis lager and amber beahs.
[photo: trisha]

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

dark roast: fair trade guatemalan huehuetenango

dark roast: fair trade guatemalan huehuetenango, originally uploaded by aarn! +7th April, 2009+.

still working out the details of getting a nice roast. this one turned out pretty well. a nice dark roast. trying to pin down the best way to control the stock transient temperature curve of the equipment. the next step is implementing some hardware and electronics. almost through two pounds of green beans, still no perfect roasts. a few standout successes though, which is nice.

Monday, April 6, 2009

slow churned fresh mint and vanilla bean heavy ice cream

slow churned fresh mint and vanilla bean heavy ice cream, originally uploaded by aarn! +6th April, 2009+.

as close as ice cream can get to pure butter, this first batch of vanilla bean and fresh mint ice cream was made with heavy cream which is 36% milk fat (whipping cream is 30%, light cream is 18%, and half and half is it was almost too rich to eat. so good.

lightly simmered 1c. of heavy cream, 3/4c. sugar, 1/8t. salt, and the seeds and pod from one sliced and scraped maddiegascar vanilla bean in a sauce pan until the sugar was dissolved. removed from heat and whisked in 2c. heavy cream, 1c. whole milk, and 2t. of finely chopped fresh mint leaves, then chilled the mixture for 3-4hrs until at approximately 40-degrees. removed the bean pod from the mixture and strained out the fresh mint pieces, using cheese cloth. slowly poured the mixture into the ice cream maker attachment for the kitchen aid mixer, which had been in the freezer for 24-hrs, and let that slowly churn for 25-minutes or so, then transferred to a container and placed in the freezer for an hour to firm up a little, so that it would hold in an ice cream cone.
[creamery: trisha]

cornmeal and flax crusted tilapia with fresh cilantro salsa and cilantro lime dressed salad

took 1/4 of a large seeded habenero and ground it with some onions and garlic, then added that to some diced sweet red pepper, diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, lime juice and fresh chopped cilantro, mixed and let chill.

using a mortar and pestle, ground together one dried arbol chili pepper, a pinch of dried mace, a pinch of dried garlic, pepper and salt. added this spice mixture to a mixing bowl with some all-purpose flour, ground flax seed, fine ground corn meal, and coarse corn meal, did a dry-wet-dry of this mixture and a beaten egg onto two 1/4-lb fillets of tilapia, then slipped them into a hot pan with 2T. of canola oil. let the first side brown, and to ensure crispiness without deep frying, flipped the fillets over and transferred the frying pan to a 375-degree oven for 5-minutes or so, until the bottom side of the fish was brown and the feel was right.

plated the fish with some of the delicious and fresh salsa, some sour cream spiced with chili powder and cumin, and a mixed spring green salad with fresh sweet corn, red onion, cucumbers, and avocado slices, tossed in some lime juice and olive oil, muddled with some cilantro and salt and pepper.
[salsa + salad + photo: trisha]

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

no-boil everything bagel/bialy with garlic and dill whipped cream cheese

just to start things out, a few days after this meal there was an experiment involving pretzel making and it is clear that it's just not a bagel unless it's boiled. these are more of a bialy, but whatever.

took 1-lb of all-purpose wheat flour and 1/5-lb of dark rye flour and mixed that into 1 3/4c. of room temp water, with 2T. salt, and 1t. dried yeast, and 3-oz. of creamed butter. let the dough prove for an hour in the mixing bowl, then shaped into a large log on a floured work surface, cut into 12 equal segments, patted some of the segments relatively flat and pushed a hole through with the bottom of a floured shot-glass, some of them were rolled and then pinched together (these worked out much better). each bagel shape was placed on parchment paper on a baking sheet, brushed with water, and then sprinkled with some really nice spices (garlic flakes, blue poppy seeds, onion flakes, raw sesame seeds, and coarse sea salt) from christina's in inman square, and then left to prove for an additional 30-40 minutes, then the baking sheets were transferred to a 400-degree oven with a water bath in the bottom, and let to bake for 20-25-minutes.

cream cheese was whipped with a paddle in the mixer until fluffy and then added to it was salt, fresh chopped dill, scallions, red onion, crushed garlic, and finely chopped celery. the bagels were sliced and then toasted under the broiler for a second, and plated with thinly sliced red onion, smoked atlantic salmon, and sliced tomatoes.

[notes: the "everything" flavor was perfect. who likes the other kinds of bagels anyway? the dark rye flour is low in gluten, so that didn't help with the bagels not being
chewy either. they were good for what they were.]

[photo: trisha, photo-ruining: aarn]

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

first roast: fair trade guatemalan huehuetenango medium batch

first roast: fair trade guatemalan huehuetenango medium batch, originally uploaded by aarn! +25th March, 2009+.

first roast of some nice fair trade beans. this was just a test roast which occurred during the stock analysis of the roasting rig. after some digital control elements are
integrated, there should be enough really nice fresh micro-roasted coffee around to keep a few people happy. the thought is that some of the overflow could be distributed to some local boston persons, possibly via an RSS feed from this page, letting people know what kind/roast/quantity is available and how to get it. thinking that the price will be really cheap (like $8/lb, sold in 1/2-lb bags), since the whole point of this was to get away from the ~$1/oz coffee price on roasted whole beans standard in this city. the batch tested well in both a press pot and chemex, and seemed to hit its flavor peak at about 6-hrs after roasting (but it sure was nice to drink coffee made from beans which had been roasted minutes before).

Friday, March 20, 2009

grilled halibut steaks dressed with lemon-dill-garlic butter with grilled pineapple and sea salt dusted steamed broccoli

steamed some broccoli with a drop steamer in a pressure cooker until slightly tender, then placed in a 170-degree oven covered until plating.

heated 1T. of butter and a 1/2T. of olive oil, then added a clove of garlic, which had been minced and crushed, and lightly sauteed until the garlic flavor had been dulled a bit. then added the juice from 1/2 lemon, and let cool until safe to the touch, then poured in a bowl over 2T. or so of chopped fresh dill. the dill was allowed to infuse covered in the 170-degree oven until the halibut came off the grill.

grilled a nice thick bone-in steak of halibut (on a well-oiled hot grill), which had been cut into two 1/3-lb portions and tossed lightly in olive oil, salt and pepper, until nicely colored and slightly firm (about 7-min/side). plated and brushed the top side with the lemon, butter, garlic, and dill sauce. served with the steamed broccoli, spritzed with a wedge of lemon and lightly dusted with some coarse sea salt, and some slices of pineapple which had been lightly grilled.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

turmeric-miso reverse-braised grilled chicken with balsamic caramelized asparagus

six medium-sized chicken drumsticks were gently simmered, covered, in a braising liquid consisting of a puree of 1/2 of a large spanish onion and four cloves of garlic, 4T. of sweet white miso paste, 1c. yogurt, 1/4c. seasoned rice vinegar, 1/4c. soy sauce, juice from 1/2 lemon, 1T. canola oil, 1/3c. water, 1 1/2t. ground turmeric, salt and pepper, until the meat was tender when squeezed with tongs. the chicken was then removed from the liquid and grilled over high heat until nicely colored and almost falling
off the bone.

a bundle of asparagus, tough stalk ends removed, were tossed in a large bowl containing 1T. canola oil, 1T. balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar, until lightly coated. the asparagus was transferred to an oiled hot grill with the tips as far away from the heat source as possible, until still firm but slightly crispy and the coating had caramelized a bit.
[note: trisha made a nice citrus and green pepper salad too, but the picture with the whole meal didn't turn out]

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

rare grill seared tuna steaks with a tangy fresh dashi ponzu sauce

got some nice thick tuna steaks from new deal fish market, cut them into 1/4-lb chunks, patted them dry, and lightly tossed them around in a mixture of sweet white miso paste, soy sauce, salt and pepper, then set aside covered in the refrigerator.

for the ponzu sauce, took 1/3c. of fresh dashi stock (see 'fresh dashi miso soup'), mixed that with 1/3c. soy sauce, 1/4c. lemon juice, and 1T. seasoned rice vinegar.

seared the tuna for about a minute on each side on a clean, extremely hot, oiled grill, then plated with some of the ponzu sauce.
[photo: trisha]

fresh dashi miso soup

fresh dashi miso soup, originally uploaded by aarn! +4th March, 2009+.

wiped three decently large sheets of dried kelp (seaweed) clean with a damp paper towel, and soaked in 8c. of room temperature water for 10-minutes in a large sauce pan. using a pot mounted thermometer (to avoid bringing the mixture to a boil), slowly brought the soaking kelp and water up to a temperature of about 150-degrees over a low flame, until steaming but not boiling. pulled the kelp from the liquid and discarded it, then added 1oz of dried bonito flakes (dried, fermented, smoked, and shaved skipjack
tuna), and maintained a temperature of the liquid just under boiling until the flakes were darker in color and not at the surface of the liquid anymore, then strained the liquid through cheese cloth, and discarded the used bonito mush. of this first dashi stock, 1/3c. was set aside for the ponzu sauce (see 'grill seared tuna steaks with a tangy fresh dashi ponzu sauce').

the dashi stock was returned to the sauce pan, and added to it were thinly sliced crimini mushrooms, sliced scallions, thin strips of dried kelp, and 8T. of sweet white miso paste (about 1T./c. of stock). this mixture simmered for a few minutes and was then poured over cubes of firm tofu in soup bowls.
[photo/miso-gineering: trisha]

Monday, March 2, 2009

quarter-stack o' fluffy yogurt pancake

quarter-stack o' fluffy yogurt pancake, originally uploaded by aarn! +2nd March, 2009+.

beat two eggs, added 1c. of yogurt (the more tart the better, lowfat was just fine), and 1/4c. of water. added the wet to a dry mix of 1c. of all purpose flour, 1 1/2t. baking powder, and 1t. salt, mixed well, but not violently, and let sit for 30-45min (wet:dry should be about 2c.:1c.). delivered to a hot buttered skillet with a ladle, scooping from the bottom of the bowl (making sure to not disrupt the trapped bubbles), and shook the skillet slightly to settle the pancake. cooked until the edges of the pancake were barely cooked on top and the bottom had some nice color, then flipped and cooked until crisp. waiting for enough pancakes to make a stack is boring and the 'cakes loose their taste and texture, the pancakes were sliced in quarters and stacked for the same effect.

miso grilled tofu with roasted beets and short-grain brown rice

made a marinade with 1-2T. of sweet white miso paste, a pinch of salt and pepper, some grated ginger and garlic, and a splash of soy sauce, braggs, fish sauce, lemon juice, and agave nectar, to taste. the consistency was thin, but still clingy. tossed some half inch thick slabs of tofu in the mixture for 30-min or so, flipping occasionally, then tossed them on a hot grill which had been wiped with oil, until some color developed and the tofu started to develop a slight crust.

beets were peeled, quartered and tossed in some olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme, then placed on a baking sheet in a 425-degree oven until crisp on the outside, turning as necessary.

tofu was served over a drizzle of the miso marinade with the roasted beets, a scoop of crunchy short-grain brown rice, some sliced cucumbers and the spicy dry ground carrot and celery salad (not pictured).
[beetmaster: trisha]

savory dry ground carrot and celery salad

savory dry ground carrot and celery salad, originally uploaded by aarn! +2nd March, 2009+.

experimenting with what to do with the byproducts of making celery, carrot, and beet juice, the strained pulp was first made into a fried cake, but that didn't work. after the juice was made and the remaining liquid squeezed out of the carrot and celery pulp, the dry ground mixture was mixed with some olive oil, a pinch of smoked sweet hungarian paprika, cayenne, ground coriander, salt, and pepper, to taste. this was a delicious and had a great texture, almost like tabouli. not the greatest photo, but noteworthy eats.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

grilled vegetable mezzi rigatoni in a parsley and shallot cream sauce

grilled some thick wedges of sweet potato, zucchini, and eggplant, which had been tossed in a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and agave nectar. once they were nicely colored
and the sweet potato was soft on the inside, the vegetables were pulled from the grill and cut into cubes roughly the same size as the pasta.

sauteed a large finely chopped shallot in a little olive oil until tender, then added a splash of balsamic vinegar, and a diced tomato. let this mixture cook for a few
minutes on medium heat, then pureed in the food processor, returned to heat in the sauce pan, added salt, pepper, and fresh chopped parsley.

in a large bowl, mixed the cooked rigatoni with shredded parmesan cheese, 1.5T of heavy cream, a pad of butter, 1/4c. of the pasta water, the shallot sauce, and the cubed
grilled vegetables, tossing the food in between each addition with tongs.

served in some warm pasta bowls and topped with shredded parmesan and a little fresh parsley.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

black bean chiles rellenos over a spicy sage romesco sauce with sweet corn pitas

grilled six large poblano peppers and three medium sized red bell peppers over medium heat until the outside was charred and flaky and then threw them all in a paper bag to sit and steam for a while. after they had cooled a little, most of the skin was removed from all of the peppers (making sure to keep anything that looked flavorful [oils, some skin], no water used in this process). the stems and seeds were then removed from the peppers. the clean red peppers were set aside.

the poblanos were split down the side and unrolled then stuffed with black beans, a thin slice of whole milk mozzarella, and a thin slice of gruyere, then rolled back up and placed spaced out on a baking sheet. when the time came, these were baked at 375-degrees for about 10-minutes (until they started to sizzle a lot and the cheese was obviously melted).

in the food processor went (in this order): one clove of garlic, 1c. whole raw almonds, 1/2 of a large green habenero pepper, 8 leaves of fresh sage, juice from 1/2 of a lime, 1T. olive oil, the three skinned and seeded roasted medium red peppers, 1T. agave nectar, salt and pepper. blended until smooth.

the corn pitas were made from 2 1/4 lb of a 50/50 mixture of finely ground cornmeal and high gluten flour, 1T. active dry yeast, 2-3T. olive oil, 2T. sugar, 2T. salt, 1T. agave nectar, 2 1/4c. of room temp water. let rise for 45-min or so, punched down, rolled out with a french rolling pin in some all purpose flour, then tossed on a 400-degree baking stone and flipped once until cooked through and crispy on the outside.

the baked poblanos were served over the romesco sauce on a warm plate with a wedge of the sweet corn pita on the side. maddie made a nice soup/stew with veggie chorizo, potatoes, kale, and some noodles, which went nicely with this dish.