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.