Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wednesday Night Test Kitchen - 2/19/09

Last night was a good night, here was the list of items from my test kitchen night:

Seared Carp with Ginger Confit and Green Onion Consomme
Seared Carp with Smoky Bacon Crab Bisque
Cured Wild Mackerel Duet with Fresh Grated Tumeric and with Smoked Mirasol Chile, Olive Oil, Fleur De Sel
Cara Cara Orange and Meyer Lemon Ricotta Biscuits
Spam & Bacon Terrine with Braised Duck, Roasted Chicken and Black Cherry

Some basic notes:
I'm a fan of carp, but plucking the damn bones out is unbelievably painful. It's a very popular Chinese dish because we prefer the bone to remain in our fish. The green onion consomme and ginger confit was a little bit of a playful modern interpretation of the classic steamed carp dish - minus the soy. I didn't try to compare the two cooked fish dishes, because there are very few things that are as satisfying as smoky bacon crab bisque. It's not even an argument.
Cured mackerel was a perfect 2 day cure. The mackerel was about 2.5 lbs. I found fresh tumeric at the market and thought it would be a fun earthy profile to go with the fish, and it was. The smoked mirasol chiles actually seemed to add a creamy sweetness to the fish. These were a couple of fun and relatively more exotic ingredients that I played with this winter, so I thought they'd be fun with such a clean tasting cured mackerel.
Biscuits were crack-good. I ate 3 mini ones and called it a night. I'm definitely getting the folding technique down with the biscuit and adding the ricotta really didn't affect texture much. I tried to keep my liquid ratio pretty close to even, thought I'm tempted to kick up the ricotta portion. Citrus makes it a very "breakfasty" item is the feedback I got and I agree. Tasty.

Enough mumbo jumbo, onto the pics:

Biscuits Big and Wittle.

All Alone.

Cured Mackerel Duet- earthy flavors

A More Traditional Plate - Fleur De Sel, EVOO, Pickled Ginger

Up Close.

Searing Fish, Hot Stuff.

In Green Onion Consomme with Mizuna Arugula

In Smoky Bacon Crab Bisque & Black Pepper Dispersed By Kitchen Vent. Boo

FINALLY, introducing the Spam Terrine:

Lay that sweet thick cut bacon down baby.

Slice that tasty salty spam.

Fill it with globs and shreds of meat, fruit and herbs.

Alternate layers of meat and spam and then finish with a layer of spam

Seal and wrap that badboy with a few strips of mo' bacon.

2 hours in low heat oven water bath and 5 hours in refrigerator later...

"Meaty, sweet, salty, gooey." That's what she said.

Officially a high end affair, now that its on a white plate. Fin.

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