Friday, April 17, 2009

Awesome Sandwich Porn

I'm attempting to profile some of my favorite sandwich places. Here is the first! Paseo in Seattle.

I got this pic from my friend Anne and Mike in Seattle. If you haven't been before, you need to go to Paseo Sandwich and get a cuban pork sandwich. It may seem ridiculous to have Cuban in Seattle, but this is not to be missed. Greasy, porky, buttery and hot - really, one of the best sandwiches I've had in a while.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wednesday Test Kitchen - April 15, 2009

I was able to get things back on the railroad and back on schedule last night with Wednesday Test Kitchen. The main ingredient, seeing as we are in fact in the Spring season, was strawberry. I didn't want to overly complicated things, so I just focused on playing with some chemicals and making strawberry caviar. I also wanted to try to make strawberry into a savory almost comfort item by making it into a gazpacho of sorts - the inspiration of which really comes a basic idea that strawberry has a very inert savoriness in its flavor (umami for some) and that can often be a focal point in a dish. A gazpacho was poetic because it is the same frame of reference when you are talking about tomatoes. When we focus on tomato (a fruit), we tend to find it's delightfulness in being a savory item, but forget to explore the inherent sweetness it can offer.

Onto the menu:

Strawberry "Gazpacho"
-spring onion, vadouvan, smoked mirasol chile

Strawberry Caviar (reverse spherification)
-strawberry juice, gluconolactat, sodium alginate

I need a damn electric scale, my ratio's were way bloody off last night. Glargh. Oddly, I think I'm not comfortable enough with the alginate that I was able to eye the bath to the proper viscosity for spherification. Eat that chemical science. I'm still clueless sometimes when it comes to proper % with the gluconolactat, but the caviar came out only slightly thicker gel then what I wanted, so I'm not bitching.

FYI, I'm not a big chemicals guy in the kitchen and in all honesty, this stuff is far from new at this point. If you're a student of the art of food, you should at least be somewhat familiar with the processes or techniques. I'm a fan of knowing how to get things into the structure and texture that is best for a dish (when it is needed, which is rarely). I'm definitely not an expert and do not want/pretend to be, but this stuff is actually very simple and straight-forward - it basically requires a scale and some inquisitive willingness to put it together into getting the final product that you desire. If you took middle school chemistry, it's like that, except you can eat it. There are limitless resources about it, so anyone can do it really IF they put in the effort - unless you're an idiot and failed middle school chemistry. At that point, there is no one who can help you.

Chefs, e.g. Achatz, Andres, Adria, are not great because they are industry leaders in applying chemistry, they are simply great because they are innovators of their style of cuisine. They think of a great dish and a world of flavors well before they think of suitable and perfectly accompanying method. In other words, they can embarrass most people creating classical cuisine as well. Let's start to demistify this crazy concept of labeling their food in the ridiculous "molecular gastronomy" category.

Off the soapbox, onto the pics:

Monsieur, Mis En Place.

Caviar, sadly not Beluga.

Strawberries Stewing With Aromatics

Chinois, Don't Have A Kitchen Without It.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bloodhound Easter Rabbit BBQ - April 12

On Sunday, I joined Ryan Farr from 4505 Meats and Taylor from Fatted Calf for a Bunny BBQ event at Bloodhound. It was a grand ole time as we served up BBQ bunny, sausages, bunny garden inspired salad, smoked ham steak and bacon peanut butter brownie bites. The turnout was great and from what I heard, everyone seemed to enjoy the food. I did enjoy a Watermelon Wheat Beer from 21st Amendment and according to Bailey also from Fatted Calf, it tasted like "beer with a Jolly Rancher in it." The Bloodhound Bloody Mary was quite good and sufficiently satisfied the heat quotient normally associated with one.

Here are some pics from the event:

Bacon Peanut Butter Brownie.

Fatted Calf Jerkey

Card Action - 4505 Meats and Fatted Calf

Early Bird Gets To Eat the Rabbit.

Mo' Peepz.

Grilling Goodies

Not a Metaphor or Innuendo.

Charlie the Dog Enjoying The Warmth from the Coals.
Not Part of Dinner.

A Gigante Bean Stew

A Fixed Up Plate.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wednesday Test Kitchen - April 8, 2009

Seeing as to how my schedule will likely drastically change in the next few weeks, Wednesday Test Kitchen may be fading as I take a new the new job. More info as that develops, but this post is the Wednesday Test Kitchen which I didn't get a chance to finish until Friday. Onwards to the menu:

Ground Lamb and Veal Sausage Tacos
-Tapatio (hell yeah, BOH favorite), Rosemary Flowers, Caramelized Onion, Green onions, Achadinha Broncha Aged Goat Cheese

24 Hour Veal Breast Sous Vide
-Pimenton, Smoked Mirasol, Dried Ancho Chile, Green Onion, Brown Sugar, Five Spice

Grilled Peep
-Hot Coals

The tacos were heaven, especially with the aged goat cheese on top. It's a fantastic and wonderfully nutty aged goat unlike some others. The Veal breast was a tad strong in terms of flavor, I need to really cut back on sous vide-ing with smoked paprika as the aroma and flavor is overpowering in the circulator for so long. I'm probably going to go with a simpler rub of chile, sugar and salt. I'd smoke the meat entirely in low heat first next time or smoke it in high heat after I cool it down from the circulator. Of course the meat was tender and perfect texture wise though. I reduced the drippings in the bag, added a little acid to it and seasoned with a little more sugar, salt, pepper. Maybe I should have done it a little more tomato based. Ah well, it was fun.

Grilled Peep for the enjoyment of all and of course, my Serious Eats twitter rebuttal.

Onto the pics:

A whole mess of Veal from Mollie Stone's.
Yes, this baby animal was born and slaughtered to please me... unlike PETA.

Oh taco.

Stuff to rub on yo Meat.

No Glove, No Love.

Broil time baby.


"Pink Is My Favorite Color."

The Peep that went Silent...

Because I grilled his face off.