Thursday, April 29, 2010

Morel Mushrooms three ways

Spring is here and with it are things that only spring can bring. Straight forward simplicity, if morel mushrooms sauteed in butter are the be all end all then this sandwich is the top of the pops. Morel mushrooms sauteed in butter on a baguette from Balthazar Bakery would most certainly turn some heads.

Want to put a little more twist in your step? How about a nice crispy fried morel that was dipped in seasoned flour, then egg then seasoned cornmeal and cooked until golden served atop a bed of melted goat brie? Yup, thats right!

No, thats not enough? Then how about a souffle pancake with roasted orange peppers, spinach and morel mushrooms?

Spinach lightly sauteed with morel butter.

Fresh morels in butter.

Souffle Pancakes

3 egg whites
3 egg yolks
1/2 c flour
dash of salt and fresh ground pepper
1/4 water (or less)

Beat the whites to form stiff peaks. Mix together egg yolks, flour, salt and pepper with water to form a stiff batter. Fold batter into whites incorporating completely. Spoon palm size dollops of batter onto hot pan and cover so cake can rise. Let cook two minutes on one side turn gently and cook 30 seconds on other side. Remove from heat and eat. (souffle pancakes are also great as a sweet treat with your favorite fruit compote)

The lightness of the souffle pancake, the earthiness of the spinach and morels played nicely with the sweetness of roasted orange peppers, this would have been even better with a nice crispy Pinot Grigio. Thanks to Justin at MarxFoods for hooking me up with such plump and wonderful fresh morel mushrooms. If you want to experience this delight you need to act fast the window of opportunity for fresh morel mushrooms is slowly drawing its blinds.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

hot cakes, flap jacks, johnny cakes

Call these cakes what ever you want I call them good, cliche its true but you show me something better. Carb loading is what every athlete does before any big event. Carbs are good for you if you understand them.

We use carbs for our best ability.

Camelina seed pancakes, wild rice pancakes and sesame seed pancakes.

Serve the cakes up with some citrus syrup and you balanced the scale, you used carbs the right way.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Share Our Strength

The Westin, Princeton at Forrestal Village was the place to be if you are a New Jersey foodie. While it took me two hours and a minute to make the one hour drive in the rain from Manhattan I did finally show up to a packed house. People were scurrying about like kids in a new neighborhood at Halloween.

There were a lot of little bites to nosh on and plenty of liquids to wash it all down, they even had a ring toss to round out the carnival atmosphere.

The lucky winners of the extra tickets I was given by Foodbuzz for this event were Ciao Chow Linda, whom I did happen to locate and Stacey Snacks who somehow got lost in the hubbub and we never found each other.

Thanks Foodbuzz for giving me this opportunity, and thanks to Share our Strength and Taste of the Nation (click this link for the list of participating restaurants) for 22 years of charitable giving.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Orange-Ginger Mignonette

A mignonette is typically a vinegar sauce served with oysters or clams, many will argue that an oyster needs nothing at all and I am often inclined to agree with that but once you taste this sauce you will want it on all of your seafood.

Orange-Ginger Mignonette

3/4 c Fresh orange juice
1 c rice wine vinegar
2 tb Minced ginger
1 tb Minced garlic
1/4 tp minced thai red chile (the hotter the better)
1 tb Agave syrup
1/2 c Minced green onion
1 tb orange zest
Salt; to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper;

Mix all ingredients together and let it sit for 30 minutes for the flavors to meld.

Spoon over freshly shucked raw oysters or even your favorite poached, fried or broiled fish. We had this sweet, tangy, spicy deliciousness on oysters and whole fried fish.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Too much to say and too few words to say it

Being busy has its advantages and it has its disadvantages as well. I can only think of the disadvantages, though, when I am set on complaining. For me one of the greatest catch 22's of the advantage/disadvantage conundrum is how it triggers creativity. On many occasions it lights a fire and then on an equal number of the same occasions it puts the fire out. So where am I now? I'll tell you. I have so many pictures and no words to go with them.

A couple of posts ago I had mentioned the wonderful people at Goose Valley and the delicious rice they had sent me, well I made some more and this did not disappoint. The grains had a definite strong tooth feel and the flavor was spectacular, this wild rice is the best.

The natural wild rice was served up with some European Soldier beans from MarxFoods, an egg and a little hot chile, if you are so inclined.

After braising some pork belly for a couple hours or so in five spice seasoning and rice vinegar and rice wine and brown sugar nothing seemed more perfect than having it on a nice warm tortilla.

The pork was so tender and so succulent and so rosy pink even after hours in the braising liquid in the oven - I am going to work on this a little and definitely make it again.

Catching up to this mornings breakfast enchiladas with eggs and mache.

Nothing makes me feel like I am back in New Mexico more than stacks of corn tortillas, cheese, beans, red chile and fried eggs - and for fun we threw a few little green leaves in there. So you see folks I am losing my whimsical edge, I need to swim in the ocean to get my mojo back. (the first photo is a little steam action we did over the weekend with some blue crabs, we also had some fish and oysters)...Tomorrow its the Share our Strength event called Taste of the Nation in Princeton, New Jersey, photos and info to follow.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Win Fresh Morels

Morel mushrooms, almost as coveted as the truffle, are waiting for you. Click the Image to enter, the more entries the more winners!

The winners of the tickets for the Taste of the Nation for Share our Strength are: Stacey and Linda

I wish I could have given tickets to all the contestants but the upside is the event has generated a lot of hype and money. Thanks foodbuzz for sponsoring this giveaway.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

verdolagas - purslane

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wild mushrooms, tofu, wild rice and wild kombucha eyes, or how to make a really long title to optimize search engines

Search engine optimization is on everyones mind, every body wants to be at the top of the list when people go a' searchin'. It is most obvious in the most obvious, you know those titles that pretty much sum it up so much you dont even have to read the blog post - and the fact is I dont. I like to be enticed to read something, you know a little mystery. The most popular way that people do this is by saying their long and drawn out title accompanied by "and a give away" or " and an announcement." Now lets be honest how often do you scroll right to the bottom to get to the teaser? I know I do. So let me cut to the chase. Vegan and vegetarian food is on our menu a couple times a week at least, we are not always plowing through the creatures of this earth sometimes we pillage from the flora as well.

These potatoes were so sweet I bet if you squeezed them sugar would drip out -

....and yes they ARE that purple!

Tofu is an acquired taste for a lot of people and it makes little sense as to why since it basically absorbs what ever flavor you cook it with. This is a nice and simple plate with fried tofu and sesame oil with green onion.

This tofu has wild mushrooms that I found a couple days ago (see first image), green onion, soy sauce and sesame oil to kick it up a tiny bit.

The wonderful people at Goose Valley sent me some wild rice to try and we have enjoyed the heck out of this stuff. It cooks up nice, doesnt blow apart like some rice can and it is loaded with good earthy, grassy flavor.

We have been having it as a side dish to some other meat entrees so since this isnt about meat I will show you the rice with an egg, one of my favorite ways to have rice.

Homemade beers and root beers last year, kombucha this year. A couple Saturdays ago we went to a small producer vendor fair in Brooklyn and Mombucha was there. Well to make a long story short I bought a scoby (symbiotic colony of bacterias and yeast) and I am making my own. So there you go, no teaser at the bottom, no bells and whistles, nothing to win, nothing to take away what-so-ever!

Monday, April 19, 2010

all up in the kool ade
Photo courtesy of this blog.

Ever hear that expression "all up in the kool ade and you dont even know the flavor?" Thats how I felt all weekend long. After my failed attempt at savory macarons I went ahead and decided to try and make normal old sweet macarons. Let me tell you that you cannot deviate from the strict instructions not one little bit. Did I deviate? Yes I did. Did it do me any good? No it didnt. Am I discouraged? Not in the least bit. I know what I did wrong and I know how to fix it so with all this experience under my belt I believe that I will get a nicely domed cap with a "foot" on my next attempt.

In other news I went ahead and poached some eggs and piled them high atop some potatoes and slivered cucumbers, tomatoes and avocado and then generously poured a rich and buttery hollandaise over it all. It was good.

Foam, emulsions, froth its all the same basically but this one has a special flavor its a butter, chardonnay and ginger foam over scallops and spinach. Now this was exceptionally good.

Tired of trying to make the plates look attractive and dying of hunger, everything was piled high and heck, why not, lets go ahead and call it a 'fishermans platter.' A nice piece of sea bass crusted in cornmeal some scallops, spinach with garlic and some purple sweet potatoes. This was hearty and just the ticket.

I found some winecap mushrooms yesterday so I think they will make an appearance soon. Spring is here baby!

Share Our Strength

Taste of the Nations is coming to Princeton, New Jersey and ChezWhat is going to be there. April 26th is the date to mark on your calendars and to make it even more attractive I have tickets to raffle off so $85 in advance and $95 at the door make this a nice little something that you can have for free.

Since 1988, Taste of the Nation has brought together the most creative culinary minds across the nation. Each spring and summer, pioneers of modern American cuisine, national celebrity chefs and mixologists including David Burke, Stephan Pyles, mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim, Bravo’s Top Chef Tom Collichio, Food Network stars Tyler Florence and Emeril Lagasse and thousands more like them donate their time, talent and passion at nearly 40 events across the United States and Canada with one goal in mind: to raise critical funds needed to help end childhood hunger. 100% of supports Share Our Strength’s efforts to end childhood hunger.

Taste of the Nation’s success is due to the thousands of dedicated volunteers in cities across the United States. These volunteers—chefs, corporate sponsors, marketing and public relations professionals, event planners, financiers and individuals who believe that no child should know hunger-- have helped raised more than $73 million for anti-hunger organizations that run or advocate for programs that connect at-risk families with the food they need to thrive. This year, funds raised through Taste of the Nation will support No Kid Hungry™, Share Our Strength’s campaign to end childhood hunger in America by 2015, as well as selected international efforts. You can get involved here.

I was going to take my son with me so that he can get a feel for his role in living a charitable life but this event is restricted to those aged 21 and older so rather than having only one ticket to raffle off I have two. If you live in the area and you want to attend all you need to do is leave a comment. (You can still leave a comment if you are not in the area and cannot attend) I will conduct two separate drawings using and I will announce the winners on the morning of April 23rd.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

give a man a lobster

Seriously, it really doesnt matter now. If you came here because you thought this blog was different, well thats where you are wrong. I am just as self serving and pedantic as the next guy. You want poetry, I got poetry. You want angst - I'll give you angst. I said I was going to give you lobster macarons but all I ended up with was lobster with lobster meringues. This Mofo likes to experiment, its all a part of being a food enthusiast.

In my minds eye these were going to be a whole other cupcake but when it came down to it this is what they were. First off I have never made a macaron before so to attempt a savory macaron on my first jump was bold to say the least.

This should be more aptly titled - "how to take an ordinary lobster and really throw it through the mill" The mill in this case is whipped egg whites with lobster stock and lobster bits and a little red food coloring to make them look more lobster like.

I know what you are saying "thats hardly any at all" and you would be right but what you dont know is that you can only eat one they are so rich. There is the tomalley in the meringue and the lobster salad together makes each bite lobster packed. With a little fine tuning these could evolve into quite a tasty little appetizer. I have enough of the meringues to make another dish, some kind of napoleon or a lobster pavlova maybe.

I am submitting this to Hefs Culinary Smackdown.
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