Monday, December 30, 2013

Before the year ends and another begins

I continually express my love for my job and I will continue to do it until I can do it no more. I am so blessed that something I have longed to do and something that I am innately skilled at is the very thing that I am doing. For most of us cooking is many things: cooking is how we feed our families, cooking is how some earn extra money by entering into contests, cooking is time alone, cooking is creative and the list could go on and on and on but for me its an art and I treat it as an art and I teach myself new techniques and I try and master the ones I know and I keep working at it and working at it and working at it because I can never get it completely right. I want to wish everyone a fantastic 2014 and you can believe I will be over joyed to share it with you and you can be sure that I will do my best to teach and be taught.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Not your average Jicama salad

Maguey Sweet Sap is a unique product to be sure. Its sweet like syrup and toasty like molasses and its good for you. I have used it straight from the bottle just like honey but today I made it into a salad dressing.

Jicama Salad with Maguey Sweet Sap


Jicama sliced into large batons
Grape tomatoes
Radish Sprouts
Cilantro Chopped
Parsley Chopped
Green Onion sliced fine
Red Pepper Flakes
Rice Wine Vinegar
Olive Oil
Maguey Sweet Sap
Himalayan Pink Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper


For one salad place two tablespoons of Maguey Sweet sap into a bowl and add one tablespoon of olive oil and 3 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar and whisk. After liquids are emulsified add in the chopped parsley, cilantro, green onion and a pinch of red pepper flakes and mix gently, at this point you add in your slices of jicama and sliced grape tomatoes and toss gently to coat evenly. Put everything on a plate and top with radish sprouts then some fresh ground pepper and a couple of pinches of Himalayan Pink Salt. Enjoy.

This fresh and crunchy salad is a great starter for any dish but it would especially be good before a nice piece of grilled fish. Try some Maguey Sweet Sap.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

The best blog post ever -

We are winding down another year, each and every year is so valuable like each minute in every day. I am so happy to be sharing with you as we go.
Many want a cookbook others want a some kind of marketing deal and yet others seek fame and fortune and all of them are hoping that this will happen through blogging. Me too. My problem is I hardly blog yet I want it all. Lets hope that in the coming months I give more to get more.
Otherwise I just want rid this pond of pesky fish.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fusion: Dragon Roll Burrito

Every now and then I like to take something I know and love and mix it with something else I know and love and hopefully the union is a good one. Usually I hit the nail right on the head because I am not  trying things like "green chile ice cream" or "candied steak" - typically its a blend of two things that want to be together - like my Shrimp Tempura Dragon Roll Burrito.

This dish came to me in a dream. I was fondly remembering my childhood in New Mexico and all the delicious burritos I had eaten when I fell asleep and dreamed I was a Samurai. Trekking through New Mexico as a Samurai I was getting hungry and all I had with me was shrimp tempura and rice - go figure. Surrounded by chiles and tortillas I decided to roll up my rice and shrimp in a tortilla and cover it with chile, sour cream and guacamole and a new dish was born. 

I think I need a name for my dream character now - Cheech Samurai - The Samurai Bandito - time to dream some more.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Amuse Bouche, Hors d'oeuvre, Appetizers, Small Bites - Creative Cooking Crew Challenge.

I make hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of appetizers a year. I am always trying to come up with new ones that are both efficient to make, eye catching and above all delicious. 
My newest one is this - a mini scallion pancake with smoked duck, caviar limes and basil seeds with a drop of hoisin. Simple, complex flavors and visually striking - this is the first time I have made these so I will tweak them a bit more before I am completely happy. Below you will see the myriad of appetizers I can make for you - if you want a recipe or a process for any individual one you see leave me a message in the comments and I will certainly oblige you.
Potato Cup with Tuna Tartare
Fig and Goat Cheese Tart
Smoked Duck Quesadillas
Sesame Crab Salad in a Tart Cup
Polenta Bites with Wild Mushroom and Sundried Tomato
Mini Beggars Purse with Pea Pesto (Gluten Free)
Assortment of Mini Savory Tartlets
Quesadilla with Green Apple
Herbed Cream Cheese and Fig Tart
Cucumber Bites with Tuna Salad
Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Cream and Huckleberry Coulis
Caprese Spoon - Grape Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Olive Oil Powder
Beets with Smoked Salmon and Scallions on Endive Leaves
Sweet Goat Cheese and Figs 
Herbed Goat Cheese and Figs
Potato Crisp with Smoked Salmon and Creme Fraiche
Mini Crab Cakes with Remolaude 
Zucchini Involtini
Latkas with Smoked Salmon and Creme Fraiche
Grilled Peach Tart with Manchego and Pine Nuts
Spring Pea Soup with Carrot Puree
Potato Samosas
Grilled Plums with Pistachio and Manchego Tart
Mini Lobster Rolls
Chicken Satay with Spicy Mango Salsa
Mini Burgers
Spring Rolls
Zucchini Involtini
Figs with Herbed Goat Cheese and Mint
Grilled Yam and Plantain with Creme Fraiche and Maguey Sweet Sap
Watermelon, Cucumber and Feta
Watermelon, Cucumber and Feta
Coconut Shrimp with a Pineapple Mayonnaise 
One Simple Shucked Oyster with Mignonette

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Poached Pears for Creative Cooking Crew Cooking with Spirits

Definitely poached pears are one top drawer dessert, and without a doubt it is one of the easiest desserts you could ever make. Poached pears with a red wine caramel and creme anglaise only takes time to make it nice. You will read a lot of recipes that will tell you to poach the pears for about 15 minutes or so but to really get them tender and tasty I suggest no less than 45 minutes at a nice steady simmer.
So how do you make these? Easy. Get some bosc pears and peel them and cut the bottom so they standup. Fill up a nice flat bottomed pot with red wine and about a 1/4 ratio of water to wine to cover the pears - so for example: one bottle of wine and a 1/4 bottle of water. Season the liquid with orange peel, lemon peel, cinnamon, star anise, clove, a bay leaf and some sugar - you need to taste the liquid to make sure it is tasty but dont go crazy tasting this delicious elixer or you wont have anything to poach the pears in. Simmer pears in this liquid for 45 minutes then let them cool in the poaching liquid over night.
The next day gently remove the pears and reduce the liquid until it is a nice thick caramel and let the pears come up to room temperature.
This is a pear in the unreduced liquid.
Make a creme anglaise, which is a nice vanilla sauce made with milk, cream, egg yolks and vanilla bean.   Put some of the wine caramel on a plate, put some creme anglaise on a plate and put a pear on top of the sauces and garnish with a mint leaf and you are good to go.
Invite 35 of your best friends over to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Poached pears will be on your menus - I guarantee it! Dont forget to check out what the others are doing!

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