Saturday, March 29, 2014

Lets Call This Dish The Marco Polo - When East Meets West

Most of us know the story of Marco Polo - gone 24 years discovering Asia only to return to become imprisoned then released and became a wealthy merchant - but I don't think most knew he was a Virgo. Lets be clear that he was not the first to discover Asia but he was the one to leave the most detailed chronicles. I don't think anywhere in his writings will you find this delicious wild mushroom risotto with garlic shrimp and snow peas.
I went out to Chinatown today with one thing in mind - get what looks fresh and come home and make a nice lunch for a rainy New York Saturday. 

These big fat shrimp caught my eye and snow peas for a 67 cents a pound is always a nice price. I didn't want to just go the traditional route with steamed rice and I knew I had some dehydrated wild mushrooms and some Arborio rice so a meal was born.

A couple of pounds or so of snow crab can't hurt either. A dozen raw oysters were also knocked back but after I jabbed myself with the oyster knife I didn't feel like glamorizing those mollusks not one little bit.
So there you have it - just think of me as a modern day Marco Polo.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Perfect Bite - Creative Cooking Crew Challenge = Reverse Rellenos

This months challenge for the Creative Cooking Crew was probably the most challenging one so far. I base my entire life out of making perfect bites and I do it regularly so to have to make the perfect bite I could only think of one thing = my culture.

One of my favorite foods of all time has got to be the chile relleno. I make chiles relleno as often as I can and then I make them more often in the summer when the chiles are abundant.
So whats the process? You roast a chile, you peel the chile and you stuff the chile (thats the relleno part, relleno means stuffed) then you batter and fry the chile. I love them. Well for this challenge I did a Reverse Relleno - I did all the normal things except I put the chile on the inside.

I used both red and green peppers for contrast and flavor. For the green pepper I used a poblano and for the red pepper I used a nice big pimento pepper. I also roasted a yellow pepper and another pimento to use as a sauce on the plate.

A little wilted spinach with some garlic, a bit of avocado and some cotija cheese rounded it all out.

My Reverse Relleno will be making an appearance again and again, you can count on that. Its certainly more of a process than the standard relleno since I had to make the roulades then wrap them in plastic wrap and poach at 150 for 6 minutes then let cool then freeze until firm and then batter and fry before slicing into medallions for plating. In fact its a lot more of a process but way worth it in wow factor alone - and yes it is more than just one bite but after one bite you will want more, each bite is loaded with everything a good bite needs to have.
Just for fun here is another plate that wasn't quite what I was looking for in presentation terms. I wasn't happy with the cotija cheese all over everything. Picky me.
I also did one with some radish florets, and while it does look nice I felt like it was a little too nice, if thats at all possible. Trial and error, practice makes perfect and like a perfect bite - it is all highly subjective. Check back later and I will post the link to all the others.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Belly Full of Airwaves

I have my little introductory kick off for my new radio show and its complete with absolutely nothing but that doenst mean it will stay that way. I will be formatting future shows under these specific categories so if there is something you would like to know or if you would like to contribute in some way let me know.

° Whats Fresh and Tasty - I will explore whats in season now and whats going to be in season soon.

° Whats Grilling - Grilling tips and techniques as well as rubs and smokes and marinades

° What's Cooking in My Kitchen - I will talk about what I have on my plate lately

° Gotta Feed The Kid™ - My on going quest to create unique, simple and exciting meals for kids

For now you can listen to my mistake ridden first run. I hope it teases you enough to tune in and call in.

Monday, March 10, 2014

This Month Makes 9 Years

My blog is 9 years old! Where did the time go? I have learned a lot about blogging and even more about myself in this little process and I have shared as much of it as I could. Thank you to everyone who has been reading since the very beginning and thank you to all the new readers. I thought I would leave you with one of my favorite lunches - the simple bean burrito.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Mini Bites Are A Total Delight

A one or two bite morsel can tickle and delight your senses more than a belly full of bacon. I often make tiny little nibbles since they both dazzle and impress while not taking up too much space. One such little bite I made recently was a no bake key lime pie. I made a custard, I colored it with parsley juice that I made from an extractor and I topped them with both Chantilly cream and a meringue that I used a caramelized sugar giving it a nice off golden color that toasted nicely with the torch.
No bake pie, sure thing. I made a lime curd that I added a bit of gellan and cornstarch as well as egg yolks on the double boiler - when it was nice and thick I put it in a piping bag to chill.
The crust is a simple butter, sugar, flour and a pinch of salt short bread dough that cut with a fluted mold and  I baked in a mini tin.
I piped the lime curd into the baked shells and served some with the cream and some with the meringue and they all got some zest and a little blackberry coulis to round it all out. The guests loved it, I loved it and this simple preparation I will most likely do again and again.
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