Sunday, December 21, 2008

Chili Cheddar Shortcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/4 pound sharp Cheddar, grated coarse (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 jalapeño chilies, seeded and minced
1 cup sour cream

Into a bowl sift together the flour, the baking powder, the baking soda, and the salt, add the butter, and blend the mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in the Cheddar and the chilies, add the sour cream, and stir the mixture until it just forms a soft but not sticky dough. Knead the dough gently 6 times on a lightly floured surface, roll or pat it out 1/2 inch thick, and with a 3 1/2-inch cookie cutter cut out 6 rounds. Bake the rounds on an ungreased baking sheet in the middle of a preheated 425°F. oven for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they are golden.

Horseradish Cream Sauce

1 cup sour cream or Creme Fraiche
1/4 cup grated fresh horseradish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place all of the ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and whisk until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight to allow flavors to meld. Sauce can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2 to 3 weeks.

Mushroom Duxelle

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 c minced Shallots
5 sprigs of Thyme Chopped
1 pound mushrooms, Small dice
1 tablespoons White Truffle oil (optional)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 c White wine, Sherry or Maderia
S & P
Saute Shallots in Butter until soft then add Mushrooms & Thyme and continue to saute for a few mins more. Add Wine and reduce. Add Cream and reduce until desired consistency. Season and finish with Truffle oil.

Shallot Jam

1 1/2 lbs shallots, peeled
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups Sherry vinegar
1/2 cup Red wine
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme

Slice the shallots. Mix sugar, 1cup water, vinegar, wine, & salt in a large saucepan. Place over low heat; stirring often to dissolve the sugar. Add shallots, bay leaves, and thyme.
2Raise heat to medium-high; bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat; simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring often.
3Remove from heat and allow to cool. Serve at room temp., or store chilled up to 2 weeks.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Most Labor Intense Burger EVER! PART 2.

So here it is. I served my Braised Short Rib Burger wrapped in Caul Fat with Brioche Bun, Truffle Aioli, Irish Bacon & Cashel Blue Cheese. AWESOME!!! Also some Tri- Color Roasted Cauliflowers at Pintxo.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Miracle Cure or Just Salt Water?

Mainstream food punditry maintains that brining the turkey practically guarantees a moist, tender roast. I agree, it does. But I’m still a no-briner.
Brining has plenty of advocates, and understandably so. It’s a flexible technique that makes a remarkable difference in the moistness of the meat, especially the breast. All you have to do is dissolve a few tablespoons of salt in a few quarts of water, keep the turkey covered with the solution for a few days, then let its surface dry out uncovered for a day or two before roasting.
What simple brining does to meat turns out to be complex and pretty cool. The main driving force is osmosis, the natural shifting around of water and substances dissolved in it so as to even out any imbalances in their distribution. Meat contains a lot of water and very little salt. When we first immerse it in salty brine, salt moves from the brine into the meat, and water from the meat into the brine. The meat becomes saltier and drier.
But then the salt begins to modify the meat. The sodium attaches to the long, intertwined muscle proteins and causes the proteins to push apart from one another. This makes room for more water, and salt, and weakens the muscle fibers. The water flow reverses, so that water and more salt move from the brine into the meat.
All this shifting around takes time, especially in a cold refrigerator. In one laboratory study, little meat logs about a half-inch square and an inch long were still gaining weight after three days in the brine.
Brined meats end up gaining 10 percent or more of their original weight in water and salt. Then when they’re cooked to well done, their swollen muscle fibers can lose moisture and still have enough left to seem juicy. And the weakened fiber structure makes them seem tender as well.
So what’s not to like about a brined turkey?
To begin with, the unrelenting saltiness, which it shares with its commercial cousins, the so-called “moisture-enhanced meats.” These ready-to-cook supermarket roasts can be up to 10 percent brine, with eight times the sodium content of the original meat. And saltiness doesn’t necessarily enhance turkey flavor. When I made two turkeys and compared brined and unbrined breasts side by side, the unbrined meat tasted meatier, more intensely turkey-like. That’s not surprising, because the added juiciness of brined meat comes from tap water, not the meat itself.
Worst of all, you can’t use a brined turkey to prepare one of the highlights of the Thanksgiving meal: gravy. Roast a plain turkey and you end up with a panful of browned turkey juices, which you can defat and deglaze and aromatize into a delicious pan sauce. But juice up the turkey with tap water and salt, and its drippings become too salty to use.
The best way to keep an unbrined turkey breast moist is to cook it separately, gently and precisely. It’s just done at around 145 degrees, and getting dry at 155.
But to me Thanksgiving is an occasion for roasting the whole bird, and as unfussily as possible. I’ve tried many methods for keeping the breast meat under 155 degrees while getting the tougher legs to 165 degrees and up. None has worked reliably.
So I’ve shifted tactics. Instead of trying to avoid what’s pretty much inevitable, I try to make the best of it. My current approach takes its inspiration from the world of barbecue and its ways of dealing with well-cooked meat. In particular, pulled pork.
Roast an unbrined turkey as you wish. While the turkey rests, make a delicious pan sauce from the drippings. Keep it runny. When it’s time to carve, start with the breast. Either slice it very thin, to an eighth of an inch or less, or cut thick pieces and pull them to shreds, to create as much surface area as possible. Then turn and coat the meat thoroughly with some of the pan sauce, and keep it warm while you carve the leg and thigh.
Unlike casual last-minute saucing at the table, an extended and intimate bath gives the sauce a chance to penetrate into the meat’s smallest crannies and seams. The meat fibers may have been cooked dry in the oven, but they end up on the plate with abundant moisture clinging to them.
And it’s their own meaty moisture, genuinely enhanced.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Google Cooking Competition Pulls ‘Top Chef’–Worthy Judges

Google has some serious pull with chefs — in the past they’ve gotten Anthony Bourdain, Ferran Adrià, Masaharu Morimoto, Marco Pierre White, and Mario Batali to sit around shooting the shit with employees. So we’re impressed but not exactly shocked to hear that the company, in planning a charity cooking competition for its office drones, has managed to snag judges no less prestigious than Martha Stewart, Marcus Samuelsson, Marc Murphy, Top Chef’s Dave Martin, Rick Smilow (president of the Institute of Culinary Education), and Susie Fogelson (V.P. of Marketing for the Food Network). A hundred bucks says they get Jean-Georges to cook for the holiday Christmas party.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Short Ribs.

Double cut short ribs with red miso and Dr. Pepper marinade. Originally we worked root beer into the marinade though the complex flavor of the Dr. Pepper blends quite well with the red miso. We added a splash of brewed coffee to round out the mixture and then allowed the ribs to marinate for three days. Once the ribs were marinated we cooked them sous vide for 24 hours at 65 degrees C. While the steps are time consuming they are currently worth the efforts

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Smoked Beer at Suppenkuchen SF.

Great Brunch beer find it at

Old Knights Catering pics on the wall from 1994.

This was my first job in the US. Napa Valley Lunch for 1000 Guests with Chef Boy Mc Govern.

old Pintxo Pics

Dessert & Cheese Station.
Eddie using protection

Pushing some fat.

Kev and his Halibut Skin.

Saul " The Reciever" He aquired that name before he got into food?????????????

Fresh Kaffir Lime.

My Sous Chef/ Abalone Fisherman John Hayes.

Sea Urchin and Crabs.

This is one of his many catches that we have shared together.

The Most Labor Intense Burger EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The name is Braised Short Rib Slider. The Googlers shall be hounding on them tomorrow. Let me start with 40lbs Browned Short Ribs, Mirepoix, Herbs, Aromatics and 2 bottles of Red Wine and Braised for 14 hours. Pull meat apart and mix with 20lbs of raw Ground Beef, Minced Shallots, Thyme, Garlic, S&P. Form patties and encase with Caul Fat. Grill or Sear served on Brioche Buns with Sweet Potato Shoestring Fries & Truffle Aioli. Here is the product in the raw form.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pan-Seared Petrale Sole with Local Winter Vegetables

4 (6- to 8-ounce) fillets Petrale sole*
3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, rinsed, and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 bunch broccolini (6 to 8 ounces), quartered
1/2 cauliflower Florets
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
*Lemon sole, gray sole, or flounder may be substituted.

Sprinkle fillets with 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. In large nonstick skillet over moderately high heat, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil until hot but not smoking. Working in two batches (wipe pan clean and add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil between batches), fry fish until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to platter and loosely cover with foil to keep warm.
In large nonstick skillet over moderate heat, heat remaining tablespoon oil. Add leeks and garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Add butter, broccolini, cauliflower, and green beans and sauté until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Transfer vegetables to serving platter and sprinkle with remaining teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Top with fish and drizzle with any butter and pan juices remaining in skillet.