Saturday, May 16, 2009

Summer Corn Soup w/ Shrimp, Walnut Oil, Ancho Powder

Here is a soup that I put together for tonight. The soup is a sweet corn puree that has a hint of honey and spice of ancho powder. The shrimp are poached in walnut oil and tossed with scallions. This soup is perfect for the spring season but rich enough to serve as an upscale starter. The balance of walnut oil and sweet corn are amazing when accented with a little heat from the ancho.


The beauty of working in a kitchen is the everchanging melting pot of flavors that come from all the cultures we work with. I've been craving some "posole" for awhile now and asked Juan (a talented cook from Mexico) to whip some up for the day. A few hours later, Juan dropped a big bowl of steaming "red chile posole" on my desk. The bowl was filled with chunks of stewed pork, shredded cabbage, hominy, and lemon wedges. For those that don't know, Posole is a stew that originated in Jalisco, Mexico and is commonly served during Christmas time. It's an easy dish to make that can feed lots of people on a low budget, (perfect for this economy). He started off boiling some pork covered with water, a chopped onion, and garlic cloves. In a separate pan, he boiled some dried red chiles, onion, garlic, and water until it was all tender. After pureeing the chile mixture in a blender, it was added to the simmering pork and cooked for another hour. The soup was seasoned with salt and lemon and served with fresh cabbage slaw. Yesterday we all enjoyed a yellow chicken curry for staff meal and today it's posole. More than often, this industry can be very fulfilling when it comes to satisfaction. There is nothing like a light broth with hints of chile and lemon on a cool day.

Friday, May 15, 2009


A few days ago, I attended a food show in Denver and ran into one of our specialty produce suppliers. One product in particular that caught my eye were his exotic fruits. I love to try something new and saw that he had a fruit that I had never tried, Mangosteen. He gave me a few to take home and I just got done opening them up and trying the jewel fruit inside. The outside is extremely hard with a purplish brown skin. After carefully removing the skin like a citrus fruit, the center consisted of a lychee like fruit that was segmented like an orange. The flavor of the meat was delicate with a sweet start and tangy citrus finish. I cannot wait to get a larger quantity in so I can really play around with this superfruit.

Deep Fried Bacon Wrapped Sausage in Pastry with Cheese Sauce

This is seriously a request for an hor d'oeuvre next week. We took some extremely fatty bratwurst and wrapped them in slices of smoked bacon. The bacon was fried over high heat to partially crisp up and seal itself around the sausage. Once they cooled, we rolled the bacon wrapped sausages in puff pastry and baked them until golden brown. After slicing into individual portions and being skewered on a bamboo pick, they were drizzled with cheese sauce. This is by far the most unhealthiest dish I have ever made and now feel the need to run a few miles after eating all the end cuts. Even though it will create peanut butter in your arteries, it's very satisfying to consume so much pork.