Wednesday, August 31, 2011
We had some mushrooms looking for a home so I decided to make soup. The mushrooms were simmered in vegetable stock and cream until tender creating a velvet puree after passing through a fine sieve. The pulp was mixed with shallots, garlic, and herbs to create a duxelle. A lemon creme fraiche, baked Parmesan, and fresh micros garnished the bowl as each guest poured there soup at the table from a small shot glass.
Pan seared beef, fresh crookneck squashes tossed in butter straight from the garden, potatoes simmered in sea salt water until tender and then crystallized over high heat, asparagus pureed with truffle butter.
Monday, August 29, 2011
One of our vendors sent out a upcoming special on candy striped figs and we immediately put our order in for Monday delivery. These Californian figs were drizzled with of course fig vinegar and pistachio oil. The vibrant watermelon radish was placed over a bacon powder (bacon fat + tapioca maltodextrin). A local micro herb blend mixed with some arugula leaves top the thinly shaved speck. Speck is a type of prosciutto spiced with juniper. It is boned out and smoked before hanging giving it a truly unique flavor profile. Some Parisian gnocchi croutons gave a fun Parmesan component.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Here is the main course that followed our arugula salad. The smoky dragon egg is not only fun to look at but was cooked lightly so the yolk was still soft. The sweet potatoes were blended with tangy creme fraiche made in house and the fatty pork belly was cured with flavors of cardamom and peppercorn. The reduced cranberry and bitter chard leaves balanced out the saltiness of the cured pork belly.
First course from lunch today, something light to start the meal...The tomatoes are in full bloom right now and these just showed up from the farm yesterday. They were peeled and marinated in extra virgin olive oil. The sweet brittle brought out the spicy natural flavors of the arugula and creaminess of Spanish manchego. A tangy vinaigrette of honey, whole grain mustard, walnut oil, and sherry vinegar brought the whole dish together.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Musk Melon Parfait with Peppercorn Essence, Pickled Rind, Champagne Grapes, and Werp Farms Summer Micro Mix
First course from today's lunch. We had some beautiful melons come in from the farm and with the hot weather, I thought a cold parfait would be a great way to start the meal. The musk melon was blended with creme fraiche, agave, and lemon zest before adding gelatin to stabilize. The watermelon was simmered with pink peppercorns, red wine vinegar, and honey before blending and straining through cheesecloth. The watermelon rind was vacuum sealed with vanilla, citrus, sugar, and vinegar after simmering until tender. A touch of salted Marcona almonds and champagne grapes added some texture to the dish.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
It's important to focus on controlling the smoke when preparing trout in this manner. We brined the fish lightly and gently smoked the filets to create a clean background without overpowering or drying the fish out. An emulsion of black garlic, roasted chiogga beets. capers, and pea tendrils complimented the flavors.
Here is a lamb shoulder that has been boned out, butterflied, and pounded thin. I've sprinkled the meat with activa, salt, and pepper before rolling and tying with butchers twine. The lamb is allowed to rest in the cooler overnight to activate the meat glue. I covered the lamb roulades with salt, egg whites, and spices to create a crust that would not only keep the moisture in there but also give the lamb shoulder a fragrance of coriander and lavender. The meat baked for 2 hours at 250 degrees before it was carved for service. The result was an amazing tender piece of lamb with a clean salt flavor on the outside and tender lamb on the inside. I was really impressed with how tender the lamb was after only two hours of slow roasting in the salt crust. The meat glue really allowed the roulade to stay in one piece when slicing instead of unwinding like a pinwheel.
Friday, August 5, 2011
Here was a cool idea for a leg of fresh ham we got from the farmer this week. When I thought about the ham and how delicious it would be after being slowly roasted, we decided to brine it in a sweet tea base to really bring out a southern flare. Since the leg is about 30 #, it will take close to 15 - 20 days to get the full effect of the brine (about half a day per #). Small hints of lemon, cardamon, clove, cinnamon, molasses, and brown sugar will really bring this brine some flavor.
I will never sell a short rib on a menu rather than slowly braised beef cheeks. This low cost piece of meat is so tender when slowly cooked in stock and has so much more flavor than your standard beef short rib. The gelatin is a unique characteristic that really enhances the beef flavor with every bite. We served these beef cheeks with a pickled root vegetable salad, nichols farm fingerling potatoes, rhurbarb barbecue, and micro cilantro. The beef cheeks took about 2 1/2 hours to cook at 250 degrees before we chilled and portioned them into 6 oz pieces.
Monday, August 1, 2011