Silken tofu and pea couscous with quail eggs, asparagus and pickled fiddle heads #conceptualexperiment #asparagus #spring #farm #quail #fiddleheads #breakfast #healthy #vegeterian #impromptu #tofu #perspective
Couscous: Pour boiling, seasoned water over the couscous. Let steep until al dente, strain, chill, set aside. 
Quail eggs: Add to boiling water, take out at minute 4, chill, set aside. 
Pickled fiddle heads: Forage, clean, trim and pickle for three days at room temp in a 1 cup water, 2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 T salt brine. I used a lot of mustard seeds they really come through in the back ground and are really complimentary in this dish. Use two T. I also used two star anise, one stick of cinnamon, fennel seeds, black peppercorns and black cumin seeds. Also this is for about 3/4 lb of fiddle heads. 
Silken tofu and pea puree: Break 1 C of silken tofu into small pieces incorporate in a blender with 1 C of peas. Add soy milk to adjust consistency, season with salt and the pickle brine from the fiddle heads. I made the consistency into a thick smoothie.
High-res

Silken tofu and pea couscous with quail eggs, asparagus and pickled fiddle heads #conceptualexperiment #asparagus #spring #farm #quail #fiddleheads #breakfast #healthy #vegeterian #impromptu #tofu #perspective

  • Couscous: Pour boiling, seasoned water over the couscous. Let steep until al dente, strain, chill, set aside. 
  • Quail eggs: Add to boiling water, take out at minute 4, chill, set aside. 
  • Pickled fiddle heads: Forage, clean, trim and pickle for three days at room temp in a 1 cup water, 2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 T salt brine. I used a lot of mustard seeds they really come through in the back ground and are really complimentary in this dish. Use two T. I also used two star anise, one stick of cinnamon, fennel seeds, black peppercorns and black cumin seeds. Also this is for about 3/4 lb of fiddle heads. 
  • Silken tofu and pea puree: Break 1 C of silken tofu into small pieces incorporate in a blender with 1 C of peas. Add soy milk to adjust consistency, season with salt and the pickle brine from the fiddle heads. I made the consistency into a thick smoothie.
I don’t know how I feel about tonight’s project. Smoky tomato chutney with kasthuri methi and mustard seeds, great! Green chutney with a green mango dice, I’m sold. Then of course, curried potatoes were great too. Lime juice + zest, ginger, and coconut water marinated thighs, crispy and juice and flavorful. The balance works well too. I think I’m just not happy about the plating.
Also, folks, here is the plan I laid out for this a couple days ago. I will make the adjustments and publish the recipes. High-res

I don’t know how I feel about tonight’s project. Smoky tomato chutney with kasthuri methi and mustard seeds, great! Green chutney with a green mango dice, I’m sold. Then of course, curried potatoes were great too. Lime juice + zest, ginger, and coconut water marinated thighs, crispy and juice and flavorful. The balance works well too. I think I’m just not happy about the plating.

Also, folks, here is the plan I laid out for this a couple days ago. I will make the adjustments and publish the recipes.

Monkfish (tr: fener) cooked in brown butter with Aleppo peppers with a glass noodle salad
For the glass noodle salad, I sauteed mushrooms and finished them with sliced garlic. I had fennel shoots, carrots, cilantro shoots and celery stalks at my disposal — so, I sliced them all really thin. Then I toasted some sesame seeds and combined them with the glass noodles, the vegetables, fish sauce, bonito soy sauce, and some sesame oil to taste. Then I squeezed a good amount of charred lime on top. I also incorporated a little bit of Aleppo peppers into the cold salad. I wanted a little bit of a kick.
The fish was cooked medium with a crust outside on a skillet in brown butter. After I got the right texture on all sides, I just finished the fish with a little bit of Aleppo and soy sauce. The texture is like lobster, the flavor is like no other. I love monk fish. 
Then I ate it.  High-res

Monkfish (tr: fener) cooked in brown butter with Aleppo peppers with a glass noodle salad

For the glass noodle salad, I sauteed mushrooms and finished them with sliced garlic. I had fennel shoots, carrots, cilantro shoots and celery stalks at my disposal — so, I sliced them all really thin. Then I toasted some sesame seeds and combined them with the glass noodles, the vegetables, fish sauce, bonito soy sauce, and some sesame oil to taste. Then I squeezed a good amount of charred lime on top. I also incorporated a little bit of Aleppo peppers into the cold salad. I wanted a little bit of a kick.

The fish was cooked medium with a crust outside on a skillet in brown butter. After I got the right texture on all sides, I just finished the fish with a little bit of Aleppo and soy sauce. The texture is like lobster, the flavor is like no other. I love monk fish. 

Then I ate it. 

Project plan!

I had this idea for a plate that combined some Persian flavors (pistachios, rosewater, lime) with Indian flavors (kasturi methi, cumin, coriander, smoky mustard seeds, green chilis). This is a lot to read but I’m looking for feedback and perspective: 

Plating:

1- Into a circle mold place the potatoes

2- Lean the charred chicken on the potato (try slicing and fanning)

3- Drop two chutneys in circles around the plate

4- Crack brittle and spread one T over the plate

 

Tomato chutney:

  • 1 T mustard oil
  • 1 T black mustard seeds
  • 1 t turmeric
  • 3 T fine diced shallot
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 t ginger
  • 8 oz diced tomatoes

 

1- Toast mustard seeds until they start popping and become smoky. Reserve to incorporate later.

2- In 1 T of mustard oil (sub: butter or veg oil), sweat the garlic on medium to high heat. Add the turmeric, the shallots and ginger when the garlic becomes fragrant, add the tomatoes when the garlic browns.

3- Crush the tomatoes, add the toasted mustard seeds and simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning with fine sea salt. Let cool and use at room temperature.

Note: Use next day for better flavor.

Green chili chutney with peas:

  • 3 T diced white onion (sweated without fat)
  • 2 cloves of garlic sliced
  • 4 oz peas (blanched)
  • 12 green Indian chilies, no stem
  • 2 C chopped cilantro leaves
  • Lime juice and sea salt to taste

 

1- Incorporate in blender and puree until smooth. Add water to adjust consistency. It should be runny akin to a smoothie.

Curried potatoes:

  • 4 large Idaho potatoes
  • 1 T dried fenugreek (or 2 cups of fresh leaves)
  • 2 T butter
  • 3 T diced onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2 t ginger minced
  • ½ T turmeric
  • 3/4 T cumin seeds
  • 1 t allspice
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 t cardamom seeds
  • ½ T Kashmiri chili powder
  • Optional: Curry leaves

 

1- Peel, chop and simmer the potatoes until cooked 2/3 of the way. Strain and set aside.

2- Toast the dried fenugreek in a nonstick sautoir until fragrant. Add half the butter to the pan and sweat the onions on low heat (add fenugreek leaves at this time if you’re using fresh ones). Add the garlic and ginger and sweat lightly. Add all the spices and warm and strained potatoes to the sautoir.

3- Saute potatoes until the potato chunks are coated with all the seasonings. Season to taste with fine sea salt.

Charred chicken thigh roulades w/ coconut, rosewater, Marash peppers and lime zest

  • 4 deboned chicken thighs (butterfly meat further to get to an even cut if necessary)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • Zest and juice of one lime
  • 2 T rosewater
  • 2 t Marash pepper

 

1- Ground Marash peppers either on a cutting board with a knife or in a mortar to get more of the color out into the coconut milk. Incorporate all the ingredients and marinade the chicken overnight.

2- Take chicken out and dry completely. Season with fine sea salt and lightly with fresh ground white pepper on both sides. Lay each thigh on a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap tight to mold into shape.

3- Place in the refrigerator. Take out and place in an oven preheated to 3000C on a cast iron skillet. Take out in 30 minutes.

4- Brush with butter or lard and finish under a broiler until the surface is charred.

Pistachio, fennel and cumin brittle:

http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/spiced-brittle/12938/

 

 

Food in prison!

This is a very striking passage from Gregory David Roberts’s Shantaram:

Lunch, at Arthur Road, consisted of a watery soup ladled onto our flat aluminium plates. The evening meal, served at four-thirty with the addition of a single chapatti, was a repetition of that soup of the day. It was made with the peelings and discarded ends of various vegetables — peelings from beetroot on one day, from carrots the next, from pumpkins on the third day, and so on. The eyes and bruises, cut from potatoes, were used, as were the hard ends of courgettes, the papery outer skins of onions, and the muddy scrapings from turnips. we never saw pieces of the vegetables—those went to the guards and the convict overseers. In our soup, the scraps of peelings or stalky ends floated in a colourless, watery liquid. The large vat that the overseers wheeled into our compound for every meal brought one hundred and fifty ladled servings from the kitchens. There were one hundred and eighty men in the room. To remedy the deficiency, the overseers poured two buckets of cold water into the vat. they did that at every meal, with a ritual head-count and a pantomime display of inspiration as they solved the problem by adding buckets of water. It never failed to rouse them to raucous laughter.

I was playing with fava beans, then I made this: Green fava hummus with dill, pistachios and fruity extra virgin olive oil. 
Ingredients: 
1/2 lb of peeled fava beans
2 T extra virgin olive oil (fruity preferred)
1 T peeled chopped pistachios
2 T picked and chopped dill or mint
1 T picked parsley
3 cloves roasted or confit garlic (sub 1 clove minced garlic)
1-2 oz lemon juice (to taste)
sea salt and fresh ground white pepper to taste







 Instructions:
 Blanch fava beans for one minute in seasoned water, shock in ice bath immediately
Combine beans, garlic, half of the lemon juice, pistachios and herbs, and incorporate in a blender
Season lightly with salt and pepper, and on low speed emulsify the extra virgin olive oil into the mixture
Finish seasoning with the remaining lemon juice, and salt and fresh ground white pepper


 Note: You can adjust consistency with additional olive oil or water High-res

I was playing with fava beans, then I made this: Green fava hummus with dill, pistachios and fruity extra virgin olive oil. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 lb of peeled fava beans
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil (fruity preferred)
  • 1 T peeled chopped pistachios
  • 2 T picked and chopped dill or mint
  • 1 T picked parsley
  • 3 cloves roasted or confit garlic (sub 1 clove minced garlic)
  • 1-2 oz lemon juice (to taste)
  • sea salt and fresh ground white pepper to taste

 Instructions:

  1.  Blanch fava beans for one minute in seasoned water, shock in ice bath immediately
  2. Combine beans, garlic, half of the lemon juice, pistachios and herbs, and incorporate in a blender
  3. Season lightly with salt and pepper, and on low speed emulsify the extra virgin olive oil into the mixture
  4. Finish seasoning with the remaining lemon juice, and salt and fresh ground white pepper

 Note: You can adjust consistency with additional olive oil or water

The Joy of Cooking Invasive Species - Modern Farmer

This is one of my favorite concepts in the convergence of biodiversity conservation and cooking — eating invasive species! Modern Farmer’s account of it is not only comprehensive but also enthusiastic. 

At the convergence of winter and spring, there are artichokes (enginar), nettles (isirgan otu), and watercress (tere) in Istanbul. I borrowed some sunchokes (yer elmasi) from the winter and put together this plate. 
I confit the artichoke in extra virgin olive oil with spices, as per a previous post. You basically heat the submerged artichokes on low heat without bringing the olive oil to a simmer. They take about thirty minutes to become melt in the mouth tender. 
The nettles are blanched, very conscientiously drained, and sauteed with five cloves of garlic confit (from the artichokes). Here is the ratio I worked with: Two bunches of nettles (picked and blanched) yield a fistful (~1/2 lb) of drained and chopped nettles. One cup of whole milk (reduced to half), two oz of sharp cheddar and a table spoon of butter is what I added to bring some richness to the plate. I started with one oz of cheese and doubled it after. Then I pulsed the mixture but left it well-textured. 
The sunchokes are roasted with thyme, butter, lots of salt and pepper. I worked with a 350F oven — but at this temp, you’ve got to toss and turn them fairly often. 
I won’t talk about the fillet. That’s easy. The sauce is pan drippings, reduced merlot and reduced veal stock. That’s it. Oh and the watercress is peppery, bright and awesome!  High-res

At the convergence of winter and spring, there are artichokes (enginar), nettles (isirgan otu), and watercress (tere) in Istanbul. I borrowed some sunchokes (yer elmasi) from the winter and put together this plate. 

I confit the artichoke in extra virgin olive oil with spices, as per a previous post. You basically heat the submerged artichokes on low heat without bringing the olive oil to a simmer. They take about thirty minutes to become melt in the mouth tender. 

The nettles are blanched, very conscientiously drained, and sauteed with five cloves of garlic confit (from the artichokes). Here is the ratio I worked with: Two bunches of nettles (picked and blanched) yield a fistful (~1/2 lb) of drained and chopped nettles. One cup of whole milk (reduced to half), two oz of sharp cheddar and a table spoon of butter is what I added to bring some richness to the plate. I started with one oz of cheese and doubled it after. Then I pulsed the mixture but left it well-textured. 

The sunchokes are roasted with thyme, butter, lots of salt and pepper. I worked with a 350F oven — but at this temp, you’ve got to toss and turn them fairly often. 

I won’t talk about the fillet. That’s easy. The sauce is pan drippings, reduced merlot and reduced veal stock. That’s it. Oh and the watercress is peppery, bright and awesome! 

Ive always been interested in the idea of foraging. Ive been an inner city person my whole life and the idea of finding amazing things in nature to sustain ourselves off of seems to be a refreshingly new take on grocery shopping haha! For someone like me who lives in the inner city of Boston on the east coast, how would you recommend I start out?

Asked by Anonymous

That’s one of the most exciting questions I’ve heard in a while!

Well, your backyard (i.e. NH, ME) provides amazing coastal, riparian as well as sylvan foraging!

However, I think the more surprising place to start is your local parks!

It’s been a while since I’ve been to Boston but strolling in San Fransisco, Istanbul and NYC, in the last year across local parks, I’ve run into such things as wild chives / scallions, ramps, dandelions, fennel, wild carrots, day lilies, some species of cress…

There are also a lot of things that will require a little bit more processing but are ubiquitous in season and delicious when treated right: Cattails, acorns, black walnuts, etc. 

Mushrooms are definitely a more advanced pursuit — other than the easily identifiable morel. One of my favorite starter mushrooms (which if you’re lucky you’ll run into in parks as well) is the dryad’s saddle

Oh and garlic mustard is great too! 

If you want to go a little criminal you could also venture into your neighbor’s flower patch and look for things like nasturtium or bee balm

Man — you’re going to have sooo much fun! 

sayattheexplorer:

Orange and black cardamom liqueur! The snowy background gives me ideas for alcoholic snowcones!

It’s been two weeks and I have full flavor. This is bomba and I will share the process and the recipe. Toast three pods of black cardamon and a tablespoon of black peppercorns until fragrant. Zest 10 navel oranges without any pith.Combine a cup of gran sugar with a pint of water, the zest and the spices. Steep on a low simmer for 10 mins. Combine with a pint and a half of vodka and let the flavors blend for a couple weeks.The result is a light menthol flavor from the black cardamom with a theme of oranges. It’s great both as an aperitif and a digestif. High-res

Sayat Explores FoodReblogged from Sayat Explores Food

sayattheexplorer:

Orange and black cardamom liqueur! The snowy background gives me ideas for alcoholic snowcones!

It’s been two weeks and I have full flavor. This is bomba and I will share the process and the recipe.

Toast three pods of black cardamon and a tablespoon of black peppercorns until fragrant.
Zest 10 navel oranges without any pith.
Combine a cup of gran sugar with a pint of water, the zest and the spices. Steep on a low simmer for 10 mins.
Combine with a pint and a half of vodka and let the flavors blend for a couple weeks.

The result is a light menthol flavor from the black cardamom with a theme of oranges. It’s great both as an aperitif and a digestif.