Reblogged from Sayat Explores Food
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.
Explosive flavors, incredible depiction.
Soba noodle chronicles, episode 2 — here is 1:
Soba noodles with sauted maitake, toasted sesame seeds, carrots, face bacon lardons, soft boiled egg, ginger and peppers — dressed with a kombu / shiitake dashi and wasabi dressing.
I might not have a studio to take photos in but today’s breakfast was just great!
I’ve listened to Dr. Vandana Shiva on several occasions but this seems to be one of her best composed speeches! I love her, so should you.
Here is an article from the WSJ. Though I’m taken aback by some of the analogies (Mehmet Gurs / Ferran Adria) or the lack of respect for artisans in the brief note on ”cheese from crappy huts”, it’s nevertheless an interesting article. I think to elevate a food culture, you need to elevate your artisans, craftsmen and farmers rather than building holding companies that stretch your attention across multiple companies. It just doesn’t sound convincing, having said that I do admit that I’m not as knowledgeable about what’s going on in Istanbul as I should be. What do others think?
The way this dish resembles a vulva and a penis (and a garland of nuts on top) is not the only thing that was wrong with the dish that I conjured up this evening.
I’ve been trying to push these wild pistachios that I have into a dish. I’m passionate about their peppery yet sweet pistachio flavor. They’re a sumac relative from South Eastern Turkey (Tr. Melengic) — they’re usually ground and steeped in milk to make a drink similar to coffee. I have many aspirations for them — smoking, glazing, encrusting with them…
Here is the problem — they’re too hard to be in a dish without having been ground, though they are pretty as whole nuts.
Everything else worked great in the dish really. I toasted the nuts with butter and glazed with honey, steeped the sage separately in heavy cream, and eventually combined the liquid and the nuts after removing the sage leaves. I seasoned with salt and fresh ground white pepper and finished with some ricotta and lemon juice.
The round disks are beet shaped pasta that I purchased at Brooklyn Fare — it feels as though their beet juice is not concentrated enough to give the pasta flavor but the shape is spot on with all the beet rings and visual texture.
I don’t know if beers with alternative starches are getting a lot of attention but they’re certainly getting mine. My coworker brewed one with beets a couple weeks ago — it was fantastic. Then I had this at a noodle bar in the city — made from Japanese sweet potatoes.
We must reject the notion that standardized cultures are superior to indigenous traditions, and confront the dogmas regarding hygiene and safety that justify this thinking. The diversity of fermented milk products reflects the glorious diversity of culture itself.
Katz, Sandor Ellix (2012-05-15). The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World (p. 183). Chelsea Green Publishing. Kindle Edition.”
On Monday, I recovered from my 80 hour week. The restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
On Tuesday, I woke up to my woman first. I kissed her goodbye to drive home. I took care of some much needed (kcl) knife sharpening, catching up with family, and laundry. Then I went to work (on my day off) to learn how to make speck, shoulder ham, lonzo, lardo, coppa, dry cured salami and pepperoncini as well as fresh sausages. We rendered some lard. We broke down bones for stock. We saved the ears, the cheeks, the jowl, the tenderloins and the skin for use for service.
Then I came home. Three cooks, we came together to braise some cabbage, glaze some baby broccoli with Turkish wild pistachios, sear some venison tenderloins in Daisy’s butter (yes, it’s a single cow butter), and make a sauce from venison scraps, sherry and dried shiitake and wood ear mushrooms. We also found some roasted eggplant puree in the fridge and finished it with some aged asiago. A little bit of merlot and some IPA’s to polish.
No dessert. Just a soothing orange flavored hookah hit.
Then I talked to her again to end the day. The fifteen hour workday felt like a breeze today after that amazing weekend. It’s a pretty good life.
However, this busy schedule means very little time for posts, especially since I have a non-disclosure agreement in place with my employer…
I’m working on some kvass, mustard, nato, and wild fermentation experiment setups but it might take a couple weeks. Bear with me.
Thank you for the compliment! I have to say, it’s been a great ride. Once you set yourself on your desired path, your friends and family support you to no end.
It took a lot of soul-searching to finally realize all I wanted to do was to cook!
I know I had you at bacon!
As I’m becoming more and more interested in vegetable cookery (as opposed to all the hunks of protein the common foodie lusts after), I feel as though I’m losing touch with the rest of the world. Here is quick article from the Economist that proposes vegetable promoting apps as one solution to the childhood obesity epidemic in the US.
More and more I’m thinking of an omnivorous cuisine where proteins are used as sources of flavor rather than the main event in a dish. A vegetarian diet, whose disposition is one of environmental consciousness, can potentially disregard the what a region has to offer, which in my opinion (I have no empirical proof beyond qualitative data) has more value to the environment than strict adherence to a paradigm that isn’t in touch with the local ecology. If you’re living on a pasture, you’ll be eating grains, vegetables, dairy products, and a small amount of protein in the form of meat. If you live near the shore or on an island, you eat fish.
Of course, if you’re trying to structure a cuisine that revolves around vegetables and uses meat to develop flavor, one of the first ingredients you explore is bacon.
Bacon is often regarded as the gateway meat for vegetarians, as though the goal is to convince vegeterians to eat more meat and not omnivores to eat less meat. This NPR/Salt article makes this point and the reference is all over the web as well.
I look at it a little differently. I think bacon is the gateway vegetable. It’s a way to help people understand how versatile vegetables can be. When was the last time you had brussel sprouts, kale or green beans without bacon? Here are a couple silly vegetable and bacon recipes from bacontoday — I’m sure you can find a vegetable you don’t like on its own but would try with bacon.
A WIRED / Food Network data summary (no statistical methodology was applied) of 49,733 recipes and 906,539 comments put out that recipes with bacon in them get better rating over recipes that don’t.
Maybe we could cook vegetables with bacon for kids to help fight obesity. I’m serious, you don’t have to use a whole pork belly to put flavor into vegetables. An ounce of bacon can give flavor to 6 oz of vegetables. Bacon or not, children won’t eat vegetables unless parents know how to cook them. The long term solution is not to throw more apps to the problem but to reconnect with the farmer, the land and the ritual of cooking and feeding our families, and sharing a meal with them.
Flavor Perception and Heightened Sense of Awareness, at the same time as The Culinary’s newspaper, La Papillote
On a sunny Friday afternoon late September, one nasturtium flower took me to hot summer days in Istanbul when I used to play marbles all day and chow down as much of the nectar from honey suckles as I could. That’s until I started making money playing marbles and would buy fried mussel sandwiches a couple times a day but that’s another story…
When I leave my A la Carte class, I walk across Roth Hall out the doors, through Anton Plaza to my campus job. I pick up a flower or a leaf along the way to snack on — from the nasturtium plant, which is used fairly enthusiastically at the restaurant where I work on weekends.
The flavor of the leaves is both peppery like arugula and spicy like mustard greens. But the leaves also pack citrus-like flavors similar to watercress. It has a high vitamin C content and it is incidentally in the same family as a tuber that I discovered while in Cuenca, Ecuador. It was one of my first posts on this blog. The tuber’s name is mashua. The seed pods are consumed in a similar fashion to capers as well. So, yes, incredible plant.
The flower is usually a garnish or a component in a cold dish. Sometimes it’s stuffed, tempura-battered and deep fried akin to a squash blossom. You get a hint of sugar if you’re lucky, depending on ecological factors. Now, hold that thought.
When Thomas Keller visited the CIA campus, the one thing that stuck with me was his emphasis on a heightened sense of awareness and the perspective that this leads to creativity. In other words, if you pay attention to how things work, you can think through leveraging their strengths or actualizing their potential. Then Grant Achatz explained how he created a themed dish reminiscing memories from his childhood and creating new perceptions pivoting from those experiences – this best manifests itself in his pheasant with shallot, cider, and burning oak leaves dish.
Now, we’re going to lean in just as Chef Keller might ask us to. Look at the little extension behind nasturtium’s ovary that has evolved precisely for pollinators with a proboscis (i.e. butterflies, moths). Remember that honeysuckle from your childhood and the wines that you frequented every so often. It’s a different structure from the nectar pocket in honeysuckles but it serves the same purpose of driving the symbiotic relationship with its pollinators. Schools that dabble in evolutionary biology would have touched upon the concept of convergent evolution. Similar structures with similar functions in different species of different lineages (e.g. flight with wings in bats, birds and insects). You can take a brief look at the concept here. Honey suckles and nasturtium solve the same problem in different ways but they appease your taste buds in a similar manner.
The next time you walk by a nasturtium flower, pluck it, turn it around and eat only this extension. Because that little extension does what a lot of chefs try to do as Grant Achatz emphasized in his speech on Keller Day — hinge on an experience or a memory in your past and elevate it to another level.
I find myself more and more turning to nature to find inspiration.
Lean in to nature, your back yard, your hike trail, your farmers market, your herb gardens… They have much to teach.
This monarch helped me realize today that lemon verbena leaves lose most of their fragrant oils and fragrance once the plant goes to flower (at Culinary Institute Of America)