Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Recipe: Butterscotch Pie

I love butterscotch pie but I hate how most are made with morsels (chemical flavoring) or corn starch thickener (gritty).  So I've been working on my version which gets natural flavors and a smooth consistency.  Here it is:

90 g Muscovado sugar (if you don't have it use dark brown)
540 g Cream
180 g Yolks
2 T Butter
1/4 C Whiskey

Bring cream to a simmer and hold.  Carefully watch the muscovado as you give it the lightest of dry caramelization in a sauce pan.  As soon as the sugar is all liquid and slightly caramelized (don't burn it) carefully pour the cream in and whisk until smooth.  Pour a third of the caramel cream over yolks while whisking, and the return to the remaining cream (tempering).  Heat until slightly thickened whisking the whole time.  Finish with butter and whiskey stirring until smooth and creamy.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Chocolate Workshop - May 2014 in Las Vegas

I am co-organizing a chocolate workshop in Vegas for next May.  Its turning out to be a big deal.  If any of you are interested, check out the following:

We have some exciting developments for the May 17-18 2014 eGullet Chocolate & Confections Workshop in Las Vegas.

We have confirmed the use of Jean Marie Auboine's chocolate studio and the participation of Melissa Coppel, the 2013 Chocolatier of the Year!  These are two of the world's finest chocolatiers and both are very excited for us to use their space and participate with our group.

There will be a few changes this year since we're in Las Vegas, and we hope you'll appreciate the amazing opportunity we're being given which is necessitating some of these changes.

We anticipate the price for both days to be $160 per person if you register prior to 12/31/13.  After that time the price will increase to $250.  A $50 deposit is required to confirm your spot. We will have more details on this shortly. This deposit is non-refundable but will guarantee your spot.  This price includes use of the facility and a 3 hour demo by Jean Marie and chocolate and other supplies for use throughout the weekend.  Meals are not included in this price, but we're working on sponsorship for breakfasts and lunches.

We are also offering a master class for the first 10 people at an additional $130 on Friday afternoon.  This class will be taught by both Jean Marie and Melissa.  This class is intended for more advanced participants.  Registration for this class will require payment in full and is non-refundable.

All registrations will be opened to the general public (meaning non-eGullters and friends) on 1/1/14 to ensure that the workshop expenses will be met.

These are the most important items for now, but know that we're working on a super, value-packed weekend including:

•Printed recipes shared by the participants
•Plenty of giveaways
•Chocolate sampling panel so you can try as many chocolates and couvetures that we can get
•Friday night social
•Friday morning chocolate shop tour of Vegas
•The ever popular chocolate and confection sharing party!

Mark your calendars now.  Remember that we have hotel rooms blocked off. And watch for the next update for registration opening up.  
Here are the instructions for registering for the Workshop:
Go to chocolot/products-page/. At the bottom of that page are three options. The Master classDeposit for workshop and Pay in full for workshop. You need to be registered for the workshop in order to attend the Master class.
Please note that these moneys are non-refundable. We regret that, but the money will be forwarded to JMA for our deposit on the facilities. None of us are in a position to “loan” the fees.
If you choose the deposit option, the remainder needs to be paid by the end of the year, or the amount goes up. We will add that option once we have our numbers.
This is a bargain for any type of chocolate workshop. We are excited to be able to work with JMA and Melissa. Las Vegas is a fun destination and many of us plan to spend extra time. There are many excellent chocolatiers in Vegas that you will want to check out.
Please don’t put it off. There are only ten spots available in the Master class. 25 spots in the Workshop.
Once we get confirmation of registration, we will post them.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Recipe: Ginger Cookies

I'll start with an apology because I'm sure this recipe came in part or in whole from someone else, but we've made it so long I can't remember where it came from.  However, there was a recent request so here it is:

In mixing bowl:
775 g AP flour
4 t. Baking soda
1/2 t. Salt

In your mixer bowl:
345 g Butter, no salt, softened
350 g Brown sugar
1/2 C. White sugar
3 T. Ground ginger
2" Fresh ginger, grated
1/4 C. Candied ginger*
1 t. Cinnamon, freshly grated
1/2 t. Cloves, freshly ground

Mix with paddle attachment until light and fluffy.  Add directly into this bowl:

2 Eggs
1/2 C. Molasses

Mix until combined.  Add the flour mixture all at once but only paddle until is just combines - no more!  Do NOT overmix!  Use an ice cream scoop to shape, and chill at least one hour.

Every oven is different but we bake at 350º for 25 minutes on a silpat lined baking sheet.

*The candied ginger makes a big difference.  Store bought tends to be too sweet, so we make our own using fresh ginger.  This gives you a spicy hot ginger that's minimally sweet.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Foraging Latest

I was recently feeling the need to get a brush up on my foraging, so I asked my mentor, Doug Simon, to come with me to my favorite spots and walk around with me...and I'm glad he did.  He opened my eyes to so many plants that I had walked right past for years.  Here are some new friends and old favorites found in a 30 minute walk recently.

While not edible, columbines were in full bloom for us:
 I have mostly avoided the greens up until now because, while edible and personally enjoyable, they're a harder sell to customers.  I did however start serving yellow dock this past week.  Right now its just a garnish but I hope to start doing more interesting things to it later in the month.
 Wild grapes are everywhere and I use them extensively as they mature - first the green, unripened grapes will get pickled, and later the mature grapes will get processed into a puree.
 The star of the day for me was the monkey flower.  The leaves cling to your finger like a monkey and the texture is a pleasurable "mucous."  I immediately worked them onto plates raw.
 The flowers have a very nice sweetness.
 Nettles...well, I like the flavor raw moreso than cooked, but the "stinging" part is not so pleasurable for the guest if its not cooked.  I was wondering if I could use the sting to my advantage or just do like I did this week and make it into a sauce.

 Wild roses were everywhere including last years rose hips.  I haven't used these yet, but I'm mulling them over.
The most exciting thing is the abundance of wild cherries.  I'm not sure how ripe and cherry-ey these will become but I'll now be watching them weekly.  And for convenience they're intertangled with the grapes for easy picking.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Asian Hummus

New dish created for a customer who walked in as gluten free, dairy free.  BTW, this is also raw.  I had been playing with a concept of an Asian hummus.  So, this customer prompted me to make it happen - edamame, miso, lime juice, cattail ash, finished with fresh dill, sunflower sprouts, dragon fire carrots and cattail pollen.  And, beautiful on my Tafelstern plate.

Monday, March 18, 2013

12/12/12 Apocalypse Tasting Dinner

This is a belated posting of our Apocalypse Tasting Dinner on 12/12/12.  When the guests arrived they found the servers unwilling to talk and dressed like zombies, no utensils, only bamboo sporks.

Tyler created an amazing playlist for the evening.  And here's my daunting menu for the night:

--> Hudson Valley Foie Gras, morel soil, enoki, acorn financier, stoned potatoes, cattail ash branches, Benedictine Liqueur granité, olive oil pudding  Pairing: The Golem Riesling, 2010
--> Acorn gelée, fermented black garlic, squid ink   Pairing: The Innocent Viognier, 2008

--> Beet, purple yam, bull’s blood microgreens, yogurt foam   Pairing: The Brujeria Tempranillo/Shiraz/Grenache/Cab, 2008

  Pico de Gallo marshmallow, sweet pea, parmesan   Pairing: Yard Dog Petit Verdoit Cab, 2009
I played a bit with the watermelon radish - prettier than tasty in my opinion.
 A fry of potato balls for the hot dish of the night.
 A quick slice of some Italian white winter truffle.
  Potato, Italian white winter truffle, 18-month Parmesan Pairing: Alpha Box & Dice Grenache, 2008
Pork brain, custard fruit, pennywort, pitty pat squash Pairing: The Mistress Old Madeira, 2009

Goat saddle crudo, ginko, salmon roe, yogurt, sesame
 Frog, Pomme Robuchon, watermelon radish,  Pairing: The Executioner Shiraz/Cab/Viognier, 2008
Squab, Pomme Maxim, pumpkin tofu, beet, roasted Brussels sprouts   Pairing: The Verdict Cab, 2007

 I have a photographer working on b&w hand shots for a display I'm creating.
Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao panna cotta with mango boba   Pairing: The Innocent Viognier, 2008

Black cake, coconut treacle, Nicuraguan Finca Santa Elena coffee, mincemeat   Pairing: The Golem Riesling, 2010

 Assorted petit fours
Photos by Jay Hemphill Photography
Dishes by Bauscher USA including Bauscher and Tafelstern
Curious Kumquat

Monday, March 11, 2013

2013 All Chocolate Dinner

So much has happened since my last blog post which is why we're nearly 9 months since the last.  We've added foster parenting to our busy schedule and hope to adopt sometime this year.  The restaurant was also featured in the 2013 Saveur 100 at spot #39.  And there's been a slew of follow-up press after that.  But I did want to share a recent tasting dinner from Valentine's - my all-chocolate, nothing sweet dinner.

First course was a local rabbit liver paté infused with foraged hackberries and coated in 75% bitter chocolate.
 Second course is a beet soup with yogurt boba, fillo cap and sesame oil powder.
Third course used Mastiha that I read about in a recent Art of Eating.
 Mastiha brined prawns with beet greens, 85% chocolate mousse, and mastiha infused olive oil.
Smoked salmon filled black cocoa ravioli in a cacao parma consommé with Chinese black moss.
 Almond milk gelée coated in miroire with fiery salted coconut, bee pollen and salt cured egg yolk.
 Orange masa tamal with goat cheese and black garlic topped with caramelized cacao nibs.
Indian scented cauliflower with coriander and green cardamom, coated in black chocolate and in seasoned butter sauce
 Cocoa rubbed local goat chop with peanut cacao crumb and beet.
 Cocoa water sous vide rabbit loin, blood orange and banana polenta.
Photos by Jay Hemphill Photography
Dishes by Bauscher USA including Bauscher and Tafelstern
Curious Kumquat