Low and Slow Salmon

 

  • 1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Grapefruit, sliced, seeds removed.
    • Juice the other half for plating.
  • 1/2 orange, sliced, seeds removed. I ate the other half.
  • 1/2 Lime, very thinly sliced, seeds removed.
    • Juice the other half for plating.
  • 1 Serrano, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and Freshly Ground Pepper. I currently only have white in house so I went with that.
  • 16 oz Salmon fillet
  • 2 Tablespoons, Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Save the Fennel Fronds for garnishing

Preheat oven to 250°F.

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Toss fennel, orange slices, grapefruit, lime, and orange slices, and Serrano peppers in a shallow baking dish; season with kosher salt and pepper. Season salmon with kosher salt and place on top of fennel mixture. Drizzle oil over.

Roast until salmon is just cooked through, 30–40 minutes for medium-rare. It will be flaky outside and darker pink inside.

Low and Slow Salmon Plated

Plating: Preferably a shallow bowl or plate with rounded edges.

Mix Grapefruit and Lime juice together, pour onto the plate. Transfer salmon to a platter, breaking it into large pieces as you go. Spoon fennel mixture and oil from baking dish over; Season with sea salt and pepper and top with fennel fronds. Salmon Devoured

Recipe based on Bon Appetit’s Slow Roasted Salmon.

Pan Bangin’ Cookies

I decided to part ways with a restaurant a few years ago when I  got it in my head that I did not want to spend another year of my life scooping cookies. Fortunately my next post did not have any involvement with cookies. It was the job that pushed me beyond the fundamentals and rarely did I have to make cookies and if I did they were far from your classic Chocolate Chip Cookie.

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I have made thousands of cookies since then, its almost incredible to type the word thousands but it is in fact true. I understand volume and the practicality of producing cookies in a commissary kitchen vs at home. With that being said, when I read a recipe that feels impractical for the productive culinarian or at home cook. I’ll adjust automatically so it frankly melds well with my style of cooking and hope it works.

When I saw Giant Crinkled Cookies consistently throughout my instagram feed. I obviously had to make them. They reminded me almost of the giant Toll House cookies I used to make in elementary school. I would never refrigerate the dough and they would spread like hot cakes.

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The idea of banging a pan against the oven rack is not a new one. I used to do it at the aforementioned pastry cook position, as well as various other positions when the cookie dough needs just a little help. Sarah Kieffers Crinkle Cookies are an extreme version of this tactic.

I followed her instructions for the most part but rather than scooping a fraction of the dough at a time I let the dough sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes then scooped them. Baked off a few for immediate consumption the baked the rest off at my leisure. DSC04041

Overall pretty good, but it wouldn’t be the recipe but not my all time favorite.

Below is a cut and copied recipe from Sarahs Blog. You should definitely check out, even just for food porns sake.

Makes 10 cookies.

2 cups (284 g) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
½ pound (2 sticks; 227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1½ cups (297 g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (50 g) packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water
6 ounces (170 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into bite-size pieces averaging ½ inch with some
smaller and some larger

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 3 baking sheets with aluminum foil, dull side up.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium until creamy. Add the granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and water and mix on low to combine. Add the flour mixture and mix on low until combined. Add the chocolate and mix on low into the batter.

Form the dough into 3½-ounce (100g) balls (a heaping 1/3 cup each). Place 4 balls an equal distance apart on a prepared pan and transfer to the freezer for 15 minutes before baking. After you put the first baking sheet in the oven, put the second one in the freezer.

Place the chilled baking sheet in the oven and bake 10 minutes, until the cookies are puffed slightly in the center. Lift the side of the baking sheet up about 4 inches and gently let it drop down against the oven rack, so the edges of the cookies set and the inside falls back down (this will feel wrong, but trust me). After the cookies puff up again in 2 minutes, repeat lifting and dropping the pan. Repeat a few more times to create ridges around the edge of the cookie. Bake 16 to 18 minutes total, until the cookies have spread out and the edges are golden brown but the centers are much lighter and not fully cooked.

Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack; let cool completely before removing the cookies from the pan.

NOTES: These cookies are rather large, but to get the edges to spread out and crinkle, they need to be on the big side. If you want to make the cookies smaller, you won’t get as many ridges on the outer layer, and your center won’t be quite as gooey. They will still be delicious, but not quite what I intended for you.

If you skip freezing the cookies, they will spread too much on the pan and will not form the crinkly outer layer.

Chocolate chips are not a good substitution for the chopped chocolate; the cookies will not turn out the same with chips. If you do still want to use chocolate chips, you will need to use 8 ounces chips and make the cookies 2½ ounces big.

Using the dull side of aluminum foil to bake these cookies is a little trick I learned after hearing Alice Medrich speak. The foil helps make for an extra-crisp, golden brown bottom. Parchment paper can also be used with good results.

The cookies are delicious warm, but I’ve found I love them a couple of days later just as much. I usually store them in the fridge and sneak pieces of them cold.

Reprinted by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Sarah Kieffer, 2016.

A visit at Channing Daughters

Channing Daughters

I first heard of Channing Daughters Winery a few months back when I was looking into wineries who were leaning towards sustainable, organic and biodynamicpractices out in Long Island, NY. Channing Daughters continued to sequentially pop into my life, either via wine lists at various restaurants, wine stores, and finally podcasts.

Long Island is slowly transitioning into organic practices with their first certified organic wine produced last year (June 2017.) A few farmers produce a small quantity of organic and biodynamic wine that isn’t really distributed out to the city. But there are a handful of certified sustainable wineries, which possibly is a step in the right direction. Sustainable/organic foods overall can be a hot button issue and I try not to lean 100% towards one way or another. I simply don’t want to drink something chock full of chemicals that vineyard predators wouldn’t even touch.

A few weekends ago (with hesitation), I convinced my Aunt who has lived in Long Island for over 30 years to try a new winery. She has been fortunate enough to watch the Long Island wine community grow into what it is today but has her tired and true favorite wineries. Last summer I convinced her to visit a winery which has been around for many years. Long story short, we were not impressed. Mainly because we had less of a hospitable experience than we would at one of the wineries we frequently visit. This year I was reluctant to suggest a visit to a new winery after my attempt to get my family to try something a new spot last year.

ChanningDaughtersPeekaBooGood thing I tried again!

Channing Daughters blew us away. Beyond having extraordinary wines and vermouth (more on that later), the staff was incredibly knowledgeable, patient, and most importantly friendly. Anthony their wine attendant had a lot to do with our experience.

 

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Baby Grapes, July 2017

We ran through a tasting of only a few of their extensive production of wines. I’ve never seen so many grape varieties at one winery, currently growing over 20. From classics like Chardonnay and Merlot to Tocai Friulano, Ribolla Gialla and Blaufränkisch.

Everything we tried was perfectly balanced, there were a few standouts!

DSC074982014 Meditazione skin contact white. 36% Pinot Grigio, 21% Muscat Ottonel, 14% Chardonnay, 13% Tocai Friulano, 7% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Pinot Bianco and 4% Gewurztraminer. Fragrant overripe peach, nectarine, lychee, bitter orange peel, boxed raisins.

First time my Aunt ever tried a skin contact white! This wine is not what I would call a beginners “orange” wine, although it is indeed orange. The grape varieties themselves scream obscurity. Not something I think my Aunt would find palatable, but somehow this blend was gorgeous. She loved it so much she brought a bottle home to my Uncle. Which is a monumental move for my family!

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2014 Blaufrankish. 75% Blaufrankisch and 25% Dornfelder. Black fruits, game, high acid, tar, mild tannins. 

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2016 Petit Verdot. 100% Petit Verdot. High acid/tannin tomato skins, rose, forest floor blackberry.

 

DSC075162017 Rosso Fresco. 76% Merlot, 11% Syrah, 8% Blaufrankisch, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Teroldego. Super crushable, light cherries juicy not super complex, simply delicious.

 

ChanningDaughtersVervinoVermouthVervino Vermouth

I had no idea Channing Daughters made vermouth before our visit. They had a few variations based on six growing seasons out in the island, with botanicals all grown locally. Flavor profiles ranging from jalapeños to plum. My favorite was Variation 5 (their late summer white), made with musk melon, peaches, flowering basil, flowering dill, lemon balm, papalo, lemon verbena. Which was fermented dry and reminded me of Sherry.

I loved every moment at Channing Daughters, and can’t wait to go back!

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Orange Strawberry Shortcakes

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“The All-American Biscuit” according to a primarily Urban classically trained French Pastry Chef.

Lets start off with the difference between Biscuits and Shortcakes. Shortcakes are usually made with vegetable fat (think Shortening), have the addition of sugar in the actual dough, and are topped with sugar before baking. Creating a caramelized sugary crust. I find sometimes they end up dense and can be a bit sweet when you add sweet cream and ripe strawberries.

The use of Biscuit dough rather than a sweeter Shortcake dough is becoming more popular, and quite frankly I’m into it. If you miss the sugary crust you can always top your biscuit with sugar rather than salt in the following recipe.

I typically prefer a folded Biscuit vs. Drop Biscuits, so typically I use the following recipe and method. With that being said, I do love experimented and trying new recipes so watch out for new and improved methods in the future.

Be prepared to use your hands and have a clean work space for your dough. I believe mixing shortcakes by hand is the best way to mix your dough. Whenever I’ve tried to mix biscuit dough with a machine (especially in mass quantities), I’ve ended up with lower quality biscuits.*

Buttermilk Shortcakes (Biscuits)

2 1/4 Cups (290g)  All Purpose Flour

2 teaspoons           Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon          Baking Soda

1 Stick (114 g)        Butter (Frozen)

2 1/4 Cup  (290g)   Buttermilk

-Scale dry ingredients.

-Mix the dry ingredients on a sanitized work space.

-Create a “well” and grate the frozen (with a cheese grater) butter into the center of the dry ingredients.

I don’t have a cheese grater at home, but I used a perforated spoon to grate my butter and it worked. 

You want the butter to be as cold as possible especially when mixing and folding the dough by hand. Which is why I make sure to scale the dry first. (You can always grate the butter and refrigerate it while you scale the dry, but that does involve more planning than I desire for home baking.)

-Add the Buttermilk and mix the ingredients together starting at the center and incorporating the dry ingredients from the outer circle.

Be sure to try and use your finger tips rather than the palm of your hand. I have a bad case of hot hands and have made a career of avoiding the use of my entire hand in delicate situations. I know its awkward at first but trust me its worth it.

-Fold the dough as you would fold a book at least 4 times before rolling the dough out to the desired thickness. I like my biscuits thick, so I aim for an inch and a half.

-Cut Biscuits with a 2 inch cutter, if you don’t have cutters. The average circumference of a glass is 2 1/2 inches, or even the lid to pam spray works. Basically any circular hollow household object (once cleaned and sanitized) will do.

-Brush with Cream and top with Salt.

I don’t specify salt in the ingredient list simply because what ever you have lying around at home should work. Running out and buying a specific type of salt and having it lie around the house seems so unnecessary. I used a thicker variety of sea salt, Maldon Salt is ideal because it is definitely more attractive. Just keep in mind the finer the grain of salt the more pronounced saltiness, so sprinkle according to your taste.

-Line a sheet tray with parchment paper, or grease your go-to cast iron pan.

-Bake at 425F for 15 to 20 minutes depending on your oven.

*English (UK) Biscuits or Scones do work well with the help of various appliances.

Assembly:

When I am making my shortcakes, you best believe theres a biscuit in my mouth already. Fresh out of the oven EVERYTHING is always better.

You are not ready for the glutton that is my Short cakes.

-Cut the biscuits intended for Strawberry Shortcakes in half.

-Butter each side.

-Add whipped Cream. I usually do a Tablespoon of Powdered Sugar per cup of Heavy Whipping Cream, but trust your tastes and judgement.

-I also added Lavender Orange Marmalade, your favorite jam or  whatever you have lying around the house works.

-Quartered Fresh Strawberries.

I do not like macerated strawberries with my Shortcakes. If you are using perfectly ripe Strawberries there is no need. There’s a time and a place for macerated strawberries, just not in my biscuits!

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Pictured above are Harrys Berries Strawberries. My all-time favorite strawberries grown in California, which is a special treat in New York.

July 4th, 2018

I figure I’ll kick my blog off with how I spent my Fourth of July.  This was my first fourth of July were I actually saw Fireworks. The past few years I’ve worked through the Holiday, which isn’t really the worst Holiday to work through. (New Years Eve is my least favorite holiday to work.)

I met up with my friend Morgan, who I met a few years ago now, in Los Angeles. Back then we both worked at the same restaurant, and we have been friends ever since. We both have similar tastes and interests (which is simply a love for food and wine.)

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Fun Fact: Brooklyn is so huge, that in order to get to some parts of the borough I have to take a train into the city and back to Brooklyn.

The night kicked off with a killer sandwich from Campbell Cheese and Grocery.  Specifically their Albacore Tuna Sandwich with White Beans, Capers, Kalamata Olives, Radish, Parsley, Lemon, and the best Ciabatta that I’ve had in New York thus far. Toasted to perfection. I’d make a pit stop even if I weren’t hungry for a bit of shopping and a sandwich for the road.

LOCATION
502 LORIMER ST
BROOKLYN, NY 11211

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Honestly couldn’t name each variety of cheese, but Morgan simply keeps her house stocked with cheeses at all time. Which is greatly appreciated.

TaiheikaiSake

Taiheikai Tokubetsu Junmai

The World Of Sake: Before that evening on Morgan’s gorgeous Brooklyn balcony, the only Sake I have had either was warmed, or in the form of a Sake Bomb. I have made Sake Ice Cream before but thats a story for a different day.

Taiheikai being the specific brand of the producer Watari Bune. Tokubetsu Junmai “special pure” designating that it is a high quality sake and a pure rice wine without the addition of alcohol.

Not my usual beverage of choice for such a humid day but I loved it. Perfect for a hot summer day,lightly floral and with some weight to it. Served chilled.

This bottle inspired me not only to try and understand sake, but also to watch an amazing documentary on Netflix called Birth Of Sake. Definitely recommend watching, so good I watched it twice!

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Eminence Road Farm Winery

 

Considering it was an All American Holiday, Morgan thought we should drink domestically. Eminence Road Farm Winery out in the Catskills is as domestic as it gets! She found this beauty at a natural wine store, I’m unsure if the winery or the wine store wrote on the bottle itself but it reads Still Funky Riesling.

It delivered just the right kind of funk for us. Nothing like your typical German or Alsatian Riesling, as it sees a bit of skin contact and is unfiltered and unfined.

Lightly sparkling, and chock full o’ texture. My love for skin contact whites, stems from my love of tannins (pun fully intended.) Orange peel and peaches really shinned through for me. It was a beautiful pick me up after such a smooth sake.