Chicken Tarragon

7 Sep

I made some chicken tarragon for lunch today. This dish embodies that simplicity can sometimes yield some of the best results. I simply sautéed chicken, and made a sauce with some stock, tarragon and the sucs from the pan. On the side I had a vegetable medley and some baby beets tossed in clarified butter. For garnish I dehydrated some chicken skin, and fried some thyme and tarragon. I was quite satisfied with the results.

The Chicken Tarragon and the Vegetables nicely arraged with the Garnishes

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Back in the Kitchen

5 Sep

After a long hiatus I have started to cook and plan posts again. I am working out the kinks on getting some molecular gastronomy posts on the way, but in the meantime I will be posting regular creations as I cook them. I think I am going to take the direction of the blog towards a more pictures, and less text. I still plan to have recipe write-ups, but the focus will be more on food styling and aesthetics. So stay tuned!

Octopus Revisited

27 Dec

So my family cooked some magnificent tapas over Christmas and I just couldn’t wait to post these up. I also got a new camera, so I am still working out all of the details of how to use it!

We made some octopus (Galician style), and I plated it nicely along with a spinach whip cream. We also had some great olives, caper berries, anchovies, and a scallop lardon salad to go with it.

Ingredients for the spinach whip cream

Frying up the potatoes and onions for the Tortilla

The octupus before and after cooking

Lardons (Bacon!)

Other ingredients for the scallop salad

Tortilla, olives, caperberries, and anchovies

Molded Pulpo a la Gallega

Scallop and Lardon Salad

Fun with Pasta

25 Dec

I haven’t been able to post in a while with Christmas and work getting in the way! But I’ve been taking pictures though. Here is little experiment with stuffed pasta I did the other day. I decided to mix up the recipe I generally use for pasta dough (100g flour, 1 egg, 25g melted butter) and see how it would turn out.

Confit and Sautee

I stuffed the pasta with garlic confit, sauteed scallops and crimini mushrooms. As for the sauces, I did a really simple roma tomato coulis and a shitake, lobster, and yellow foot mushroom sauce.

Mushrooms, Pasta and Coulis

I brushed the pasta with some of the oil I had used to confit the garlic, and garnished it with a little piece that was fried until crispy.

Arrangement

BLT Time!

17 Dec

BLT time! This is going to be a quick post. I made this delicious, yet really simple salad and BLT a couple of days ago. I sliced ripe plantains for the salad and fried them up until they were crispy. The sugars in the plantains worked really well with the bacon. I think next time I might be a bit more adventurous and come up with something more complicated that involves both ingredients. Here are a few non-fancy pictures:

 

The ingredients

Top view

Yum!

On another note, I have been planning with my family for Christmas meals and desserts. I’ll be doing a hefty post on that soon. I have also been thinking of running some polls for what I should cook next. Once I fiddle with the polling widget I’ll try that out. After Christmas I am thinking of doing a duck confit special, so do stay tuned in the coming weeks for some spectacular posts!

Pan de Jamon

16 Dec

Pan de Jamon (Ham Bread) is a Venezuelan Christmas specialty bread that I always look forward to. It is quite simply a rolled bread with ham, bacon, olives, capers, and raisins. Although it originated in Venezuela, it can be credited to Portuguese immigrant bakers whom have historically operated all the bakeries in Venezuela. I have missed Pan de Jamon dearly after I left Venezuela in 2003. Recently however, I convinced my mom to make some.

The main ingredients and the pliable dough

The rolling process
All ready to roll up

Once the bread is all rolled up it gets perforated so the excess humidity can escape, and painted with some egg wash what had sugar, salt, and water.

Before and after baking

The result was delicious! It is savory, sweet, crunchy, and just all around a delicious treat.

Slices
Spiral on the inside from the rolling

Here is the recipe!

Brioche & Gravlax

13 Dec

Over the weekend I played around making Brioche de Nanterre and gravlax. I had only made brioche once a while ago, but it turned out fairly well this second time. As for the gravlax, I make it often because it so simple and delicious. Brioche is really nothing more than a leavened bread with eggs and half the amount of flour in butter. The result is quite obviously a rich and buttery bread that is perfect for breakfast.

I started making the brioche by weighing all the ingredients and proofing the yeast in milk. Soon after I mixed the ingredients and worked the butter into the dough–a process that requires a lot of patience.

Ingredients and Mixing Well

Once my dough was worked I left it to proof in a warm and humid area. In hindsight the dough could have used a bit more kneading, but there’s always a third time for everything I suppose.

Dough ready for proofing

While the dough was resting, i started on the Gravlax. Gravlax is the Scandinavian method of curing salmon (or any fatty fish). Essentially the filet is covered with salt, sugar, and herbs and refrigerated. Overnight the salmon will let go of all the water effectively curing it and firming it up.

Slicing the already cured salmon

Once the dough had rested overnight, shaped it and placed into a baking pan. There are numerous ways to shape brioche, the most famous being the brioche a tete. Here I chose the Nanterre style in which the dough is cut just before baking so it yields separable individual sized buns.

Buttery brioche

Once the brioche was ready, I sliced it and plated it with some red onions, hard boiled egg, parsley, capers, chives, paprika, and obviously the gravlax.

Open face mini sandwich!
Bird’s eye view of the goodies

Here is the recipe for the brioche and gravlax.