Goose Liver Slow Poached with Ginger and Beet - Winter Citrus, Popped Rice and Wild Land Cress
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
We just got in some new plates by Shelby Hawthorne. When we met a few months ago I told her I wanted plates that broke with traditional style and really captured the essence of Big Sur. Her latest creation, a long-convex sheet of clear glass encapsulating beads of gray and white glass looks like tiny stones on the ocean floor or speckled Big Sur granite. Tonight we are using it to showcase a smoked goose breast with quince, salt-cured rose petals and acorn bread.
Monday, December 2, 2013
There is something therapeutic about walking under the large grove of eucalyptus by my house. Long strips of bark peel away from the tree trunks, falling to the forest floor where they form a carpet of menthol scented debris. The smell of the eucalyptus is invigorating, an icy sensation that opens your throat and nose and awakens your senses.
The oil in eucalyptus, when consumed in large quantities, can be toxic. Even though there is a long global history of eucalyptus being used for everything from medicinal tea, to marinating fish and fuel for grilling, America has not embraced its culinary merits. The long green leaves, when steeped in hot water, release an aromatic steam reminiscent of mint and evergreen. Smoldering pieces of wood and bark have a dried spice- cedar quality to them.
Tonight I brined wild Hamachi with citrus, guajillo chiles, fennel, fresh eucalyptus leaves and sea salt then flash grilled it over eucalyptus coals and smoking bark. I paired the rare slices of Hamachi with pomegranate, spicy-pickled cucumbers and castelveltrano olives.
Friday, November 22, 2013
|Pinot Walkabout - Photo courtesy of Big Sur Food & Wine Festival|
|Lexus Grand Tasting - Photo Courtesy of Big Sur Food & Wine Festival|
Lexus invited us to cook inside of their booth for the grand tasting on Sunday which was held here at Post Ranch. The booths are always creative works of art, and this year’s was no exception. The booth was modeled after an old west saloon, complete with a wall of spurs and cowhide bar stools. Keeping with the theme, we made aji Amarillo glazed smoked chicken wings, braised mangalitsa pork belly on crispy chicharones, acorn bread with prickly pear preserves and smoked smores in mini jars. Over the course of the event we served over 4,000 tastings. Being in the booth and having the opportunity to talk with guests about the food made for a great afternoon.
Thanks to Lexus, our guest chefs and everyone who made the event such a success!
Friday, November 8, 2013
You will occasionally find Sea Cucumber, often in dried form, in some dishes across Asia. Here in the United States they remain quite rare, especially in their live form. Inside each cucumber is a series of white strips of muscle that run vertically inside the body cavity. When removed they are incredibly tender and sweet, reminiscent of the delicate flavor of razor clams. In my opinion, these are by far the most choice part of the sea cucumber, unfortunately, however, they only make up 5% of the total body weight. Once you remove these muscles you are left with a tough, gelatinous, shoe shaped object dripping with slime and constricting into a tight cylinder. After several disastrous attempts to make this outer part edible I threw in the towel and decided just to use the interior muscles.
In the back of my mind I had an idea that if I were to cook the outer portion of the sea cucumber enough it would become soft - but even after six hours of simmering it was still like eating a rubber band. Finally I decided to cook them until they become soft, no matter how long it took. I sliced them into thin strips and 14 hours later they transformed from rubber bands into more palatable soft gelatinous strips. I transferred these strips to the dehydrator overnight and then dropped them in 500 degree canola oil where they puffed up like chicharones. After a seasoning of sea salt and espelette, they tasted incredible with an airy crunch rivaling the best chicharones I have tasted!
We have featured the local sea cucumber on top of a chawanmushi-style custard with raw sea cucumber on top and the crispy sea cucumber chips to garnish.