Friday, February 27, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
This the the head picked clean. I'm sure I sorted the meat from the fat far better than need be, but I really wanted a dense meaty end product. Since the head was skinned when we recieved it there was no snout, but the eyes did hide a nice little treasure chest of meaty goodness.
This was our take of the meat off the head. The large tongue on the right is the calfs tongue from the freezer I added for bulk. The meat is all very succulent and moist at this point. I started the head in about 3 gallons of water, mire poix, and a sachet of cloves, cinnamon, allspice, and black peppercorns. After removing everyhing I reduced that liquid down to about one quart.
Here is our final product pre-molding. I chopped the tongue into a nice 1/4 inch dice, and minced the rest up rather fine. This blend was annointed with about a cup of very rich stock, parsley, sherry vinager, salt, and a heavy hand of black pepper.
What I am surprised by is the lack of votes for the classics. It’s true, they are the classics for a reason, and they are very popular. Any day of the week, any time of the day, any kind of weather and Lobster Bisque will sell! Creamy tomato with blue cheese….you better have made a large batch, French onion….no, you probably didn’t slice enough onions, and Asparagus soup….in Cleveland, in December, ohhh who cares!
Personally, I’m not very fond of eating soup. I almost never order it when I go out to eat. I do stop off at the Souper Market sometimes, and I almost always get something chunky, something that’s more stew than soup. As for making soups in the restaurant I try to think of soup as a liquid appetizer, that doesn’t necessarily stop with what’s liquid and goes in the bowl. I’m interested in pairing a soup with something else, on the side, for instance a petite sandwich. This seems very approachable, and has worked well in the past. Most recently at the Black River Café we did a creamy chicken soup juxtaposed with crispy chicken skin served alongside. The possibilities are endless; the combinations are what make soup interesting to me.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
The wrong man was sent home! Fabio was robbed by his slacker euro trash buddy. Although Stephan has done a great job in the past, the attitude and food included in this week episode was rather disturbing. Prepared sausage, standard food, crappy arrogant attitude all are things we’ve seen other chefs get dismissed for. Fabio baked bread, and made pasta from scratch, in five hours! Assuming their food was equally tasty, the technique, and range Fabio showed far exceeded what was portrayed as a sloppy Stephan taking smoke breaks and patting himself on the back.
While I’m willing to stay a fan of TC, there are a good number of ways they can improve the show overall. The casting, judging and the challenges could all use an update. I’m hoping next season brings something new to the table because if I want to watch a bunch of un-inspired cooks wallow away at the ovens, I’ll just go to work.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Monday, February 09, 2009
I’ve learned the best way to enjoy the music of those around you is to be as open as possible, and never get attached. I’ve responded many times in the past as to my musical tastes, “it is all good unless I don’t like it.” That is how I feel about music in the dining room. As long as I don’t hear something and say to myself, “wow, I don’t like this music,” then I’m perfectly happy. I’m perfectly happy in my completely ambiguous, vague, self serving definition of what I find acceptable that it can only be defined by its opposite. Simply and boldly states 80’s pop and/or country makes my skin crawl.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
A little twist on the classic, Steak Frites, but we use sweet potato fries, with swiss chard, and pictured is a rib-eye.
One of our more popular dishes so far, mushroom risotto. We cook the rice in a rich vegetarian stock with porcini mushrooms, then finish the dish with butter and parmasean. On top we put spinach and whole mushrooms, in this case oyster and shitake. Truffle oil, parmasean and black pepper finish the dish.
The daily fish was Rainbow Trout, pan seared over sweet and sour cabbage topped with ricotta gnocchi and almond brown butter.