I HEART BACON
Monday, April 30th, 2012

Salmon & Spaetzle

consumed 5/28/11

My two new favorite recipes: Slow-Cooked Salmon and Spaetzle with Panko

The Slow-Cooked Salmon recipe is from the Chez Panisse Café Cookbook and is absurdly simple: Preheat oven to 200 and place a pan of warm water on the lowest rack. Brush both sides of the salmon fillet with olive oil, salt & pepper. Place salmon on a baking sheet and cook for about an hour. I had a not-so-fancy cut of salmon and it turned out like butter. Mmm butter.

I served it with Spaetzle & Panko. The spaetzle was hearty, buttery and crunchy. And not so hard to make if you have a handy spaetzle maker.

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Molecular Gastronomy – Attempt #1

consumed 1/2/10

My first brush with molecular gastronomy was eating at WD50 back in 2007. We were invited into the prep area and it looked more like a laboratory than a kitchen. It was intimidating. Then after watching seasons of Top Chef the idea of trying it at home became more reasonable. Then I came across the Experimental Texturas Kit and it was on.

Our evening started out with doughnut soup, which as it sounds, would have been better suited to dessert. My friend made HOMEMADE rice milk (yum) from sushi rice and mixed it with cream, coffee, cinnamon and poured it over doughnut crumbs—glazed Krispy Kremes that had been processed lightly in the Cuisinart and then toasted until super crunchy. Freaking delicious.

Next up was lamb “pasta” with avocado foam. We added Gellan to lamb consumé, poured it into a sheet pan, let it cool and then sliced it into strips, like fettuccine. The weird thing with Gellan is that you can heat it back up and it will retain its form. We served the re-heated pasta with diced onions, tomatoes, julienne of basil and avocado foam (avocado and milk charged with N2O). This dish was a textural fail—the noodles were crunchy and glutinous at the same time. A little like eating soggy rubber bands.

We then had a spinach salad with delicious homemade Green Goddess dressing, fresh grapefruit and… spherical Mozzarella! I think out of everything we tried with Texturas, the Mozarella turned out the best. A little like burrata, with a creamy liquid center.

My friend then made mini-eggs by doing things with a syringe and Xanthan gum. Not quite sure what he did, but they turned out great served on Parmesan crisps with blanched kale, a touch of white balsamic and smoked salt.

The next thing we tried looked pretty but after the lamb aspic hot mess we had to dare each other to eat it: re-hydrated morel mushrooms and broth mixed with Kappa and poured into heart-shaped molds. Yep, tasted like mushroom jello. Gross.

My favorite dish of the night didn’t involve any molecular trickery. It was thinly sliced lamb shoulder and top loin steak  “grilled” table-side on a Himalayan salt block. The block, made entirely of compressed salt, was heated in the oven at 475 for an hour, then transferred to the table where we seared our meat. As it cooked, the salt melted a bit and mixed with the juices imparting a deep salt flavor.

For dessert #1 we tried to make ginger & lychee ice cream “caviar” with Algin and Calcic. I think we got the measurements wrong as it didn’t gel up and the pearls melted into the water bath. Boo.

Dessert #2 was another foam, this time with pineapple juice, meringue powder and long pepper. Success!

The last dessert involved Miracle Berries, which make sour things taste sweet. We raided the kitchen and ate preserved lemons, limes, grapefruit juice and salt & vinegar potato chips.

And just to be fancy, we drank soda water with pearl dust.

It was an exhausting but super fun day in the kitchen!

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Kogi Truck

My friend invited me to TRANSMISSION LA: AV CLUB, where I finally got to eat at the infamous Kogi Truck. It was a happy scene, eating on rainbow-colored tables in front of The Geffen.

We ordered short rib and chicken tacos, which were quite good, but the blackjack quesadilla with spicy pork was amazing. Caramelized onions and sweet / spicy pork layered between crisp flour tortillas. Heaven.

Roy Choi was there handing out free sriracha bars; caramel & ganache over crisped rice, with subtle heat that hit at the back of the tongue.

Oh yeah, there also was a pretty awesome art exhibition curated by Mike D (back from the dead).

 

Kogi Korean BBQ on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Buried in Bacon

This makes me rethink cremation….

http://www.baconsaltblog.com/2012/04/happy-april-fools.html

Thanks to Kezia for pointing this out!

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Bacon Jerky!

Mandy over at Monogram Food Solutions emailed to ask if she could send some bacon jerky my way… guess what my reply was? Hells yeah!

You can’t see from the tiny image below, but the tagline says “You just can’t stop eating it!” and I actually couldn’t. I was sent two packages and it was gone in two days. And I didn’t even share. Gulp.

The jerky was chewy for bacon, but not chewy like beef jerky; somewhere in between. And it was a good combination of sweet, smokey and salty. I ate most of it straight out of the bag, but a few slices managed to make it into a sandwich. It can’t stand in for real bacon due to the non-crispy factor, but I would definitely eat this while camping, or on a road trip, or just because it’s a Thursday.

http://www.trailsbest.com/index.php?page=products.jerky