Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Barbecue Salmon for the Beach
From the Recipe Files of Robert Hammond – The Kitchen at Honeyman Creek Farm
Yield:  6 servings

2 ¼ lb fresh wild salmon fillet, skinned and pin bones removed
Creole seasoning
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice or white wine, approximately
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
Olive oil

Season the salmon fillet lightly with the Creole seasoning. Sprinkle the lemon juice or white wine over the fillet. Strew the tarragon leaves evenly over the fillet. Drizzle with olive oil.

Place a piece of aluminum foil, larger than the salmon fillet on a hot grill. Poke a lot of holes in the foil with a kitchen fork. Place the salmon on the grill and close the cover. Cook about 10 minutes more or less depending on the thickness of the fillet and the desired doneness. Remove from the grill and serve.

Top with garlic butter, smearing the butter over the surface so that it melts.

Chef’s Note:
This may also be done in the oven: Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the salmon on the sheet. Bake at 400°F for about 10 minutes more or less depending on the thickness of the fillet and the desired degree of doneness. Remove from the oven and serve. Top with garlic butter, smearing the butter over the surface so that it melts.

Garlic Butter
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley, squeezed dry in a paper towel
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
¾ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¾ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic mashed to a paste

Beat butter until creamy. Add remaining ingredients and mix until blended.

Put a 9 inch piece of aluminum foil (plastic wrap or parchment paper will work as well) on your work surface. Spoon the butter down the center of the foil into a log about 1 inch in diameter. Roll the foil around the butter and twist the ends to make a sealed log. Refrigerate for up to one week, or freeze for up to 6 months.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cornmeal Crusted Cod Tacos with Poblano Cream                            Serves 4
By Jeremy Niehuss 
Fish Dredge
½ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup fine cornmeal
¼ cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons ancho powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder

Frying the Fish
High heat oil for deep fat frying
1 ½ pounds fresh cod, cut into 3 inch strips
Kosher salt

To Finish
12 corn tortillas
Corn Salsa – Recipe below
Poblano cream – Recipe below

1.      To make the dredge whisk all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. 
2.      To fry the fish heat the oil to 350°F in a deep fat fryer or a large stock pot over high heat.  Working with a few fish strips at a time dip them in the dredge and toss until they are well coated.  Remove and shake off any excess dredge.  Place the dredged fish on a baking sheet tray.
3.      Line another baking sheet tray with paper towels.  Fry the fish, a few pieces at a time, until they are golden brown and crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Transfer to the tray lined with paper towels and season with salt while hot.  Repeat this process frying the remaining fish.
4.      To finish the tacos, wrap the corn tortillas in a clean and damp kitchen towel and microwave on high until the tortillas are hot, about 1 ½ minutes.  Fill each tortilla with 2 pieces of fish, a scoop of the salsa and some of the sauce.

Roasted Poblano Cream
2 pablanos  
2 cups heavy cream
Kosher salt

1.      Roast the pablanos over the flame of a gas burner, turning frequently with tongs, until charred.  Make sure the peppers roast evenly. 
2.      Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  This will steam the peppers and make peeling them easier.
3.      Peel the skins from the peppers and remove the seeds.
4.      Warm the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Combine the cream and peppers together in a blender.  Puree until smooth.
5.      Pour the cream back into the small saucepan and reduce over medium heat until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
6.      Season with kosher salt.

Roasted Corn Salsa
2 ears white corn
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large tomatoes, small diced
½ small white onion, small diced
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 small jalapeno, cored, seeded and very finely diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons lime juice

1.      Cut kernels of corn off the cob.  Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the corn.  Season the corn with salt and pepper and cook until it begins to brown slightly.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
2.      Combine the corn with the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Season with salt to taste.

Flourless Chocolate Torte
with Homemade Whipped Cream
Recipe courtesy of Jessica Soleil
Yield: 8 Servings

8 oz. milk chocolate chips
8 oz. dark chocolate chips
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup cream
¼ cup sugar
Butter and extra sugar to prepare mold

Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, rum, brandy, or hazelnut liqueur

1.       Butter and sugar the mold. Spread a thin layer of butter over the inside of the mold.  Make sure you get all the corners!  Sprinkle in sugar, then tap and rotate to make the sugar sticks to the butter.  Shake out the excess. 
2.       Preheat oven to 350°F.
3.       Melt the chocolate over a double boiler.
4.       Whip the cream and sugar to soft peaks.
5.       Temper the eggs into the chocolate by adding a little chocolate to the eggs to bring up to temperature and then add all of the eggs to the chocolate. 
6.       Fold in the cream
7.       Pour into the mold.
8.       Place mold in a 2” hotel pan and pour hot water ¾’s of the way up the pan.  Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.  Then rotate by turning the pan 180 degrees and cook an additional 25 minutes.  To finish, remove foil and cook an additional 10 minutes or until cake is set in the center.  Cool before unmolding and serving. 
9.       As it bakes, whip the cream, powdered sugar, and flavor of choice together until the cream hold stiff peaks.  Store covered in the fridge. 
10.   Service:  Slice the torte into 8 even slices.  Top with a portion of whipped cream.  Garnish with a shake of cocoa powder or chocolate shavings. 

Asparagus Risotto
serves 4

1 pound asparagus, peeled, trimmed and cut into one-inch-long pieces, tips reserved
4 to 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 large shallot, diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese.

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add half the asparagus stalks and cook until quite soft, at least 5 minutes. Rinse quickly under cold water. Put cooked asparagus in a blender or food processor and add just enough water to allow machine to puree until smooth; set aside.

2. Put stock in a medium saucepan over low heat. Put oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, add shallot, stirring occasionally until it softens, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is glossy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add white wine, stir, and let liquid bubble away. Add a large pinch of salt. Add warmed stock, 1/2 cup or so at a time, stirring occasionally. Each time stock has just about evaporated, add more.

4. After about 15 minutes, add remaining asparagus pieces and tips, continuing to add stock when necessary. In 5 minutes, begin tasting rice. You want it to be tender but with a bit of crunch; it could take as long as 30 minutes total to reach this stage. When it does, stir in 1/2 cup asparagus puree. Remove skillet from heat, add remaining butter and stir briskly. Add Parmesan and stir briskly, then taste and adjust seasoning. Risotto should be slightly soupy. Serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of Amy Jermain

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Kitchen Knife Basics: One cook’s lesson in cutlery
Guest Post by Dan Pearson of Lake Oswego, IGT student

I’m a self-taught cook who knows his way around a kitchen. I’ve made do with minimal training and fancy equipment, and I can cook a mean beef wellington from scratch.

But, when it comes to the technical stuff, I could use some professional instruction. So, I took to the In Good Taste (IGT) cooking calendar to see how I could enhance my cooking credentials. 

While I’m no stranger to the stockpot, grill pan or food scale, I know very little about knives. The cooking shows that I watch don’t offer much in the way of basic knife skills, as much of the ingredients are already washed and prepped prior to airtime. And, the cookbooks I use don’t go in depth about the type of knives one needs for a particular dish.

Naturally, the IGT Hands-On Knife Skills class caught my attention. The basic knife set that I own is reaching middle age, so I thought that it might be in my best interest (and my wife’s) to update my technique and equipment.

Garbed in my favorite apron and with my wife in tow, I went to the class ready to learn how to dice, julienne and rondelle with finesse. The class, which was led by Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School alum Wes O’Neal, focused on the fundamentals: knife anatomy, knife safety, knife handling and knife cleaning.

By the end of the class, I knew how to properly rondelle a cucumber, dice an onion (without crying), batonnet a potato, chiffonade fresh sage, mince garlic and more. I learned knife tricks that will help me save time, prevent injury and enhance the appearance of my ingredients.

Some key takeaways from the class (other than that I need a new knife set) included:


Knife Type

According to Chef Wes, the classic chef’s knife handles about 80 percent of his professional needs. His everyday standard is an eight-inch, high carbon stainless steel blade by Shun with the preferred, distinctive “tang” (a finger notch that aids balance). But, other brands abound. 

The Chef’s Resource online store carries nearly 30 brands and lists more than 15 special-purpose knives, mostly from Japan, Germany and Switzerland, made to handle everything from deboning to utility. Chef Wes advises expecting to pay between $70 and $150 for a chef’s knife that should last a lifetime.

Knife Maintenance
Keep it sharp by properly storing it between uses and by using a sharpening or honing steel, or both. And, don’t leave a knife exposed to moisture for long periods of time, like one would in a dishwasher or in a sink filled with soapy water.

Cutting Boards

Don’t use glass because it dulls the blade. If you use a wood cutting board, throw the board away when and if it splits at the edge. “It’s a perfect place for bacteria to form,” chef Wes warned.

Board Type
You don’t need to have separate boards for meat and produce, if you rinse well between uses and clean the board periodically with a mild bleach solution.

Best of the Best
Chef Wes’s cutting board of choice is a pressed wood product by Epicurean. Apparently, it’s durable, dishwasher safe, easy to handle and can be had for as little as $25 from online retailers such as Williams & Sonoma, Bed Bath & Beyond and Sears.

For more information about the IGT Hands-On Knife Skills class or other classes, visit the website or call (503) 248-2015.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Beef Pastrami                                     Makes 2 pounds
2 ½ pounds bavette or boneless short ribs
1 gallon cold water
1 ½ cups kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ ounce (by weight or 4 teaspoons) pink salt (sodium nitrite)
1 tablespoon pickling spices
½ cup, packed, dark brown sugar
¼ cup honey
5 garlic cloves
To Finish
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, lightly toasted
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, lightly toasted

1. Place the meat in a deep casserole dish that is just big enough to hold it.  Reserve the meat in the refrigerator while preparing the brine.
2. To make the brine combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepot and bring the mixture to a boil.  Remove the brine from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.  Place in the refrigerator and allow it to cool to 50° F. 
3. Poor the brine over the meat and use a heavy plate to keep it submerged.  Brine the meat in the refrigerator for 24 hours. 
4. Remove the meat from the brine, rinse it and then pat it dry with a clean kitchen towel.  Leave the meat uncovered in the refrigerator overnight to form a pellicle.
5. Hot smoke the meat to an internal temperature of 150° F, about three hours.  At this point the pastrami can finished immediately or refrigerated for up to three days and finished later. 
6. Combine the coriander seeds and black peppercorns in a spice grinder and coarsely grind.  Rub the mixture over the entire outside of the meat. 
7. To finish the pastrami preheat the oven to 275° F.  Place a wire roasting rack in a roasting pan with deep sides.  Fill the roasting pan with one inch of boiling water.  Place the pastrami on the rack and slowly roast the pastrami for two to three hours or until it is fork tender. 

Equipment:  Cutting board and knife, measuring cups, measuring spoons, large casserole dish, large stockpot, clean kitchen towel, spice grinder, smoker, meat thermometer and a large roasting pan with a wire rack.

Pickling Spice                               Makes 1 cup
2 tablespoons black peppercorns, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons mustard seeds, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons coriander seeds, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons hot red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons allspice berries
1 tablespoon ground mace
2 cinnamon sticks. Broken into small pieces
24 bay leaves, lightly crumbled
2 tablespoons whole cloves
1 tablespoon ground ginger

1. Lightly crush the black peppercorns, mustard and coriander seeds with the side of a chef’s knife.  In a small mixing bowl combine the toasted and crushed spices with the remaining ingredients.  Mix well and store in a plastic zip lock bag.

Equipment:  Cutting board and knife, measuring spoons, small sauté pan, small mixing bowl and a plastic zip lock bag.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

In The Crust we Trust - Roasting Techniques

In the Crust we Trust
Developing a crust on a roast is extremely important.  The crust adds flavor, texture, dimension and depth.  The crust is developed by caramelizing the sugars in meat and by the Maillard reaction, a complex reaction between amino acids and sugars that produce sulphur compounds found in onions giving a more savory flavor to food.

The crust is almost always developed during the first part of the roasting process by one of two techniques:

1.       Oven searing uses the high heat of the oven (400°F to 450° F typically) to develop the golden brown crust.  Following are some searing times according to roast size:

A.      Up to 4 pounds – 20 minutes

B.      4 to 6 pounds – 30 minutes

C.      6 pounds or more – 40 minutes or more

2.       Pan searing develops the crust by cooking the meat first on the stovetop with a roasting pan, such as a sauté pan or preferably, a cast iron skillet.  The roasts are seasoned and then seared in the pan with a fat until each side of the roast is deep golden brown.  Pan searing is especially useful for developing a crust on smaller or more delicate meats, such as cote de boeuf.  I like to let the meat rest for a few minutes or even longer before finishing it in the oven.  This allows the heat to move to the center of the roast and further temper it.  Try using pan searing to develop a crust on the roast and then let it rest at room temperature while finishing other parts of the meal.  It’s a great trick to help out with timing.

Heat it up and settle it down!
It’s important to use high heat to get that beautiful golden brown crust, but if a roast is cooked at high temperatures for the entire time, the results would be dry, overcooked and chewy meat.  Therefore; it is important that once the crust is developed that the oven temperature is lowered to somewhere between 275°F to 325°F.  I prefer 300°F when finishing a roast.  So it’s high heat to develop the crust and then lower heat to gently finish cooking the roast.