Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ambitious Asian Plate: Cod Duet

Ambitious Asian Plate

Scallion Pancakes with Ginger Sauce

Cod Duet, Miso and Tamarind
Spinach and Gingered Forbidden Risotto

I used this recipe for the scallion pancakes. It was much more difficult that it appeared. I found the dough too sticky to roll out and it took a lot of flour to get it rollable. While they tasted really good, they looked horrendous. I would make them again, but use less water in the dough. The sauce was awesome and came in handy later.

I for half the cod I used Nobu's famous miso cod recipe found here. I substituted tamarind paste for the miso and used that for the second half of the cod. I think Chef Matsuhisa would be mortified that I attempted his signature dish. I was not overly impressed with my version, but I think the ingredients I used were certainly subpar compared to Nobu's pantry. I would love the opportunity to taste the original someday (when I win the lottery). The tamarind version was sweet. Too sweet. I also did not like the texture. I think I used too much acid and it “cooked” the fish in the marinade. Would NOT make that again.

The Gingered Forbidden Rice was a delightful accident. Forbidden rice is a black short grain rice grown in China. I sauteed ¼ cup of finely minced shallots in 1 tablespoon of peanut oil and 1 tablespoon of canola. I added the rice and chicken stock. Covered and cooked for 30 minutes. That is the way I originally served it, but it was bland and unimpressive. I then, on a whim spooned a teaspoon of the scallion ginger sauce into it and WHAM! It became the star of the show. I would totally make this again using the sauce from the start.

All in all the meal was a 7.5 out of ten.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Daring New Cooking Endeavor

Well it’s been awhile since I’ve posted here. It seems the spring just got away from me. I haven’t stopped cooking though and I’ve had a few amazing successes (and a few terrific failures as well).

One of my big successes was finding a recipe for a Tangerine Beurre Blanc. It was originally paired with a filet of sole and asparagus, but I made it in Montauk for family with pan seared Scallops and citrus scented rice (recommend jasmati). It was AMAZING. This is my new go to sauce for light fish, although I’d wager it would go wonderfully with a chicken or pork. I doubled this recipe and put out some reserved sauce for the guests to use. It all went.

Tangerine Beurre Blanc
1/2 cup fresh tangerine juice (bottled works fine too as does an orange tangerine mix)
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Boil tangerine juice with shallot in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until reduced to about 2 tablespoons, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to moderately low, then whisk in 1 tablespoon butter, whisking constantly. Add remaining butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly, adding each piece before previous one has completely melted, and lifting pan from heat occasionally to cool mixture. Remove from heat and stir in salt, cayenne, and lemon juice.

I’m also really excited to announce I’ve joined a great website called The Daring Kitchen. Monthly they issue a secret cooking challenge to their members. It’s our job to make it, blog about it, and photograph it. What a neat concept. I’m looking forward to my first challenge which will come through on August 1st. I was so happy to find the site. I frequently visit Tastespotting for inspiration and came across a dish that looked like something from Alinea. It turns out it was and that was last month challenge recipe.

I am a huge fan of Alinea and have the cookbook (for lack of a better word) which proudly sits on my coffee table (I’ve read it cover to cove at least twice). I am fascinated by the world of Molecular Gastronomy and no one does it better than Grant Achatz. Reading his book makes me want to go out and buy an Anti-griddle, a complete sous vide set up, and a full selection of modern hydrocolloids. Some day I will make the pilgrimage to Chicago and experience his magic first hand.

Anyway, stay tuned for my daring adventures….. Now I just need some daring diners to eat what I make!