Gribiche

5 Jun

Gribiche

For all of my Summer Sauce class attendees, this one is for you.  I hope you enjoy making these recipes as much as I enjoyed sharing them with you!

Gribiche is a traditional french sauce that is somewhere between a tartar and egg salad in nature. Served over seared fish, spooned on top of roasted asparagus, or simply siting on your morning toast, this versatile sauce is something that can be thrown together within minutes with ingredients you most likely have on hand in your pantry. The result is both intensely flavorful and satisfying, with room to add and subtract herbs and seasonings as you please. The key is to emulsify the yolks and oil as you would when making mayonnaise, slowly incorporating the oil and mixing continuously (see previous post on mayonnaise if you need a refresher, but do note the use of cooked egg yolks as well in this variation). Lastly, remember that capers are extremely salty, so taste before adding additional salt if you use a good amount of capers.

The photo above portrays a more ‘rustic’ gribiche. For a fancier plating, or if you love meticulously detailed tasks/spacing out while chopping things, take your time while prepping the egg whites, ensuring a more uniform and tidy presentation.

Enjoy and stay tuned for more to come soon!

Ingredients:

3 hardboiled eggs, whites and yolks separated

1 raw egg yolk

1 cup sunflower, canola or other neutral oil

juice of 1 lemon

2-3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

2 tablespoons capers

2 tablespoons cornichon pickles, cut into small rounds

2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill

1 tablespoon chopped tarragon

good dash smoked paprika

good pinch salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Directions:

Finely dice egg whites and set aside. In a medium bowl, mash egg yolks with a fork until well combined. Mix in yolk and whisk together until a smooth paste forms. Slowly drizzle oil into the yolk mixture until you reach a mayonnaise-like consistency. Add in lemon juice, white wine vinegar, dijon, capers, cornichons, dill, tarragon and smoked paprika. Taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to two days.

Cultured Butter

13 May

ButterIt has been over a year since my last post, and I am truly sorry. This recipe marks my official jump back on the blogging wagon, and I swear I will do my best to hold on this time. As many of you already know, I am currently finishing my first year in the Culinary Arts and Nutrition Program here at Bastyr just north of Seattle. It has been an amazingly challenging and inspiring journey, consisting of a completely new lifestyle, an abundance of hard core sciences and most importantly, a wealth of new culinary motivation.

Over winter quarter I had the pleasure of working as the TA for Chef’s Pantry; a class dedicated to creating a fully stocked cupboard through preservation, pickling and fermentation. Of the many, many amazing recipes and techniques that we covered, the one that stuck with me the most was making fresh butter. Butter is just one of those ingredients that is so unbelievably essential, so unbelievably delicious, and much to my surprise, so unbelievably simple and satisfying to make.  Knowing that it’s always available even if the world were to run out allows me to sleep that much better at night…from the moment I sealed that first jar I immediately felt like a far more competent/worthy human being.

Really it’s easy. All you need is some good quality cream, a splash of buttermilk, a hearty pinch of sea salt, and a little patience (as well as parchment paper or saran wrap, an electric hand mixer, and a roll of paper towels).

Here we go.

Homemade Cultured Butter

Makes one 4 oz mason jar 

*Note: the first step of this process involves making the creme fraiche, which will need to sit for about 1 day before butter making can begin.

Ingredients:

1-cup cream (either from a trusted local source or organic preferably, the difference it makes taste/health wise is absolutely worth it)

2-tablespoons buttermilk

pinch of sea salt plus any other herb/spice desired for seasoning, chopped fine

Directions:

photo

In a glass jar, combine cream and buttermilk. Cover and allow it to sit in a warm, draft free spot for roughly 24 hours (the oven with the pilot light on works great for this). After 24 hours, stir and refrigerate until a thick, sour cream like consistency is reached.

creme fraiche

In a large metal bowl, empty creme fraiche. Using electric beaters, beat on medium high until small solid yellow clumps begin to form and liquid starts to release. This will occur about 5-7 minutes past the whipped cream phase. Begin to carefully pour off liquid, draining off as much as possible.

Butter

Place butter back in the bowl and continue to blend and drain repeatedly until butter begins to form a semi homogenous solid.

Butter

Once the mixture has reached this point, form a large ball using your hands and place it in a bowl of cold water, making sure to fully submerge it in its entirety. Tear off 1 large sheet of either parchment or saran wrap, and set it on a flat working surface. Remove the ball from the water and lightly pat dry with a paper towel. Place the ball on your parchment/saran and using a wooden spoon, spread mixture into a thin, flat surface. Again, using paper towels, blot butter dry. Continue to spread and blot repeatedly, sopping up as much liquid as possible. Excess liquid will cause the butter to spoil, so this step is very important. Once butter is thoroughly dried, add salt/herbs and spices. Spread once more to incorporate the added seasonings, then pack tightly into a small mason jar.

IMG_0495Butter should last for at the very least a couple of weeks to a couple of months, again depending on the amount of liquid remaining after drying. Do note that this butter will be/should be slightly tangy due to starting with creme fraiche. Spread it on your favorite toast, fry up your morning eggs with it, or eat it with a spoon. Enjoy, and stay tuned for more to come soon!

The Long Awaited Romesco

24 Apr

Romesco

First off, happy spring to you all! Now that the sun is shining and the fresh produce is abundant, I promise The Kitchen Sink NW will be making more of a routine appearance. It’s amazing how fast the months pass by when the sky is gray and your math teacher is on a mission to ruin your life…

Jumping straight back into it, here is my base recipe for Romesco. I say base as the amount of seasoning that goes into it always differs a bit depending on the batch. Everyone seems to have a different recipe for this fantastic Spanish sauce as well, so be creative and add ingredients as they seem fit. This recipe will give you a great reference, and the end result should be spicy and smokey, with hints of rich nuttiness and bright acid.

This sauce tastes great with just about anything, be it grilled shrimp, charred green onions, or spread on a hot sandwich with melted pepper jack, flank steak and a perfectly ripe avocado.

Here we go.

Makes 1 large bowl

Ingredients:

2- cups roasted red bell peppers (I have found the sauce tastes much better with jarred roasted red bell peppers, I use Mezzetta brand from Napa)

3-4- chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

3- tablespoons adobo sauce

1- cup marcona almonds

1/2- cup oven roasted hazelnuts (dry roasted at home at 350 for about 8-10 minutes)

4-5- cloves garlic

1/2- 3/4 cup olive oil

4- tablespoons sherry vinegar

2-tablespoons sherry wine

juice of 2 lemons

salt to taste

3-4 slices day old bread (french or sourdough works great)

Directions:

Add peppers, adobo sauce, nuts, and garlic to a food processor and blend until well combined. Slowly add oil, vinegar, lemon juice and salt. Add more oil as needed and season to taste. When the flavor is right, add bread and pulse until well combined, adding as much as needed until you reach your desired thickness.

Serve and store extra in a sealed container in the fridge. Should last for about a week or so.

Enjoy and stay tuned for more (I swear) to come soon!

The Perennial Plate

15 Feb

Here is a link to an awesome site dedicated to adventurous and sustainable eating that I stumbled upon last night. They have nearly 100 short films as well as great recipes and a full-fledged blog. Below is the “about” taken straight from their bio as they describe it much more appropriately than I would. The chef/lead of the site has had a foot in many big name kitchens (The Fat Duck, Mugaritz, and Bouchon to name a few); and along with his camera woman, makes a great short film.

“The Perennial Plate is an online weekly documentary series dedicated to socially responsible and adventurous eating.  The episodes follow the culinary, agricultural and hunting explorations of chef and activist, Daniel Klein.  Season One took place over a calendar year in Minnesota where every Monday for 52 weeks, Klein and cameragirl Mirra Fine released short films about good food.  In Season Two, Klein and Fine are traveling across America, taking the viewer on a journey to appreciate and understand where good food comes from and how to enjoy it.  The Real Food Road Trip began on May 9th 2011, and the weekly videos have continued — bringing the audience along for stories of urban gardens, long drives, blood, hunting and guts…”

Great for a night where you have a few minutes to educate yourself on anything from the making of moonshine to the future of fishing in the gulf.

Hope you all are well and more to come soon!

Bastyr University’s Culinary Arts & Nutrition Program

23 Jan

Bastyr

Saturday morning around 4 am, Pete and I packed the car and began our 3 hour journey north through the rain and snow to Bastyr University just outside of Seattle.

I realized recently that I needed to add a link for my future school (assuming I get in) to spread the word about their amazingly unique and all encompassing culinary program. For those of you interested in real food nutrition as well as culinary arts, this might be just the place to get started.

Bastyr University is one of the world’s leading academic centers for advancing and integrating knowledge in the natural health arts and sciences. Their mission is to transform the health and well being of the human community through an integrated approach to education, research and clinical service. The programs are all very heavy in the science department, which I think is essential when walking the fine line between conventional and non-conventional medicine. For a full list of the many programs offered, click here.

I love food, and I am fascinated by the ways in which it affects us both physically and mentally. I think that as a whole, we as a culture have been set up for failure in regards to making proper food choices for a healthy life. Sadly, what many of us believe to be healthy really isn’t; and on a more depressing note, some of us will never truly be able to relax and enjoy food, as we are told to meticulously count calories and feel guilt while consuming some of the best foods on the planet. I see it all the time waiting tables, and I have been there myself. It is no way to live, as life is too short and good food is way too good.

Many  nutrition programs in this country are sponsored by the big guys (think Kraft and Nabisco), meaning that folks going through these programs are told to promote items such as low fat dairy products and sugar free sweeteners as the healthy choice, rather than looking at food closest to it’s natural state. Many of these schools never even provide contact with actual food, let alone educate their students on the importance of understanding how to prepare a meal at home. How are you supposed to eat well if you don’t know how to make something taste good?

Bastyr however offers an alternative, and it really is one of the only accredited programs in the country dealing with real foods as well as educating its students from every angle; from the hard sciences to the kitchen. (The only other program that I have found that actually offers a degree is NYU’s Food Studies Program, which we will save for another day). And the best part is they offer a Culinary Arts and Nutrition Degree, meaning mastering nutrition with a focus on food preparation (meat and all the good stuff included).

For more specifics on the actual program, click here.

My goal in life is to one day play a role in the food movement that I believe to be happening here in America, and to help empower the general population to make smarter food choices, and more importantly in my eyes, how to have fun while doing it.

Thanks for staying tuned and hope you all are having a lovely winter.

Stay posted for more to come soon!

Peanut Butter Pie With Honey Goat Cheese and Bananas

10 Jan

I made this for a friend for her birthday a few days ago and was amazed by how delicious and easy it was. She informed me that she enjoyed it with a nice glass of scotch, which I decided was an idea worth sharing. This would be a great pie for those of us who aren’t natural born bakers, as screwing this one up would be hard to do. I used a simple butter crust but the options are endless as a crumb crust would be equally satisfying. I also used goat cheese instead of cream cheese, but as I have mentioned before if the taste of goat milk isn’t your thing, substitute. Take note: this pie takes about 4 hours to set.

Alright, here we go.

Peanut Butter Pie with Honey Goat Cheese and Bananas

Makes one 9-inch pie

Ingredients:

  • fresh 9-inch pie crust (For a simple butter crust recipe, click here. You can half the recipe for the purpose of this pie).
  • 3/4-cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4-cup organic peanut butter
  • 8-ounces of honey goat cheese, softened (If it’s not at your local store, you can make this yourself by mixing goat cheese with a little honey, just enough to make it a tad sweet).
  • 1/2-cup powdered sugar
  • 1-cup cream, whipped into stiff peaks
  • 1-tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • good dash salt

Directions:

First, you will need to bake your crust. Follow the directions from your recipe for time and temperature. Once crust is almost fully baked, add chocolate chips, allowing them to melt for about 3- 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and using the back of a spoon or rubber spatula, spread melted chocolate evenly on the bottom of the crust. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.

In a medium size mixing bowl, mix together peanut butter, goat cheese and powdered sugar. Use an electric mixer if possible and mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, whip the cup of cream until it forms stiff peaks. This will usually take a few minutes and is easily achieved with an electric mixer. Once cream is fully whipped, add vanilla and salt.

Combine peanut butter mix and whipped cream and blend together until light and fluffy. Taste and season as needed.

Poor the finished product into the baked pie crust. Top with bananas and freeze for at least 3 1/2- 4 hours.

Remove from the freezer about 20 minutes before serving.

Serve with extra whipped cream, chocolate sauce, or your favorite nightcap.

Eat, and enjoy.

Forks Over Knives

2 Jan

Over the years I have become an admittedly indulgent person, especially when it comes to food. If I have a craving I will almost always fulfill it and if there’s foie gras on the menu I will without a doubt order it. My new years resolution for years now has been to eat a more plant-based diet as fruits and vegetables are essential for good health. Sadly, it has never happened. A co-worker recently suggested that I watch the movie Forks Over Knives and I must say it had a surprisingly strong impact. The message is about the standard American diet (mainly the over consumption of poor quality meat and dairy products) and its overwhelming connection to chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. I would have liked to have more detailed information about the quality of meat these people were eating, but even without it I was still truly moved. I really don’t think I would ever give up meat and dairy entirely, but this film definitely has me thinking more closely about my day-to-day food choices.

You can watch the movie instantly on Netflix or rent it at your local video store.

Here is a link to the trailer: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/forks_over_knives/trailers/

Check it out.

Happy 2012 to you all and may you have a safe and healthy start to the new year!

Preserved Lemons

6 Dec

So, seeing as how we are almost through the first week of December, I suppose we should start thinking about gifts eh? I feel like whatever festive day you call your own, a present or two will always come in handy during these beautiful months of winter. For the past few years I have attempted to make something exciting and special to disperse amongst those who are close. One year I bound books, another year my Ma and I went on a gingersnap/seed brittle bake-off. Most recently, we sent out small batches of homemade Olalliberry Jam and Roasted Hazelnut Butter. I find that it’s a fantastic way to be creative while spreading the holiday love, and in my eyes the nicest little gift you could give as it comes straight from the heart (and usually the kitchen).

If we have ever cooked together you probably know that I am obsessed with fresh lemon juice. In my opinion, almost everything is better with a little hit of citrus. At Olympic, I feel like our chef Erin runs with the same model. We use preserved lemons in almost a quarter of our dishes if not more. These lemons, traditionally used in Moroccan/Mediterranean cooking are basically cured in their own juices with the addition of a large amount of salt. They’ve appeared on our menu served with everything from Brussel Sprouts with Creamy Preserved Lemon Dressing to Spaghetti with Dungeness Crab and Parsley. Many times they are simply chopped fine and mixed with fresh herbs to be used as a garnish. They are an amazing addition to many different types of dishes as their intensity adds a unique flavor that really can’t be mimicked. They are like a kaffir lime leaf or a vanilla bean, nothing competes with the real deal. Do take note that a little goes a long way, so familiarize yourself before using a heavy hand.

Packed in small mason jars, these would make an amazing gift for any friend that loves good food or experimenting with new ingredients.

They take about 10 lemons, a box of salt and 15 minutes of prep time, but they have to sit for about three weeks before they are ready for eating. I know you can do quick preserved lemons as well, but this method is for the old school version.

Here she is.

Makes about 1 quart, but you can disperse them into whatever sized jars you please.

Ingredients:

  • 10-12 medium lemons, scrubbed clean, (get Meyer lemons if you can)
  • 3/4-1 cup kosher salt
  • extra fresh lemon juice
  • optional ingredients: bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, red pepper flakes, peppercorns, etc.
  • sterilized mason jars

Directions:

  • Place 2-tablespoons salt on the bottom of your jar. If you are using smaller jars, use less.
  • To prepare the lemons, cut off about 1/4 inch off one end. From there, cut the lemons in half like you would an onion before you chop it, going almost all the way to but not through the other end. Do the same once more to create four separate wedges of lemon, all attached to the same root if you will.
  • Open and generously sprinkle salt all over the inside and outside of each lemon. Really use your fingers, salting each one thoroughly. Pack the lemons in the jar, squishing them down so that juice is extracted and rises to the top. They should be very compact and covered with juice. Add more if necessary.
  • Top with a couple additional tablespoons of salt and add whichever optional ingredients you desire.
  • Seal the jar using boiling water and let sit at room temperature for a couple of days. Turn the jar upside down occasionally. Then, put it in the refrigerator and let it sit for at about 3 weeks. Flip occasionally until lemon rinds soften.
  • When you are ready to use the lemons, remove the quantity you plan to use and rinse it lightly with water. You can use the rinds and pulp, but remove the seeds. Some people only use the rinds, so taste for yourself and decide what you like best. When adding to your dish, chop very fine like you would garlic.
  • Hand out to loved ones or store in the fridge for up to six months and enjoy!

Split Pea Soup with Bacon and Caraway

3 Dec

You will have to bare with me for these next two weeks as school has officially hit its peak. All I can say is please know that I’m thinking of you all and that I would much rather be cooking. Sadly, cooking doesn’t help my GPA (yet).

Two days ago I had to scrape the ice off my windshield with a spatula. That same morning I also wore Ugg boots in public, which I feel says a great deal about how cold it was outside, no offense to the ‘outside-the-home Ugg lovers’ out there. In my eyes, nothing warms a frigid day quite like a good old bowl of hearty soup. A quick batch of split pea seemed like just the fix.

I should put it out there that split pea soup is kind of a big deal in our family. It is definitely one of those dishes that instantly brings me back in time, back to the days of teenage sisters and my sweet high top Fila’s with purple laces. I am going to go out on a limb and say that split pea soup is probably one of the most satisfying, healthy and affordable meals on the planet, not to mention super quick. Put those things together with a crock pot and you are in serious business. If you don’t have a crock pot, a medium sized pot will do just fine. Note that you can swap ingredients however you please. If you prefer a ham hock, skip the bacon and if you don’t eat meat, leave it out.

Alright, here we go.

Split Pea Soup with Bacon and Caraway

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 slices bacon, cut into medium pieces
  • 1- yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, roughly minced
  • 1-1/2 cups split peas
  • 3-4 carrots, chopped into medium rounds
  • 2-bay leaves
  • 3-tablespoons or more caraway seeds
  • +/- 1 tablespoon red chili flake
  • pinch of paprika
  • generous amount of salt (soup takes A LOT of salt)
  • good pinch black pepper
  • juice of 1 small lemon
  • 4-cups stock (I use chicken)
  • 4-cups water

Directions:

Crock Pot: In a large pan, cook bacon for 1 minute over medium heat. If you are not using bacon, use olive oil or butter to coat the pan. Add onion and garlic and cook until onions are translucent and bacon is slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the mix to your crock pot. Then, add everything else, modifying as you like. Cook over low heat for a couple of hours, or high heat for about an hour and a half.  The soup should be on the thicker side once it’s finished. Taste and season, adding more spice/salt/acid as needed.

If you are using a soup pot, saute the first 3 ingredients first, then add the rest all at once. Cook covered over medium/low heat for about an hour and a half.

Serve with buttered toast and enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving

24 Nov

A quick Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I would like to say that I am so grateful for all of your support and feedback during my first three months here at The Kitchen Sink NW.  It has been such a great experience and I really appreciate you tuning in.

I hope your day was filled with warmth, great company and of course, beautiful food.

All my best and again many thanks,

Chloe

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