Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Charred Baby Octopus Skewers

Charred Baby Octopus Skewers
Korean Chili Marinade, Red Onion, Meyer Lemon

Oh how we adore grilling season! Let’s kick it off with something a bit unusual… and exotic, spicy, smoky, charred, chewy, lemony too. These Korean chili marinated baby octopus (jjukkumi) skewers are interesting enough to serve at your next great BBQ party, yet easy enough to serve for dinner tonight.

Octopus has a mild sweet flavor – hard to dislike – but sometimes the texture can be off-putting for some people. This par-boiled, marinated, then grilled method solves the texture problem. The Korean chili marinade brings spicy yet fruity flavors, and not many can resist the char from an open fire. Grilled red onion and warm Meyer lemon juice balance out the flavor profile. As a bonus, it’s served on a stick. Ooh ooh fire up the grill!

Charred Baby Octopus Skewers

Baby Octopus Skewers Recipe

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Pickled Tofu, Beet Syrup, Asian Slaw

Pickled Tofu Carpaccio, Beet Syrup, Asian Slaw

By his own admission, he’s not a tofu guy. But my brother Don is definitely a foodie. Never met a foie gras he didn’t like. Tofu does not elicit even a glimmer of interest or enthusiasm. He trusts his sister though, so when she offers him a vibrant pickled tofu carpaccio – he definitely gives it a try.

Not to my surprise, it receives a big thumbs up. With the combination of exotic spices, sweet and hot juxtaposed to crunchy and soft elements, he advises to try all the flavors in one bite – calling it both a science experiment and a volcanic eruption.

Pickled Tofu Carpaccio, Beet Syrup, Asian Slaw Recipe

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Mom's Vintage Potato Salad & Franciscan Earthenware

Mom’s Vintage Potato Salad & Franciscan Earthenware

Franciscan Earthenware was a wedding gift to my father and his first wife. My mother “inherited” this china when she married him. We’ve enjoyed her home-cooked meals on these dishes for well over a half century.

We still have most of the pieces, a few are chipped, but overall a fine collection in great condition. This china has proven to be very durable. Back in 2008 Ma graciously lent me several pieces from her collection. As you may have read earlier, I am addicted to dinnerware. Now, with her passing, I am the keeper of the entire collection. And I will cherish it forever.

Joyce & Len

Joyce & Len – Sept. 1955

Franciscan Apple is one of the most popular raised-relief hand-painted patterns from Gladding, McBean & Co., which began production of Franciscan dinnerware in 1934 at their plant in Glendale, California. This pattern first appeared in 1940.

The name Franciscan is an allusion to Franciscan Friars and reflected the simple, informal style of Mexican folk pottery. The Franciscan Apple pattern has become a darling of collectors with its branches, beautiful green leaves and red harvest apples painted on cream-colored porcelain reminiscent of days gone by.

Mom's Vintage Potato Salad & Franciscan Earthenware

American production of Franciscan Ware ceased in 1984, following the announcement to relocate all Franciscan production to England. Franciscan Apple pattern is still made today under the Wedgwood Group. It is slightly different now and many pieces are larger than the originals, but still charming as ever.

Mom’s Vintage Potato Salad Recipe

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Monday, March 31, 2014
catering @ experium science academy

catering @ experium science academy

Modern Cuisine – Cooking on the Cutting Edge

“I think it is a sad reflection on our civilization that while we can and do measure the temperature in the atmosphere of Venus we do not know what goes on inside our soufflés.” —Nicholas Kurti

It’s the ultra-modern style of cooking. Although, all the way back in the 1800′s cooks and scientists were interested in understanding food chemistry. But it was not until 1988 that the term “Molecular Gastronomy” was coined by French chemist Hervé This and Hungarian physicist Nicholas Kurti. They began holding workshops to investigate the transformation that occurs when food is cooked.

making ice cream with liquid nitrogen

making ice cream with liquid nitrogen

The molecular or modernist cuisine movement really began when chefs took those scientific discoveries and applied creativity to that body of knowledge. They take the basics of classic cooking and craftsmanship then apply chemical compounds and elements such as liquid nitrogen for instantaneous freezing and techniques such as spherification (forming a liquid into a solid orb which remains liquid on the inside) and gelification (turning a liquid into a gelatinous form by using a gelling agent) to push the culinary envelope.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

rigatoni, roasted oyster mushroom, arugula, smoky chile walnuts, garlicky yogurt, feta

rigatoni, roasted oyster mushrooms, arugula
smoky chile walnuts, garlicky yogurt, feta

While Chef Yotam Ottolenghi makes his with conchiglie, peas, pine nuts, and basil – my dish with rigatoni, oyster mushrooms, walnuts, and arugula was totally inspired from the recipe in his fabulous cookbook Jerusalem. 

There are endless combinations of pasta, vegetables, and greens that can work with this garlicky yogurt sauce, feta, and smoky chile walnuts. With its pretty earth-tones, varying textures, and smoky flavors – this is one super-satisfying vegetarian meal.

inspired by ottolenghi recipe

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