An autumn affair! Oh, I am in love. He is fresh, sensuous, healthy, and playful.
He is simultaneously familiar and exotic; simple and complex.
His diverse tastes always reflect the season. And he is absolutely gorgeous.
He is New Nordic Cuisine.
wild carrot flowers
We are experimenting with New Nordic for the first time. My fellow passionate cooks, Lauren and Gail, join me in the kitchen to create this titillating dinner. Ingredients for the six-course meal include Norwegian goat cheese, wild herbs and flowers, berries and seeds, smoked fish, quail, grainy breads, root vegetables, and fresh fruits from the farmers’ market. Each dish is inspired by nature. We’ve attempted to present and garnish the plates in the sensual & earthy New Nordic style.
The setting is natural-organic-minimalist. White china, set on a large mahogany table sans cloth. The centerpiece and decoration is created from foraging…sticks, twigs, fruit from the vine in our gardens, and rocks and driftwood from the beach.
Our goal was to transport our dinner group of five, as well as Taste With The Eyes’ readers, to experience the essence of Fall in Scandinavia, Finland, and Iceland via my home in Los Angeles. We were inspired by the beauty of New Nordic Cuisine, by the distant land’s cutting-edge chefs’ pure artistry and commitment to local, seasonal, and sustainable.
You’ve heard the expression “like a kid in a candy store?” Well that kid was me this past weekend at the Farmers’ Market in Palos Verdes. If it looked tasty, I bought it. No restraint whatsoever. From Japanese eggplant to okra to heirloom tomatoes. And asatsuki, carrots, red serranos, beets, patty pan squash, spinach, garlic, Anaheim chiles, Thai basil, mitsuba…I had no plan, no recipe in mind. I was simply vegetable-crazy.
8-layer farmers’ market fantasy
curried fresh carrot juice sauce with blanched okra & mitsuba
grilled green & yellow patty pan squash
sautéed spinach with sesame, garlic, soy sauce
crispy polenta cake
fire-roasted anaheim chile
fresh goat cheese & asatsuki
cumin dusted grilled beet
spicy smoky heirloom tomato & thai basil
roasted japanese eggplant, maldon smoked sea salt flakes
Cover the beets with water. Bring to boil then simmer until very tender. When beets are cool enough to handle; trim, peel and slice.
Strain the beet cooking liquid through a coffee filter, reserve.
While the beets cook, bring stock to a boil in a large soup pot. Add carrot, cabbage, onion, garlic, tomato, bay leaves. Simmer for 30 minutes.
4 or 5 beets
1 chopped head cabbage
1 sliced medium onion
4 sliced carrots
7 crushed garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1 bunch dill
1 large can seeded peeled tomatoes
8 c. stock ((beef or vegetable)
sugar, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste
truffle oil and crème fraîche for garnish
After about 30 minutes, add sliced beets, beet liquid, and a bunch of dill. And red wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Remove bay. Purée with an immersion blender. Adjust seasonings.
One of the best wine pairings I can remember was enjoyed at Chef Nancy Oakes’ Boulevard in San Francisco where Chioggia beets (Italian heirloom variety) were paired with a fruity flavorful red wine from Brouilly. Definitely try this soup with a Brouilly if you can find one, if not, try a more readily available Beaujolais.
A Salad of Steamed Baby Beets, Frisée , Cumin-Paprika Fried Organic Garbanzos, Shallots and Greek Feta
The inspiration for this dish came from our dinner at AOC. Here, organic garbanzo beans are fried in olive oil with diced shallot, smashed garlic clove, hot paprika, and ground cumin.
Organic frisée is layered with very thinly sliced shallots, steamed baby beets splashed with good red wine vinegar and sea salt and freshly ground pepper, topped with Greek feta cheese. Warm garbanzo beans with the cumin-paprika olive oil is spooned over the top. The red wine vinegar on the beets plus the fragrant olive oil on the beans makes a great “deconstructed” vinaigrette. (I am excited to submit this dish, too, to “My Legume Love Affair” Event by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook Blog).
Last week, the folks at Foodbuzz invited Featured Publishers to dine at Suzanne Goin’s awesome AOC restaurant in Los Angeles. Ben of Château Petrogasm blog selected the refreshingly esoteric wines to pair with this extraordinary meal including one of the few domaines that make excellent red Sancerre, Domaine Vacheron 2005. Ben’s wine blog of tasting notes through images is pure genius…
We dined together on a fabulous multi-course menu of:
chicken liver crostini with pancetta
roasted dates, parmesan and bacon
marinated beets, olives, fried chickpeas and feta
leek and cantal tart with thyme and pancetta
smoked trout, persimmon, endive and creme fraiche
petrale sole, split peas, ham hock and truffle butter
grilled skirt steak with roquefort butter
rabbit ragout with dijon, chestnuts and tarragon
chanterelles, ricotta gnocchi and sherry cream
sweet potatoes with bacon, romesco and spinach
sheep’s milk cheescake with cassis compote and almond croustine
chocolate and hazelnut dacquoise with gianduja mousse and salted caramel ice cream
Strangers just a few hours earlier, we departed after hugs and well wishes.
Wonderful photos of all these dishes are posted at Foodbuzz Los Angeles by Jen of eating plum blog. If you think these dishes sound delicious, you must see her outstanding photography.
You absolutely must visit Evie, she is hilarious. In her post on Mushroom Barley Soup, her advice on serving the soup is to “use a bowl, not a plate. These decisions can be so difficult.” Go to Hot Dish! to see what I mean.
And Kat of Dirt Cake blog is the Pastry Cook at Spago Beverly Hills, lovely and very passionate about her craft…be sure to check out her yummy post on Oatmeal Cream Pie with a crème brûlée center.
What is Foodbuzz?
Foodbuzz: the first-ever community site devoted exclusively to food and dining content—an unparalleled resource for searching, surfing and sharing with fellow foodies everywhere.
Maybe you already know Ryan the Girl, of The Pink Spoon blog and Managing Editor at Foodbuzz.com? If the future of Foodbuzz is determined by the quality of the people involved, it cannot help but be a smashing success.
Before leaving AOC, I bought Suzanne Goin’s cookbook, Sunday Suppers at Lucques in which she penned, “Don’t wait til Sunday.” In addition to her fabulous recipes, she tells many charming personal stories. Her cooking style is pure and fresh and the book is an inspiration to cook local, organic, seasonal dishes using all the senses.
A heartfelt thank you to the folks at Foodbuzz for hosting this event and especially for fostering a unique camaraderie among strangers with a like passion for all things food related.