In October Drinking Horchata

Horchata

A menu consulting project had me making horchata for the first time.  While most people in the United States think of horchata as a Mexican rice-based drink, the beverage is also prevalent in Spain and across Latin America, and can be made with a variety of ingredients such as barley, sesame seeds, almonds and chufa nuts.   Read More

Brown Butter Butter

There is not a typo in the title of this post.  This is my attempt to make a spreadable brown butter.

Brown butter butter

Brown butter butter

Here’s the background info before hopping in:

Butter is made by agitating cream until its solids and liquids separate.  The solids, aka butter, consist of butterfat, milk proteins, and water.  The liquid byproduct of churning butter from cream is buttermilk, though different from the cultured buttermilk you pick up at the supermarket.  If you’ve ever ruined a nice frothy whipped cream by whipping it too much, you may have noticed small bits of fat globules forming in the bowl.  You were on your way to making butter! Read More

Cooking Eggs: A Matter of Time

Let me start by saying that I hate being wrong but I’ll admit when I am.  This time, I’m wrong.  And I’ll have to admit it to my former sous chef next time I see him.  Let me explain.

The last restaurant I worked at did Eggs Benedict with eggs that were cooked with an immersion circulator (*more details on circulators at the end of the post).  I had always been under the impression that once the egg gets to the temperature of the water, it will not cook any further, meaning a 61 Celcius egg cooked for one hour will be the same as one cooked for three hours.  Meanwhile, my sous chef would constantly push me to check the eggs to make sure they did not overcook. Read More

Velveeta-like – Homemade Liquid Gold

Cream Sauce

First, watch this video.  I’ll wait.

Done?  Great.

I love a classy Mac & Cheese.  I do mine with a Mornay sauce (a derivative of the French mother sauce, Béchamel, with Gruyère and Parmesan added) and guess what?  Its friggin’ delicious.  But sometimes I need my macaroni drowned in that orange-yellow creamy pool of cheese product that we all know and love: Velveeta.  I decided to try and make my own. Read More

Natural M.S.G. – Mushroom Salt Grounds

MSG

I start here the same way most of my conversations start, “I was listening to NPR…”

… last year and there was a story about the history of ketchup.  The one thing that stuck in my mind was that ketchup was not traditionally made of tomato.  In fact, the original ketchup was made by the Chinese and who used fermented fish.  This, I would imagine, had a taste more akin to today’s fish sauce or Worcestershire sauce.  The NPR segment made mention of mushroom ketchup, a recipe I knew I had to try it.   Read More

Burnt Garlic Oil (ma-yu)

Ma-yu - Burnt Garlic Oil

Ma-yu – Burnt Garlic Oil

I think back to the first time I had ramen.  No, I mean the first time I REALLY had ramen.  It was not out of a Styrofoam cup.  I did not make the broth from powder.  I did not rehydrate small pieces of scallion and shitake.  It was a cool fall day in New York City.  I met my coworker for lunch at Hide-Chan Ramen on 52nd and 2nd before going in to work dinner service.  He was a regular so I took his recommendation and ordered the Hakata Kuro Ramen.  To say that the meal was mind-blowing is an understatement.  The ramen was firm and springy, the broth was rich and creamy, the chashu melted in my mouth as any well braised piece of pork should.  But what really stood out was the roasted garlic oil called ma-yu that differentiated the Kuro Ramen from the rest of the ramen on the menu. Read More

Tomato Salt

Final Product

The idea for making tomato salt came as I was watching the second season of PBS’s “Mind of a Chef” in an episode where Chef April Bloomfield visited Jacobsen Salt Co. The basic premise of harvesting salt is evaporating the water from seawater, leaving behind only the salt and other minerals present.  Following the same principle, dissolving salt into tomato water and then evaporating out the water would leave behind the salt and concentrated tomato flavor. Read More