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Food Nyah Nyah

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Happy Sunday! [Apr. 16th, 2006|10:56 am]
Food Nyah Nyah

[Current Location |Arcata]
[mood |chipperchipper]
[music |Yo Yo Ma - Obrigado Brasil]

Culinarily I've been exposed to a lot of really neat experiences lately what with my new job up here in Humboldt (Restaurant 301 at the Carter House), our terrific Saturday dinners at our house and the willingness of my friends to explore (except for the meat :) ). I'd like to share briefly with you all an experience I had recently.

Last week we were visited up here by our dear friends Josef and Harli. On a Friday night I was working prep and noticed that we only had six reservations. So I decided that I would see if my friends wanted to go into my restaurant to experience the ambiance and get some apps and desserts. I made a quick reservation and asked the host to let our new chef know that I was coming in so that they could prepare. He didn't and consequently we only received one middle course on the spur of the moment, but it was still tasty.

After dressing up (quite a shock to my roomies who always see me in checks and whites) we headed over to Eureka and found parking. We took a quick walk by my restaurant's garden so I could show them where I pick out fresh bitter greens, herbs and other culinary tools to use daily. Then back by the harbor and onto the restaurant where we were greeted very warmly and shown promptly to our table. We were one of the first tables seated that evening, but the pace eventually picked up and the restaurant was packed by the time we left. What originally was to be a quick stop off for some apps and dessert turned into an almost two-hour meal...

We were given the wine list (a 90+ page book!) and the menus and left for a few minutes. I felt a bit out of place being on the other side of the dining room's double swinging doors from where I had cooked all morning. I think josef and harli were also very impressed by the posh-ness of it all as well. I dissuaded my companions from ordering any of the soups (which are good) or salads because they just don't have enough zing for our experience. The server Samuel was telling us which wines would go best with the apps we selected and I thought he was trying hard to sell up, but a few minutes later he arrived with three glasses sent out by out sommelier and GM to compliment our evening. We received a Napa sparkler, a Northern CA rose and a French wine similar to a sauternes (made from semillion and sauvignon blanc). Our apps would come out in two courses as there is only so much room at the table and there was a clearly stylistic division between them. For starters we had the bone marrow, the foie gras and the raw kumomoto oysters.

The bone marrow arrived with three short pieces of bone, glistening with fat propped up on each other at an angle. In the crux of this marrow sculpture was a small parsley salad with maytag blue cheese, lemon juice and olive oil. leaned on the salad were pieces of lightly oiled, S&P grilled bread. The rose paired beautifully with the marrow, cutting the fat with it's light sweetness and complementing the blue cheese and affectionately named "super parsley."

Out raw oysters came out on a bed of rock salt with a ramekin of mango mingnonette (brunoised mangoes, minced shallots and champagne vinegar, which I had made that morning). The effervescence of the sparkler went well with the oysters complimenting the fresh briny taste of the local north HUmboldt bay oysters.

Our foie dish is beautiful and delicious (which is to be expected, c'mon it's foie gras), but a little on the small side so ordering it was questioned, but with the 50% off we got it was only 6 bucks :). The piece of foie gras was seasoned and seared and set atop toasted brioche points and quince paste triangles. The plate was artfully decorated with a swoosh of continually smaller drops of reduced balsamic vinegar. Sauternes and foie gras are a classic pairing to which this similar wine lived up to fully. The sweetness of the wine was matched perfectly in contrast with the rich saltiness of the foie gras and it's fat. The residual sugar also complimented the sweetness of the quince paste and deeply syrupy balsamic.

Thomas our sommelier came over and asked if we had any questions about the wine list to which I responded with the couple pages I was considering. I was actually thinking of a viogner or an off-dry riesling, both abotu 45 bucks. He pointed out a "super small release" pinot blanc which was recently aqcuired for the wine list. It was a Lazy Creek Vineyards Anderson Valley Pinot Blanc 2004. The bottle is individually numbered (#176) and the residual sugar was listed on the back as 0.4. This off dry wine had just enough sweetness, but arrived too late for out first apps and would serve us well through our next and desserts. After Thomas left joe turned to me and asked "Was any of that in English? I understood the words, I could find definitions of them, but I couldn't understand what you were talking about."

Our next course was the rabbit which we pound flat, stuff with a prune mousse, roll up and wrap in caul fat. the thing is sauteed at pickup and sliced. This was served over a bean ragout with thick sliced of rabbit and pistacio sausage. The earthiness and gaminess of the rabbit offset in contrast the light sweetness of the wine. After this course we were sent out our middle course which was grilled asparagus with an herbed cream sauce and saba. There was a tower of zuchinni in the middle of the plate with moist grilled chicken on top.

Score three for the things joe and harli have now eaten list :)

Next for dessert we ordered two courses (three desserts and a cheese plate). Our first dessert was brioche ravioli stuffed with minted chocolates. Deep fried and tossed in sugar they sit in a warm brandy cream sauce and mint syrup topped with chocolate shavings. Our next dessert was a chocolate dome. There is a circular chocolate cake base topped with a dome of orange-chocolate mousse and covered with a shiny, hard ganache shell. This is plated with a dulce de leche sauce and a lavender creme anglaise and a chocolate tuile sticking out of the side of the dome. Our last dessert was the special dessert offering of the evening. It was a similar construction to the chocolate dome, but there was a vanilla cake base, a lemo0n raspberry mousse center and a white chocolate ganache covering. It was served with a lemon creme anglaise, raspberry sauce and fresh raspberries.

Our cheese plate arrived with apple slices, flatbread and three cheeses. Im not sure what the earhty, stinky ones were (although they were clearly favored by the table), but the room temp triangles of midnight moon (a goat's milk cheese made byt he local Cypress Grove cheese company) were positively delightful.

While finishing our wine Samuel came up to us and mentioned that it was currently Y2K and we couldn't pay. He assured me that they would catch up with me later, we said our cheerful and wine-tipped goodbye's and left without being presented a check.

Joe said as we got to the car, "I can't believe we left without paying."

Near the end of my shift the next day I was determined to settle my debt and Thomas had one of the servers get me a check. Our food was 50% off. The 50$ bottle of wine turned into an 18$ wholesale cost (I'm assuming), the three glasses of wine were free and the middle course was compliments of the chef. Grand total, just a hair over sixty dollars. I was expecting over 120$ before tip and left our server a very nice gift.

In total it was an amazing experience. I love the treatment you receive at four star restaurants and this was no different. I'm glad that I was able to share this experience with my dear friends.

More to come later on my culinary adventures as soon as I get some free time. We're rolling out our spring menu on Tuesday and it's a one-day switch. Gonna be fun :)
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Lunch tomorrow [Aug. 17th, 2005|02:01 pm]
Food Nyah Nyah

Tomorrow Im eating lunch at Saint Andrew's Cafe here on campus as part of my wines class and then I will have to write a paper about it. Well here's the menu Im eating from tomorrow in case youre interested. It should be good so NYAH NYAH!

Toast: Brut, Glenora, Finger Lakes, NY non-vintage

Gazpacho with crabmeat
-Moscofilero, Boutari, Mantinia, Greece 2004
-Rosado, "Faustino V," Faustino-Martinez, Rioja, Spain 2003

Grilled Pork Loin, summer bean medley, demi-glace and cous cous
-Rully, premier cru, Leflaive, Cote Chalonnaise, Burgundy, France 2002
-Grenache, "Clos de Gilroy," Bonny Doon, CA 2002

Fresh Berries, Dark chocolate and vanilla gelato
-Reisling kabinett, Erdener-Treppehen, Dr. Loosen, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany 2003
-Brachetto D'Acqui, "Rosa Regale," Banfi, Peidmont, Italy 2003

Rolls and Butter
Coffee and Tea
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Nyah Nyah? [May. 20th, 2005|08:27 am]
Food Nyah Nyah

[mood |upbeat]
[music |Thievery Corporation - DJ Kicks]

Hey everybody, Im doing a menu development class now (well it's almost over) but I'm coming up with a whole restaurant concept including menus, staffing, labor and costing out recipes. Ive gotten some decent reviews of my menu from my professor, but I'd like to throw it up here and see what you all think about it. There are just one or two hyphen/spelling errors, but Ive got to get ready for class so please comment and let me know what you think. Or if you have issues with it, Im very open to suggestions. The restaurant is called Antipodes based off Aldous Huxeley's heaven and hell theme. This is the "darker" side of the menu. Oh yeah, it's basically a spicy Asian/Creole themed menu. Please feel free to look it over and use any ideas for personal use, but Id like to run with this one someday so please no jacking large portions of the menu :)



Warm chili-crusted goat cheese salad
Mizuna, mibuna, grilled spring garlic
Honey-soy-sesame dressing

Louisiana sunburst salad
Cinnamon-Tabasco vinaigrette and port-soaked cranberries

Spicy beef satay
Chili oil and peanut sauce

Green curry fried rice
Fried rice with grilled shrimp

Seared ahi tuna
Yuzu balsamic marinade, scallion salad

Humboldt sushi roll
Smoked salmon, cream cheese, pineapple with smoked paprika
Wasabi-soy tartar sauce

Spicy chickpea crostini
Creole bruschetta and aged jack cheese

Fried green tomatoes
Shrimp remoulade

Spicy smoked cheddar cheese soup
Parmesan scone biscuit

Thai shrimp bisque
Chili oil garnish

Aged/smoked sausage and cheese selection



Jerk snapper and spicy mango salsa
Lightly chilied, grilled mango slices

Cajun shrimp sampler
Southern rice pilaf and dipping sauces

Sweet chili garlic shrimp
Stir-fried peppers, onion, ginger and pineapple

Tea-smoked duck breast
Sesame slaw and chai-black currant reduction

Tandoori-spiced duck breast
Moo shu pancakes and grilled scallions

Hoisin-glazed pork tenderloin
Spicy hoisin sesame sauce and Creole pommes frites

Thai-marinated skirt steak
Thai bird chili-basil oil and grilled scallion-coconut mashed potatoes

Braised short ribs
Braised in sweet rice wine with jujube, daikon and carrots

Crawfish-stuffed filet mignon
Crawfish sauce bordelaise

Southern pulled pork sandwich
Smoked pork with imported provolone cheese and smoked paprika aÏoli
foccacia, with hush puppies and Creole seasoned gaufrette potatoes

Vegetarian jambalaya
Soy andouille sausage

Kung pao tofu
Fried tofu peanuts and dried chilies



Ancho-encrusted warm chocolate soufflé cake
Orange rum and vanilla sauce

Jalapeño mandarin sorbet
Almond sour cream pound cake and vanilla-mandarin sauce

Carolina gold rice pudding
Tropical fruit sauce

Bananas Foster bread pudding
Custard sauce and banana rum sauce

Sweet potato cheesecake
Gingersnap-pecan crust and praline sauce

Peanut butter pie
Topped with caramel and chocolate sauce

Chilled lychee “soup”
Lychee fruit and lychee sorbet

Ginger sorbet
Wasabi-candied ginger

Bananas with cinnamon-coconut cream sauce and star fruit

Coconut custard and sticky rice

That's it, and it will be based in an affluent part of town/country so that's why the prices are near where they are.
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Tuna Salad Poll [Mar. 15th, 2005|12:40 am]
Food Nyah Nyah

[mood |curiouscurious]

Pickles: Dill or sweet?

Dressing: Mayo or Miracle Whip?

Mustard: Yes or No?

Please send your friends too-I'd like a decent amount of responses.
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Thin people [Dec. 3rd, 2004|01:30 pm]
Food Nyah Nyah

[mood |amusedamused]

I was telling my bf that thin people can eat the same breakfast or lunch everyday without care-hence be able to be skinny. He said that sounded boring and lifeless and that he needed variety. He intoned: "Thin people have thin minds."
I love my boyfriend.
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Ohio: Grand Finale [Oct. 8th, 2004|05:53 pm]
Food Nyah Nyah

This place was recommended to us by the plant manager in Lockland, Ohio, and he wound up joining us for dinner tonight. They specialize in crepes and VERY massive desserts. The fare was thus:

King Crab Wontons

Bleu BLT Wedge (Lettuce wedge with bacon, homemade bleu cheese, and tomato)
Ginger Chicken (Chicken Breast with a soy, ginger and walnut glaze)
Mushroom & Cheese Crepe

Crepes Suzette with an orange & walnut sauce

Nyah nyah! ;-)
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What do you get when you put 10 cooks in one room? [Oct. 2nd, 2004|01:09 pm]
Food Nyah Nyah

What is it? really, I don't know the punchline.

Seriously tho I went to long island last weekend with a bunch of my group members. We had 9 cooks and a baker. I still ended up making the desert. For dinner we had a tenderloin with the most godawful marinade ever (frank's red hot, soy sauce, and worcestershire). It took the rest of us cooks quite some time to brainstorm the best way to get rid of the flavor that this kid put into it. We roasted that and made a mushroom/wine reduction sauce to go with it. My friend Will made some asparagus blanched in water from his bay, then marinated them in some sort of balsamic sauce and wrapped them with fresh mozzarella and proscuitto. We had garlic rosemary mashed potatoes and a salad of baby greens with a walnut fig vinaigrette. My colombian friend made a ceviche of fresh bay scallops fresh off the boat.

I made the desert which consisted of marinated two flats of strawberries (cut in half) in balsamic vinegar and sugar. Then I grilled the strawberries. I bought some homemade ice cream from a place down the street, let it thaw a bit and then mixed in the strawberries. I put it back into the freezer to harden again. Then I reduced the balsamic marinade and the strawberry juices to a thick syrup, drizzled that over the ice cream, topped it with a fresh mint leaf from the garden and lit the dish on fire with a splash of 151.

We made it and damn was it good.

The civillians in attendance were impressed. (consisting of will's parents and a few friends.)
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(no subject) [Sep. 27th, 2004|11:44 pm]
Food Nyah Nyah

The crab in Maryland is good this time of year. ;-)
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Mayo? [Sep. 14th, 2004|08:35 pm]
Food Nyah Nyah

[mood |MAYO!!!]
[music |The MAYO song.]

Hey guys. I thought I'd post a quick mayonnaise recipe in case some of you want to put some on a fresh sandwich, or in case you may want to lightly coat a piece of fish before grilling :)

Mayonnaise (1 cup)
1 egg yolk
1/4 oz wine vinegar (white wine vinegar)
1 tsp dry mustard
1 cup veg oil (veg, canola, or even olive)
1/2 ea lemon, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
worcestershire to taste
tabasco to taste
(I like to put a small pinch of cayenne in too)
combine egg yolk, (maybe a T of water), vinegar and mustard in a bowl.
Whisk until mixture is slightly foamy.
Gradually add the oil in a thin stream, constantly beating with a whisk
until the oil is incorporated and the mayonnaise is thick.
Adjust with salt, pepper, lemon juice (worcestershire, tabasco and cayenne) to taste.
Refrigerate immediately.
*Dont keep fresh mayo around because of the danger of using fresh egg yolks.*
*Use pasteurized egg yolks if you intend on keeping it*
Hint: Once you get the emulsion going and the mayonnaise is thick adjust seasoning while tasting until you find the flavor that works for you. People like different mayonnaise flavors.
If you want hints, tricks, tips or the science of emulsions just ask.
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(no subject) [Aug. 6th, 2004|02:21 pm]
Food Nyah Nyah

[mood |exhaustedexhausted]
[music |MC Frontalot - Nerdcore Hip Hop (YOS remix)]

Today, yes this very day I cooked something :)

So anyway We made sauteed wall eye, a variation on trout al almondine. We heated some clarified butter up until we got a nice shimmer and then cooked em golden brown on both sides and threw them in the oven on a rack to finish and keep warm mostly. Then we made the "sauce" by adding whole butter to the pan and then browning some sliced almonds in it. Made a dish of sauteed patty pan squash with some shallots and garlic and a bit of chicken stock to steam em all and prevent the shallots and garlic from burning, then added halved grape tomatoes. Also we had tourneed (little 7-sided footbal shaped) potatoes that were simmered and then tossed in whole butter and parsley. And some steamed broccolini which we tossed in butter and some S&WP.

Well anyway, back to the reason for the post. Someone came by who had eaten lunch in my kitchen and unsolicited told the chef that the fish today was the best he had ever had at the CIA. Im pretty stoked, plus we had our mise en place done by 9am and were just sitting aroudn waiting to start service until 11:10.
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