This is a salad I made last night. I wanted to show you how flavor is about layers and contrast. You need the flavors to clash a little. You have to be a little irrational and creative as you do your jazz cooking fusion and deconstruction.
- THE BED: finely chopped romaine lettuce with slivered carrots, drizzled with Newman’s creamy Caesar dressing (I am picky with my Caesar dressing).
- THE STEAK: I scrambled some ham with some eggs.
- THE COUP DE GRAS: Onions sauteed with white wine, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.
Remember the flavors should mix in your mouth, not in the pot and
Alchemy started in the kitchen.
The dipping sauce is a great opportunity to infuse some theater into a meal and so many people miss out on it. It amazes me how with a few simple high quality ingredients you can have an excellent eating experience. I get frustrated because so few people do the dipping sauce correctly, imho.
With grand sweeping gestures, spouting Italian blessings and curses, approach the table with the balsamic and olive oil. Now chattering happily select a large flat plate. Like a Shinto priest painting a zen circle, make a circle with the olive oil in one fell swoop.
The their should be enough olive oil to make an unbroken flat surface. The olive oil will now trap the balsamic that you drizzle onto it. Now just calm the fuck down Jackson Pollock, you don’t need as much as you think. Try doing 3 drops or something and telling them about the 3 drops of Percivals blood that he saw in the snow before his enlightenment or some such mind boggling obscure sophistry. Remember that the olive oil is your palate, The beauty of the plate can also aid in the presentation. If you are among trusted friends have fewer plates so people have to share.
You can add some herbs, such as herbs de Provence, I would avoid Rosemary because it is too chewy the texture detracts, also if you are going to use black pepper it can get stuck in the throat and burn. Try African sumac, and Parisian, and remember there are flavored balsamics you might want to experiment with like fig, and there are infused olive oils such as garlic, basil, habanero, and my favorite and the one I strongly recommend everyone to use, Blood Orange….
Have fun experimenting and remember,
Alchemy started in the kitchen.
This delicious spice has a tangy almost lemony nutty flavor that makes almost any meat dish and some salads and breads more nuanced. Used mainly in Persian cuisine they sometimes have their own shaker for it. I find that it looses some of its flavor if cooked or put in soups or liquids for any period of time. Apply at the end in copious amounts and eat when fresh. It is also nice because it is a good way to add color to a dish.
Have fun with this spice and experiment with it and remember,
“Alchemy started in the kitchen.”
This dish has a story behind it. I am like Mozart in that I can compose an entire symphony of flavor in my head, this recipe came to me in a vision. People have been hounding me for it for months. On St. Patrick’s day I decided that every person that came down to the hot tub would get a dollop of chocolate raspberry pulled pork and a little bun of squaw bread.
That look on a person’s face when they are trying something that tastes so good and something they never thought existed, when epiphany flashes across their face, like I just explained some cosmic mystery, that is what I life for.
- 5 lb. of country style ribs.
- one of those rounds of mexican chocolate
- a cup or more of whiskey
- ground chipotle pepper a goodly portion
- 1 – 2 bags of raspberries depending on how seedy you want it to be
- a splash of apple cider vinegar
- chicken broth or water
- I used a mexican spice blend that had anise, cloves, bay leaves, and coriander seed, it can have ancho but you want most of the pepper flavor coming from the chipotle.
- You might need to add more sugar I suggest maple syrup or coconut nectar
- Salt is one of those things you can always add later but you can never remove once you have over salted add it towards the end, and always put a little under what you believe appropriate.
Slow cook between 7 and 12 hours. Now what I did is I put it in the freezer when it was done cooking until the fat congealed and then I picked it out. That way you have all the flavor and none of the guilt.
I served it with a soft little dark squaw bread but you can experiment with the bread. It can be paired with a red or dark wine or your choice of ale.
Heat it back up before you are ready to serve it and taste it one last time to be sure that your food art is expressing your wild impulsive exotic erotic self and multiple people are going to have wild sex because of tasting this intoxicating ambrosia.
“Alchemy started in the kitchen.”
I prefer a nice red wine, it is pretty hard to screw up a syrah or a Shiraz so they are a safe bet. What I like to do is get a mouthful of flavors and let them marry in my mouth with the wine. There is this supernova of flavor that explodes in your mouth and the combination is more than the some of its parts. In each mouthful there should be 4 distinct flavors.
and you can arrive at this combination with combinations of the following…
- Fruit, membrillo, fig, I would avoid grapes because it is redundant. Their are some suitable jams one could experiment with, and chocolate. (CHOCOLATE IS A MORAL IMPERATIVE!) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dulce_de_membrillo
- Pate de fois gras, salami, cheese, (I like goat cheese it is softer and richer)
- Bread or crackers, crunchy crackers or chewy bread add the dimension of texture to the pairing. ( I recommend melba toasts because their flavor won’t overpower the other flavors. Avoid whole wheat crackers and sweetened crackers, the bread should be relatively bland, it’s about the texture.)
- I would avoid mustards since they are vinegar heavy which has acetic acid and the flavor is associated with spoiled wine.
One of the mistakes novices makes is putting the same flavor in everything, Their should be contrast so that the chemical reaction happens in your mouth when you are eating and not in the pot when you are cooking. I have found that spicy things don’t particularly add to the experience but won’t detract from it if they don’t overpower the other flavors.
This is all you should need for a fabulous wine pairing, Bon Apetit!
I am going to tell you one of my bbq secrets. When you combine sugars, with fats and fire, it creates a carcinogen that is also addictive. I am very healthy but I am not a health nut. Their are xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens everywhere and I really don’t even trust the air anymore, But I am a foody and I am sure as fuck not going to sacrifice the flavor of my food. I would rather die. So there you go, do with that what you will.
This is not so much a recipe as it is a history lesson on food. I am going to tell you this because you won’t learn it anywhere else. It has become the norm in this country that you cannot say things that are offensive and perhaps unpleasant even if they are true.
Puttanesca has been defined as “Whore style pasta sauce” and this is actually more pleasant than the truth. Puttanesca means, stinky, fishy, sauce and it is a reference to a woman’s menses. The gravy is made either with anchovies or with Worcestershire sauce whose flavor comes from fermented anchovies. I personally believe this recipe was created when there was a lack of salt in the area. In order to add flavor to the dishes they made their own version of fish sauce that was used in China. Salt was used to control the fermentation process but it was needed to add flavor to a salt deficient diet.
Puttanesca has other pickled ingredients in it usually, capers, olives. All of which use salt in the pickling process.
Alright folks, have fun with your pasta sauce and remember…..
ALCHEMY STARTED IN THE KITCHEN