Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pork Belly- The Finale

So here is the finished dishWhat I did was dehydrate potato slices, grind them up into a chunky powder, and bread the pork belly chunks. Then I fried the chunks in duck fat until they were a little past golden brown. Also on the plate I have pickled mustard seeds, compressed apples & pears, butternut squash puree (under the pork belly), butternut squash confit, port wine balsamic soaked cherries, port wine balsamic reduction, bacon, & fried sage. All the flavors came together very nice. There was a good sweet and sour balance that held up real nice with the fatty pork belly. The bacon pieces added little blasts of salt as did the butternut squash puree. The pickled mustard seeds added a little pop of flavor and texture. I think it was a success.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pork Belly-The Transformation

Here is the pork belly pieces out of the brine, ready for the confit treatment

Nothing says love like a big glob of duck fat. I was going to use pork fat, but we don't have big buckets of D'Artagnan pork fat at work. Duck fat will have to do.

In with the pork I have shallots, thyme, & butternut squash. I'm not sure if the squash is going to hold up or turn to mush. I'll keep an eye on the texture and if I see it breaking down, I'll pull them out of the fat. If they do hold up, I'm going to use them in the final dish as a crispy on the outside/ mushy on the inside element. How I achieve that is yet to be determined. Any thoughts? I'm open to suggestions?

(update) Here are a couple items that I am going to use in the finished dish:
Pickled mustard seed
Compressed apples & pears
A sauce made with dried cherries or cranberries
Confit butternut squash
I'll keep you posted.

Homebrew Pumpkin Ale Part 2

After a week in the fermenter and 2 more in the secondary fermenter, the pumpkin ale is bottled and getting delicious. See you in a few more weeks...

read more: 

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pork Belly-The Beginning

Here I have the beginnings of what I hope to be the Best Pork Belly Ever! It is enjoying itself in a lovely bath of green tea, apple cider, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, green curry paste, cinnamon, salt & pepper.
The brine is very tasty with a bit of heat from the green curry paste.

Not sure where I'm going with this, but I'll keep you posted. I'm either going to make some bacon on the smoker or braise it some cider or something. I'm still in deep thought.
I'll let you know.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Meat Pile!

Here we have 9 Beef tenderloins prepped for sous vide cooking tomorrow night. If I were you, I would try to get a last minute invite to the Van Beisen Bat Mitzvah. Mozel Tov!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Breakfast Sandwich

A simple open faced breakfast sandwich.

2 poached eggs served on grilled italian bread with pesto spread, topped with crispy sauteed prosciutto and shaved parmesan cheese.

Homebrew Russian Imperial Stout - Part 1

Homebrew Russian Imperial Stout

The Goal.  I used Old Rasputin as my model for this brew,  a russian imperial stout with strong dark chocolate and dark roasted coffee flavors, a hoppy bite and a formidable ABV.  If your into chocolate covered espresso beans, your going to love the finish on this beer.

Armed with the valuable advice of the beer geeks at Stomp Them Grapes, I put together a recipe that included 9 lbs of liquid malt extract, 2 full steeping bags of grain and 4.5oz of cluster and challenger hops.

Things are looking and smelling pretty damn good.  Its closer to something I'd put in a coffee mug rather than a beer mug. 

Aerated, pitched and bubbling away in the fermentor.  I'm expecting this beer to finish in about a month and continue to improve through the winter.

Stay tuned for Homebrew Russian Imperial Stout - Part 2

Sunday, October 12, 2008

2008 GABF &

The Great American Beer Festival has come and gone once again.  If anyone, or everyone out in Jersey is feeling more than a bit jealous, the GWBF is coming up in NYC.

This year an astounding 46,000 people attended the festival to taste 2,052 different beers from 432 breweries.  Yes, this is the largest beer festival in the country

It was a great surprise to find Sam Calagione personally manning the tasting line at the Dogfish Head table.  He brought World Wide Stout, Midas Touch, Palo Santo Marron, Red & White, and Theobroma....

So, while stories of corporate greed and limited accountability dominate headlines, the founder & president of one of the most successful craft breweries in the country is on the front line, splashed in beer and still hustling to serve a ravenous mix of beer geeks, casual drinkers, drunken frat guys and industry competitors.  I mean he literally stands behind his product.  Its a symbol of the passion that makes the craft beer industry in America so much fun and why local breweries and brewpubs deserve our support.  I hightailed it immediately to the Budweiser American Ale table but, as I suspected, Cindy "Ms Bud" McCain wasn't working the tap...

As cool as it was to see Sam Calagione, it was even better to see Randall.   All the 60 Minute IPA's were sent into a smaller version of this Dogfish Head invention, through a chamber packed with fresh whole leaf hops and into your tasting glass, providing the latest possible hop addition short of chewing on a bud.  The hop aroma and flavor was powerful but I'm still looking forward to trying it someday with a 90 or 120 minute.