Monday, February 26, 2007
Every restaurant whether large or small is reliant upon team effort, every so often the team just clicks and when it does food that is fantastic will be produced. Last time I introduced you to Alan Smith my sous chef, this time round I'd like to introduce you to Greg Skolimowski, a young graduate of the Stafford Culinary Arts School. His desire is to run his own kitchen someday and that he will for his drive to learn is very high. I may be a little tough on him but he is learning fast and enjoys knowing that his food (a reflection of himself) is being received well and enjoyed. I share with you some of Greg's winter recipes to warm you up, enjoy.
Braised Ox-tail in Port and red wine with potato puree, baby carrots and turnips
-Ox-tails - Port - Red Wine - Beef Stock - Yukon Gold potatoes - Shallots - Baby Carrots - Baby white turnips - garlic Cloves
- Salt - Pepper - Olive Oil (EVO)
Cut ox-tails @ the knuckles for even portions. Sear both ends of the meat so that it is golden brown before braising.
Cook beef stock, red wine and port together and reduce by 1/3 so that the flavours of the liquids fortify and blend together.
Place the ox tails in a deep hotel pan with at least ½ inch room in between each piece. Cover with all the braising liquid, shallots and garlic and place into an oven @ 325F.
Braise the tails for at least 1+1/2 hours then check for tenderness. Continue cooking till fork tender.
Once cooked, remove from oven and let them cool. Remove all the tails and put them into a separate hotel pan and take all the liquid used for braising and reduce by ½ into a demi glaze.
Vegetables: The baby vegetables can either be cooked with the braise (but only put into the braise after an hour and a half) or sautéed to order, sliced on a mandoline.
Pomegranate-cured Duck breast and duck crisps with celeriac puree and beef carpaccio with balsamic glaze
- Pomegranate juice - Duck breasts - Beef tenderloin tips - Chives
- balsamic vinegar - celery root - grenadine - Dijon - salt
-Szechwan pepper - chili powder - paprika - rosemary - thyme
2 cups pomegranate juice
½ cup grenadine
3 tbsp sea salt
2 tbsp Szechwan peppercorns (toasted + crushed)
2 tbsp anise seeds (toasted + crushed)
2 tbsp coriander seeds (toasted + crushed)
½ cup Sherry wine
Combine all ingredients and cook for a few minutes till all aromas are noticeable. Set aside to cool.
Trim duck breasts of skin and fat. Save the skin for duck crisps.
Cut skin into 1 inch pieces and set them to dry in the over @ 325F until it looks like cooked bacon.
Combine cool curing liquid with trimmed duck breasts in a bag that can be sealed water-tight.
Place the sealed bags of duck and cure into a pot of simmering water and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove them after 5 minutes tops and let them cool before placing into the fridge. They will be purple by the next day.
Set duck breasts to rest for at least 12 hours. Can keep for 1 week.
Reduce balsamic vinegar and make glaze out of it.
Crust beef tenderloin tips in an even mixture of the spices and sear in frying pan on high heat till golden brown on outside. Coat cooked tenderloin in Dijon mustard and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Put them in the freezer to harden for slicing.
peel and boil the celery root until fork tender. Remove from heat and mash it through a strainer or tammy until it is smooth. Add butter and season. Reserve until needed.
remove duck breasts from bag and grill them gently for 2 minutes a side. They are already cooked, just need to be warmed up and marked.
Slice carpaccio very thinly and drizzle balsamic glaze on plate to garnish it.
Heat up the celery root puree in frying pan with a touch of cream. Should be a little looser then mashed potatoes.
Scallop Ceviche with citrus dressed frisee salad and arugala
- Scallops - Lemons - Chinese 5 spice - Soy sauce (naturally brewed)
- Tarragon - Basil - Frisee lettuce - limes
- Grapefruit - coarse sea salt - radishes - pure olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tbsp Lime juice
2 tbsp soy sauce
¼ cup tarragon (whole)
¼ cup grapefruit juice
1 tbsp Chinese 5 spice
1 lb scallops (sliced in ½)
Combine and mix all ingredients but the scallops. Add the scallops when everything is thoroughly mixed. Let it sit at least 12 hours for acid to cook scallops.
Slaw Salad with herbs and Mango dressing
- cilantro - watercress - basil - chives - celery root - carrots
- Cucumber - radish - daikon radish - mango pulp - red onions
- tarragon - lemons
2 cups rice wine vinegar
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black peppercorns
½ tsp fennel seeds
2 bay leaves
Sprig of thyme
- Julienne red onion, carrots, daikon radish, celery root. They are to be pickled separately to preserve the colours and not to blend together. Make 1 day in advance
- julienne cucumber, radish and basil the day of for freshness.
Combine mango pulp, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper and canola oil in food processor to make quick vinaigrette.
Toss all julienned vegetables along with herbs except for chives together in mango dressing. Go light on the dressing so it wont mask the other flavours.
Place them in the middle of the plate and garnish with chives and drizzle the mango dressing on top and around the salad.
1. Cracked Chocolate Earth with Whipped Cream (Flourless Chocolate Cake)
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 stick unsalted butter
9 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1 cup heavy cream, cold
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan.
Put the chocolate and butter into the top of a double boiler (or in a heatproof bowl) and heat over (but not touching) about 1 inch of simmering water until melted. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a mixing bowl until light yellow in color. Whisk a little of the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper the eggs - this will keep the eggs from scrambling from the heat of the chocolate; then whisk in the rest of the chocolate mixture.
Beat the egg whites in a mixing bowl until stiff peaks form and fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour into the prepared pan (spray the bottom with nonstick spray) and bake until the cake is set, the top starts to crack, and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, then unmold.
While the cake is cooking, make the whipped cream. Whip the cream until it becomes light and fluffy. Dust the cake with confectioners' sugar.
Serve at room temperature with the whipped cream.