Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Paper Chef Challenge #28- The Few But Mighty Roud Up

This one was kind of difficult with the offal. Not so readily available, palatable or easy to prepare, but the few but mighty took to it with zest.

In order of entry:

From Magnus Akesson an addmitted non-lover of the offal (and I apologize, Magnus for putting you through it) from Amsterdam, made a beautiful Toasted quinoa bread with chicken paté on a fennel salad.

I just today found wild fennel growing in the alley outside my house. I just wonder how much motor oil it soaked up in growing.

Hank Shaw of www.honest-food.net and fellow Californian hunted down his offal the old fashioned way -- and you can read the whole account here. He made a dish called Mountain, Marsh & Field, with not 1, but 2 kinds of offal. Great name to match the dish.


All caps, because I don't dare re-type for fear of misspelling. An for those who can read Italian, the words actually do roll off your tongue.

Ilva, I thought it impossible to take an inviting picture of pate, but you did it. Equally impressive, she chose her seasonal ingredient from her trans-gender lemon/orange tree.

And mine, chicken gizzards, Indian Chinese Style.

I'm giving the helm for Paper Chef #29 and the 1st prize to Hank. You can't beat 2 offals, one being rabbit kidney, combined with a stunning presentation. And then there is the whole hunting it down himself thing. ...

Thanks everyone for taking part! It was great.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

gobi manchurain gizzards with cilantro lemon quinoa

By CookBad

Here is my entry for Paper Chef #28. The challenge was to make something with offal, quinoa, spring onions and whatever is in season in you area. I chose lemons, from the lemon tree in my front yard and cilantro, which I grow in a pot on my porch.

I loved this Gobi Manchurian recipe from the January 2008 issue of Saveur much I tried it with chicken gizzards instead of cauliflower and it was great. The recipe for the gobi is here and I just switched out the cauliflower for gizzards.

The quinoa was stright forward enough:
Cook quinoa in a 4- to 5-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in sieve, then set sieve over same pot with 1 inch of simmering water (water should not touch bottom of sieve). Cover quinoa with a folded kitchen towel, then cover sieve with a lid (don't worry if lid doesn't fit tightly) and steam until quinoa is tender, fluffy, and dry, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand (still covered) 5 minutes.
Mix with chopped cilantro, lemon zest and spring onions.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Broiled Eel Liver aka EVIL

oh hell no.

By now a little sick Cookbad

Please make the flavor leave my mouth. Please please. 2 diet cokes and some mouthwash and I still have a flavor reminiscent of bile in my mouth. It most likely is actually bile. Eel bile.


So, this isn't going to be the offal I use for the Paper Chef Challenge.

WTF is that white pearly sac? I'd be willing to bet a cup of demi-glace it is a bile sac.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Mango, Raspberry and Whipped Cream Profiterole with Mint

By Cookbad

I've had make your own pizza parties & decorate your own cupcakes but next time around, I'm going to do make your own profiterole aka cream puff event.

Because, really, what awesome dessert madness can't you build between two halves of choix.

Here is the line up for just the basics:
ice cream
chocolate sauce
whipped cream
various berries and diced fruit
chopped nuts
creme filling- fluffy and creamy
chocolate mouse
fruit coulis of many flavors
citrus curd
chiffonade some mint

And if you don't like the little puff, just turn in into a sunday.

I plan to build one a foot high someday.
Yeah, I know, I'm wickedly ambitious.

Here is the plain old one I made the other night:
All recipes from various sources:
Mango, Raspberry and Whipped Cream Profiterole with Mint
1 cup water
1 stick margarine or butter
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
4 eggs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat water and margarine or butter to boiling point. Add flour and stir constantly until mixture is smooth and forms a ball when tested in cold water. Remove from heat and let cool. Beat in 4 eggs, one at a time. Drop dough from teaspoon to form small eclairs onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until light brown.

Berry Coulis:
500g fresh or frozen berries, cherries, peaches or apricots
3-5 tablespoons sugar, to taste
fresh lemon juice to taste
Purée the fruit in a food processor or blender add sugar, and lemon juice. Press the fruit through a sieve, tamis or chinois and discard remaining solids.

Mango Curd:
1 or two ripe mangos, peeled, pitted, and diced. Perfect for over ripe mangos.
1/2 cup sugar
1.5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Puree first 4 ingredients in processor, scraping down sides of work bowl occasionally. Add yolks; puree 15 seconds longer. Strain through sieve set over large metal bowl, pressing on solids with back of spatula to release as much puree as possible. Discard solids in sieve.

Set metal bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water); whisk puree until thickened and thermometer registers 170°F., about 10 minutes. Remove from over water. Whisk in butter 1 piece at a time. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Chiffonade up some mint.

Combine into a pile of good.

Any leftovers are fair game for eating with a spoon in front of the fridge at 3 in the morning before anyone else can get to them.

I good shot at making a Ballotine

By Cookbad

This is the story of what happens when you read (really glance over) a technique, misplace the book you saw it in and then go ahead and make it anyway with out even consulting the internet.

A ballotine is a de-boned bird of any kind or fish that is stuffed, tied up and braised or poached.

Not quite a fail, but it could have been done with more finesse. Still a ballotine might always call for some extra grace in preparation until you become expert at doing it.

Mine came out boarder-line comical and looked like something my 5 year old would have done to her little brother if left alone with enough rope.

You can stuff a ballotine with meat or stuffing, and I went with stuffing.
Here is how it went down:

Ballotine with Fig and Pecan Stuffing
I made some stuffing by browning some mirepoix in olive oil then adding some:
Brown some more, deglaze with:
1/2 cup stock
Then I added:
1/2 baguette day old or toasted, ripped into smallish chunks
& more stock
Then I let the stuffing chill.

My sister who ran the gambit and got her chefs degree in Paris gave me a nice little tip to chill your stuffing. Adding it hot possibly allows the interior stuffing to come to just the temperature that bad bacteria love and may or may not give you some sort of food poisoning.

Next, prepare a de-boned chicken (I had my butcher de-bone it and kept the bones for stock) by pounding the breast out some and removing the wings. Salt the inside.

Cut a large piece of kitchen twine. I really shouldn't tell you how to do it as mine was so funky, but here is it. . .
Lay the kitchen twine under the bird in such a way that it runs along where the spine used to be.

Then, add 1-1.5 cups of the stuffing on top if the center of the bird and press it down evenly.
adding a few asparagus spears it the center is optional, but it tastes good and looks pretty in the end. Now, fold the bird inward as tightly and evenly as possible. Bring the kitchen twine around it, so it meets close to the bottom of the bird, twist the strings together as you would wrapping ribbon around a package, then flip the bird and proceed to wrap the twine around it 3 or four times at evenly spaced increments.

Make sure the twine is tight evenly, then tie it off and cut off any extra twine or chicken bits.

Salt the exterior.

Now braise it in a heavy bottomed pan over med high heat until the exterior is evenly browned.

Pop in the oven at 400 and cook for 45 minutes.

Remove, let it rest 15 minutes to half and hour. Slice thru the twine and slice as you would a loaf of bread. Use the pan drippings for gravy or just spoon it over the meat.

Mine came out slightly underdone just at the point where it cooked against the asparagus. This is because I put them in while still partially frozen. Not so smart. I was trying to over compensate for the fact I hadn't let my stuffing cool very much. My bad. I just pulled that piece out and served myself that section just in case.

It was good. And sloppily elegant if that makes any sense. I also liked the fact that the bones are left out and uncooked to make a proper light stock with later.

So, not so much a fail, as I think about it.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Paper Chef Challenge #28: The ingredients are. . . .


Here is it is:
The challenge is to come up with a dish and make it by April 8th from the following ingredients.

Any kind of offal (it's making a comeback!), quinoa, spring onions and something that is growing now & in season your area (meat included).

The last part is inspired by the woman behind the challenge, Lucullian delights amazing strawberry dish, which are certainly stating to pop up in some part of the world.

If you are still stuck under 3 feet of snow, then pick ingredient that you are most looking forward to having fresh in spring.

All entries must be in by midnight PST on April 8th.

Send the following to favolaus@gmail.com:
• A little picture of the dish, and what you call it.
• A link to your blog URL
• A link to the post that your dish is on
• You name
• Anything else you would like me to add

Looking forward to seeing them all!


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Getting Ready for Paper Chef Challenge #28


Be part of one of the longest running food blogging challenges -- Paper Chef #28!

It is on now:
Go here for the challenge list of ingredients. . .

I was thrilled to win last months Paper Chef hosted by Lucullian Delights with my Cilantro, Pistachio, Ancho Chile Rubbed Chicken with Stinking Rose Polenta, and as the winner, I get the honor of hosting it this month.

Owen of Tomatilla who started Paper Chef describes the challenge as:

"Food bloggers in the US and Japan and many other parts of the world will be familiar with "the Iron Chef" cooking show. Great chefs are put up against one of the iron chefs in a rather over-the-top and dramatic cooking competition to see who can make the most spectacular food from a host of regular ingredients and one special ingredient - say octopus. There is a somewhat similar TV show in Britain called "Ready, Steady, Cook!"

So, check back on Thursday April 3rd at noon EST. I'll announce the 4 ingredients -- The first 3 ingredients will be regular food stuff and the 4th will be something topical, seasonal or trendy.

Over the next 5 days submit your entry at any point. Tuesday, April 8th at noon the challenge will end and I'll do a round up a couple days after that.

Me and my co-blogger, AteThat will chose the winner, and will also be announcing a Readers Choice winner. The winner of this months challenge gets to host next months challenge.