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Archive for the ‘Complete Dishes’ Category

I have this dream. Of creating a dish that is jet black but tastes amazing. Squid ink could do that trick, but that is cheating. The idea is really a jet black sauce to go with already jet black squid ink pasta. I have been playing around a little with the idea, seeing what sort of ingredients could get me a black sauce. I first make flour out of black rice and black quinoa but that didn’t get me the color I wanted. I am thinking that black beans or black olives could do that trick in the future. But as for now I made an attempt with raisins and unsweetened chocolate, turned out brown not black but I did get a chocolate bunny.

I had never made a savory chocolate dish before. But I have had mole and did hear about a recipe for rabbit in a savory chocolate sauce. Rather than look up a recipe I just tried to figure it out on my own.

I first browned the rabbit in butter with onions, figuring the butter would work better than any other fat with chocolate. Then I added some water, cloves, the chocolate, and raisins along with salt and black pepper. On first taste I got worried. Not at all what I was expecting. Tasted like bitter chocolate and onions. It needed something else. So flip flopping between sweet and savory I added honey, tomato paste, chili powder, and dried ancho chilies until it tasted right.

It actually tasted pretty good. Some bites were more bitter than others but some had a really good, hard to describe flavor that went well with the lean rabbit meat. At the end I did puree some of the left over sauce to blend in the raisins, adding sweetness, and it actually tasted a lot better.

It looked like shit on the plate, literally, not the most appetizing effect but that is kind of the point. Rabbit and chocolate doesn’t sound very appetizing either.

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It was my day off so that meant it was my turn to cook dinner. Now I was not just going to make something plain and simple. This was my one opportunity each week to try and make something wild and different, while at the same time attempting to satisfy everyone in the house, which is never an easy task.

So I found myself wandering through Fairway Market trying to come up with something. Earlier in the day my sister had said she wanted some sort of seafood. So through a series of text I learned that scallops and clams would make everyone happy. Now what else to make?

I had bought black rice while at Eataly and had wanted to try it. I assumed it would not be much different than regular white rice, possibly a little more fibrous, like brown rice. Also I have been in love with shiitake mushrooms for months now so figured I would make a faux risotto with the rice and shiitakes.

I needed a green though. I’m tired for steamed or sauteed veggies though. Something I do love, but never have at home, is Asian cabbages. So I bought some small bok choy to make a raw salad with. I tossed it with some julienne kohlrabi, oranges, and a mirin and sesame vinaigrette. I found it delicious, no one else did.

Everyone did like the scallops and clams, which I cooked with lemongrass, ginger, and scallions. But the rice, was not a hit. I thought it had a lot of flavor, and though the texture was fibrous I didn’t find it over powering. The color was a shot though. It was dark red and turned the shiitakes dark red as well, making them impossible to find. My mom said it should have been mixed in with other rice. I totally disagreed because by doing so you ruin the texture that the rice has. Alone you get something new, something different, rice unlike rice. My argument was why does rice have to be the way we have always known it? Why can’t it be entirely different, in color, flavor, and texture?

So though everyone else hated my dinner, retiring to cereal after a few bites, I thought it was a success because I loved it, pushed the comfort zone in my house, and tried out a new ingredient.

Next I want to try and make my own rice noodles with the rice and turn the rice into flour and bread something with it.

 

 

 

 

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Since I have been working in the afternoons nearly everyday of the week so far this summer the only time I have to cook for myself has been breakfast. Usually I am not a huge fan of breakfast. At school it was either cereal or an omelette of what ever I had in the fridge. But lately I have been on a egg kick and been trying different combos of bread, egg, and whatever I have in the fridge. This morning I hit a winner though with an open faced sandwich.

The sorrel in my garden was looking good this morning so I used that as a starting point. I also had some garlic scapes. But now what to turn that into. Looking around the kitchen I noticed a loaf of Portuguese bread my mom had bought on the counter and looking into the fridge for something to give it flavor I found ‘nduja and fresh ricotta.

So I mixed the ‘nduja, garlic scapes, and ricotta together and heated it up. Then I sauteed mushrooms before frying the eggs. I layer the sorrel, mushrooms, eggs, then ricotta mixture on top of the bread. It was fucking awesome.

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I stopped by my friend’s garden the other day to see what was ready to pick, and look for some weeds that I could eat. While there I snagged some garlic scapes, wild mustard, and lambsquarters (real ones this time after I discovered I was eating some other plant and not lambsquarters. Woops!).

At home I planted some of the mustard in my garden. I have dreams of creating my own vegetable from it. A lot of vegetables were breed from wild mustard so figure if I start soon enough maybe in a few years I could have something. The rest I brought inside and cooked.

I wilted the mustard leaves and lambsquarters but my oil was too hot and I ended up frying them a bit. They didn’t have mush flavor though. Also they disappeared into nothing once wilted. I slow cooked the eggs with some garlic scapes. Altogether it was alright, nothing exceptional.

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Every fresh water angler has caught them. Most likely more of them than any other fish. Whether you call them sunnys or bluegills they have robbed more bait than the Hamburgeler. But I recently found out these little spiny pests taste pretty good. So screw trying to go for the big guys when these guys are more fun to catch anyway.

So I headed off to the Mianus this morning, early, to head out to the spot far up stream where I had caught many sunnys in the past. On the first cast they were hitting the bait. But my hook was a bit to large so it took a few more tries before I hooked one. For a little fish a fun fight. Way more exciting than the small walleye I was also catching.

After snagging three okay sized ones, the little fish would be a bitch to clean I knew, I decided to head back but before I did I would try another spot up river a little to try and catch something larger. After a few casts and no hits I saw something jump from the water. A few casts over its way still yielded nothing. So I had my last worm on the hook and decided to give it one more cast before heading home and what do you know, a hit, and something big. It was a trout! Most had been fished out of the river by now but this one was far enough up no one had fished it yet. After a short fight I got him within feet of the bank, but had no where to put him. I was standing at the bottom of a steep drop off and was barely keeping my own balance. But he made the decision for me and a foot from the shore jumped hook. A beautiful rainbow trout lost back to the river.

Once home after spending what seemed like forever scaling, cleaning, and filleting the small fish I cooked them in butter and olive oil and also wilted some lambsquarters then put it all on whole wheat bread with mayo for a sandwich. The fish were really good, a clean tasting white fish, and the lambsquarter added just enough flavor to not overpower the fish. Didn’t take a picture because it didn’t look like much, just a flat sandwich.

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My mom was at the store the other day and bought carrots and made sure to buy ones with the tops still on, knowing I would want them, which I did. Carrot greens are not for everyone. They are a bitter green. But if worked with properly can be quite nice. This time around I had the idea of using them in a pesto. So first I blanched them to take away some of the bitterness. But all alone they still would have been too much. Out in the garden I had some sorrel so I put that in as well. But I needed a nut. All I could find was some pecans which surprisingly worked awesome. The pesto was really good, I was surprised. Might even do it again it worked out so well. To go with it I just had a pork chop with some thyme on it.

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I came home from work the other day late and my only food option was left overs. So I headed to Whole Foods to see what I could get and come up with dinner for myself. The only thing that really stuck out was kohlrabi, which is the goofiest looking vegetable if you have never seen one.

No idea what to do with it I consulted some books and the internet and figured I would blanch it then try grilling it. I also had the last of my king oyster mushrooms and whole wheat pasta from Eataly so I figured I would put them all together into a dish. I pealed, sliced, and blanched them then placed the on the grill. Just cooked the mushrooms in butter then tossed in the pasta and the julienned kohlrabi. The kohlrabi doesn’t have much flavor. Taste like a mix of potato and celery. Over all the dish was okay, nothing mind blowing besides the mushrooms which are fabulous.

Gotta find something else to do with the kohlrabi. Plus it came with the leaves so got those to play with too.

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