Yoooo Mexicoooo

It was a solitary beginning to the evening in the lodges, which gave me time to talk with the food before cooking. After our conversation, the cooking just happend. A trip to the market yielded ideas of cooking Anglo-Latin food. The states represented at the meal were Louisiana, Georgia, New Mexico, Massachussetts, New York, Colorado, and Texas; and the visiting country of Mexico was ever present. The menu was a simple hearty one:

Sunshine Enchiladas

Passionate Pinto Beans

Gringo Red Rice

Chips & Salsa

There was more to the post, but it went away with the internet connection.
Good Food, Good People

Kajun Korean, maybe?

Kajun Korean is an interesting match of cuisines, not only do they both start with the same letter, but they also like a little bit of heat in their food. The key variables to this meal where once again a trip to Adam's Market, good tunes, good people and good times. The states represented at this meal were Louisiana and Arkansas.
Walking through the market, the gravitational pull of the pork product became too much and we perused the offerings. Smoked hocks and necks, raw pig's feet, and a slab of pork belly made it into the basket. Accompanying the pork in the basket were some Korean Ramen noodles, shitakes, romaine lettuce, green onions, and fennel. The basket was full, the tab paid and now onto making memories.
Raw pig's feet were cheap and added an amazing viscosity to the resulting stock. It is important to first blanch the raw feet, to remove any impurities. The blanched raw feet were met in the pot with the smoked products, some caramelized fennel, onion, and garlic. The belly was cured for 16 hours with ginger, tea, lemon, red pepper, salt, and sugar. The stock is done and the belly is cured, now what?
Ensuring a good sear on the belly was important, so it was wiped clean of moisture and added to a smoking hot pan with no oil. The fat caramelized into a porkarific scent, just waiting to be braised. After searing both sides, I added the hock stock, fish sauce, red pepper flakes, champagne vinegar, and a touch of honey. With the belly braising, the only thing to do was wait. Then it was done, three hours later. The belly rested while the rest of the meal came together. The noodles were cooked in the braising liquid, with the addition of nori and koran chili flakes until all flavors were harmonious. Sliced shitakes and romaine made it to the bowl, then the sliced belly and some sliced green onions. It was a fulfilling cooking experience enjoyed with chopsticks and friends.

The Tale of One Saturday (Part One)

Vintage Post Four...Hyde Park, New York.

It has been a while since I have written something, but feel the need to share some great meals with, I guess, whoever chooses to read this thing. The last two Saturdays have involved the same set of variables: Adam’s Market, Ginger Lodge, Grape Juice and, above all else, good times with good people. The states and countries represented at these two gatherings where Louisiana, Georgia, New Mexico, Israel, Illinois, Indonesia, and Indiana.

Saturday One

The Hare & The Hog

The trip to the market provided a first for my culinary experience, we purchased a whole rabbit. Letting the blade of the knife glide along the bones, we were left with two front legs, two back legs and a loin with the ribs attached. From this small animal we were able to produce a variety of products: carcass and front legs were made into stock, hind quarters were braised in the stock, the innards created a nice pate, and the loin was frenched to look like a mini lamb loin. All in all, the rabbit was a fun learning experience.
Along side our friend the rabbit was a little pork to make the meal complete. Smoked pork necks and hocks were cheap and plentiful at the market, and the resulting stock was absolutely amazing. The market also provided some nice looking pork loins. The pork loins are an interesting story, in that, I learned something brand new. The pork loins where brined in a seasoned solution for two to three hours. After the brine was rinsed off, the loins were placed into a 200F oven on a rack of celery. Slowly bringing the entire protein to tempature and then searing to add caramelized goodness was an approach that reversed conventional cooking theory, and the result was phenomenal.
The dessert course came as inspiration moved to an impromptu baking expedition. Chocolate was extenuated with a hint of Vanilla that enraptured the sugar. It was the right amount of sweet to end a good meal.

Frenched Rabbit Loin
Braised Rabbit Quarters
Hock Stock and Smoking Risotto
Ghetto Sous Vide Pork Loin
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tale to be continued…………..