Another variation of an Eleven Madison Park offering, one I call the “Tuna Sandwich” hors d’oeuvre. In the EMP cookbook there is an hors d’oeuvre comprised of a “tuna coin” sandwiched between two rounds of fennel. Like these galettes, it is a very striking presentation that caught my eye immediately. The EMP version has the tuna brushed with lemon oil and the fennel garnished with pollen.
My simple variation uses lightly pickled daikon rounds as the “bread” in this sandwich. The tuna is brushed with sesame oil. Each piece is garnished with cilantro, serrano, and cilantro blossoms.
I’m curious to know how stable the EMP version is. I found that a small amount of oil or mayonnaise helped the … Continue reading.
There are a few terrines and pâtés in the Eleven Madison Park cookbook that are capped with gelée. One that especially interested me is rabbit rillette topped with violet mustard gelée. I had only ever seen rillette topped with rendered lard, not a gelatin-rich liquid. Also I had only seen rillette presented in a ramekin, or perhaps shaped into quenelles, or spread on toast; I had never seen it treated more like a terrine, sliced into tidy rectangles. It’s a great example of the finesse that distinguishes these dishes from ones you would get in a bistro or brasserie. I set out to make my own version of terrine de rillette with gelée.
This is a dish of ancho-braised lamb shank with panisse, squash, yogurt, and a warm salad of tomato, charred green pepper, cilantro, and pumpkinseeds.
While the components are compatible and well-integrated, there were many disparate inspirations.
Core Elements and Inspirations
I like to have one braised item on every menu. It is an essential technique for my students to learn, it’s a good balance to the many lean pan-roasted or grilled proteins on our menu, and it helps simplify service as it can be hot-held. I decided lamb shank would be this season’s braise.
This dish featuring salmon wontons checked a lot of boxes for me. We have a salmon entrée on our menu and we accumulate a lot of trim from cleaning and portioning the fillets. I challenged myself to make a dish that could use up this trim so it doesn’t go to waste. I also wanted to make a dish that used a mousseline, partly because it’s a fantastic classic technique, but also because it is a required element in the CCC practical exam.
Most importantly I wanted to make a dish that would be an example of how to adapt a simple traditional preparation for service as a composed dish in a fine-dining setting. To give a specific example, this … Continue reading.
No matter the type of liver – pork, veal, chicken, duck – I generally use this recipe, which combines liver with equal parts pork shoulder by weight.
Because I am typically working with the giblets from only one bird, I’ve never had enough turkey liver on hand to do anything more than sauté it with onions and mushrooms and eat it on toast. This past week at work we were running a holiday menu and ended up with the giblets from several birds, so I set aside a pound of turkey livers to make a terrine.
Here’s another dish that ties together multiple ideas and techniques gleaned from the Eleven Madison Park cookbook. Actually this one is just an adaptation and simplification of an EMP dish.
The feature ingredient is scallops, and they get a treatment I haven’t seen before. U10 scallops are very briefly steamed (2 minutes at 185°F) then chilled. This slightly cooks the outermost part of the scallops while the inside remains completely raw. I’m not totally sure what the point of this is, but I think it makes the scallops easier to handle during the intricate knife-work they are about to undergo.
These par-cooked scallops are then scalped so that their tops and bottoms are perfectly flat. The trim is reserved. … Continue reading.
Buying whole hogs, the one thing I had trouble using up was the skin. Then finally someone explained chicharrónes to me.
I have always associated chicharrónes with Mexico, but apparently they are common throughout the Spanish-speaking world, and happen to be wildly popular in the Philippines. Even though it is usually a very casual snack, served at bars or sold at gas stations, making chicharrón has become an essential technique for me, even in a fine-dining restaurant. I often have pork skin on hand, and while I’ve discussed some of the ways to use it, nothing is as satisfying and delicious a transformation as chicharrón.
They are surprisingly versatile. In the photo above they act as a canapé base, topped … Continue reading.
One of the reasons I love teaching sausage-making classes is that I often learn something from the students.
There was a time when I assumed “banger” was just the British dialect word for sausage, and that it didn’t necessarily imply anything about the ingredients or technique any more than “sausage” would in North America. Turns out that is not quite true. One Scottish student of mine asked where he could procure the rusk necessary to make bangers. I had never heard of rusk. The word can refer to two different things: sliced bread that has been baked or toasted until crispy throughout (like a Melba toast), or crumbs that have been made from such a bread.
Every Saturday the owner of Sunworks Farm is at the Strathcona Market griddling his chicken sausages and doling samples to passers-by.
I’m usually wary of chicken sausages. They’re often dry and mealy with no structure. The main difficulty in making sausage from poultry is the very low ratio of fat to lean, nowhere near the desired 1:3 that is easily achieved with pork.
Anyways many years ago I gambled on the Sunworks chicken sausage sample and was happy to find it was one of the best I’d ever eaten. My pleasure quickly turned to curiosity and I wondered aloud how they made it so juicy. Was there … Continue reading.
Last week I helped with a chicken harvest for the first time. My parents-in-law had raised twenty eight birds to maturity on their property in Lac St. Anne County.
The chickens were killed with an axe to the neck, severing the head.
After a couple minutes of twitching the bodies were held by the feet and dipped in steaming water to loosen the feathers. We had two “turkey fryer” propane burners heating 5 gallon pots of water to 150°F. The chickens were dunked a few times, just until the wing and tail feathers pulled out easily, which took less than 60 seconds. If done properly this helps the feathers release easily in the plucking machine, without cooking any of the … Continue reading.
The personal website of Edmonton chef Allan Suddaby