We seasoned raw pears with pressure toasted milk solids, our dry version of brown butter. We arranged these nutty pears on a thick whole milk yoghurt. We added leaves of basil for a fragrant herbal note.
We are able to begin creating with focus as a new project develops. Today we were tinkering with fall: apples, walnuts, lovage, concord8 vinegar syrup (concentr8) and a super creamy gorgonzola. The spoonful of cheese is the foundation for the fan of honeycrisp apple. We zested several walnuts over them both, hiding them underneath like a large pile of leaves. We sliced lovage thinly to deliver intense fragrant notes. We mixed the concord8 syrup with olio verde for an autumnal dressing. The dish is rich and clean. It has bitterness tempered by sweet acidity.
Fall is here. So is our take on a pumpkin doughnut at Curiosity Doughnuts. We make a glaze with canned pumpkin, buttermilk, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and powdered sugar. We dipped the doughnuts in the glaze and seasoned the top with our pretzel and white chocolate crumbs. I think these crumbs may get a bit overused, until I realized they are the fancy salt of our doughnut operation. The combination of pumpkin and pretzels is hauntingly addictive. It has me looking at other applications from pretzel and pumpkin pie with pumpkin and pretzel swirled ice cream to the savory pumpkin soup with pretzel crusted scallops. What's often missed is the cross pollination of ideas.
As the weather cools, it finally is grilling season. When we grill we always, as often as we remember, use a wet rest rest for our meats, fish and vegetables. What do we use? These days we lean heavily on a blend of smoked soy sauce and olive oil. The idea of the wet rest is stolen directly from Adam Perry Lang's grilling handbook Charred and Scruffed. The flavored bath/dip/delicious coating adds flavor to the meat and mixes with the flavors of the meat itself. We hit the meat on the grill, flip it and then dip it. As the grilling continues the wet rest browns and creates a deeper flavor on what we are grilling. We also score our meat. We are huge proponents of shallowly scoring the meat. Come to think of it Lang touches on that as well in the aforementioned book. The scoring dramatically increases the surface area of the meat. It also provides nooks and crannies for the seasonings to cling. The combination of the wet rest and the scoring exponentially increases the flavor potential in what we cook.
Apple season is in full swing and we are lucky to live in area where the fruits are plentiful. This time of year we don't buy them in supermarkets, we go out to the orchards and pick them. There's nothing quite like a truly fresh, juicy apple. They are wonderful straight off the tree, though I must say that we prefer after a few hours in the refrigerator. Icy cold, sweet, tart, crunchy, and delicious. There's nothing quite like a newly picked honey crisp apple that cracks under your teeth and spurts juices all over your tongue. They are messy and fun to eat. They bear no resemblance to the apples that have been cold storage for a year at the markets. Apple season is fleeting, so get out there and pick some. It takes less time than you think and the rewards are great.
A new project has us working with some ideas from the shelf. For years we have carried around, tweaked, evolved and cooked with 12 courses in mind. The number 12 resonates with me and it has kept us in some check as we developed menus. Often times I push to flex the size of the menu and it grows to 15 or more courses. When I do this, the amount of food for the diner becomes to much.
What I like about our model is it gives us a format to fill in delicious interchangeable parts. We create a choose your own adventure for ourselves that constantly evolves. Time to dive in and start exploring what the mind, market and model can bring together.
I finally got around to unpacking the last few books in our library today. We had to purchase a few more bookshelves but I am happy to sat that all of the boxes are empty and broken down. Although it's been a lot of work and all of the sections are not completely organized to my satisfaction, it's so satisfying to see all of our books on the shelves. I have a soft spot for unique, older cookbooks and one of the ones that caught my eye today was: The Good Egg, 200 Recipes For Leftover Egg Whites or Egg Yolks by Loretta White, so I thought I would share a few pictures.
It begins with the egg white section. The pages are (or were) white and at the top of each page there's a note telling you how many egg whites are used in the recipe. The sections begins with one egg white.
Each page is charmingly illustrated.
And very representative of the time that the book was published. This section goes all the way up to seven egg whites.
The pages for the egg yolk section are (were) yellow, making it easy to find the section that you want to work with.
The recipes run the gamut from savory to sweet and even include a few beverages. I'm not sure what the chickens have to do with Swedish Patties since they are made with ground beef and potatoes. I guess they are representing the egg yolks. There is a surprisingly international range of recipes and it's a handy little book if you're the kind of person who makes meringues or homemade pastas and often ends up with an excess of egg parts. The recipes are relatively clear and very concise, For me it's fun to read because I can fill in the blanks and spin the recipes in my mind. A little bit of whimsy is often missing from modern cookbooks and this was a good reminder that it can be a welcome accent to any recipe book if handled correctly. Style and execution make all the difference.
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