Today I spent a fair amount of time working on new dishes. One problem that arises when I am working on new things is that I have a tendency to want to reach the finish line quickly. While racing for the finish line I was able to assemble some interesting components while messing up a bunch more. Today, I was working on a squab dish which weaves together the flavors of Peking Duck while still focusing on the squab. Unfortunately, I did not focus on the squab and rushed the dish. My squab packet exploded. However, we were able to execute hoisin spaetzle, a recipe concept which has been bouncing about my notebooks for some time.
Another dish I was working on involved the top nugget of meat encased in fat on the top of a rib-eye. I always enjoy this morsel of meat when we cook up a steak for two so I wanted to figure out a means of just serving it as a part of a dish. Once again I was in a hurry to see how the individual piece of meat would cook up and did not examine it or clean it up enough to be able to serve it. Sure, I ended up eating the meat, but that was not the point of my efforts.
Finally, after several failures I slowed down. I began by juicing horseradish for a mango-dried mango and horseradish condiment. The resulting horseradish debris inspired our final dish. I dried the horseradish pulp and then blended it with Stilton. I was able to roll it out thin and then cut it into planks which I can use as a crust. Meanwhile, Aki made some melted leeks which just called for the horseradish-Stilton crust. We paired the melted leek gratin with slow cooked lamb and used our date-miso to unite the two key elements in the dish. Finally, we adorned the lamb with some mustard seeds pickled in yuzu juice for some sour, crunchy heat to accent individual bites.
It sometimes takes several failures to remind me that it is alright to slow down and think.