Vintage Good Old War
Just because it suits my mood tonight. It's all about change. Not always easy but worth it.
Vintage Good Old War
Just because it suits my mood tonight. It's all about change. Not always easy but worth it.
Two weeks ago we went out to a "fancy" seafood place in Manchester and Bill ordered a Mai Tai. He was met with a blank stare and a "let me see if the bartender can make this." Our server came back and informed us that a Mai Tai was impossible but that there was a very nice rum punch on the cocktail menu and suggested that maybe he would like to try that. I was puzzled by their response because from where we were sitting we could see the fully stocked bar. Even if the bartender didn't know how to make one and didn't have a book behind the counter, the recipe was only a Google search away. Why not make one?
Now Manchester, NH may not be a tropical paradise but in the summertime there's nothing like rum punch. I'm partial to Planter's Punch myself, preferably accompanied by a lobster roll overlooking the ocean, but I digress. I went to my cocktail books and the Mai Tai was surprisingly difficult to find. While many books made mention of the cocktail, very few had recipes. Rather it was referred to as a relic of bygone days, over-used, and now out of fashion.
by Gary Regan
It was originally created by Victor Bergeron of Trader VIc's in 1944 and has crossed the world and gone through countless variations, many of which bear very little resemblance to the original. Still, as with my Planter's Punch, many drinks are tied to our memories and we want them for the way they make us feel, as much as for the way they taste. Bill ordered the rum punch but it was not the same. I'm happy to report that this week another seafood restaurant in Concord was much more accommodating and he got his Mai Tai from the bartender. And now that we have a good starting point we'll see what we can whip up for him here at home. Everyone deserves a good cocktail, if they want one.
We are fans of using power tools in the kitchen. Today we saw another great use. A drill was attached to a long rod connected to supports and a cutting blade. The result was a very efficient spiral potato cutter. It is important to look beyond what is available in your own world. Borrowing technologies, innovations and tools allows for growth. Looking elsewhere enables us to discover and connect dots we would not normally have seen nor thought of.
If you're going to take a chance, be prepared to run like hell.
It started with the question, "do you know pupusa's?" That triggered a flashback to memories of consuming vast quantities of these stuffed masa pancakes in the kitchen at Clio. Ken would occasionally ask one of the dishwashers to bring in enough for the team and we would be revitalized. For as many as I ate, I never learned, or even thought about, how to make them. Until last week. The chef stopped and showed me how to make his pupusas. The dough is a blend of masa harina, warm water and salt. Two balls of the dough are pressed together with a filling of your choice. We started with scallions, bacon and cotija. Then the dough is pressed flat and sauteed. It becomes tender and delicate. It has enough strength to hold together and keep the filling in place. The finished pupusas reminded me of scallion pancakes, only lighter and with more flavor. Ours were topped with marinara sauce and a spicy cabbage slaw. They were finished with a few spears of pickled jalapenos. After consuming more than my share, the ideas and possibilities for what we could do with pupusas began to flow freely.
Peter Reinhart is one of our favorite writers on baking bread. He makes bread baking seem easy, approachable, and practically inevitable. When you read his books or listen to him speak he makes you want to bake. Passion will do that.
I found an old favorite today while we were shopping at the Concord Antique Gallery. I bought this book years ago in Newport, Rhode Island, or was it Watch Hill? I've always been a fan of used bookstores, though they seem to be slowly disappearing, and had my favorites in both towns that I would visit religiously every summer when we went up to Charlestown Beach. This book was an impulse buy that turned out to be a gem. It's chock full of information, salty stories, New England lore and line drawings. It's compulsively readable and entertaining and you actually learn a thing or two hundred along the way.
I have no idea where my original copy is, somewhere buried in boxes of books. But this afternoon I'm revisiting an old favorite that reminds me why I love New England and why I am so happy to be back here again.
July 6, 2010
Kitty Broman Putnam
1916 - 2014
This is all about me. When I think back and remember Grandma Kitty, it's like she was just here. We sat together and talked. The conversation was about me. Reflecting, I realized she made everything about me. Whether we discussed my successes or my failures or just my thoughts, she’d look in my eyes and help me figure out what I needed. It made me feel special, happy, upset, angry, sad, joyous. She always focused on me.
I lay awake thinking about Grandma Kitty and me. I realized she was able to make everyone feel this way. Every single interaction she had, she made it personal. She was a good listener. She made life not about her. She made it about me and everyone else she cared for.
She showed me what a work ethic was.
She let me know that Oso's bark was fierce, but that he threw foam rocks.
She taught me the power of a hand written letter.
She gave me Strawberry Pie.
She candidly let me know when the Christmas roast was Raw!
She made sure to let everyone know Aki was the best thing that ever happened to me.
She followed that sentiment, letting everyone know that Amaya was the other best thing that happened to me.
She reminded me to eat more ice cream cones.
She encouraged me to follow my dreams.
She gave me a shoulder to lean on and always magically had a tissue up her sleeve when I cried upon it.
And now she shows me that in her absence all I can think about is her.
January 8, 2005
This Christmas Alex's sister Meredith and her family stayed in London for the holidays. We sent Amaya's cousin Maddie a toy and we slipped some books in a package that Alex's mom was mailing to them. For Mer & Brian we found (hopefully) a cool cheese store in London and sent them some holiday indulgence. As luck would have it on the very day their cheese was delivered we received a gift from them from Murray's Cheese in NYC. When we lived in the city Murray's was a favorite and we were happy to unpack the box and discover several pristine cheeses and a box of crackers. It arrived a few days early to be safe. As my mother had just decided to stay in the city with a sick friend for the holidays I was struck by inspiration. I would send her some cheese too.
What followed followed was a comedy of errors, which I won't bother to relate. Suffice to say that my mother did not get her cheese. The messenger service explained in great detail on Christmas Eve why it wasn't their fault and there no one was answering the customer service line for the store. A few days later we still had no answers and so Alex reached out to Murray's via Twitter. The response was instantaneous and they took care of the problem in a way that went above and beyond the call of duty.
Two lessons came from this. Twitter is apparently more effective than phone calls or email. And customer service really does matter. My mother waited at home all day for a delivery that never came and yet they were able to turn that around with a heart felt apology and a relatively quick response. It took a few days and a few attempts but I was a loyal customer already and so I was predisposed to forgiveness when I felt like someone actually cared about what happened. Last year a favorite local business messed up a special occasion and they couldn't be bothered to apologize or even act as if they cared. Needless to say we never went back. On the other hand we will still visit Murray's when we're in the city and send gifts to our loved ones from their store. We can't control everything but we can control how we respond to a difficult situation and that makes the difference.
Now that we no longer live in New York I don't get to celebrate Hanukkah with Uncle Steve. Fortunately Amaya celebrates every holiday under the sun at school with her teachers and friends. I love the way they embrace all of the different traditions and talk about them. It makes it easier if kids know right from the beginning that everyone is different and that's just fine. The underlying core of almost all the different holidays is about bringing people together and sharing the love and there's nothing bad about that.
Since I missed Hanukkah with Uncle Steve I'm late with the latkes this year. Amaya had them at school with applesauce and has been asking for them ever since. I love latkes so making them is no hardship. Finding the time is a whole other ball of wax. When I do make them I make a big batch. I don't have a real recipe, I grate my potatoes into cold water and then grate an onion. I drain the potatoes, mix them with the onion and its juice. Add some fresh potato starch, a pinch of salt, and a beaten egg or two depending on how many potatoes I've grated. The acidity of the onion and the coating of egg keeps the potatoes from browning. Then we fry. A well made latke is still crunchy straight out of the refrigerator the next morning, yet another reason I adore them. Amaya and I both had them again for breakfast today.
We were at the Blue Moon Acres' farm festival at their Pennigton, New Jersey farm. Amaya got a balloon heart and had her face painted while I was lured in by Cherry Grove Farm's cheese tent. In short order we were all sampling the cheeses. The soft, nutty Lawrenceville Jack captured our attention with its rich, slightly salty flavor. It lingered on the palate and made us crave another bite. We bought two pieces. We devoured the first piece as soon as we got home. The second we took a picture of this morning. The plan was to save it for a rainy day but once you put the cheese on a platter it has a way of disappearing. Good thing we know where to get more.
The die is a teflon version of 145, cresta de gallo. The noodles are made with 100% rice. The dough extrudes fast and smooth. The ridges and crest are perfectly formed. While teflon is not traditional, it gets the job done better.
We were fortunate enough to find these squash in the market. We had not heard of them before. The name is evocative, it ignites the imagination. These Black Forest squash sparked a number of ideas: from pairing them with black forest ham to using the squash puree in a black forest cake. It turns out that our Black Forest squash are a smaller variety of Kabocha squash, one we are quite familiar with from out days at Clio. So soup is a definite possibility, or risotto, John Thorne's squash tian, black forest waffles, squash steamed pudding with black treacle sauce or black forest lasagna. The possiblities are endless,
The ideas begin to flow the moment the clouds begin to part and the light shines through. Being able to see that first glimpse allows the brain to wipe away the heavy clouds of muddled thoughts and failed attempts. It is not an art form. It is an approach.
It was a gorgeous morning and we knew we needed to find something to do outside. The answer was easy, a visit to Solebury Orchards, one of our favorite local spots. We were lucky because in addition to cherry tomatoes there were blueberries and blackberries ripe for the picking. And in the farm market we also discovered fragrant peaches and nectarines. It was a good haul for everyone involved. Amaya discovered the joys of super sweet tomatoes eaten straight off the vine and watching butterflies gather nectar from the wildflowers. Days like these are what summertime is all about.
It is billed as a graphic novel. I guess that is a popular genre today. It doesn't matter how it is being described. In the Kitchen with Alain Passard is an incredible introduction to the processes of Alain Passard. It shows his approach to ingredients. It explores his passion for flavors. The book captures the essence of a culinary icon. The drawings bring the ideas into action. The small selection of recipes are smart and engaging. They provide a platform to build and grow upon. And if you have Alain Passard: The Art of Cooking With Vegetables this graphic novel brings life to those recipes too.
June 5, 2005
We are aging silken tofu in salted buttermilk. The idea was sparked by the incredible kasu and miso aged tofu that Kevin from Cultured Pickle made for the Elements Dinner. I wanted the lactic notes and the salinity without the heavier flavors of the miso and floral characteristics of the kasu. We seasoned the buttermilk with 3% salt. We added the tofu. We let it ferment at room temperature for a few days. It continues to age in the refrigerator. Kevin's took 12 weeks. We are just beginning to wait.
June 2, 2008
June 2, 2005
If you can't cure them, feed them.
I had to resort to the hard stuff with 2 invalids in the house.
This one is a buttermilk chocolate cake with a true chocolate frosting.
(more TK on hunting down the "Perfect" frosting)
We are fortunate to have Castle Valley Mill in our backyard. Mark is milling a range of grains. We were drawn to the emmer wheat. We used it first to make noodles. The sweet flavor and resilient chew in the finished noodle has us excited. It is a wonderful base flour that we can build with.
May 28, 2005
Memorial Day, for those of us who have trouble remembering, is not about barbecues or dinner parties. It's a day to remember the men and women who died protecting this country and all that it stands for while serving in the United States armed forces. It's a day to appreciate what we have, the luxuries and the choices, which are actually one and the same. We grow up knowing that we are free and mostly very well fed. We grow up knowing that we can do better than our parents did and that hard work and smart choices will likely get us where we want to go. It's not too much to ask to remember one day a year that these privileges come at a cost. There are people putting their lives on the line every day so that we can live the lives that we do. Remember it and make the most out of every day.
May 27, 2006
Couples will relate to this post. I drive Alex crazy. Despite this blog, when we are not working on a book I still like to cook by the seat of my pants. This means when I make rhubarb syrup for our daughter's favorite drink, a rhubarb twist, I weigh nothing. Then when I take the leftover fruit and make muffins I still weigh nothing. So the recipe below is an approximation. Of course it will come as a surprise to no one at this point that the recipe for a rhubarb twist is not exactly measured either.
We start this adventure with 5-6 medium stalks of rhubarb, heavy and pink, not much wider than a stalk of celery. I like more medium rather than fewer large because they give the syrup more color and that makes Amaya happy. Clean the rhubarb, trim off the tips and ends, and slice it about 1/2-inch thick. Before you do this, set a pot on the stove with 1 cup of water and 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) sugar and 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 grams) fine sea salt over high heat. Once the sugar syrup comes to a boil add the sliced rhubarb. Bring it back to a simmer, cover and remove from heat. Let the fruit steep for 20 minutes. Strain off the rhubarb and reserve the syrup, adding a teaspoon of vanilla or 1/2 teaspoons of orange oil if you please. You will end up with just under two cups of cooked fruit.
For a rhubarb twist, muddle one strawberry in a rocks glass, add ice to cover and an inch of rhubarb syrup. Cut a sliver of Meyer lemon, squeeze over the top and drop into the glass and fill the rest of the way with seltzer water. Stir with a straw and enjoy.
These muffins came together because my mom was visiting and lamenting the fact that I hadn't baked anything. Since I had the rhubarb on hand, muffins were a quick and easy crowd pleaser. Even better, she can take the leftovers home with her when she leaves.
Makes 18 standard muffins
I used a combination of whole grain flours and coconut sugar in this recipe. You can substitute whatever types of flour and sugar you have on hand. The proportions are very forgiving.
1/4 cup ground golden flax seeds
3/4 cup oat flour
1 cup barley flour
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
4 ounces butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon orange oil
1 1/2 - 2 cups cooked rhubarb, see above
Raw sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 375°F
Line 1 1/2 cupcake pans (18 wells) with baking cups
Whisk together the flax seed, oat flour, barley flour, spelt flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk, eggs, butter, vanilla, and orange oil and whisk gently to blend. Fold in the rhubarb using a rubber spatula and divide among the baking cups using a generous 1/4 cup batter per muffin. Sprinkle the top of each muffin generously with raw sugar. Bake for 25 minutes or until firm to the touch and a cake skewer comes out clean. Remove from pans and cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
May 26, 2010
It is exciting to watch ingredients collide with ideas. We have started putting together this years weed patch. We are planting in pots and barrels this year. I hope to limit the unwanted weeds. And protect the weeds we want. Lovage, garlic chives and traditional chives returned on their own. Anise hyssop, rosemary and chocolate mint weathered the winter. And rose thyme proved much heartier than the roses we tried to grow a few years ago. This year we added lemon verbena, summer savory, globe and opal basil, parsley and lavender. We have planted Black Krim and Brandywine tomatoes along with jalapeno peppers. All that is left is keeping everything alive.
May 12, 2005
There's something so inspiring about Spring. It's not my favorite season, perhaps I've spent too many years out West where spring means mud season in addition to everything else. Still, as I look out the window to see sunlight pouring from the sky and the wind slipping gently through leaves of grass I wonder why it's not. Everything is green and gold with hints of color peeking out everywhere as blossoms threaten to burst forth from the bushes and trees. It's a moment of anticipation as we watch the magic of nature waking up from her winter hibernation. In some places blossoms are already lying heavy and full along tree branches that have yet to find their leaves. Suddenly there are freshly snipped herbs garnishing our dishes and the riot of color and light makes us itch to get cooking. It's a wonderful time of year. What inspires you today?
We have made all kinds of cotton candy from foie gras to pistachio. We missed this combination. It has been in front of our faces for years. Thanks to an impromptu visit to a sugar shack our eyes were opened. I asked the syrup maker if they used straight maple sugar in the cotton candy. It turns out they blend the maple with cane sugar. It is delicious and light with a full maple flavor. Time to dust off the cotton candy machine and get to work.
The wings are oven roasted. Fried are also delicious. When they are cooked we dust them with our kimchi flour. We serve them with our kimchi-blue cheese dressing. Reward yourself and make the kimchi-blue cheese goodness. Wings not required. Let the game begin.
Kimchi-Blue Cheese Goodness
200 grams kimchi
100 grams St. Agur blue cheese
150 grams Crème Fraiche
Put the kimchi on a cutting board and finely mince it. Break apart the blue cheese and put it in a bowl. Stir in the crème fraiche and the chopped kimchi. Make sure the mixture is evenly combined and still chunky. Reserve the goodness in the refrigerator until ready to use. Dust the kimchi-blue cheese with powdered kimchi before serving.
February 3, 2005
The cheese is Manchester, from Zingerman's. It arrived wonderfully ripe. We put it on a plate that we covered with a glass cloche. It allowed us to let it come to temperature and be protected from our prowling cats. When cocktail our rolled around it was tempered and shoulder-less. It took great restraint to pause and take a picture. Patience and restraint were the keys to allowing us to enjoy this cheese.
When we unmolded this cake it stuck horribly. The cake fond gave us a sneak preview. It was delicious. The newly revealed topography on the cake was not that appealing. But when we dusted it with powdered sugar the divots became accents. The troughs faded and captured light. The look of this cake is not one we could have imagined. And now we are looking to replicate the results. Smooth is fine but texture tantalizes.
And this chocolate cake is gluten free. It is made with our Batch 2 flour blend.
January 6, 2005
We did not set out to make gluten free gnocchi. We were looking at the process of gnocchi making. We wanted to streamline the entire process. We peeled the potatoes and pressure cooked them for 20 minutes. Then we put them through a food mill and kneaded in cornstarch. We pinched and rolled the dough into gnocchi. Each dumpling resembling a small potato. When they were all rolled we refrigerated them allowing the potato starch to gelatinize. Once they were cold we boiled them in water and finished them in sauce. These gnocchi are different. The usual expectation of gnocchi is light and fluffy or gummy and gluey. The first bite has you looking for a gummy mess. But it never arrives. You bite cleanly through them. They are full of potato flavor. And then you go back for more.
Gluten Free Potato Gnocchi
1150 grams Peeled russet potatoes
8.75 grams fine sea salt
130 grams cornstarch
Put the potatoes in a bowl that fits inside a pressure cooker. Season the potatoes with the salt. Put 1 inch of water in the bottom of the pressure cooker and put the bowl inside. Cook the potatoes on high pressure for 20 minutes. Let the pressure dissipate naturally. Remove the potatoes from the pressure cooker and press them through a food mill or potato ricer. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the potatoes and fold it into the mixture. Knead the cornstarch into the potatoes until a homogeneous dough forms. Pinch the dough into marble size pieces and roll them into marbles. Put the dumplings onto a parchment paper lined pan. Refrigerate the gnocchi until they are cold. Cook the gnocchi in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes. Remove the gnocchi from the boiling water and finish in sauce.
This winter we've become addicted to a lavender scented neck and shoulder wrap. We love it so we're sharing it with you. Amaya has dubbed it the "warm and cozy." The one we use is from Herbal Concepts (photo via Amazon). It has a small flap that is designed to wrap around the neck attached to a small cape that drapes over the shoulders. We warm it up in the microwave and, depending on who is using it, drape it over the shoulders, wrap it around the lower back or belly or blanket it over feet and legs. It's a wonderful all purpose soother for kids and adults. It's perfect for long hours hunched over a computer or simply watching movies on the couch. Amaya takes hers to bed with her and it replicates the hot water bottles of old, warming chilly sheets with the added benefit of a soothing fragrance. It's an affordable luxury that makes our day a little bit better.
We never leave ingredients alone. We smoked the delicate maple flakes from Tonewood. After an hour in our smoker the flakes take on a savory complexity. We call the flakes "Maple Maldon". They look and eat like Maldon salt flakes. And now we have smoked Maple Maldon in our pantry.
Holiday gifts are difficult. This year a few people are getting a jar of bourbon caramel from us. Unfortunately we have a big problem. This caramel is way too good. Parting with it hurts. Not a punch in the face type of hurt. It hurts because the recipient be worthy. They need to have the appreciation for it. I have eaten it on ice cream. I have stirred it into coffee. I have eaten it straight from the jar. Since we can't "give" everyone a jar we wanted to share the recipe. Hopefully you can share it more easily than I can. If not, just share the recipe.
Bourbon Caramel Sauce
1500 grams sugar
300 grams water
100 grams corn syrup
750 grams heavy cream
40 grams vanilla paste
225 grams butter
21 grams salt
250 grams bourbon
Put the sugar, water and corn syrup in a heavy bottomed pot. Stir the mixture together until it resembles wet sand. Put the pot on medium high heat and put a lid on it. Cook the mixture for ten minutes. Remove the lid and take a look at the sugar syrup. It should be clear and boiling. Put the lid back on and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Remove the lid. The sugar should be just beginning to color. Continue to cook the sugar until it is dark amber. Swirl the pan occasionally to blend the caramelizing sugar into the mixture. When the sugar is caramelized, remove the pan from the heat. Slowly pour the heavy cream into the hot sugar. The cream will boil and spurt, so be careful. Add the butter, vanilla paste and salt and stir into the caramel. When the butter is absorbed stir in the bourbon. It will sputter and boil. Remove the caramel from the heat and allow it to cool. Pour the cooled caramel into jars, label and share with only those who deserve it.
It is wonderful to go to markets where the farmers share the details about the ingredients they grow. The descriptions educate us. The tasting notes enable us to make informed decisions. This allows us to explore apples (and other ingredients) we would ignorantly overlook. Make sure to take the time to read and write your own signs.
Two videos in one week? Yup. They are totally different and this one I found via Chuck Wendig's website. It's about creativity and we're always looking for a little more of that around here. Less than five minutes of your time for a little bit of light-hearted yet serious inspiration.
Where would your keys take you?
I eat a lot of ice cream. I like to combine peanut butter cup and mint oreo cookie. It makes no sense to me. Why would these seemingly different flavors go well together? And it is beyond going well. These flavors make each other better. I spent a lot of time thinking about this today. I was eating ice cream. When I separated the element of ice cream from the ingredients the connection made more sense. Peanuts and mint are not strange plate fellows. They are instrumental supporting characters in Thai cooking. If we look further at nuts and herbs pesto jumps to the front of the line. So pine nut cup ice cream with basil oreo ice cream is not a stretch. It just sounds different.
Coffee folks are very specific about grind size. They are also very specific about the tools they use to achieve the results. The Hario hand cranked coffee grinder allows for precise adjustments. Patience is needed to unscrew, adjust and test the grind. With the grind narrowed down the tool is amazing. How often are we changing the grind of our coffee? In our world, not so much. What we do need to control, change and adjust on a daily basis is the spices we grind. The Hario is the tool for the job. We can even blend assorted spices in a mix and grind them together. Gone are the days of the frying pan cracked peppercorns. The mortar and pestle is reserved for wet pastes. The electric spice grinder is now retired.
Wait till you see what we do with the aeropress espresso maker.
This one is about food and really should be watched by all of us. Those of us in the business know a lot about food waste, what we don't know is how to solve the problem. We all want the best and most beautiful ingredients but what do we do with everything else? The first step is identifying the problem, the next step is figuring out how to get the most flavor out of every ingredient and putting as much as possible on the plate.
At ink., Michael Voltaggio has instilled the idea of 90°. Everyone and everything works and is arranged at 90°. It is part of the organization and fundamentals of the kitchen. At first I did not notice this approach and arrangement. The kitchen is well organized and everything is in place. I did not not notice until a single roll of plastic wrap was out of place on the counter. Michael asked one of the cooks whether or not I had asked them to work not in 90°? The cook quickly said no and the plastic wrap snapped back into a parallel position on the countertop. I asked Michael what 90° was. He was tired of cooks working unorganized with stuff just on the counter with no particular order. The idea gave him a language in which to express what he wanted when he wanted the kitchen clean and organized. Instead of just getting upset with the kitchen being disheveled he had a languge and a model to show his cooks. If everything is in its place we have time allow our minds to wander and allow creativity to flourish. After my lesson in 90° everything I see and work with takes on a new light. I can no longer look at countertops where stuff is just on it. I am hooked and a believer.
Ideas do not come from thin air. They are influenced and inspired by our experiences and memories. This bowl of whole wheat blueberry pancake batter, swirled and fluid was the spark for our blueberry pancake dessert that we prepared for the 5X5 dinner at Michael Voltaggio's restaurant ink. . We tried to capture the flavor and texture of pancakes, the messiness of syrup and melting butter and even the notes of smoke and varied textures. The dessert combined our microwave cornbread with a modified version of our cornflakes ice cream made with buttermilk. Blueberries were cooked in a maple-rye caramel to make the sauce for marinating and warming boba tapioca and the blueberries. And I have fond memories of pecans and pancakes so we wove them into the dish as well. We candied pecans and made pecan toffee which was lightened with tapioca maltodextrin. The goal was to capture the great experiences of eating pancakes and focusing the idea into the dish.
I was fortunate enough to get a tour of the the Dough Room, (envision Willy Wonka's inventing room of pasta) by the chef of Flour + Water, Thomas McNaughton. While looking around I noticed a piece of equipment, really a tool I had never worked with or seen before. It turns out it is a traditional garganelli comb. The design allows for finer ridges to be made in the noodle which adds a great amount of refinement to this hand rolled noodle. Unfortunately these combs are near impossible to come by and Thomas has his held together with hope and promise. Now begins my quest to find a traditional garganelli comb. The limitation of availability triggers the question what else we could use that is finely ridged? A fine toothed comb.