Aquaponics Video

There was an error in this gadget

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Chilean Sea Bass W/ Mango-Pomegranate Chutney

When the purchasing department makes the mistake of bringing in Chilean Sea Bass instead of Corvina Sea Bass, guess who gets to use it. That's exactly what happened here, and by chance a case of pomegranates also had no home. Sea Bass is by far my favorite cooked fish, and quite possibly my favorite overall. Either way, I used fresh mango and pom seeds to make a chutney which I served in one half of the pomegranates outer "shell." A simple sweet and spicy Thai sauce drizzled over top, roasted tomatoes and cilantro rice finished the dish. Now I enjoyed the dish thoroughly, but I find myself wondering if its simply the fish that really gets me, or the flavor profiles I used to execute the dish. Either way, I enjoyed it. Bon Appetit!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Buffalo Tenderloin

This is tonight's dinner special. It started with extra mashed potatoes. I cooked off some prosciutto and some oyster mushrooms with a few minced cloves 0f garlic. I added in the extra mash, folded in some diced brie cheese and made some croquettes from the mixture. The breading was simply Parmesan, panko, basil and of course salt and pepper. I pan seared the buffalo medallions to a nice medium rare. I also seared some marinated tomatoes, and blanched baby carrots, patty pans, and asparagus. The duet of a nice veal glace and traditional sauce Bearnaise brought all the richness needed to help cut the acidity of the tomatoes. I finished the dish off by garnishing it with an asiago crisp which gave this dish some height and some crunch. The colors and flavors make this basic dish so special. It looks great and tastes even better. Hopefully we see some business tonight so we can impress someone other than the staff.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pheasant Sushi???

Ok, not sushi, but it sure looks like it. I took the idea of sushi (after chatting with my brother in law) and put a rocky mountain twist on it. I used arborio rice cooked risotto style for the rice. I layered prosciutto inside rather than nori. Roasted pheasant and mushrooms and carrots filled the sushi roll.
After rolling the traditional way, I coated each roll with a mixture of fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese. Before slicing, I cooked the parm to a nice crisp, aromatic consistency. This was then served on veal demi, and a garnished with white truffle scented olive oil. It turned out nice and hearty which is great for the cool weather we have been having.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Asian Shrimp Ceviche

Ok, so ceviche is Latin American, not Asian. Well today I prepared another amuse-bouche for dinner service and this was what I made. It may have resembled more of a Hawaiian Poke than ceviche, but the distinct lime based marinade reminded me more of ceviche. I served it on a fried won-ton chip, with avocado aioli and sweet Thai chili. The garnish is simply nori strips. This is obviously a much simpler amuse than the roasted duck from an earlier post, however the flavor combination and presentation rivaled that of the duck. Again, a slow night allowed us to give special attention to our Ala carte guests. We certainly have been having several great compliments coming from guests as of late. I can only hope to begin to see some of the local faces popping in more frequently. I am confident in the fact that I have helped the resort take their ala carte service up a few notches. I am committed to making my ala carte menu more and more popular as time goes on.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pigs: I love 'em

I love pork. Kahlua pork. Pork tenderloin. Bacon, don't forget bacon. Its great to use a meat that is so versatile. You can really go any direction as far as regional cuisines or cooking styles or flavor combinations. All in all, Kahlua pork is the best. The rich Hawaiian culture overwhelms you when you traditionally cook a Kahlua pig. Not only does the end product taste great, but the steps taken to get that result have been tradition for hundreds of years. It does take quite a bit of time, but its well worth it.

Above is a roasted pork tenderloin I made for the entree of a three course demo I did recently for the Peterson Air Force Base Officers club. It was simple, yet very flavorful. I did Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Granny Smith Apple and Dried Cherry Bread Pudding, and a Rosemary-Calvados Jus which I of course began with bacon. Delicious!

Patriots in the kitchen

Recently I was approached by a server in regards to a soldier we had dining with us. This gentleman had just returned from 16 months over seas. He was enjoying dinner with his wife, and we wanted to say thank you for serving our country. We decided to take a minute out to show him that we really do appreciate what our troops do, and although we may not be fighting in Iraq, we are patriotic. The banana foster cheesecake pictured above was my attempt at making a U.S. themed plate to send to his table. I am no pastry chef (as you can plainly see). But I do think that this plate turned out nice and I know that the two of them were thrilled to receive something like this. We don't always get the chance to thank the people that fight for our freedom, but given the chance I like to show appreciation on an individual basis. I would truly like to see more effort put into taking care of the people that preserve our freedom, simply by using the tools we have and the skills we possess. It may not be much, but a little can really go a long way.

Monday, December 8, 2008

In hotels we have to adjust everything we do by the occupancy of in-house guests, time of year, and all other aspects that effect restaurants. This week, due to lack of guests in house the resort has decided to go Ala Carte only the first few days of the week. This gives my cooks a chance to show off our new menu to the guest we do have, and what local business we get this week. I decided that in order to get repeat business, we need to take special care of the guest we get when it is so slow. This is a little amuse-bouche to start things off right. I used scallions and roasted chestnuts for the bellini. Fresh figs and agar agar make up the fig jelly that holds when heated. Roasted duck topped with caramelized onion foam, dried fig chip and green onion sliver to finish this teaser. I also garnished with a fig and balsamic reduction and herb oil. All in all this is a nice, delicate amuse. It was nice to use and become more familiar with the agar agar and soy lecithin used to make this dish work.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Holiday Bug

As much as our industry restricts us from enjoying the holidays in the traditional manner, I actually enjoy this time of year for different reasons. I don't know what it is that gets me so inspired for carving ice, or playing with sugar or chocolate. I don't get this bug any time but winter season, but I really find myself loving life when losing myself in these skills.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Benjamin Henion

I find it fascinating that in a time so technologically advanced, that even the food industry has begun to evolve like it never has before. With people out there doing molecular gastronomy, and using laboratories along side kitchens food has changed more in the last 20 or so years more than ever before. I myself have not yet explored to the newest methods of the industry. Perhaps only because I want my classical skills to exceed the standards of what the Midwest is now doing. Its ass-backwards, in my opinion, to take it to the next level before really nailing down the basics. This being said, how do you measure your worth as a chef? What I do in the kitchen makes me proud. The way I approach work truly is to give 11o percent. I feel that the employees that follow in my steps look up to me not only as a boss, but as an inspiration in creativity and flavor exploration. I try to instill the simple basic principles of cooking and share everything I have learned. This, to me, makes me a better chef. I find myself often thinking that my location holds me back from showing my true potential, but Colorado Springs doesn't have the people that want to explore new food concepts. Does it just take the chefs in the area changing the way they think about food? At this point it seems that if you stray too far from the "meat and potatoes" you lose your ass. Does it mean that the Midwest will always be so far behind the trend that we as chefs will always be following by 10 or 15 years?