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Showing posts from May, 2009

Chorizo and Corn Stuffed Potato

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This Chorizo and corn stuffed potato is the amuse for tonight. Its nothing to extravagant, but very tasty. I simply halved the red potato, cut a small piece off the bottom for stability, and hollowed them before I blanched them. Then I simply filled the potatoes with the chorizo, corn, and manchego cheese. I baked them for just a few minutes, sauced and garnished them. Very simple. Although the Chorizo I used is pretty spicy, the corn, potato and cheese tame the heat a bit.

Guest Interaction

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After checking on Mr. Chapman's table I had a chance to speak with him and his wife Beth. They are in Colorado Springs on business and stopped in to have lunch. Although they reside in Hawaii, they couldn't stop talking about the view and the spring weather here in Colorado. Most people, including myself know him as Dog the Bounty Hunter. Nice enough guy. I figured it would be nice to share this photo with you all. Above all, I am just happy to speak with our guest to ensure they are happy with what food I have provided for them. Every now and again, you'll run into people that are a little more well known than the everyday family man.

Thai Coconut Shrimp

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Tonight's amuse is a spicy, flavorful little bite. Its a 71-90 shrimp cooked in sweet Thai chili sauce, with scallions and agar agar. I am serving this cold. The agar agar turns the mixture into a "shrimp jelly" style component. I made both red and yellow curry coconut sauces. The shrimp rests on a fried won-ton circle and its garnished with toasted coconut and fresh cilantro. As and entree this might be a little too spicy for some, but as one bite to stimulate the appetite, it works well. The coconut curries are well rounded sauces with just a little heat.

Tapioca Maltodextrin

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As I keep on trying new ingredients and techniques in the kitchen, I purchased some fun molecular gastronomy common items from Willpowder.com. One of these is tapioca maltodextrin, pictured here. It is a light, fluffy white powder that does some cool stuff. Unlike any other starches, tapioca maltodextrin has been modified to thicken fats instead of water. This is cool because we are able make powders out of oils, butters, yogurts and so on. If you know me, bacon fat, duck fat and rendered sausage fat are all in line for the transformation. Basically all you are doing is combining the fat and the starch to the correct consistency so that you are able to push the mixture through a tami and sprinkle it or spoon it onto a plate for garnish. This example shows a huilacoche butter, which I have melted, mixed with the tapioca maltodextrin and turned into a powder. I had no idea how much of this powder it would actually take. I found several websites that say 10% can be enough. I found that …

Huitlachoche Butter Powder and Olive Oil Powder

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These are two results when using tapioca maltodextrin. The grayish one is the Huitlacoche Butter Powder, and the bottom, a very delicate fluffy olive oil powder. No question, I need to work on consistancy, but for the first time using the ingredient, I am happy.


Achiote Marinated Sous Vide Chicken

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Today chef surprised me with an unexpected gift. A vacuum packaging machine. And naturally, as with any gift, the first thing I had to do was play. I got the dry ancho-coffee rub for the Buffalo packaged, went through all the portioned fish and other meats. Pretty much anything I could find now can be found tightly packaged in one of our many coolers. Then, sous vide came to mind. I have been looking for a way to make our achiote marinated chicken more attractive and simplified. The marinade, although very red when the chicken is uncooked, tends to darken and become less attractive once it has been sauteed. My thought had been, just roasting it would help. It did, but not enough. Well today I think I found my solution. By vacuum packing each marinated chicken breast and steaming or poaching them I loose no color. In addition, the fully cooked chicken seems larger, brighter, and even more delicate. Its very easy to slice, and stays incredibly juicy. The great thing is, you can cook th…