Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Great Success!

Corn Many Ways

Inspired by a recipe from Under Pressure and a quote from The Flavor Bible, I took two ears of corn and made four preparations from them: cooked corn juice (what Thomas Keller I think called "Corn Pudding"), corn powder, cob stock, and husk stock. The corn juice was excellent, with a nicely coating (and totally adjustable) consistency and super corn flavor that needed no seasoning. I pureed the kernels and then pressed them in a paint straining bag to extract the liquid, then cooked the liquid for just 3 or 4 minutes in a pan until it thickened. I spread the pulp from the bag on a silpat and put it in a low oven for the corn powder, but it wasn't dried when I went to work, so I still haven't tried it. The cob stock was very corny on the nose, but lacked great corn flavor and was mostly just sweet. I used too much onion in the husk stock (half a small onion for 2 husks), so it ended up smelling like a New England Clam Bake, which wasn't all bad but grew tiresome quickly.

Chicken Ballotines

At work, I boned two chicken legs (badly), stuffed them with sauteed maitake mushrooms, dried cherries, pistachios, and panko (could've done without the panko), rolled them into ballotines, then poached them in our steam table (sous-vide style) at 140-145F for 2.5 hours. I ice-bathed one of them and deep fried the other. Slightly crisp, super super moist, a bit under-seasoned. Today I'm going to try deep frying the other from chilled to see if the stuffing comes up to service temperature.

I'd never boned and stuffed a chicken leg before, so this video was my guide.

Next stuffing: apricot, sage, some kind of nut.

Pistachio Semolina Crackers

Last week got great results with this recipe from 101 Cookbooks, so we made the same crackers again, but wanted to incorporate pistachios. Katie and I both had dreams of pistachios compressed by the pasta roller into beautiful emerald ovals, but it was not to be. Instead we ended up rolling the dough out to about the thickness of the pistachios, which luckily worked quite well. For a second batch, I pureed some pistachios with water, then mixed that into the dough, turning it a nice green color, then pressed more of the nuts into the rolled dough discs before baking.

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