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Milk Braised Rabbit Casonsei with Mike Perez.

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It should come as no surprise that tentop’s recent Pastafarian dinner was a resounding success.  Pasta is universally loved around the world and our guests were happy to eat five courses of it. The highly exalted Flying Spaghetti Monster was pleased and we felt his benevolent smile shining upon us all. The guest Chef, one Michael Perez; is a talented cook, one as immersed in the Chef life as I’ve seen. Fucking guy lives and breathes kitchens, and this pasta dinner proved his skill. It was a blast working with him again, we’ve got a rich history. Each dish was more succulent than the last, but recipe that follows was by far my favorite. As I was picking the meat off the rabbit carcasses I kept popping the plump little milk braised garlic cloves into my mouth. Your supposed to save those for the farce I guess. Use this filling to stuff your favorite pasta, we did casonsei, which look like little candy wrappers. Don’t be afraid to bust out your dick shaped cutter for other fun filled shape. I bet it would also make a great burrito filling.

Milk Braised Rabbit farce by Mike Perez

1 rabbit (hind quarters)
4 Spanish yellow onions(julienne)
1 gallon milk
1 bulb garlic
6 oz Pecorino Romano
1 bunch thyme (1/2 picked and chopped)
1 bunch rosemary (1/2 picked and chopped)
Salt
Pepper

Season legs and sear. Rest on a rack. Add onions to pan and caramelize, reserve half of the caramelized onions for later. Add all the garlic to the onions in the pan with the thyme and rosemary (whole) sauté until you smell the aromatics. Add legs back to pan and add milk to cover. Braise at 300*f until meat is falling off bone.
Shred pecorino. While hot pick rabbit off bone and salvage any garlic left in the milk, discard milk (it will be separated) and braised onions. In a food processor; process rabbit, fresh milk, chopped herbs(to taste), reserved onions, pecorino, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Balls deep.
-side note
You HAVE to process everything while hot or it will not be emulsify correctly or have a proper consistency. When the farce cools it will tighten up and be ready to pipe into any number of dick shaped pastas.


Chicken Skin Crusted Pot Pie.

Sadly, in my excitement; I only got this one crappy picture of this truly delicious awesomeness before it was descended upon like so much carrion by vultures. In truth, half the pie made it over to Clyde, where it was traded to glassy-eyed bar tenders for artisan cocktails. Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself, faithful readers. Let’s set the way back machine to two months ago, right around Pi Day.

The creation of this pie was yet another result of my highly perked job as manager of KitchenCru’s glorious facility. It all started with leaf lard, which I obtained via our high profile clients; Tails & Trotters. They had a bunch of trimmings that they didn’t have the time or inclination to do anything with, so they passed it along to me. After cleaning and rendering I ended up with about six thirty-two ounce deli cups of pure white lard, perfect for a sumptuous and flaky pie crust. Of which, I of course; made way to much. I had pie dough for miles. The first pie I made in celebration of Pi Day, a fig-apple-caramel delight that I believe I also traded a portion of for beverages at my favorite bar. The second pie i wanted to be savory. The day that I decided to do it, happened to be a day that my employer and co-worker had put on a lunch including corn beef sandwiches, knish, and other delicious NY deli items. A by-product of the shmaltz needed to make knish: cooked chicken meat and skin. I had a direction. I started my pie filling with some home made pancetta I had scored from Chef Andrew Garret of High Heat Catering.

Lard Crust

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour chilled
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup diced, frozen lard
1/3 cup ice water

Chicken Skin Crusted Pot Pie

Roll out the pie dough like a boss, line the pie tin and set in the fridge to chill.

Render the pancetta over medium heat, be careful not to brown too much, as it will continue to cook.

Add the shallots and garlic and reduce the heat, sweat ‘em.

Add the carrots, celery, mushrooms, and saute until partially cooked. Add the flour and cook for three minutes

Add the stock and cream and bring to a simmer. Cook at least ten minutes to thicken and cook off flour taste. Add the frozen peas.

Add the cooked chicken and fold together the filling. Allow it to cool to room temp.

Dump the filling into the prepared crust and roll out the top piece of dough like a boss. Fill the pie level to heaping, but don’t over-fill. If you have extra, eat it.

When you’ve got the pie topped and have crimped the edges,  egg wash that bitch. Sprinkle on the chicken skin, making sure every bit is covered. Pat it in a little to make sure it’s secure.

Bake that sucker until the crust is GBD. Cool to room temp before attempting to slice.


Nomnomnomnom: Pork Belly Benedict.

In an outstanding feat of restaurant leftovers I created a delicious brunch this past Sunday.  Anyone in Portland could tell you how cold it was this day, and a how a lavish, greasy breakfast was in order.  At the restaurant we serve pork belly, naturally.  It’s one of Chef’s greatest dishes. The precise bacon wrapped portions create a bit of side product, which we sometimes use for sliders or staff meal. Sometimes I take home a little package for the freezer; a lazy Sunday.  I rendered off about 4 ounces of meat.  Combined with a bit of fat I had reserved from another project, I had about 3 ounces.  Emulisfing it into one egg yolk, It was just enough for one portion of silky sauce.  Snow drifted down outside, and the smell of fat filled the house, warming us.  I toasted the leftover brioche and poached the eggs.  Spinning the water and dropping the eggs, they simmered lightly just below the boiling point.  I usually use vinegar in this situation but not using any had a pleasant result.  Unseemly as they cooked, most of the whites dispersed into the water.   I ended up with perfectly cooked yolks however, and it’s all about the yolks right?  I loose chopped the pork belly and warmed it in a pan with butter. Everything came together on a warmed plate and smoked black sea salt. A most satisfying of meals, I felt it filled me up nicely.  I wasn’t even hungry until I saw the pulled pork that night at Jaybill’s.


Read Ideas In Food.

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If you aren’t reading IDEAS IN FOOD, my faithful readers, You should be.  I look forward to their frequent blog posts.  Food Porn in it’s purest form.  Innovation through science.  Pictured here is chicken skin crusted skate with rhubarb mustard, shrimp spaetzle, arugula and fresh bergamot.  Chicken skin crusted!?!  And what the hell is bergamot?  Seriously, Cheers to you Ideas In Food Chefs.  I want to eat your blog.  How could I not?  32 preparations of Foie Gras?  And what about Hot Ice Cream?  Amazing stuff here guys.  Best food in the Blogosphere.  Look at this Torchon!!6a00d83451f83a69e200e54f4feadd8834-500wi.jpg


The Game.

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 If you’ve ever worked in a kitchen, you know that cooks can have pretty dirty minds, and sick senses of humor.  Our kitchen is no different.  It’s always a dick, fart, or deviant sex act that makes us laugh.  Or a food sculpture of a penis.  Not suprisingly, there is no shortage of cock-like food items to arrange and stash in your fellow cooks station.  Consider the cornichon, or the hand-made sausage, the almighty mushroom, hell consider the fennel seed.  Cooks will look at those items and think: “I can make a dick out of that.”  Now our game isn’t as easy as all that.  You can’t just walk up and plop a cock-sculpture on somebodies cutting board and walk away, you’ve gotta be subtle.  In or under a bowl, behind the six pan in the low-boy, perched on the ticket machine, these are venues for the true master of the game.  I once found a huge hand-molded polenta cock when I opened my station, complete with metal scrubbie pubes and heavy-cream dripping head.  It’s food, and hell, as far as I’m concerned,  you SHOULD play with it.

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New Menu Items

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Faithful readers, it’s time to change ‘em up a little bit, we’ve gotta keep it exciting, right?  The Rosemary and Pinenut Tartlette is coming off.  I can’t give that thing away.  Also bye-bye is the Cheesecake Three  Ways, because its too much work.  I’m bustin’ my ass over a mediocre dessert, when I should have been making Chocolate Flourless , Passionfruit, and Creme Fraiche Sherbet, pictured above.   Sauced it with Valrhona, ’cause it’s good  Also we have Poached Pear, Olive Oil beignet, and Valrhona milk chocolate.  Take a look below.  We poached the pears in a bag for six hours in Jake’s thermal bath.  This is attempting that “in the woods” feeling that I was trying to capture with the Pinenut Tart.  Maybe this time the clarified butter and chocolate will make it happen.  That’s right, we got Valrhona on both, peeps.  You’ve tried it , right?   Also revised was The Irish Car Bomb, which is now Gunniess stout brownie, Bailey’s anglaise, and Jameson’s salted whiskey caramel ice cream.  And don’t forget to check Elvis’s out  new bacon cookie!!!

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Why I work at Fancy Restaurants Part 2

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Here is some of the delicious food being served at Carlyle.  Clockwise from top-left: Black Cod with Suedoise sauce, roasted beets, and apple frisee salad.  Confit Octopus with Breton Vegetables, broth of hamhock, manila clams and thyme.  Yellowfin Tuna with Fresh Corn Polenta, roasted Chanterelles, and Poached Duck Egg.  Hamachi , with Dashi broth, bok choy,  and crispy wonton.   The Hamachi was prepared by Chef de Cuisine Patrick Shultz, and the other dishes by Sous Chef Jake Martin.   These guys are fun to work with, and are creating some dynamite food.  I hope this post will convince them to cook me up that foie dish.


Why I Work in Fancy Restaurants

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Cooking for a living can be a really tough job.  The hours are long,  pay is low, and the prep monotonous.  If you work for a good house, however, the rewards can be…delicious.  Pictured above is a typical daily diet for me while I’m at work.  On the left, was my lunch of grilled salmon with fingerling potatoes, spinach and yellow pepper salad, and some kind of rich butter sauce which I slurped up to fast to define.  On the right, dinner, a mid-rare Kobe tri-tip with grilled asparagus and “Kobe Sauce, ” which is made from two kinds of stock and reduced with some kind of wine.  Sure, I don’t eat like this everyday, and when I do, I usually have to scarf it down over a garbage pail as I’m running to pull something from the oven.  But hey, I eat well.  The free coffee is also a perk.


Kobe Beef…Demystified

did somebody say steak?

For years, I’ve been hearing bits and pieces of the Kobe beef process, and finally decided to find out for myself what is actually going on.  Kobe Beef comes from a breed of cattle called Wagyu, ranched exclusively until recently in Kobe, Japan.  Wagyu cows are now raised in parts of America and Australia because the land and grain are cheaper than in Japan.  This type of cow is genetically predisposed to intense marbling, and the strict Kobe style of raising them produces a higher percentage of oleaginous unsaturated fat than any other in the world.  Kobe beef cattle are fed expensive grains, japanese beer, and purportedly rubbed down with sake.  They are fed beer to stimulate appetite in the hot summer months, and continue the fattening up process.  The cows recieve frequent massages as well, to simulate the exercise the don’t get in thier very restricted living conditions.  What does this all mean to you faithful readers?  Simply put: YUM.


Let’s Butter Poach!!

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Remember the clarified butter that Jaybill and I made to poach pork loin?  Well,  when we got some ultra-delicious looking lamb sausage from New Seasons, so did we.  After poaching about twenty minutes in 140 degree butter these babies were bursting with  buttery goodness.   So we lightly browned them, then devoured them.  This is the first time we made sausage that Jaybill was only able to eat one.  I on the other hand, ate two, and then butter poached bacon the following morning.  When I die way too young from massive heart failure, it will be with a big smile on my face.