Monday, November 30, 2009

Duck Confit Part 1

Making Duck Confit this week. One of life's little pleasures. Thought I would let everyone in on the absolute simplest but best tasting confit ever. This is my recipe that we used in the restaurant. First you want to start with Fresh Moulard Duck Legs And Thighs, I use Hudson Valley as they are the best no question. Then all you need is garlic, shallots, rosemary, thyme, duck fat and kosher salt and fresh ground white pepper. Score the legs and thighs through the fat, not cutting into the meat at all. Peel and slice your shallots very thin and separate the rings then rough chop the garlic then combine both in a bowl. In a large sealable container, start by layering the rosemary and thyme along with the shallot/garlic mix on the bottom. Sprinkle some of the kosher salt and pepper as well. place the leg/thigh piece meat side down and press firmly. Then add the same layer as you did to the bottom to the fat side of the legs. Place another layer of the leg thighs on top and cover with the remaining herbs, and shallot/garlic mix. Sprinkle more salt and pepper as well. Place a layer of plastic wrap over and firmly press down. Then seal and put in the refrigerator for about a week. Part 2 will come when it is time to cook them, oh the suspense!! And you thought restaurants never shared their secrets!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wine and Leftovers

Yesterday I took my heritage turkey carcass and simmered it all day with onion, celery, carrot, garlic, thyme, sage, rosemary, allspice, clove, bay leaf and peppercorns. Strained it off and added the picked off turkey and egg noodles and salt and pepper. Awesome, now we will be having leftovers of the leftovers. Had some great friends over and enjoyed some outstanding wines:

2008 Buty Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc/Muscadelle, quite refreshing with nice acid from the Sauvignon Blanc and great floral notes from the Muscadelle.

2001 Christom Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir, the nose on this wine was stunning, great earthy notes with some light fruit hints in the background. On the palate the wine still showed great fruit and had enough acid and tannin balance to be drinking great. Loved the wine.

2003 Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. Very ripe fruit on the nose and palate with lighter tannins, The acid seemed a little high but still was drinking quite nice.

2005 Betz Clos de Betz, what can you say, stunning wine, drinking great, acid, tannin and fruit all in balance with great structure.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Recap

Well Thanksgiving came and went....down that is! We enjoyed some great food and some great wine, menu as follows:
Meatballs and BBQ Sauce
Oyster Casserole
Sausage, Bacon and Chestnut Stuffing
Cranberry Relish
Sweet Potatoes with Pecans and Orange
Apple Brined/Roasted Heritage Turkey
Giblet Gravy
Chocolate Cream Pie
Pumpkin Pie

We enjoyed many great bottles of wine, highlights were :
2005 Betz Clos de Betz
2007 Dusted Valley BTR

Looking forward to working through all the leftovers, especially the turkey. Will be making soup with the carcass and I will post the recipe for that, not sure what direction I want to go with it still I start making it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey Brine Process

So as promised here is my turkey brine, you will want to make this ahead of time so that it is cool when added to the bird.
1 cup Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 Apples, quartered then halved
4 whole Star Anise
2 tbls whole White Peppercorn
1 tbls Juniper Berry, whole
1 tbls Allspice, whole
1/2 gal Vegetable Stock
1/2 gal Apple Cider
1 gal Cold Water
12-14lb Turkey
6 sprigs Rosemary
6 sprigs Sage
Canola Oil

Combine all the ingredients in a small stock pot and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove and let cool before proceeding. In a 5 gallon bucket add the water and brine mixture then place the the turkey breast side down and brine overnight or for at least 6 hours.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the brine. Stuff the herbs into the cavity of the turkey and tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.

Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Cook until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 161 degrees F. A 12 to 14 pound turkey should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Heritage Turkey Arrives!!

My turkey arrived today in great shape, It is an American Bronze, from Frank Reese at the Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch in Lindsborg Kansas. It is about 13 pounds and will be brined Wednesday night in anticipation of the oven on Thursday. I will post steps for the brine and roast.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dinner Tonight

I always like coming back from Seattle as I can get busy with some real shopping for food. Picked up some sea beans, shiitake mushrooms, yuzu juice, Sablefish, Spot Prawns, daikon radish and a few other items. Came home and made a homemade Hoisin Glaze, julienned the daikon and a red bell pepper, blanched the sea beans, and roasted off the shiitake's in the oven with some sesame oil then julienned them. Then sauteed the all the veg/shrooms with some garlic and sesame oil, seasoned and glazed the sablefish fillets and put under the broiler, seasoned and then sauteed the Spot prawns in some sesame oil then added a little siraccha. When the veg were done remove and dress with a little yuzu juice, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil and season. Place on the plate add the fish fillet to the top of veg and spoon around the shrimp adding some of the Spot Prawn roe as garnish. Drank a little 2008 Dusted Valley Viognier with it, awesome pairing

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Must be the Oak!!

Today was spent barreling down some of our Birch Creek Syrah that we fermented wild. Notice the nice new WISCONSIN OAK barrels. The oak for the barrels is coming from Corey's family farm in Wisconsin then milled in Minnesota. The barrel I am using here is a Heavy Toast barrel. I wish this was smell-i-vision as the nose coming out of the barrel, during the filling was awesome. So for those wanting to try this particular barrel, well you will have to wait about 16 months, but oh will it be worth it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Heritage Turkey and Bacon!

With Thanksgiving coming up I thought I would see who if any peeps are going with a Heritage Turkey. We are getting a 16lb fresh Turkey delivered on the 24th. I am very excited about that! I will post the rest of the menu as soon as soon as it comes to me. Here is the link for where we purchased ours:

On another note, I got my bacon curing tonight. I am using a local Organic farm, called Thundering Hooves. As soon as it is done curing and then getting smoked with applewood I will post some photo's. Should be about 7-10 days. It was a 4.5 pound fresh slab. It just gets me thinking of the day that our Mangalitsa Hogs (thats them in the photo) will be ready to slaughter. Probably next fall, so for now I can only drool thinking about them!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Birch Creek Vineyard Late Harvest Syrah

Today we brought in some Late Harvest Syrah from Birch Creek Vineyard in Walla Walla. We have let it hang out in the vineyard until it started to hard shrivel and take on some raisin traits. We will run labs on it tomorrow, but the brix are going to be somewhere around 38. We got about 1 ton to play with. So just like Lucille Ball, we had our intern Tyler, foot stomp it. Yes the boots were sanitized so don't worry. So if you have ever tried to juice a raisin, you know that Tyler did not have to hit the YMCA tonight after work! We are going to let it cold soak a couple days then inoculate it and get the temp up on it to start fermentation. Enjoy the pics and yes there is SNOW on the Blue Mountains.

Beef Sando Recipe

Here is my version of the Classic Chicago Hot Beef Sando:
8lb Top Round Roast, slightly trimmed up
20 cloves Garlic
2 tablespoons crushed Black Pepper
2 tablespoons Onion Powder
2 tablespoons Dried Oregano
1 tablespoon Red Chili Flakes
8 Beef Bullion Cubes
16 cups water to start

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place large roasting pan on stove and bring water to a boil. Add the beef bullion cubes and disolve. Mix the Black Pepper, Onion Powder, Oregano and Chili flakes together. Make slits all over the roast and insert the garlic cloves. Rub the roast with the dry mix and add the rest to the water. Place a rack over the water mix and place the roast on it, cover and place in oven. Roast for about 3 1/2 hours or until internal temp is 140. During the roasting process you may need to add more water, I added about an additional 12 cups during the process. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes, then place in refridgerator for a couple hours before slicing. Strain your jus into a pan and set aside. When the roast has firmed up, slice as thin as possible against the grain, a meat slicer is ideal. Reheat the jus and adjust seasoning, either by adding a little more water if to salty or a little salt if to bland. Take your sliced meat and put in the heated jus for a few minutes to warm up, place on a soft roll. Here is were variations come in:
1. You can add sauteed peppers
2. Add peppers and provolone and put under broiler
3. Do 1 and 2 then dunk the whole sando in the jus, which we did
4. Do 1, 2, 3 and then pour more jus over it once its on the plate, which we did
You should be able to get 10-12 piled high sando's from one roast.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hot Chicago Italian Beef Sando's

So we finally got the Top Round Roast cooked off, rested and chilled, then sliced. Doctored up the au jus a little and here it is. Just to let you know the sandwich was well over a pound of meat plus a little provolone, and sauteed red bell peppers on a demi- baguette. And our plates were cleaned off!! We washed it all down with a little Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar amongst some other adult beverages.

Dinner last night!

Thought I would post some pic's of the dinner I did last night, sorry for the quality as that will get remedied today. Enjoy the photo's, dinner was at Dunham Cellars. Looking forward to the Chicago Style hot beef sando's tonight and oh you bet they will be messy and dunked in the jus!!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Oh the Roast Beast!!

After smokin' and bbq'n 65 pounds of tritip last week for Dusted Valley's STS Wine Club Release Party, I have had a craving for Hot Chicago Style Roast Beef Sandwich, unfortunatly living in Walla Walla hinders running to Big Al's in Little Italy. So the plan spend, Sunday a.m gathering ingredients and Sunday p.m. making it. There will be pic's for sure as picking up a new camera will somehow appear on the ingredient list. I will post the recipe as well, once done. Stay tuned as this one will be messy.........

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cooking again!

Today, will be a fun day as I am putting together stuff for a small dinner. Some old stuff, ala Andrae's circa 2004 and some new stuff. Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup with Pancetta and Pomegranate, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Tart with Baby Greens and Andrae's Famous Sherry Vinaigrette, Apple Cider Braised Pork Belly with Cranberry Chutney and Celeriac Puree and finishing off with a dense Roasted Walnut Cake with Calvados Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce. Should be a nice little fall themed dinner.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lets get this going again!!

Okay, time to keep this thing up to date, I will do my best to keep all things food and wine in my life on this page. Crush is pretty much over and I have time to breathe and do some writing. Stay tuned for some food updates and some new photo's.