Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Food in the Bahamas

Well after being in the Bahamas for 8 days, I kind of like the diet of Spiny Lobster, Conch, Stone Crab and Grouper, throw in a little chicken and the best tasting arugula i have ever had! We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and ate local or cooked every day. After a couple days we figured out the fishing schedule and the boat ramp in Tarpen Bay, conch and small fish around noon and Spiny lobster and bigger fish late afternoon. The spiny lobster were amazing, we always seemed to miss the conch. I did go snorkeling nearly every day, looking for that elusive conch, we found them several days but the shell was not mature, yea i know, you are saying how can you tell, well you have to look for a thin flair on the last ring then they are old enough to harvest. We ate many styles of Conch fritters, Lobster Salad, Grouper Fingers, Conch Chowder, Conch Ceviche, Lobster Paella. We had some great burgers from an Ex-Pat in Gregory Town. So check out the pics!

Menu and Wine Pairings For La Porte Brune Underground Dinner #2

Well my time in the Bahamas allowed me time to get the menu and wine pairings finalized, I apologize for no posts as we had pretty shoddy internet service and my old computer was not up to the game! So without further adieu here is the menu:

Amuse Bouche
Spherical Pea Ravioli with Bacon Powder
2006 Saint Hillaire, Brut, Blanc de Blancs

1st Course
Shellfish Ceviche with Tomato Water Sorbet
2008 Pascal Jolivet Sancerre

2nd Course
Sous Vide Hudson Valley Foie Gras Terrine with Blue Fin Tuna Tartar and Brioche Crouton
2006 Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt,
Piesporter Goldtropfchen, Kabinett

3rd Course
Alaskan Sablefish with Truffled Potato Foam and Bacon Brandy Sauce
2004 Talisman, Sonoma Mountain, Red Dog Vineyard, Pinot Noir

4th Course
Bacon and Eggs
2005 Corliss, Columbia Valley, Syrah

5th Course
Foie Gras Profiteroles with Salted Caramel Sauce and Shaved Bittersweet Chocolate
2004 Tommaso Bussola Ripasso, “Ca del Laito”

We are once again during a tour of the world of food and wine, this should be fun!!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Look for posts from the BAHAMAS!!

Heading to the Bahamas for a some R&R, look for some posts on food and cocktails from the island of Eluethra. Probably not going to find much wine. I will be cooking up a special Valentines dinner for our group Sunday! That picture is actually the island that we are staying on, the dark blue is the Atlantic Ocean and the light blue is the Caribbean! I see a lot of Conch and Spiny Lobster in my future!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Spherical Pea Ravioli

I know this is nothing new, but is sure is fun to play around with! When you come home from a long day at work, who doesn't want to play chemistry in your kitchen! I dabbled in a little molecular gastronomy stuff at the restaurant and it is always a cool thing to pull out at a dinner party or something. The Spherification process is actually pretty easy, just stay true to the measurements. This recipe is straight out of the El Bulli cookbook, there are only 2 ingredients that you will have to hunt for, Sodium Alginate and Calcium Chloride, both food grade additives. Sodium Alginate is a natural product extracted from brown algae that grow in cold water regions of Ireland, Scotland, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, etc. Calcium Chloride is a calcium salt traditionally used in the food industry, for example in cheese making.

For the pea juice:
300 g extra fine frozen peas
375 g water

1. Put the frozen peas in the blender.
2. Bring the water to the boil and add the peas.
3. Shred the peas with the water to obtain a juice.
4. Strain in a chinois.
5. Chill in a ice bath

For the spherical pea ravioli base:
500 g pea juice (preparation above)
2.4 g Sodium Alginate

1. Mix sodium alginate with 1/3 of the pea juice in a blender to obtain an even mixture with no lumps.
2. Add the rest of the pea juice and mix well.
3. Strain and chill in ice bath or refrigerator.

For the Calcium Chloride bath:

6.5 g Calcium Chloride
1000 g water

1. Dissolve Calcic in the water with a blender.
2. Put the mix in a container to obtain a height of about 5 cm.

For the spherical pea ravioli:

1. Fill a hemispherical spoon with the spherical pea ravioli base and pour the contents of the spoon into the Calcium Chloride bath.
2. Leave the pea juice ravioli to cook in the bath for 2 min.
3. When the 2 min are up take out the ravioli with a slotted spoon and submerge them in cold water to clean them.
4. Strain the spherical pea ravioli, trying not to break them.

There you go, it will take a little practice in getting the "pour" into the bath but once you get it down you can amaze your friends with your mad skills. This recipe works for most low acid vegetables and fruits.