thomas keller’s insane avocado louie recipe

food-600x450

served at the oscars last night.
that is just insane. i mainly had to post this so i can try to remember to make it when i’m feeling very creative. what is super cool about him is that he shares it all! i use his simple roast chicken recipe in many of my recipes.

he encourages you to pickle your own, which is very intriguing.
who’s in?

Avocado Louie
½ avocado, pitted
5 hearts of palms, cut into rings
4 petite radishes, chopped
5 celery stalks, shaved
3 cucumber parisiennes (pickled cucumbers)
3 pickled mushrooms (Keller used pickled hon shimeju)
2 asparagus tips
1 sugar snap pea
2 romanesco cauliflower
1 cherry tomato (Keller used Sweet 100)
2 pearl onions, sliced
1 tbsp. lemon vinaigrette
1 tbsp. green goddess puree
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Fleur de sel, to taste

1. If you can, do your own pickling. Add cucumber parisiennes, hon shimeji mushrooms in a large bowl or jar with 1 part champagne vinegar, 1 part water, 1 part sugar. Let sit.

2. In a pot of boiling water, blanch hearts of palm, green asparagus, snap pea and romanesco cauliflower until tender.

3. Cut avocado in half. Trim the base so there is a flat surface. Trim the top and cut off any blemishes on the flesh. Brush the outside with lemon vinaigrette.

4. Spoon green goddess puree (recipe below) onto plate and place avocado on top. Add the rest of the ingredients—have fun with it! Drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Season with fleur de sel.

Green Goddess Puree

1 ¾ cups mayonnaise
¾ cup crème fraiche
⅓ cup roasted garlic, pureed
2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
2⅔ cups herb puree (below)
Salt, to taste

Incorporate all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and combine well. Adjust to desired consistency and season to taste.

Herb Puree
3 cups pickled parsley
2 cups baby spinach
1 cups pickled tarragon
1 cups dill

1. In a pot of salted, boiling water, add all ingredients and stir well. Allow the herbs to cook until tender: they should disintegrate when pressed.

2. Remove the cooked herbs with a slotted spoon place in a colander lined with cheese cloth or paper towel. (Ring out excess liquid to avoid the puree becoming too salty.)
Place ingredients in a blender and blend on high (you might need to add a small amount of cold water to help it spin) to a smooth thick puree. Scrape the sides of the blender and pulse again. Let chill.

roasted chicken matzo ball soup with quinoa

IMG_1233

when i crave matzo ball soup, i make it myself because i can’t get it in the city anymore. seems all the jewish places have moved out of town. i usually can’t get it to taste as good but this time i did it different & it blew away any chicken soup i have ever had or made.

the process is tedious but well worth it.

roast an entire chicken thomas keller style. i coated the entire bird with

-coarse salt
-white pepper
-togarashi
-italian seasoning
-adobo
-valentina fruit seasoning or some kind of chili lime salt – important

let cool. separate the skin & bones from the meat. make stock. i did a double stock-a previous stock was used to simmer the new bird bones. this added more richness. i also used a pressure cooker which speeds it all up. tossed in 2 bunches of green onion tops, several garlic cloves & above spices.

while the stock is cooking, take a large skillet & fry 5 pieces of chopped bacon till crisp. remove bacon, drain some fat & set aside. chop one large onion & fry 10 minutes. add 3 chopped carrots & 2 chopped celery stalks. add salt, cover & cook 10 more minutes. add 6 chopped garlic cloves, the chicken meat & bacon. add all the spices used on the bird. cook covered on low until the stock is done-about an hour. the pressure cooker is my friend.

drain the stock & combine with skillet. it will be ready almost immediately.

cook the quinoa separate. matzo balls are also separate & very easy. whip 2 eggs with 2 T oil whipping them with electric mixer. stir in one pack matzo meal, chill 15 minutes. cook covered in simmering water 20 minutes. i have made them many times & it seems this is the best way. i used to cook it all together and the flavor is much better cooked separately. you DO want to use the bacon.

i topped it with togarashi. a little romano, but it’s really fine without it.

chicago is having it’s 4th polar vortex- minus 30 degrees w/wind chills. soup is not a luxury. it’s a necessity.

beef broth/french onion soup/polish pork & beans/cucumber apple avocado salad

IMG_1159

i was craving a childhood favorite, Soupe-a-lOignon-au-Fromage-French-Onion-Soup-and i wanted it to be really good, which means making the broth from scratch. i have never done this before so i set out to research a few recipes. being a vegetarian for many years, there are still a lot of meat things i’ve been intimidate by. after some research, i decided on emeril lagasse’s beef stock recipe. i used a combo of oxtail sawed by the butcher into half inch pieces, a few marrow bones & a shoulder. the recipe is simple but very time consuming. it took 6 hours & made a gallon & a half of incredible beef stock. enough to make 3 soups!

after chilling the stock, i removed all of the fat & saved it for cooking. check it out

IMG_1163

i got busy on the french onion soup first. i cooked all day long because chicago is in the deep freeze right now and i was unable to leave my home & it’s too cold due to poor insulation. using the stove was an easy fix. onion soup is very simple. it’s mostly onions, butter & stock topped with toasted french bread & gruyere cheese. to my utter delight, it turned out delish.

IMG_1164

the broth got me so excited i had visions of future bowls of pho & ramen….alas i had a pound of dried navy beans & cooked them in a big casserole for a few hours. i ended up making what i call the yummy dried tomato paste, navy beans, kielbasa, applewood smoked bacon, & one entire head of roasted garlic. turned out fantastic! i called it my polish pork & beans.

IMG_1166

in the meantime, i decided to make a salad with chopped cucumbers & apples with avocados in a home made anchovy dressing-anchovy paste mixed with olive oil, balsamic, salt, pepper & garlic topped with some parmesan/gruyere cheese-DELISH!

IMG_1167

as freezing as it is outside-50 below zero with wind chill-this food will last a few days if i get stranded at home. i’m not sure i’m gonna teach today. it’s just as cold today. but i’m SO glad i got all the ingredients before the predicted cold came. it’s been 27 years since we’ve had this kind of weather. nothing to do but knit, cook, watch tv & wait until the weather gets warm enough to go into. several people have died from this & tons went to the hospital for frozen injuries like frostbite. i hope to god i don’t have to deal with this today. yoga is not that important in my book. wish me luck :-)

pecan brittle & world’s best strawberry butter cookies

IMG_1115

a friend gave me sweet pecans from his mother. so i made pecan brittle. i’ve never made candy before & was surprised how good it turned out despite substituting some of the corn syrup with molasses, which is probably a better idea anyhow.

i would have to say the hardest thing about making this is it that it is physically demanding. you have to constantly stir it & it gets like caramel, which takes strength to handle. i’m looking forward to doing this again with variations. i have tons of pecans left. hand made candy is the best xmas gift.

IMG_1116

i continued my baking roll & made worlds best butter cookies & topped a fraction of them with my home made strawberry preserves.

i swear there’s nothing sweeter than spending all day in the kitchen.

Brandade de Morue au Gratin (Whipped Salt Cod Gratin)

1486578_10151747645955780_1810791962_n

so i’m still finding ways to use my big piece of baccalao from sicily via j.p. grazianos.

IMG_1082

i asked a friend who is of italian origin & he told me about a standard french dish you spread on toasted baguette with potatoes, garlic & cream. there are many variations but since i haven’t made it before, i decided to start with a basic recipe-brandade de morue au gratin-Jacques Pépin’s recipe.

it’s basically whipped potatoes & salt cod topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, baked, & served on toasted bread. there are many steps to this, although the ingredients are basic & simple. it calls for the cod to soak only a day. mine was soaked for several days, changing the water often which removes all of the salt.

when i tasted the final product-it does not call for salt-it needed salt. and i understand now why-it gets all of it’s salt flavor from the cod. one day soaking will keep the cod extremely salt heavy. the minute i figured this out, i added italian seasoned salt & it worked. the consistency is almost like paste-very heavy & strange. an acquired taste for sure but worth trying!

carrying a 3 lb. dried salt cod fish in my backpack all over downtown proved to be a learning experience for sure! i still have 1/3 left. stay tuned for the next salt cod recipe!

choco-strawberry pazzo cake

IMG_1096

i had a few items to use up-mainly creme fraiche & strawberry jam i made when i bought 8 lbs of strawberries for $1.

as usual, i stuck those words into epicurious & found strawberry pazzo cake w/herbed creme fraiche.

i had to substitute several ingredients. there was no brown sugar so i used cocoa powder. i had no milk, so i used pineapple coconut juice. i combined the creme fraiche with cinnamon & threw it into the batter instead of on top. and i did the balsamic glaze with my jam-about 3/4 cup, a couple tablespoons condensed milk, cooked it a while, & set in fridge to chill & thicken.

to my surprise, it turned out really good! it’s like a cake that wants to be fudge, so it was kind of a light fudge & not too sweet at all!

dirty rice virgin

Image

 

i get tasting table in my email box each day.  and dirty rice was discussed.  i had leftover rice from the previous “smothered okra” dish i did twice in a row-second time around i used very special crumbly hot links & jumbo shrimp i cleaned & deveined myself.  believe me.  it’s more work but worth it.  turned out perfect!  wanna see?

Image

 

nomnomnom….

ok, so dirty rice is kind of fun to make.  it’s a daily dish in nola.  and you can always expect to make a roux.  so i went to a local bbq smoker & got the smoked brisket, chopped it myself & got their carolina sauce-a vinegary spicy instead of the cayenne & used a spanish onion instead of scallions.  other than that, i pretty much followed this recipe to the T.

 

in the kitchen with isaac toupes of http://www.toupsmeatery.com/ in nola

http://www.tastingtable.com/entry_detail/national/15650/The_Toups_Meatery_chef_shares_his_dirty_rice_recipe.htm

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 203 other followers