Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Squid Ink Tagliolini with Bay Scallops and White Wine

Squid Ink Tagliolini with Bay Scallops and White Wine




Since visiting the Redmond farmer's market about a month ago, two have opened up closer to me in the city of Kirkland and I was able to get over to one that opens on Wednesday afternoons recently and picked up some arugula and basil, among other items.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

One of the venders present was a company called La Pasta LLC that was selling fresh pasta. I first dismissed their booth because I can make fresh pasta at home but when I passed by it again, I noticed they sold squid ink tagliolini so I made the purchase because I haven't been able to find squid ink locally. Yes, I've looked.

Dish Details

The Flavor Bible doesn't address squid ink directly but it does address squid and many of the foods that are complementary to shellfish also pair well with squid such as lemon, garlic, white wine, parsley and butter. I also googled other squid ink pasta dishes and the general sense was to use more seafood with a very simple sauce, so I used a linguini and clams dish from page 113 of Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking by Michael Chiarello with Janet Fletcher as an inspiration but this is a Crazy Foodie Stunts original. I'd imagine that a version of this dish would be common at trattorias along the Italian coasts.

Ingredients

1/2 pound bay scallops
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound squid ink tagliolini
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Method

1. Fire a large pot of well salted pot of water over high heat. Separately while you wait for the water to boil, pat the scallops dry with paper towels, then season them with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the scallops to sear, approximately 2 minutes per side. Remove the scallops to a plate and set aside, then add the garlic and sauté until it starts to brown, an additional minute. Deglaze the pan with the wine and bring to a simmer, scraping the fond from the bottom of the pan. While the sauce is reducing, drop the pasta into the boiling water. (La Pasta LLC instructs a 3 minute boil but I boiled my tagliolini for only 2 minutes). Drain the pasta and add to the simmering wine, then toss with the butter until it melts. Serve into warm bowls garnished with the flat leaf parsley.


Final Thoughts

If squid ink pasta proves difficult to source, you could easily substitute egg linguine but if you're going to use dried pasta, start the boiling process before searing the scallops because dried pasta will need to boil longer. That being said, fresh pasta isn't really boiled, so much as it's blanched because it's normally just a minute or two until it floats to the top of the pot, which is the indicator that fresh pasta is cooked. Overall, Mrs. Stuntman wasn't sure what to think of the black pasta I served her but I appreciated the briny flavor the pasta added to the dish.

La Pasta LLC is so small, it doesn't even have it's own website but encourages you to 'Like' their facebook page. Unfortunately, they also are unable to ship outside the Puget Sound area. This is fresh (i.e. perishable) pasta, folks and they can't guarantee the quality of their product if they were to send it across the country. Instead, I highly recommend seeking out local pasta producers at a farmer's market near you.

If you do live in the area, they have storefronts in the Wedgewood neighborhood of North Seattle at 9118 35th Ave NE and in downtown Kirkland at 340 Parkplace Center in addition to summer booths at Columbia City Farmer's Market and Kirkland Wednesday Market on Wednesdays; Bellevue Farmer's Market and on Thursdays; Juanita Friday Market and Phinney Farmer's Market on Fridays; Bellevue Farmer's Market and University District Farmer's Market on Saturdays and lastly Capitol Hill Broadway Farmer's Market, Lake Forest Park Farmer's Market, Mercer Island Farmer's Market and West Seattle Farmer's Market on Sundays.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Mozzarella Ice Cream with Tomato Jam and Candied Basil #FWCon #WiswconsinCheese

Mozzarella Ice Cream with Tomato Jam and Candied Basil #FWCon #WiswconsinCheese




Yikes! Has it really been two weeks since my last post? Where has the time gone? In all honesty, I have been pretty busy with my daughter finishing up her school year and I was eating a lot of heat and serve dinners Mrs. Stuntman purchased from Costco. There's nothing wrong with them, but they're not appropriate to publish here.

In addition, my summer schedule significantly changed a couple of weeks ago when Mrs. Stuntman and I agreed that I would make a return trip to the Food and Wine Conference next month. I have very fond memories from last year's conference because I was able to connect in person with so many people I had been speaking to online and because I won a recipe contest with a filet mignon dish.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

Speaking of recipe contests, Wisconsin Cheese has sponsored one for the 2015 Food and Wine Conference and this is my entry. The rules stated that each entrant develop an original, easy summer recipe, so per (what has become) my standard operating procedure, I consulted my copy of The Flavor Bible which suggested pairings with wine, bread, and fruit. I had originally planned to prepare either a crostini or bruschetta, however one evening I was replicating the caprese pasta dish I published last autumn and thought that the flavors of mozzarella, tomato and basil might work here, but I knew that a plate of sliced tomato, mozzarella and basil drizzled with some balsamic would be insufficient. I had always been intrigued by dessert menus at fine dining establishments that feature cheese plates, so it occurred to me concept of a caprese salad could be converted into a dessert.

Dish Details

For each component of this dish, I studied several versions I found from a google search and used similarities between them to develop these original recipes. I believe this dish could be featured on any fine dining dessert menu. One of the requirements was to use cheese produced from cow's milk from a Wisconsin cheese producer so I ensured I used mozzarella from one of these companies.

Ingredients

For the tomato jam:
2 pounds Roma Tomatoes, coarsely chopped
Juice from 3 limes (approximately 1/2 cup)
1 pinch kosher salt
1 cup sugar

For the ice cream:
8 ounces mozzarella, coarsely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 cup sugar
4 egg yolks

For the basil:
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
1 egg white
1/2 cup sugar

Method

1. Prepare the jam. In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the jam is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.


2. Prepare the ice cream. Put the mozzarella cream and milk in a blender and blend until the cheese has broken into bits. Separate the eggs and place the yolks in a separate bowl and beat, then set aside. Combine the dairy mixture with the sugar into a medium saucepan over low heat to warm. Slowly raise the heat. Once the mixture reaches approximately 100° Fahrenheit and pour approximately 1/2 cup of the dairy into the eggs to temper them. Pour the egg yolks and cream back into the dairy and stir. Continue to slowly raise the heat and stir until the mixture reaches 175° Fahrenheit, then remove from heat and transfer the custard to a medium bowl and place in an ice bath to cool, then refrigerate for at least 3 to 4 hours. Transfer the custard to your ice cream machine, then churn according to the manufacturer's instructions.



3. Candy the basil. Place the egg white in a bowl and then the sugar on a small plate. Dip a basil leaf into the egg white and shake off any excess, then dredge the leaf in the sugar on both sides, then place on a parchment-lined sheet pan to dry, approximately 10 to 12 hours. To plate, spoon some jam on a cold plate, top with a scoop of ice cream and garnish with candied basil leaves.


Final Thoughts

The 2015 Food and Wine Conference will be held July 17 through 19 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida and will connect bloggers with small business owners, winemakers, chefs, public relations professionals, traditional media, new media, authors and brands. Topics of discussion will range from search engine optimization, marketing and promotion on social media, and effective writing to publishing a cookbook, working with public relations agencies and food photography. I invite you to attend and recommend you use the promotion code available from any of the 33 brand ambassadors to receive a $50 discount off of a conference ticket. Even if you are not attending, I encourage you to stay updated by following the #FWCon hashtag and by giving the Food and Wine Conference facebook page a 'Like', adding the G+ page to your circles, and following the twitter and pinterest pages. Furthermore, please 'Like' Wisconsin Cheese on facebook and follow them on twitter, pinterest and Instagram.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

New York Strip Steak with Roasted Asparagus and Mushroom Sauce #WeekdaySupper

New York Strip Steak with Roasted Asparagus and Mushroom Sauce #WeekdaySupper




I guess you could say that I have a greater appreciation for farmer's markets. When I lived in California, many of them stay open year round, so by the time I looked up local ones after our move to Washington last autumn, pretty much all of them had already closed for the winter. The only one that stays open year round locally is the famous Pike's Place Market but I have stayed away because it's a bit of a drive and I'm not a fan of crowds. The city of Redmond, Washington opened their Saturday farmer's market the first Saturday in May so I went a couple of weeks ago.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

This month, all #WeekdaySupper dishes will be featuring summer's bounty of produce that comes into season this time of year so I went to the farmer's market with my copy of The Flavor Bible and an open mind. I noticed asparagus was fairly common that day among many of the vendors, so I purchased 1 bunch in addition to some mushrooms, radishes and spring onions. A couple of days later, I noticed New York steaks were on sale at the local supermarket so I made the purchase thinking they would pair perfectly with the mushrooms and asparagus.

Dish Details

From the standpoint of a preparation method, I relied heavily on Think Like a Chef by Tom Colicchio with Catherine Young, Lori Silverbush and Sean Fri. Page 41 reviews the pan roasting method for steaks in addition to the sauce making method found on page 75. In addition, I compiled a roasted asparagus method from several different sources. I'd imagine that this dish would be at home in any steakhouse.

Ingredients

1 pound fresh asparagus, tough ends trimmed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless New York steaks, about 12-ounces each
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 medium shallot, chopped
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 cups beef stock

Method

1. Prepare the asparagus. Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Toss the asparagus with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Place them in a single layer on a aluminum foil-lined sheet pan. Set aside while the steaks are prepared.


2. Pan roast the steaks. Pat the steaks dry with paper towels, then season them with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil starts to smoke, lay the steaks down in the pan to sear on both sides, approximately 3 minutes per side. Add 2 tablespoons butter and thyme sprigs to the pan. Baste the steaks with the browning butter for 1 minute, then turn and baste on the second side for an additional minute. Repeat the 'turn and baste' process until the steaks reach the desired doneness. Remove to a plate and tent with an aluminum foil and let it rest while the remainder of the dish is prepared.


3. Roast the asparagus and prepare the sauce. While the steaks rest, place the asparagus in the oven and roast it until tender, approximately 10 to 12 minutes. While the asparagus roasts, add the remaining olive oil to the pan where the steaks were roasted. Once the oil has warmed, add the chopped shallot to the oil and sweat, then season with salt and pepper, approximately 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping up the loosened fond with a spoon. Simmer until the wine has almost evaporated. Add in the beef stock and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Decrease the heat to low, then stir in the remaining two tablespoons butter to give the sauce some richness. Season with salt and pepper to taste. To plate, place 4 to 5 asparagus spears on the plate diagonally, then place the steak on the plate over the asparagus in the other direction and top with mushroom sauce.



Final Thoughts

All-in-all I found the Redmond Market to have more vendors selling artisan honeys and crafts than farmers selling produce. Thankfully, there are two opening up that are closer this week so hopefully, you'll see the items I've purchased here soon.

For more #WeekdaySupper ideas, please visit the dishes published earlier this week:
and a preview of the two remaining dishes:

Sunday Supper Movement