Monday, April 30, 2012
Saturday, April 28, 2012
I recently went on a day hike at a local mountain 10 minutes from where I live. During my hike I was very happy to have stumbled upon a nice patch of ramps and wild mint that grew pretty much along the whole trail. When I picked a mint leaf and crushed it between my fingers I was quite surprised at how mild the mint aroma was when compared to the store bought mint. In the end I decided not to pick any of the mint but came home with a good handful of ramps. While driving back home, I was wondering what to do with the ramps and also what to do for dinner. I really wanted to keep it pretty simple, a few ingredients and let the natural flavors come through. Now I guess I could have just sauteed the ramps and eat it along side of something and that would have been delicious, but I wanted pizza for dinner. So the end result was: Grilled flatbread with bacon and wild ramps, homemade ricotta, garlic oil. The ramps mellowed out nicely and the sweetness really came through.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
So one day at work we thawed probably a 20 quart cambro full of local tomatoes that were harvested at the peak of their season and to our surprise, we ended up with the most clear and flavorful tomato water we've ever tasted. So I immediately felt like I needed to put that on the menu for the next night, which was perfect since we have tasmanian sweet crab written down as a protein for the first course. So...
-pick ripe tomatoes that were in season.
-freeze the tomatoes for use in the off season.
-thaw tomatoes for marinara.
-discover a large amount of tomato water from the thawing process.
-create a dish that involves this wonderful discovery.
-make asparagus chawanmushi.
-asparagus + crab = classic combo.
-result: chilled asparagus custard with tasmanian crab, tomato water and oven dried tomato, ivory lentils, and baby herbs.
Finding good Asian restaurants is hard enough when you live in a small town in Vermont. But finding a good ramen shop is pretty much impossible, unless i drive to New York City. So what a person to do when he is craving the chewy and firm texture of ramen and the unique flavor that italian pasta can't match??? Well if you've got some time you could make your own ramen noodles, or alkaline noodles as some call it. "Kansui", an essential part of making ramen, is a type of mineral water that contains sodium carbonate, and usually potassium carbonate as well. kansui is pretty hard to get where I live, so after a little bit of searching on the internet, I found a solution. I found a recipe that only calls for calcium bicarbonate on the New York Times web site. The recipe was simple enough, flour, water, and baking soda that's been baked in the oven for an hour @ 250 degrees Fahrenheit. So after gathering the few ingredients, I tried the recipe and whammy!!! I have alkaline noodles. And I must say that it is not perfect, but it definitely satisfied my craving..... for now.
The recipe is at the link below.