When Dan isn't teaching us something about photography, Jared is teaching Dan something about cooking... and I just eat.
What happens when the stars align and the rare of occurrence of special visitors combined with moments of culinary inspiration come to transpire? Why, Jared's fall menu, of course! We were so excited to host our friends who were expecting their first child & our fave photographer (Dan of Chennergy.com) was in town and then on a separate evening one of our dearest blogger friends- Shirley (author of Kokken69) was visiting all the way from Singapore.
I present to you, Jared's madness a.k.a. Fall Menu 2011 and a mish mash of photos from two separate meals.
Lobster in Cucumber Juice (inspired by our meal at Avenues)
It's no secret that we are huge fans of Chef Curtis Duffy and Jared had the idea to recreate the famous Alaskan King Crab dish. The hardest part of the recreating this dish is no doubt the sugar lace. We've heard Duffy describe the process before and it was definitely not something we wanted to attempt ourselves. So in place of a proper sugar lace, Jared made its doppleganger from freezing a thin disc of simple syrup in a martini glass. (close enough... yeah?)
Ingredients: 4 simple syrup ice disc 2 cucumber lobster claw and knuckle meat (or substitute with Alaskan king crab ) lobster stock (see below) lemon togarashi salmon roe microgreens
- mix 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water until the sugar has dissolved.
- pour the solution into 2 martini glass and place it in the freezer.
- once the top layer is frozen, carefully remove it from the glass and trim the sides to remove excess ice
- place the finished ice disc in a container and place it back into the freezer
- place the martini glass back into the freezer to make 2 more discs
- cut the cucumber into chunks and place it in a blender. add enough water to get it started
- use a sieve and cheese cloth to extract all the juice from the cucumber puree, then season with salt to taste. keep it chilled in the fridge
- in a pot, slowly poach the lobster claw and knuckle meat in lobster stock until just tender or around 10 minutes on low heat.
- remove the meat and drain it with paper towels
- to plate, place the lobster meat in a martini glass. fill the glass with cucumber juice
- sprinkle togarashi and a splash of lemon juice on top of the lobster meat.
- place the ice disk back on the martini glass. add the salmon roe, microgreens and grated lemon zest on ice disk
- serve immediately
Butternut Squash Soup(inspired by our meal at Longman and Eagle)
After two or three tries last year, we finally succeeded in dining at Longman and Eagle. One of the most memorable dishes was a butternut squash soup with aerated maple syrup. While we couldn't figure out how to properly make an aerated maple syrup, Jared's version was not a bad remix!
1 butternut squash 2 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade) 4 slices of bacon 1 granny smith apple maple syrup chives leek (optional)
- Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds with a spoon
- pre-heat oven to 350F
- drizzle the squash with a little oil and roast in the oven for 45-50 mins until the flesh is soft enough to scoop
- In the same oven, place the bacon on a cookie rack and bake until crispy
- brush the maple syrup on the bacon and bake for a few more minutes
- remove the bacon and set aside
- scoop out the flesh and place it in a blender
- add enough chicken stock to get the blender going
- pour the puree into a sieve to remove any clumps
- return the puree to a pot and add the chicken stock until you've achieved the desired consistency
- season with salt to taste
- peel and small dice the apple
- To finish, place a spoonful of the diced apple at the bottom of the bowl. Ladle the soup into the bowl and garnish with the chopped bacon and chives.
- As an option, you can also add julienned leeks, fried in hot oil.
Seared Scallop with Asparagus and Oyster Mushroom (inspired by The French Laundry Cookbook)
Ingredients: 4 U10 dry fresh scallops 1 bunch asparagus oyster mushrooms shallots (finely minced) garlic (lightly crushed) chicken stock (preferably homemade) beurre monte chives 2-3 sprigs of thyme
- remove the scallops from the fridge so it can come to room temp when you are ready to cook it
- trim the asparagus and cut off the tender head.
- quickly blanch the head and the stalk until tender in salted water
- remove the asparagus and put it into an ice bath
- set the heads aside and place the stalks in a blender
- add enough chicken stock to start the blender
- pour the puree into a sieve and let it sit for a few minutes to remove the water
- pass the asparagus through the sieve to remove any clumps
- set aside the puree
- in a hot saute pan, add a tablespoon of oil then add the oyster mushroom, garlic and thyme. saute until the mushroom is nice and brown.
- remove the garlic and thyme from the pan and add the minced shallots.
- cook a little longer, turn off the heat and add the beurre monte and chopped chives
- set aside to keep warm
- in a cast iron pan or a heavy bottom saute pan, heat the pan until very hot.
- season the scallops with salt and pepper
- add plenty of oil in the pan and add the scallops
- do not touch the scallops until a nice brown crust has formed
- once a nice crust has developed, flip it over and add 2 tablespoon of butter.
- tilt the pan a littler and splash the scallops with the hot butter oil. cook for another minute and remove it from the pan.
- place the scallops on a piece of paper towel to drain off the excess oil
- warm up the puree
- warm up the asparagus tip, dress with a spoonful of the beurre monte and season with salt
- to plate, add a spoonful of asparagus puree at the bottom of the bowl, add a spoonful of the mushroom. place the scallop on top of the mushroom and 2 asparagus tips on the scallop
Optionally, you can substitute the asparagus with edamame puree, and use any mushroom that is available.
Photo Courtesy of Chennergy
Pan Seared Salmon or Seabass(inspired by The French Laundry cookbook)
This year, we had much success with our rooftop garden compared to last year and we were happy to use our own fresh cherry tomatoes.
brussels sprouts cherry tomatoes fresh fish fillet with skin on shallots (minced) chicken stock mirin
- remove the fish out of the fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking.
- with a knife, run it along the skin to remove excess moisture. this will ensure crispy skin
- score the cherry tomatoes and blanch it in boiling water for a few seconds.
- remove the tomatoes and place it in an ice bath
- remove the skin and mix with good olive oil and salt to taste
- cut the brussels sprouts in half
- sear the brussels sprouts face down in a hot pan saute pan. once the sprouts are caramelized, turn it over and add the minced shallots.
- deglaze the pan with the chicken stock or white wine and a little mirin. Cover the pan with a lid so the brussels sprout can steam until tender.
- season the fish with salt and pepper
- in a hot pan, add a few tablespoons of oil. sear the fish skin side down until the skin is crispy. do not try to move the fish until the skin has crisped up, otherwise it will stick to the pan.
- flip the fish and sear for a few more minutes so the fish can cook through
- to plate, place the brussels sprout on the plate and the fish on top. spoon several tomatoes onto the plate and drizzle the oil from the tomatoes around the plate
Photo Courtesy of Chennergy
Poached Chicken Breast with Bread and Butter Sauce (inspired by our meal at El Ideas)
El Ideas had just opened up and in concept it sounded much like our experience at Kahala in Osaka Japan. It was a 10 seater restaurant with specialized ever changing menus and guaranteed interaction with the chefs and the kitchen. One of the most memorable dishes was a poached chicken breast with bread and butter sauce. As we were eating this at El Ideas, I could immediately see the wheels turning in Jared's head, trying to figure out how to make this at home. He's made the bread and butter sauce a few times now, and I think it's pretty darn close!
Ingredients: 2 chicken breast chicken stock panko 5 table spoon of butter 1 carrot 1 parsnip 2 cloves of garlic 1 sprig rosemary
- large dice the carrots and parsnips
- place the vegetable, rosemary and whole garlic clove in a mixing bowl and mix with enough oil to coat. Add a pinch of salt and pepper
- Roast for 30 minutes or until fork tender
- Use enough chicken stock to submerge the chicken breast, bring the stock up to 140F.
- Add a few pinch of salt to the stock. you want the stock a little salty to flavor the chicken.
- poach the chicken at 140 for 40 mins. alternatively, you can sous vide the chicken breast. Just vacuum seal the chicken breast with some of the stock.
- while the chicken is poaching, in another pot, add a ladle of the chicken stock from the poaching chicken and then add 1/4 cup of panko bread crumbs.
- using an immersion blender, blend the sauce until smooth. remove the pot from the heat and slowly add the chopped butter one at a time. swirl the sauce to melt the butter.
- once the chicken is done (which is when the interior temp is 140F), slice a breast into 2 diamond shaped portions. place it on top of the cooling rack and pour the bread and butter sauce over the chicken to form a nice coat. sprinkle chopped chives over the chicken
- To plate, place the roasted vegetables on a plate. place the poached chicken on top of the vegetable and spoon some of the sauce around the plate.
Optional: you can add potato puree at the bottom of the plate. drizzle the potato puree with truffle oil and shaved truffles on top of the chicken.
Butter poached lobster (inspired by our meal at The French Laundry)
One could hardly forget the butter poached lobster we had at The French Laundry a few years ago. Lobster so succulent and a sauce so clean, the flavors have been engrained in our minds. Certainly this dish does not come close to Keller's dish, but it was certainly delicious ;) We also really wanted to make this dish for Shirley of (Kokken69). We knew lobster was expensive in Singapore and well, it was on sale at H Mart over here =P.
1 lb butter + 5-6 tablespoon for the sauce 3 whole fresh lobster (~1.5 lbs each) lobster stock (see below) chicken stock maitake mushroom fennel leek
- Bring a large pot of water to boil in a stock pot
- carefully place the live lobster in the boiling water. Boil for 20-30 seconds. the shell should be red.
- remove the lobster the pot and carefully pull the meat out from the tail, claw and knuckle. Save the meat from the claw and knuckle for the lobster and cucumber juice dish. Trim the lobster tail meat by de-veining it
- melt the 1 lb of butter and clarifying it by skim the solids off the top and pour the oil out
- place the clarified butter and lobster tail in a small pot and poach on low heat for 15 mins
- remove the lobster from the butter and drain it off with paper towel
- braise the leek in chicken stock until tender
- drain the leek and season with salt to taste
- quickly blanch the maitake mushroom and dress it with beurre monte and salt to taste
- To plate, spoon the rich sauce onto a deep bowl, place the lobster tail in the center and decorate with the raw shaved fennel bulb, fennel fronds and maitaki mushroom.
Note: Leftover sauce can be made into a soup by adding heavy whipping cream.
shell from 3 lobsters with the brain and tomalley removed 1 fennel 1 large carrot
- After removing the meat from the tail, claw and knuckle, rough chop the legs and body. Add all the shells into a stock pot. Add the diced carrots and fennel bulb and stalk
- add enough water to submerge the shell
- carefully bring to a boil and turn the heat to low to simmer. skim the foam from the stock often
- simmer for 2 hours. drain the stock through a sieve and cheese cloth. Pound the shell with a rolling pin to extract as much liquid as possible.
- to make the sauce, transfer 1 quart of the stock to a clean pot and slowly reduce the stock down to 1/2 cup. the sauce should be really concentrated. remove it from the heat and slowly add 5-6 tablespoon of butter, 1 oz piece at a time. whisk the butter until it has melted and full emulsified.
Photo Courtesy of Chennergy
Kyoho Chocolate Spheres (inspired by our meal at Avenues)
Why Jared decided to do another recreation of Curtis Duffy's dish, I don't know. The man is crazy. The original recipe can be found here. Instead of sudachi, Jared used kyoho grapes since it was in season at the time of the dinner. You can use any liquid you like to make this dish. To make the thin shell, you really need to get the cocoa butter (not the stuff for your skin!!!) It took us a while, but we found it in the raw section at Whole Foods (it was not cheap!). To make the juice, Jared blended the grapes and passed it through a sieve to remove the clumps and skin. Then fill a spherical ice mold with the juice.
Photo Courtesy of Chennergy
Deconstructed Caramel Apple
His final inspiration for the multi-course meal came from staring at some leftover salted caramel in the fridge and Baby Duck's freeze dried apple snack. Jared decided to use it in making some form of a deconstructed caramel apple. Nothing says fall like Affy Tapple!!
- if you don't have time to make cinnamon ice cream, you can buy vanilla ice cream and add cinnamon to it. to do this, let the ice cream soften and whisk with a standing mixer, gradually add the cinnamon to your taste. place the ice cream back into a container and let it harden before serving
- to plate, spread the salted caramel on the bottom of the plate
- let the ice cream soften a little to make the quenelle
- dress the plate with the candied pecan, freeze dried apple and apple
- place the tuile on top of the ice cream