About once a month, my friend Taria and I get together to cook. We formulate some ideas and go from there. We do not plan together, but always seem to compliment each other. Sometimes we forget ingredients, and sometimes receive inspiration along the way. A friend of mine said, "Cooking is like jazz. You learn a basic scale and riff on it." I agree. Get the basics down, and you can improvise from there.
This time, Taria decided on Red Snapper. Once filleted, our friend received a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and mustard powder and was pan seared. For the sauce, the carcass was simmered with water, white wine, and a slice of ginger until reduced and finished with butter.
Next, she simmered some smoked turkey necks in water and chili sauce. The meat was removed and mixed with napa cabbage that had been sauteed in butter.
Taria finished the plate with a potato gratin. This consisted of grated Yukon gold potatoes, marscapone cheese, sauteed leeks, salt, pepper, and allspice.
I started with some roasted poblano peppers, which I made into a bisque. This consisted of onions, salt, pepper, chicken stock, cumin, paprika, and a touch of cream. I will dedicate a post at some point to making bisque. It is great and easy.
I then made ricotta gnocchi. This was surprisingly easy. Ricotta, egg yolk, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and cilantro. I added flour until it came to a dough and flash froze it. All that was left to do was boil until done and top with Parmesan.
I thought I would try my hand at beef carpaccio. This has been a long time favorite of mine that many people steer away from due to the fact that it's raw. I picked up a whole tenderloin and used the short loin end, specifically the tips. (If you do not know how to section a tenderloin, chicken, or anything else, search the internet for a diagram.) I placed the piece of meat in the freezer for around 2 hours in plastic wrap. Next, I sliced it thin and placed the slices in a plastic storage bag. I pounded them flat with a mallet and plated on chilled plates. These were topped with salt and pepper.
I topped with collards sauteed in malt vinegar, salt, pepper, and butter.
Finally, I topped with chopped green onions, parmesan, and a mustard vinegarette. For the vinegarette, I used malt and white balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, mustard powder, and olive oil.
I cheated a bit on the next one. I had some leftover mashed red potatoes that I had mixed with a Thai curry sauce. I stirred in some shredded chicken that was pan seared, and some chopped green onions. I filled squares of puff pastry (yes, frozen), and baked. Then I topped it with a sauce made of pineapple, jalapenos, cilantro, white balsamic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon curd. The lemon curd was last minute, but made the sauce wonderful.
We paired the dinner with a nice red wine.
The final results were outstanding. We were pleased as usual. We ate, we learned, and we had fun.