<![CDATA[From Scratch - Scratch]]>Tue, 23 Feb 2016 17:40:13 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Bone Marrow & Leek, Quail Egg, La Ratte Potato, Smoked Jus]]>Sat, 08 Nov 2014 17:00:54 GMThttp://foodfromscratch.weebly.com/scratch/bone-marrow-leek-quail-egg-la-ratte-potato-smoked-jus

Braised Leek Stuffed with Beef Marrow, La Ratte Potato Crumbs, Green and Purple Mustard Greens, Fried Quail Egg, Smoked Jus

The idea behind this dish came to me one day on a whim as good ideas tend to do. I had some nice 2 inch thick leeks that I cut into 4 inch cylinders and baked in some butter and chicken stock. I had no real plan with this leeks I just wanted to cook them. After I let them cool, and still having no plan, I sliced the cylinders into smaller pieces and began lining them up on the edge of my cutting board. As I was moving once particular piece of leek, the middle part of it slipped out and fell onto the board. As I placed the center-less leek down, an idea rapidly formed. This piece of cooked leek looked just like a marrow bone. As this was dawning on me I remembered that I had just purchased some actual marrow bones from the farmer's market just hours prior.

But as so many other ideas just fizzle away because they seem cool but don't make sense from a flavor standpoint, this one had legs. Leeks and bone marrow are actually fantastic together. And as I looked around at the other things I had picked up at the market, other ideas started to make sense. And so this dish was born.

As I stated above, the leeks were cut into 3 inch cylinders and placed in a covered baking dish with butter and enough chicken stock to cover them about halfway. I baked the leeks at 350 degrees for roughly 30 minutes. They didn't need to be cooked completely through because the middles are removed anyways. Once the leeks are completely cooled, the middles are removed.

I soaked the marrow bones overnight in ice eater to remove some of the blood. I heated them in the oven slightly to loosen up the marrow so I could pop it out easily in whole pieces. I stuffed the leek rounds with the marrow, filling the cavity tightly. Marrow is fairly pliable so this is pretty easy. The leeks were then placed in a very hot oven for about ten minutes to cook the marrow through. This step needs to be monitored carefully as the marrow will liquify and escape the leek if left in the oven for too long.

I took the bones that had previously housed the marrow and roasted them under the broiler. I made a stock with the bones, chicken stock, water, leek, bacon and shiitake mushroom. After a couple of hours simmering, the stock was strained and reduced down to a thick jus.

I made the crumbs by pulsing the fingerling potatoes with a hand blender in some cold water to a coarse sandy texture. I then strained the potato and dried it on paper towels. I heated rapeseed oil in a shallow pan til it almost began to smoke before adding the potato and cooking to a crunchy light brown. The oil was drained off and the crumbs were seasoned with sea salt.

The quail egg was just simply pan-fried, sunny-side-up, and cut with a small ring mold. And the mustard greens were plated, undressed for a sharp contrast to this rich dish. 

Leeks - Blooming Glen
Grass-fed Beef Bone Marrow - Hillacres Pride
La Ratte Fingerling Potatoes - Culton Organics
Mustard Greens - Henry Got Crops
Quail Egg - Griggstown Quail Farm

<![CDATA[Apple Cider Cake, Honey Crisp, Cider Pudding, Maple Ice Cream]]>Sat, 08 Nov 2014 16:28:40 GMThttp://foodfromscratch.weebly.com/scratch/apple-cider-cake-honey-crisp-cider-pudding-maple-ice-cream

Apple Cider Sponge Cake, Brandied Honey Crisp Apple, Mulled Wine Poached Honey Crisp Apple, Apple Cider Pudding, Raw Milk Maple Ice Cream, Lemon Balm

Apple cider is an ingredient that manages to find it's way into a lot of my cooking during the fall and winter months. And not just in desserts. I will almost always put it in my jus for roasted chicken. Use it to flavor soups or roasted root vegetables. And it frequently ends up in cocktails. Bourbon and cider are a perfect pairing. And of course, being sweet as it is, cider is well suited for sweet dishes.

I adapted a cake recipe from Eleven Madison Park Chef Daniel Humm by substituting the cup of water it called for with cider. Once the cake was cooled I also soaked it in a cider syrup. I make the syrup by simply reducing a half gallon of cider in a sauce pan to about a pint. This syrup is easy to make, lasts for months and is a nice addition to a cocktail.

I adapted another recipe for the ice cream, this time from

Gunnar Karl Gíslason of Dill Restaurant in Iceland, which uses xanthum gum as a stabilizer. I used whole raw milk only, and no eggs so the end result is much lighter than a traditional ice cream. I would even think about calling it a milk sorbet. I also substituted maple syrup (another ingredient I use a lot) for sugar. 

I used two different sized Parisian scoops for the apple spheres. Half were poached in brandy and sugar and half in mulled red wine. I cooked them til they were almost soft throughout, maintaining a little texture in the middle.

The pudding was made by heating apple cider to a simmer, adding 2% agar agar, stirring til the powder dissolved and chilling it to set. Once set the gel was set it was pureed with some buttermilk and passed through a fine mesh tamis. It was placed in a squeeze bottle and re-chilled.

Honey Crisp Apple - 3 Springs
Apple Cider - 3 Springs
Maple Syrup - Spring Hills Farm
Raw Milk - Hillacres
Lemon Balm - My Garden
<![CDATA[Japanese Sweet Potato, Spiced Wheat Berries, Pork Fat]]>Fri, 10 Oct 2014 15:29:51 GMThttp://foodfromscratch.weebly.com/scratch/japanese-sweet-potato-spiced-wheat-berries-pork-fat

Japanese White Sweet Potato Poached in Pork Fat, Spiced Wheat Berry Crumbs, Mizuna, Red Leaf Lettuce, Nasturtium, Borage, Calendula, Wood Sorrel, Pork Fat

I've recently adopted, and subsequently become obsessed with, this particular method of tuber and root vegetable cookery. You simply place the vegetables into a glass mason jar that fits them snuggly, fill it with pork or duck fat, cover and bake until tender. I also like to add some warming spices to the jar like clove, star anise, allspice and cinnamon. Cooking in this manner accomplishes a few important things. It deeply infuses the flavor of the fat and spices into the vegetables. It requires a smaller amount of fat which is very economical. It allows the vegetable to be completely cooked through while also maintaining its shape and general integrity. 

This is a white Japanese sweet potato, cooked in the manner described above, along with star anise, clove, black pepper, salt and cinnamon. The potato was cooked whole the peeled and sliced. It was rolled in the spiced wheat berries just before being placed on the plate.

I made the spiced berry crumble by milling whole red fife wheat berries with clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, star anise and black pepper. I then made a dough by combining this with butter and needing til smooth and cohesive. I baked the dough until it was set. Once cooled I broke it up into pieces and pulverized it with a muddler.

I finished by simply arranging the leaves and flowers around the sweet potato and sprinkling some sea salt on top.

Japanese Sweet Potato - Culton Organics
Red Fife Wheat Berries - North Star Orchards
Mizuna - Savoie Organics
Red Leaf - Savoie Organics
Flowers - My Garden
<![CDATA[Brussels Sprouts, Beets, Apple, Bacon & Horseradish]]>Fri, 03 Oct 2014 18:14:34 GMThttp://foodfromscratch.weebly.com/scratch/brussels-sprouts-beets-apple-bacon-horseradish

Roasted Purple Brussels Sprouts, Roasted and Raw Chioggia Beets, Arlet Apple, Horseradish Cream, Powdered Bacon Fat, Mizuna

If I made this dish with produce purchased at a typical grocery store, it would consist of two colors, red & green. "Conventional" produce has been bred for uniformity. This has resulted, not only in food that is boring to look at, but lacks flavor and texture as well. All grocery store beets are red, sprouts and lettuces are green and apples are either or. I can think of many reasons why it has come to this, and all are equally as frustrating. I can't imagine being presented with one of these amazingly colored (and flavored) Arlet apples and not selecting it over a horribly boring (and flavorless) Red "Delicious" apple that looks exactly like every other red delicious that has ever been grown and sold. Diversity is important in every system. And this couldn't ring truer than in our food system. So this dish is a celebration of the magnificence of being different.

I roasted some of the Chioggia (or Candy Stripe) beets with some water and vinegar, covered in the oven, til tender. Once cooled, I peeled and cut them. I thinly sliced a raw beet and cut the slices into circles with a very sharp knife.

I placed the Brussels sprouts in simmering salted water for about a minute and then plunged them into an ice bath. This helped to preserve their vibrant color during the subsequent cooking in pork fat and water. I also removed some individual leaves of some sprouts and used them raw.

I removed sections of a whole apple with a Parisian scoop and immediately placed them in acidulated water so they wouldn't brown. I sliced the backside of each apple sphere so that they sat still when I plated them.

I made the cream by combining horseradish root with creme fraiche, salt, white vinegar and some xantham gum and blending til smooth. I passed the cream through a tamis and placed it into a squeeze bottle which I used to form dots on the plate.

The powder was made by whisking bacon fat and tapioca maltodextrin together. Once it formed a dry paste I ran it through the tamis, resulting in bacon powder.

I finished the dish with some of the raw Brussels sprout leaves and mizuna leaves.

Arlet Apple - 3 Springs
Chioggia Beets - Culton Organics
Purple Brussels Sprouts - Culton Organic
Mizuna - Savoie Organics
<![CDATA[Black Pudding, Celery & Apple]]>Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:15:41 GMThttp://foodfromscratch.weebly.com/scratch/black-pudding-celery-apple

Black Pudding, Celeriac Apple Puree, Cipollini Onion Petals, Shaved French Breakfast Radish, Celeriac Crumbs, Celery Oil, Celery Leaves

Black pudding or "Boudin Noir" is made primarily from pig's blood. I never shy away from that fact when serving or explaining it. Eating blood  is a hard thing for many people to take on. I can understand I guess, living in a culture where this practice isn't the most common thing. But if you really think about it, whenever you eat a piece of meat, you are ingesting blood along with it. And is eating blood really that much different than eating an animal's ribs, ass or loin?

I made the black pudding by combing fresh pig's blood with diced pork fat and adding a "panade" made from combining heavy cream and stale bread. To this I added salt, ground ginger, clove, black pepper, star anise and nutmeg. I whipped all of the ingredients to disperse them evenly and poured it into a terrine mold. I placed the mold in a water bath and baked it at 350 degrees for about an hour. I then chilled it overnight to set. There is no need to use egg when making black pudding. The blood does the same job as it coagulates and sets the terrine. I will usually slice the pudding and pan fry, but here I broke it into pieces before cooking.

I made a simple puree by cooking diced celeriac (celery root) in boiling water til soft and then adding diced apple that had been tossed in citric acid to prevent browning. After the apples had cooked I strained the water out and pureed the apple and celeriac with butter, heavy cream and cider vinegar. I then passed the puree through a mesh tamis before seasoning it with some salt. I spooned the puree onto the plate before adding the other ingredients.

I made the crumbs by blending the celeriac scraps with water til it reached a sandy texture. I strained the water out and fried the celeriac in pork fat until crisp and golden-brown. I drained crumbs on paper towels before spooning them onto the plate.

The oil was made by combining celery leaves with rapeseed oil and blending til smooth. This mixture was then placed in a pot and slowly heating to 220 degrees when the oil and solids began to separate.
The oil was then strained through cheesecloth and refrigerated. 

I tossed the onions in pork fat and roasted them in the oven til they were tender. I sliced them in half and separated the individual "petals". I placed them onto the plate and dripped some of the oil into them.

I completed the dish by adding some sliced french breakfast radish and yellow celery leaves.

Celeriac - Blooming Glen
Cipolloni Onion - Beechwood Orchards
Autumn Crisp Apple - 3 Springs
French Breakfast Radish - Savoie Organics
Celery - Weaver's Way
<![CDATA[Cavaillon Melon, Cardoon Honey, Aka Shiso, Red Corn, Tiger's Milk]]>Sat, 06 Sep 2014 15:51:20 GMThttp://foodfromscratch.weebly.com/scratch/cavaillon-melon-cardoon-honey-aka-shiso-red-corn-tigers-milk

Cavaillon Melon, Aka Shiso, Cardoon Flower Honey, Red Sweet Corn, Lemon Balm, Calendula Petals, Borage, Tiger's Milk Gel

This is a dish that ended up really straddling the boundaries between savory and dessert. It has huge elements of sweet, salty, sour and bitter flavors throughout.  This wasn't necessarily intentional. When I'm thinking up a dish, I try to take a look at everything I have available from the markets and start to think about what will go well together. I try to do this without any preconceived notions of where the dish will be placed within a meal. I also, more recently, stopped  choosing a protein or a main component to build the rest of the dish around. If you've been following me this spring and summer you may have noticed the almost complete absence of animal proteins due in part to this philosophy.

This dish started to come together at the market. I got some really great baby melons that I immediately decided to keep as whole as possible.  So I simply peeled the melon, cut it in half and marinated it in a some cider vinegar for a bit. I then placed it on the plate and filled the cavity with the honey. This particular honey is from bees that had first pollinated apple blossoms before moving on to cardoon flowers. It is very lite, floral and amazing.

The tiger's milk gel, commonly called "leche de tigre" and used in ceviche, was made using Jalapenos. I blended the chiles with
sugar, water and vinegar and strained the juice out. I combined it with agar agar and heated it until it melted. The liquid was then chilled to set the gel before being blended and passed through a tamis. I placed the gel in a squeeze bottle and squirted little drops onto the plate.

The red corn, which is incredibly sweet, was just sliced off the cob and served raw for some texture. I also think that corn retains it;s sweetness when left raw.

The rest of the components were arranged around the melon. The shiso added a splash of color, along with a spicy, bitter flavor to counter the sweetness of the melon and honey. While the flowers and
lemon balm complemented them.

Cavaillon Melon - Culton Organics
Red Sweet Corn - Culton Organics
Raw Cardoon Flower Honey - Culton Organics
Aka (red) Shiso - Weaver's Way
Jalapeno Chilis - Culton Organics
Lemon Balm - My Garden
Borage Flower - My Garden
Calendula Flowers - My Garden
<![CDATA[Chilled Melon Soup, Japanese Cucumber, Padron Pepper]]>Sat, 09 Aug 2014 15:30:51 GMThttp://foodfromscratch.weebly.com/scratch/chilled-melon-soup-japanese-cucumber-padron-pepper

French Heirloom Melon, Pickled Watermelon Rind, Japanese Cucumber, Padron Pepper, Arugula Flower, Nasturtium, Borage Flower, Calendula Petals, Persian Cress Flowers, Lemon Balm, Hyssop

One of my favorite ways to prepare melon is in a chilled soup like this one. At the market that I go to on Sundays there is an amazing variety of melons throughout the summer aside from the typical watermelon and cantaloupe. I highly recommend seeking out some lesser known melons. Pureeing these melons, cold, makes for a very satisfying experience that enlivens their flavors, incorporating some air throughout. This is also one of the simplest soups to make as it requires very minimal cooking.

I first broke the melon down, removing the seeds and chopping the flesh into small chunks. I peeled the cucumber, removed the seeds and chopped it as well.  I transferred t
he melon and cucumber to a blender. I sauteed some diced onion and garlic in olive oil til translucent and added it to the blender. I seasoned everything with some salt and pepper, added cane vinegar and began blending. With the blender running I slowly poured in some olive oil, emulsifying the soup and smoothing it out. I chilled it for a couple of hours before serving.

I poured the soup into a bowl and arranged the herbs, flowers, pickled melon rind, rolled cucumber and raw padron peppers. 

Heirloom French Melon - Culton Organics
Japanese Cucumber - Culton Organics
Padron Peppers - My Garden
Flowers and Herbs - My Garden
<![CDATA[PA Dutch Corn Pie, Purple Celery, Garlic Confit]]>Thu, 07 Aug 2014 15:52:19 GMThttp://foodfromscratch.weebly.com/scratch/pa-dutch-corn-pie-purple-celery-garlic-confit

Sweet Corn Pie, Hard-Boiled Hen Egg, Purple Celery, Green Leaf Lettuce, Confit Garlic, Calendula Flowers

This is yet another interpretation of another dish that I grew up eating in a Pennsylvania Dutch family. We would have this all throughout the summer. My parents would buy 100's of ears of corn all at one time, freezing or canning most of it for the winter. This pie was a summer staple in my household. And it was one of the few things that my mother and father both made. My dad's version had sliced hard-boiled eggs lining the bottom of the pan. For some crazy reason this summer was the first that I decided to make this pie. It has always been in the back of my mind. Whenever I saw that huge pile of ears at the market I would think about it but never thought to actually make a corn pie. I think maybe the trauma of having to shuck hundreds of ears of corn on my Aunt's farm had something to do with it. But I finally came to terms with this pent up emotions.

The actual pie I grew up eating was a normal sized pie. This one is a small version more appropriate
for this forum, but just as delicious. The first step is to make the pie crust. Yes, that's right, I said "make" the pie crust. Buying a pre-made pie crust is just lazy and not worth the money. A little extra time spent will make the pie so much better. I use Thomas Keller's recipe from the Ad Hoc cookbook for making all of my pies.

While the pie dough chilled I prepared the filling. I pureed some of the corn kernels with raw cow's milk and then strained off all of the liquid. I sauteed onion and celery in butter and then added the corn milk, whisking until the liquid thickened up a bit. I chilled this completely then added fresh corn kernels.

I rolled the dough out to about a quarter inch thickness and line a ramekin with it, trimming the edges. I placed the filling inside and covered it with another layer of the dough, cutting a slit to allow steam out. I brushed the top with egg wash and sprinkled it with sea salt. I baked the pie, starting at 425 and then dropping to 375, til the crust was
golden brown and the filling began bubbling.

I removed the pie from the ramekin and placed it on the plate.
I garnished the plate with sliced hard-boiled eggs, calendula petals, purple celery and it's leaves and some lettuce hearts. I also spooned some of the reserved filling and sauteed red onion next to the pie along with the confit garlic cloves.

Sweet Corn - Buzby Farm
Raw Pastured Cow's Milk - Hillacres
Pastured Hen Egg - Hillacres
Purple Celery - Culton Organics
Calendula Flowers - My Garden
<![CDATA[Sun Gold Tomato, Watermelon, Borage & Basil]]>Thu, 07 Aug 2014 04:20:49 GMThttp://foodfromscratch.weebly.com/scratch/sun-gold-tomato-watermelon-borage-basil

Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes, Watermelon, Borage Flowers, Basil, Purslane, Powdered Pork Fat

A sun gold, more than any other kind, will remind you that a tomato is in fact a fruit. These things are incredibly sweet. Sweeter than a lot of more traditional fruits. I buy a ton of them during their short window of ripeness during July and August. And I eat most of them like candy, popping them into my mouth throughout the day. The larger heirloom varieties get most of the hype these days. But pound for pound, sun golds are by far the best.

I pulled the tops off of the tomatoes and cut a small X on the underside. I dropped them into simmering water for about 30 seconds when the skin just started to peel back on its own. I removed them and shocked them in an ice water bath before peeling the skin off of them. This process is not meant to cook the tomato, but allow it's exterior to be easily removed.

I placed the tomatoes onto the plate. I separated the stems and leaves from the borage pet
als and placed them on the tomatoes to mimic their actual stems. I used a small Parisian scoop for the watermelon balls and arranged them about the plate as well along with the basil leaves and purslane. I finished the plate off with some powdered pork fat made with tapioca maltodextrin.  

Sun Gold Tomatoes - Root Mass Farm
Watermelon - Buzby Farm
Borage Flowers - My Garden
Basil - My Garden
Purslane - My Garden
Pork Fat - Hillacres Pride
<![CDATA[Salad Of Cucumber, Sun Gold Tomato, Mint Dill, Goat Yogurt]]>Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:35:10 GMThttp://foodfromscratch.weebly.com/scratch/salad-of-cucumber-sun-gold-tomato-mint-dill-goat-yogurt

Kirby, Asian Burpless, White, Italian Melon & Lemon Cucumbers, Shaved Radish, Sun Gold Cherry Tomato, Mint, Dill, Nasturtium, Mustard Flower, Borage, Goat's Milk Yogurt

This dish came about due to a recent explosion of cucumbers at the farmer's market. They were everywhere, in all shapes, sizes and colors. This happens at some point every year around this time. And I always try to buy each variety and use them together in one dish. When you eat all of these varieties of one fruit at the same time you can really pick up on each individual's slight nuances.

I simply sliced all of the different cucumbers and seasoned them with a little bit of vinegar before arranging them in a circle on plate. I did the same with the radish and tomatoes. I then placed the flowers and herbs on top.

I combined the goat's milk yogurt with some salt, vinegar and honey. I used a hand blender to mix it and get some air, creating the bubbles. I finished the plate with some black volcanic sea salt.

Asian Burpless, Italian Melon & Lemon Cucumber - 3 Springs
Kirby & White Cucumber - Savoie Organics
Breakfast Radish - Savoie Organics
Sun Gold Tomatoes - Root Mass Farm
Dill - Blooming Glenn
Mint, Nasturtium
, Mustard Flowers & Nasturtium - My Garden
Goat's Milk Yogurt - Shellbark Hollow