Peppermint Cheesecake with Cocoa “Caviar”

Here is our new Winter Cheesecake.  White Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake on a Chocolate Crumb Crust with Cocoa “Caviar” and Peppermint Disk.

Chemical Additives

Chemical Additives.  Oooooo….  Bad…..  Right?

Well, we live in a society that is more and more embracing whole foods.  Minimally processed.  How many times have you heard “no chemical additives” as a marketing slogan or “if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it”?

Carrageenan?  Polysaccharide derived from red seaweed.  Natural product.  Mixed with liquids creates a rich mouth feel in an otherwise “thin” liquid.  Larger concentrations will gel liquids similar to gelatine.

Lecithin?  Phospholipid found naturally occurring in egg yolks and soy beans.  Natural product.   Emulsifies liquids with oils to create creamy feeling vinaigrettes or traps air into liquids to increase it’s volume 20 fold creating a stable foam.

Sodium Alginate?  Polysaccharide derived from brown algae.  Natural product.  When mixed with a watery liquid and set into a calcium solution, will gel into spheres.  Great for creating faux caviars and “ravioli” with a liquid center.

Xanthan Gum?  Polysaccharide derived from fermenting Xanthomonas campestris (a bacterial species found in plant life)  that is an efficient viscosifier of water and that has many important uses, especially in the food industry.  Natural product.

Maltodextrin?  Can be enzymatically derived from any starch.  Natural product.  Powdery substance that, when mixed with liquid fats, effectively transforms them into a powder to top or coat foods.

These are all hydrocolloids that, in one way or another, alter the texture of foods.  All are natural products and have been used in food manufacturing for years.  It’s only until more recently that modern cooking techniques have been developed in cutting edge kitchens that utilize these ingredients to enhance the dining experience.  Questions and comments encouraged.

 

Faux Caviar with Basil, Orange, Strawberry and Saffron Liquids

 

Zinfandel Foam Using Troon Vineyard’s Zinfandel (Southern Oregon)

Bacon Powder Using  Nueske’s Bacon

Terra Spice Account Active!

Finally got our Terra Spice account active.  I used to use them in North Carolina.  Great spice selection and also purveyors of chemicals used for molecular gastronomy.  Looking at buying some “caviar” chemicals, soy lecithin and malto dextrin powder to make airs, caviar and powders for wine tastings.  We will create unique flavors and textures to compliment the wines to be tasted in our wine shop.  Great fun…  Also looking forward to terra’s smoked black peppercorns, black garlic, dill pollen and others….  Check them out at www.terraspice.com

Imported Green Olive Brine…

What can we do with this?  Perhaps a green olive “caviar” to garnish a local cheese plate with rubharb compote?  Or as part of a wet brine for free range chickens?  Usually something like this may be discarded.  We, as chefs, are more and more realizing that this is pure flavor and can be used in many ways.

Oregon Cheesemaker’s Guild Dinner Final

This was a great time.  Really enjoyed havin fun with some killer cheese.  Thanks for all that came.  We had a sell out crowd of 132 people. 

Ancient Heritage Dairy Scio Heritage Sheep’s Milk Cheese and Prosciutto Sandwich with Creamy Sweet Onion and Duck Confit Soup with White Truffle Essence

Green Olive Stuffed Quail over Tillamook White Cheddar Polenta with Crispy Cheddar Tuilles

Rogue Creamery Caveman Blue Cheese Crusted Filet of Beef with Oregon Black Truffle-Potato Puree, Spring Onion and Sweet Pea Ragout and Local Cabernet Reduction

Three Ring Farms River’s Edge Fresh Chevre and Pistachio Truffles with Belgium Hot Chocolate Topped with Cocoa “Caviar”

Abacela Wine Maker’s Dinner

Here are some shots from the Abacela Wine Maker’s dinner last night.

Steamed Clams and Mussels with Baby Winter Broccoli, Portuguese Sausage and Saffron Risotto Cakes

Beet and Herbed Goat Cheese “Ravioli” with Pickled Red Onions and Pesto Vinaigrette

Seared Lamb Carpaccio with Truffle Aioli and Focaccia Crisps

Olive Oil Poached (Sous Vide) filet of Beef with Salt Cod Cakes, Olive Soil and Brown Butter-Balsamic Green Beans

 

Rogue Creamery “Echo Mountain” Blue Cheese 3 Ways

1.   Brulee with Raspberry “Caviar”

2.   Port Wine Poached Sekle Pears filled with Blue Cheese and Candied Walnuts with Rosemary “Paint”

3.   Sous Vide with Oven Cured Raspberries

Here’s a shot of the raspberry caviar being dropped into frozen canola oil to set into perfect little caviar size spheres.

Special thanks to Earl and Hilda Jones for coming and bringing some spectacular wines and sharing with us a lot about the important work they do.

New Year’s Eve

Here is our New Year’s Eve menu that was put together and executed by our Chef de Cusine Chris Huerta and crew.  Check out Chris’ blog at chrishuerta.wordpress.com

Madison’s New Years Eve 2008

Champagne, Truffles and Caviar” 

First Course

House Cured Bacon and Potato Soup,

Beet Gelee, Crispy Leeks, Georgia Caviar

Second Course

American Wagyu Beef Carpaccio,

 Aioli, Black Winter Truffle Puree,

Smoked Truffles, Focaccia and Artisans Salts

Third Course

Champagne Braised Carolina Trout,

Turnips, Pearl Onions,

Crispy Potato and Champagne Clam Emulsion,

 Local Trout Caviar

Fourth Course

Herb Seared Lamb Loin,

  Truffles, Salsify Ravioli, Parsnips,

Marjoram Thyme Truffled Butter Sauce

Fifth Course

White Chocolate Cake, Passion Fruit Mousse, Champagne Pomegranate Sabayon, Shattered Dark Chocolate


$85 per person

Tax, gratuity and beverages not included.

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED

White Chocolate Cake

Herb Seared Lamb

Champagne Braised Sunburst Trout

American Wagyu Beef Carpaccio

House Cured Bacon and Potato Soup


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