New Local Tuna Special

I have finally (FINALLY!) hooked up with the Port Orford gang and they are now sending me fresh albacore tuna straight from the Oregon coast.  Here’s a special we’re running with it right now…  Sesame seared with a nice Asian slaw, tomato puree and avocado.  Turned out really delicious…

Wild Ramp Butter

I made a lot of ramp butter with some more ramps I got.  Thinking something with oven braised rainbow trout….

Sous Vide Chicken with Oregon White Truffles

Here is the first dish I made today using my truffles for Sunday Brunch.

          

Hawaiian Tombo Tuna

Found a use for these great Oregon pickled ramps.  I’m pairing them with a salad of crispy Spring new potatoes, grilled asparagus, pepper bacon and a cider-mustard vinaigrette.  It’s finished with avocado puree, hard boiled egg and micro turnips/pea tendrils from our kitchen garden.  Can’t wait for the local albacore tuna season to open up!

Oregon White Spring Truffles

Funny, I didn’t even know these existed until I saw them.  And the aroma…  WOW!  Seriously.  These are unreal.  It’s frustrating though because I am having a hard time devising my next special for them for some reason.  I just want to smell them.  🙂  Hopefully I can come up with something soon.  The weather has been warm and sunny.  Not really what you would think of for truffles I’m only used to using during cold winter months.  We’ll see…

New Hybrid-Hydroponic System Results for Micro Greens in Our Kitchen

Well, here are some photos of what our pea tendrils look like using the new soiless growing medium.  These photos are taken 10 days after germination with just water and organic fertilizer.


 Needless to say, we will be switching all of our indoor growing operations to this new system. 
 It’s remarkable.  Thanks to the Ladybug Store for hooking us up with the experiment.  

What is Sustainable?

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the USDA Website:

Definition of Sustainable Agriculture

The term ”sustainable agriculture” (U.S. Code Title 7, Section 3103) means an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will over the long-term:

  • Satisfy human food and fiber needs.
  • Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agriculture economy depends.
  • Make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls.
  • Sustain the economic viability of farm operations.
  • Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.

 

From Yourdictionary.com:

us·tain·able (sə stānə bəl)

adjective

  1. capable of being sustained
  2. designating, of, or characterized by a practice that sustains a given condition, as economic growth or a human population, without destroying or depleting natural resources, polluting the environment

I need to qualify this by saying I am not a farmer.  I respect farmers/ranchers/food producers.  It’s hard work.  It’s also very unpredictable.  Farming sustainability requires an understanding of the relationships between organisms and their environment.  One must benefit the other.  Consider it a closed loop system.  You don’t really need to introduce anything if done well.  Composting, water catchment and wind or solar power are examples of sustainable practices.  It’s important for me as a chef to understand how this works.  I need to understand why a commercial egg costs me 11 cents while a sustainable egg costs me 25 cents.  It’s important for my guests to understand this as well.

Food is getting more and more expensive.  There are reasons why.  Food in the US is cheaper than most other countries.  It’s artificially kept low by the government.  I don’t yet fully understand why.  I’m in the process of studying it now.  The main thing to know is that the food system must change.  If we are to continue as a people, we need to get back to basics and re-learn what our grandparents held dearly.  Are we as Americans generally privileged?  Yes.  Are we softer because of this?  Yes.  Will this be our undoing?  Only you can decide.  For now, support your sustainable food producers.  Just in case.  It may cost more, but can you put a price on a healthy planet?

Hearts and Vines Charity Auction

Here are some shots of the Charity auction dinner we did for Hearts and Vines…

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West Coast Flavors Featuring Jacksonville Inn

Today is the first airing of 6 episodes of West Coast Flavors we shot a couple days ago.  For all of you “Local” folks, it will be on Channel 10 KTVL at 5:00pm every Thursday.  Tune in and check it out…

If you want to check the episodes out on line, they will be posted here as they air:

http://www.ktvl.com/sections/recipes/

Grab 2.5 minutes worth of popcorn and enjoy!

New Duck, Version 1.2

Here it is…  This is made with Dave Mostu’s Local Wheat Berries turned into a pistashio-cranberry pilaf, roasted beets and golden beet puree and wild huckleberry jus.  This is the same method as the sous vide duck in the older preparation…

Awards.

It’s nice to be recognized for your efforts from time to time.  Here we won the Southern Oregon Magazine’s Best Fine Dining Restaurant 2 years in a row.  Great job by everyone!

Stuffed Chicken

This dish turned out real nice.  We take whole chickens and cut out the airline breast.  The thighs are boned out and the skin is reserved for the chicken skin wrapped pork.  The thigh meat is turned into a farce meat with linguisa sausage.  We butterfly the breast and pipe in the farce.  It’s then glued back together with Activa and sous vide at 140 deg for 2 hours.

Chicken Fried Pulled Pork.

Chicken Fried Steak?  Yeah.  How about Chicken Fried Pulled Pork?  We took our sous vide pork and pressed it into a terrine while it was hot and let it set over night.  Then it’s sliced and wrapped in chicken skin glued on with Activa.  After it sets, its coated in seasoned buttermilk and dredged in flour and fried.  Just like fried chicken, but it’s pulled pork.

Sous Vide Pulled Pork

We season pork butt with salt, sugar and aromatics and cure it over night.  It’s then sealed and sous vide for 12 hours at 176 deg.  We will be using this for our chicken fried pulled pork.

How Fine Dining Continues to Evolve.

Here is another article from last year that shows how fine dining is evolving and changing.   Decades ago, fine dining may have been a white table cloth with costumed servers and large portions of expensive meats and some sort of potato with a random vegetable.  Then it turned to the foie gras and caviars, lobster and exotic, expensive items from around the globe.  Things are changing again and it’s not about how expensive the ingredient is, simply how well it is prepared.   It has long been my philosophy that all ingredients have equal culinary value, regardless of cost. 

http://coirestaurant.com/carrotsarethenewcaviar/

Pork Getting Ready for Sous Vide

We’ve taken Pork Shoulder and seasoned it heavily with salt, sugar and spices.  Then we will sous vide it for about 28 hours at 160 deg.  This will then be pulled and pressed in a terrine and then wrapped in chicken skin.

Activa RM.

We just received our shipment of Activa RM today.  AKA Meat Glue, we will be using this in several different applications.  The enzyme transglutaminase has the ability to molecularly crosslink protein molecules together.  It does not discriminate against which kind of protein, so you can theoretically glue a piece of fish to a piece of pork if you wanted to, just as if that’s how nature intended it to be. 

Pickled Chanterelles

These button chanterelles make a great garnish.

Sous Vide Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese?

Sure, why not?  The cheese is not subject to heating,  just a vacuum and pressing that alters the texture to a more creamy consistency and a marble-like appearance.

Striploin with Chanterelles and Sous Vide Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese

We trim and cut striploin into paves and sear them.  We plate with Fall sweet peas, baby carrots from our garden, chanterelles from the coast and a “fondue” also made from Rogue Creamery Caveman Blue. 

We take about 8 ounces of the cheese and vacuum seal it.  We then roll it out with a rolling pin and the effect is like marble.  I trim thin strips and use it as a base to the presentation.

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