Crisp Octopus with Celeriac & Garlic Purées, Miso Cuttlefish Ink, and Asian Pear

This was the third course to my 6-course Friendsgiving party for 3 people.

This dish is of my creation and it has been on the a la carte menu at my job, as of September, so I do not wish to share the recipe (yet).

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[100% organic, Portuguese octopus]

{no recipe}

Plans for Thanksgiving 2016

It’s that time of year again… when I start planning for my annual Friendsgiving menu at the end of August for the end of November. I like to plan ahead. It’s not like I set any kind of alarm in my calendar, it just pops into my head randomly towards the end of the summer.

*edit November 14*

2016 has not been a great year, personal struggles and the revelation of our next president. I am also physically exhausted all the time now so I don’t feel like overachieving in my menu for this year. It’s going to be a small, intimate dinner with my brother and best friend. I want to do something easy (in my terms) and spend quality time with quality company.

Kabocha, Ricotta, Caramelized Pearl Onion
Avocado, Bulgarian Feta, Sunflower Seeds
Brussels Sprouts, Capers, Cashew Cream
Selection of Crostini

Onion Leek Soup
Shoestring Potatoes, Crispy Herbs, Chive Oil
1st Course

Day Boat Scallops
Grapefruit, Brown Butter, Marcona Almond
2nd Course

Crisp Octopus
Celeriac & Garlic Purées, Miso Cuttle-Fish Ink Paste, Asian Pear
3rd Course

Duck Leg Confit Pasta
7 Spice, Homemade Fettuccine, Basil Breadcrumbs
4th Course

Duck Breast
Parmesan Truffle Risotto, Maitake Mushroom,
Roasted Shallots, Spinach
5th Course

Triple Layered Dark Chocolate Tart
Raspberry Sorbet, Pistachio, Sea Salt
6th Course

Crab & Tiger Shrimp over Hand Cut Noodles in a Mentaiko Dashi Butter

Last month when I celebrated my birthday, I went to Tuome for dinner. I’ve been wanting to go there since they opened in 2014. The best thing I ate was the snow crab noodles that I had read about. And it was absolutely amazing!!!!! And currently the best thing that I’ve ate in NYC. I just wish there was more snow crab. Last week I went back to Tuome just to have the noodles again along with some duck confit mini brioche burgers.

Last night, I was craving for those noodles again so I decided to make it myself. This took me 2 hours, with another hour for resting the pasta/dough, so 3 hours total but totally worth it. I can’t afford buying snow crab meat so I bought regular lump crab meat.

Serves 4-6.

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[100% organic, sustainable seafood]

For the Noodles

  • 400 g 00 flour
  • 4 eggs + 2 yolks, beaten
  • 1 TBS EVOO
  • Salt

In a bowl, add the flour and make a well in the center. Add in the beaten eggs and yolks, EVOO, and pinch of salt. Using a rubber spatula, start mixing the dry into the wet ingredients. Continue kneading the dough on the counter top until dough is elastic (8-10 minutes). Wrap in plastic and place somewhere warm-ish, allow to rest for 1 hour.

Cut the dough into smaller pieces and roll out to your preference of thickness. Using a sharp knife, fold dough (to make it easier to cut) and slice to your width preference.

Lay cut noodles spread out to dry a bit before cooking.

For the Dashi

  • 2 quarts cold tap water
  • 4 pieces kombu
  • 2 cups bonito flakes, packed

Pour the cold water into a pot and add the kombu. Bring to a simmer on low-medium heat. Do not allow to boil. Once simmering, turn off heat. Discard kombu and add in the bonito flakes. Allow to infuse for 20 minutes or longer, until you need it.

For the Seafood

  • 1.5 lbs tiger shrimp (21/25)
  • ½ lb lump crab meat
  • Ground ginger
  • Salt
  • Canola oil

Pick through crab meat to remove any random shell parts.

Remove the shells and veins from the shrimp. In a pan, heat up some oil. Sear shrimp and season with salt and ground ginger. Add some water/dashi and cover to continue cooking thoroughly. Remove, set aside, and keep warm.

For the Finish

  • ¼ cup spicy mentaiko
  • Dashi (from above)
  • Noodles (from above)
  • Red pepper flakes, as needed
  • Butter, as needed
  • Beurre manié, as needed
  • Chives, finely cut
  • Salt

In a large pot of salted water, cook noodles until al dente.

In a large sauté pan on medium heat, melt ½ pound unsalted butter. Add in 2 cups of dashi, the mentaiko, some chili flakes, some chives, and continue to emulsify on low heat. Add some beurre manié to make sauce thick, if needed. Add in the cooked noodles and reserved shrimp then toss to coat. Taste for seasoning and adjust.

Plate noodles with sauce, top with picked crab and more cut chives.

*Inspired by Tuome.

Scallop Crudo with Shichimi, Shimeji, Haricots Verts Salad & Fennel Foam

This was the first course to my 5-course Friendsgiving party for 6 people. Originally, I had another course before this but I cut it once I realized that the duck confit would take too much of my time and I didn’t want to overwhelm myself.

Serves 6.

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[100% organic, wild scallops]

For the Fennel Foam

  • 2 large fennel bulbs, roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • Bouquet garni: white peppercorns, 1 garlic clove, fennel fronds
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream

In a pan, sweat the onion, fennel, and bouquet garni with vegetable oil. Once the vegetables have soften, deglaze with white wine. Reduce until au sec, then add the cream and simmer for 15 minutes.

Pour mixture into a blender and blend well. Do not strain. Pour purée into a whip cream dispenser and charge twice. Keep warm.

For the Salad

  • 2 packets brown shimeji mushrooms
  • 1 lb green beans
  • 1 bunch cilantro, picked
  • 1 cup neutral oil

Cut base off of mushrooms (save for stock making) and cut off ends of green beans. Blanch in salted water then shock in iced water.

In a blender, blend on high the cilantro leaves and oil. Blend until the oil is warm, then strain through a fine mesh strainer or through cheesecloth/coffee filters. Reserve oil into a squeeze bottle.

For the Finish

  • 18 diver scallops, soaked in salted cold water, drained, then sliced
  • Shimichi Togarashi
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Cilantro oil (from above)
  • Micro cilantro
  • Fennel fronds (if saved, and I forgot to use it)
  • Sea salt/Maldon salt
  • Lemon

TO ASSEMBLE

In a bowl, lightly toss blanched mushrooms and green beans with cilantro oil,  lemon juice, and salt. Slice scallops into thin rounds.

On the plate:

  1. Season mushrooms and green beans with lemon, cilantro oil, and salt. Arrange salad.
  2. Place scallops on plate, season scallops with crushed sea salt, lemon, and togarashi.
  3. Squeeze an odd number of fennel foam dots.
  4. Garnish with micro cilantro, pomegranate seeds, fennel fronds, and more cilantro oil.

Plans for Thanksgiving 2015

It’s that time of year again! I already set on my menu this year; I just haven’t typed it out yet. And since I don’t want to go outside because it’s cold, and I have caught up with all my TV, I am going to write out all the recipes today.

This year, it’s going to be a small Friendsgiving because I’ll be hosting in my new apartment and my kitchen isn’t all that big. I don’t even own a gas oven so I have to make do with my tiny (but the largest that I could find) convection oven and my two-top gas stove. I bought a smoke gun and an iSi dispenser, so things should be interesting at home!

I originally had six courses but when I was writing up the recipes, I realized that the duck confit would take a lot of my time and that it didn’t really make much sense to have two soups on the menu.

Scallop Crudo
Shichimi, Shimeji, Haricots Verts Salad & Fennel Foam
1st Course

Quail
Glutinous Rice, Chinese Sausage, Dried Shiitake, Spiced Black Currant Ximénez Reduction
2nd Course

Shredded Duck Leg Confit
Cream of Mushroom and Chestnut, Crackling, Parsley Chips
3rd Course

Smoked Dry-Aged Duck Breast
Chinese Steamed Buns, Cucumber, Scallions, Cilantro, Tian Mian Sauce
4th Course

Warm Pear Tart
Spiced Crème Chantilly
5th Course

Duck Breast with Hakurei Turnip, Farro & Tart Cranberry Jus

This was the sixth course, and the last savory course, to my 7-course Friendsgiving party for 8 people.

I always struggle with the last savory course but I decided to keep it simple this time and it worked out to my advantage.

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Serves 8.

For the Duck Stock

  • 4 Peking ducks
  • Duck bones from the duck
  • Canola oil, as needed
  • 4 onions, chopped roughly
  • 4 large carrots, chopped roughly
  • 8 celery stalks, chopped roughly
  • 2 garlic heads, cut in half horizontally
  • 8 qts chicken stock
  • Loose bouquet garni
  • Mushroom trims, if available
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper

Butcher and quarter the duck. Manchonner the legs and score the breasts. Cut away and reserve as much fat as possible. Breakdown the carcass. Place legs and scored breasts into the fridge.

In a large pan, sauté bones until golden brown; add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Continue sautéing on medium heat. Transfer browned bones and sautéed vegetables into a large stock pot. Add in chicken stock, bouquet garni, and mushroom trims and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, turn heat to a low simmer and reduce until there is one quart of liquid left.

Strain duck stock for making the cherry jus.

For the Cranberry Jus

  • 3 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 leeks, white parts only, sliced thinly
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 bottle fortified red wine, such as Port, Marsala, or Madeira
  • Reserved duck stock
  • 1 cup tart cranberries, plus some for garnish
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Butter, as needed

In a pan, sweat shallots, onions, and leeks in some butter. Then sauté carrots until golden brown. Add in fortified wine, raise heat to high, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to moderately high and simmer vigorously, uncovered, until the liquid has reduced by ⅔. Add reserved duck stock, cherries, and cinnamon stick then raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high, and simmer until mixture is thick enough to lightly coat back of spoon, around 45 minutes. Pour through fine-mesh strainer into small, clean saucepan. Cover and keep warm.

For the Farro

  • 2 cups farro
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • Salt

Combine the farro, salt, and chicken stock in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the farro is tender, about 20-40 minutes. Taste often as it is cooking, you want it to be toothsome and retain some structure. Remove from heat, drain any excess liquid, and set aside. Reserve liquid for reheating.

For the Turnips

  • 1 lb Hakurei turnips
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Sauté turnips until golden, set aside and keep warm.

TO ASSEMBLE

Preheat oven to 500°F.

Season duck breasts with salt & pepper, turn heat to low and place a large pan on the stove. Place breast in the pan with skin-side down. Render the fat to all the breasts slowly. Every 5 minutes, pour away rendered fat. After 20-30 minutes, turn breast around and cook flesh side for 3 seconds and remove from pan and place on a wire rack, skin-side up, to rest.

Flash heat the duck breasts in the hot oven for 1-2 minutes. Take it out and let it rest for a minute before you start slicing. Plate to your liking or in picture.

  1. Farro
  2. Turnips
  3. Duck Breast
  4. Cherry Jus

Kabocha Squash & Celeriac Bisque with Duck Fat Roasted Cashews

This was the second course to my 7-course Friendsgiving party for 8 people.

Every year around Thanksgiving time, the first thing that pops into my head is butternut squash soup but I’ve done so many variations of it that I don’t want to post yet another butternut soup on here. I felt that having a small liquid course was a nice way to open up a multi-course dinner without having an amuse or canapé. But then I got thinking that I don’t have any seafood dishes!!!! So that’s why the little scallop dish served as an opening appetizer.

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Serves 8.

For the Soup

  • One 2-3 lbs kabocha squash
  • 1 large celery root bulb
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • ½ cup cream
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450°F. Peel and remove seeds to squash and cut into 1-inch pieces. Peel celeriac and cut into 1-inch pieces. Toss squash and celeriac with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then spread in an even layer on a sheet pan. Bake in preheated oven until the vegetables are light brown and tender, approximately 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

While the vegetables are in the oven, in a large pot over low heat, sweat shallots, then add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the roasted vegetables and cinnamon. Stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, apple cider, and thyme, then bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. Add additional stock if needed, then add the cream and continue blending. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm for service.

For the Nuts & Garnish

  • 1 tart apple
  • Lemon, to rub on apple
  • 2 tsp duck fat, melted
  • ½ cup cashews
  • Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss the nuts with duck fat and some salt. Spread onto a parchment lined sheet pan and bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nuts just begin to golden.

Peel, core, and dice a tart apple. Rub some lemon on apples to delay oxidation.

TO ASSEMBLE

In warmed soup bowls, ladle hot soup into the bowl. Garnish with apple dice and cashews. Or you may pour soup table-side.