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Go Back   REVscene Automotive Forum > Vancouver LifeStyles (VLS) > Food & Fine Dining

Food & Fine Dining Hungry? Come on down to Wings - Fun, Food and Drinks.
Top Restaurants in town? Got a good recipe to share? Share culinary info or post up photos of your delicious dish. #revsceneVLS

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Old 05-21-2013, 03:43 AM   #1
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So I borrowed Westopher...

Westopher and I talked a bit, we decided to just goof off and try some random stuff in the kitchen.
He wanted to bring a bit more excitement into his cooking.
I'm just thrilled I got to bounce ideas and get opinions while working alongside an actual pro. I can't describe to you the stress of running a 1-man show vs having somebody actually kitchen competent in my playground. It's like night and day.
Mostly, we wanted to just throw out some random ideas and see what sticks.

Mild Warning:
Not everything turned out amazing, but mostly edible.
The comments I post on how the items turned out are mine and not reflective on Westopher's impressions. I too am fairly curious how he thinks the items turned out.

Overall, as an experiment night, I would call it a success as we got to try out new things.

Almost all photos are by Ronin aka Ed Eats



First Course:
Arugula and mango salad.
Habanero, lime and coconut vinaigrette (with a raw shallot thrown in).
Crispy fried shallot as a topping (my family's favorite food).


My Random Thought Diarrhea:
Hooray, ripe mangoes!
Oh noes, arugula from my garden is SO peppery this year! It is overly peppery. I can't even do a full arugula salad. Very odd. It would be better as 25% of greens rather than all of it.
Vinaigrette had to be touched up during the process, apparently 1 habanero is not enough heat when combined with 1/3 can of coconut milk.
As for the crispy fried shallots, I grew up eating this so I am super biased. To me, it's in my top 5 comfort foods.







Second Course:
Fire Grilled Squid over cabbage with ponzu


My Random Thought Diarrhea:
Best squid I have ever had. Hands down.
Smokey, and soft. Westopher nailed this one.
If the fire was just a touch hotter, would have better charring, but it doesn't really get any better than this.










Third Course:
Pork Chop Sandwich

Sourdough toasted on the pan with tallow (beef fat).
Tomato jam, roasted bone marrow, pork chops (brined in chinese cooking wine), fennel, double smoked bacon.

My Random Thought Diarrhea:
Bone marrrow: So we're making sandwiches, sandwiches need lube.
The norm would be either butter or mayo.
We wanted something a little more... extreme. So we used beef bone marrow.Tomato Jam:
Maybe cut back on the duck fat "just" a touch.
I am having this on toast for breakfast tomorrow.

Overall:
Personally, I would be happy with a bit of iceberg lettuce. It would help to break up the pacing of the ingredients hitting your tongue as you chew it.
I had run the fennel over the smoke in the fire pit and it softened the fennel which was totally not necessary.
Also, next time, more tomato jam, like double the amount.






Fourth Course:
Pan Seared duck breast, smashed potato ball, charred endive with winter honey. Rhubarb pan jus.


My Random Thought Diarrhea:
I haven't pan seared a duck breast in over a year, but it gave me a good comparison.
The stove tope sous vide method I learned from Food Wishes Video Recipes seems to produce a slightly more even doneness. The addition to Chef John's method that I do is that I fridge the breast overnight in the vacuum bag. I find this allows the seasoning and flavor of the garlic and thyme to permeate the meat nicely and also allows for a good hard sear without overcooking the breast.

Also, honey over endive. I'm not sure I have ever actually eaten that before this dish.
But damn did it ever work!









Fifth Course:
Lobster and prawn rotollo with spinach and ricotta.
Sauce beurre noisette sage cream.


My Random Thought Diarrhea:
OMG, so many things off about dish. Ugh. But experiments are experiments.
Now I know better for next time.
  1. Seasoning: Overly seasoned. I should have tasted the ratio for the filling. newb mistake. won't happen again.
  2. Pasta recipe: Experiment night is experimental? Tried the pasta recipe from a book, totally didn't work. Pasta was WAY too sticky and wasn't stiff enough. Will attempt again with my 1:1 pasta method. Not saying it makes a better pasta, but for this application, I know it's stronger, less sticky and won't tear as easily. The pasta was brought down to a 3-thickness, but still tore. 1:1 might be able to hold strong at a 2-thickness.
  3. Overlapping pasta: The overlapping parts made for a chunk of dry-ish pasta. Nasty when you bite into it. *shudder* I am so buying a rolling pin now.
  4. Ricotta: Don't buy cheap ricotta. Just, don't. Trust me on this one now. Ricotta was not nearly creamy enough.
  5. Filling: Not too thrilled with the ratio. I'd go 25, 25, 50 lobster/prawns next time. I want the lobster and prawns to pop out. I would probably go a hair on the bigger side for the chunks, and actually make a mix of ricotta, cream, lobster, prawns and a touch of lemon juice. This should make the seafood mixture more creamy.
  6. Rolling: It was too loose. A stronger pasta should allow us to pack the roll tighter.






Sixth Course:
Strawberry Soufflé

I am a bit surprised I managed to pull this off on the first try.
Slightly caramelized tops, sufficient rise, acceptable texture.


My Random Thought Diarrhea:
I read through Michel Roux, Jr.'s recipe, but on a gut feeling, I cut the 10 whites: 3/4 cups of sugar by 1/3 reducing it down to 1/2 a cup.
I am unsure if it is because the strawberry species here in Canada are different, but it was the correct call. Still quite sweet, but doesn't feel like you are rotting your teeth.
Next time, I will take his advice on working FAST.
I kinda didn't like the texture too much in mind, the air pockets were too big and the actual soufflé body wasn't smooth enough. I should have whisked 1/3 of the whites into the jam instead of folding it in. Sure, the streaks were pretty, but I ended up sacrificing texture for that which is not acceptable.




And so that's what we ended up putting together.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:57 AM   #2
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looks like a fun night and the food looks really nice!! Thx
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:24 AM   #3
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wow so jealous. Photos are wicked awesome great. Cool. Cool cool cool.
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:26 PM   #4
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:14 PM   #5
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I'll put in my thoughts, and keep it short, because thats what I do haha.
Salad:
Something with body, but mellow flavour is needed for the greens. Spinach would have been perfect IMO. Arugula was amazing on its own, dressing was pretty good on its own, together they didn't work. Clashed too much
Squid:
Cabbage should have a semi long soak in the dressing to break it down and bring the acidity level higher. A good simple snack though and easy to perfect next time.
Sandwich:
A touch more jam. Was pretty fucking awesome though.
Duck:
I need to cook it better. Was on the high side of medium when I prefer the high side of medium rare. More rhubarb in the jus.
Pasta:
Back to the drawing board.

Overall the food was all good, some great, and it was a good way to try some stuff we've never tried. Fun times, and a pretty impressive meal for a very minimal amount of money.
Didn't get to try the soufflé but the photos look great. They are very hard to nail and they basically look perfect. Now with a few simple things out of the way we can get a little more creative and get some more interesting things done next time.
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:52 PM   #6
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i was wondering where i've seen those, instagram :P Strawberry Soufflé looks yummy
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:39 PM   #7
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:03 PM   #8
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Damn you guys have cooking down to a science
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:22 PM   #9
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may i ask where you got the bone marrow? and did it come cut like that?

also whats the recipe
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:30 PM   #10
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Thanks for the kind words guys.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfGang View Post
Damn you guys have cooking down to a science
Actually, cooking is a science!
I learned the sciency-bits from watching youtube clips of Alton Brown and Heston Blumethal. I just have it on my 2nd monitor when I'm chatting with my friends on facebook and just soak up the knowledge.
I would be happy to help with any questions you guys have.
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
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may i ask where you got the bone marrow? and did it come cut like that?

also whats the recipe
No recipe for the bone marrow, just roast it and a bit of seasoning. Any butcher that has a saw should cut it for you like that.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:00 AM   #12
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Get butcher to cut bone in half, salt, oven as high as it will go.
Take out when browned like the photo.

Adjust for salt if you want (lots of salt doesn't hurt). You might consider fresh ground pepper as well.
Eat with toast. Vinegary salad on the side to cut the richness.
Best "light" dinner ever.
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:32 AM   #13
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Oh didn't see this thread.

I thought the salad was very good but it was even better with the lettuce rather than argula.

Squid was amazing. Salad was a bit too tough and needed more flavor.

Bread was maybe a bit too toasted. It was really crispy. Flavors all good on the sandwich.

The fat on the duck was a bit unsettling. Maybe a bit more of a finish in a pan? Oh man I loved the endive with honey.

Pasta was too thick and tough. Filling was pretty tasty...hard to go wrong with lobster. I think a meltier, richer cheese would be better.

Loved the souffle.
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:58 PM   #14
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i was wondering where i've seen those, instagram :P Strawberry Soufflé looks yummy
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