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mustard and onion on bread, this blog might be dead

September 16, 2010

I made this, you can make it to. Put mustard and onion on bread.

It was good while it lasted.


the Resurrection and the Curd

April 2, 2010

Cheese Curds    Attempt 1    6:14pm
Oil at 375
Let curds reach room temperature (they should sweat a little)
toss them around with some flour (to help batter stick)
Mix together:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup beer
batter consistency: 2% milk
Batter was way too wet, cheese everywhere, have to clean kitchen, tastes amazing. Need to purchase more oil and curds.
Much less beer in batter.

Would cajun spice be good in cheese curds? Didn’t someone have cajun curds? I’ll check at the store, but maybe I’ll do that some other time, it sounds like it may be nasty – I think the beer is the best flavor in the batter.
Cheese curds as well as asparagus were on sale, maybe I’ll try some beer-batered asparagus if I have some extra batter.

The light in the kitchen is strobing and it feels like I’m making cheese curds during a climactic scene of an action film. Maybe Coca~Cola would be good instead of beer, it may be too sweet, or not stick together correctly, but maybe I’ll try it if the beer gets boring, or coffee instead of beer, that might be strange; maybe the curds shouldn’t be caffeinated though, not really necessary.

Cheese Curds    Attempt 2    7:24pm
Oil at 375
Bring curds to room temp and toss w/ flour
Mix together:
1/2 cup flour
3/4 ts baking powder
some pinches of salt
a pinch of pepper
1 egg
1/4 cup Natural Ice
batter consistency: pancake batter / shitty pudding
Still maybe a little too wet, stuck to toilet paper that was being used for grease soak-up which ruined a whole batch, also many came in a large clump because I was not carefully dropping them in.
Try cooling the batter before using it, or cooling the curds after I’ve battered them?

I am now cooling a bit of batter and a bit of batter + floured curds, it is 9pm now, and I will try to deep fry again once the deep frier is dry and I can handle eating any more curds.

Cheese Curds    Attempt 3    overnight fridge
Oil at 375
Bring curds to room temp and toss w/ flour
Mix together:
1/2 cup flour
3/4 ts baking powder
some salt
some pepper
1 egg
1/4 cup Natural Ice
Put curds into batter and put into fridge
batter consistency: cold pancake batter/ cold shitty pudding
Held together nicely, cheese was a bit under melted, I think dipping room-temp curds into cold batter may be the way to do it. Also instead of dropping them into the deep-frier I gently pushed them off the end of a fork so they didn’t splash into the oil and get stuck to the grate at the bottom, once they got to the bottom though I gave the grate a good shake to send them floating back to the top, this way they didn’t break open when having to scrape them off the bottom.
Don’t cool curds along with batter.

New recipes found:

from Talon:
3/4 cans of light beer        more:less
3/4 cups flour            1:1
1/4 tsp salt                —
1/2 tsp paprika            —!
1/2 cup flour? for dredging?

from Sam:
1 egg                    1:2
1 cup beer                2:1
1 cup flour                1:1
1 tsp sugar                —!
1/4 tsp salt                —
1 tsp baking powder           ~-1/4

So, taking these recipes into account, I am using either A) an egg that doesn’t belong, or, B) twice as much egg than necessary. I will trust the latter because it doesn’t give me a recipe in cans of beer rather than useful measurements. Due to this conclusion I will have to double my recipe because I do not have any half eggs.

Next issue is that I am not using enough beer, which is alright, mine could definitely taste more like Natural Ice and less like eggs.

Paprika or no paprika? I’m sure Talon’s recipe was intended for a fish fry, but I will try the paprika regardless.

Taking more from Sam’s recipe I will also slightly lower the amount of baking powder in my recipe.

Also Ryan says I should try using corn starch, what is corn starch? I don’t know what the fuck it is. Maybe it’s wet and slimy, maybe it’s dry and powdery, I really don’t know. Depending entirely on how it looks I will measure an amount in and roll with it.

Cheese Curds    Attempt 4    several days later, 7:08pm
Mix together:
1 egg
1 cup beer
1 cup flour
some sugar
some salt
some paprika
some corn starch (couldn’t find it, don’t know what the container looks like)
1 tsp baking powder
fridge batter for an hour, thaw and dredge curds
batter consistency before cooling: wet pancake batter, so after cooling, pancake

Result: Pure excellence, could try some corn starch, but this’ll do pig.


Also, might be a new dish on the way, something in the way of the “Bennett” if you don’t know what a “Bennet” is then maybe we should do that next instead.

Keep on Keepin on

March 9, 2010

Everbody Lies. Except House. Bloggers have cancer.

Sorry I’ve been a little slow with the post recently, but did you see House last night??


Or some crazy disease House figures out at the last second.  TV doesn’t lie.  The news told me so.

Anyway, I got to create another dish for my restaurants Sunday tasting menu.  This time I went with Scallops since we had a lot of them in house.  Then I pretty much just kept playing fuck up and fix it.

Also, on Saturday I messed up a HUGE bowl of potato puree by adding about a gallon of salt, 30 minutes before service.  I blame God.  So I fixed it by making a shit ton (exactly, I measured) more puree.  This left us with plenty of the salted potatoes.  Guess what I got to use?!

So I decided to make Potato Croquettes, which are kinda like deep fried mashed potatoes.  I made these by adding a couple Eggs, minced Parsley and Panko bread crumbs to the Mashed Potatoes.  This game me a more solid consistency which I then balled up and breaded with Panko. To do this I just used the flour, egg wash, breadcrumb technique where you have each in a different vessel and move from flour to egg to breadcrumb.  Try to keep a dry hand that works with the flour and breadcrumbs and a wet that works with the eggs to keep your hands less nasty.  After I breaded them, I squished them down a bit so they kinda looked like little breaded scallops.

I also wanted to make a Mushroom Puree, so I sauteed my Mushrooms in a hot oiled pan until they got a little color, then added Garlic and Shallots for a bit until they got aromatic.  Then I deglazed with some Red Wine and added Water (no stock since it was for veggie option too) to cover and let reduce.

I then tried to puree the mushrooms, by adding the cooking liquid.  Fail. The mushrooms didn’t soak up the liquid and I got finely minced chunks in a soup.  So, on a suggestion by chef Erik, I squeezed out all the liquid and began to make a roux.  I used about 1 to 1 Flour to Butter, with a little more flour since I wanted a thicker gravy and stirred that until it turned a darker shade of brown (remember?).  Then I slowly added the mushroom juice until I got a nice thick mushroom gravy.  I then seasoned with SaltLemon Juice, and a splash of love some people call Truffle Oil.

I also made garlic chips al la Thomas Keller.  He does this by slicing Garlic super thin on a mandolin, then blanching them in Milk 3 times to get rid of the potent garlic taste and then deep fries them at 300 degrees. I did all this, with a few too many cloves of garlic so I had about 1 chip left at the end of service…oops…but I didn’t really get any garlic taste from them.  The milk worked a little too well and they just tasted like little crispy fried things…maybe something to play around with cause they do look pretty cool.

Our Sunday menu. It was so tasty I saw just about every table use their bread to mop up the nom.

I also wanted to make a Parsley Chantilly which essentially would be a savory whipped cream colored and flavored with parsley.  But After blanching the parsley for color, I tried to puree it in the food processor. Fail. So then I tried to chop it super finely with my knife and fold it into whipped cream.  Fail. It tasted like pretty much nothing.  I had to scrap that project since I had about 5 minutes to service.  But I want to try using a blender (ours is broken) to get a nice puree.  We’ll see.  Instead, I added picked parsley and what looked like parsley oil, but was actually chive oil chef Erik had.

So my dish ended up being Scallops and Potato Croquettes with a Mushroom Gravy, Garlic Chips and Parsley.

Hopefully I’ll get to keep makin dishes and eventually will make one without having to fix 75% of it right before service…

Meh. That sounds boring.

Shot outz

March 4, 2010

This is what I look like without my beard...and with cornrows

First I wanna let peepz in the Twin Cities know that a new restaurant called Haute Dish (yea, its a pun..) will be opening soon and 3 of the chefs I have worked for (Remle, Neil and Erik) will be working there and making things like General Tso Sweetbreads with Foie Fried Rice.  NOM.

Also, Erik was the one who taught me how to make Bacon Jam.  He demanded I tell the world.  So shout out to my favorite thieves I steal recipes from.

(obligatory ass kissing, my boss just found my blog)

While I’m doin shout outs…Happy Birthday to my lil sis and co.  A couple days ago I cooked haddock for my sister Katy, Dori, Michael and Isabel. It was haddock with asparagus and chorizo and a soy ginger sauce.  Pretty tasty.  I also made a guacamole that tasted like February avocados…meh.

I had a buncha leftover produce from the meal and just kicking around my house, so I decided to try n use it to make somethin.

I settled on Root Veggie and Chorizo Breakfast Taco kinda thingies.

First I cubed then boiled some leftover Squash, Parsnip, and Potatoes in some water to which I added some Salt, Garlic and Bay Leaves.

Salsa Nom.

While this boiled, I made a Salsa out of produce Nicole got from bus hippies.  I diced up 1 Green Heirloom Tomato, 1 Small Onion, 1 Jalapeno 8ish Grape Tomatoes, 2 Cloves Garlic, 3-4 Small Radishes and added a Splash of Lime Juice, Cilantro, Salt, and a kinda cheating Splash of Olive oil.

Also, while the potatoes boiled I dumped a can of Black Beans in a pot and seasoned with 1/2 Diced Small Onion, Diced Jalapeno, Cilantro, a little bit of Salt and a Splash of Lime Juice. Food tastes better in splashes, just ask Capri Sun.

Once the potatoes were done (soft, but before they began falling apart), I drained them and ran a little cold water over them to stop them from cooking.  Then I put some Chorizo in a hot pan and began cooking them.  I thought they would release more fat as they cooked, but apparently not, so I added a small bit of Oil and Butter and then tossed in some of the Cubed Potatoes.  I couldn’t go one post without butter, its an flavor country (Copyright ERIK’S JOKE).

damn, i just remembered we have fire sauce....DAMN

The potatoes didn’t brown up too well, I overcrowded the pan, so next time imma pull out the chorizo first, and then add the potaotes.  But once the potatoes were heated through, I added a couple Eggs to the pan and stirred to scramble them with the meat and potatoes.  I then finished with some Minced Jalapenos, Salt and Pepper.

I then just piled some of the potato mixture on some corn tortillas then topped it off with the beans and salsa, a little cilantro and NOM.

Also, me n Jake went to cub to try and find some wonton wrappers, which obviously are in the produce section next to the tofu. Duh.

Then we deep fried.  Oh did we deep fry. Mostly cream cheese and various things in wonton wrappers.

Art. See if you can spot the Rocketship, Boneyard, Castle and Chicken. I think its pretty obvious

Tasty, except for the sweet n sour sauce…it didn’t taste neon enough.  It lacked the cookie cutter Chinese restaurant feel.  mmmm…red MSG jelly…

Blowin up in this Biz

March 1, 2010

This is all I ever wanted for my squash babies. (babies? I dunno)

Big ups to the Ramberg for his post.  That goulash looked a little too green peppery. Garbage. Luckily I threw 2 green peppers in the trash to balance the universe.

More importantly (Jake is like a 4 on the important scale),  I was responsible for creating a dish to go on the menu at my work last Sunday for a fixed course meal.

Originally, I was thinking of a new take on tater tots.  I really wanted to make a squash tot kinda thing that would have a nice orange color and taste like crispy butternut squash.   Unfortunately, that didn’t turn out so well.  The OG tot is just shredded potato with seasoned flour and a little water to bind it.  I tried that…but it just tasted like fried food, no squashy taste and the texture was off.  Then I tried making like a fritter kinda thing with egg yolks and breadcrumbs with mashed squash.  These tasted pretty good, but more like breading or dumpling kinda thing and not very squashy…At this point I was behind on my prep so I abandoned that project for now.

Instead I made: Chestnut Ravioli with a Butternut Squash Puree with a Sage and Apple salad.

You should probably click on this picture to see my name bigger. I'm kind of a big deal.

Boom, Vegetarian! Sorry vegans, I can’t quit milk n butta..or eggs…or cheese…wow, that sounds like shooting at the ground.

First I made a Chestnut Puree for the ravioli.  I boiled 1 c of Shelled Chestnuts (Actually a lot more, but these are more home friendly amounts) in 1/2 c water, 1/2 c Veg Stock, and 2 Sage Leaves. I reduced this till the liquid just covered the chestnuts.  Then I strained the chestnuts, reserving the liquid. Next, I pureed the chestnuts in a food processor and slowly added some of the cooking liquid into the puree until it became a nice thick consistency.  Then, I pushed the puree through a tamis,  to make sure I didn’t have any chunkies left.  To finish I added about 1 T of Butter, 1 T Cream Cheese and a splash of Truffle Oil.   The truffle oil is pretty much what makes these raviolis taste like NOM.

For the pasta dough, I used the ol TK move from the French Laundry Cookbook (which is also where the chestnut thing came.  When stealing, steal from the best).  This is an egg yolk pasta that calls for 1 3/4 c flour, 6 yolks, 1 Egg, 1 T Milk, 1 1/2 t Olive Oil. The whole pasta making thing is a bit involved with some tricks to it, so I’ll do a post on it soon instead of making this one push the blawg barrier.

The Butternut Squash puree essentially uses the same method as the chestnut.  But this time I boiled the peeled and chopped squash in half milk half water to give it more of a rich taste, along with a sachet (remember?) of Garlic, Thyme, Rosemary and Peppercorns.  Maybe next time I might change that, since I felt they added a little too much and slightly covered the butternut taste.  Then I pureed like above by adding the cooking liquid, but I added much more so get a smoother and thinner puree.  I just seasoned with Salt and a little 5 Spice.

Leftovers for my homies, roughly what it looked like at werk.

Last I made a little Apple Salad at the last minute so that it didn’t wilt and remained a crunchy foil to the soft ravioli and puree.  To do this I just julienned some Apples, then added a small pinch of Brown Sugar and Salt, a decent pinch of minced Sage and a small squirt of Olive oil and Apple Cider vinegar.   I wanted to keep the apple flavor and highlight the sage, so I didn’t season too heavily, but I wanted to taste the acidity of the vinegar to balance the richness of the rest of the dish.  Sorry about the measurements, but I have no idea.  (I’m not really sorry.)

So that was basically the starter course to a three course meal at my restaurant.  Its pretty straight forward and the only time consuming part is making the raviolis.  Soon I’ll do a pasta post, its easy to make, but a little time consuming and a pasta roller is pretty important for thin pasta.  But, anyone can do it in less than an hour with a little practice and a lackey (I found one on my couch) to crank the pasta machine.

Also, if anyone wants to post a recipe or something, lemme know, anyone can get on the foodgrind.  Unless you piss me off…

The Legend of the Ramberg Goulash

February 27, 2010

All Rambergs make Goulash, some add peas or corn or bake it, hence our ability to track down and bring to light the decoys and put to ruin their mock-Goulashes. This is how you make real Goulash:

The Bell Pepper is for adding class, don't forget to take it out before you serve the Goulash.

1 part ground beef
1 part tomatoes, peeled, pasted, diced
1 part LARGE elbow macaronni
varying amounts of: garlic, onion, cheddar, tarragon, rosemary, oregano, crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, sugar, large green bell pepper

By-the-By all the images I have uploaded are incorrectly oriented as to add a sense of mystery, it’s no accident.

To begin, start by mixing all your tomato product into a pot, it doesn’t really matter what kind of tomatoes you start with as long as they’re skinned. Once you have all of it in your pot, look at it, is it really sloppy wet? The sauce needs to end up as more of a binding agent for the meat and the noodle and not so much as a runny “red sauce.” If it’s real wet you can start reducing it now. You’ll want to add the garlic, onion, rosemary, oregano, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper now. Also be sure to add SUGAR, if you add only one thing to this sauce add sugar! The sugar will cut the acidity of the tomatoes, you don’t have to add a ton, just add to taste.

If you've used fatty fatty beef, pour some of the fat from the pan out, if you got like 90+ lean beef, throw that 10% of pure unadulterated good right in with the sauce.

Once your sauce is set up start boiling some water for the noodles, in a separate pot, make sure you use hot water, because cold water is for drinking you goofballs. You should also start preparing the ground beef at this point. The trick with the beef is that you NEED TARRAGON, also salt and pepper that ground beef, and brown it. After the beef is browned throw it into your sauce that is reducing.

Mm Ramberg Mush

Once the noodles are basically done, and have a little bit of bite to them, let them finish cooking with your reducing sauce. At this point you may be saying: “oh Jake, how do I know when my Goulash is done?” and I would say to you: “when it looks like noodles in a ground-up corpse, it’s ready.” (Compare it to my picture here.) Then to top it off – add sharp cheddar cheese. If you made it successfully it should be able to stand up on it’s own with the amazing tomato pasty sauce you made. Now you can make Goulash like any self-respecting Ramberg!

More Piggles

February 24, 2010

Completely unrelated: Cat. I taught him bite and scratch. Darren taught him waterboard.

Which are pickles.  But more muffin kiggery, but not really.

What that means is that I made a different kind of pickle yesterday.  I wanted to make my own pickled jalapenos like the ones you get at the grocery store to put on my hot dogs.  It turns out, when you cram 8-10 jalapenos in a jar they get spicy.  Really fuckin spicy.

If you wanna keep some super potent pickles around, and I know you do, its easy to pickle them and use em in salsa or some other cooking thing down the line.

I used a recipe from Micheal Symon’s cookbook Live to Cook

I just sliced up 8ish Jalapenos.  I don’t remember how many exactly, but I filled a salsa jar with em.

Then the recipe says to cover the slices with water to figure out how much liquid to use.  Remember this amount and then dump half the water and add Sherry Vinegar and fill to your measurement.  I ended up using roughly 3/4 c of each.  Then I just added roughly:

1 T Sugar
1 T Salt
1 Bay Leaf
1 T Coriander
1 T Peppercorn
1 Garlic Clove
Dash Cumin

My pickles. They measure fucking hot on the how many can Ryan eat scale.

I let this all come to a boil and simmer for a bit ~10 mins or so.  Now all you gotta do is pour the pickling liquid over the jalapenos.

The recipe doesn’t slice the peppers before pickling them, which maybe prevents them from all getting super spicy.  I assumed they would be less spicy since I took out a lot of the seeds.  Apparently not.  These are not hot dog jalapenos.

They’re more like Guatemalan Insanity Peppers.  I wanna see space coyote!