Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Sticky Rice, Apple Cucumber Salad & Coconut Milk

The pork tenderloin was marinated in smoked paprika, honey, cumin, rice vinegar and sesame oil. Once it hit the grill all those flavors caramelize onto the meat and create a wonderful crust that, seals in the meat juices making for a succulent piece of pork.
The salad was made with a Julienne of gs apples, cucumber, cilantro and a small amount of red onion which was then dressed with a red Thai curry vinaigrette. A little spicy but very refreshing.
The coconut milk reduction was prepared with sliced fresh ginger, one whole clove of garlic, cilantro, white wine, rice vinegar, honey and sesame oil. Reduced slowly. Strained into another pot, warmed and held.
The rice was a good variety of sushi rice cooked in a rice cooker and molded in a ramekin with toasted white sesame seeds outside.
I don't play with asian flavors too often but, every now and then I get the feeling.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

New Camera Trials In Horse Country

Driving in the Virginia country side, I thought I would take a few practice shots to see how they came out. There's a colt in there but, when I whistled in an attempt to lure them closer, they gathered around it so you can't see it.

They were very curious. They all came over to see who the stranger was. I'm not really a horse person but, I do love nature. I guess I was thinking how happy they used to be when they were running wild on the plains back in the day.

Now, to tie this to food, I have eaten horse meat. I was not fond of it. I found it sweet and stringy. It's been some years since eating it so, maybe I would feel differently about it now.
By the way, I am not suggesting dining on horse. Calm down Peta! They are beautiful animals.

So, my next planned entry, will be an oil cured black olive bread. With pics!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fun Time! @ Veranda Bar & Grill

Last night I cooked @ Veranda Bar & Grill and had a blast! A small kitchen but, clean and pretty organized. Cooking in this kitchen reminded me of my day's at Pesce in Dupont Circle. Small, hot, fast moving, the personification of a dinner service.
My contribution was a special, penne pasta with Loukaniko, wild mushrooms, fresh herbs and cream. Loukaniko is the greek word for sausage. This sausage had fennel and orange peel in it which made it nicely sweet. All that had it, enjoyed it, so I was pleased.
The menu at Veranda is small and primarily Mediterranean with an emphasis on Greek mezze. The regular menu items I cooked were, Pan sauteed trout which was stuffed with herbs and served with potatoes, carrots and green beans with a toasted pine nut beurre noisette.
Grilled hangar steak with fingerling potatoes confited in evoo, garlic and thyme with a red wine and mushroom sauce.
Gambas al Ajillo. Shrimp sauteed in garlic, lemon, white wine and dill.
Lamb sliders on brioche buns with tzatziki and fries.
As well as a few others off the menu. I had a great time preparing with the staff and cooking with all of them. Great bunch of girlz and guys. Kitchen folk are a special breed and I have always been proud to be a part of that group of people. We are tough. We have to be.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dinner @ Veranda Bar and Grill

Wednesday August 12th, I will be cooking dinner service at Veranda Bar and Grill, 1100 P street NW, Washington, D.C. I'll be cooking the current menu with the kitchen staff and may do a dish or two of my own. So, if you are in the area stop by for a drink and a bite and say hello. It should be fun. See you there!

Chef Tony

Saturday, August 1, 2009

What's Up?

Bread, I have been baking quite a bit these day's. I love the feeling I get from kneading dough. There is something so elemental about bread. It's one of the simplest forms of cooking and so satisfying. Flour, water, yeast and salt. That's it!
I recently purchased "Ratio" by Michael Ruhlman. This book has placed a new complexion on bread baking, at least for me. The method of using "parts" makes easy sense to me. I prefer to scale all my ingredients anyway since I think it's more accurate. Like making a vinaigrette, 3 parts oil to 1 part acid, a part can be what you need it to be, depending on the quantity required. With the basic bread dough being 20 ounces of flour. Need more? double it to 40 ounces. Not enough? how about 60 or 80 ounces! The simplicity for me is, by following the ratio 5 parts flour to 3 parts water the bread should always turn out.
As a Chef I have baked my share of bread for the restaurants I have cooked in. Good bread. My whole point is that, by using Ruhlman's method I can think less about it which leaves more time for me to think about the 30 other things that are just as important as my bread. For that, I am grateful Mr. Ruhlman!