Wednesday, June 16, 2010

California Dreamin'

I think I found my style of cooking...

I love cooking with fresh ingredients, mixing flavors from all over the world, such as incorporating Pan-Asian and Italian influences into dishes. All of these characteristics are found in California cuisine.
We made the following while listening to Mammas and the Pappas, and The Beach Boys...chilled avocado and cucumber soup, warm scallop salad with tomato, mint and lime dressing, sauteed duck breast with port wine reduction, Monterrey jack and green chile polenta, fried fennel and creamed spinach.

Maria made the chilled soup and believe it or not it was really good. I liked how the cucumber helped incorporate all of the flavors. You put all of the following ingredients into a blender and puree; then you add a little milk at a time until consistency is met. The following ingredients to puree are: heavy cream, avocado, cucumber, lime juice, chicken or vegetable stock, plain yogurt, garlic, sour cream, dill, parsley, salt and white pepper. Remember to peel and seed the avocado and cucumber...

I made the sauteed duck breast with port wine reduction...hint it's the awesome pic found to the left. The port wine reduction is a reduced blend of sauteed minced shallots, port wine, duck fat and brown stock. The duck is very easy to cook and I cooked ours to medium rare. In fact you can not get salmonella from duck because it is a water bird. You want to reserve some of the fat for the flavor on this bird.
Make sure you season your duck breast very well with salt and black pepper. Then remember to score the duck fat on the breast; heat a tbsp of oil in a pan and place the breasts fat side down. Pan sear the breasts until brown on both sides and finish in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes to get the medium rare doneness. Awesome dish and I used the polenta Christine made along with her creamed spinach for the plate.

I also fried small pieces of the sliced fennel and it was battered using a tempura batter. The Asian dipping sauce was made using soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, shallots, Dijon mustard and salt/pepper to taste. This was another short week but the food was awesome again...

The second half of this week we catered an award banquet and it was awesome to see the food we whipped up being enjoyed by others.

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