Shot my first full wedding for Ben & Rachel back on September 1st! It was a lot of fun and very nerve-wracking at first, although I imagine my own anxiety to be quite diminutive in comparison to the Bride and Groom’s! That is until things were under way, of course. Thanks to Ben and Rachel for a lovely day, evening, and the best wedding dinner I could imagine (thank you to Janis + crew from Tanuki!) And for the opportunity to document your wonderful union!
Recipe copy and pasted from http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/10/four-star-vegetarian-dishes-from-eleven-madison-park/
Notes on prep: The beets alone weren’t all that better to me than if you were to just roast them in tin foil with olive oil, salt and pepper; The goat cheese mouse was good, but I found it to be more satisfying after letting the mixture separate from the whey in the container over night. It becomes super thick and much richer than when you pump it full of nitrous imo; The caraway tuiles are a complete waste time–virtually flavorless when combined with the rest of the components and a complete pain in the ass to make; I didn’t even end up using the rye crumble b/c I thought it was gross; The beet vinaigrette is amazing! Just make this and some roasted beets and strategically crumble some decent goat cheese around the plate, and save yourself the trouble of 40 some-odd steps.
Beet Salad With Chevre Frais and Caraway
1 1/2 to 2 pounds large red beets
1 1/2 to 2 pounds large Chioggia beets
1 1/2 to 2 pounds large golden beets
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup salt
4 tablespoons sugar
3 cups red wine vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wash the beets thoroughly under running water. Trim off the top and bottom of each beet. Toss in the olive oil, salt and sugar, coating evenly.
3. Separate the beets by color, and place them in 3 individual roasting pans. Pour 1 cup red wine vinegar and 1 cup water in each pan. Cover the pans with aluminum foil and roast for 30 minutes.
4. Remove the beets from the oven, uncover and, using tongs, turn them over in their liquid. Cover them again and continue roasting for another 30 minutes, or until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife.
5. Once the beets are done, uncover them, and cool them in their cooking liquid. Peel the beets, cut them crosswise into 1/2- inch slices, and punch the slices with ring cutters of varying sizes.
Goat Cheese Mousse:
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1 cup chèvre
3/4 cup cream
2/3 cup sheep’s milk yogurt
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons salt
1 N2O charger
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, chèvre, cream and yogurt. Season with lime juice and salt and continue to whisk until thoroughly combined.
2. Transfer the mousse to a whipped-cream canister and charge with the N2O cartridge.
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
2/3 cup rye flour
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup glucose syrup
4 egg whites
1. In a small sauté pan over medium heat, toast the caraway seeds for 1 minute, until fragrant. Allow to cool before grinding in a spice grinder.
2. Sift together the rye flour, flour, caraway seeds and baking soda. Place in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. With the mixer running on medium speed, slowly add the butter.
3. In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the glucose syrup so that it is runny and add it to the mixer ingredients.
4. Once the butter and glucose are thoroughly incorporated, pour in the egg whites. Whip until the batter becomes slightly puffy.
5. Pass the batter through a fine-mesh tamis and refrigerate for 1 hour.
6. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line an 18-by-26-inch baking sheet with a silicone baking mat. Spread the tuile batter evenly and thinly, using 3 different round stencils, measuring 1 1/4 inches, 1 1/2 inches and 2 inches in diameter, to create 10 tuiles of each size. You can create your own stencils from thin sheets of acetate. Bake for 10 minutes.
7. Allow the tuiles to cool completely at room temperature, and gently remove them with an offset spatula. Store in an airtight container.
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup rye flour
1 cup bread flour
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon milk
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Slowly incorporate the rye flour, bread flour, caraway seeds and salt. Add the milk and continue to mix until small clusters of dough begin to form.
3. Flatten out the dough to 1/2 inch thick on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool to room temperature. Grind to a powder in a spice grinder. Makes 4 cups.
2 cups red beet juice
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cup raspberries
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (0.6 grams)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. In a small saucepan over low heat, reduce the beet juice to 1 1/3 cups.
2. In another small saucepan, bring the vinegar to a boil, remove from heat and add the caraway seeds and black peppercorns. Steep in the vinegar for 20 minutes and strain.
3. Add the raspberries to the reduced beet juice, and muddle them with the back of a spoon. Steep for 10 minutes and strain.
4. Whisk together the vinegar mixture, reduced beet juice, salt and xanthan gum, whisking until the xanthan gum is completely dissolved. Refrigerate until ready to use.
5. Add the olive oil before serving to break the vinaigrette. Makes 2 cups.
To finish the salad:
2 tablespoons olive oil
Fleur de sel
Goat Cheese Mousse
3 tablespoons Beet Vinaigrette
3 teaspoons Rye Crumble
32 dill blossoms
1. Brush the roasted beet slices with olive oil and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Place 5 slices of varying colors and sizes on each plate.
2. Rest 1 of each size tuile on the beets. Expel 3 tablespoon-size dollops of Goat Cheese Mousse in between the beets.
3. Spoon the beet vinaigrette around, and finish with the Rye Crumble and dill blossoms. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
It’s not often that I play a song so relentlessly on repeat. I’m starting to get ridiculed by the wifey about it, so I’m going to pass it on and retire it for at least a day.
I decided to go back and take advantage of a few new photoshop tools and re-edit a bunch of pictures from a few years ago. These are all from the Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama, one of the most amazing places that we visited while on our bicycle tour in 2008/2009. If you like you can go back and read about the site HERE, along with a decidedly less, perhaps, over-processed set of photos. The main reason I’m posting them is that I am thinking about having a few ‘Archival Prints’ done of some of these (which is kinda expensive) and I just want to have them in an easily accessible place so that I can continue to hem and haw about the prospect of doing so without having to open them all individually. In any case, if you are ever anywhere near this place you should make it your mission to visit. I wish that I could go again tomorrow!
I swore off making my own pizza dough for years because the results always sucked. Store bought dough was never much better but at least you didn’t have to go through the pain in the ass that is making pizza dough before you topped and baked it and turned out a lame pizza. So, it had that advantage. But, now that I am older and wiser in the kitchen, I had been thinking that it’s time to give it another go. A few weeks (months? one never knows. . .) ago I put the Mozza cookbook on my library holds list for some reason–I think it was when Mario Batali was on Real Time with Bill Maher, and Bill was lavishing the Big B with praise as he is a co-owner. So the plug worked on me to some degree, I guess. Can I just say that I find Mario Batali obnoxiously grating, and yet the man can cook. I have made some excellent recipes from his books. I have a love/hate relationship with that guy. I kinda wish he would stick to the restauranteuring and pipe down a smidge.
Nancy Silverton is the chef at Mozza, and within the cookbook is an entire chapter devoted to the pizzas they make at the Osteria, and the Pizzeria. Basically, they looked hella bomb, and I went all in on giving one of these pizzas a try. So I went out this past saturday and picked up all of the extraneous items that i would need including wheat germ, something that I don’t think I would have ever purchased without being prompted to. I couldn’t find barley malt, but then I didn’t try too hard since it stipulates that you can sub honey. Then I got back home and went at it. This dough turned out to be, unsurprisingly, an all day affair with 1 hour here, 45 minutes there type steps that ends up eating your whole day. Luckily, I have a 1 yr old who won’t bacdafucup with the her Little Red Hen book to keep me busy in the interim. To be fair, she did help me make the dough, to the extent that she was able to. (She helped me hold down my Kitchen-Aid mixture as it rocked this big ball of dough all around the bowl, for instance. Seriously, don’t walk away from it. It’s a canned earthquake.) Somehow, it was still an exciting endeavor, and my hopes remained extremely high through out the process.
I had all of my ingredients prepared and ready to go, my six balls of dough proofed as a motherfucker, the oven mad hot, ready to go. I get to kneeding my first crust out, and all kinds of holes start popping off in it. Naturally, I started to get heated, but I calmed down a bit, and went at the next one with a bit more tenderness. This dough is SUPER WET, and moves like crazy. It stretched out way faster than I was ready for, and was really sticky, but I worked it out. The top picture is the second pizza I made. It turned out damn good. The craziest thing about this pizza is that the ‘sauce’ is just whipped cream––the panna. I had my doubts when I was reading the recipe, but it turned out to be an amazing base. The crust was extremely light and airy and had a wonderful yeasty flavor that I can’t say I’ve ever truly experienced so intensely in a pizza’s flavor profile. It was a great crust, and all the more so since it came out of my janky electric oven. I might even go so far as to say it’s in my top five pizzas ever from anywhere. There is only one or two in the whole of Portland that can even hang with this as far as I’m concerned.
The second pizza pic is from some dough we froze and held over for a few days, and then defrosted. As you can see, the two pizzas are nearly identical, however, the dough lost a good deal of its complexity by not being used immediately. It was still a high quality pizza, though. Below is the upskirt photo, which is important to some people, thus it is included. I’m like, eh, it’s the bottom of a pizza, what about it?
The recipe for the dough can be found here: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/10/nancy-silvertons-pizza-dough-recipe.html
Many of the steps listed are superfluous, so don’t be daunted by the high step-count.
The toppings are as follows, listed in the order they should be applied:
–olive oil, brushed along the edge
–kosher salt, sprinkled all over the dough
–whipped cream, spread around the dough, leaving a 1″ border
–fennel sausage, 2oz per pizza par-cooked, broken into small pieces
–scallions, sliced extremely thin on an exaggerated bias
–red onion, sliced extremely thin
–low moisture mozzarella, cut into 1/2″ cubes, approx. 8 cubes per pizza