Geek Chef

I cook, I talk, I geek

Battle Mushroom May 5, 2010

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 3:17 pm
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My friend Crunchy Potato threw her second annual competitive potluck recently. This time the theme ingredient was mushrooms. My entry was beer battered shitake poppers with truffle aioli. It went over very well. Here’s the recipe, sorry for the funky photo.

Beer Battered Shitake Poppers with Truffle Aioli

1lbs shitake mushrooms
1 12 oz can beer
2 cups flour
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
Aioli:
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
dash of cayenne pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup truffle oil

For the ailoi:

Crush garlic and mix with lemon juice and spices. Mix yolks and olive oil with a blender, slowly add lemon mixture. Mixture will start to fluff and become yellowish white, add truffle oil and mix for another minute. Refidgerate.

Heat vegatable oil in a large deep fry pan while making batter. Temp should be about 260 degrees when ready.

Mix flour and spices until blended, then add add egg whites (leftover from aioli) and beer (of your choosing). Blend well, mixture should be light and fluffy.

Rinse and dry mushrooms, dip in batter – giving a little swirl to make sure its fully covered and drop gently into the oil. Depending on the size of your pan, you can do about 6-8 at a time, be careful not to overload your pan. Putting in too many at a time will lower the temp of the oil and leave the poppers greasy. Remove the poppers when they start to turn golden brown, place on some paper towels and then transfer to a rack to cool.

 

Feeding the Masses, First Course February 11, 2010

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 12:55 am
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I had a birthday feast last weekend. I was hoping for pictures, but none have surfaced yet. I promise to post as soon as they are passed on to me.

I will post each course separately.

Roasted Squash Soup

6 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced
3 cups vegetable broth or chicken
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, toss diced squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pour squash into a large baking dish and spread into an even layer. Roast squash until it starts to brown, turn oven to broil for a few minutes to brown further. Remove from oven and add wine, scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen juices.

Transfer contents to a large pot, add stock and set to a low temperature. Use a hand blender to purée the contents, adding more stock if necessary. If you do not have a hand blender, you can use a regular blender in batches. Add nutmeg and ginger, raise heat to medium and let soup cook until just starting to boil. Reduce back to low and carefully add cream. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

 

Dream Meal January 12, 2010

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 1:52 pm
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This might sound odd, but I had a dream that I was on Master Chef (a show I am planning to audition for later this month), Jason Mraz and the owners of Cafe Gratitude were the guest judges and the task was to create a vegan meal.

I was really excited to cook for Mr. A-Z, even though I am not a big fan of the vegans… I don’t like people who limit their food enjoyment. So I made vegan tamales and chocomole for dessert. The dream was so detailed that when I woke I felt the need to start cooking. Here is the tamale recipe I dreamed up, forgive the funky photo – my camera died and I’m using my iphone.

Sweet Corn Tamales with Soyrizo & Cactus

(Tamales de Elote con Soyrizo y Nopales)

Dough

1 cup masa harina
1/2 cup canned cream corn
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt

Filling

1/2 package of Soyrizo
1/2 cup of nopales, chopped

Other filling options:

slices of soy pepperjack cheese
chopped mild chiles

Tomatillo Sauce

1/2 lb. fresh tomatillos, husked
1 jalapeño, split and seeded (pulled from nopalitos jar)
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons vinegar (rice or white wine)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup cilantro, stems removed
2 teaspoon lime juice

In a medium bowl, mix filling and set aside. In another bowl, mix all dough ingredients together until the consistency of soft play dough. Spread a thin layer of dough on corn husks soaked overnight, leaving about an inch uncovered on the narrow part of the husk. Spoon some of the filling down the middle – careful not to overfill, fold the sides in and then fold the narrow bit down. Place tamales into a steamer basket and cook for about an hour or until firm.

While tamales are steaming, broil the tomatillos until the skin is lightly burned. Throw all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

 

Special Request July 14, 2009

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 10:03 am
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Twitter friend Nick has requested recipes with a Spanish flair and I aim to please. Tapas are great for parties, you can impress your guests with several small dishes without spending the whole day in the kitchen. These two recipes are pretty easy and one should be done ahead of time, allowing you to enjoy your guests.

Ceviche

1 lb shrimp, salmon, octopus, halibut or sea bass (or combination)
Juice of 2-3 limes
1-2 jalapenos, chopped fine
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large firm tomatoes, diced
1 ripe avocado
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro

Clean and roughly chop seafood and place in a large container with lid. If working with octopus, tenderize the meat before chopping. Juice limes, add oil and jalapenos and lightly mix with seafood. Let sit for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Before serving add chopped tomatoes, avocado and cilantro, season with salt and lemon juice as needed. Serve on a tostada or with corn chips.

Plantain and Black Bean Empanadillas

1 can refried (or whole) black beans
1 large ripe plantain (black or close to it)
1 package puff pastry
4 oz crumbled goat cheese
1 onion, chopped

Defrost puff pastry and preheat oven to 350.  Peel and slice plantain and saute in butter until soft, mix in beans and cheese and let cool. Roll out pastry dough and out cut circles, spoon some of the mixture on each circle, top with a little onion  and fold dough over. Be careful not to overfill the empanadillas, they will burst while cooking. Use fingers or a fork to seal the edges and place on a baking sheet, I like to line mine with parchment paper but you can grease the sheet if that’s easier for you. Bake until golden brown and lightly sprinkle with paprika.